TomTom’s line of GPS watches are targeted to runners, and the latest is the Runner 3. It’s a well-priced fitness tracker that will be useful for runners who don’t need all the bells and whistles of other generalized fitness trackers by brands like Garmin and Fitbit. It does do fitness tracking but it does not include a heart rate monitor (you’ll need to pick up a Spark 3 for that).
- Bluetooth headphones included (with selected model)
- Storage space for music (3GB)
- Multisport mode
- Real time metrics
- Route Exploration to find your way back and explore new trails
The ability to load music into the Runner 3 is fantastic since you don’t have to take your phone with you for music – almost everything you need is on the watch.
The Runner 3 is not a smartwatch, though it looks closer to one than some other fitness trackers. The screen and look of it make it even more disappointing that this model lacks phone notifications.
The look of the screen itself also makes it especially disappointing that this is not a touchscreen. Instead, the border functions as buttons. The watch is pretty bulky, but that’s necessary for runners who want to see the screen as they go, and for a band that can stand up to the elements.
As you might have guessed, what the Runner 3 does best is GPS – after all, TomTom is known for GPS first and foremost. But the real time metrics on the big, easy to read screen is another key perk, as is the music storage. The screen also has a back light for night use. In those respects, this watch is well designed for runners.
It is also waterproof, and the headphones are sweat- and weatherproof. The headphones are not the best, but they will work fine if you don’t have another pair. You might ultimately want a different pair, however, and the watch is compatible with any Bluetooth headphones.
The Runner 3 does include tracking for activities beyond running, and the multisport mode has a fairly comprehensive list of activities. Because it is waterproof, you can use it to track swimming, as well.
Though there is plenty of competition, the TomTom Runner 3 is a good option for runners who want to minimize what they are carrying and want a screen they can actually see while they’re out. It tracks more than just running, so fitness nuts who want more than just running data won’t be disappointed. It might be a bit much for some to wear all of the time, but it is possible to do so.
If this watch appeals to you, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It’s nothing overly flashy and it doesn’t have any state of the art technology, but it is thoughtfully designed for runners. It’s sturdy, smart, and has plenty of functionality.