You're not connected to the Internet.
Product know-how

TomTom Touch Cardio – everything is difficult at the start

With the TomTom Touch Cardio clasped around her tattoo, Melanie starts to do up the buckle. She has been putting the tracker through its paces all month to see whether it’s up to scratch. Find out how she got on and follow the detours along the way, including an accident and over ten hours’ sleep each night.

«It doesn’t matter what you do, everything is difficult at the start,» observes Melanie Anna Lee, customer service representative in the digitec shop in Zurich. This was her pithy observation after trying out the TomTom Touch Cardio for four weeks following several months testing three Fitbits. Looking back on the experience, she has mixed feelings about the TomTom, which is surprising given the manufacturer is known for their sat navs. But on the whole, she is optimistic about where the device is heading.

«Read the instruction manual!»

Who actually reads instruction manuals for smart devices? Melanie certainly doesn’t. She does the same as most of us: pressing any old thing in the hope that the intuitive controls will somehow make sense and lead her to what she’s looking for. «Using the same technique for the TomTom was a complete disaster,» she says. The reason being the device isn’t particularly user-friendly.

Touch Cardio (L, Black, Plastic)
CHF 79.–
TomTom Touch Cardio (L, Black, Plastic)
Kenne deinen Körper, nicht nur deine Schritte.

Availability

Mail delivery

  • more than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

PickMup

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 13:10
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:45
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 14:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 11:20
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 15:40
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 15:30
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Wohlen: today at 18:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:30

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

Touch Cardio (S, Black, Plastic)
CHF 79.–
TomTom Touch Cardio (S, Black, Plastic)
Kenne deinen Körper, nicht nur deine Schritte.

Availability

Mail delivery

  • more than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

PickMup

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 13:10
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:45
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 14:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 11:20
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 15:40
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 15:30
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Wohlen: today at 18:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:30

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

She gets out the instructions, looks for a guide on set-up and laughs.

«Take a look at that. It’s going on about something to do with radioactive contamination and interference from radio signals.»

And she’s right. It’s written in black and white on page 26 and it probably stays unread in most tracker instruction manuals.

This device generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications.

Not long into the test phase, Melanie goes on holiday to Bangkok, leaving the TomTom at home. She knew she was going to have to put her mobile phone on airplane mode, so she didn’t want to take any risks. «I’m pretty sure the trackers are harmless on a plane, but I’d rather not take it with me than risk crashing,» she explains with a smile.

Our tester Melanie is quick to conclude that you can do the set-up on a mobile but she would rather rely on the PC version – she says it’s quicker. She recommends reading the instructions, even if that goes against her usual policy for devices she buys for private use.

Using the tracker after an accident

The month with the TomTom is action-packed. We didn’t count the time Melanie was on holiday as part of the test period. On top of that, she ended up having an accident. She fell one Sunday while hurtling down a hill on her drift trike.

The result? Melanie got bored. The lively German normally takes about 20,000 steps round the digitec shop every day, talks to countless customers and also has a private life. Now she is on sick leave, holed up at home because everything hurts.

«It seemed like a good time to go through all the buttons to test out what the tracker can do,» she says.

There was one thing she was quick to pick up on. Although the hardware can do a lot, the software lags behind somewhat. For instance, the device only started showing a meaningful heart rate value after an update near the end of the trial. Initially, it only showed an average pulse rather than a value over a certain period of time. «This is testament to the fact that TomTom actively works on its software and isn’t satisfied with their current product,» she explains. It’s obvious that the small, black thing on your wrist gives a live reading of your pulse, as you can follow your heartbeat in real time on the tracker’s display. But Melanie doesn’t think it makes much sense not to show a graph for the day. «I’d like to have seen what my heart rate looked like on the tracker when I had the accident, as it felt like a real adrenaline rush.»

Fighting fit again – Melanie puts the TomTom to the test after her accident.

«On the whole, the app has its quirks,» she tells me. As a commuter, Melanie spends a lot of time on the train. During one of her journeys, a notification popped up on the TomTom telling her «you didn’t reach your daily step target today». «I only stopped moving for a few minutes when my phone thought I’d suddenly gone off somewhere.»

  • The TomTom Touch Cardio sometimes syncs well with the smartphone but sometimes not at all.
  • It thinks Melanie is sleeping when she takes it off.
  • Whenever Melanie manually turns off Bluetooth on her smartphone, the app keeps popping up with warning messages, pestering for a Bluetooth connection.

This is all the more frustrating given how much the app could probably do given half a chance.

The app with potential

The TomTom sports app (Android and Apple iOS) is a product that Melanie thinks is still in the development phase. But if the current functions and controls are anything to go by, we should all be watching this space.

Unlike competitor models, this app lets you customise the interface. «If you don’t want to see how fat you’ve become, you can just stop the weight value showing up,» she quips. She clears her throat and corrects herself. «You can alter the user interface according to each sport.» But she can’t keep a straight face with that statement either. Marketing speak doesn’t really suit her the way cheekiness does.

Although the complete configurability of the user interface might not be intuitive in places, it does give the user a lot of freedom. If you want to pick out specific data and be able to display it quickly, you’re probably better off with the TomTom app than one that just summarises all the data and shoves it on one screen. She thinks back to the pulse graph that she only discovered after an update. «The graph might have been there before but was just well hidden.» She explains that the update could just have placed the option in a more prominent position. As Melanie wasn’t able to do a downgrade during the trial period no matter how much she tried, she wants to put the question to you.

Do you know if the graph that shows the pulse rate rather than a daily average analysis was there before? Let us know in the comments.

Competition in a year’s time

Even though the device didn’t blow her socks off, she doesn’t want to write off the TomTom Touch Cardio altogether. The set-up was slightly taxing compared with what you can expect from competitor models. Software-wise, the functions also aren’t 100% there. They pop up and then all of a sudden disappear into the depths of the app. But what the TomTom does have in bucketloads is appeal – and a manufacturer who is working on upping their game.

When it comes down to it, Melanie admits she wouldn’t be tempted to buy the TomTom Touch Cardio yet. When she talks about the device, she seems to be torn between frustration and optimism. She likes the idea of the tracker and its apps more than the reality of them. But as the app has regular updates, she feels she can conclude on a positive note. «In a year’s time, TomTom will probably be fantastic. Until then, users will have to watch it grow before their eyes.»

You may find the following interesting (in German)

fitbit_charge_2_melanie_anna_lee_folie21.jpeg
Product know-how
Dominik Bärlocher

Dominik Bärlocher

Senior Editor

To user profile
  • 37 13

Fitbit im Langzeittest: Welches Modell besteht den Dauertest?

User

Dominik Bärlocher

Journalist. Author. Hacker. My subjects generally revolve around Android or Apple’s iOS. I also feel strongly about IT security. In this day and age, privacy is no longer a minor matter but a strategy for survival.

11 comments

User boerdiii

Würde mich mal interessieren, was Dominik in Sachen Datenschutz ("Auch die IT-Security liegt mir am Herzen, denn in unserer Zeit ist der Datenschutz keine Nebensache mehr, sondern eine Überlebensstrategie") darüber denkt -> Siehe beispielsweise fitbit Datenschutzrichtlinien, Beacons, Cookies, Verkauf von Daten an Dritte, etc. :)

16.08.2017
Report abuse

You must log in to report an abuse.

User fumo

Gerade seine Meinung wäre so ziemlich die Letzte die mich über dem Thema interessieren würde, da gibt es viele die mehr (im vergleich eher: überhaupt) Ahnung haben. Zumal er der Datenschutz der hier im Angebot stehenden Produkte nicht hinterfragen darf, könnte ja den Absatz vermindern ;)

17.08.2017
Report abuse

You must log in to report an abuse.

You must be logged in to reply to a comment

User fumo

"Wer liest schon eine Betriebsanleitung von irgendwelchen Smart Devices? Melanie nicht. Denn sie macht das so, wie der grosse Teil der Menschen:"

Was uns Kunden natürlich Vertrauen in euren Kundendienst einhaucht ;)

14.08.2017
Report abuse

You must log in to report an abuse.

User fumo

Da würde man Ahnung über die Funktionen der angebotenen Produkten erwarten und bekommt ein stolzes "Wir beschäftigen uns selbst nicht mit den Funktionen der Ware die wir anbieten."

14.08.2017
Report abuse

You must log in to report an abuse.

User panda_prc

Näher an der Realität lässt sich dieses Gadget wohl kaum testen! Wenn ich zuerst 300 Seiten Bedienungsanleitung lesen muss bevor ich das Gadget verstehe, dann haben die Entwickler etwas falsch gemacht. Ein Produkt sollte intuitiv zu bedienen sein, das wurde hier geprüft. RTFM ist sowas von für Bünzlis ;-)

14.08.2017
Report abuse

You must log in to report an abuse.

User fumo

Nei die Bedienungsanleitung ist ein Teil des Produkt und ich erwarte das ein prof. Test sich erst damit befasst. Normale User die sie nicht lesen sind auch selbstschuld wenn sie das Gerät nicht verstehen, liegt nicht am Hersteller.

15.08.2017
Report abuse

You must log in to report an abuse.

User AllHailPrinceVegeta

Wenn das nicht Fumo ist, war lange ruhig um dich geworden. Aber jetzt ist wenigstens wieder Spannung da! :D Ich muss dir sogar ausnahmsweise mal teilweise recht geben ;) Eine Bedienungsanleitung zu lesen, gehört bei technischen Produkten dazu, besonders für einen Test

15.08.2017
Report abuse

You must log in to report an abuse.

User fumo

Nein hör auf mir recht zu geben, du schadest deiner Statistik! Bei all denn Ja-Sager/Hatern hier wird nachträglich jeder von dir verfassten Beitrag sowie Produktbewertung downvoted und weil die Communityverantwortlichen keine Ahnung von Kundenmanagement haben wird auch nichts dagegen unternommen dass sich Kunden gegenseitig zerreissen. Glaub mir, sei ein Fumo-Hater, ist besser ;)

16.08.2017
Report abuse

You must log in to report an abuse.

You must be logged in to reply to a comment


Please log in.

You have to be logged in to create a new comment.

Corporate logo