For Fit­ness Freaks

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH -

Wear­able de­vices are a rage these days. While most of them are get­ting smart and stylish, GPS man­u­fac­turer TomTom has launched a no-non­sense watch. The Spark fit­ness watch is fo­cused to­wards track­ing only fit­ness ac­tiv­i­ties. But it isn’t the best look­ing watch avail­able in the mar­ket to­day.

Af­ter get­ting used to the touch in­ter­face for close to a decade now, in­clud­ing on smart­watches for the last cou­ple of years, go­ing back to a non-touch watch was not pleas­ant. Spark has a big, back­lit mono­chrome LCD screen. Af­ter all, it wasn’t just meant to dis­play time but do a lot more. It is quite a tech-driven watch with in­built GPS tracker, a heart rate sen­sor and 3GB in­ter­nal space for stor­ing mu­sic. But for nav­i­gat­ing through the op­tions and the menu on the phone, there is a phys­i­cal four-way but­ton be­low the dis­play. Hard to press at first, I got used to this UI within a cou­ple of days. While I wasn’t re­ally con­vinced about this hard­ware but­ton, the com­pany be­lieves it is eas­ier to ac­cess data on the watch us­ing the but­ton, over touch dis­play, dur­ing a work­out.

Un­like many other fit­ness track­ing bands and watches, TomTom is not just about track­ing foot­steps and sleep. It does a lot more and is pretty ac­cu­rate at do­ing these. It can track al­most any kind of work­out in­clud­ing run­ning, swim­ming, cy­cling, tread­mill work­out or in­door work­out. The watch strapped on the wrist also records heart rate dur­ing work­out ses­sions. All the dif­fer­ent modes store data ac­cord­ing to the na­ture of the ac­tiv­ity and the in­for­ma­tion dis­played is tai­lored based on the same. For in­stance, for gym work­out ses­sions, the watch dis­plays heart rate over the du­ra­tion of the ses­sion. In case of swim­ming, it dis­plays the length. There is ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion that you can feed in – for in­stance, the length of the swim­ming pool. The watch al­lows you to set goals and tar­gets. The ad­di­tional fea­ture of the Spark is the on­board mu­sic stor­age which, the com­pany claims, can store up to 500 songs on the 3GB stor­age. While trans­fer­ring the songs to the watch is a cum­ber­some process, in­clud­ing con­nect­ing the watch to the PC, the mu­sic can only be lis­tened over a Blue­tooth head­phone. The MyS­ports app is pretty neat and sim­ple, dis­play­ing all the in­for­ma­tion for quick un­der­stand­ing. How­ever, it is a sports watch and not a smart­watch that can fetch no­ti­fi­ca­tions from you smart­phones for in­com­ing calls and mes­sages.

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