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This is part of the detailed review for the TomTom Runner 2 (aka SPARK) and covers the less interesting unboxing, contents, weights, dimensions & installation of the components.
The box is nice looking, functional and gives you a good look at what you are about to buy or open. You can see here that I have the CARDIO version (which means it has optical heart rate built-in) and the MP3/AAC player. This didn’t come with headphones, not to worry you can buy one with headphones or use any Bluetooth 4 (SMART) compatible pair.
So as I had no headphones there wasn’t much in the box really. Just a charger and a manual which I will endeavour not to read unless pushed.
The Runner 2/spark will connect to a bluetooth speed/cadence sensor (not supplied). We’ll come back to that later.
The watch should have sufficient charge to be used when you receive it but you can top it up before you get started in earnest. I found the charging cradle a little stiff and difficult to get on. I would prefer a micro USB connection but would imagine that would create more waterproofing issues than the charging method used by TomTom.
Weights and Dimensions
The screen size is 22x25mm, which is fine. You can see in the following images that it’s very similarly sized to the competing Polar M400. Comparing to the high-end Epson SF-810’s round screen you probably get a bit more screen real-estate with the TomTom and, although the 920XT looks bigger in reality, it’s the casing which mostly gives that impression.
It’s not as super thin and light as the Garmin 620 but is very much on par with the Polar M400.
Turning to the thickness you can see it compares very favourably with the M400 as the thickness is essentially the same but the M400 does NOT have an optical sensor built in. Nice job TomTom.
Turning to the Epson which DOES have an optical sensor built in you can quite clearly see that the Epson is thicker.
I have small/regular sized wrists but the large-strapped TomTom Runner 2 fitted fine.
The synthetic strap on the TomTom is slightly overwhelming and gives, perhaps, a little too much of an impression of rubber-ness to the watch overall. In reality, that’s not the case and the main body of the unit is most definitely metal with a glass screen.
I would say the TomTom is modern-looking and may well appeal equally to younger males or females. It’s certainly wearable as a day-to-day watch, in terms of its looks.
It certainly has none of the nonsense of some of the outlandish-to-garish colour schemes of some manufacturers. Sure, offer those options; but offer plain colours too.
I probably have a preference for square or rectangular faces as they typically allow more data on the screen. You might prefer the round Epson, shown earlier.
I think it looks OK. Each to their own.
It’s not a touch screen. Although covering the screen will turn the backlight on, which is handy for the upcoming winter runs.
The one square button controls everything. I don’t particularly like it. That’s just me though. It *IS* a good design, IMO, and is fairly intuitive to use. Press the top of the button to go to music stuff, press the left of the button to do activity tracking stuff, press down to do all the general settings.
Pressing the button to the right opens up all the different sports and the various sub menus for each. Essentially press-right is the positive ‘Go’ or ‘Enter’ type action.
The battery is stated to be good for 3 weeks as an activity tracker and up to 11 hours with GPS. The optical HR will probably knock off 2-3 hours from that life in reality. The speed/cadence sensors in bike mode maybe a tad more. That probably translates to the same sort of battery life as the Polar (8 hours) and the 7/8 hours of the optical Garmin 225. I would imagine they all use pretty similar battery technology.
You can swim with the Runner 2/Spark and if you can go down 40m or so it should still be fine.
I’ll cover this in more detail in the main part of the review as I like this sort of thing and think everyone else should do too 😉 Sorry!
Anyway, here’s a photo and if you look very, very closely you will see LOTS of tiny little sensors.