Garmin or TomTom

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  • Garmin or TomTom
  • dalhalvaig

    Beginning to wonder about getting a sports watch with HR and GPS. Have noticed for example that using my phone I can get quite different Strava results or mapping compared to people I’ve been riding along side who are using a Garmin.

    When I say different, I mean less detailed mapping.

    So I am looking at Fitbits, TomToms and Garmins.

    What experience do you all have of using these makes?

    I am assuming that Garmin is the Daddy, but is it that much better than a TomTom?

    I get the impression from what people say that a Fitbit is more leisure than sport…so to speak

    Interested in your comments and experience



    My mates use tomtoms, they seem to like them. I’ve got a Garmin as I wanted phone notifications too, I wear mine 24/7.

    If Tomtom sorted themselves out (they’ve been promising notifications for ages) I might have had one of them instead.


    I’ve had both.

    Had a TomTom Runner for about 6 months. Great watch, really accurate plotting (I mainly run on roads so its easy to see if it is wrong). Interfaced with the phone well to get runs uploaded quickly and easily to Strava etc. Battery life was impressive too.

    But on Black Friday last year I saw a Garmin Vivoactive for £99 and snapped it up as it was nearly Christmas. Bought it because of the smart notifications stuff, customisation (different watch faces, workout readouts, “apps”, etc etc) and I knew I could ebay the TomTom for close to what I paid for it.

    Equally good at tracking and doing the basic GPS watch stuff. The rest of the stuff it is clearly better than the TomTom at, but it is a higher tier product.

    Wife has just got a garmin vivosmart plus – nice, accurate, does the fitbit thing (stairs, steps, sleep etc etc) but no cycling features.

    So don’t be afraid of buying a TomTom. Garmin is the market leader, but TomTom knows GPS well too. It’s all about the features in the end, and your budget!


    I have ordered the missus a TomTom Cardio 3 with integrated HRM from Blacks. She has a Garmin Forerunner at the moment which is quite old a bit hit and miss on picking up satellites, so hopefully this will be an improvement. £119 from Blacks once you add on the 15% discount (NEW15)?
    Blacks link


    I’ve also been trying to make my mind up between a Garmin vivoactive HR and TomTom runner 3,but then I wonder if a proper bike Garmin such as edge 25 or edge 800 type thing would be a better bet?I often lose my rides using strava/endomondo on my mobile ,any thoughts?I don’t really need mapping as I generally know where I’m riding but I would also use it for running,do the edges have running mode?


    So I’ve had the Tom Tom Spark also known as the Runner 2. I now have a Garmin Foreunner 235.

    The Tom Tom mapped and connected to the phone and inturn the app just fine but app was basic although it did what it should I guess.

    I didn’t like the bland screen, I didn’t like the bland app, the menus on the watch were fine and the fields displayed were fine.

    It didn’t broadcast the HRM which is why I switched to the 235 so it could talk with my Edge. The Garmin connect app is great once you figure it out.

    The battery life on the 235 is far better, if I was honest, the only thing the Tom Tom did better was that it played music where as the Garmin does not (as long as you get the Tom Tom ‘music’ option which holds up to 500 songs which you can import from ITunes or whatever music app you use). . If you are a runner, and like to run to music without having to take your phone, the Tom Tom is the winner.

    If you like running and cycling indoor and out, the Garmin is far superior in my opinion The screen is bigger, is colour and easier in my opinion to navigate.

    Hope that helps.

    Battery life on edge 25 is pretty awful always worry about running out of juice on a big day out

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