TomTom Runner 3 - Disappointing all-rounder

The TomTom Runner 3 is a sports watch with all the trimmings. The sports clock is even equipped with a music player and GPS navigation. Furthermore, the Runner 3 has the standard functions such as a heart rate monitor, pedometer and GPS tracking. A promising device based on the specifications. We will be taking the watch for a few weeks to see if it can live up to our expectations.

TomTom Runner 3 Cardio + Music



To play sports

Running (treadmill), cycling (exercise bike), swimming


Heart rate monitor, pedometer, GPS, compass


10 hours while tracking a sports activity


Waterproof, interchangeable strap, GPS navigation, sleep tracking, control via app and web portal

Website: 5 Score 50

  • Pros
  • Built-in music player
  • GPS Navigation
  • Data available to third-party apps
  • Negatives
  • GPS navigation no more than position relative to route
  • Price
  • Calorie counter works poorly during exercise
  • Pedometer works moderately
  • Appearance

We know that tastes differ, of course, but after a short survey at the editors, we dare to say that the TomTom Runner 3 does not deserve a beauty prize. The large black-and-white screen and the almost equally large control button make the sports watch a clunky-looking device.

The Runner 3 has a black strap with green accents that you can replace if desired for a less boring version. The closure of the wristband stays in place surprisingly well during use, especially when you see how easily you take the watch off your arm.

On the back of the Runner we find, yes, a new connection. You simply click the watch – after you have removed it from its strap – into the charger, that is not the problem. But why a new connection? We now have enough different cables in our desk drawer and would have liked TomTom to have chosen one of them. With usb-c, call it something crazy, you can also charge and connect it to a computer.


The Runner 3 Cardio + Music that we are testing has almost the same sensors as the Adventurer that we tested earlier. TomTom has omitted the barometer this time, which makes the Runner 3 less suitable for sports where an accurate altimeter is important.

However, if you plan to use the sports clock in a predominantly flat landscape in the Netherlands, it is a cheaper choice than the Adventurer. Our Runner 3 does have a heart rate monitor, pedometer and location via GPS. All this makes this TomTom extremely suitable if you plan to go walking, running or cycling. The device also keeps an eye on your daily activities. Please note if you are planning to buy a Runner 3: only the Cardio models have a heart rate monitor.

Music player

The Music variants of the Runner series can, as the name suggests, also play music. The clock comes with 3 gigabytes of storage space for music: more than enough for the average workout. Playback is via the TomTom Sports Bluetooth headphones, which are not included and should cost €80. In addition to the own brand, a handful of headphones are supported. In our experience, pairing with other devices is hardly possible.

We are quite a fan of the TomTom as a music player. Okay, putting music on a device via a USB cable might be a bit old-fashioned. But now you can just leave your phone at home when you go for a run. Even if you want to listen to music.


Both the Runner 3's step and calorie counters are just guessing. One time the clock gambles better than the other. After an hour of work with an electric chisel, the TomTom adds more than 3000 steps to the total: quite a lot when you consider that I spent most of that hour kneeling. And a bike ride from the station home (about a mile) yields 150 steps, while I really only got on and off.

TomTom guesses the number of calories consumed based on the average consumption for an activity, data from the heart rate sensor is not used. The fitness watch estimates the number of calories that a Computer!Total editor (male, age 24) consumes during a normal day at 2300 to 2500. A very nice guess, for which you don't really need a sports watch.

However, as soon as you start exercising, the calorie counter goes crazy. With two hours on the racing bike we would have burned more than 2,400 kcal with an average speed of 26.5 kilometers per hour. Even half of that would still be a generous estimate.

GPS Navigation

You can load routes into the watch via the TomTom Sports dashboard. You first have to map out the route and download it as a gpx file. The TomTom Runner 3 then shows your location relative to the route.

Because the navigation only shows the route and no streets, it is not really suitable for guiding through busy cities. However, as soon as you start exercising outside built-up areas, the navigation works fine. You should not deviate from the planned route: it is then quite difficult to get back on the route. TomTom does not help in any way and only indicates that you are not walking or cycling according to your original plan: a bit scanty for a brand that is mainly known for GPS navigation.

TomTom shares with third parties

A big plus of TomTom's sports watch is that it has the option to link with external services – an option that we missed with the Fitbit Charge 2. For example, you can automatically upload your running session to Runkeeper and share the number of calories consumed with Apple Health or MyFitnessPal .


If you pay 210 euros for a sports watch, you can expect something. On paper, the TomTom 3 Runner offers: a GPS tracker, heart rate monitor, calorie counter, navigation, pedometer, music player and more. In practice, however, we are only happy with the GPS tracker and music player, and the TomTom is simply too expensive for that.

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