It appears chest straps may soon be a thing of the past, with Mio Global driving the change. Yesterday, TomTom launched the Cardio version of their popular GPS sport watch, updated with a built-in optical heart rate monitor, eliminating the need for a separate chest strap. As many people now train using heart rate zones, Mio OEMing their optical heart rate technology (Adidas is also a partner) is a great step forward.
The Cardio GPS watch makes it easy to train in the optimal heart rate zone. Select one of the five intensity zones (sprint, speed, endure, fat burn, easy) to match your training goals for the day and you will receive alerts to know whether you need to speed up or slow down. The watch displays real-time heart rate, distance, pace, time, and other essential workout information at a glance.
Using the Mio optical sensor, the TomTom watch accurately measures your heart rate, even while you are working out at high intensity levels. LED lights shine through your skin, while the electro-optical cell senses the volume of blood running underneath. From there, sophisticated algorithms are applied to the pulse signal so that your heart’s true rhythm can be detected.
Even if you are running indoors, the Cardio GPS watch uses various sensors to count your strides in order to monitor pace and distance on the treadmill. When you head back outside, the QuickGPSFix ensures you lock onto satellites quickly in order to find your precise location.
When you have finished your workout, you can sync, analyze, and share stats on popular running sites and community platforms, including the TomTom MySports website, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, TrainingPeaks, and Strava.
The new TomTom Cardio GPS watch is available in a Runner ($270) and Multisport ($300) version, available now. Waterproof up to 165 feet, the Multisport model has a bulit-in swim sensor to measure your swim distance, speed, efficiency, laps, and strokes. For cyclists, Bluetooth Smart connectivity enables you to pair your speed and cadence sensors.