Garmin vs TomTom vs Fitbit

Just completed W5 R2 in pouring rain.... loved it, really enjoying my running thus far and want to treat myself to a new gadget on graduation, which i know is a few weeks away.

Been looking online and Garmin Forerunner 35 looks the best but is pricey when compared with the tom tom, which would people recommend, the fitbits don't appear to have gps so i assume these a non starter?


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27 Replies

  • A Fitbit is not a running watch I don't think. I have the basic Garmin F10. If you want bells and whistles they come around a cost. 🙂

  • Fitbit surge and fitbit blaze are both 'smart watches' with gps capability.

    tomtom Runner 3 series also has gps capability.

    Ultimately, it will depend upon your preferences. Will you wear it all day long, every day, or just when you run? What style do you prefer? Do you want a large slab of coloured plastic on your wrist, or would you prefer something more subtle? What running dynamics do you want, and what is the website (where all your data ends up) like?

    Garmin are the market-leader in running watches, and have watches developed for runners (that also happen to do heart rate and step counting).

    Fitbit are the leading activity tracker brand, and have now expanded into running watches with GPS.

    I don't have much to say about tomtom as a brand. I had a tomtom running watch and gave it to my brother when I got my Garmin ForeRunner 235. The FR235 was leaps and bounds above the tomtom watch (Nike Sportwatch GPS by tomtom), but then I was comparing a new Garmin watch against a previous-generation tomtom watch.

  • I'd echo others comments. Fitbits are great if you need a bracelet to tell you how much you have walked around today. TomTom probably okay as an in car GPS.

    Garmin is a good solid sports watch and provided you have half an hour a day to stand around waving your arms in the air waiting for it to sync with a GPS satellite, an excellent choice.

    My preference is now for Suunto which is the Coke to Garmin's Pepsi. It locks on to satellite in seconds and the run tracking website is very releiable unlike Garmin's which can be randomly temperamental. That said, I have never had a lot of joy with the HRMs on Suunto watches whereas even the cheapest Garmin I have had was 100% on the HR score.

  • My Garmin FR235 has never taken more that 5 seconds to get a GPS fix, no matter whether I am stood outside my house, or at the start of parkrun, or even in Munich/Bucharest/Austin and other cities where I've run.

  • I've also got a new Garmin and it takes no time at all to get a GPS signal. Mind you I haven't been out in the real sticks yet. It coped with new cities really easily.

  • I've got a Garmin 230. Very impressed - I chose the chest strap model as I had read the wrist based HRM is not particularly accurate.

    I'd recommend Garmin on the basis of the Garmin Connect application -really useful way for planning collecting and analysing your runs

    The Forerunner 25 is a good bit cheaper than the 35

  • I'd get straight on this if I were you:

    Garmin Forerunner 610 HRM, down to 90 quid from 260.

    (Somebody else helpfully posted about the above but I forget who, so apologies!)

    Or, if you want to run with music but not your phone, the TomTom Runner Cardio Music is what I've got and is great, imo. Around 200 quid, I think, but I got mine on eBay.

  • It was our lovely poppypug ... and mine came today :)

  • Well done poppypug! And well done you too. That's a great buy.

    I'd have gone for it too but I got the TomTom for its ability to play music. My phone is rather large for running and I prefer to run to music.

  • I have not unpacked it yet...saving that until all my jobs are done:)

    I updated my Garmin forerunner.... I have a snazzy little MOTO phone, also headed up by a chum on here, at a great price a while back., we used to call him our Gadget Guru; he has not posted for quite a while:(

    The phone is really small and neat and I use that just for my running and music..and to phone husband on speed dial if I ever collapse in a heap :)

  • Ooh, exciting!

    (The unpacking a new gadget; not the prospect of collapsing in a heap! ;-) )

  • ...soon :)

  • If anybody has got one of these, could you measure how big the actual watch part is please? I've got skinny wrists and big watches can easily go past the width of my wrist. Perhaps that doesn't matter while I'm running?

    And how small is the smallest you can have the strap?

    Thanks so much if you can help!

  • Oh you got it Floss ! Great stuff , you will have to let us know how you go on with it :-) xxx

  • Have fun Oldfloss - I've had my new Garmin Fr 235 for about 3 weeks and am loving it.

  • thanks for replies i now have even more to think about, the sportsdirect watch seems good price though it is an older model.

    Think will go for a Garmin not sure which model, gonna have a look in a real life shop to see what they look like.

    Needs to look good as plan on wearing it all day

  • My mate has the 610 - it really is very good I wouldn't worry about it being older.

  • Probably rule out the TomTom then. It seems to do everything perfectly well, finds GPS instantly and syncs with other apps no problem. But... it looks like a kids' toy, imo.

  • Decisions decisions, this c25k malarkey was meant to be cheaper than joining a gym LOL, am loving my journey so far though something i've never said about a gym!

  • Cheaper...hmmmmm ! I think a few of us though that.... initially :)

  • I feel I must be missing out, my total expenditure was about £35 for trainers and that included splashing out on two pairs of running socks!

  • My type of spending really... I love a bargain..not paid full price for any of my running gear :) But... I have been a little reckless over the last few weeks :)

  • I do know someone who works for Garmin and can get me stuff with her employee discount...

  • ... and I have lots for presents :)

  • I don't know how accurate it is, but I love my apple watch. It even has music built in to connect with blue tooth ear pods so I don't have to bring my phone. I use the c25k app, nike run app, and music (only 8gb of storage, but plenty for a few playlists) while running.

  • I got a Garmin Forerunner 235 a few weeks ago (graduation present for me too) and I have no bad things to say about it. I like the way it looks, it locks on to GPS quickly. HRM is wrist based - no idea how accurate it is but the reviews say it is one of the better ones. Could get a chest strap if you wanted but I couldn't be bothered with that. If you don't want HRM I believe you can get the model below which is a bit cheaper. It has a music function, which I haven't used, so there's that too.

  • The 235 is one I'm leaning towards, pricey tho £225 cheapest I've seen but looks way better than 35 which is fugly IMO.

    Gonna wait till graduation in month or so time all being well.

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