This Fitness Watch Lets You Leave Your Phone Home

Live free of shattered-screen fear.
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Live free of shattered-screen fear.
Spark Cardio + Music fitness watch

Spark Cardio + Music fitness watch (Photo: TomTom International)

You don't need your phone to provide audio entertainment while you work out. And you especially don't need wired earbuds, they're just an accident waiting to happen. TomTom's Spark Cardio + Music ($250), the only GPS fitness watch that tracks your heart rate and stores your tunes, rights both of those tech wrongs.

Reminiscent of the before-its-time MotoActv (which had music and GPS but no heart rate sensor), the waterproof Spark features modes specifically for your indoor and outdoor running and biking, swimming and freestyle/gym. It also tracks all the steps, calories, etc. you'd expect, along with sleep. But it goes hardcore with GPS-based pacing, heart rate training zones and audio performance feedback.

The four-way navigational button below the watch face takes a little getting used to; but once you do, it's second nature. You pretty much just need to choose some Bluetooth buds (theirs for $100 or others) and you're good to go.

While style-wise it's decidedly more sporty than elegant, it performs well and its sophistication lies in letting you avoid clunky cords and extra devices. (Seriously, you don't need to call anyone while you're working out.) A healthy example of where less is more.