When the opportunity of getting the chance to try the new Suunto Spartan watch with built in Heart Rate monitor. I grabbed it with both hands.
This was a great chance to try the latest in technology from the Nordic GPS watch makers and see how it compares to my Suunto Ambit 3 peak ultra, which has been a great watch and never missed a beat when it came to recording my Running, and Mountain Biking. Could this next generation watch bring me to the next level of wrist based multi sport and smart watch technology ?
Out of the box…… my first impression I wouldn’t wear a watch with a blue strap mainly because any watch I buy are usually black leather or plastic or silver metal. However this is chance to try this next gen watch.
When trying on the watch it is instantly really light compared with my previous watch and less bulky. The new silicone strap grips onto your wrist(even if it is blue) with very little movement without putting the force of a boa constrictor on the strap.
The built in Heart Rate Monitor(HRM) is something I would usually not look at in a watch as I feel that this would destroy the battery life especially if you are out and about doing a +4hr event with the watch connected via Bluetooth to your phone this I where other brands have been a letdown when speaking with others who use GPS sport watches.
Setting up the look of the watch with the many different faces was so easy, no instruction had to be taken out of the box or goggled even the Bluetooth connection and app download was very easy.
Putting it to the test
Now how do I test the watch I look at what I would ? I don’t want to have a watch for Sports and another watch for the office or when I go and visit customers in my job. I want a one does all kind of watch so hopefully this watch can pull this together for me.
An average week for me on the sporting side involves
• Mountain Biking – 2-3hrs 1 day
• Trail Run – 1.30hr 1 day
• Gym Cardio and weights 4 days
• Swimming 40 lengths 2 days
On the non sporting side the watch becomes a smart watch as I do a lot of travelling with my job the functionality of seeing who is calling you or messaging you is vital to me without having to take your phone out of your pocket or bag.
So can the watch interact with my training needs and social needs ?
Mountain biking the watch is well fixed onto the wrist with no or little movement and picks up the GPS signal instantly even after a crash at Glentress 7 last weekend the watch is deemed to be hard wearing.
Trail Running with Keswick 25k trail race nearly upon me this is becoming its main sporting use but the use of the HRM when running is great to see that if you’re not working to your max heart rate it gives you the push. GPS Signal once again instant compared with previous watches.
Gym Cardio and weights I have never used a watch for Gym training but I have found this with the many different sport modes to be a great way to measure your break with the HRM during weights. Cardio now with HRM is great to see if you are pushing it hard enough and now the ability to go back and measure performances and improve on and not just take part.
Now Swimming with a watch on I would never have thought it to measure especially when in a indoor swimming pool. The watch fits very well with the strap and no movement and it was great to go back to the pool and compare how long and improve on as this was usually a 20 laps and no further information was gained from this, now I have time distance and Heart Rate so plenty to see if I can improve.
Socially using this watch for its primary function as a watch is great as you can adjust the display to your liking and even colour preference or screen brightness. Working between the functions with the use of the buttons or the new touch screen is very easy to use.
On incoming calls or messages the watch vibrates which was sorely missed in my previous watch the vibration is much more suited to the watch than audible beeps. This becomes more apparent when out and about and using the watch in 1 of the many sport modes.
Although I’ve only had the watch for a short period of time it has instantly made an impression on me in only a positive way. I am not a Superstar athlete that requires every single nano of information. I am a 40yo Dad of 2 with a love for sports and events and a full time job. The ability to now measure all of my training using one device makes it really easy to compare and improve upon even the colour of the watch has now grown on me and I like it a lot. The battery life is not a issue even after a 5hr event the battery percentage was show at 71% and this was using Bluetooth/HRM/GPS no concerns at all.
The watch is loaded with functions and ability to download suunto specific apps it even measures your daily steps in the background. The phone app movescount is also loaded with features it even creates movies for you based on your data from your run or cycle and you can add photos taken on the run. It will even automatically link your GPS data to strava if you have a strava account
I do feel that at this moment that I am only scratching the surface with the capabilities of this watch the options on how to reach your goals are endless
My next even is Keswick 25k Trail race. Coming off the back of two 5hr+ MTB events means that my next 2 week training is going to involve more than just running but bringing some of my standard weekly training into a more scheduled approach to the race.