This autumn Suunto launches their new watch in the Spartan series, the Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR . Featuring an integrated optical heart rate sensor and GPS tracker for an unbeatable price, it may be the only watch you ever need. Staff runners Alice and Will share their thoughts.
Alice: When I opened the box, my first impression was that Suunto has combined high technology with aesthetics. Mine is an attractive mint colour and the screen is big enough to see from far away but not as big as the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR which, in my opinion, is an advantage, so it doesn’t look too bulky and can be worn daily.
The watch is surprisingly easy to wear, being very light (contrary to what I first thought when opening the box) and comfortable with a silicone strap.
Will: When I opened the box, the first thing that I noticed was the colour. Unlike other brands where the colours are minimal, the blue was a welcome change.
The feel and quality of the watch were immediately apparent to me. After only wearing for a short amount of time, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing such an innovative watch. The display was clear and easy to read and the navigation for the settings was simple.
I was looking forward to getting out of the office and seeing what this watch was capable of.
Alice: The main feature of this watch is the optical heart rate monitor. It does a very good job at giving accurate information on your heart rate, as well as GPS tracking for speed, pace and distance.
I have been running with it 4 times per week for a month now and the fact that I didn’t have to put a heart rate chest strap on is definitely a plus! When cycling I would recommend tightening the strap, as the vibrations from the road make the watch move so the heart rate information is inconsistent.
The instructions in the box provide basic information (where to find the settings / how to start recording an activity) which arguably, is all you should need to get started, but this watch has so much to offer that I felt a bit frustrated not knowing how to connect it to my phone to receive notifications or how to customise sport modes with graphs and automatic laps.
However, once you get set up and have figured out how to transfer all of your performances to Strava (obviously a must!), this watch is brilliant.
I use it daily without the HR measurement for cycling to and from work as well as for running after work and the battery lasts me a good two days (Battery life is normally up to 10h in training mode).
The Suunto Movescount app is a really good tool to follow your progress, plan your next workouts and create routes.
Wills: A major advantage of this watch is that the heart rate monitor is located within the watch itself, meaning no fuss when it comes to wearing a chest strap. This allowed me to feel less restricted in my movements and i could move freely without worrying about keeping a chest strap in place.
Another feature that I loved was the GPS function. With this feature, I could explore different routes around me without getting lost. I could also add new routes to the Suunto Movescount app which gave me confidence when going further from home.
I found the data extremely accurate which is great for someone like me who is training for the next Iron Man. It is important to keep track of your training and this does the job perfectly.
Alice: All in all this watch is definitely good value for money, with almost all the features from the Spartan Sport Wrist HR carried over. If you want a watch you can wear daily as well as for all your different sports activities this is definitely the watch for you.
Wills: This watch has proved to be an excellent training aid and I would recommend it to any dedicated athlete as well as those who want to have fun and explore within their sport
Price / value for money: 10/10
Price/Value for money: 7/10