Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Suunto Spartan Ultra for a month: Week 2

I have now had the Suunto Spartan Ultra multi sport GPS watch for about two weeks, and the first software update has been released and has been installed (now using software release 1.1.30). 

Top: HR loss running (1.1.24)
Bottom: HR loss kayaking (1.1.30)
I've come to experience a few heart-rate drop-outs during my exercises - both when kayaking and running. Apparently the first software update to 1.1.30 didn't fix my problems. I'm hoping the next update will!
I've experiences 3 dropouts in total.

I've also experienced touch screen activation by rain drops/sweat droplets e.g. displays the clock during a session. However, you can lock the screen by pressing and holding the lower button during a session, so this wont be happening. 

A thing I'm finding a bit irritating, is that when "start" is pressed for a session, the timer doesn't start immediately, but it displays "Starting..." for a moment and then, after a few moments, starts the timer. I want the timer immediately and not a few moments later...

The watch is a bit slow to wake up when the main clock-face is displayed is a button is pressed. It takes about 2 seconds, which may not seem much, but I find it a bit annoying. I also find the inconsistency in methods used for going back in the watch menu less than optimal, which can either be back-swipe or having to scroll all the way up to "back" (or double tapping in some cases to get back to the main watch face - a short cut I think).

Right - enough moaning...
The watch has a good colour display which is easy to read. It is fast to obtain GPS signals (less than 5 seconds so far), and the same is true for detecting the HR monitor. It has great battery life, which is rated to 16h, 26h and 65h in GPS-modes BEST, GOOD and OK. I haven't testes these modes yet though. I'm pleased that it supports many different sports, which for me is running, mountain biking, kayaking plus some strength/circuit workouts till now. In kayaking the stroke rate (cadence) is recorded, however, for some reason the average cadence is not displayed in the top overview in Movescount for kayaking mode. The cadence data in kayaking mode also seems a bit noisy when displayed in Movescount. The chest strap for HR monitoring is still not causing any problems. 

I'm still awaiting the second software update for September to unlock further functionalities including customised data fields, Android compatibility, an alarm clock and more. I'm uncertain if interval settings will be included also, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

These are things I would like to see updated:
  • Customised interval settings if not included in the next update
  • Battery indicator on main screen - possibly as one of the small interchangeable icons
  • Customised step count/calorie targets
  • Possibility to delete workouts on the watch
  • List all data in Movescount: it does not show avg. cadence (paddle strokes) in kayaking
  • A timer integrated with the clock/stopwatch
  • Customised data fields on the main clock screen to toggle though
  • Different colours for Movescount (web version) for different data fields selected
  • An optical HR monitor for extended tracking of daily activities (I believe this is planned for the next version)
  • Estimation of resting heart rate
  • Automatically estimation of activity levels instead of having to set this manually in Movescount
  • Possibly wifi
  • Faster response times when interacting with the watch menu 
  • Lap-representation displayed as bars in Movescount 

As mentioned before - The watch has the potential to be awesome, when all updates are installed, but a bit expensive...

I'll keep you updated on my findings!

See you out there... :-)


Best M.
PS: Views are my own! The watch has been provided by Suunto for me to test for a month, after which it has to be returned.

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