Suunto Spartan Trainer sports / GPS smartwatch review
I first heard about Suunto when they released their Ambit. More recently they let me know about their Spartan Trainer Wrist HR. I just had to take a look.
The Suunto Spartan Trainer is a smartwatch designed for a wide range of sports. So, whether you run, swim, cycle, ski or all the above, the Spartan Trainer will suit.
Even triathletes are catered for!
Let’s run in to this review – well, perhaps a steady jog. I can’t risk such a shock to my system 😉
Suunto Spartan Trainer design
The Spartan Trainer isn’t as chunky as I was expecting it to be. It’s not wafer-thin, but also not oversized. This can sometimes be the case with my skinny wrists.
The Trainer Wrist HR measures in at 14.9mm thick and weighs 66g. You also have a selection of models to choose from. There’s the gold and steel, which feature metal bezels while the blue, black and ocean coloured versions feature Polyamide (plastic) bezels. As you can see, it’s the black version I was sent to review.
The range all share the same 218 x 218 resolution display. Around that display are five function buttons, two on one side, three on the other. This is not a touchscreen watch, but that kind of makes sense.
The watch is waterproof to 50 metres so decent for most swimmers.
Suunto Spartan Trainer performance
This watch is not short on specific sports modes. It is also sporting GPS so that you can track your routes or simply find your way back home.
In fact, it can store up to 20 different Sports Modes customised from the Suunto Movescount website. Each sports profile can be further customised by adding a ‘Custom’ mode. This enables you to set up which specific training metrics are displayed and how much data is shown on each training page.
As I said earlier, not being touchscreen might appear a bit old-hat but, to me, it makes sense. The Spartan Trainer has modes for swimmers and skiers, while those might not appear linked, they are. Kind of. Wet digits don’t always play well with touchscreens, and the same can be said of gloved hands. Having the function buttons means that it works for everyone.
The Spartan Trainer has modes for swimmers and skiers, while those might not appear linked, they are. Kind of. Wet digits don’t always play well with touchscreens, and the same can be said of gloved hands. Having the function buttons means that it works for everyone.
Flicking through the menus is intuative and responsive. The watch offers some choices of face design, but without the flexibility of Android Wear or Apple Watch OS. Thankfully, what is on offer, does look good and rather classy.
I just happened to be on the English south coast at the weekend where everywhere appeared to be holding triathlons. No, I was not in the slightest bit tempted. However, it did strike me just how many people do this kind of thing. For. Fun!
This makes the Spartan Trainer’s Triathlon Mode not only handy for those sports people, but surely fairly unique amongst sports watches.
Being gadgety, the first thing I checked out was if the softwear was up-to-date. It wasn’t.
Whilst I had the watch plugged in to my computer via the charging and sync cable, I discovered that you could sort out the notifications and more.
|Pool swim pace and distance||yes|
|Openwater swim pace and distance||yes|
|Records heart rate in swimming||yes, from wrist or with Suunto Smart Sensor|
|Swimming time by pool length, lap, total||yes|
|Swimming stroke rate, count and type||yes|
|Stroke efficiency (SWOLF)||yes|
|Interval lap table||yes|
|Lap table for swimming analysis with stroke and pace||in Suunto Movescount.com|
|Interval guidance with swim pace/duration/distance training support||on watch|
|Average speed in real time||yes|
|Bike POD with speed/cadence support||Bluetooth Smart|
|Bike power meter support||Bluetooth Smart|
|Bike Power (W), average and maximum (with power sensor)||Bluetooth Smart|
|Bike Lap and Lap Maximum Power (with power sensor)||yes|
|Power distribution and graphs||with power sensor (available in Suunto Movescount.com)|
|Peak Power Curve for peak power outputs||with power sensor (available in Suunto Movescount.com)|
|Real-time lap table with avg HR, avg power and avg speed||yes|
|Interval guidance with power/speed/heart rate||on watch|
|Running power with Stryd sensor||yes|
|Foot POD calibration||automatic|
|Lap comparisons||on watch and in Suunto Movescount.com|
|Average, max, lap pace in real time||yes|
|Interval guidance with running pace/heart rate/distance||on watch|
|Change sport mode during exercise||yes|
|Preconfigured multisport modes||yes|
|Post-analysis of multisport exercise by sport||in Suunto Movescount.com|
|Multisport exercise summary||on watch|
Not being particularly sporty, I didn’t really get out and push the various sports modes. I did, however, wear the watch for the week I had it to review.
I feel that I must add that on Saturday I was at a function and so was wearing one of my vintage Rados instead of the smartwatch. The Spartan Trainer didn’t really fit the theme of 1920s-1940s styled outfits.
I really liked having the GPS functionality on a piece of wristwear. I belive that the module is under the hard bump below the watch bezel and forms part of the strap.
You can create routs on the Movescount software as well as using the Spartan Trainer to plot where you have been.
You are also able to save points of interest (POI) as well as tag them – Base camp, home, hotel, etc.
As you can see in the picture above, you are given the current time, and distance away from the saved POI. The big blue arrow is really clear, as is the taget sights.
I might not be much of a sportsman but I can sleep. In fact, I am Olympic standard, when given chance.
Still, this function is still a handy one to have.
I have been impressed by the battery life of the Spartan Trainer. In normal watch/step counter use it will see most people easily through a week.
Naturally, most people looking to invest in such as smartwatch will be using the mapping, monitoring and analytics more than I. I still reckon that battery life is pretty darned good.
Suunto Spartan Trainer review conclusion
I have been impressed by the feature set of the Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR.
Not only is it a good looking watch, it appears to offer everything that fitness freaks will be looking for. There is enough modes to cover anyone’s specialty. This watch doesn’t simply have a swimming mode, oh no. You can actually select open water or pool. There are similar specialties when you drill down in the the running or skiing modes.
Furthermore, the heart rate monitor and GPS both proved to be very accurate.
The Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR is brilliant and offers excellent value for money.
Suunto Spartan Trainer price and availability
You can buy the Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR right now from £219 direct from Suunto.