Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Review: A standout sports watch

the most accurate wrist-based heartrate monitoring you can buy - so they say!

When you’re looking for fitness watches there are plenty on the market today.  When you’re looking for active sports watches, there are fewer but still plenty to choose from.  This is a competitive space, and it’s all about the features.

No, I’m no triathlete, so I haven’t given this thing a real run for it’s money.  However, I’ve considered the everyday features of this watch – to see how it’s sporting capabilities which someone else on the interwebs can spell out for you, match up with the day to day use of the watch.

You’re not going to spend $699 on a watch you don’t wear almost every day.  It’s not just for your runs and events.

Off the bat, I have two main issues with this as a “smartwatch”.  For $699 there are a bunch of other high end smartwatches to choose from (think Apple, Samsung) so I’m putting this up against a high bar – I’ll grant you that.  But I have to say the screen is disappointing.  The colours seem washed out, and I kept wanting to boost it to a brighter level.

It’s like this for battery life – I get that – this is a watch that will easily last a week without a charge (assuming you don’t run a Triathlon in GPS mode  of course.

And the second thing – notifications.  A smart watch should tell me who’s calling, who just text and who likes my instagram photos.

This does that very well.  Too well.  I can’t shut it up.  Even now, as it sits in the box beside me ready to go back – It’s beeping.

You can turn notifications off completely, or have them on with the beeping.  No in-between.

Either I’m an idiot and couldn’t find the setting, or they need a firmware upgrade to add that feature.

All that said, Suunto’s optical heart rate measurement is top of the line here, it’s fast to respond and goes head to head with any other on the market.   Suunto are using a Valencell patented biometric measurement technology, which if their internal testing is to be believed, offers accuracy within 5 percent of a chest strap – 89% of the time.

That’s pretty stunning accuracy, and for people looking for consistent measurement across their day no matter what their activity, it’s hard to overlook.

If you’re into active sports, this Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR goes head to head with the likes of Garmin.

It’s is $699.99 and it is available in three colours Black, Blue and a light pink.

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Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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