Top positive review
Great Watch With Some Software Issues
Reviewed in the United States on May 19, 2017
I wish I could give this watch 4.5 stars. It's very good.
I had the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire for almost 2 years. That was a fine watch--sturdy, consistent, tough. But I hated the menus and the sluggishness. The GPS took forever to work, sometimes making me wait up to 5-8 minutes just to connect to a satellite. To Garmin's credit, they kept pushing updates every month or so--although not adding any new features that I noticed.
I've wanted a Suunto watch for a while, and when the Spartan Sport was available with HR monitor built in, I gave it a try. I'm glad I did. This watch is noticeably lighter than the Fenix. I can't say it feels as sturdy as the Fenix, though. Nevertheless, the Spartan appears to be well built.
The GPS function is significantly quicker than with the Fenix. The Spartan will connect to a satellite within 30 seconds typically. The tracking seems consistent, although with a deviation from the Fenix. Running the same trial I always do, I know the distance I travel in a given stretch. I know what my Fenix said a stretch was, and the Spartan has a slight deviation. However, it's nothing that would alarm me. The difference is not more than 20 yards, as far as I can tell.
The Spartan's menus aren't better than the Fenix's. The touch screen isn't great. It works, but clearly Suunto wasn't trying to create a true smart watch. The software is a little sluggish, too. It takes much too long to update my workouts through my phone. My Fenix would update the workouts within a minute of connection to my phone. This is not a problem with the Spartan's hardware. It's simply the clunky and problematic phone and watch operating systems. Suunto needs to make the process a lot faster.
Suunto will require you to open a Movescount account. It's essentially a website where you can view your synced workouts, have access to the Suunto community, can create and subscribe to workout plans. It's a good feature. It's particularly nice to pick someone else's workout plan and see if you can do it. Some are very tough, while others are beginner level. They appear to have plans for a plethora of supported sports.
Once you subscribe to a workout plan, you'll have to sync your watch. The real problem is that you can't start a planned exercise through the schedule screen. In fact, after consulting with Suunto, there's no way to just start the planned workout. You have to go through the exercise menus, select a workout, and then go.
For example, if today I have a 4 mile run at 1hr period scheduled, I can see that on my watch. I can even see the next few days' workouts. But I can't simply hit the "Start" button and begin my 4 mile run. Instead, I'll have to navigate to the general exercise menu, scroll through the exercises, and then select Running. The watch will NOT track me specifically for the scheduled plan. You can still set parameters manually before you start the run, but that's just extra steps you have to take.
Frankly, that is the biggest drawback to the watch. It's--once again--a software problem.
Suunto simply needs to refine their applications. If they make things faster and implement some new needed features, I would give the watch 5 stars. Regardless, it's definitely a worthy purchase.