Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR: Full, in-depth review

Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR
  • Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR
  • Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR
  • Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR
  • Expert Rating

    2.75 / 5

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good battery life
  • Durability

Cons

  • Software limitations
  • Clunky UI
  • Conspicuous aesthetics

Bottom Line

Despite gains in battery life and durability, Suunto's sporty aesthetics and software shortcomings mean this won't be a product for everyone.

Would you buy this?

Specs

Weighing 56 grams and built around a 218 x 218 dot-matrix display with an LED backlight, the Spartan Trainer HR features integrated GPS tracking and daily activity training.

It’s not touch sensitive but does boasts 80 different dedicated sports modes, 50 meters of water resistance and accurate wrist heart rate measurement - courtesy of tech from bio-metrics supplier Valencell.

Credit: Suunto

The Suunto Spartan Trainer HR arrives in five colors - Gold, Steel, Ocean, Blue and Black - and can customized with one of five watchfaces.

Design

Despite the glowing list of fitness features, the Spartan Trainer is still - at its core - a traditional sports watch with some souped-up health and GPS tracking features. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but does mean the product comes with as many pros as cons and as many strengths as it does limitations.

The Spartan's simple five-button control scheme is enough easy to learn but often a case of trial and error to navigate. In practice, it’s comfortable enough to wear, and lightweight. The optical heartbeat sensor is pretty seamlessly built into the underside of the product. However, overall, the traditionalist form-factor of the watch inevitably comes off as a little more unwieldy than the slimmer fitness bands it's ripe for comparison to.

Like smartwatches and fitness bands, it’s all about the data. The Spartan Trainer Wrist HR is the kind of thing you have to wear as much as possible in order to really get the most out of it. Unfortunately, while the Spartan Trainer Wrist HR’s silicon wristband is resilient enough for regular sports use, it's unlikely to blend inconspicuously into your everyday wardrobe in the way that a slimmer product band might.

Overall, the design here is pretty conventional. While that familiarity isn’t without it strengths it does at-times make the Spartan look and feel a little bit dated. If you don’t bother to dig too deeply into the software side of things, it feels like you’d hardly be able to tell the difference between this sports watch and one from a decade ago.

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