Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR: Full, in-depth review
The Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR is fast enough that it’s not too much of an issue. Nevertheless, it still feels pretty sluggish in comparison to the competition. You press down on a button until you hear a shrill beep, then watch the screen flicker and refresh itself in response. It’s nothing close to the slick, intuitive user interfaces you’d find in an Apple Watch or Samsung Gear.
Like those products, the Spartan Trainer Wrist HR isn’t just for checking the time. It’s positioned as an entire fitness tracking solution unto itself. However, you're going to need Suunto’s Movescount app in order to really unleash that potential. This app integrates with the Spartan Trainer Wrist HR to backup your data, allow you to easily view the GPS and heart-rate data gathered from your workouts.
In order compare your results to friends and others, you'll need to hop onto the web browser version of the app. You'll also need to have friends using the app, which could be a major hurdle in its own right. Still, it’s a reasonably user-friendly and and, for what it’s worth, I found it a little more engaging to explore than some of the overly-generic user interfaces found in other fitness apps - albeit a little slower.
Battery life is another strength of the product. Suunto say that Spartan Trainer Wrist HR offers 10 hours of active use and 30 hours in power-saving mode. Our experience with the product mostly lines up with those claims. On this front, Suunto’s minimalist design allows for a key point of difference over the competition.
We got our review sample over two weeks ago and, with some mixed use over this time-period, it actually only reached a low enough battery life to start feeding us notifications about it. While your mileage may vary with this aspect of things, as it always does, we came away pretty confident about this aspect of the product.
The Bottom Line
Suunto’s Spartan Trainer Wrist HR is priced a little higher than the fitness bands its most directly competing against. However, it's also priced a little lower than a lot of the smart sports watch crowd out there. While it makes up for this somewhat when it comes to battery life and durability - it’s sporty silicon aesthetics and software limitations mean that it can’t quite beat out the one-size-fits-all billing of its cheaper competition.
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