AT A GLANCE: QUICK RATINGS
Heart Rate Functions
Fitness / Sport Features
Ease of Use
- High quality optical heart rate sensor
- Software support for 80 different sports.
- Straightforward menu navigation
- Various power-saving profiles for different activities
Where To Get It
A Deep Dive Into The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro
The Suunto Spartan series is one of the most appreciated sports watches collections on the market. It’s rather new which means that it has some of the finest features in today’s wrist HR technology to appeal to both amateur and professional athletes.
In this review, we focus on what sets the Spartan Baro apart from other fitness watches, such as its accurate barometric altimeter, robust design, battery life, and overall versatility when it comes to tracking a wide range of sporting activities.
Who Is It For?
The Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro is designed for extreme adventurers and hardcore athletes. It works equally well in cold and hot environments. It’s also a solid choice for anyone looking to do some serious underwater exploration or conditioning training.
- Battery lasts up to 40 hours in full training mode and with GPS activated
- Compatible with Strava data sharing
- Storm alarm
- Support for 80 different sports
Suunto began manufacturing accurate liquid-filled compasses in the 1930s. After that, the company was the leading authority on diving equipment for a while. It wasn’t until 1997 that Suunto showed a real interest in applying its long experience to the world of timekeeping.
Fast forward to 2016 and the Suunto Spartan series was launched. The watches combine GPS technology, health sensors, robust materials, and Suunto’s Movescount service to provide useful fitness tracking to people all around the world.
Alongside the watch, Suunto also packages a brief guide, a sticker, and a standard charging cable. Interestingly enough, the cable is located in a side pocket and not in the main compartment with the watch and the guide. While Suunto does recommend using a HR chest strap for some sports, that is not included in the package.
Overview of Features
It’s hard to put a pin in the main draw of the HR Baro. For one, the addition of the barometric altimeter solves a lot of the tracking issues known to plague most GPS system. For another, the Suunto Movescount platform offers an amazing array of sports activities and workout routines which you can follow and track.
Skiers seem to get a lot of love from this model. After a day on the slopes, you can use the Movescount app and track over twenty different metrics. The GPS makes things even sweeter as it allows you to plot trails and even find your way back if you get lost.
We chalk this one up as a safety and quality of life feature that’s just too good not to have on every true fitness watch. Another very nice function is the storm alarm. That’s possible due to the built-in barometer and accurate GPS data collection.
The optical blood flow sensor is really accurate as long as you wear the watch properly. If you want the best result, you’ll have to tighten the strap a bit and wear the watch above the wrist. While we appreciate the accuracy, we understand that not everyone wants to ‘feel’ the watch when they’re working out.
One thing that can be considered a drawback is the touchscreen sensitivity. If you wear the watch under a sleeve, you might prompt it to stop recording in the middle of your routine. Of course, you could just lock the screen. But if you do that you can’t check the time unless you unlock it again. Not the best design.
Some people will probably be bothered by the big screen too. However, this is a feature we rather enjoy because it makes navigating menus and reading metrics a lot easier. Though it looks like a leisure watch, it is clearly designed to benefit athletes and adventurers and not for guys trying to impress on the first date.
If you’re looking for a smartwatch, the Suunto Spartan Wrist HR Baro shouldn’t be your first choice. Do we recommend it as a fitness tracker? – You bet! It has a really robust build that can withstand any environment.
Its software provides support for metrics tracking in 80 sports which is something no other brand comes close to matching. The fact that it also has a barometer to improve elevation tracking and give storm alerts is just the cherry on top.
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