Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR || Full Test and Analysis


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Today Suunto launches its new Spartan Trainer Wrist HR. Introduced three weeks ago, the Spartan Trainer offers the same software features as its big brothers in the Spartan range, but at a fraction of the price.

With a retail price of just £279, Suunto's new model is set to be a success. No triathlon multisport watch with an optical sensor is cheaper. Yes, there are TomTom, Polar or Garmin models that allow you to swim, run and ride a bike, but none of them allow you to do so as part of a single activity, a key feature for considering a watch as a multisport.

Until now Suunto used to reduce performance on their entry-level models so as not to affect sales of their higher-end models. This time they have not eliminated any aspect of it, leaving the experience virtually intact. There are other changes that we will see later, but first let's take it out of the box.


The unpacking of the Spartan Trainer does not hold many surprises. There is not much difference from other models in the Spartan range... or even from older models, such as the Ambit3. The box is identical to the one Suunto has been using for many years, and the only thing that changes is the outer band.

Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR - Unpacking

In fact, the presentation when opening the box is no different from what we have seen in the past either.

Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR - Unpacking

In the case of the model available for testing, it is the "Ocean" color. The Trainer range is composed of two different finishes to complete a range with a total of five colors.

Within the basic finish, in addition to the new Ocean color (a blue-green with light tones), we have the classic black and blue "Suunto" colors. There is a superior finish, called "Steel", which offers two different variants: white strap and gold steel bezel or black strap and polished steel bezel.

Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR


But let's go back to my Ocean unit. This is the entire contents of the box.

Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR - Unpacking

Clock, synchronization and charging cable, quick manual and warranty booklet and a card that incorporates a small novelty, and is that now to make the first start of the clock is necessary to connect it to the computer or charger for it to start.

Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR - Unpacking

The charging connection is identical to the one used in the Ambit3, so the cable is the same. Here we already see the first cost reduction compared to the higher range models, as the convenient magnetic charger is no longer present, returning to the clamp system.

The optical sensor does not hold any surprises. It is the same Valencell sensor that equips the Spartan Sport Wrist HR, the only difference is that in the case of the Trainer it is turned 180º and in a separate housing from the watch.

Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR - Unpacking

I do not think that these changes make any difference to its operation, but rather are due to the internal location of components and the existing space. I do not expect any improvement in data recording with these changes.

That said, the box doesn't hold any special surprises, so let's get to know the watch.

Suunto Spartan Trainer vs Spartan Sport. Differences

Suunto Spartan Trainer is a new component of the Spartan range, but it clearly reminds us of the Suunto Ambit3. Aesthetics, button layout, GPS antenna in the strap area... All this reminds us of the Ambit3, especially the Ambit3 Run.

Suunto Ambit3 Run

But don't let aesthetics confuse you, it's a model from the Spartan range in its own right.

So what are the differences with the rest of the range? Well, here I am to answer those questions.

I will start with the external differences, as they are the easiest to identify with the naked eye and there is no need to have an over-trained eye. The first difference is clearly the size, and that is that the Spartan Trainer is markedly smaller than the others.

Here are the three models together, from left to right: Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR, Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR and Suunto Spartan Ultra.

Suunto Spartan Trainer Comparison

In this picture I would miss the Spartan Sport or the Trainer Steel, which I don't have, but the first one has the same front as the Sport Wrist HR (only the thickness and weight vary) and the second one is also practically identical.

Suunto Spartan Trainer Comparison

The Spartan Trainer is a perfect watch for anyone with thinner, smaller wrists.

Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR || Full test and analysis 1

Compare with the Spartan Sport.

Suunto Spartan Trainer on the wrist

I personally feel more comfortable with the Spartan SportI have more than enough wrist to keep it from looking too big. Spartan Ultra is too big for me in terms of thickness, at least in terms of day-to-day use. But what is most appreciated about the Spartan Trainer is certainly your weight.

At 56 grams, it is a watch that is barely noticeable on the wrist, even though both the Spartan Sport Wrist HR and the Ultra Stealth Titanium shown in the photos are not excessively heavy (for their size) at 74 and 73 grams respectively. But once placed on the wrist, the difference is noticeable.

The basic version of the Spartan Trainer is made entirely of polyamide (plastic), including the lens. In the Spartan Sport and Ultra the bezel is made of steel or titanium (depending on the version) and the mineral glass or sapphire in the case of the Ultra. If we compare it with the Trainer Steel, for example, the weight increases to 66 grams.

These are the differences from the outside. Internally it has hardly any changes compared to the Spartan Sport Wrist HR, which is the model it most resembles. These are the main differences between the two:

  • The Spartan Trainer has the smallest screen and is not touch-sensitive, so instead of three buttons it has a total of five, just like the Ambit3. The software is almost identical on both models and has been adapted for use with buttons on the Trainer.
  • There is a small difference in the water resistance rating. The Trainer can withstand immersion up to 50 meters, while the Sport and Ultra are able to withstand 100 meters. I do not consider this a difference that has much importance.
  • The location of the antenna changes. While the Sport and Ultra integrate the antenna into the bezel, in the Trainer the antenna is in the lower part of the watch, in the area of the strap. This should theoretically have an advantage in terms of satellite signal reception, not only because it is a larger antenna, but also because the placement of the watch when running is oriented directly to the sky.
  • The Spartan Trainer does not have a magnetic compass for navigation, only GPS. It does not affect navigation whenever you are on the move, because by the location obtained by satellite the clock can understand in what direction you are moving. It is stopped when you may have problems.
  • The screen illumination is worse in the Trainer. There is no possibility to regulate the intensity and a point of higher intensity (where the screen illumination LED is located) is clearly noticed in the 10 o'clock area.
  • The Spartan Trainer is only compatible with GPS satellites, while the higher models also support GLONASS.
  • There is no colour reduction mode to save energy (automatic screen shutdown is available). test of autonomy that I once performed on the Spartans I hardly noticed any difference in battery life.
  • The Trainer declares longer battery life, at least with respect to the Spartan Sport Wrist HR. 10 hours for the Spartan and 8 hours for the Sport.

A quick review of Spartan Trainer

Since I published the full test of the Spartans only a few weeks ago and the Trainer software provides almost the same possibilities, I recommend that you take a look at the full test of Spartan Sport and Spartan Ultra.

However, I will give a quick review of some of the most notable features and details that stand out within the Spartans, as a reminder. Firstly, we can set up two sections for the menus:

Starting from the main screen with the time, we differentiate whether we move up or down. Upwards we have the different options and modes of use: sport profiles, navigation, diary, stopwatch or settings.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Menu

Therefore, "up" we have all the functions of the watch.

If we use the bottom scroll button we will find the different measurements it offers us: daily activity, training, recovery time and sleep monitoring (option that is launched with the Trainer and I will talk about it later)

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Menu

Within these measurement options the way of navigation varies slightly. As we don't have a touch screen that we can use to move around by sliding our finger, the way of seeing the different screens within each of these sub-menus will be done by pressing two buttons. Scrolling to the right with the central right button and to the left with the lower left button (the one we use in the menu to go back).

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Activity

When it comes to training, the Spartan Trainer offers exactly the same options as its range brothers at a much higher price, leaving behind the days when the lower range models had their software features cut back simply so as not to hinder the rest of the range (as was the case with the Ambit3 Run in relation to the Ambit3 Sport).

What does this mean? Well, we have a watch that supports absolutely all the sports modes that the rest of the range, including multi-sports activities. This makes the Spartan Trainer the most economical triathlon watch on the market - if we stick to its retail price and don't take old models into account.

In the watch we have available 80 pre-set sport modes with pre-configured screens. You can take the watch out of the box and start training with any of them. Additionally we can configure our sport modes with the settings that we believe appropriate. To do this we must go to the website of MovescountYou will find your Suunto clock or clocks and you can access the different settings.

Movescount - Model Configuration

Suunto allows us to configure three data screens completely to our liking, with a fourth one that will be fixed for navigation or intervals, depending on the options we choose for the sport profile. In the predefined profiles there are also graphics that, at the moment, cannot be selected in the profile configuration.

Suunto Spartan Trainer display settings

Each of these screens can be configured as follows.

Suunto Spartan - Displays

This is where you can set up the different options for each sport mode.

Suunto Spartan Trainer activity settings

These are just a few options because in the clock, within each activity profile, we have other options that we can configure independently, including the possibility of creating interval training.

It's very easy to create them, but their functionality is also very basic, at least compared to what Polar or Garmin offer, but the information screens while you're training are really good (I'll reuse the Spartan Sport images).

Suunto Spartan Sport - Intervals

Suunto Spartan Sport - Intervals

It may be too simple because there is no warning if we are above or below a certain target (power, rhythm, heart rate, etc) or because the intervals will always be the same length in terms of pace or distance, but the truth is that it does not complicate things and it is possible to create an interval session in a matter of seconds and without having to resort to the computer. Everything has its pros and cons.

When you finish a training session and provided the option is selected, the watch will ask you how you feel after the session is over.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Sensation

You will be able to follow up in Movescount how you feel after each session. If you accumulate many sessions with bad sensations it is clear that you will have to lower the intensity level, because you will not reach a good port.

Movescount Sensations

Once you have marked your sensations we will have a quite detailed summary of the training, including graphics. Without a doubt it is the most complete post-activity summary of all the watches on the market.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Activity Summary

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Activity Summary

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Activity Summary

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Activity Summary

And we will also have the details of each lap, both the automatic ones by distance and the manual ones that you mark individually.

All those details and much more will be available both in the mobile app and on the web. In the mobile app with the same level of detail as in the clock, but on the web in a much more detailed way.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Activity

In short, everything is exactly the same as in the rest of the Spartan range (full scan).

Sleep monitoring

Sleep monitoring is a function that has been released in the Spartan Trainer but will of course reach the rest of the Spartan range through a software update (which in theory will include some other things).

Sleep recording is done automatically. Within the settings menu there is a sleep menu where you can define different parameters, for example, your usual hours of rest.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Sleep Mode

It is necessary to indicate this to improve the record, in that selected section will be where I will analyze the movements.

In my case I have selected from 23:30 to 8:00, as a normal average between the week and the weekend. In many occasions I go to sleep later than that and during the week I usually get up before (or quite early) 8:00. And if I wake up later than 8:00 on a Sunday there is no problem either, because everything will be recorded.

In addition, we have another option that allows you to activate a "do not disturb" mode for the phone notifications. Within the time period marked, the clock will not vibrate with the phone notifications.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Sleep Mode

When you are in night mode you will see that the clock display only shows the time in digital format. Pressing any button will ask you if you want to exit the mode.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Exit sleep mode

It will present you with your sleep statistics, the time you fell asleep and the time you woke up, along with the total number of hours and what you have missed to reach your goal.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Sleep Mode

You will also see the estimated times of deep sleep and when you have been awake.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Sleep Mode

If we have heart rate monitoring activated throughout the day, the average heart rate during sleep will also be displayed.

Finally, you will see a graph with the summary of weekly sleep and the average, although if you have left the clock running one night it will be altered.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Sleep Mode

In the menu we also have that graph along with the time you've been asleep (but without all the details seen before). This data is not synchronized with Movescount (or at least not shown).

For the moment, the operation is quite basic, but it is a first approach to this type of information by Suunto, so it is expected that later on more options will be offered, especially thinking about displaying the information after synchronizing the clock with its online platform.

Optical heart rate sensor

Suunto continues to rely on Valencell's technology to equip its optical sensor watches, and it is a very good decision because they have traditionally always shown impeccable performance.

The first Suunto model to equip this sensor was the Spartan Sport Wrist HR. In the Spartan Trainer there are slight changes, but more than for operational reasons I think they are simply design and internal placement of components.

In the case of the Spartan Trainer, the sensor rotates 180º with respect to how it is placed in the Spartan Sport.

Suunto Spartan - Optical Sensor

There are also differences in the packaging, but this is simply for aesthetic reasons.

Although Valencell's sensor is very good at measuring during training, it is also true that it is a few years old and does not offer the same performance as other sensors today. For example, it records pulses constantly throughout the day, which although the watch is capable of taking, it does not do so with the same recording rate as the competition.

With this option activated through the menu, the clock activates the sensor every 10 minutes to take a record, although this data is not recorded anywhere and is not synchronized (or at least not displayed) with Movescount. It is possible to access data from the last 12 hours on the clock, but after that time... poof! they disappear.

Suunto Spartan - FC 12 hours

On that same activity screen you can also see your current heart rate and while you are on it, the sensor will be in operation, to display the data and make the graph.

Suunto Spartan - FC 10 minutes

Let's focus on the training. The way I have to perform the different tests is by comparing the records of different sensors during my training, and the truth is that these last days I have been noticing strange things, but not only in the case of the Spartan Trainer, but with any other watch with an optical sensor that I have tried to use.

Slightly erratic behaviour or not being able to register pulses at all during the session (as has happened to me on several occasions with the Garmin FR935 over the last few weeks). Changes from the past? It's been very hot these days with high humidity, so the sweating has been much greater; but the biggest change I've noticed is when I shaved the hair on my arms in anticipation of the race this weekend.

Can hair affect the measurement in any way? No, especially if instead of putting it on, which is what 1TP10It could hinder, we remove it. In my opinion, it is a combination of all aspects. Increased sweating that makes the watch slip more easily and no hair that can help "hold" it on, plus the change in sensation that having shaved arms can cause.

But don't forget that with so much moisture, the sensors on your chest can also show strange things for the same reason. Sweat makes it easier for the sensor to move or slip on your body.

First of all I will start with a gentle recovery training of about 30 minutes, something easy and without changes of intensity, at a relatively low frequency.

In this case the Spartan Trainer I compare it with its "brother" the Spartan Sport Wrist HR and with a Garmin 935 connected to the HRM-Tri sensor.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Pulse sensor comparison

Both the chest sensor and the Spartan Trainer mark the same graph right from the start. It takes a couple of minutes for the Spartan Sport Wrist HR to find the correct frequency, but it is common for all sensors to see these discrepancies at the beginning of the activity, when the heart rate is still low.

In general everything has worked perfectly during the whole training. There are small peaks in the Spartan Trainer graph but without importance, there are no differences of more than 1 or 2 beats per minute.

Next, we're going to do a similar workout, but longer and with some change in intensity. Five little fartleks where I raise the pace slightly. Here we're already entering the terrain of changes in intensity, which is one of the things to look out for when testing an optical sensor.

The first thing you see in the graph is the above mentioned with respect to the 935. At no time during the training does it manage to establish the correct heart rate. Just a curiosity.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Pulse sensor comparison

What can be extracted from this image? From the beginning to almost the end of the training, both the Spartan Trainer and the HRM-Tri chest sensors recorded the same heart rate. In the first interval, the Suunto reads about 3 or 4 heart rates, but there was no delay in the heart rate increase or in the start of the rest.

Where you do see discrepancies (logically ignoring the 935 graph) is from minute 46:33, where the HRM-Tri reading is stable while the Suunto has rising peaks. Has the Suunto made a bad reading?

Well, no, on the contrary, because if we look at the graph of pulses compared to the rhythm we can clearly see how the rhythm continues to rise, so the heart rate should also do so.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Pulse sensor comparison

Mini point for Suunto's optical sensor.

In short, when it comes to running training I continue to see results similar to those left by the Spartan Sport Wrist HR. Good performance both in smooth training and on series and interval days. With slight faults that any optical sensor can suffer, but overall it passes the test with a good score.

Now let's see how it behaves in cycling, another aspect where the optical sensors must improve. In theory the Spartan Trainer may perform better than the Spartan Sport due to its lower weight. However, weight is not everything, and the size of the watch may also come into play, since being smaller it is possible that light enters the sensor area making it difficult to read.

This training is quite good for performing the analysis because it contains all kinds of sections:

  • An initial stretch of pure time trial on the flat trying to maintain a stable power (250W), until approximately 30 minutes.
  • Rises and falls in intensity when crossing urban areas, between 30 and 1:24.
  • Power intervals between 1:50 and 2:30.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Pulse sensor comparison

Three details: The Suunto was kind enough to restart at the beginning of the activity, so there are two files that correspond to its reading. In blue at the beginning and in purple later on. And around 1:15 you'll see that all three graphs have a strange behavior, it's just a stop on the way where I paused both the Garmin 935 and the Edge 520... but the Suunto kept recording. And finally... I ran out of battery in the Suunto. Yes, it happens to all of us.

First time trial section. 9 minutes of considerable variation from all the sensors until I warm up and hit the road. From then on everything is perfectly stable.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Pulse sensor comparison

The same goes for the second part, as soon as there are traffic or city crossing areas and the intensity varies, the problems begin. Only when there is continuous pedalling is when all three sensors coincide.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Pulse sensor comparison

Finally, the interval section with variable result. The first two intervals are regular, too much variation in the pulse. The third interval does it more or less correctly making the recovery perfectly, but then it has a totally irregular fall. Precisely in that same interval the 935 is lost when starting the recovery.

Whether by relocation or any other reason, both the Spartan Trainer and the 935 perform well from then on, at least until the Suunto runs out of battery.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Pulse sensor comparison

There are no new features to highlight with respect to what has already been seen with this same sensor in Suunto. The record is erratic, as was already the case with the Spartan Sport, and is something that I have been able to verify not only in this training but also in the other bike trainings that I have been doing these days (and there have been a few).

For cycling training I still recommend (and the manufacturer does too) the use of a chest sensor. Spartans are compatible with any Bluetooth sensor, so when training on the bike the best option is to use the traditional sensor.

Finally, it is important to remember that the Spartan Trainer allows you to use the optical sensor during swimming, not only to be able to see on screen the pulses while you are swimming but also to record them in the file after synchronizing it. However, it is important to note that this is not the most accurate way to do it, since as in cycling the manufacturer recommends using the sensor on the chest (the Suunto Smart Sensor has memory, synchronizing the data when saving the activity). But it is also important to note that it offers the possibility of swimming only with the optical sensor, we will have less eyes in the pool.


Spartan Trainer - GPS

As you know, for my GPS analysis I don't do any special tests of any kind, I just carry the different watches I'm using with me in my training, which contributes to receive strange looks from those I come across, but if I'm honest, it's been years since I've been ashamed.

In these trainings I compare the Spartan Trainer (or the one that I am testing at that moment) with other models, trying to give importance also to those, that can represent an interesting comparison with the analyzed model. In the case of this Suunto it can't be other than the Spartan Sport Wrist HR, and this way I can compare how the new Spartan Trainer behaves when returning to the external antenna design.

I'm not boring you anymore. During these weeks that I've been testing the Spartan Trainer thoroughly I've done multiple trainings - at least one per day, but two when it was time to double session. Everything to prepare the Ironman Cascais 70.3 of this Sunday-, in which he has always accompanied me along with other models.

I'll start with a training run on one of my most common routes. The advantage of always using the same one is that, despite not having many turns, I know perfectly well where the problems appear.

Seen from afar we have no problem.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - GPS

Therefore, it is important to get closer "to the action". This area of Puerto Banus,The street is not excessively wide and the entire route runs under a wooded area, which makes it difficult to receive the clocks, making it a good test case.

In this first image you can see how two of the three devices are quite stable, being the FR230 the one that gets a little lost on the way back. The Spartan Trainer has some small detours on the way out (which are the tracks at the top), but nothing too noticeable.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - GPS

Both the FR230 and the FR935 mark the route more or less correctly, with the Spartan having a detour. You can see perfectly well that at the beginning, as the street turns, the Spartan continues straight, as it lacks positioning points. The same thing has happened with the FR935.

But while the first one continues straight to correct the trajectory when it recovers more signals from the satellite, the 935 is more erratic in the same area. Different ways to solve the same problem.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - GPS

This is an area that is always very problematic, something like the Bermuda Triangle of GPS's. You get to an open area, without trees and with no excessively high adjacent buildings, because always, regardless of the clock you are testing, GPS rhythm measurement does strange things.

I wouldn't judge FR230 too much by these images, as I took it more to collect FC data than by its satellite reception data. Between 935 and Spartan the representation of Suunto is slightly better as it is more in line with the area I actually went through.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - GPS

Next, let's compare with its range brother, the Spartan Sport Wrist HR. In clear areas everyone behaves quite well, although in this case it's the Spartan Sport that slightly misses the line by a matter of a metre.

Both the way to and from Spartan Trainer is perfect.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - GPS

This is another point that I like quite a lot, because it comes out of a wooded area. Again, although the Spartan Sport's track is good (within what I consider a correct range for a GPS), the Trainer's is better.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - GPS

Now let's take a quick look at a bike tour, where usually there are not many problems, which is normal, because the higher speed and distance traveled between points helps filter out possible location errors.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - GPS

The same goes for roundabouts and turns, that extra speed helps to make beautiful images.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - GPS

Remember what I just told you about speed? That's just what happens with open water swimming. As with both Spartan Sport and Spartan Ultra, the open water swimming record can certainly be improved. As proof, you only have to look at this training, where the target was 2,000m (doing a little more in total, about 2,100m).

However, according to the Spartan I have covered almost 3,000m. And with a track, let's say... "regulero".

Suunto Spartan Trainer - GPS

If a watch tells you that you swam 3,000m in open water at a rate of 1:06 min/100m you don't rule it out, do you? The bad thing is that in competition these results are not what you count on.

In short, there is no problem with GPS reception, just a few detours, but the usual for any GPS watch.

In a direct comparison with the Spartan Sport and its bezel-integrated antenna, you can see better reception on the Trainer thanks to the external antenna, but it's not a noticeable difference that should make you decide between one model or another.

External sensors

Suunto Spartan Trainer, like the rest of the range, is compatible with any Bluetooth Smart sensor. Bluetooth only, no ANT+. But within the supported sensors it includes all, especially notable being compatible with power meters or Stryd, something that not many other watches in this price range offer.

Specifically, these are the supported sensors.

  • Heart rate sensor, and in the case of the Suunto Smart Sensor, storing HR data for swimming
  • Cadence sensor, both for cycling and running
  • Speed sensor.
  • Cadence/speed sensor
  • Power Meter
  • Stryd (stroke power meter)

One problem that remains is that it only allows you to connect one sensor of each type. Therefore, you cannot have two paired heart rate sensors, but must replace one to add the other.

Spartan Trainer - Bluetooth sensor

For example, in the case of Stryd and the bike power meters, both are connected under the same profile, so in a triathlon we could not use both, because if the bike power meter is paired up in the clock at the time of the race you will not find the Stryd, because we should look for it again.

There are also problems with double-sided power meters (like pedals, for example), because at the moment they only connect to one of them and double the power, instead of collecting the total power from each of them.

I know these are cases that will affect a minority, and I'm far from being the usual type of user, but they're there and they need to be taken into account. It's something Garmin solved a long time ago by implementing synchronisation with a multitude of sensors. It simply stores them all and will connect to whichever one is in range. And if there are two, it asks which one you should connect to. Something that would be necessary in other watches, especially if they are intended for multisport use or are range stops.

Opinion Suunto Spartan Trainer

Suunto is back on track. After the difficult start of the Spartan range, Suunto has not only caught up (for lack of any details) with the year and little they have been on the market, but has created a watch that will undoubtedly become a bestseller.

Firstly, because Suunto, this time, has been patient. The hardware was ready many months ago, but they were still adapting parts of the software that should be considered fundamental.

But what will make this watch a bestseller is its price. For 279 ? Suunto is offering a lot. That price makes it the most economical triathlon and multisport watch in the market (talking about current models), and it also has a quite reliable optical sensor.

Suunto Spartan Trainer - Multisport

The 90% users will be able to find in this Spartan Trainer everything they need from a training watch and even much more. Not cutting back on software features by incorporating a lower range model than the current one seems to me a wise move, especially thinking about the end user.

It is a watch that works really well and that I do not hesitate to recommend to anyone who is considering it and does not need a barometric altimeter or a longer range.


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Overall operation - 8.5
Training possibilities - 8
Platform and applications - 8.5
Battery life - 8
Finish and comfort - 7.5
Price/performance ratio - 9.5



User Rating: 3.6 ( 1 votes)

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Thank you for the analysis and the comparisons, as always very interesting, as I also find interesting your opinion of how this Suunto Spartan Trainer stands against watches like the Fenix 3 or the V800 that, nowadays, can be obtained for a not much bigger price as they are older models. Would it still be worth betting on the new Suunto? Thank you

    1. Compared to the V800, it's better in almost every way, except for the absence of a barometric altimeter. Otherwise, although the V800 is a great watch, it's about to be replaced after quite a few years.

      The Fenix 3 offers more features, but is also much larger...
      The trump card of this Spartan Trainer is precisely its small size and low weight.

  2. First of all, I want to congratulate you for the exhaustive analysis you Spanish they are the best, this Spartan trainer wrist HR I have in mind for its acquisition...but I have seen the launch of the Garmin vivoactive 3 and I prefer to wait to compare, between these three watches in the absence of the Garmin analysis and for multisport, which one do you stay with?

    -Garmin Fenix 3
    -Garmin vivoactive 3
    -Suunto spartan trainer wrist HR

    I miss reviews on your website of products of "inferior" brands but with a great quality/price ratio:
    -AMAZFIT pace
    -STEAM MISFIT (October release)
    -WELOOP HEY 3s

    Thank you, greetings.

    1. The Fenix 3 is designed for trail runners, the Spartan Trainer for asphalt runners and short-distance triathletes and the Vivoactive 3 for the less competitive athlete. Of course you can mix and match the Fenix 3 in triathlon or the Spartan Trainer in the mountains...

      It has to be your choice to see which one suits you best.

      As for the models you indicate... in the end my days are only 24 hours long and as much as I want, I can't stretch them any further.

  3. Congratulations, Eduardo, on the review.

    I'm starting with swimming and I want to record my training with the FC (obsessive mania of an agoraphobe).
    Now I'm wearing a Garmin Swim.
    This suunto (using the band) will give me the same functions as the Garmin Swim besides the FC log? (Especially that it has an automatic pause if I stop between long and long for some seconds.
    Can you recommend another model? I run and swim, but I don't plan on triathlon or anything like that.

    Thank you for your help.

    1. Yes, although more than pausing the activity, what it does is identify the series. If for example you stop after 200m to take a break and then do another 200m, the time continues to run but in the analysis of the activity you will be able to see the duration of each 200m interval with its own records.

      1. Thank you, Eduardo.

        That's exactly what I want, for you to tell me the average of the series you do and not count the breaks to calculate it.

          1. Thank you

            I think I'm going to try it. Although as better swimming data, the Garmin Swim takes advantage of it, even being older and simpler.

  4. Hi Eduardo, first of all, I want to thank you for the work you do, I have a question to ask you; you have just acquired a Spartan Sport Wrist HR, and I realize that the maximum speed measurement is quite incorrect, for example I record the route to my work (it's 4km) by city (specifically Valencia), normal GPS mode and without glonass, and it has come to me to mark maximum speed of 60km/h, which is impossible!!!, it occurs to you that it could be some configuration, in this case of the sensitivity of the GPS¿. Thank you!

    1. Being in the city you will have reception losses, it is normal in that environment.

      You can always use a speed sensor on your bike to have total accuracy of distance and speed.

      1. Hi, I used to have a Forerunner 235, and I've never really gotten those values, doing the same route. Thank you-

  5. Good afternoon, Eduardo!
    Thank you very much for your analyses, they are simply very complete and very practical, a 10 to your page. You helped me at the time to decide for the m400 (great purchase through your links) and now I wanted an activity monitor.
    I wanted to ask you a question that I didn't know where to put it because it's about clocks from some time ago so if you don't mind I'll ask you this way :)
    It's about the fitbit charge 2 and the vivamart 3. In the post of the fitbit you compare it with the vivamart hr but not with the 3, and my question is if you have any preference for one of the two. I'm surprised by the garmin gym mode, which is the sport I do mainly, but you were commenting about the quality of materials and finishes... Is the difference between both very noticeable?

    Greetings and thank you very much for your work.

    1. More than noticeable difference is that while the Garmin wristband has "normal" finishes (quite a bit better than the Vivosmart HR), the Fitbit wristband is even better.

      But it wouldn't stop me from recommending her.

  6. Hello! Very nice check. I'm looking for an open-water watch and I see that it hasn't marked the distances well at all. Is there one that's more accurate?
    Because I already have a TomTom (I do trail as well and I like the pulse on my wrist very much, I don't want bands!) and what I do is use it in race mode tied on the glasses or the swimsuit strap, but I would prefer to wear it on my wrist so I can see during the training how I am going.
    Thank you!

  7. Good morning, thank you very much for all the information but I'm having a problem that worries me a lot when I'm setting up my trainings. I would need to know what is the partial time for each lap I do for the trainings I do by times in the running mode, but it doesn't give me the partial time and it only gives me the total time. I have set up a custom race mode where I ask you to tell me the total duration and the length of the lap and this last one comes out with two little grids as if it doesn't offer me this option. This is so? I can't get this information? Or on the contrary I'm not doing it correctly? Let's see if you can help me because this detail is bothering me a lot when I do certain trainings. A greeting and thank you very much.

  8. Good morning Eduardo, I love your reviews and I think you do a thorough job.

    To decide completely for this watch I wanted to ask you if you can plan interval trainings from the web and pass them to the watch as in garmin, when you do an interval training you get the information of what you have to do on the screen as in garmin, in the suunto page you get predefined trainings in plan to go down from 45min in 10 km and pass them to the watch?

    Thanks for everything, you're a crack!

  9. Hello Eduardo, congratulations for your work, you work hard. You see I have a polar M400 since 3 years ago, it just broke and it's time to change. In the last three or four years I have evolved sportingly, I usually do a lot of cycling (MTB), Trail running and swimming in open water, about three training sessions a week, maybe someday I will consider doing a triathlon but only as an experience. You see the pectoral band makes me quite a few serious injuries if the session is prolonged more than the account, I have seen your analysis and I have several doubts.
    1st) The band of my Polar M400, is valid with the Sunnto Spartan Trainer, i.e. you can disable the optical sensor of the watch for example in MTB and put my band of my Polar (it is smart bluetooth, or at least I think so) on the Trainer.
    2ª) Due to my age (almost 50), the fields of the polar are very difficult to read, right now I have it set in three lines and it is sometimes complicated, the resolution of the polar is quite low. As you can see on the screen between the Trainer and the new Garmin Vivoactive 3, I think the Vivoactive is a little bigger but it disables the GPS in swimming.
    3ª) At experience level between touch screen as for example the Spartan sport or Garmin Vivoactive 3, and the Spartan Trainer that pros and cons you find, it gives me that the touch screen is better at the time of passing screen that the buttons, but of course it's an impression and I speak with ignorance.
    4º) At device level I could stretch up to 400 euros approximately, I have seen some offers of the Sunnto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, but if the tactile experience is not useful, it would be worth the Trainer.

    Thanks for everything, sorry for so many questions, but I don't want to make a mistake when choosing. Best regards.

    1. For screen I do not recommend the Trainer, much better choose the Spartan Sport, both for screen size and resolution.

      You can use the sensor of the Polar with any of the ones you indicate, but the display of the Suunto enhances that of the Garmin.

  10. Good morning, thanks for the review. I have a Garmin Forerunner and I'm not entirely satisfied with the sensor, do you think this Suunto is more reliable? And in general terms, which one do you like more?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Yes, the sensor is somewhat superior compared to the first Garmin Elevate, but don't expect a huge difference either.

      As for the comparison, it depends on which model it is...

  11. Well, first of all, thank you for the excellent analysis of the device. I have three more questions,
    1°: by means of the application there are programmable cycling and swimming trainings to guide us?
    2°: I have read several negative comments about the battery, even stating that it should be charged almost daily... What do you think about it? Having it connected for notifications and using the sensor only for running or swimming activities?
    3° The quality of the device differs so much from the spartan? Tb I have seen many complaints about the weakness of its materials or the low quality of the final result...
    In principle, what is important for me is that the watch is comfortable to wear every day, (since I have a not very wide wrist) so I discard the Sparta or the Fenix 3... this is a good option and more having the sensor (although it is not essential) that x exmpl when swimming comes to see how we are on the pulse... but if all this is at the expense of a short battery and have to charge daily or every 2 days, I prefer to go to the ambit 3 sport, although it is somewhat older and with a basic screen...
    What do you think about that?

    1. At the moment all workout management is done from the clock interval option. What can be created in Movescount are simply reminders of what to do each day.

      As far as battery life is concerned, it should not be charged every day at all.
      The autonomy is that declared by Suunto, and similar to that of the Spartan Sport Wrist HR.

      The materials are cheaper than in the Spartan Sport, obviously.
      However you have the Premium versions that include mineral glass lens and metal bezel, which leaves it very close in terms of finish.


    1. The Spartan's screen is of a much better quality, combined with more software possibilities. Not much more, but it does allow more configurations, besides that they are the ones who will receive the news.

      In your case my question would be between Spartan Trainer or Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro

  13. Hello Eduardo!!! I am looking for a GPS watch with optical heart rate monitor. I had in mind Polar m430 and Suunto Trainer. The truth is that I have read your review on both and they certainly seem very good. At the moment my training is mainly athletics, but in a while I will introduce swimming. My doubt lies in the advancement of technology. It will probably be a year and a bit before I introduce swimming, and everything is advancing a lot in that time, so I don't know where I stand when deciding, given that both are very good. Any advice?
    Thank you very much for your work and help!

    1. My recommendation is clearly the Spartan Trainer. In that year and a half don't think there will be any major advances either, and for the small price difference between the two models Suunto offers a lot more.

  14. Hi Eduardo, thanks for all the analyses you share and for your objectivity, you provide us with a lot of information. I'm looking for a new watch and I'm hesitating between the Garmin fr235 and the new spartan trainer. My uses are running, swimming and training in the gym on a regular basis (although sometimes I can go out cycling or do other sports), and after reading several analyses and so on, my doubts come mainly in relation to suunto and running (since in the gym and in the pool I practically only use it to do laps and know my pulse).
    I would like to know if the spartan trainer has the option to compete against previous trainings like a virtual racer in Garmin (I know that the fr235 does not), if in the elaboration of lap trainings you can make long cycles, that is, if I can make four different laps for example 15″-30″-45″-1′ and then make cycles, that from what I have read I have the impression that you can only make activity-rest type configurations and repeat those two cycles. A greeting and congratulations for the page.

    1. Well, not both. There is no competition against past activities and the series are always repetitions with the same goal of time or distance, not variable.

      1. Thank you very much for the information and the brevity Eduardo. That limits it a bit because for me in the race training is important to develop workouts with several different sequences, so the suunto is almost discarded. The thing about competing with past activities is a bit of a whim, since I have never used it, but I think that 1TP10 could be interesting. By the way, is there any model that currently has these features and optical heart rate sensor for less than 300 euros?
        A salute.

  15. Hoooola Eduardo!!

    As always, thank you very much for helping us with our questions...

    One more, this watch thing is a mess... mother of mine how much to choose...

    See if you can help me, choice between Phoenix 3 and Suunto SPARTAN Trainer. Both with reading on the wrist.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Here the main difference will be the size... The Fenix 3 is much bigger and bulkier. So it depends more on what size of watch you are willing to wear on your wrist

  16. Good morning Eduardo, I love your reviews and I think you do a spectacular job.

    I'm just getting started in this watchmaking world, so to speak.

    I have doubts about which one to choose if suunto spartan trainer twist hr vs Garmin FR235.
    Both I understand are mid-range and similar characteristics from what I've read.

    I currently train 4-5 times a week varying asphalt race/series, running on a treadmill combined with strength training (weights), swimming in pool and open water (these two on an occasional basis, without competition objective)

    I wanted to know your opinion as an expert as to why you would choose the scarce information I have given you
    and which one you think I'd get the most out of.

    Greetings friend

  17. Hi Eduardo, how do you see the Spartan Trainer for almost exclusive use in mountain races most of the year and training on asphalt in winter. Do you think it deserves to be in the list of "Best GPS watch for trail. Thank you!

    1. It's a very good watch, but far from being on the Best GPS Trail Watch list... it would be too ambitious. I have to prepare the renewal of the list, though.

      For the use you want to give it the main problem is the absence of a barometric altimeter. If you don't mind having accurate data of altitude and meters accumulated then it is a very valid option (and at the price it is now, more). Obviously the Spartan Baro would be my choice for screen size and quality and for the altimeter, but I understand that costing twice as much is easy to decide with someone else's money.

  18. Good morning, thank you very much for your excellent work.
    Between tom tom adventurer and spartan trainer what would you advise?
    It's for a girl (small doll), asphalt training during the week, trail in the findes and it's not super cool, in the sense that she doesn't go crazy measuring performance and all the values.
    Thank you

  19. Good one, Eduardo,

    I've been following you for almost a couple of years now and I think your work and dedication is enormous.

    I have a doubt that I hope you can solve (or at least clarify a little). I am an amateur cyclist, but I perform well, I train about 5 or 6 days a week and sometimes I do it with people who compete (which helps me to measure myself, although I can not commit to compete for work / personal issues).

    Last Christmas I was given the Garmin Edge 520, which I'm very happy with. The thing is that I moved to Brussels a few months ago and I haven't brought my bike with me yet, so except for the trips to Spain, I keep the indoor training (spinning, treadmill, elliptical and bodybuilding basically) although occasionally, with a borrowed bike, I do some outings.

    I had in mind a GPS watch (for the outings I do and in case I incorporate some outdoor running into my training) and with an optical pulse sensor, if it also makes me a great activity monitor/smartwatch, but it is not a mandatory requirement. For me the reliability of the optical sensor is essential, since many of my trainings are based on heart rate measurement. I have read in some of your articles that these sensors lose reliability in cycling, but I understand that you mean mainly when you go out on the road since it is usually more hours and there is more movement, right? Or would that be the case also in spinning?

    In short, which are the most reliable/accurate sensors, or in other words, which watch(es) do you recommend based on the roll I tell you about?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    A salute,

    1. If your use is going to be mainly cycling, my recommendation is to always have a breast sensor. That doesn't mean you don't have an optical sensor watch because you can use it perfectly in all other occasions.

      Having the Edge 520 already my advice is to go for a Garmin, for having everything on the same platform and you can use the ANT+ sensor in both devices.

      1. Thank you so much, Eduardo, for your quick response.
        Going for a Garmin had it in mind because of the logic you're talking about, although the new Suunto models also catch my eye a lot, like the Spartan Trainer and the Sport Wrist HR. What do you think about these options for what I described in the previous message?
        In any case, going back to Garmin, which one(s) would you recommend?
        Thanks again!

        Greetings, Thomas.

        1. I like both Spartans quite a lot, especially the Spartan Sport because of its bigger size, but you also have to take into account that the Spartan Trainer has a fantastic price (look at the offers article) and you won't find anything similar in that price range.

          At Garmin, if you don't have a power meter, almost anyone can fix your ballot, but I would recommend Vivoactive HR or Vivoactive 3 because they have a barometric altimeter, although with the Edge 520 it's not that important.

          If you are going to train by power then you have to go to multisport models.

  20. Hi good job with the analysis, I want to buy a GPS watch and I have several doubts, my use will be for running, (asphalt and trail) and mountain biking, what I am most interested in is that the GPS works well and has a good pulse sensor, and that it has the possibility of loading routes. gpx to be able to follow them. I don't need it to have many features when programming trainings, I will not perform complex trainings. I was hesitating between the Tom Tom runner 3/adventurer, the spartan trainer and the garmin forerunner 235, which of them would advise me, or if there is any other model with better value for money.
    A salute.

    1. For the use you describe, I'll definitely stick with the Spartan Trainer.
      It's the one that's going to satisfy you best.

  21. Good morning, you do a very good analysis but I would like to ask you a question: you can configure the training intervals like: 20 minutes warm up + 8×1000 with 1:30 recovery + 10 minutes cooling down in the Spartan trainer. With the garmin 235 I think you can, right?
    It is that I am undecided I really like the spartan trainer wrist Hr to go to the mountain I go 6 months a year once a week but I like garmin 235 to prepare the asphalt tests. The workouts I do are not more complex than the example I have put.
    Ahhh another question you can configure the intervals by pulsations with one of these two watches, this I do not know if you can do it with some watch or that already it is necessary to control it one same one, it is curiosity. I do not do more sports alone I run. Which do you recommend me?
    Thank you very much.

  22. Good morning, you do a very good analysis but I would like to ask you a question: you can set up training intervals like: 20 minutes warm up + 8×1000 with 1:30 recovery + 10 minutes cooling down in the Spartan trainer. With the garmin 235 I think you can, correct me if I am wrong
    It is that I am undecided I really like the spartan trainer wrist Hr to go to the mountain I go 6 months a year once a week but I like garmin 235 to prepare the asphalt tests. The workouts I do are not more complex than the example I have put.
    Ahhh another question you can configure the intervals by pulsations with one of these two watches, this I do not know if you can do it with some watch or that already you have to control it by yourself, it is curiosity. I do not do more sports I only run. Which do you recommend me?
    Thank you very much.

    1. If your interval training is of the same length (distance or time) and you do not set a target for the watch to warn you, the Spartan is perfect for you. If you want to do variable intervals or select a target, this is currently not available on the latest Suunto models but it is available on Garmin.

  23. Hello,

    Excellent analysis, with this I am practically decided by the Suunto, however, I have the doubt with the Fenix 3 hr, saving the economic issue, because I would be willing to make a small effort and taking into account that I do crossfit 3 times a week, hiking and in summer Paddle surfing, which of the 2 would you recommend? I understand that both are multisports and with similar characteristics, it would be worth making that economic effort of 150 eruos of difference? which platform is more complete Garmming Conect or Suunto movescount for the crossfit?

    1. The Spartan Trainer is perfectly valid for that use. In both cases for Crosffit it would be advisable to have a pulse sensor in the chest, although the fairest comparison would be the Fenix 3 with the Spartan Sport Wrist HR which are at similar prices.

      In my opinion, the extra investment in the Sport is worth it for the screen. You have the best prices here:

      As far as the Crossfit platform is concerned, neither of them is ready for it and you will not have more data than your own heart rate and exercise time.

      1. Thank you very much, so from your point of view, which one would you choose? the spartan sport wrist or the fenix 3 hr?

        1. It is already a very personal decision that is not easy to extrapolate to the use of others. It is best to read both tests to see their differences, and from there choose what best suits your particular use.

  24. Hi, first of all thank you very much for your analysis, it's great.

    I'm thinking about buying this watch, but I'm wondering if you can help me make up my mind (I'm between this and forerunner 235) and basically what I do is go for a run (both on the treadmill and outside) and work out in the gym. Well, here are my questions:

    In the "normal" race mode, does this watch warn you when you go at a pace below the one you have selected? or does it have no warning at all (which I have already read that in interval training it does not warn you)?

    Another option I like about the Forerunner is that depending on your VO2Max and other parameters it gives you possible times at different distances, does this one do something similar?

    Another interesting option that the forerunner has (with an app) is the possibility to do HIIT training (which I often do) putting time and rest, for each exercise, is there any app in your system for this?

    Aesthetically I think I'll like this one better, I'm a fine doll, but I think the forerunner encompasses everything I ask for and this one I'm not sure...

    Sorry for all the questions but I would like to buy something decent and that covers many of the things I do hehe

    1. Well, the truth is that reading what you're looking for is FR235... come on, you've got it pretty clear. You don't have those functions in Suunto, you have quite different ones, but if that's what you need, I think you've got a clear winner.

      1. Thank you very much!!! so it's nice, the truth is that I have it clear, the only thing the design of suunto to be smaller seems better for me, but for a little more size I will choose the garmin 😀 thanks.

  25. Hi Eduardo, first of all I want to congratulate you for the work you do, it's a real treat!
    I discovered the website a week ago and I haven't stopped reading your analyses, they are very complete.
    I wanted to ask you a question, since I'm pretty new at this. My usual practices are going to the gym (machine and weights), running on a treadmill or doing elliptical, spinning, swimming, functional training sessions and body pump, and 3 days a week going out for a run at home, etc. etc. I'm undecided on which pulse meter to buy if the M430 fleece or the Suunto Spartan Trainer (Wrist HR BLACK or Wrist HR Steel) which I understand in functions do the same, the change is only aesthetic.
    Please give me your opinion and if possible why you choose.
    Thanks a lot, crack!

  26. Hi Eduardo, after many of your detailed analyses read for a long time and fed up with the poor accuracy of the gps of smart watches (Amazfit PACE, Huawei Watch 2), at least in Valencia in between all this bridge, I want to return to a completely sporting watch. After much thought, my options I think are:
    Garmin FR 235 by 244
    Suunto Spartan Sport with HR band for 230-count Suunto
    Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR for 200- Suunto Rebates

    I mainly use it for running and some bike rides, as well as to take it day by day and have it quantify everything, but I may consider running a triathlon in September, so I think the FR 235 will not be ready. I am especially worried about the gps, which in these two models I have had was going between 200-500 meters in each start (sometimes compared to my father's 735xt), which annoys me a lot. Also that it is not forgotten by the manufacturer (eg when the FR245 comes out).

    What do you think is the best option? Maybe it's complicated. Thank you and keep it up!

    1. If you are considering a triathlon is that you will end up doing it, in which case I would directly discard the 235, you may have run out in a few months. While it is true that having other Garmin in the family is always interesting to be on the same platform (see training, "piques", etc.), so rather than the 235 I would think about the 735XT as your father. Both Suunto models are a good option too, but somewhat more limited in triathlon as right now the multisport mode can't be customized.

  27. Dear, your website is exquisite in terms of detail. The watches' analyses are magnificent.
    I wanted to ask you a question, I have, for 4 years, a Tom TOm Nike watch, which has been excellent for me, but the time has come to change it. I run on asphalt, 10 and 21 k races. I would like something that allows me to program workouts such as runs and intervals, that will pace me and let me know if I'm over or under my speed, etc. What do you recommend, without making a sidereal expense? Thank you very much. Hugs from Argentina.

    1. If you're looking for something to prepare complete workouts with target announcements, then Garmin. FR235 for example.

  28. Hi, thanks for all the analysis you do. I'm between these 3 models, garmin forerunner 235, polar m430 and the suunto spartan trainer (I didn't include the tomtom spark 3 because of your commentary on the tomtom situation, although I've been tempted by the music part). Which one would you recommend? Or if there's any other equivalent model in that price range I'd appreciate it if you'd recommend it too. Thanks. Alejandro.

    1. Suunto is by far the most capable by far, especially considering the price it has in the offer section

  29. Good morning.
    Despite having returned a "Suunto Ambit 3 sport" because I was not convinced by its performance, a few months ago, I think I have stumbled again on the same stone :(
    I purchased a Suunto Spartan Trainer, assuming that interval training was limited; but what surprises me is that during training it is impossible to visualize information once a lap is marked; neither time nor distance, ...
    I have edited sports already included, I have created new type of sport including fields that movescount offers on the "laps" but I get no result.
    After consulting Suunto Technical Service, the answer is

    "Sorry for the delay in receiving a response.

    The desired information can be seen after synchronizing the training with Movescount.

    If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us."

    Well, okay, all right:(

    I replied that any time frame of 20-30 euros offers what is demanded.

    I guess the problem will "annoy" more people, won't it?

  30. Good and many congratulations for your analysis are very helpful for those who seek information on these products. I have many doubts about which heart rate monitor to buy. I am hesitating between the POLAR M430, GARMIN 235 and SUUNTO SPARTAN TRAINER. I will use it for spinning, swimming, hiking and some sporadic running. Which one would you recommend? Do they all have the maximum heart rate percentage data? Thank you very much in advance for your help

    1. The best option is the Suunto, it is the only one that supports swimming and navigation for hiking routes. You have it discounted in Wiggle in light blue (as in the test), or in Amazon in black.

  31. Good afternoon Eduardo, first of all I would like to congratulate you for your magnificent work that not only analyzes a product perfectly but also guides people to choose better when buying. Having said that and with similar prices nowadays and looking for a multisport platform:

    Do you recommend this Spartan Trainer on a M430 fleece, seeing that the prices are similar?
    My sports practice consists of 3 weekly amateur runs and 4 strength sessions in the gym, being both multisport watches and discarding the FR235 because of it.

    Thank you for your dedication and a warm greeting.

    1. I'll definitely stick with Suunto, it's more complete and I think it's a better product

      1. Thank you very much Eduardo, your review and opinion is very useful for me, both are at a similar price, the Suunto was giving me back its mobile App and maybe that lack of popularity of the brand for those of us who are neophytes like me, who knew it little in comparison with Polar or Garmin, but as you say very well in your review it is a very serious device at the price it has now, and although the M430 is a very good product I will also take advantage of that similarity in price in favor of the Spartan.

          1. That would be great and if it is at the height of its web service, which I only hear wonders ... we would be in front of something round. I guess the renewal of the app will also come given by the release of its new models, the fitness, with GPS connected, Valencell pulse meter and a very good price. It is just an opinion but I think Suunto will give a lot of war in the sector, expanding its market and public ... fortunately :).
            Finally I have opted for the Spartan, reviews so they get to give light to many people, so I will take a look at the link and the Trainer. Thank you very much for everything Eduardo.

  32. Hi, if we compare it with the 735xt, which one has better performance and sports features, mainly in running?

    Thank you


    1. I haven't had a problem linking the phones to any Suunto Spartan for a while, but I do know that there are some problems with recent Huawei models, but they are more related to the manufacturer's implementation than to Suunto. Garmin are having the same problems too. Is it a Huawei you have?

  34. First, thank you for answering, Eduardo.
    Unfortunately...if it is a HUAWEI! I will have to change my mobile phone then, won't I? Or will some mobile phone update solve it?
    Thank you again.

    1. With Garmin and the latest Huawei models, the same problem existed. On some devices, updates were released and fixed, but others are still pending.

      But it's complicated, because it's a situation where both sides blame each other... but what's clear is that the only issue is precisely with the latest Huawei models, so they have some implementation that's not up to standard. You can wait for Huawei to release some updates... but I don't see it as easy.

  35. Hi, Eduardo,

    Thank you very much for the summary, very interesting, like most. I recently bought a spartan -on the Amazon Prime Day- and tried it out in the pool. It measured the lengths perfectly but it gives strange values in terms of distance and time every time I stopped the clock and turned it back on (to do intervals or technique exercises during training). Do you know if it's normal or am I doing something wrong? I stop it with the top right button and turn it back on with the same button and start it again.

    The final time and distance is correct, but not the time and distance of the series lengths.

    The truth is that not being able to know the times of each interval is a nuisance. I understand that it does not allow you to create complex workouts, but it should at least be possible to do them by stopping and resuming the heart rate monitor.


    1. Suunto automatically separates the intervals, so the correct procedure is not to press any buttons. When you stop it only identifies you and stops that interval, and when you start swimming again it will perform another new interval.

  36. Thank you very much,

    The problem I have is that I don't have the training planned but when I arrive the trainer will tell us. I will try without pressing any button and with the autopause activated to see how he computes it. I am afraid of the technique exercises :-).

    On the other hand, yesterday I went to test it in athletics track and it gave me a positive difference in level of 50m. I hope that because of the mountain it doesn?t have such a big deviation from reality. I also programmed intervals and divided some of them in two halves (minute and twenty second intervals makes them two intervals of 49.3 and 30.7, for example. Something very rare).

    Otherwise, with the pulse measurement I'm happy and the distance on the flat too. The watch is nice and comfortable. The weight is relatively light and indeed there are all kinds of sports among the options. Although the only thing to do is to measure the pulse, of course. Still, a good detail.

    I'd also say the VO2max estimates are very optimistic. It's good for morale, haha


    1. I answer to myself if it's any use to anyone.

      I have already been able to try without stopping the clock between swimming exercises. The heart rate monitor measures the lengths perfectly. It is fantastic for training where you do distance without sets (swimming 2km in three sets, for example). For sets it is not that bad, but the times of the sets are not exact (it always gives a little more of the reality) if you do not program them in advance.

      The only thing you can see is the slopes, especially on the flat. In the mountains, it gets closer.

      For people who run in the mountains, complex interval training or non-triathlon competitions (aquathlons, swimruns, duathlons) is not ideal, at least not as long as you don't have a multi-sport mode.

      Although it does a lot compared to other watches of the same price.


  37. Hello Eduardo, congratulations on the great page you have built, sincerely, and after visiting many, there are few as specific and sincere as yours.
    Here comes my doubt and big dilemma, my sports are running and swimming (in pool mainly), the problem is that I can not spend a lot of money (maximum 250-300 ?) and I would like to wear the wrist heart rate monitor and GPS (minimum) more accurate as possible.
    Another important factor is the aesthetic part as I prefer it to be worn in different situations and not just when doing sport.
    On the other hand you can have good connectivity with your mobile phone, but most of them notify you of notifications and so on, so I guess most of them bring it.
    Thank you very much and sorry for the inconvenience

    1. For price the Spartan Trainer is the one that will give you the most for the least. The only thing that can happen is that it may not be "elegant" enough to be worn at all times. In that case it would be better to move to the Spartan Sport Wrist HR, although it is a cost plus.

      Another option you should consider is the Garmin Vivoactive 3which from Amazon Italy it's perfectly within your budget.

      1. Thank you very much for your quick response and advice!
        And as a last question between the Garmin vivoactive 3 and the Spartan trainer (since Spartan Sport Wrist HR is out of price) which one of the two has better sensors?

        1. I also understand that in the vivoactive it is not possible to connect it with a heart rate chest strap

        2. They're pretty close together, it's not something that determines the choice. Either one of them supports an external sensor.

  38. Good evening, first of all your analysis is fantastic. I want to ask you some rookie questions. I have a polarM400 and I want to change it now. I'm hesitating between two, the Garmin 235 and the Suunto Spartan Trainer. I practice running and trail running, my goal is more trail running, and at most I'll do marathons in the future. Here are my doubts.
    I usually use the chest strap, since I have the polarM400 sensor, would it work for the Suunto, if not, should I buy the specific Suunto sensor? Can the Suunto follow routes? The factory garmin can not but you can install apps that could do it perfectly. The Suunto has the option to vibrate or just sound, the Suunto indicates the meters of accumulated unevenness or something like that?

    Thank you very much for your attention and sorry for so many questions.

    1. For trail you're certainly going to be more satisfied with Suunto, starting with route navigation.

      The M400's sensor serves you without any problem, the only thing it wouldn't have is the possibility to record heart rate while swimming. The Suunto vibrates and sounds, and although it doesn't have a barometric altimeter it indicates the accumulated meters.

      By the way, today you have offers in Suunto, among them the Spartan Sport at Spartan Trainer prices. Take a look because the prices are very worthwhile:

      1. Thank you very much, Eduardo. Everything is clearer and yes, there are offers. But re-reading the analysis I have other questions. In my case, I would like to make intervals, such as 5 series of 500 meters and see the pulses I'm going at the time, I do not want to warn me if I pass or not, just that I can show to know the pulses I'm going. Another question, when you start a workout can be configured so that the kilometer you vibrate to show you the data (average heart rate, rhythm ...? And finally, the last, and I imagine that if you can, you can configure in the heart rate monitor (via web I imagine) what are your pulses in each area, right?

        Thank you very much once again.

          1. Hello again, Eduardo,

            I made up my mind and bought the heart rate monitor. But I had several problems that I want to share to see if anyone, including you, knows the solution. I bought the suunto on Monday and when I did the first steps indicated by the manufacturer, when I left it charging it never reached 100%. It stays on 99%. I decided to return it to the store. Well, after that, I bought another one but in another store. I read in a forum (2016 post) that another guy had it and they answered that it could be normal. I don't think that could be a normal behavior. Do you know why that problem could happen?

            Thank you very much.

          2. The battery indication is simply software, it does not mean that the battery is bad. Suunto could make that reaching a certain level will indicate 100%. OR 80%. OR 140%...

            If the battery life is normal, I wouldn't worry about it in the least.

  39. Hello.

    First of all, thank you very much for your analysis, it's really impressive. I'm hesitating between buying this model and the Garmin Vivoactive 3. My usual use is for running (twice a week, at least once a season), swimming in the pool (usually once a week, sometimes twice) and gym routines (about 3 times a week). I'd like to be able to use it for all three types of exercise and although for the first two I think either would be very suitable, I'm not sure which would be better in the gym.

    Apart from that, I like that it follows my steps and sleeps, because having an office job, I move very little outside the hours I do sports and motion alerts are always welcome (and I found the stress sensor interesting). Here a point in favor of Garmin I think is the aspect, since it is easier to wear it with a shirt and a suit (although you see more and more sports watches with a suit).

    The battery life I understand is similar to about 5-6 days. What would be your recommendation?

    1. Either of the two will fulfill you perfectly, and in the case of the Suunto you also have more "dress" versions, so it all comes down to which one catches your attention more. In terms of sport the Suunto is more complete, but for versatility the Garmin is superior. Anyway take a look at the buying guide (you have it in the menu), both models appear.

  40. Thanks a lot. True, I've seen that Suunto also has a version with a steel crown, although I still find Garmin's a little more elegant.

  41. I'm hesitating between a Polar M430 and a Suunto Spartan Trainer, I'm especially interested in the quality of the optical heart rate data over long distances and low rates and the battery life in economy mode, i.e. more than 12 hours. I'm interested for an ultra of 102 km. Thank you

    1. The M430 has a maximum of 8 hours of autonomy and the Spartan Trainer with data recording at 1s - which is what you want - a maximum of 10. can be easily loaded in use.

      At Polar it is much better to opt for the new Vantage M whose range is much longer, no problem for an ultra. The optical sensor also performs well. In Suunto you could go to the Suunto 9 (not baro, because it's cheaper).

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