Today has been a full day at the Suunto office. On the one hand, the latest software update for the entire Spartan range has been released (which I'll tell you about next), and since they had already started working on it, they have released two new versions of their cheaper Spartan.
If you think we start first with the software update that includes the whole Spartan range, and I leave the new trainer for a new article.
Update 1.12.36 for Suunto Spartan
This new update has quite a few changes under the hood, but few improvements for the user, so for the vast majority it may seem like a minor update and leave you with the feeling that three months have passed since the last version and only "this" has been released. But believe me, it is always more important "what you don't see" than what is tangible for all users.
Suunto has addressed quite a few software bugs, including sensor connection problems that some users were seeing in their activities. This didn't always happen, but when it did, it was really annoying because you don't know if the sensor failed, the battery ran out, if you have to reconnect or what is happening. In theory all this should be fixed by now. Also included are improvements for Bluetooth connection with phones (something very necessary and, let's face it, Suunto is not always the guilty part of the equation. For example the problem with Moveslink2 and the latest update of Windows 10).
Now that we've left behind the under-the-bonnet improvements, we're going to get to the heart of the user. Suunto has added the heart rate training zones in the sport modes. You can take a closer look at Ricardo's Sport for Life blog.
Following this update, which will be available to all Spartans gradually between now and 22 January, there are several things that will change in the watch's sports profiles, the most notable being the addition of a ring representing the five heart rate zones.You can set the zones generically using the classic 220-age formula to set the maximum heart rate and then calculate the zones automatically.
But that's too generic and not really useful, so you can set it up with your personal zones that you can calculate or those that you have been given after an effort test (more recommended) through the clock menu. You can set up different zones for running and cycling, because as you well know little has to do with the intensity zones in both sports.
The zones you set up for racing will be those used in the running, trail and indoor racing or belt profiles; while the cycling zones will be for all those involving a bicycle (road, mountain or roller).
The way you see it on the screen depends on the mode you are using. The ring you have seen in the previous image is present in all profiles, both in the predefined and in the pre-configured generic modes, but in the latter a specific screen is also added where you can see the time in each zone, along with data on pace or speed (depending on whether it is running or cycling) and total training time.
Here we do not see the five zones, only the current zone and the one immediately above and below it. It is a fairly complete screen because in the middle you will have the current heart rate (143), the zone (3) and the time you have been in that zone. Right here it indicates that the next zone is 5 beats above and the zone 2 twelve below, along with the times you have been in each of them.
The areas are also associated with a different color associated with intensity:
- Zone 1: blue
- Zone 2: green
- Zone 3: yellow
- Zone 4: orange
- Zone 5: red
Finally, a summary screen has also been added at the end of the activity available for any sport mode, whether predefined or created by ourselves.
These are the most visible improvements. Throughout the menu there are other slight changes, such as the possibility of entering your heart rate at rest or accessing the clock menu when you pause an activity.
Some will say that there are no major changes and that training by heart rate zones is nothing new, and I have to agree with them, but I must also say that every time Suunto adds some improvement of this kind it always does so in a very visual way. Both aesthetically and functionally they are always very clear and elegant, very "Scandinavian" designs. And this is also to be welcomed.
There are still things that many of you are asking for, like the possibility of more detailed programmed workouts (with targets), graphics in the custom modes and now that I see how good the heart rate zones look, I'm already asking for the same functionality but for the power. But with the important changes made to the code internally and the addition of the new Suunto 3 Fitness It is to be hoped that the firmware development by Suunto has finally been put in order.
And with this to wait for new updates. We can all now ask Suunto "When will the new update be?" Thanks for reading!