Suunto already make the best GPS sportswatches. But after tech titans such as Apple started producing deadfancy smartwatches, Suunto went and made the first, er, sportssmartwatch, the Spartan Ultra. So it must be good, right? Well…
It’s certainly lighter, smaller, sleeker and more comfortable on the wrist. The colour touchscreen is attractive and mostly fun to play with (sport mode screens aren’t customisable – though this will change), but it lags and isn’t iPhone-level sensitivity (though you can simply use the buttons). A natty, colour breadcrumb map helps to get you out of topographical befuddlement and there are some neat additions to Movescount. But there are app-syncing and accuracy issues, with the recording of ascent, for example, over-optimistic compared to the brilliant Suunto Ambit3 Peak. A claimed 26 hours of GPS recording is borderline acceptable for a watch with the word Ultra in the name – most runners don’t get round UTMB that fast.
Overall it may look and feel more futuristic and trendy than the brilliant Peak, but it lacks features, accuracy and costs a bomb. Knowing Suunto, this will be a great watch at some point (wrist heart-rate monitoring is expected before Christmas), but it seems rushed to market.
More information: suunto.com