Look and feel
The Suunto Spartan Sport feels really well built. The front has big colours touch display that has small flat bit on the bottom. The wrist strap is built in the housing of the watch so you have to rely on Suuntos offering on the straps. On the right side you have three buttons that have quite mushy feeling. Behind the watch you find information about the model and the new connector for the charging / data cable.
The new connector relies on magnets rather than clipping system like on the older watches. The magnetic connection between the watch and the cable is strong enough to hold the watch from the cable. I find the new connector really handy and functional.
The looks of the watch is good combination of everyday watches and a sports watch.
UI & Movescount
The Spartan series watches, Spartan Sport and the Spartan Ultra, have new UI compared to older Suunto watches. The new UI focuses on utilising the new colour display with touch inputs. You can use the watch either with touch interface or with the three buttons on the side of the watch. Almost all functions can be used with touch interface but for some actions the use of the buttons is required, example when stopping an activity. Browsing through the main screens feels little bit laggy and sometimes it requires more than one touch input to make it response. Good part is that you can use gloves when using the touch screen.
The Spartan watches were launched in the summer 2016. And after that they have had lots of massive updates on the watch. At first the watch had really limited functions, e.g. the option to modify the sports mode came in December 2016. The watch still has very limited function when using it as a activity tracker or sleep tracker. The "smart watch" features are quite limited and notifications display, and you cannot browse the old notifications.
The syncing with the Suunto Movescount app is little bit more reliable than with Traverse but the syncing times are still excruciatingly slow.
Sports & Hiking
The big and bright display works very well when using the watch while running or hiking. The GPS accuracy is quite good and the syncing with the Heart Rate belt works effortlessly. In the city the GPS struggles sometimes when running between tall buildings, but overall it is in the same ball park with the Suunto Traverse, little bit better than Garmin Fenix 3 but not as good as the classic, Polar V800.
The lack of barometer (the Ultra model has it) is not ideal when hiking, but the GPS-altitude accuracy is adequate in relatively flat terrain. Battery life gets you through even longer runs but when doing multi day hikes you want to bring power bank and a charging cable.
The Spartan Sport gets better with every update it gets from Suunto and the software team have been working hard. When comparing the Spartan to the older Suunto multisport watches, at this current state it does not offer anything new functionality. So for now I would recommend getting the much cheaper Suunto Ambit 3 for multi sport activities and Suunto Traverse for mountaineering / hiking. But if you are willing to pay more for the colour touch display and you are prepared to wait for upcoming updates, the Spartan is decent option.
- Well built
- New magnetic cable connector
- Looks good
- Feels comfortable
- Sometimes laggy and unresponsive
- Slow syncing with smartphone
- Unfinished software (even tough its getting better)
- Very limited smartwatch and activity tracking functionalities