Suunto Responds – Spartan Ultra – *Official* Responses to Some of Your Questions

Spartan Ultra Collection Prices


Suunto have helpfully shed some light on some more aspects of the just-announced Suunto Spartan . I did some research on the forums about what questions you were all asking and, er, asked them to Suunto. I didn’t get ALL of them answered but there is a LOT more new info below on the Spartan. I’ve left in the questions that indicate that info will follow later from Suunto, likely as part of a managed PR strategy.

You will see some question numbers have been taken out and I have made some editing changes. No doubt adding to the mystery 🙂

Additional information about the new SPORT model is here.

  1.       is this the end of the line for the ambit range?

The Ambit family still offers a great GPS watch for consumers looking for solutions at a lower price point. In addition, the improvements and new features we are launching in Suunto Movescount now and during the rest of the year, are bringing Ambit users new value as well, making also the Suunto Ambit experience better than ever.

2.       ie is this really the ambit 4. for all intents and purposes

A:  The Suunto Spartan is our next generation GPS watch for athletic and adventure multisport, so it does indeed share a lot of similar functionality with the Ambit3 family.

However there are many big changes too.

With the new Spartan family our goal is to provide consumers with the industry best tools to make progress.

Thus with the launch of the new Spartan offering we are renewing pretty much everything, including e.g. the key watch technologies, user interface and the way of showing information. We have also put a lot more emphasis on turning the measured data into insightful training information.

Building on this, we are not just renewing our watches but also our service and mobile apps – to provide these “training insights” across the board for a seamless and consistent user experience.   Furthermore, with the Spartan offering we will launch tools to make progress building on the community data – tools such as heatmaps and peer group insights. We call these community powered progress tools.

So we really wanted to start from a clean-sheet  to serve progress-minded consumers better than ever with the help of our consumers and community data. That’s why we changed the branding and decided to call our offering Spartan.

Consequently, the Suunto Spartan offers many new exciting features that the Ambit3 family doesn’t have. And the Suunto Spartan functionality will continue to grow during the remaining year both with tools to make progress and with tools to discover and adventure.   Also worth noting is that the Spartan family will not necessarily be carrying the exact same features as the Ambit3 family.

4.       what actually is the Spartan ultra? Ie positioning against other suunto variants and against garmin F3/735XT

This watch is meant for athletes and adventurers who want to improve their performance, to get the most out of their sports. It’ll become the flagship product in the Suunto offering for athletic and adventure multisport.

Rumour: There will be 4 models with the Spartan Ultra at the top-end

5.       GPS antennae seems to be removed or of lower spec than before. is it in the bezel?

Yes the GPS antenna is integrated inside the watch to achieve best possible fit and design.

6.       does it log travel like the Kailash


7.       are all models  sapphire glass other than the titanium


8.       it looks awesome. what would you say to users who say you’ve moved from your ‘rugged’ roots towards a fashion piece? (not me, I love the looks!)

Suunto Spartan Ultra is actually taking ruggedness to the next level with the introduction of titanium5 as a new material. Our design philosophy has always been about sophisticated roughness: we design products that you can take anywhere in terms of sports, but also in your daily life, both from the looks perspective as well as eg. fit and comfort of wearing them every day.

So we do hope users see our products being more about timeless style than fashion items (if definition of “fashion” is something that quickly comes and goes).

9.       3 buttons: can touchscreen be meaningfully disabled? Lots of people are anti touchscreen.

A:  Yes, the touch screen can be disabled during exercise. The Spartan Ultra gives perfect usability with buttons during sports.

10.   what about winter users with gloves?

A: The touch screen works with thin gloves, but with winter gloves the buttons will serve the purpose.

11.   how well do you anticipate the touchscreen working with moisture?

A: The touch screen is optimized to withstand disturbance from the environment. It can also be locked if needed to fully avoid interference.

12.   what is battery life in race mode with all bells and whistles on? A:  We will confirm the battery life details later, but it will be very competitive.

EDIT   XXX Rumour: >25 hours (25-200 in GPS mode) XXX this rumour is WRONG – see here.

13.   what new feature areas are being included in the movescount revamp

This is already visible as the service is now live, but the main new features released now include heatmaps, new UI and new sports insights such as training load trend graph.

14.   are there any more unusual things like STRYD support and EPOC (already there) and Muscle oxygen   ie things that Garmin don’t properly support

We continue to support running power with Stryd and Epoc is there as it has been. Muscle oxygen is not on the list.

15.   is it possible to turn off the colour and go to BW mode

A: We give different options on how to use the screen, e.g. watch faces in different colours and sport screen inverting but not exactly black and white.

16.   how many stages can multisport have – i’m thinking of a LONG repeated BRICK session RBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBR

This detail gets confirmed later.

17.   can transitions be turned on/off

This detail will get confirmed later

18.   What’s missing from the ambit 3 sports that’s in the Spartan ultra

The Ambit line and the Spartan Ultra are two different product families, and not directly comparable as such.  In Spartan Ultra, the colour screen and the resolution enables much richer displays in general and more information on screen. Also the essential training concepts of training load, rest and recovery and following your progress will be covered in a great way on the watch.

19.   Presumably it’s not androidwear. does it come with new software features that existing/new suunto apps can plug in to?

The Suunto Spartan will not be compatible with the Suunto Apps

20.   waterproofing to 100m? or 50m? To 100m.

21.   any improvements to the already good satellite fix? The GPS performance of Spartan Ultra is similar to Ambit3 Peak, i.e. very good

22.   steps!!? Is it an activity tracker?

A more comprehensive daily activity tracking has actually been a feature requested quite often by our customers, so we’ve decided to include it in the Spartan ultra.

23.   does it have full smartphone notifications?


24.   can it control phone music?


25.   can it stream location to website


26.   can it do emergency SOS


27.   does it support TSS/NP/IF/ Strava suffer score


28.   are there any strava segments of any kind either on the device or on movescount?


29.   Is there footpod support for cadence and PACE

A: Yes, it will. However it can measure both running cadence and pace from the wrist as well.

30.   Is there a run/walk mode


31.   Any form of race prediction

Not exactly. You can set a target for your race and follow the progress.

32.   Are indoor min/max pool lengths unchanged at 15m/1200m?

A: In beginning the pool lengths are limited to 25m/50m and 25yd/50yd. Custom lengths coming later

34.   Any weather data


35.   Any geo caching app?


36.   Any form of on-device PB/PRs

Yes, The watch will also keep you up to date on your personal bests by sport.

37.   Any form of shadow- or target-racing?

My comment: See Q31

  1.   what quality of route following is there (zoom, breadcrumbs, waypoints)

Route navigation with altitude profile, including several zoom levels.

POI navigation coming later via a FW update

40.   What is the compass type?

Digital compass with tilt calibration enabling good accuracy even tilted to 45 degrees.

41.   Still compatible with firstbeat?

Spartan Ultra does not have Firstbeat features in the beginning but they are in the roadmap to be included later.

43.   Do you anticipate ANT+ will still work though devices like 4iiii’s Viiiiva

Yes, any signal converter device can be used. There are at least 4iiii’s Viiiiva and CoachSmart by O_synce.

44.   Why will someone switch from their Fenix 3?

Spartan Ultra gives a more complete summary of your training status on the watch. Compatibility with Movescount heat maps and other community powered features. Spartan Ultra and Movescount also support more sports.


Rumour: 7 data fields possible on a screen.


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6 thoughts on “Suunto Responds – Spartan Ultra – *Official* Responses to Some of Your Questions

  1. does the spartan have the triathlon function, such as change screen from swim, running and cycling including the change time ?

  2. My Spartan Ultra gps tracking isn’t as good as my old Ambit3 Run, nowhere near as accurate or consistent.

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