I had a quick swim tonight. Just to test out a few things having earlier today already gone for my first run with the Suunto Spartan ultra.
The first problem I encountered was the lack of custom pool lengths just the standard 25/50 yards/metres ones. I’ll have to dig into that a little more but one of the pools I go to does have a different length to those. Maybe there is a setting hidden away somewhere?
Then I considered the size of the device. it is certainly quite a bit thicker than a tri-watch. (Remember the Spartan Sport WILL be thinner but also with a reduced battery life compared to the ULTRA). The thickness might be a factor for you and your wetsuit. Worth considering. But otherwise the thickness is not an issue as the form-size of the device likely reflects lots of awesome components inside including a super-decent battery and GPS antennae.
I used the smart hr strap. Just to see if the HR underwater was working (it was). Like the Garmin HRM-TRI/SWIM it caches the HR entirely for the swim and only uploads it all en-masse when you save the session at the end. That’s fine. I didn’t check if hr was displayed whilst resting at the end of lengths/sets. The HR is saved to the watch MUCH more quickly than the 920XT getting the HR at the end of a swim from a HRM-TRI – not that it really matters either way.
Well. It worked. Here is the HR afterwards on Movescount. Very pretty graph with lots of interesting metrics available. I will have to delve into this a bit more as I don’t think I’ve ever got my HR up to 172bpm before swimming. Good job me!!It was also possible to export to FIT format and I have Movescount automatically linked to Firstbeat, Strava and SportsTracker (owned by Amer, who own Suunto). I’ll dig around there some more later.
Using the MOVESCOUNT-created FIT file, I imported it into SportTracks 3.1. It was not automatically recognised as a swim file by the Pool Swim Plugin (that’s a non-Suunto issue probably) so I only got the standard view (fine in this instance). However I use the pool swim plugin to look more closely at my laps, etc. The Suunto did correctly identify in the FIT file all the key laps where proper efforts were being made by me swimming. It added in quite a few extra false laps from when I was faffing around at the start/end. That’s not an issue for me.
The screen swipes whilst wet DID work and seemed OK enough for a touch screen. Though they did not work ‘perfectly’. I was a little distracted and will look at that more closely later.
One other feuble was that it did not seem possible to discard a MOVE. I often seem to create short MOVEs that I just don’t want to keep. Perhaps even a prompt if a MOVE is less than 1 minute to ask if it really needs saving could be called for here?
I mentioned the charger:
Here’s the charger. It works really well and connects using a STRONG magnet. USB-based solutions are just not reliable enough for swimming IMO. I think the manufacturers agree with that and that is partly why you get the annoyingly unique charger for each new watch you buy from some manufacturers 🙁 !