Today’s announcement from Suunto signals, possibly, one of several incremental/upcoming additions to the existing SPARTAN range.
It’s snappily abbreviated to SSSWHRB. Glad we cleared that one up.
Like with the previous AMBIT series and its variants, I expect any further SPARTANs to be ‘tweaks’ to the exiting models.
What is the SSSWHRB?
It’s a mouthful, for sure. But it depends somewhat how you compare this product to existing Suunto SPARTANs. You could conceptually see it as a slightly smaller ULTRA with optical HR or you could see it as a SPORT with a BAROMETER. It’s the latter, in reality, but that brief description might help you understand where it sits.
This watch is set to appeal to the hiker or perhaps to the outdoor adventure runner or skier. All of whom may well place a higher degree of importance on navigation, weather and altitudinal information than might a ‘regular’ endurance athlete.
OK, so you can see how the physical addition of a barometer to the SPORT might help all of that but what about the navigation?
From the press release, below, we can see that the tweaked hardware will sit alongside some new software features to be released next month in conjunction with the product release itself.
So for ‘watchers of tech‘ there’s not so much of interest, really. The FusedAlti (combo of barometer+GPS altimetry) was announced more than a year ago with the original Spartan as were FusedSpeed and other advanced functions.
Perhaps if you are a Suunto Traverse (Alpha) user, looking to upgrade, then your interest might be peaked somewhat.
The devil, as always, will be in the detail. For example, the new ‘distance to POI’ functionality sounds great and sounds useful. However if that is based on the likely method of ‘as the crow flies‘ then, maybe, that’s not always quite so useful.
—————– Press release , Verbatim ———————————–
Suunto introduces Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro, a software update brings new outdoor features to the Spartan line of GPS watches
The Suunto Spartan family grows today with the introduction of the new Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro, a GPS multisport watch with wrist heart rate measurement and an air pressure sensor for more precise altitude readings. Additionally, the entire Spartan collection will receive a software update in October to introduce sleep tracking, route navigation improvements, sunrise/sunset times, and alpine and ski features.
Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro: Everyday convenience with a robust outdoor solution
The Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro delivers premium materials, comfortable everyday use and robust solutions for all outdoor and training activities. The watch uses GPS/GLONASS to accurately track speed, pace and distance, and wrist HR technology by industry leader Valencell to monitor heart rate. Daily activity tracking includes steps and calories and the minimum heart rate during a 12-hour period.
In outdoor environments, correct altitude readings are essential. The new Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro uses Suunto’s FusedAlti™ technology, combining GPS and barometric data for more precise altitude information. The watch will also display sunrise/sunset times, and gives storm alarms when a sudden drop in air pressure occurs.
The Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro offers up to 20 hours of battery life (1-second GPS fix with power-saving options) and 40 hours of battery life with 1-minute GPS fix and power-saving options.
Enhanced navigation and new ski features
Advanced navigation features brought by the software update include route navigation improvements with estimated time of arrival (ETA) and remaining distance to destination. Point of Interest navigation is improved with approach alarms (the watch will display a clear on-screen notification when nearing a pre-defined POI). Sunrise and sunset times are available both in daily use and during a sport mode, thus improving safety when adventuring out in the wild. The Spartan Ultra and Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro will also deliver storm alarms based on changes in air pressure.
Alpine and backcountry skiers will benefit from the new ski features in alpine sport modes that bring even more data about their sport on-screen. The new features include a run counter, display of run lengths, verticals and maximum speed during descent.
Suunto heatmaps updated with new Moves
Launched in June 2016, the Suunto heatmaps help you to find the best places and routes for your workouts, whether you want to find the most popular places or avoid the crowds. Since the launch, millions of new Moves have been logged into the Suunto Movescount database, and to keep the heatmaps shining, logs from the new Moves will be updated for all of the 16 sports by end of October, creating an even brighter and stronger network of routes and training locations.
The heatmaps are publicly available for everyone and don’t require registration to Suunto Movescount. Just choose your preferred area on the map, select one of the 16 sports, and zoom in to see the most popular tracks for trail running, cycling, open-water swimming, skiing and more. Based on the heatmaps, you can plan your own routes in Suunto Movescount and transfer them to your Suunto GPS watch for navigation.
Ready for even longer outdoor adventures
Battery life of the Suunto Spartan family has grown throughout the year, and the Spartan watches are now even better suited for outdoor adventures. The flagship model Suunto Spartan Ultra offers up to 35 hours of accurate GPS tracking (1-second GPS fix with power saving options), and when the GPS tracking is adjusted to 1-minute mode with power-saving options, it can run up to 140 hours, enabling even longer hikes.
Like the Spartan Ultra, all watches in the Spartan family now deliver extended battery life:
• Spartan Sport: 25 hours (1-sec. GPS fix with power-saving options); 80 hours with 1-min. GPS fix
• Spartan Sport Wrist HR: 20 hours (1-sec. GPS fix with power-saving options); 40 hours with 1-min. GPS fix
• Spartan Trainer Wrist HR: 16 hours (1-sec. GPS fix with power-saving options); 30 hours with 1-min. GPS fix
The software update introducing the new outdoor features to Spartan collection is scheduled for October 17 and will coincide with the retail introduction of the new Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro (RRP 549 €).