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Suunto Spartan Ultra Unboxing and First Impressions

I received my Suunto Spartan Ultra Black. I had preordered it in July from the electronics retailer Gigantti, who had a campaign to receive the Spartan way ahead of the official launch but then it got delayed and I ended up getting my watch on the first batch of the official release. Below a short unboxing description and some first impressions on the Suunto Spartan Ultra. Unboxing and First Impressions The retail packaging gives a nice impression right off the bat: IMG_3476   After removing all the stuff from the box this is what you get. I have the HR version so the HR belt is included: IMG_3628 Size comparison vs. Ambit 3 Peak: IMG_3629 The Spartan is slightly thinner than the Ambit 3 Peak and feels much nicer on the wrist. Perhaps the biggest reason is the missing GPS antenna bump that never quite felt comfortable on my wrist. The strap material also feels nicer on the wrist than the Ambit 3 strap. Time will tell whether durability is better or worse. Startup and Firmware Update Upon starting up the watch (by holding the top right button for couple of seconds) I noticed a notification on the watch that a new firmware version is available so I connected the new magnetic clip cable to the watch and proceeded to connect it to my Macbook Air. IMG_3609 Moveslink 2 did not detect the watch. Upon googling I found out that Suunto has released a new syncing software called SuuntoLink so I proceeded to download and install the Mac version of said software. Despite my many efforts, my 2011 Macbook Air refused to detect the Spartan. I went to my Windows 10 desktop machine instead and proceeded to install SuuntoLink. This time the software immediately recognized my watch and I was able to update the firmware. 2016-08-182016-08-18 (3)2016-08-18 (4)IMG_3630 Software and touch screen After the firmware update was done I monkeyed around a bit in the menus. In the current firmware, you have 9 different screens: settings, stopwatch, logbook, navigation, training, watch, activity, recent training and recovery: IMG_3635IMG_3632IMG_3633IMG_3631 Then something odd happened. The watch crashed during browsing the settings and upon reboot it started showing the update icon on the screen again. The watch was not even connected to the computer at this stage and the update had already been completed. So after waiting I while I knew it was stuck so I proceeded to hook it back up to my PC and see if I could recover it via SuuntoLink and sure enough: 2016-08-18 (7) SuuntoLink was able to bring the device out of Limbo and it has not crashed since. Apart from that one crash, the software has been working and at this stage it already feels much smoother to use than Ambit series. The touchscreen is bit of a mixed bag. Swiping through the menus sometimes requires several swipes. It's not the sensitivity of the screen that is the issue but rather the way the software is designed. You have to swipe the screen quite far to proceed to the next menu item, sometimes resulting in redundant swipage. Fortunately you can also navigate the menus with the buttons, which is my preferred method. I made a quick test run last night and will be making another post quite soon on the results. Initial GPS results from running on a track in the middle of the forest are worrying. I had some severe accuracy problems. I'll try to redo the test run in the same location in the coming days and compare the results. Quick test results on suburban environment on the other hand yielded positive results in terms of GPS accuracy so it's a bit of a work in progress on my side still.  

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