Garmin – Forerunner 935 update

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Update: Official Released : Garmin introduces the Forerunner 935

It seems we’re getting close to the official release as the pictures are becoming available.
They pop up, stay up and then get removed. However i got the first before they where withdrawn again.
The two versions seen in the picture above are the:

  • Forerunner 935 Black/Black
  • Forerunner 935 Yellow/Black

Firmware

The firmware of the FR935 will be very close to the Fenix 5 series.
Meaning:

  • Advanced Performance Metrics
  • Advanced Running Dynamics
  • Compatible with Strava Live Segments
  • Outstanding Readability on the Run
  • Wrist-based Heart Rate
  • Dual Navigation Networks

Optical Swim HR NOT Disabled

update feb 15, 2017: Added Garmin confirmation quote.
update feb 28, 2017: Fact that the Fenix5 series still/again have swim OHR disabled may mean the quality and results are worse than expected. As result of this i wouldn’t be wondered if even this would be the same for the FR935.

Until now Garmin always turned off the optical HR when selecting a swim workout. With the release of the Forerunner FR935 this will NOT longer be the case.
Garmin does warn you to use a HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim for better results but the optical heart rate measurement  can be enabled during a swim workout.
This will also be the case for the Fenix 5 series which are about to be distributed.

Official Garmin quote:
Wrist heart rate accuracy during swimming is very limited. Garmin does not recommend using wrist heart rate during swimming activities and on some products, wrist heart rate monitoring is disabled while swimming. Garmin recommends using HRM-Swim™ or HRM-Tri™ heart rate monitors with compatible devices to track heart rate while swimming.

!! To the readers who can play with the Fenix 5 units at the various booths and shows they can verify the oHR is still/already working in swim mode on the demo units with certain firmware versions (confirmed: swim OHR disabled from user menus at launch)!!

(Advanced) Running Dynamics Pod (RDP)

update feb 15, 2017: It seems the pod was tested last week, picture added

Again it was no secret that Garmin was working on a new type of pod to update the existing one.
I didn’t pay any attention this unit as i thought it was a very advanced  future design not ready to be released. Then someone told me he would be more interested  in new/better/useful metrics than another new watch. I forwarded the mail and got some nice answers the last few weeks. Last info as of today (feb.15) is not to expect a too “advanced” pod.

I would think that with the launch of the Forerunner FR935 this would be a great combination to sell as bundle. Another reason for assuming the unit would be released already is the full support of this unit in the upcoming Fenix 5 series.

Technical Specifications
Physical size:L × W × H: 35 mm × 25 mm × 7.5 mm (excluding clip)
Weight: 11 g (including battery)
Battery: User replaceable CR2032

Garmin shop buy me now links (offline/removed for now)

Forerunner 935 (FR935): offline
Running Dynamic Pod (RDP): offline

Previous Forerunner 935 post

Read all about the Forerunner 935 in my previous post: FR935

Suunto, Garmin or Polar?

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We already saw the Suunto Spartan Trainer months ago, recently followed by the Garmin FR935 but until now we didn’t see much of the “new V800”. The big question is: who will be first? All three watches are aimed at a higher sports watch level but the none of them has been announced. Suunto  will almost certain win on price, Garmin on features and Polar on the combo?

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Suunto unveils the Spartan Sport Wrist HR GPS watch

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Press release (5 January 2017)

The Spartan Collection grows with a multisport watch featuring best-in-class optical HR technology by Valencell 

Suunto unveils today the Spartan Sport Wrist HR, Suunto’s first GPS sports watch with optical heart rate measurement for multisport racing and training. To provide its customers the strongest solution available, Suunto partnered with U.S.-based Valencell, the leading innovator in wearable biometric data sensor technology.

The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR watch complements the Suunto Spartan collection launched in the summer 2016, combining Suunto’s hallmark robust design with convenient wrist-based heart rate measurement. The Spartan Sport Wrist HR offers athletes the same multisport features as the original Suunto Spartan Sport and will become available in the spring 2017.

Wrist heart rate technology from the industry leader Valencell

Spartan Sport Wrist HR blue

Spartan Sport Wrist HR blueThe new Spartan Sport Wrist HR uses Valencell’s patented PerformTek biometric measurement technology, the industry leader in sensor technology accuracy. With a growing demand for easy-to-use sport tracking solutions, Suunto endeavored to combine the convenience of optical heart rate measurement with the full set of Suunto sport expertise and accurate tracking, including possibility to use the watch with a traditional heart rate sensor when needed.

“We are excited to be partnering with Valencell, the leader in wearable biometric sensor technology, to bring to market the next generation of our Spartan GPS watch models, featuring accurate heart rate monitoring on the wrist,” says Sami Arhomaa, Suunto’s Performance Business Unit Director. “Valencell’s PerformTek technology is the gold standard in biometric accuracy for wearables. We know that by choosing Valencell we can be confident that the product will meet expectations, and enable a solid user experience.”

Spartan Sport Wrist HR watches come in three colors

Spartan Sport Wrist HR watches come in three colors

Full product details will be released later. The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is part of the Suunto Spartan solution and benefits from the community powered tools available in the Suunto Movescount service and Movescount App. The Spartan Sport Wrist HR will be available in three colors: Black, Blue and Sakura, and its RRP is 599 €.

Read more about Valencell OHRM technology and their testing procedures here

Suunto – Sport HR delayed? and full ahead

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Suunto has silently removed the text:

New Suunto Spartan Sport models featuring wrist HR measurement will be introduced for Christmas.

Which was placed below the Suunto Spartan Sport header on the Suunto Spartan Collection site.
When will the official release be? I don’t know.

All i know Suunto planned 4 watches this year and only 2 have been released official until today:

  • The Suunto Spartan Ultra (Amsterdam)(released)
  • The Suunto Spartan Sport (Brighton) (released)
  • The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR (Cairo)
  • The  Suunto Spartan Trainer (Dubai)(short presale)

The reason behind this could be that Suunto has learned a very basic lesson:

You never get a second chance to make a first impression

Almost every reviewer who had the Suunto Spartan Ultra wrote the same story: Nice piece of hardware but lousy firmware and back-end. Most of these reviews will remain unchanged even after Suunto kills the thousands of bugs and releases the features which will make this watch the Ultra watch.

With that in mind it is to be believed that when released both the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR and Suunto Spartan Trainer Black Wrist HR will be more mature than the previous two Suunto Spartan’s where.

Back to the summer of 2016, Amsterdam & Brighton

Way before the summer it became clear Suunto was working on the next generation of sports watches based totally new hardware and firmware wise build with a new toolkit.
The first two watch had the names: Amsterdam and Brighton and should go on sale just after summer.

The Amsterdam became the Suunto Spartan Ultra and Brighton was launched as the Suunto Spartan Sport.

However from the very beginning there was something strange about these watches.
It all started with the magazine advertorial which was leaked / placed to early.
The very first official announcement was about a month later and only revealed some very basic specifications. And another month later some of the details were shared and (pre) ordering started.
The first Ultra watches that were sold had a limited function set of what will eventually be an Ultra watch. I have since seen and read various reviews and talked with engineers about both the Suunto Spartan Ultra and Suunto Spartan Sport and i finally (for now) must agree with the conclusion of Ray Maker about the Suunto Spartan Ultra.

Simply put: The watch should have never shipped in this state.  Not back in August, not now, and probably not even in January or March 2017.

By every objective measure, this watch has less features than every watch Suunto has ever made in the segment, yet costs more.  It also works more poorly than every multisport watch they’ve ever made.

If you have a look functionality, at the bugs and backlog of the first released firmware versions no one with a little commons sense could make another conclusion.

In my eyes it looks like every employee of Suunto got a brand new Spartan Ultra to test and review  but the only way they all used it was as an activity tracker without ever giving feedback.

I know its very difficult building a new product almost from scratch with new hardware, supporting toolboxes and back-end, it’s the combination that has to work, but this was insane.

The good news is that it believe Suunto got the point and tries to do anything they can do to make the Spartan Ultra a real Ultra watch.

Next before christmas, Cairo & Dubai

The next two watches had the names: Cairo and Dubai and should follow way before christmas.
The Cairo is still in the race for the name Spartan Sport Wrist HR and we have seen Dubai appear shortly in the shops as Suunto Spartan Trainer.

At the moment it’s unclear when we will see the official release of both watches. It all has to do with the progress made on the first two watches.

Currently supported by Suunto Movescount

 

Suunto Spartan Ultra    The GPS watch with color touch screen and heart rate monitoring for athletic and adventure multisport

REF SS022654000    Suunto Spartan Ultra All Black Titanium (HR)
REF SS022656000    Suunto Spartan Ultra Stealth Titanium (HR)
REF SS022658000    Suunto Spartan Ultra Black (HR)
REF SS022660000    Suunto Spartan Ultra White (HR)
REF SS022944000    Suunto Spartan Ultra Copper Special Edition (HR)

Suunto Spartan Sport    Sleek and strong multisport GPS watch with color touch screen and heart rate monitoring
REF SS022652000    Suunto Spartan Sport Blue (HR)
REF SS022648000    Suunto Spartan Sport Black (HR)
REF SS022673000    Suunto Spartan Sport Sakura (HR)
REF SS022650000    Suunto Spartan Sport White (HR)

Suunto Spartan Trainer
REF  SS022668000    Suunto Spartan Trainer Black Wrist HR
REF  SS022669000    Suunto Spartan Trainer White Wrist HR
REF  SS022670000    Suunto Spartan Trainer Mint Wrist HR
REF  SS022671000    Suunto Spartan Trainer Coral Wrist HR

 

 

 

Suunto – Spartan Trainer

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While we were waiting for the announcement of the Suunto Spartan Sports Wrist HR another Suunto watch the Suunto Spartan Trainer has shown up and went on presale.
A few shops started presale on 21 okt 2016 but as of  today 1 nov 2016 all have their presale pages blanked, closed or removed. First watch according to Sunnto will still be the Suunto Spartan Sports Wrist HR which is still to be announced before Christmas 2016.

Quote : New Suunto Spartan Sport models featuring wrist HR measurement will be introduced for Christmas.

Suunto Spartan Trainer

Details

Suunto Spartan Trainer is a versatile GPS sports watch for people who lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Featuring convenient and accurate wrist heart rate, the Trainer also tracks your daily activity with calories and steps.
The Spartan Trainer is the lightest and slimmest of the Spartan collection and is ready to train how you want – whether you swim, hit the gym or run trails.
Spartan trainer’s comfortable fit makes it your natural partner as you reach towards new goals every day.

Specs

  • Battery life up to 8H in training mode, 10 days in time mode
  • Wrist HR measurement and 24/7 activity tracking
  • Slim & lightweight design with 50 meter water resistance
  • Integrated GPS with real-time breadcrumb view
  • Sport-specific training modes for triathlon, running, and overall training
  • Rechargeable 300mAh lithium-ion battery

Suunto Spartan Trainer

  •  Suunto Spartan Trainer Black Wrist HR – SS022668000 ($269)
  •  Suunto Spartan Trainer White Wrist HR – SS022669000 ($289)
  •  Suunto Spartan Trainer Mint Wrist HR – SS022670000 ($289)
  •  Suunto Spartan Trainer Coral Wrist HR -SS022671000 ($289)

Suunto Spartan Solution

The Suunto Spartan solution for athletic and adventure multisport comprises of Suunto Spartan GPS watches, renewed Suunto Movescount.com and mobile smart phone application for iPhone & Android.

The Suunto Spartan solution will continue to develop in the coming months

  • Suunto Spartan Ultra – The GPS watch for athletic and adventure multisport
  • Suunto Spartan Sport- The GPS watch for athletic multisport
  • Suunto Spartan Trainer – The GPS watch for healthy and active lifestyle.
  • Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR – tba ?

Best part of this watch will be the start price: $269,- (black)
This watch will have a far better value for money than the Suunto Spartan Ultra.

For that price you will receive a multi sports watch with optical HR.

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR?

Suunto still has the quote on their website about the Suunto Spartan Sport models featuring wrist HR measurement.  I don’t know (anymore) if this has been renamed  to the Trainer or if they will release another watch with wrist HR. There could be a few differences between the two models like: Touchscreen, Barometer and Vibrating feedback but what would be the price?

update: 2 nov 2016 – The Trainer is definitely NOT the renamed the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, which will still be released later. Suunto will have two watches in the Spartan series with wrist HR and two without.

Suunto Spartan Ultra – $699 / +HR $749 (Titanium $799 / +HR $849)
Suunto Spartan Sport – $549 / +HR $559
Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR – ???
Suunto Spartan Trainer (wrist HR) – $269 (black) / $289 (other)

If the Sport Wrist HR version would have the same price and functions as the current Sport version NO way i would buy the sport version over the Trainer version. Unless they really, really, really cripple the firmware in the Trainer version. But looking at the specification the Trainer has sport specific training modes like triathlon (=multi-sport) so my guess is that this will not be the case. All versions of the Spartan series support Suunto Movescount, the online sports community so no differences there.

Calling a watch “Trainer” is NOT something without reasons, it doesn’t mean it’s a lover version of a “Race” watch. No it’s the opposite, for training you need schedules and training programs together with perfect registration to analyze your training to get better. Because it supports multi-sports training it needs to connect and support every part of a training, meaning connection to external sensors like footpod, speed, cadence and powermeters. For swimming this means full use of internal sensors to calculate speed, distance and stroke and type. For the race the hard work is done and perfect registration is the only thing a watch can do.

As for the Suunto Spartan Trainer it looks like the watch to get! too bad i missed the presale :-(. It may take a short while in getting all out of the watch as Suunto seems to have slight delay in bringing the features to their newest watched but finally it will be all there.

For the first time i believe Suunto will force some others to respond. Specially Garmin who now sells the Forerunner 235 (running no multi-sport) for $329.99 and the “same” watch (different firmware) as Forerunner 735XT (running but multi-sport) for $449.99.

 

 

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Source: bhphotovideo / Gearcoop /  5krunner