I have had the Suunto Spartan for around five years, the Apple watch Series Four for Four and the Instinct since November 2021 and I find myself gravitating back towards the Suunto Spartan watch again. I pivoted away from the watch and Suunto because it moved towards WearOS and smartwatches, rather than sticking to fitness tracking.
I was afraid that MovesCount, known as Suunto App now, and the Sportstracker app would both be killed off or allowed to die but this hasn’t happened. I see that Sportstracker and the Apple watch play quite nicely together so if I want the power of sportstracker and the Suunto app I can stick to an Apple watch.
Curious about Apple
I bought the Series 3, which I broke indoor climbing out of curiousity, and regretted it, and for some reason I was so annoyed with the screen break that I still bought a series four and that has lasted four years, so it outlasted the other watch by four or more years.
The Garmin Instinct has a fatal flaw, in my eyes. It often decides that it no longer wants to connect. You need to “pair phone” on a regular basis. This is easy to fix, and takes seconds, but it is a flaw that I have noted with several Garmin devices. If I pair a device I want it to remain paired until I change phone, or change watch. I don’t want to regularly pair my devices. They should be “pair and forget”.
One of the beauties of the Suunto App, which is based on movescount, which is based on SportsTracker is that the app is focused on your progression, your efforts, your workouts, your recovery time and your life. Garmin and Apple want you to focus on games, badges, rewards and more. Suunto just gives you a way to track the day’s effort, see how long it will take to recover and then get on with your day. That’s how it should be.
Signs of age
After five years of use the strap is still in good condition except that one of the rubber strap holders has broken off. The battery life is not as good as it used to be. It has one easy to see scratch on the surface. A little paint has been stripped off the top bezel. It isn’t easy to see.
The one flaw of this watch is that it’s big on the wrist. When you wear shirts you can’t easily slide it under a sleeve. It’s hard to access under layers in winter. A slimmer watch would be better.
I use my fitness tracking watches for one to two hours per day. They last for years. My Suunto Ambit 3 is still alive and could still be used. These watches might feel expensive but when you consider that you get five or more years of use the cost goes down to 100 CHF per year. According to Suunto I have 3100 tracked activities and 23,000 kilometres of distance covered.
I am tempted to return to Suunto now that I see the app has survived the transition to WearOS. That’s why I looked around in the first place.