I have a new watch!

OK so I was a little bored today, and recovering from what can only be described as an accidental long ride yesterday where I did 15 miles more than expected due to routing errors on my Garmin caused by bugs in the user (I did silly, silly things).
So I bought a new watch. I’ve been wanting to try out different platforms for a while and today is the day that started. I’ve had other watches before from different vendors, but none on the current platforms.

I’m not going to say which watch I bought just yet as some of the issues may be my lack of knowledge or just because I’ve been using Garmin mainly for a few years.

But MAN there are some really weird things missing here, and some things are SO complicated to achieve. Some things take me back a decade or so in time where I just assumed times had moved on. People still do these things? Weird. There’s a lot to like too, though. It’s clearly more polished than anything Garmin have ever delivered. Everything that’s here is of a great quality but there are some gaping holes in stuff that’s needed.

My plan is to get up on the main platforms over the coming months so that I can be objective and provide some useful posts about how this stuff helps with training and how it doesn’t. I’m going to try to get started with some of the new devices early on too once they are publicly available. I don’t get trial units unfortunately, despite record numbers of readers the manufacturers don’t trust me with early access to their secrets. Go figure 😉


  1. Better for us then as you won’t be biased and don’t shy away from posting pictures before official announcements 😉

    • I’ve never not posted screenshots of things I’ve been told about. I’ve certainly never been biased on purpose, but lack of platform knowledge has skewed my view a little 🙂

  2. It sounds like current Polar watch to get used to a new platform just before Vantage V will come.

  3. i´m voting for polar aswell 😉

    i wouldn´t say some companies do things soooo complicated; it´s more a matter of what you are used to!
    i had polar for many many years and two years ago i switched to garmin forerunner 935 for some months and regretted it. i had the same feelings as you with the new ecosystem and how things can be achieved…

  4. It´s obvious a Suunto you have been playing with..
    I know the feeling. Normally I’m a faithful Polar user because I love their products and the Polar Flow interface. But I was lured to buy and try the Suunto 3 Fitness because of their new ADAPTIVE TRAINING GUIDANCE. It was a big disappointment and I sold the watch after only 10 days with a big loss. The menus on the watch was not very intuitive, their where no way you could see the adaptive program on the app and worst of all the screen on the watch was very dark, so it was VERY difficult se the numbers on the watch. So, I went back to Polar again and that feels really good 🙂

  5. that’ll be a Suunto then. I’m guessing you did NOT go for a 9, so my next guess would be the BARO WHR as YOU will have done your research (failing that it will be the 9)

    • Believe it or not the 9 isn’t stocked anywhere near me. The Baro WHR looked good but also not stocked, and very expensive. I did discover though that all of the Spartans have the same firmware though, which is interesting.
      I’ll probably get a 9 at some point, just because I like nice things. Same reason I get the Fenix with metal band, although that’s also partly a work dress thing.
      In the end, I bought the Spartan Trainer WHR. As far as I can tell the experience is pretty much the same as on the rest of the watches in this series. I plan to buy the Polar Vantage V or M as soon as I can get one too. I nearly bought the M430 but they were not stocked locally so I looked at Suunto instead 🙂
      So far, mixed feelings. There are a lot of things I like. Overall though, I can see why DCR comes across as biased towards Garmin. It’s not bias, it’s just the least worst option. Garmin desperately need to poach the Suunto design team though. Or at least get a nicer font. Or round some corners. Even just some brighter colours?
      Ironically I’ve found more Garmin features in the last day than ever before. Every time I see something awesome with Suunto I hunt around and eventually find it on Garmin. As far as I’m concerned though, that’s the same as Garmin not having a feature if I didn’t know it was there after literally years of use. For instance, who knew Connect had overlay graphs as well as the crappy single metric ones it shows by default?! Not me, that’s for sure, and I’ve handed Garmin a TON of money over the years. UI design is a thing Garmin, buck up.

      • “Garmin desperately need to poach the Suunto design team though. Or at least get a nicer font. Or round some corners. Even just some brighter colours?”

        Totally in agreement with you. Suunto has someone with an eye for details and design specifically for hardware.

        Good purchase by the way.

      • Strange none of the watches where stocked.
        Luckily direct availability i was able to get one.
        I bought one last year and was new to the Suunto environment which i loved on forehand, i told myself “take time to adapt and learn”.
        Took the Trainer because same Suunto firmware al over so i could upgrade to a bigger Suunto later on if needed.

        However after daily bug reports and non-solutions from Suunto i started looking for a replacement. Half year/150 moves later a lot had changed and most was usable. Haven’t used it since march so i don’t know if it got even better.
        Site and app still contain numerous cosmetic/calculation bugs which don’t get fixed.
        The watch itself was ok for running. I hated and still couldn’t get used to the fact the watch gives an acknowledge 3 seconds after starting a move.
        Offloading data without a Suunto server remains bad, same for configuring the watch finnaly the limited sensor support.
        The best point of the watch is is’t GPS. Perfect and very accurate. Instant pace which shows pace per second! (Garmin (even my Current F5+) rounds this to a 5 sec value and goes up and down when it spots a tree))
        Optical HR never worked for me (major bugs in early stage) so i only used it with a strap. During OWS it is on by default but never produced read data.

        I have a “half” review written but as i lost interest i never finished it, besides the newer firmware could have addressed a lot of the points.

        My conclusion is: Best/ most accurate basic running (and OWS) watch for the money. With a Garmin you get training and custom multisport but loose all accuracy. No new Polar last year but if the Vantage V is accurate the Trainer and F5+ will be sold.

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