Spartan Ultra 5 years in
Re: LONG save time?
I’ve used my spartan ultra several times a week since I bought it 5 years ago. There’s been two issues crop up lately that are making it unusable.
The “long save” issue referenced above. Based on hunting through a bunch of threads (most of which were closed with instructions to use the search function, with no link to the “real” thread, and an obscure reference like “turn on feelings”. FYI, I used the search, and struggled to find the thread above, or any explanation of why I should do that).
Based on my reading, it seems related to using a 3rd party HRM strap. I switched to a polar OH1 strap after buying several Suunto replacements due to flaky performance. Having a save of a simple 30 min run take 14 minutes (or just crash and lose the activity) is pretty unacceptable for a device that is meant to be for serious athletes. That’s the sole purpose of the watch isn’t it? Looks like this issue has been around over a year with no solution? If there is one,please link to the fix rather than just closing it.
The GPS now often fails to lock in open areas that used to take a couple of seconds. I’ve had some success going into power saving -> GPS accuracy -> off, then back to exercise screen, then re-enabling it.
I chose the Spartan Ultra over a Garmin at the time because of Suunto’s reputation for bomb proof reliability and longevity, and was happy to forgo the fancy features. But it took them about 2 years to resolve the initial firmware issues, then I lost heaps of functionality with the slow transition away from movescount and several dodgy HR monitors. Then there was a brief window of happiness using the Suunto app, Polar OH1 and the Ultra… and now this!
What should I do next?
Is there a way to get my Spartan Ultra working reliably?
Or do I have to bin it? If so, is there a rock solid equivalent from Suunto, or do I have to look elsewhere? Suunto seems a little confused between the “own firmware” and “wearOS” lines of watch, and I don’t feel open to a gamble given my experience.
@phasor I would contact support, maybe you can send in your watch for repair. It would probably be cheaper than buying a new watch. Or you may get an offer to trade in your watch for a new model against a (relatively) small additional cost.
Reliability of suunto watches? I have an S9 for almost 3 years now and it works just fine. The battery has lost a little bit of its capacity I feel, but it’s normal considering the number of charging cycles.
You can find some links in some of the closed ones
Have you ever seen those smiling or angry faces at the end of the activity ? That one is the “feeling” screen
For “GPS accuracy” (search for these terms) there are tons of discussions about it.
Soft reset the watch and sync with app to refresh agps data
Re: LONG save time?
Suunto seems a little confused between the “own firmware” and “wearOS” lines of watch, and I don’t feel open to a gamble given my experience.
I don’t get this. Confused? is pretty clear the lines, s7 is wearOS and the rest is own firmware.
I run with Polar, Wahoo and Suunto straps in Suunto 9 Baro and S9 peak, without any problem, in runs from 45 minutes to 5 hours. Some reported here about hr straps and we collected the data in order to provide feedback to developers.
About your GPS lock, I assume you tried sync to suunto app before the run and it didn’t work. if that and a softreset didn’t work I suggest to contact to Customer Service.
About new watches, the newest is S9 peak and here you have a lot of info.
@sartoric thanks - I’m familiar with “feelings”, and turned it off a while back because I wasn’t using it for anything meaningful. I switched it back on today for a 1 hour ride with the OH1 connected, and saving was a couple of seconds. I’ll see if that’s repeatable. If it is, it must be some trivial annoying bug that is easily fixed! Bit concerning that feelings being on or off impacts something it shouldn’t (and thanks to whoever spent the time to figure that one out!). I contacted support, and the response was “However, be aware that we do not actively support the use of third party accessories alongside with the use of our products…” and they didn’t mention switching on feelings.
The GPS - accuracy is fine, but its the initial lock that is failing, even after tens of minutes in the open. It’s happened half a dozen times lately, and presumably can’t be A-GPS related given it works if I disable/enable GPS on watch manually.
@bulkan Yeah, I kept getting heart rates of >240bpm when it should have been more like 150. And then a lot of the time it wouldn’t register any heart rate, even if I used proper electrolytic gel on the pads, or made it soaking wet. I did one replacement of the strap under warranty, and purchased another.
Confused - ok, the lines are clear. I’m more confused that they’re spreading their development resourced thin when they’re already behind on many features. I guess they’re trying to hedge their bets on WearOS vs own firmware, but I wish they had the resources to properly bug fix in a timely manner! If I buy a new watch, it’s not clear whether they’ll continue to support both properly, or drop one of them. I would have thought they would have learned their lesson about having a foot in two camps with the whole movescount vs Suunto App debacle. I’m still waiting on an experience to plan routes etc. comfortably on a big screen on a PC, but there’s no web app still I think? Used to do this all the time with movescount.
@dmytro Yeah, I’ll try that if it can be done cheap. But the HRM issue sounds nothing to do with the watch. And the GPS issue probably isn’t either? (Unless the soft disable/enable resets flaky hardware into a usable mode). Has anyone had this specific issue?
I much prefer keeping a watch long term - the watch itself doesn’t need to keep being improved with new features, but firmware/software changes shouldn’t render them unusable! I’d love to keep the same watch for 10 years - how much more does the watch really need to do than track a route? I’d even pay a subscription fee to keep using an ever improving app and software ecosystem.
I’m pretty sure there’s Ambit users etc around that still use the same bomb proof device… I’m just wanting the Spartan Ultra to fall in that camp!
I have exactly the same experience as phasor.
I bought my SSU in july 2017 and I use it intensively (3800 moves).
The issues that occurs too often and impact negatively the experience (and the reliability and the trust I put in it) are :
-HR problems, after 3 old Suunto strap it is better with the new version of chest strap (bought in march 2021) but it is not reliable enough.
-Sometimes there is NO GPS fix during several hours with no trace after the move, or it intermittently displays the no GPS signal screen and the trace is unusable. This despite the GPS assist up to date with Suunto app sync. This problem occurs often since las spring.
-Sometimes, when the watch memory is full of move it is unable to free some memory and the current move cannot be saved. Even after a night the wheel is still running and I have to push the upper right button 12s and the move is often lost with the reset. When the SSU memory is full of move, the saving time is very long and soon or later some move will be lost. The only solution I found is to reset the watch with Suuntolink and reinstall the latest firmware. This is flushing the internal memory. Then saving times are shorter again and no move is lost, until the watch will be full of move again.
Without these issues, the SSU has all I need. It could be better of course but the main problem is that I cannot trust it.
If the S9P is free of these problems and if Suunto is OK to make an interesting offer than I will continue with the brand because I like planning routes with the app and I am used to the Suunto ecosystem.
The perfect watch for me would be a S9P sized one with a bigger screen, no HR/SPO2 sensor (more room for screen and battery), and with a feature like the Garmin climb pro.