Suunto's Spartan Trainer Wrist HR slims down but stays feature-packed

Garmin Fenix 5S rival is built for skinnier wrists
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Suunto has officially unveiled the Spartan Trainer Wrist HR, its latest multisport GPS watch that takes all of the features from the more expensive Spartan watches and packs them into a slimmer design.

One of our main criticisms of the Spartan Sport Wrist HR was that it was a big, bulky and not very good looking. Clearly Suunto has listened and seen what Garmin has done with the Fenix 5S, offering something that's more accommodating to skinner wrists.

Wareable verdict: Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR review

The Trainer Wrist HR measures in at 14.9mm thick and weighs 66g, so it's lighter than the Sport (74g) and also comes in five different models. There's the gold and steel, which feature metal bezels while the blue, black and ocean coloured versions feature Polyamide (plastic) bezels. All come packing the same 218 x 218 resolution display, which does mean there's a bit of a drop in screen quality.

Waterproofing is down from 100m to 50 metres as well, but crucially it still uses the same optical heart rate monitor used in the Sport Wrist HR, which is one of the best wrist based sensors we've tested.

In terms of other features, it all sounds very familiar. There's GPS on boardto track activities like running, cycling and swimming. 80 sport modes come pre-installed, 24/7 activity tracking with sleep tracking to be added in the future and external heart rate monitor support if you really don't trust the one that's built into the watch.

On the battery front, you can expect to up to 10 hours or 30 hours when you make use of the power saving modes. That's roughly in the same ballpark as the Sport Wrist HR, so you are still going to get a decent amount of tracking time out of it.

The Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR will be priced at for the ocean, blue and black models and will start shipping on August 31. The gold and steel versions are more expensive at and will be available from mid-September. Bottom-line, that's a really good price for a multisport GPS watch.

While we haven't exactly been blown away by Suunto's previous Spartan watches, the company has been very proactive in adding features via regular software updates that have definitely made them more desirable. With one of the best wrist-based HR sensors around and a new slimmer design, we have a feeling that the Spartan Trainer Wrist HR may give us the genuine Garmin and Polar rival we've been waiting for.

Suunto's Spartan Trainer Wrist HR slims down but stays feature-packed

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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