Suunto just came out with a new firmware for the Spartan series, 1.12.36.

Spartan Still Gets Stronger

It finally brings the long-awaited HR zones, which were all the longer-awaited given that the earliest Spartan (Ultra) marketing materials – and many since then – had already been showing a screen with HR zones on it.

At the same time, the CES saw Suunto announce a forthcoming model, the Suunto 3 Fitness, that does not bear the name of a Spartan, is not going to be a Spartan (not least in it, apparently, not having GPS onboard), but looks quite a lot like a Spartan and the user interface of that line.

What does one make of that…

But the Name’s a Shame…

The naming of a “3” model reminds me of the days of the t3 as lower-end, t6 as mid/upper range, and X9 as GPS model.

One model is far too little to deduce anything from it, and maybe Suunto only wants to differentiate the cheap but smart fitness watch giving (automatic) adaptive training plans from the real sports training and outdoors Spartans.

It would not surprise me, though, if they wanted to get away from the Spartan name (which was really recycled from the name of an earlier model watch, by the way).

And in part, it’s the fault of our online, fast-paced, early-review-crazy world.

Reviews, Then and Now :-p

You can now find some posts and pages telling you that the Spartan (of one kind or another) is the best watch according to those writers.

And you can still, only too easily, find people who still have issues and reviews that were written shortly after the Spartan Ultra, the first model of the Spartan line first came out – and disappointed many people.

The Spartan, even the Spartan Ultra, that we see now is a different kind of watch, though.

Yes, hardware-wise it is still the same.

Software-wise, there are still issues… but there are also things which work really well now, which have been developed tremendously, which have even started to surpass the Ambit3 Peak’s features.

So, here’s to wondering what 2018 will bring – and the beginning of an in-depth look at what the Spartan line now offers, how it performs – and how you can use it to the best of its (current, and still developing) potential.