January 2018 sees Suunto update the Spartan line’s firmware again.

Firmware 1.12.36 mainly brings the HR zone functionality that had actually been “shown” on marketing materials from the very first time we got to see any mock-ups of the Spartan Ultra, and was regularly re-used. As an image, not in real life.

Good thing, therefore, that it is finally here:

Turning on and Setting up HR Zones Display

To get this display of HR zones, you need to go into the Settings of your Suunto Spartan, to “Training”, where you will find an “Intensity zones” entry subtitled as giving “HR Zones”. (Sounds very much like there’ll be more coming…)

Default Zones vs Advanced Zones

HR zones can be set up as either “Default zones” or “Advanced zones”.

The difference is that the default ones are used for all sports modes, whereas the advanced zones are set up separately for running modes and for cycling modes.

In the zone setup – on the watch, right there, not on Movescount! – you can set the limits of your HR zones (the bpm that separate them) as you want them, via a scroll to set the bpm limit (which is also displayed as the HR% this pulse corresponds to.

(So, if you need to set your max HR correctly, you’ll also need to set that – in Settings – General – Personal !)

HR Zones Display in Exercise

The HR zones functionality adds two things to the “exercise” displays in which it is used:

One, the outside ring display showing the five zones as segments of the circle (and in the different colors, actually) and a sort of arrow showing the current heart rate on that ring.
This circle display is shown in all the basic exercise displays except for the lap table and navigation.

Secondly, there is a HR zone screen which shows what zone one is in, at which current heart rate, and how much time has been spent in this zone (with a running counter).
The zone(s) above and/or below are also visible, with a + or – how many bpm it takes to shift into that upper/lower zone. If you have been in other zones, the time spent at that zone is also displayed in the time counter for that zone.

(It is not possible to scroll up or down to see the time spent in other zones that way; only the zone one is currently in and the one below and/or above is visible at a time; the switch is automatic since it just follows heart rate.)

Suunto Spartan HR Zone Screen

Suunto Spartan HR Zone Screen

Still to Develop…

So far, at least, there is no alarm for a change from one zone to another, nor a heart rate zone/range guidance based on the training intensity one has set up for planned training.

We’ll be having a closer look at enough features which are there, in the following posts, though…