The Specifics

Who: Suunto.

The product: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR.

What comes in the packaging: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, USB charging cable, and instruction manual.

What are they selling us: A "robust multisport GPS watch with color touch screen and wrist heart rate."

Things We Liked

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

The only running watch I own and regularly use, is the TomTom Spark Music - which is in a much cheaper category than the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, but worth mentioning for context. The former is clunky, and doesn't have the greatest GPS in the world - at least regarding the time it takes to gain a signal - but its no thrills approach speaks to me. The latter is anything but 'no thrills'.

The Spartan Sport Wrist HR - which I'll refer to as the Spartan Sport going forward - is a kitchen sink device. It's got all the functionality you'd expect from a GPS watch, but with the bonus of being a pretty great looking watch you could wear all day long - which was a pleasant surprise. However, where I think the Spartan Sport truly excels is in its accuracy, its multi-sport nature, and the ecosystem.

The further you dive into Running Twitter or Running Reddit, the more you'll start to realise just how important accuracy is. You'll find post after post from runners complaining about how the distance tracked on one app is different from another app, or how their heart rate monitor seems off, etc. With the Spartan Sport, you get accurate heart rate readings courtesy of the wrist monitor (no need for chest monitors!), and incredibly accurate location tracking thanks to a combination of GPS and GLONASS. I'm so used to standing outside my house waiting for the location to lock, that it was strange getting a signal within seconds.

Featuring 80 pre-set sports modes, this is a very serious watch for seriously athletic people, but thankfully, navigating between each mode is a cinch thanks to its touchscreen. If you've used a GPS watch before, it'll feel pretty straightforward to use, but even if you haven't, the learning curve isn't that steep.

You get all the metrics you'd expect with a GPS watch - pace, distance etc - but with the Suunto Movescount App and Movescount website, Suunto have figured out that it shouldn't just stop there. For example, when you've finished an activity, you can rate it, which then feeds into suggested recovery times and training plan adjustments. There's plenty of examples of companies doing similar with data - but it feels like Suunto have perfected it. The website also allows you to personalise the watch with your own sports modes, or to create routes. Again, there's a lot going on, but it all feels straightforward to use.

The final thing worth mentioning is the battery life, which comes in at an impressive 10 hours in training mode, or 40 hours in power saving mode. Something worth taking into account if you're into distance running.

Things We Didn't Like

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

As previously mentioned, my go-to GPS watch is a bit crappy, but it enables me to race against previous race times, or even keep to a specific pace. Doing this on the Spartan Sport isn't possible in quite the same way. It's great for heart rate training and keeping within certain zones, but it doesn't excel as a real-time coach - which is something I rely on as a below-average runner. If you jump onto, you'll find a whole host of user-made apps such as the Ghost Runner, but sadly apps can't be loaded onto this model, which is heartbreaking.

Is It Worth The Money?

You're probably not going to find a more accurate watch in terms of heart rate and GPS, but I can't help but feel that it sits somewhere in the middle for most people. If you're looking for a GPS watch that could also double up a casual watch, there's nicer models on the market to chose from. And if you're looking for a single discipline watch, you might feel as though you've bought a product full of features that you'll never use. However, if you do happen to take part in multiple sports, and you're not looking to be coached too heavily, then consider this the very best GPS watch money can buy.

You can purchase a Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR by heading here. It retails for £399.