Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5
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  1. #1
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    Question Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    I returned my Spartan Ultra because I wanted to check out either the Spartan Sport Wrist HR or the Fenix 5.

    My experience with the fenix 3 and the fenix 3 HR have been troublesome over the last couple years. Many software issues and inconsistencies has made it so I could not trust using them.

    My experience with Suunto has been much better. I have an A3P and had the SSU for enough time to know that they are more accurate and dependable. They also work every time I use them.

    I like the features of the Garmins, but many of them don't seem to work right.

    I was hoping the Fenix 5 would be different, but looking at forums I see the start of all the same types of issues that you see on the Garmin forums for every device they sell...

    this don't work... that don't work... and so on...

    I am watching the forums closely before making a decision, but leaning more toward the Spartan Sport Wrist HR when it becomes available at the end of this month.

    I would like to hear other opinions as well.

  2. #2
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    Re: Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    My experience with Garmin devices has been the same. Lots of firmware flaws that are not resolved...
    Now without knowing your application and requirements for a training watch it's difficult to give a recommendation.
    What's your use case? Or are you just looking for the newest gadget out there? (Trading your SSU and A3P in looks like the latter...)
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  3. #3
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    Re: Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Egika View Post
    My experience with Garmin devices has been the same. Lots of firmware flaws that are not resolved...
    Now without knowing your application and requirements for a training watch it's difficult to give a recommendation.
    What's your use case? Or are you just looking for the newest gadget out there? (Trading your SSU and A3P in looks like the latter...)
    I still have my A3P, and I think I jumped the gun a little too soon on the SSU. I probably should have waited for the Sport with the wrist HR and the Fenix 5 to come out first.

    I do mostly cardio, and mainly power walking/running/trail running. I like having the wrist HR if it is accurate enough for what I do. I have high hopes for the valencell sensor on the new Spartan Sport.

    I think a major problem for Garmin is that they make their devices in one country, and develop the software in multiple countries. I am a software developer and my company has development teams in other countries. There are always communication issues, and every time I do a production release there are always issues because of it.

    I may be wrong but I think Suunto makes their devices and develops their software in Finland. If that's the case, they have the advantage on better quality and it shows in their products.

    I think I am leaning toward less bells and whistles that all work rather then more bells and whistles that only half work. When Garmin added the "dog tracker" to the fenix it pissed a lot of people off...:)

  4. #4
    Member martowl's Avatar
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    Re: Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    Quote Originally Posted by bcalvanese View Post
    I returned my Spartan Ultra because I wanted to check out either the Spartan Sport Wrist HR or the Fenix 5.

    My experience with the fenix 3 and the fenix 3 HR have been troublesome over the last couple years. Many software issues and inconsistencies has made it so I could not trust using them.

    My experience with Suunto has been much better. I have an A3P and had the SSU for enough time to know that they are more accurate and dependable. They also work every time I use them.

    I like the features of the Garmins, but many of them don't seem to work right.

    I was hoping the Fenix 5 would be different, but looking at forums I see the start of all the same types of issues that you see on the Garmin forums for every device they sell...

    this don't work... that don't work... and so on...

    I am watching the forums closely before making a decision, but leaning more toward the Spartan Sport Wrist HR when it becomes available at the end of this month.

    I would like to hear other opinions as well.
    Wow, kinda surprised you returned the SSU. There is a major firmware update coming with some great features. It should put the SSU ahead of the A3P. I think OHR is far less useful than most think. First, it simply is not as accurate as a chest strap as it measures blood flow and not electrical activity. Second, if running power meters do become mainstream and I think they will, HR training will become less important. Although I wear an HR strap it is mainly for recording as either power or RPE work great for me. The SSU has a lot of advantages including the barometer and much longer battery life. Check the SSWHR specs, there is a substantial hit on battery life and it is thicker than the Sport model. Since you are waiting, the fenix 5 will be out soon, see how folks react. Fellrnr already said he did not realize how nice the Spartan screen was until he got the fenix5 a day or two ago.
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    Re: Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    Which are exactly the features of upcoming update? I don't see them on their website. Also, how do consider that SSU will pass A3P? A last question about power meters, any info for rookies?

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    Re: Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    If the Sport Wrist HR is close to the accuracy as the Scosche armband, then I think it'll be a game changer. It's no substitute for the chest strap if you care about PTE though, or other metrics that depend on R-R data. But you can always wear a chest strap on those days you want to get PTE/EPOC data from the watch. I do only two days a week of "hard" exercise, the other days easy. On the hard days I strive for one workout with over 3.0 PTE and the other day close or over 4.0 PTE. The other days I could probably be just fine with an optical reader (assuming it's almost as accurate as a chest strap). It would be nice not to hassle with the chest strap on some days.

    Power is an up and coming metric, but it has it's limitations too and it will never tell you what your physiological load is. It's a nice compliment as a monitor for grade adjusted pace, but for me it could never replace HR. RPE is very useful and I use that as well, but I wouldn't depend on that and exclude HR. I think you need to monitor both as either one alone cannot be fully trusted all the time.


    The Sport Wrist has its drawbacks as mentioned above, so I wouldn't want to use it where I run in a hilly trail since as it doesn't have a barometer (I think it should, considering the price) it will not give as accurate total ascent/descent data (or vertical speed) as the SSU which uses FusedAlti. Also for longer moves like hikes the shorter battery life might come into play.
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    Re: Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    Quote Originally Posted by gousias View Post
    Which are exactly the features of upcoming update? I don't see them on their website. Also, how do consider that SSU will pass A3P? A last question about power meters, any info for rookies?
    The photos of what will be on the firmware update you can find on the Spartan OHR site but at a minimum include interval training with screens far better than the Ambit, route alititude profile and routes with POI. The functionality will be equal to or better than A3P as the screen information is superior. I suspect the next update will be "new" improvements that are not on the Ambit series. The negatives are still the shorter battery life but other than that, I am quite happy with mine. What the Ambit does not have are real time power graphs that I get on the SSU without having to set up a workout.
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    Re: Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    Quote Originally Posted by gousias View Post
    Which are exactly the features of upcoming update? I don't see them on their website. Also, how do consider that SSU will pass A3P? A last question about power meters, any info for rookies?
    Upcoming new features known are
    - POI navigation
    - Interval training
    - Route altitude profile navigation
    - Sport mode customization (2nd part - up to 7 fields of data)
    - more graphs (HR, speed, altitude)
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    Re: Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    After being one of the first to own a Spartan Ultra I've decided to return mine and return to A3P.
    As of last week I'm also the owner of the Fenix 5 and so far after 5 runs I can say that I'm very pleased with it.
    The GPS is much much better than my previous SSU(I've returned it about two months ago so I didn't had the latest firmware)
    Also there's no lag in the Fenix, anywhere. The only issue is that currently doesn't support Stryd footpod and the step counter is way off.
    The wrist heart monitor is ok but not great compared to the classic chest strap.
    On my usual route at least with the Fenix 5 I'm not running on water or over housing developments anymore :)
    Hope this helps.
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    Re: Spartan Sport Wrist HR Or Fenix 5

    Quote Originally Posted by ixman View Post
    After being one of the first to own a Spartan Ultra I've decided to return mine and return to A3P.
    As of last week I'm also the owner of the Fenix 5 and so far after 5 runs I can say that I'm very pleased with it.
    The GPS is much much better than my previous SSU(I've returned it about two months ago so I didn't had the latest firmware)
    Also there's no lag in the Fenix, anywhere. The only issue is that currently doesn't support Stryd footpod and the step counter is way off.
    The wrist heart monitor is ok but not great compared to the classic chest strap.
    On my usual route at least with the Fenix 5 I'm not running on water or over housing developments anymore :)
    Hope this helps.
    The DC rainmaker review on the GPS section it looks like he also had Spartan Sport Wrist HR he was testing as well, he seemed OK with the Fenix performance.

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