Suunto Fit­ness 3

LIGHT­WEIGHT TRAIN­ING COM­PAN­ION.

TechLife Australia - - CONTENTS - [ PAUL TAY­LOR ]

SUUNTO’S SLIM SPORTSWATCH is do­ing some­thing very bold. It’s not only ditched the on­board GPS, of­fload­ing the hard work of phys­i­cal track­ing to your smart­phone (thus buck­ing the trend of nearly all sportswatches cur­rently avail­able), it’s also giv­ing you per­mis­sion to not feel bad about a missed work­out. If you blow off that run you swore you would do, the Fit­ness 3 adapts your up­com­ing plans to com­pen­sate.

For Suunto’s adapt­able reg­i­men to prop­erly work, though, you’ll need to have the watch on your wrist nearly 24/7. The Fit­ness 3 mea­sures your heart rate and (af­ter grant­ing it per­mis­sion) your sleep pat­terns, build­ing a pro­file of who you are. As you run, swim, cy­cle, pad­dle­board (or do one of the other dozens and dozens of other sports on the menu), the Fit­ness 3 cre­ates a rec­om­mended plan that covers the length and in­ten­sity of your work­out — smart stuff. Thank­fully, it’s com­fort­able to wear. Suunto has made this light­weight, slim and far more re­strained than their pre­vi­ous watches, largely be­cause it omits the bulk of the GPS. Our all-black test unit got a lot of ad­mir­ing glances, as the dis­play is un­der­stated, and the over­all de­sign well rounded. A white and gold op­tion is also at­trac­tive, though the vari­ants with the pink and green straps be­tray that aes­thetic.

Bat­tery life is good, de­pend­ing on your sched­ule. If you like to push your­self ev­ery other day in your cho­sen sport, and do a spot of walk­ing, you should get about four days of use be­tween charges. That’s helped by your smart­phone tak­ing the du­ties of the GPS, so if you don’t have the two paired, you’ll be left with­out a map of your ad­ven­ture. That’s dis­ap­point­ing at first, but when we took this on a long (21km) run with­out a phone, the Suunto mea­sured the pace and dis­tance com­pared to our con­trol de­vice to within about 3%, all thanks to its in­built step counter. That is a re­mark­able feat. While the Fit­ness 3 has some­where in the re­gion of 70 ac­tiv­i­ties to choose from, it’s not a ‘true’ mul­ti­sport watch that can stitch to­gether mul­ti­ple sports, like a triathlon — you’ll need the Spar­tan for that sort of day, or be pre­pared to rapidly switch be­tween ac­tiv­i­ties.

The op­ti­cal heart rate (OHR) sen­sor and is a boon here, fur­ther­ing mak­ing the watch an at­trac­tive op­tion for the price. The OHR sen­sor made a good con­tact point to read this tester’s pulse, and the soft strap cou­pled with the diminu­tive bezel makes it’s un­ob­tru­sive for on-land sports — you won’t get it snagged on a jersey or jumper. Get that con­tact point un­der the OHR too wet and those re­sults will suf­fer. For bet­ter ac­cu­racy, Suunto of­fers an op­tional heart rate strap and bi­cy­cle sen­sor for more de­tailed met­rics, but if you’re happy to have your phone with you, then you’re al­ready rea­son­ably equipped to check your pace, splits and other vi­tal info. With your phone paired, you also have the op­tion to re­ceive no­ti­fi­ca­tions, but this isn’t a smart­watch.

Suunto has cre­ated a fan­tas­tic watch for any­one who wants some­thing that will do more than sim­ply track steps. It of­fers tan­gi­ble, easy-to-read re­sults and on-the-go met­rics on a clear screen, guid­ance on how hard to push your­self and when. If you’re just start­ing to get into some­thing be­yond a walk around the block, the Fit­ness 3 is a bril­liant com­pan­ion.

WHEN WE TOOK THIS ON A LONG (21KM) RUN WITH­OUT A PHONE, THE SUUNTO MEA­SURED THE PACE AND DIS­TANCE COM­PARED TO OUR CON­TROL DE­VICE TO WITHIN ABOUT 3%, ALL THANKS TO ITS IN­BUILT STEP COUNTER.

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