Firmware update October 2017 for Suunto Spartan

Following the June Spartan line firmware update, Suunto releases a new version of its software that includes a good number of features. Also many bug fixes and usability improvements, such as now when choosing a zoom during navigation it stays fixed without having to confirm by pressing the central button.

I am going to list the ones that seemed most relevant to me, ignoring small bug fixes or usability changes that do not seem so important to me to comment on.

Battery life improvement

Battery life has increased in all modes and on all models. As an example, with this firmware in low color mode with the Spartan Ultra and with the GPS at maximum precision, I am having 5% consumption per hour instead of the previous 6%.

countdown timer

It was about time, right? Now the countdown timer and the normal timer share a menu. Within the Timer options you can also choose the Chronometer as one more option in the menu.

Watchaface outdoor

In this new firmware we have a new watchface that incorporates the sunset and sunrise data, in addition to the usual ones. Of course, as with all watches that show this value based on location, to know this data accurately the watch must have recently set the satellites. If the satellites have not been fixed or it has been a long time since we did an activity, the data will not be displayed and instead a dash “-” will be displayed.

To fix satellites, just go to the Exercise menu and choose a sport mode that makes use of GPS, we wait for the arrow that indicates that satellites have been found to show up in green and we can return to the clock screen again to check that Now the sunrise and sunset data are shown. BEWARE, after each firmware update or each clock reset (pressing the upper button for 12 seconds), the fixing of satellites takes longer than normal, and can even take more than 2 minutes.

before fixing satellites, top arrow gray and flashing

when the satellites are fixed, arrow in green and fixed

Another very interesting element of this new watchface is the external ring that indicates the hours of sun, an indicator on that ring of the current time, as well as the hours of twilight, in which there is visibility but the sun has not yet It has come out or it has already been set. It is a very intuitive indicator and is very successful from my point of view.

phase of the moon

In the new outdoor watchface, one that shows the lunar calendar is shown by alternating the different fields. ATTENTION, it is necessary, as with the sunrise and sunset calendar, to have fixed satellites so that the data can be displayed. Also, if we change location (for example we go on a trip to a distant place) we will have to fix satellites again so that the information is updated.

Battery field on watchfaces

Highly in demand, all watchfaces now toggle the battery status field, no longer having to go to the home screen of an activity to see the current battery status. This feature came standard on the Spartan Trainer, so it was only a matter of time before it made its way to the rest of the Spartan line.

sleep monitor

Heart rate as a percentage of our Maximum HR

Another little big breakthrough. In user forums and on social networks, there was a lot of request to add the option of being able to display the heart rate data by percentage of our maximum heart rate (configured as a body parameter in Movescount), instead of beats per minute. In order to use the option, you have to replace the Heart Rate by % of maximum HR data in one of our personalized sport modes.

Sports mode with download/upload recording

From now on you can record the descents that are made in sports such as alpine skiing, or downhill cycling. To do this, you must verify that the Vertical Turn option is activated in sport mode. Subsequently, it will be possible to see on movescount web the partials of each descent, as well as the maximum speed for each one, etc… These fields are also available in personalized sport modes. During the activity, every time the watch detects that a descent has finished, a special autolap screen is displayed with information about this last descent.

Off-Route Departure Notice

When we leave the route we will have the corresponding route exit message.

When entering the route again, the corresponding message is also displayed.

Estimated Time to Next Waypoint/End of Route (ETA) and Time of Arrival to Next Waypoint/End of Route (ETA)

If we scroll down on the navigation screen or press the bottom button, we can see how the ETA and ETE data alternate at the top. These data are not calculated based on the total average of the activity, but rather based on the average speed of the last few minutes.

If we choose the Route details option, the ETE and ETA data are also displayed apart from those that were traditionally displayed within this screen.

Notice of approach to waypoint and distance to next

Something in great demand since the time of the Ambits was the possibility of knowing the distance that remains to the next waypoint of a route, following the path of that route and not in a straight line. With this update, Suunto brings this possibility to the Spartan. The operation is completely transparent to the user. We simply have to add the corresponding waypoints when we are creating the route in Movescount (follow this link to find out how to do it) and when we navigate that route we will have approach warnings when we are less than 100 meters from a waypoint, as well as the distance to the next waypoint following the route selected in navigation.

To see graphically how it works I add the following images:

about to enter the range of 100 meters

waypoint approach warning

we have reached the waypoint and then the distance to the next one is displayed
(as you can see the distance to the next one in a straight line would be less than 200m)

the distance to the next waypoint is shown following the route and not in a straight line

Also comment that the destination point is shown as if it were a waypoint, so we will have notice of the remaining distance to the end, of when we approach the route at less than 100 meters and that we have reached the destination.

sunrise and sunset alarm

From now on we can create an alarm based on sunrise or sunset. It can be configured that the Spartan notify us in an interval of up to 0 to 3 hours and 50 minutes before either of the two situations happens. The way to configure this alarm is through the Configuration Menu -> Alarms

Altimeter management improvements

The total meters ascended/descended has been further smoothed to avoid the high sensitivity of the barometric altimeter built into the Spartan Ultra. The error in the accumulated values ​​was greater the flatter the route. The graph itself continues to show the sensitivity errors, but the accumulated ones are already close to the real data.

Automatic do not disturb mode

Now you can set an interval of hours in which the Do Not Disturb mode will be activated. In this way, in that interval, mobile notifications will not be received and energy will be saved. This mode does not affect the alarm function.

Shortcuts from the different main screens

It is a little help to prevent it from working as a group of options related to the current screen. Previously, if we long-pressed the central button on one of the main screens, we would return to the time screen. Now, a context menu will open when appropriate. For example, on the screen that shows the accumulated time or distance of the activities of the last 30 days, the possibility of going to the Diary or starting a new Exercise is now shown.

Access to activate the light from the options menu during an activity

A small option that should be activated from the start of the clock, but has not been until now that it has been included in the options menu during an activity.
As of this firmware, you can leave the light permanently activated by entering the options menu (long press the center button) while recording a workout.

storm alarm

This option is included and works the same way it does on the Ambit3. ATTENTION: The storm alarm does not notify us if it is going to rain or not, it is not a weather service, but it starts after a sudden change in atmospheric pressure, just as it happens when a typical storm in the mountains approaches . The threshold is at a decrease of 4 millibars in the last 4 hours.

The storm alert is displayed both in watch mode and during an activity, although during an activity it depends a lot on the way in which we have configured the barometric sensor option for that sport mode. If it is in altimeter, which on the other hand is the most normal, it is difficult for it to jump. It should be on barometer (for sport modes where there are no changes in altitude) or auto (for sport modes where there are changes in altitude but also changes in air pressure, such as if we are walking on a route the mountain)

The icon with the alert is then displayed on the barometer screen and on the different watchfaces.

Better integration with the Stryd footpod and other footpods

By pairing the Stryd footpod with our Spartan, you get power data without having to do anything else. Other than this, there is no automatic calibration anymore, so distance and pace data comes directly from the Stryd.

In addition, it is finally possible to deactivate the GPS self-calibration, very useful with foodpods that allow calibration through an app or similar (such as the Millstone), as well as for the Stryd.

When we link a footpod we are told by default that it is calibrated based on GPS.

But if we go to the configuration menu, connectivity, paired elements and there we enter the footpod that we have linked, we can scroll down and enter the options 😉 It’s not easy to find!

To end

This update brings a large number of features and many bug fixes. The new functions during the navigation of a route place the Spartan as one of the best options in that sector. Apparently the next update (presumably in three months) will be aimed at improvements related to training and physical condition, so it could be the last before entering maintenance mode of the product. We will see if all the features that were announced at launch are finally achieved.

Many kilometers to all!

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