Suunto Traverse Alpha Stealth
I bought a Suunto several months ago, I have been using it every day since. Very impressed. This specific model is designed for Hunting (shooting), Fishing and sports activities. I didnt even know this brand existed until I saw an ad for them on the internet, I did some research and decided to give it a go. During my research I noticed its not very easily available in Australia, so it was a ebay purchase from England for around $620.00 AUD
When the watch first arrived it was in a rather small box, after opening you will find the watch, and USB charger but no adapter. You will need to use a phone charger or PC to charge it. The watch itself was a little big, but doesn’t feel like it when your wearing it. The built quality and construction looks very good, very high quality. You feel like an SAS trooper!
The interface is easy to use, an effort to customize. I spend several hours working out the functions and changing the look and feel of the watch. You can use some assistance from the Android app or the Web interface which makes it easier. After a while you simply get it, using it is not an effort at all.
Arguably the best feature this watch has to offer. Simply love it. I went hiking in the snow when I first got it, found myself in the middle of a snow capped forrest with nothing but the Suunto to guide me. Thinking about it now it now it sounds like a pretty stupid idea but it guided me through a 5 km hike and brought me back home safely. Having this feature gives you a piece of mind that no matter where you are, you’ll always find your way home.
Some of the functions are POI (Points of interest) this allows you to enter locations into memory like your home, afterwards you can select your home as your destination. This will guide you there using your homes direction, there is no navigation via street maps. It tracks your location and maps it when you finish, you can also set laps for your standard running locations and lets you time it.
Not much to report here, it works! It will be a very useful tool if you loose GPS reception, more of a backup to the GPS. I have tested the compass several times against a conventional compass and its always been accurate.
I am a Mac user, so there is an application for that here. There’s an app for the iPhone here and the Android here. The application in all cases is called Movescount, its pretty good in logging your GPS info, settings, and overall activity.
Battery and charging
Ideally you don’t want to be charging your phone and watch on a daily basis, you want your watch battery to last years. Although its not the case with the Suunto i was surprised that its not actually such an effort. I have it connected to my phone all the time, so all my calls come through the watch as alerts and sms’s, emails, application notifications etc. Taking this into account, I will use around 10% per day of battery power. I usually charge it once a week and it charges very quickly (1-2 hours) on my PC. BUT, GPS kills it, it will use around 10% an hour depending on the settings you choose for your tracking, you don’t use that function all the time so it wont kill you. That said, in the months i have had the watch it has never gone flat.
Connection with mobile phone
Connection with your phone is possible through bluetooth pairing. I have connected my phone to the Suunto, and its awesome. All the alerts come through, although its NOT a Apple watch its functionally really good. You cannot trigger any phone functions, cannot make calls. I work in an office environment and cannot have my phone ringing and beeping all day long, so its on silence all day. The Suunto vibrates and makes a small beep when an alert comes through, which is perfect for me.
Frustrations / Improvements
Like anything in life, its not perfect! A few things that could get some more R and D.
- The buttons, I keep on hitting them while moving my wrist. Its a pain because when I look for the time, i always been in a different menu and need to change back to time.
- Steps. Although the steps are recorded and displayed very well on the screen with averages and bar graphs I would like to see more information. Something similar to the Fitbit like calories burnt and allows you to compete with other friends in regards to step count. Also the apps don’t really record/display your daily steps.
- The ability to customize the display and watch, like for example if I wanted an analog or digital display for the time.
- A good to have would be a heart beat monitor, at this stage its an additional extra which you wear around your chest and pair it.
Im pleased and addicted! As mentioned the watch could use with some improvements, but overall I’m really pleased. Highly recommended.