Suunto’s t6, along with the Polar RS800 G3 this month, is a purist’s training tool. It has a GPS receiver, housed separately in an arm- or belt-mountable POD, but unlike the Garmin and Timex devices there are no waypoint, mapping or positional modes.
All you get is speed and distance, as well as heart-rate recording via the wireless chest belt, but the level of analysis available at the PC end of things and the ease of use of the watch itself make up for this lack of versatility.
On-watch functions are pretty basic, but it comes into its own when you hook it up to a PC or laptop. Downloading data from the watch is simple using a crocodile-clip USB cable, and once you’ve dumped everything into the bundled Training Manager software there’s a truly mind-boggling array of analysis you can perform on your workouts.
There are graphs on speed, heart rate, altitude, speed over time and speed over distance. Give the software enough workout data and personal information and it will also work out your maximum heart rate, and estimate values normally only used by elite athletes, with ventilation rate (how hard you’re breathing), oxygen consumption rate (VO2) and energy consumption in kCal/min, and more available.
Plus, the software uses all this data to estimate the effectiveness of your regime, telling you when you’re overtraining, improving fitness or simply maintaining current levels.
All-in-all, the Suunto t6 is a very impressive training tool. The watch itself is more basic than the Polar RS800 G3, but the analysis tools are unparalleled in this group. Just look abroad for pricing: it can be purchased for a staggering four times less!
This Review appeared in the August, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing