Izwan Ismail takes the Suunto Quest watch for a test run and finds it a powerful training tool
IF you enjoy exercising in the outdoors, having a device that helps you plan, train and analyse your regime can come in handy. The Suunto Quest, for one, offers real-time heart rate monitoring, an interval timer and a stopwatch for lap runs.
The review unit comes with a black-and-orange watch, a dual heart rate monitor belt and a Movestick Mini device for transferring data wirelessly from the watch to the computer.
The watch is light on my wrist, making it an ideal exercise partner. Some may find it a tad plasticky, though.
What I like about this Suunto is that it doesn’t need to be charged. It works just like a regular battery-operated watch.
Its operation is pretty straightforward. There are three buttons on the right side of the watch for navigating the functions and setting up user information. Fitness calculation by the watch is based on the information provided. Firmly press the centre button and it will guide you through an eight-step process which includes training, setup pages, training archives and device pairing.
There’s also a tap feature to control some of the settings. Just tap using two fingers. Set the sensitivity of the tap in the Set Up menu.
I strapped the dual heart rate monitor belt around my chest. The watch automatically detected the device and I was ready for my run in the outdoors. The watch detected a satellite signal after a few minutes. It also displayed my heart rate as I ran.
BEST YET TO COME
The real innovation behind the watch, for me, is the way information gathered from the exercise session is analysed. Suunto has created the portal Movescount (movescount.com) where you can upload, view, analyse and store information from your training.
The portal lets you customise the watch’s display, as well as prepare a complete training plan. For example, if you have created and downloaded a training plan, the watch will tell you how close you are to completing your targets in terms of time, intensity or distance.
It’s also possible to plan an entire end-to-end training schedule. Just install the Movescount software (downloadable from the portal for free) and transfer your data using the Movestick Mini. I find this Mini a tad too small for my liking.
At Movescount, you can also view and comment on other users’ activities. It’s a good way to network with those with similar interests.
As an exercise companion, the Suunto Quest has practically everything you need for a properly planned training session. Besides, it is stylish, lightweight and pretty affordable.
Manufacturer: Suunto Oy
Enquiries: 1-855-258-0900, suunto.com
• Stopwatch, interval timer
• Real-time heart rate monitoring and heart rate zones
• Real-time speed and distance
• Running cadence
• Real-time training intensity or speed guidance based on your training programme
• Water resistant to 30m
• Heart rate graphs and training effect at Movescount.com
• Speed graphs at Movescount.com
• Calories burnt at Movescount.com
• Training diary and in-depth training analysis at Movescount.com
Our verdict: HHH
Physical design: HHHH
Value for money: HHHH