Suunto M1, M2, M4 and M5 Heart Rate Monitor Review

 

The Suunto M series (M1, M2, M4, M5) of heart rate monitor watches falls into the fitness and cross-training category of sports watches. These watches are for athletes just coming into fitness training, or those that want just the basic heart rate features in a fitness watch. The watches are designed for gym, spinning, and general cardio workouts.

There are 4 watches in the M line; the M1, M2, M4 and M5. This review covers all four watches, since they have similar features. The M1 is the entry model in the line, and the M5 is the top end of the M line. To start off, we are going to first cover the features that are common to the all of the watches, and towards the end of the review we will cover the differences between the three models.

Before I start the review, I want to make it clear that I am in no way connected to Suunto. These watches were purchased by Fitness Electronics Reviews, and these watches see daily use as spinning and fitness watches from us and other FEB reviewers.
To start using the watches, press any button and hold. The watch will wake up, and ask you to enter your language, time, date, and personal settings, which consist of age, sex, and weight. After this is done, you are ready to start using the watch. The image below describes the watch display icons.
Here are the three button functions of the watches:
The top button is start/stop and increase. The middle button is next/accept, pressing longer is exit. The bottom button is decrease/move down, and pressing for 2 seconds is button lock.
To begin exercising, press the exercise start (top) button, press the confirm (middle) button, and then press the start (top) button again. You are now exercising and automatically logging your data. The display shows heart rate, and calories burned.
All watches use a CR2032 battery, and are water resistant to 30 meters.
Here are pics of the M1 and M2:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Here are pics of the M4 and M5:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

M1
  • 3 adjustable heart rate zones
  • Turn sounds on/off
  • View workout summary, including starting time, date, duration of workout, percentage of time in each zone, calories burned, average heart rate, and peak heart rate
  • ANT compatible
  • Comes with the basic heart rate monitor strap, which is compatible with most gym cardio equipment

M2

  • All of the features of the M1, but it comes with the dual comfort heart rate monitor strap instead of the basic HRM. The dual comfort HRM strap is compatible with most gym cardio equipment and Suunto Fitness Solution.

M4

  • All of the features of the M1, plus
  • display backlight
  • Pressing the middle button during exercise displays duration, HR, average heart rate, calories burned, HR zone, and time.
  • Guided Exercise, which displays an up or down arrow to tell the user to increase or decrease intensity.
  • The watch has a fitness test to evaluate your fitness level. The test is set up to take place on a known 1 mile distance, like a 400 meter track. After taking the Guided Exercise, the watch will offer a long term workout plan with a seven day overview, and grades your fitness level.
  • The watch saves the number and duration of all exercises, exercise duration and calories burned over the last 4 weeks, percentage completed from the weekly and monthly targets, previous fitness test date and results, and graph of the previous 7 fitness test results
  • Transfer your recorded logs to your computer using the optional Suunto PC POD of Suunto Movestick. You can store and view your workouts online at movescount.com.
M5
  • Comes with the dual comfort heart rate monitor strap instead of the basic HRM. The dual comfort HRM strap is compatible with most gym cardio equipment and Suunto Fitness Solution.
  • Download any workout from MovesCount.com with the optional Movestick
  • Track speed & distance (with optional Suunto Foot PODBike POD and GPS POD)
So, would I buy or recommend these watches?
If your goal is simple heart rate monitoring, these watches get the job done. The watches work well, and I personally think they look great. If I had to pick a watch to provide basic heart rate monitoring, these would be the watches. If you want more advanced features while still sticking with a heart rate monitor only watch, I recommend the  the Garmin FR60 or FR70 watches. If you are into running or triathlon at all, forget about it and get a GPS watch.

 

Here is a video showing how to use the M series watches to perform a basic heart rate workout:

Here is a video of how to check the suggestion of the next workout on the M4 and M5

 

And here is a video on how to view the exercise summary on the M4 and M5


  19 Responses to “Suunto M1, M2, M4 and M5 Heart Rate Monitor Review”

  1. Hello,
    i’m trying to connerct a Suunto M4 watch to the pc using a garmin ant+ stick. The garmin agent can see the stick but not the watch and MoveLink app doesn’t see the stick at all.

    any idea why ?

    • George,

      If you insert the Movestick Mini, Windows should download the drivers and install them. Once this is done you should be able to run the Garmin ANT agent, and turn pairing on in the watch. Once this is done, Garmin ANT Agent should recognize the watch. You should then be able to download data. Are you tuning pairing on it the watch with Garmin ANT agent on?

      John

  2. Hi I am trying to start my M2 but the watch won’t turn on? it was working a few months ago. I have tried holding the buttons down and all three at the same time but still nothing. Is there a reset button?

  3. In the exercise summary on the M2, it shows you how long you’ve been training in each zone. It doesn’t show this in your videos, so I was wondering if the M4/M5 is also able to show this info? Or does it work differently?

    • Hi there,

      I’m currently using M5 for my normal jogging and circuit trainings and find it quite disappointing that the M5 does not have the heart rate zone interval training like the M2, which could tell the % of your heart rate in each zones.

      I rather have an M2 instead of M5 for this reason only.

      I’m still getting use to the M5, maybe it’s too early for me to out-rated it 🙂

      Happy New Year 2015.
      -Mardya

  4. Quick question, are the heart rate monitors interchangeable? As in will a m1 monitor work with the m5?

  5. Hi,

    Just bought M2 Suunto. Is this watch can’t count kcal burn if we didn’t put on heart rate belt? Can put on heart rate belt while we go for swimming?

  6. Do any of the Suunto watches calculate VO2?

  7. I have a new belt for my suunto M2 it won’t pair
    Iv put new battery & still won’t work.
    Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?

  8. Hi,
    can be watch Suunto used as a bike computer? Can it measure the callories during swimming – can I use the belt in water?

    THX for answers.

  9. Can my sunnto M2 connect to my moveacount app???? It’s sunnto’s app – please help

  10. Hello,
    I own the Sunnto M2. Is there a way to set an alarm to go off once a max heart rate has been reached?

    Thanks!!
    Hilary

  11. Can the suunto M2 be used all day to count all calories burnt or just when prompted to do so?

  12. Can i set my suunto m5 to go off (like an alarm) when my heart rate gets too high?!

  13. Which is good between m2 or m5

  14. Any one know is Suunto M2 transmission between heart rate sensor and device is coded? i want to buy one but coded transmission is “must be” number one for me. thanks

  15. Any one know is Suunto M2 transmission between heart rate sensor and device is coded? i want to buy one but coded transmission is “must be” number one for me. thanks!

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