Suunto announced the Suunto Quest in July of 2011, and started shipping the product in September of 2011. This product is the latest in Suunto’s long line of heart rate monitor watches that can be used for heart rate monitor training, and with the optional pods, can be used for running and biking.
By now, many of you have read the FitnessElectronicsBlog disclaimer, but here it is in case this is your first time reading one of our reviews. For the record, we do not work for Suunto, and are in no way connected with them or any of the companies whose gear we review. We do this because we love playing with the latest technology, and we can’t keep our hands off this stuff if we tried. Suunto gives us the watch for a trial period, and after our review, we box it up and send it back. No give-us-gear for a favorable review, or anything like that. We call ‘em as we see ‘em. It keeps us honest. Also, we have a group of 4 people who do the evaluations of all of the gear. One person is the lead on a piece of gear, but everyone gets a chance to evaluate the stuff. We have 2 guys and 2 ladies, so it’s a good mix of people. It gives us better insight, and we get a better review overall. Everyone has an input to the review. If you want to know who these people are, check out our About Us page. We have 4 seasoned triathletes, and 3 Pilates instructors. All swim, bike, run, do Pilates and Yoga, and use all of the gear on a daily basis. So, enough with the babble, and let’s get to the review.
What’s in the box?
First of all, the Quest comes in two colors, black, and black with orange trim. Here are images of both color options:
There are two accessory options, the standard version and the running pack version. Included in the standard version is the watch, Suunto Movestick Mini, and Suunto Dual Comfort Belt, all of which retails for $249.00 The Running Pack comes with all items listed above, along with their Foot POD Mini, and retails for $299.00. The unit that we received is the Suunto Quest running pack.
Being in consumer electronics, I always enjoy looking at other product packaging. Personally, I like their packaging, especially since it is recyclable.
Here is what is included in the Running Pack box:
Shown is the watch, dual comfort heart rate monito belt, Movestick Mini, customer support card, and manuals. Here is a closer looks at some of the individual pieces:
Check out the size of the Movestick Mini USB dongle next to the Garmin ANT+ USB dongle. The Movestick is really small!
Here are some images that show the approximate size of the watch:
Here it is in all black:
And a side view:
The watch seemed to be well built and rugged. The face is easy to read, and fits well. I think the watch looks great, and it can be worn as a regular sports watch.
So what are the features?
Here are the major features of the watch:
- Stopwatch, interval timer, laps
- Time, date, dual time, alarm
- Real time heart rate and heart rate zones
- Real time speed and distance
- Running cadence
- Real time training intensity or speed guidance based on your training program
- Water resistant to 100 ft
- Menu in 9 languages (EN, DE, ES, FI, FR, IT, NL, SV, PT)
- Create training programs in Movescount.com. What is Movescount.com? Movescount is Suunto’s online software community that tracks your workouts, plan your workouts, and connect with other people like you. If you want to learn more, check out this link where we dive in-depth into Movescount.com software.
- Upload training data to Movescount.com
- Download training program from Movescount to Suunto Quest
- After creating a training plan, the watch will remind you when your next workout time is scheduled, along with the training duration and intensity
- Customize display and settings in Movescount.com
- Training diary and in depth training analysis in Movescount.com
- Calories burned in Movescount.com
- Speed graphs in Movescount.com
- Heart rate graphs and training effect in Movescount.com
Using the Watch
Movescount and the Cloud
There are 3 default workout modes; training, running, and cycling.You can create more custom modes in Movescount by pressing the create new custom mode link. I wanted to change the screens that were displayed while running. There are actually 3 areas of the screen that can be customized. Here is a description of the areas:
- The outer rim, shown as area 0, can be customized to show your recovery time in hours, heart rate percentage, or percentage of training completion. Heart rate percentage is only available during training.
- Row 1 can be programmed to display heart rate, heart rate percentage, pace, running cadence, speed, time, average heart rate, average heart rate percentage, average pace, average cadence, average speed and distance
- Row 2 – can be programmed to display heart rate, heart rate percentage, pace, running cadence, speed, time, average heart rate, average heart rate percentage, average pace, average cadence, average speed, distance, calories, heart rate zone, interval timer, lap time and stopwatch.
I could then click on each face, and set the display screens for up to 5 different displays for each mode. Next, I pressed save, synced the watch, and I was ready to go. During my workout, I am able to press the next button and scroll through my 5 custom screens. This is pretty cool.
- If you have the foot pod, you can measure distance, speed and cadence in running mode. This is pretty accurate if you calibrate the foot pod on a track. We were measuring about +/- 5% when comparing the footpad to two different GPS watches.
- If you have the bike pod, you can measure distance and speed with this pod. It can be used in cycling mode, and measures bike speed and distance by using a wheel magnet. This is similar to many bike computers.
- If you have the GPS pod, you can measure speed and distance outdoors in running and cycling mode.
- If you have the Cadence pod, you can measure cadence in cycling mode.
Thoughts, Opinions and Summary:
- Everyone liked the look of the watch. The watch is light, and feels solidly built. It has a clean look, and does not appear bulky on our wrist. You can definitely wear it as an everyday watch. We received compliments from everyone who checked it out.
- The heart rate monitor hardware and software performed flawlessly. The heart rate monitor strap link connection to the watch was always solid, and by applying a small amount of water to the pads, picking up a heart rate from the chest strap always worked well. The strap was picked up by the treadmills and other equipment at the local gym, while still remaining connected to the watch.It was comfortable, and fit all of our testers.
- Wirelessly connecting the watch to a computer to allow data downloads/uploads was a breeze. Once Movescount was installed, we could plug the Movescount Mini USB into the computer, and we were ready to go. Using the web connect mode makes data transfer very easy. Once your data has been transferred to Movescount, you can view it, compare workouts, and create custom workouts that can be uploaded to the watch for your next workout. For those of you that use TrainingPeaks or other software as your tracking and logging software of choice, your workouts can be exported from Movescount in a compatible format.
- The watch can be used with the optional GPS and Bike pods. This allows accurate speed, pace, and distance measurements, along with very accurate data logging over your workout course.
- Movescount is easy to use and navigate.
- Thorough manual
- Only supports 1 person at a time. All of the settings assume only 1 person uses the watch.
- If you are a triathlete, you can’t track your swimming leg.
- If you want GPS accuracy, you need to use an external pod clipped to your upper body or on an arm band.
- Even though I liked Movescount, I still find myself using other workout tracking software more. All af your workouts are exportable, so you can choose what software to use.
To finish things out, we will leave you with a few how to videos, and some videos of the Suunto Quest in action.
Here is an introduction and setup video of the Quest:
How to pair pods and heart rate monitor strap to your Quest:
How to adjust the settings of the Quest:
Training with the Quest:
I hope you enjoyed the review. Happy training!