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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 year usage review, 12 Jan 2012
This review is from: Suunto T6D Fusion Men's Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I've owned the Suunto T6d HRM for a year now, and used it in every kind of activity around the year (running, swimming, hiking, climbing, skiing), so I feel able to write a complete and hopefully unbiased review.

To put it short, the quality and reliability of the product is good, but there are some issues you will be disappointed to find in a top-of-the-class product. Most of them are actually related not the watch itself, rather to the accessories or the way it is marketed, namely:
- The lack of a dedicated software shipped with the HRM. Suunto offers now only the "social network" as a means to analyse your data: maybe "cool" for somebody, but really an overkill if you want just to analyse your performance and not just show others how strong, fast, etc you are... :).
There is a free alternative though: just google for "Kubios HRV" (I can't insert the URL here because of amazon reviews posting rules)
- The T6d is advertised as "the solution" for the triathlete (there's even a guy coming out of the water on the box). Too bad that the chest belt shipped with the HRM doesn't work in water and it is not even possible to buy the T6d directly with the Suunto Memory Belt And M Strap (a self-contained unit that transmits and records data on an integrated chip). So if I am to use the T6d in water I have to spend an extra 100 quid for another belt and be left with the first one that I don't really need.
- The GPS pod can be used for performance only, it can't export GPS-data!! The crazy thing is that the chip it uses is capable of storing the GPS points. Suunto just didn't bother to offer an interface to access this data. Maybe a marketing choice not to compete against its own X6 model? Not fair for the customer I think. There is a hack in the Internet to modify it to let the data be exported, but this voids the warranty.

So the bottom-line is: good product, but too expensive (in the price there's no software and no usable chest belt for water-activities) and with some quirky extra accessories (GPS pod).

Now for a more detailed review...

Before buying this item I did a fairly extensive research over the internet and found many negative user comments that put me a bit off the product, especially considering its price. I ended up buying the T6d anyhow mainly because I wanted to have the pressure altimeter (so that I could use it when hiking/climbing) and I didn't want to have a built-in GPS sensor that would drain the battery.
Luckily I found out that many issues about which people complain do not appear to apply to my unit.

- Information presented by the watch. There is really a lot of information at your fingertip. To have 2 training displays with 3 rows each is really useful (I use the first display for cardio/performance, and the second for distance/speed information) and even more useful the fact that you can use the third row to cycle through all the parameters you like (the list of parameters you want to cycle through must be set up first).
- Information stored in the watch. With R-R information (and accessible through the Kubios software, for instance) there isn't anything more that such a device can offer to the user for training analysis. Only down side: the watch firmware is not advanced enough to let you re-analyse your data after the training by changing some of the training parameter you entered. You must use than the infamous (yes I really don't like it :D) or the Kubios software.
- Altimeter. I don't know why people report that it is not accurate. The performance compares to other portable devices dedicated to altimetric measurement through pressure.
- Trimmings and glass. They are of good quality and resisted usage in "harsh" environment, i.e. rock climbing with chalk.
- Waterproof. Tested in lakes/swimming pools while swimming, not diving! No problem.
- Alarms. Some people report problems with the alarms, i.e. they wouldn't go off despite being activated. I used the alarms many times: at home, while travelling, in huts. It always worked; ok, the tone is not very loud, but it doesn't mean the alarm doesn't go off.
- Watch accuracy. Some claim that the watch loses +/-20 secs per month (!). I found that the watch accuracy is average for a quartz watch: after 6 months I was at +3 secs against the atomic watch. I resynchronized the HRM and 6 months later I'm now at -1 sec. I think that's ok.
- Battery life is adequate. After 12 months, using it paired with the shipped belt at least 3 times a week for ~1 hour while running (plus sporadically paired while doing other sports) I'm still on the first battery. Actually the low-battery indicator just came up yesterday, so we can say 12 months battery life for the above reported usage.
- PC connection. The shipped USB cable uses a simple spring-loaded clamping mechanism to attach to the watch and so connect to the 3 pins on the back of the unit. Simple, but it's always worked for me.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars suunto t6d, 25 Oct 2010
This review is from: Suunto T6D Fusion Men's Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
Whilst pleased with the performance of the T6d,neither the quick start guide or the online handbook really do it justice. As you would expect from a top line HRM there are numerous extra functions, with a more in depth guide I am sure I could utilize them more during my training. The one big disappointment was that, having described the heart rate belt as being waterproof to 10m and showing a triathlete exiting the water on the box, I discovered that the only way to record my sessions in the pool would be to buy a memory belt at a further cost of approximately 80! I think the technical description and photographic representation are misleading.
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