27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Long term user review,
This review is from: Suunto T6C Fusion Men's Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I've owned a Suunto t6 for nearly 4 years now so feel able to write a long term review as with the cost of this kind of kit you don't want to be replacing it every couple of years. I've used heart rate monitors for 20 years and previous to this I've always bought Polar and found them always have problems no matter what model in the range from middle to top end price. Normally used for cycling I was attracted to the t6 because of the foot pod that would give me speed of running in real time. For the first 12 months of ownership I had nothing but trouble with the item. Initially it was superb and quite a revelation in terms of the amount of data it can give you so it's really aimed at the athlete wanting to seriously monitor their training rather than someone just wanting a device for basic fitness. There are far cheaper units out there doing what would probably suffice. After 3-4 months the foot pod would randomly switch off and fail to send any signal to the watch. Over a couple of months this frequency increased and I ended up sending it back to the supplier who sent it back to suunto in Finland for them to return it saying there was nothing wrong with it! Zero marks for customer service there. First run back with it and it duly switched itself off several times. The supplier (heart rate monitor) were excellent throughout and sent me a trial footpod and this worked well initially and then it too went wrong. The whole unit, watch, chest strap and pod went back to suunto in Finland with a detailed description of the problem and the lot came back saying there was nothing wrong! First run and it was still faulty. Eventually with the help of the supplier I tracked it down to the chest strap somehow causing the problem and since then it has generally worked consistently. But this took about 8 months messing about with suunto until this was established and certainly no help from suunto to sort the problem out. Once calibrated the pod itself seems fairly accurate in terms of measuring distance and speed but I don't think any of the devices will be 100%.
Connection to the pc is by a pathetic cable that clips on to the watch with 3 small spring loaded prongs onto corresponding recesses in the back of the watch. This has always been temperamental and I've had one cable replaced under warranty and still need to manually hold the clip tight into the back of the watch to ensure correct transfer of data. Not sure if this is done wirelessly now but it needed sorting.
The watch munches batteries at a rate of one every 3-4 months. Mine is used around 7-10 hours per week and uses the standard cr2032 type. All batteries are user replaceable unlike some of the polar equipment. The software provided and upgradeable online has endless ways of analysing what's recorded on the device and I've found it fairly good in that respect.
The device is still going strong 4 years on which is better than any polar unit I ever owned so this must say something about the quality, the first 12 months aside. I wouldn't buy another one as I think most of the features I use are available in much cheaper units and a lot of what the t6 offers are gimmicks that no one other than the elite athlete coach will use. I'd rate the software analysis at 5 stars, features of the unit 5 stars, reliability at 3 stars, Suunto customer service zero, and that damn cable connection at one star only because it can still connect! Overall 3/5. Not a full review just my experience of owning one long term.