Features & Specifications of the Suunto T6d
- Real-time Training Effect
- EPOC Measure Ė Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption
- Current heart rate, average heart rate and maximum heart rate
- Real-time calories burned
- Adjustable HR limits with alarms
- Speed and distance with optional Foot POD, Bike POD or GPS POD
- PC compatible Ė with Suunto Training Manager
- PC analysis with 7 body parameters
- Dual time, date and alarms
- Log memory with 1 Mb capacity
- Interval timer
- Customisable screen layout
- User-replaceable battery
- Dual comfort heart rate belt
- Water resistant to 100m
We received a couple of watches from Suunto for review; the Core which Matt has reviewed here, and the T6d that Iíve been reviewing. There were some conversations on the forums that drew our attention to using Suuntoís products so we thought weíd really see what they were made of, so the point of this review is in large part to see what the quality of the watch is like. Thefunctionality of Suunto watches is usually brilliant, and you can chose the watch that suits your needs. But itís the wear and tear that many of our readers want to know about: How well do these watches last? Laying out a lot of money for a watch that only lasts a year or less can be a very irritating and expensive experience.
The T6d Black Smoke is quite a plain-looking watch, and to be frank it seems a little underwhelming. Itís a bit like having a Mondeo with no badges saying that AMG have put a £100,000 into it (not that Iíve seen many AMG Mondeoís, but you get the point). The plain exterior does no justice to the inner workings of this incredibly competent bit of gear. Saying all that, when you use the watch you do appreciate the big screen, which makes it easy to read no matter what your activity. You can set up different screens with different information, so itís easy to switch from a straight forward timepiece to your heart rate with the temperature and the altitude, whatever takes your fancy.
The screen options are: Training zones 1-5; chrono (time elapsed); average heart rate; real time heart rate; altitude; temperature; calories burnt; distance traveled; average speed; current speed; day; time; ascent; descent.
When you open the package you get the watch, an instruction booklet, a heart rate monitoring belt, and a USB cable that allows you to connect the watch to your computer so that you can upload data from the watch. More about that later.
The watch needs a little setting-up depending on what you want to do with it, but the process is quite straight-forward, and within minutes you will be all ready to go.
In use the watch is comfortable, more comfortable than I thought it would be,important given that as the watch is activity-orientated, the chances are youíre going to get hot and dirty while using it. The construction material is a fairly pliable rubber. Itís strong and very hard wearing Ė a good choice for a watch like this.
When it comes to wear and tear the watch has been through a lot; swimming, climbing, extension building, car mechanics, P90X, hill walking and much more. Iíve never shied away from letting the watch get roughed up, so itís been scraped on rocks and blocks, knocked about, covered in mud, sand, salt water and oil and generally worked hard.
Itís not unscathed, but itís stood up well with only a few hard-to-see minor scratches on the mineral crystal glass. The most noticeable wear is on the writing around the face of the watch. Youíll be able to see the difference in the before and now pictures. Iíve no longer got the Start/Stop writing by the top left button or the View/Back writing by the bottom left button, and thereís some wear on the other wording, although itís still legible.
I need to change the battery in the watch, and Iíll write this up when I come to do it because one of the great things about this watch is the ability to change your own battery. You can get a kit from Suunto fit for purpose, or go it alone by unscrewing the back and swapping the battery out for a new one. With its built-in rubber seals, the waterproof barrier should be maintained, and youíll be up and back at it in just a few minutes.
I have not used the Suunto customer service for a repair, so I canít comment on it, but dealing with Suunto generally has been a good experience, and the customer service people are quick to respond and helpful. From our experience so far weíve found the watches tough, reliable, and great for outdoor activities.
To use the information collected on the watch you need to connect it to the computer. This is done via the bespoke USB cable supplied with the watch. At one end is a standard USB connection, and the other has a crocodile mouth that clamps on to the watch with 3 pins that make a connection on the underside of the watch in a moulded indentation. It all works very well, and even when thereís grime around the connection space it doesnít effect the connection, although obviously if it was caked in mud it would. The information is uploaded to Movescount.com and there you can see different views, share your workouts and general info with fellow Movescount members. Itís a decent sized community of people, so it could well be a great place to get inspiration and learn a few things that might be useful.
Using this is the best way to get the most out of your training. I, for the most part, have been interested in my heart rate, distance, and things like that. The EPOC information is a bit beyond my needs at the moment, so Iíve kept my use fairly basic.
I think my biggest problem with the watch is the dirt it collects. Itís probably not noticeable to most people seeing the watch, but thereís thin groves and corners through the strap, nooks and crannies on the watch itself, and they all collect dirt. I sit scraping it out, giving it a good wash and wondering why it needs to be like this. I suppose it needs to be attractive as well as functional, and if Iím being honest this is a small gripe compared to the good features of this watch.
The heart rate belt that comes as standard is very comfortable and works very well, connecting swiftly to the watch and staying connected. It doesnít work under water, although it is waterproof so you can do mixed activities and keep it on the whole time. It will fit a wide range of sizes; Iíve a 62Ē chest and it fits, while Shelly is a 34Ē, and it fits her too. Thereís few people that this setup wonít accommodate.
Movescount is the website (they call it a sports community) that Suunto developed for use with their watches that record training information.
This is the introductory text from Movescount:
Movescount is the sports community for you! It offers you rich set of tools to manage your daily activities and create engaging stories about your experiences. Movescount offers you new ways to get inspired with other members to drive you forward! Movescount is offered by Suunto for all the sports people in the world. Movescount is free to use. Movescount is evolving. We want your feedback. We want your suggestions. And we aim to act accordingly. We believe that Movescount can provide the best tools and most inspiring community for any sports person, if you help us!
Movescount uses various other webservices to offer members best possible user experience. Movescount uses the Flickr API, Youtube API, GoogleMaps API, Tweetme, ShareThis and Digg but is not endorsed or certified by these.
- Hard wearing
- Clear display
- Easy access functions
- Easy battery change
- Extra functions through pods
- Bit of a dirt magnet
- Button description text vulnerable to wear
The original motivation for reviewing Suunto watches was to see if theyíre good value and tough enough for outdoor use. If you want a watch to just tell you the time then the Suunto T6d will be complete overkill, but if you want a comprehensive array of monitoring capabilities then this could be just the thing youíre looking for. Iíve used it for monitoring training, and all of lifeís activities, and the watch has achieved this without breaking a sweat. Itís done all Iíve asked of it, and Iíve enjoyed using it.
Itís tough enough to be an every day watch for all activities, and I see no reason for it to let me down any time soon.
I think itís telling that Iíve done the review now and Iím still wearing itÖ
Ratings are out of 5, 1 being bad and 5 being the best
Fit for Purpose Ė 5/5
Versatility Ė 4.5/5
Durability Ė 4/5
Value for money Ė 3.5/5 (cheapest we found at time of writing £230)
Overall Ė 4/5