Suunto 3 Fitness HR

The Suunto 3 Fitness HR is a beautiful fitness watch made for people who like to have the basics covered, and aren’t big on advanced, high-end technologies that offer great accuracy. With 70 pre-installed sorts modes, adaptive training guidance and a good battery, this affordable Suunto watch will probably be welcomed by most people who lead active lifestyles but aren’t athletes.

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Pros & Cons
  • Good battery life
  • Helpful adaptive training guidance feature
  • 70 different sports modes
  • Sleep tracking
  • Valencell 1.2 HR sensor
  • Amazing design
  • Affordable
  • Cons
    • No long-term data record of HRM and other metrics
    • No GPS
    • Strap can be uncomfortable over time
    • No quick reply, music control
    • Key Features
      The Suunto 3 Fitness HR sports watch comes with 70 pre-installed sports modes on it, blending the versatility of some higher-end models with the intermediate device, and it features 24/7 activity tracking mode as well. For most people who aren’t professional athletes, one of the most important aspects of a good sports tracker is the sheer number of activities it’s able to recognize, and this is one of the best aspects of the Suunto 3 Fitness. Whether you’re into running, cycling, swimming, hiking, gym training, trail running, mountaineering, climbing, circuit training and more – this watch has got you covered. Don’t be confused with the seemingly scarce choices. There are 6 main workout types in here: ‘Indoor Training’, ‘Running’, ‘Cycling’, ‘Walking’, ‘Pool Swimming’, and ‘Other’. This seems underwhelming at first glance, but the ‘Other’ category actually has more than 50 subcategories, in which you’re bound to find at least one that suits your activities.
      Basic Features
      Suunto 3 Fitness will automatically track your daily steps and calories, as most, if not all activity trackers on the market, and on top of that, several other basic functions will also be available to you: time and date, alarm clock (with 1 configurable alarm), dual time, stopwatch and countdown timer, as well as vibration alerts for your calls, texts, and other notifications. One of the most useful functions that a lot of customers are happy about is the adaptive training guidance, which lets you choose whether you’d like to maintain your fitness levels, improve it over time or boost the significantly in a short amount of time. Once you choose your preferred mode, the Suunto 3 Fitness will come up with a 7-day exercise plan with optimal intensity and duration time. While the Suunto 3 Fitness does have some most basic smartphone functions, don’t expect it to be a smartwatch replacement. It still doesn’t have music playback control, or the quick-reply option, which is now more and more frequent in the activity trackers’ universe.
      Advanced Features
      One of the most advanced features of the Suunto 3 Fitness is its wrist-based heart rate monitor, the Valencell 1.2, which is the same one as seen in the Suunto 9 Baro Titanium. This sensor has the ability to measure heart-rate variability while resting (no such option while training). This optical sensor also has the potential to measure things such as blood volume per beat, as well as to conduct the test using the core body temperature. However, this is something that the Valencell sensor is capable of, but isn’t actually doing, not at the moment, at least. That being said, this HR sensor allows you to measure your fitness level (VO2max), as well as record heart rate in swimming, but only with the help of Suunto Smart Sensor. One of the most disappointing aspects of this HR sensor configuration is the fact that you only get access to the last 12 hours of HR data, which isn’t recorded anywhere. While there is some use to having a real-time HRM attached to you at all times, it’s more probable that you’re interested in a sports watch that can aggregate your progress and HR data over time, in order to provide a coherent intersection of this metric, which can help you understand how your stress levels, amount of sleep as well as different types of activities influence your heart-rate. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to access this data with Suunto 3 Fitness HR.

      Another advanced feature of the Suunto 3 Fitness is its Sleep quality and tracking – which you’ll have to turn on manually. A nice feature is that this watch will give you feedback on your sleep once you’re awake. This is the only metric in the entire tracker that actually can showcase your resting HR data for the past 7 days – not much, but definitely better than the HR data during your activities.

      There is also the Stress and Recovery function which monitors how your day’s going with the help of technology licensed from FirstBeat. This is a really interesting function and can offer significant insight into your overall health – if only someone had the amazing idea to record this data somewhere!

      Given that this isn’t a high-end sports tracker, the one thing missing from the advance feature-pack is the on-board GPS. The only GPS available to you with the Suunto 3 Fitness is the one that is provided by your mobile GPS location via Suunto app.
      Let’s begin from the most basic functions of this Suunto activity tracker. The step counter, while pretty useful, is still prone to interpret your hand movements as a step – especially if you haven’t enabled connected GPS so that it can compare the step counter data against the GPS data. Additionally, the step counter will adapt to your activity levels over time, becoming more and more accurate.

      As far as the connected GPS goes, while it’s less accurate than sports trackers that have on-board GPS, it’s still pretty accurate – if you’re not after precision, that is. The company advises its customers to calibrate the Suunto 3 Fitness's accelerometer, which will provide more accurate readings on distance traversed. Similarly to the step counter, the more you calibrate the accelerometer and the more time you give the tracker to adapt to your activities and habits, the better it will perform; although, it’s not the ideal situation to have a sports tracker that requires more time to get used to you that you need to get used to it.

      The heart rate monitor accuracy is very dependent on the physiology of the individual, and the Suunto 3 Fitness does have one of the most advanced HR sensor available. However, while it performs well in terms of accuracy during some activities, it completely fails at providing any comprehensive reading during others, such as cycling. For greater accuracy, we’d advise you to pair the device to the Suunto Smart Sensor.
      The Suunto 3 Fitness is made to primarily connect to the Suunto App via Bluetooth. The way to do this is to enter the Settings menu, go to Connectivity, skip to Paired devices and enter a ‘passkey’ via the app, in order to connect to the watch.
      As you’re probably aware, there are two Suunto apps that are available. The newer one is the Suunto App, while the other one is the Movescount app. The Suunto 3 Fitness cannot connect to the latter, nor do you have the option (at this moment) to import data from Movescount to the device. This could be a deal-breaker, but given the entry-level nature of this Suunto device, it’s probable that the company made this watch with first-time users in mind, in which case the absence of the Movescount app won’t affect their user experience.

      Suunto 3 Fitness will connect to the Suunto app, where you can log your activities and interact with the Suunto community. Additionally, connecting to this app is the only way to enable GPS tracking. The new Suunto app is still in the works, but soon enough it will be a very good fitness app that will satisfy most users’ wishes.

      Aside from the Suunto, this watch is able to connect to Strava, TrainingPeaks, Endomondo, and a few other popular fitness apps.
      Most people found the Suunto 3 Fitness to be a comfortable watch, although some users have complained about the silicone band pinching their arm. Aside from that, the face of the watch is comfortable and the optical HR sensor doesn’t get in the way of comfortable all-day wear.
      The Suunto 3 Fitness comes in several colorways: Copper (with a black band), Gold (white band), All Black, Sakura (a beautiful light pink band), Ocean (mint-colored, great for spring), Black (which features a silver bezel), and Burgundy. This is a good example of a sports tracker that aimed to be a lifestyle, stylish piece that won’t be obvious to everyone and that can even complement your outfit and make it look better, rather than just downgrading it slightly, which is the case with most fitness watches.
      While the Suunto 3 Fitness is water-resistant up to 30 meters and will sustain not only occasional splashes of water but swimming for hours on end, its build is lacking in sturdiness that some other Suunto watches have. The metal bezel on the face of the watch is especially sensitive to bumping on other objects, so keep in mind that this is a watch that needs some special attention, although it’s far from fragile.
      The bezel of the Suunto 3 Fitness is made out of stainless steel, while the case material features glass fiber-reinforced polyamide. The display resolution is 218 x 218 pixels, which is enough but isn’t anything exquisite. The great part of the face is that it’s very customizable: you can choose between various watch faces, as well as text colors. This watch doesn’t have a touchscreen, which is something that people have been split on. While some take this as an obvious drawback, others are convinced that this is for the best, given that screen lagging, unresponsiveness and other commonly-encountered touchscreen issues will be avoided this way. The buttons on the face of the Suunto 3 Fitness are responsive and fast, and most people agree they’re simple to use.
      The band of the Suunto 3 Fitness HR sports watch is made out of durable silicone which measures 20mm in width, which unlike the Baro Titanium, isn’t in accordance with the industry standard, meaning that there won’t be as many customizable options available to you. The band that comes with the watch is suitable for wrist circumference ranging from 120-210 mm, which is more than enough for most people.
      The face of the watch is measures 43mm across, and the watch itself weighs 36g or 1.27oz, which is the most lightweight watch that we’ve seen from Suunto. The majority of the weight is spent on the stainless steel bezel, while the rest of the watch is plastic. This extremely light weight was welcomed by customers, especially because it makes wearing the watch to bed easy.
      Ease of Use
      A lot of the customers of the Suunto 3 Fitness HR have stated that this sports watch is very easy to use, although there is a slight learning curve involved. The setup process has been deemed simple and intuitive, taking less than 5 minutes to complete. That being said, the instructions for the watch aren’t as detailed as some users would like, and there are quite a few useful functions that are available at long-press of the buttons (the calibration, for example), which is something you’ll have to learn on your own, without the brand explaining the watch’s functionalities in detail.
      Power Source
      The Suunto 3 Fitness HR features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. There are 3 main battery modes: one with 24/7 tracking and mobile notifications, which enables 5-day battery life, the simple time mode will drain the battery in 10 days’ time, the training mode with GPS provides 30 hours of battery life, while the same mode without GPS provides up to 40 hours of battery life. The vast majority of users have supported the brand’s claims about the battery life, which is great, especially for a watch that isn’t aimed for people that are training for marathons, triathlons, etc.
      This is one of the Suunto’s most affordable watches, which is attractive in and of itself, especially for people who aren’t yet acquainted with the brand. This is a good-looking sports watch that features 70 sports modes and is water-resistant up to 30 meters but is lacking in some other departments, such as HRM and GPS precision. If the watch had the ability to record and export HR and stress and recovery data to the Suunto app and other platforms, it would have been a steal; this way, it’s really up to your data-recording needs and the extent to which you like its design.
      Given that the strap width of the Suunto 3 Fitness HR isn’t the same as the industry standard, the number of accessories is smaller than what some Fitbit users are used to, for example. That being said, some of the accessories available for this watch are the 20mm Athletic silicone straps that increase breathability, as well as Urban straps, the USB power cable, and the Suunto Smart Sensor that you’ll need for greater HRM accuracy and swimming HR.
      Key Features
      ● 70 pre-installed sport modes
      ● Adaptive training guidance
      ● Valencell 1.2 optical heart rate sensor
      ● Sleep quality and tracking
      ● Stress and Recovery
      ● Only connected GPS
      ● Water-resistant up to 30 meters
      ● Only Suunto App, no Movescount compatibility
      ● 218 x 218 pixels display, not touchscreen
      ● 43mm in diameter
      ● Extremely lightweight 36g or 1.27oz
      ● Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, good battery life
      ● Affordable
      ● Great design
      ● Bluetooth connectivity
      Bottom Line
      At first glance, the Suunto 3 Fitness HR is a sport watch that lacks quite a few things: it doesn’t have on-board GPS, a touch screen, no barometer – nothing that would make the watch appealing to outdoor-lovers and professional athletes. However, it offers 70 sports modes, counts your steps, has the option of concocting a 7-day exercise plan according to your needs, and it monitors your sleep and gives you feedback on it. On top of that, it’s truly a beautiful watch. These features might not rock your boat, but most recreational athletes would agree to disagree.
      Where to Buy
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      By Lizzy Pavlovic
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 27. 2021

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