Date Posted:10/02/2006 06:55.24
If you are looking for a high-end, specialized sports wristwatch then maybe you should consider a Suunto, SLCentral reviewed the X6HRT, it was robust with an impressive array of features.
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Looks aside, the X6HRT is teeming with features, many of which I had to play with in
order to understand. And after messing with it for a week, I still haven't
fully taken advantage of all its capabilities yet. There are five main
modes: time, chrono, hiking, weather, and compass. Each mode features its
own settings and menus and submenues, so getting around was cumbersome at
first. But after a few hours of playing with the 5 buttons that control
navigation, I could find my way around the menus smoothly.
Each mode is denoted by a small icon on the side of the
watch face (shown above), and the function you are currently accessing is
highlighted by a small black semi-circle. For example, in the picture
above the X6HRT is in "time" mode. You can also see from the picture that
the X6HRT's screen allows for three lines of large text. The contrast
isn't outstanding in the picture, but in real life the screen is crystal
clear and highly readable.
Time mode is kind of like the X6HRT's
home base. Here you can glance at the time and date in the first two lines
as well as alternate between day of week, secondary time and seconds in
the third line. Its also in time mode that you can configure the watches
settings under five submenues: general, units, alarm, time, and date.
Controls such as enabling/disabling tones, icon configurations, and sensor
calibration are under the general tab, while under units you can switch
from imperial to metric measurements in respect to distance, pressure, and
rate. It should be obvious what the alarm, time, and date functions are
Chrono mode is where users can access the heart rate computer.
In this mode, the first two lines of text are altitude and time splits.
Besides obvious chronograph functions like stop watch and time split
abilities, the X6HRT can wireless transmit, display, and record heart rate
With a built in receiver, it connects to an included heart
rate strap to measure heart rate data in real time. You can check your
current heart rate at any time by glancing at the watch; it is displayed
on the third line. All of this data, including altitude as well as peak
heart rates are stored for later analysis. You can also set an alarm to go
off once your heart rate rises above a certain threshold.
mode displays rate of ascent/descent, altitude (in feet or meters), and a
customizable third row that shows statistics such as altitude difference
and cumulative ascent data. All of this information is saved in a logbook,
which stores "cumulative ascents and descents, average ascent and descent
rates, highest and lowest points, heart rate and specific marks you can
set during the trip," according to Suunto. Your can configure and store up
to twenty logbooks, each holding a maximum of 168 hours of data, before
the X6HRT stops recording. Users can sync all of this information to their
Then there is weather mode. In this screen, users can
access a wealth of important information regarding their surrounding
environmental conditions. The main screen displays the temperature (in
Celsius or fahrenheit) and pressure (in hectopascals or mercury measure)
for quick reference. Unfortunately, the Suunto menus says that for
temperature measurements to be accurate, the watch has to be kept away
from the body for 15 minutes. Their explanation, that your body
temperature against the watch skews results, is reasonable, but the fact
that getting a temperature reading requires removing the watch for a
quarter of an hour is frustrating. Also in weather mode is an alarm
capability that will set off the X6HRT's alarm if pressure drops below a
certain point. Finally, the memory function records weather data for the
last 48 hours and saves it for later viewing or syncing.
Compass mode is where users can calibrate and utilize the X6HRT's built-in
compass. You can configure the altitude and slope, as well as access a
useful function that allows you to set checkpoints and then track back to
them later via compass. Calibrating the compass is easy; all it involves
is rotating the watch on a fixed plane (essentially standing in place and
turning around in a circle while holding the watch) until it is satisfied
that it has its bearings right. However, keep in mind that activating
compass mode will disrupt heart rate reception.
One of the main selling points of the X6HRT however, comes
from Suunto's data analysis software, the "Suunto Activity Manager."
Installation was quick, and dumping all of my data onto my PC was smooth.
Just connect the sync cable and in minutes you'll be looking
at data being dumped onto your computer. This data includes heart rate
information, statistics stored in logbooks, altitude, rates, and just in
general a bunch of recorded numbers that the activity manager reads and
projects into graphs. You can see your heart rate increase and decrease in
correlation to altitude, as well as analyze peak rates and elapsed time.
Unfortunately, the software is marred by a functional but spartan
interface, something that has plagued Suunto products for some time. If
anything, a better program design that's more appealing and user-friendly
would make the whole experience of uploading and analyzing data a lot less
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