Last month I lost my trusty Garmin Fenix3 with the sapphire glass (crucial feature for a clutz). I was pretty bummed because I liked that watch a lot. I was inclined to get a Fenix5 after giving up the search, but one of our coached athletes offered to set me up with a great deal on Suunto, and I thought I would try something else. My last suunto was an Ambit3 which was my watch prior to the Fenix3.
I got a Spartan Ultra w/HR strap. I’ve used it only 2 days so far. I have to admit I like the User Interface a LOT better than the Garmin UI. The processor speed is clearly WAY faster than my F3 was. The screen is better, color, and most of all the menus are a lot easier to navigate. I also noticed that it connects to the HR strap and my iphone really fast, my Garmin seemed to sometimes struggled with this. My one complaint is that I have not yet figured out how to have a custom screen. I like to see watch-time, HR, and altitude. Garmin let me create that screen easily. I haven’t figured out how to do that in Suunto yet, but honestly i’ve only spent 5 minutes trying.
All that said, DCRainMaker, who I also go to for reviews, doesn’t have much good to say about Suunto. His last review on the Spartan Ultra was pretty negative. Negative enough that I would not have paid full price. So it does sound like it will be important to keep pushing software updates to the watch whenever they become available. I also noticed that the Suuntos do go on sale a fair bit, but the Garmins never seem to. Hope that helps.