Battery Runtime in Daily Use: Comparisons between Suunto WHR Baro and Ultra, Suunto Traverse, and TomTom Adventurer

One of the big questions about the modern crop of sports watches is their battery runtime: How long will I be able to be out and record my activity?

Some data on that will be in this post; an extreme of it just came in my post on Suunto Spartan models versus the Ambit3 Peak in the 24H Burgenland Extreme.

Here, we will have more of a look at a daily use, looking at how long the Suunto Spartan Sport WHR Baro lasts, compared to the Suunto Spartan Ultra, Suunto Traverse, and TomTom Adventurer, when used as a daily watch (with 24/7 HR tracking, steps and sleep tracking all on) with only a little training during that time.

Most of that data was gathered while the Spartans were still on firmware 1.11, some of it (if I remember correctly) already with 1.12. Newer firmware should only improve battery runtimes, if the programmers know what they are doing, but that shouldn’t always be assumed :-p

Suunto Spartan Sport WHR Baro

By itself, just for an impression:

So, the watch ran for five (5) days until I recharged it again. During this time, it went from 100% to 19% battery (according to its internal gauge and Suuntolink). So, it would have lasted for six days quite easily, even with all the (daily) tracking activated.

And, if you notice that slightly faster dip during 11/15: That included a little 1:10 hour run. Likewise, after the recharge to 100%, on 11/18 (55 minutes of running) and 11/20 (40 minutes of running) – and the watch would still have lasted for 5-6 days.

Suunto Spartan Sport WHR Baro versus Suunto Traverse

For something a little different, I compared the new Sport WHR Baro with the old-ish Suunto Traverse.

It’s clear enough that the Traverse can run considerably longer, having gone down to only around 60% (59%, to be exact) of battery over the course of the five days I measured it. The Spartan WHR Baro went down to 14% during the same five days.

This was not just daily use, though; the activity during these days included the runs mentioned just above (on 11/18 and 11/20 as well as on 11/22, that last for another 46 minutes, all recorded on the WHR Baro as well as the Traverse, with the Traverse connected to a HR belt, the WHR Baro measuring heart rate via its oHR sensor)…

This comparison is a bit of an apples-and-oranges thing, anyways. The two devices have larger differences than one might assume: They seem somewhat similar in terms of size and looks, but the Spartan has WHR (oHR) and color touch display while the Traverse only has a monochrome display and only tracks steps (in daily use). That alone probably accounts for quite a bit of the difference.

Suunto Spartan Sport WHR Baro versus Spartan Ultra

The Spartan Ultra seems almost an unfair comparison.

It came out as the top-of-the-line model; its major draw is the considerably larger battery and it has no oHR sensor that would need additional energy to run in 24/7 tracking.

So, a much longer runtime is to be expected.

The result is pretty nice – and actually, thinking about it a bit more, rather good for the Baro model as well as the Ultra:

Everything is just as it should be for two models that are different in the one (Spartan Ultra) having twice as big a battery as the other (Spartan WHR Baro); the Ultra went down to just above 75% remaining as the Baro has fallen to just below 50%. Let’s just call it 50% down for the Baro, 25% for the Ultra. Fits.

Actually, there is that slight difference of the Ultra having needed a bit less, the Baro a bit more, battery… which fits considering that the Baro runs the oHR sensor and 24/7 tracking with it here, whereas the Ultra “only” gets the HR signal from the HR belt during training and otherwise tracks nothing but steps and sleep.

Still, of course, it shows that the Ultra is a beast when it comes to runtime – as also seen in my recent hours and hours of recording with it.

By the way, what let the battery charge drop the fastest here was 1:08 of cycling and 37 minutes of running on 11/26, then 5 hours of trail running on 11/28 (hence the charge to 100% before and the drop to above 50 / around 25% charge after that).

The trends are, again, for the Baro to run 5-6 days in full everyday use (i.e. with 24/7 tracking including daily HR). The Spartan Ultra would easily last twice as long, 10-12 days.

Suunto Spartan Sport WHR Baro versus TomTom Adventurer

For something a bit different, non-Suunto, I also compared battery runtimes of the Spartan Sport WHR Baro (and other data…) with a TomTom Adventurer GPS watch.

These two are pretty similar in terms of battery / run time – which is actually quite interesting.

The simple conclusion in terms of days: I got just short of a week’s use (6 days) out of both these watches before they rather needed a recharge; the TomTom more than the Baro.

Looking at the size of the two devices, I would assume that the TomTom Adventurer has a considerably smaller battery than the Spartan, but it also has only a monochrome display, which should draw considerably less battery.

Daily tracking of heart rate, steps and sleep was active on both of them; the TomTom uses a simpler-looking oHR-sensor which might also draw less battery – but that data will be for another post.

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