Author Topic: Suunto running watches  (Read 654 times)


  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Suunto running watches
« on: February 13, 2019, 06:52:02 pm »
I've been doing a bit of running this year, and on the advice of some trail running friends, I bought a Suunto watch rather than the Garmin equivalents. I have a Suunto Spartan Ultra.

Now, it's lovely hardware, and the software is way more 'slick' than Garmin's.

Here's the thing: Other than the firmware, you really don't need to use any Garmin software.
It presents to the PC as a generic USB Mass Storage device.
You can pull the files off manually, and do what you want.

But the Suunto presents as a USB Serial HID device ( a COM port ), and it talks a proprietary serial protocol.
The *only* way to extract your tracklog is to use Suunto software, either on the PC via USB or on a mobile device via their app and Bluetooth.
The software *only* syncs to their web service.
Their is *no* offline way to get your files.

So it works so long as they decide it works and provide the web service.

If a sync fails ( eg the watch syncs to your phone in an area of patchy data coverage ) then the tracklog can be lost forever, and cannot be recovered.
It's not possible to delete the activity on their site and re-sync it.
It's still on the watch, but marked as already synced.
There's no way to manually grab the file out of the watch.

Now, some people have reverse-engineered the serial protocol of their other watches ( Ambit series ) and there's an OpenAmbit software for Linux that can pull data from these devices. But it has not been extended to other watches which use a similar protocol.  I'm kind of feeling a finger pointing towards me here!

So just be aware of this if you are looking at their Shiny.


  • rothair gasta
Re: Suunto running watches
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 08:59:50 pm »
And Suunto recently announced that the Movescount web service is going to be shut down. And some older models of watches won't be supported by the replacement. So no way of getting data off them (except for OpenAmbit).


  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Suunto running watches
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 10:00:24 pm »

The new Suunto App platform is currently Bluetooth - mobile app only.
There's no PC-based app available as it stands, so no USB serial connectivity.
And no web front-end.
So it's Android / iPhone interface to the outside world only.
So older non-BT devices are being dumped.

Also, route planning on Movescount ( where you could upload GPX from your PC ) is gone.
Do they really expect you to build your routes on a mobile screen?

Not good.