Pros Great interface, digital networking with bike and foot sensors, neat software, intriguing algorithms for deriving body functions from heart beats
Cons PODs more expensive than Polar, minor weakness in USB driver
Summary I just bought the t6. A word for the wise: there are 2 versions of software, the older one has 2 options in the Training/Pair menu, HR belt and Spd Sens only, the newer version has 4, HR belt, Bike POD, Foot POD, Spd POD. Allows networking with a Bike POD and a Foot POD for easy cross-training. All the units at my dealer were old soft, so I bought it on the Internet and got one with the new soft.
Interface is great, very intuitive, numbers and letters are very legible and self-evident. Does not rely on all kinds of symbols and a labyrinth of options like the Polar 625X. Read the manual once and shove it in a drawer forever. Makes for a fairly elegant watch, may be a bit thick but works well with medium to large wrists.
Technology is tops. Uses a low-power, Bluetooth-like digital interface to identify and connect with wireless heart rate chest belt, bike speed sensor, sneaker sensor etc... Wireless PC interface available in November per Suuntowatches.com.
Also software is intriguing, derives all kinds of body parameters (EPOC, Ventilation, Breathing rate etc...) all from the variation in heart beat durations. There is science behind it, my brother doctor believes it is possible, and heart rate as an indicator of health is becoming one of the hottest research field in medecine.
Started training today. Software install, download to computer, upload to Suunto web site works exactly as advertised, great graphs showing that my style of training was too rough, need to slow down a few minutes each half hour for maximum effectiveness. Too bad it is not as natural to simulate exercises to see the effect.
One minor issue with the USB driver. The cable is actually "intelligent", in that it has internal logic to activate the USB recognition without the watch being connected. But if you unplug it and re-plug it (e.g. to download files on another computer), you have to re-boot the computer for the connection to be re-established.
The ultimate gadget for training. I love being able to see heart rate, having alarms to help me stay in the zone, and at the same time seeing my speed and logging the whole session, heart rate, breathing rate, ventilation, EPOC (tiredness), along with speed profile and distance into my computer for analyzing the graph.
Highly recommended - by the way, it costs C$488 in Canada, or roughly US$400, and the POD cost C$100, roughly US$80.
Pros Love the EPOC analysis to tell me how effective my training session was. Adapts to my changing fitness level as I periodize into Ironman race ready. So much more informative than just heart rate.
Cons Plastic on watch covers is a little soft, scratches too easily when I replace batteries.
Summary No better watch I've found (and I've tried 5 or 6) for really coaching you to effectively improve your fitness.
Pros Easy to use and it is made very well
Cons Software is not very intuitive
Summary I owned a Suunto X6HR and got a Polar S810i because I wanted R-R data. I am very gentle with watches but the Polar started to fall apart! Buttons cracked and fell off, the watch face is made of cheap soft plastic, and then the case developed a stress fracture! If it were $20 then OK...but for $350 I expect more. I got a Suunto t6 and I am glad I did. Really great build-quality
Pros Hardware! Very well built
Cons Software, could use a little tweaking
Summary "I've become addicted to the t6 for all my running workouts. The heart-rate monitor keeps my recovery runs recovery runs. My tempo runs tempo runs. And the darn thing won't let me slack off during my interval workouts. The biggest surprise has been the foot pod. It's accurate on and off the roads. It doesn't just measure foot stride but has a couple of acceleration sensors so measures distance very accurately. Even on the trails when your stride length changes constantly. The most addictive part is downloading the data and seeing your run in graphical form. The t6 has helped me get the most out of each run."
Hardware seems like an incremental improvement over Polar. The watch is smaller, lighter, and nice to look at. Footpod is better: smaller and lighter, and battery lasts three times as long. Bike pod and PC interface are fine. ANT wireless interface (coded footpod and bike pod) is excellent. All the hardware plays together very well.
Watch software and button logic is somewhat confusing at first. The Suunto PC Software does not have as many features as the S625X yet. Feature set in the watch is not as robust as Polar - I miss exercise sets, multiple zones, pace zones, uploading a week of my training plan, etc. But still a great system - especially for a user that wouldn't normally use all those extra features anyway.
Buy this watch if: You need coded footpod or bikepod (if you often run/bike in a group, and the rest of the group uses Polar S625X or RS200sd). Also, if a better looking watch is important, this is a good choice.
"Fitness Freak!!"on by mrengaswamy
Pros Detailed yet comprehensive and understandable fitness & training information
Cons Big watch, need to understand the theory behind it
Summary I traded my Polar F11 for the Suunto T6 and have no regrets even though the T6 cost a pretty penny.
I have become a fitness nut with this new tool and am obsessive about coming home and trying to check out how my last work out went. It is so motivating that I look forward to my next workout - now that is a good product.
On the watch itself, great menu system, gives all the vital stats and options galore. More alarms than one would need from a simple watch. The Heart rate monitor is definitely better than the Polar because the readings seem to be more accurate, once again the training alarms are excellent (truth be told, I still am not using this to its fullest potential). Only thing I don't care about is the Altimeter/Barometer, the readings seem misleading at times. But its still useful.
Overall, highly recommend it for anyone who is serious out their fitness and improving it.