The Suunto M2 heart rate monitor is a mid-level HRM that comes with all the basic features needed, plus some very handy additions that make it easier for you to adjust your training intensity during a workout session. The more flexibility you have the better your outcomes will be.
This is done by giving you feedback about which one of three heart rate zones you are currently in. Based on this feedback which is given both visually and through sounding a beep, you can either increase or decrease the intensity at which you are training. This allows you to optimize your progress to higher fitness levels.
The calorie calculator is particularly helpful if you are training to lose weight, but it also gives you feedback if you are a performance athlete and you need information about how much energy you need to replenish. It is obviously not an exact science but you will get a reasonable idea about your energy usage. Diet and exercise go very much hand in hand and you should really consider keeping track of this data.
Another thing to highlight is that you will be able to use this if you train a lot in the pool. Both the watch and the heart rate sensor are water resistant up to 30m. While many HRMs are listed as water resistant, they often add a disclaimer about not being suitable for swimming, Suunto state that this model is indeed suitable for water sports.
One thing of note is that the M2, like the M1, does not have a backlight, which for many people is a significant issue. Especially in the winter months it is more likely that you will be out training in the evening in the dark, making it very difficult to read the display. But, it is a very large display that shows you performance data at a good size making it easy to get the info you need.
As with all other Suunto watches, this one has an incredibly cool design. The large watch face does not appear bulky and even the strap has a very nice look and feel to it. If you are fashion conscious, then Suunto will be one of the best looking devices you can buy. Coolness is guaranteed.
The chest strap is very comfortable and comes with the added bonus of being compatible with the majority of gym equipment. This means that if you do some of your training on exercise equipment like cross trainers, treadmills and ellipticals, you will be able to see your data directly on the machines, rather than on your watch. This can be very convenient, especially on cross trainers where your legs and arms are in constant motion.
Heart rate zones indicated with a beep
Heart rate zones cannot be edited
No back light!
Also take a look at this very handy comparison table that we have put together in order to make it easier to see the differences between all the different HRMs.