If you wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker to record your workouts, it’s just a matter of time before dodgy battery life throws off your routine. I may have cut the cords from my gym headphones, but I’m still stuck lugging around one or two smartwatch chargers wherever I go.
Finnish outdoors and adventure wristwear maker Suunto understands the issues that battery-suck conundrum presents for the most dedicated exercisers. The company’s latest high-powered watch, the Suunto 9, looks to give wearers so much power, they’ll never need to lug around an extra charging cord again — Suunto claims the device can last for up to 120 hours on one charge, even when the GPS functionality is turned on.
I had a chance to check out the luxe Suunto 9 to see how real-life performance actually held up to the hype (and the $600 price tag).
Here are five things I loved about the watch, along with a few knocks on the experience.
It’s Tough Enough for Your Workout
If you want a slim, low profile watch, the Suunto 9 won’t be for you. But if you want a rugged, solid device on your wrist like I do, you’ve found your dream timepiece. The case is thick, but it’s not overly heavy — it won’t weigh you down on long runs, but you also won’t have to worry about the 9 being too fragile if you take a tumble on the trail. The sleek all-black design (it also comes in all-white) helps to make the size look smooth, instead of bulky. Don’t worry about it freezing in inclement weather, either; Suunto claims it can work in a range of temps from -20 degrees C to +55 degrees C (that’s -5 degrees F to +130 degrees F).
Where it fell short: When I did some weight room exercises that required me to hold a bar, like squats, the size of the watch became an issue. The buttons jammed up against my hand, changing the screen. Thankfully this never threw off the tracking function, so it was just an annoyance, not a functional problem.
Swipe or Press
When Suunto dropped the Fitness 3 earlier this year, one of the few complaints I had was the lack of a touchscreen interface. I did appreciate the old-school button navigation, though — I had a hard time making up my mind about what I want in a smartwatch. For the 9, Suunto just gave us the best of both worlds. You can still navigate through the watch’s interface with the three buttons on the side of the watch, but you can just as easily swipe with your fingers on the responsive sapphire crystal screen.
Where it fell short: You can’t wake the watch’s touchscreen without pressing a button first. Not a huge issue, but it adds an extra step to controlling the 9’s functions via touchscreen.
Suunto’s Killer App
Suunto’s companion app, which was introduced along with the 3 Fitness earlier this year, continues to be a major perk for the brand. The easy-to-navigate interface makes it simple to track activities on your wrist or on your phone, with insights and biometric information laid out in an accessible format.
Where it fell short: In order to add a wrist-tracked activity to your personal dashboard, you need to manually open the app on your phone and sync the watch. This doesn’t affect the tracking experience, but it’s not as seamless as it might be with automatic syncing.
So. Many. Features.
The Suunto 9 is a premium GPS watch, and it has plenty of features to back up its $600 cost. It has basic functionality you’d expect in any fitness watch worth its salt, like water resistance, heart rate, step, sleep, and activity tracking. What sets it apart from more basic devices are its GPS service, barometer functionality, and smart algorithms to control the battery level while tracking activities.
Where it fell short: $600 is a lot of money to drop on a watch, especially since the Suunto 9 doesn’t run any apps. Some other GPS watch lines start around $100 — but those won’t give you the same depth of features you get with the 9. It’s all comes down to what you’re willing to pay for.
Yes, The Suunto 9 Battery Has Power For Days
There are other fancy GPS watches on the market — but you’d be hard-pressed to find any that can last as long as the Suunto 9. While I didn’t go on a marathon, 120-hour tracking adventure to put Suunto’s most ambitious claim to the test, I did wear the watch every day for almost a month. I forgot I was wearing a device with a finite power source at times, unlike my experiences with other smartwatches — charging was at most a once weekly experience, rather than a nightly or every other day chore. This battery is the real deal. When I was wearing the Suunto 9, I left the charging cord at home.
Where it falls short: In terms of battery, it doesn’t.
Source: Read Full Article