Garmin Fenix 6 vs Suunto 9: Which to pick?
Firstly, if you want a smartwatch for outdoor adventures, you need GPS, a heart rate monitor, an altimeter, and data collection. This can be used to improve your performance over time. Getting a comfortable watch that can do all of this and that looks good can be difficult. Especially in the saturated smartwatch market. We know the Apple Watch is amazing, but sometimes a dedicated sports watch is what you need. So, here is a comparison of the Garmin Fenix 6 with the Suunto 9 range. We believe that these two watches are great choices for people who love the outdoors.
Garmin Fenix 6 vs Suunto 9 – How Do The Features Compare?
The Garmin Fenix 6 is a significantly different device from the Suunto 9 and the Suunto 9 Peak. These sports watches are comparable in the same way that all Garmin Forerunners are comparable: they share some similar features like different sports modes and basic functions.
Featurewise, though, we believe the Suunto 9 improved much and is on par with the Garmin smart and sports watches. For instance, the software on the 9 Peak can now be updated wirelessly without having to connect the watch to a computer. It also includes a blood oxygen saturation sensor that monitors this as you sleep.
Sometimes it’s not about having a feature but how well it was implemented and how useful that feature is. It also takes time and updates to get a feature to function the best it can.
A quick comparison of the three watches:
|Fenix 6||9 Baro||9 Peak|
|Look and Feel||Elegant||Big||Elegant|
|Battery life (non GPS)||14d||14d||14d|
|GPS ‘tour’ mode||120h||170h||170h|
|GPS full on||30h||25h||25h|
Assistance Features on Each Smartwatch
Garmin currently offers safety features on most of their smartwatch models which can help with workouts, safety, and GPS tracking. The Garmin Fenix 6, like their Forerunners, work with Garmin Connect to track workout information like locations and distances, and can utilize Garmin’s exclusive Incident Detection.
Garmin’s Incident detection can notify emergency contacts when the impact detection reads a sudden fall or blow, or if you’ve suddenly stopped your workout and stats. It can be quite sensitive, so you can always just use their Assistance feature instead. This allows you to quickly notify certain contacts of your location pin if need be.
Both Suunto’s 9 Peak and 9 Baro come with onboard GPS, and also work with Suunto’s own app. This app just isn’t quite as safety-focused as Garmin’s. By connecting to the Suunto app, you can connect with other workout apps, see your workout and sleep trends, and stay connected to your phone’s messages, calls, and notifications.
Interestingly, Suunto has two different phone apps, but you should use the new Suunto app over the older Movescount app. The app looks good but doesn’t offer the data you’d want to access; for example, the watch will tell you much more about your sleep habits than the app can. It is also difficult to connect the watch to the phone and can take a lot of fiddling around to get it connected when you want to use it.
The Garmin app makes up for information for what it lacks in design. It is not pretty like the Apple Watch watch app, but you can access a wide range of data directly from your phone whenever you want to. The watch and phone are easily connected, and it syncs without any hassle at all so that you can see your progress in real-time. You can even link the app to other third-party apps, making it easier to share your data in one go.
|Fenix 7||Amazon||View Offer|
|Fenix 7||eBay||View Offer|
|Fenix 7||Garmin||View Offer|
|Fenix 7||Target||View Offer|
Garmin vs. Suunto: Design, Look, & Feel
Design & Look
The Suunto 9 is easy to read with a large, clear screen. Furthermore, the buttons are simple to use and will navigate you through the watch functions with ease.
The Suunto 9 Peak is indeed a considerably slimmer watch than the 9 Baro. Despite the fact that the newest watch’s button arrangement and interface remain mostly identical. The 9 Peak has a smaller case and screen, but it also has a stainless steel bezel
The Fenix 6 is much smaller than the Baro 9. The screen is easy to read with important information on view at all times. The buttons aren’t as user-friendly as the Suunto. But this could be a personal preference.
We particularly like the button and touchscreen combination on the Suunto 9 Peak with its a stylish look. That is for those who prefer a touchscreen for its ease of use. The Garmin Fenix 6 does not have a touchscreen but can be operated with 5 buttons.
Both the Suunto 9 and Garmin Fenix 6 have LCD screens that claim to be good in the outdoors. However, the screen on the Fenix 6 is far superior. With a clear view, enhanced by the backlight function. The screen resolution is great, and you will be able to use it wherever you find yourself.
The Suunto 9 Baro has a touch screen, but it’s not easy to use, and the slow response from the screen makes it very frustrating to use! When outside the screen can be difficult to read, and if it gets wet, hard to use.
On the other hand, the touchscreen on the Suunto 9 Peak is more accurate and responsive than the Baro and it gives a better user experience.
The 9 Baro’s resolution is 320 × 300 pixels, whereas the 9 Peak’s is 240 x 240 pixels. Both watches feature LED screens, however, the 9 Peak can automatically change the brightness.
The Garmin Fenix 6 display, which has grown by 17 percent from a 1.2-inch from the previous version. The Fenix 6 offers a 1.3-inch, 260 x 260px offering which is comparable with the Suunto. If you opt for the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro – the screen size is 1.4″ and 280x280px.
How do the Fenix 6 and Suunto 9 Models Feel on your Wrist?
With any big watch comes the issue of comfort, and the Suunto 9 Baro has this issue; it’s huge and is prone to get caught on things. Although the strap is comfy, you will need to position it further up your arm than you would expect in order to use the heart rate monitor, and this means it will catch on sleeves constantly. It may look great, but it is not a comfortable wear.
The Suunto 9 Peak is the newest version of Suunto’s flagship watch, as well as the brand’s smallest, thinnest, and strongest watch to date. The Suunto 9 Peak is almost 40% lighter than the 9 Baro (62g and 81g respectively).
The Fenix 6 is a normal size, and this certainly helps the watch to provide a great fit on your wrist. The snug fit means you can see your heart rate without having to move the watch. And the strap has a hinge, so it fits a range of wrist sizes.
Fenix 6 vs. Suunto 9: Batteries
The Suunto 9 Peak and Baro Battery life
The battery life on the Suunto is great with a long battery life of around a 30-hour max when using all the features it offers. Suunto said that there are up to 120 hours of use without the GPS feature turned on.
Both the 9 Baro and 9 Peak watches have the same battery life, that’s remarkable considering the Peak 9 is considerably smaller and lighter than the 9 Baro. On a full charge, the 9 Peak and 9 Baro last about 7 days and about 25 hours in GPS mode. In ‘Tour’ mode, though, the GPS battery life lasts 170 hours. Though, most sensors are switched off or reduced to gather data every hour or so. So this feature is only suitable for extreme athletes.
Garmin Fenix 6 Battery life
The Garmin Fenix 6 series is renowned for its long battery life. However, as a new feature in the Fenix 6, the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar has built-in solar power, which will prolong the watch’s battery life. This function is available on all solar Garmin watches. The technology lives in the screen, referred to as “Power Glass” by Garmin. The Fenix 6 battery offers around 30 hours of battery life with GPS on. Of course, if you were to opt for the Fenix 6 Solar then the already long battery life lasts for as long as you’re in direct sunlight.
You could always opt for the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro model with extended battery life which doubles the battery life with GPS on to 60 hours and 6 hours in the solar model.
This means that you can look forward to a weekend trip to the outdoors without worrying about charging as long as you remember to switch the GPS off when you don’t need it!
How Does The Smartwatch GPS Perform?
The 9 Baro has a few navigation capabilities that the 9 Peak lacks, such as bearing navigation. Also, additional GPS tracking modes, as well as a new GPS chipset supplier (Sony). We found the 9 Peak GPS accuracy was much higher and detailed compared to the 9 Baro.
Similarly, the GPS connection is much better on the Fenix 6 since the 5. After pressing the start activity tracking button, the Fenix 6 detects GPS very quickly, with a GPS-connected message appearing after a few seconds. Speaking of which, you’ll notice the same high level of precision as the previous Fenix lineup.
Fenix 6 vs. Suunto 9: User Interfaces
The Suunto 9 doesn’t offer much when it comes to the interface of their watch. You have very limited selections when it comes to personalizing the watch face and menu.
The Fenix 6 is fully customizable with many watch faces to choose from. Plus you can choose the widgets that are best suited to the way you want to use the watch. The menu is easy to access, and because it is button-led, it is definitely better than the Suunto 9 Baro’s slow touchscreen.
Interested in alternative Garmin watches? Here are some other popular models by the smartwatch brand.
Garmin Forerunner 55
This recent release is a great budget Garmin option. Currently selling for under $200, this watch is an affordable option that still includes premium features. With over 20 hours of long battery life, built-in GPS, fitness trackers, and suggested workouts this is already a popular watch.
Also, if you’re an avid runner this watch is perfect for any daily running habit. The forerunner 55 includes sports modes that use GPS to calculate accurate distance and pace, as well as virtual run modes that can be used on a treadmill. This watch is great for anyone who is active every day.
The Garmin Lily is another popular watch from Garmin, especially as this model is small and designed for women. With a range of fitness trackers, advanced metrics, and female health tracking, this watch rivals some of the best on the market. If any woman in your life likes to stay fit and active, this is the watch for her.
The Garmin Lily watch comes in two styles “Classic” or “Sport”, allowing you to tailor the smartwatch to your lifestyle. It also comes in a range of colors too, making sure you have a personalized timepiece. It features standard smartwatch features like apps, texts, and Garmin Pay too.
If the Suunto 9 has caught your eye, take a look at these alternative options from the brand.
This option from the popular brand combines classic outdoor sports watch aesthetics with sophisticated smartwatch features. This is a must-have watch for anyone with an eye for Scandinavian design and a passion for outdoor activity. The Suunto Core is equipped with an altimeter, barometer, compass, and storm alarm for all outdoor adventure sports.
This watch also features health and fitness trackers to complement any sports. Activities supported by this watch include swimming, running, gym, hiking, cycling, and more. Whether you’re getting fit in the gym or playing team sports, the Suunto Core is the perfect accompaniment for any active user.
If you like the look of the Suunto 9, but don’t want to invest as much into a watch, try the Suunto 7. This is an older model, however, it still holds up as a great smartwatch and it now has a lower price as there are new Suunto models out. These watches are designed to be long-lasting, meaning this smartwatch will still be modern for years to come.
This impressive watch is compatible with Android and iOS, perfect for connecting with your smartphone. It also features over 70 sports modes, built-in GPS, and heart rate sensors so you can track your health while you’re active. This is an ideal watch for anyone who loves to be on the go as it’s comfortable and durable too.
Garmin Fenix 6 vs Suunto 9: The Verdict
It’s clear that the Fenix 6 is our winner pick. It is clear and easy to use, the user interface and software are robust, it has many useful functions, has wide App support, and is comfy on your wrist. It may not look as good and rugged as the Suunto 9 Baro, but what it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for with substance. Either way, they both beat the likes of the Apple Watch if you’re serious about sports.
The Suunto 9 Baro is a good-looking watch with lots of promise, but the low-grade touchscreen and poor software mean that it will not track what you need when you need it. The Suunto 9 Peak, however, is a major improvement in this regard and is a much better rival to the Fenix wherein some of the features it even beats it.
|SUUNTO 9 Peak: Premium GPS Running, Cycling, Adventure Watch with Route Navigation, Compact...||Check Amazon Price|
|Garmin fenix 6X Pro Solar, Premium Multisport GPS Watch with Solar Charging Capabilities,...||Check Amazon Price|
Last Updated on January 11, 2023
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