What Smartwatch is Best for Outdoor Activities?
So, Garmin Fenix 6 vs Suunto 9. Which to pick? Firstly, if you want a smartwatch to for outdoor adventures, you need GPS, heart rate monitor, 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.
What Do the Fenix 6 and Suunto 9 Models Look Like?
The Suunto 9 is not just a good watch. Made from good quality materials and 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.
How Comfy Are the Fenix 6 and Suunto 9 Models?
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.
What is the Screen Like On the Fenix 6 and Suunto 9 Models?
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 and Peak Touchscreen
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.
Garmin Fenix 6 and 6X Pro Screen
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 Long Does the Battery Life Last On These Models?
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 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.
How Good Is the User Interface On the Fenix 6 and Suunto 9 Models?
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.
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. But you’d never guess the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Garmin Forerunner 245 are the same watch
We truly believe that Suunto has made a major improvement with the user-friendliness of the latest Peak model. Featurewise, it has improved much and is on par with the Garmin.
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.
Here’s our quick comparison table 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|
How Easy Is It to Connect the Fenix 6 and Suunto 9 Models To Phones and Computers?
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.
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 is robust, it has many useful functions, 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 sport.
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 where in some of the features it even beats it.
Last Updated on July 10, 2021
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