Here we’re going to dive into a Suunto comparison. Suunto us a multisport smartwatch brand from Finland, known best for the Suunto 9 watch. Furthermore, Suunto watches are well-known for their durability and high-quality build, enduring battery life and custom battery modes. So if you’re into ultramarathons, a Suunto will be the first brand you want to research.
Introduction to the Suunto Comparison
You know you can rely on a Suunto watch for being accurate thanks to the brand’s history. To explain, the founder of Suunto, Tuomas Vohlan, patented his liquid-filled compass 80 years ago. Now, this was a revolution because it provided a new level of accuracy in readings compared to dry compasses. And the company has only done more and better things in the 80 years since. Somehow, they’re still not as well-recognised as Fitbit or Garmin, but athletes in the know respect their wearables.
So, before investing in a Suunto watch, there are some things to think about. Firstly it’s going to be the price. As we said, the Suunto 9 is the most popular, but it’s the most pricey and you might not require all the functions it has to offer.
Therefore, the Suunto 3 or 5 might strike a better balance between functionality and price (the former being cheaper) with standard fitness tracking features.
At SuperWatches we like to recommend models with built-in GPS, as indeed you get with the Suunto 9 and Suunto 5. Meaning, you can be free of your smartphone whilst you’re out running, say. Of course, if you enjoy listening to music as you go, none of these will suit you as they don’t offer onboard music storage.
Instead, you get a decent multisport feature. For example, your Suunto would track your activities in minute detail. Like laps, lap pace (in real-time), and your max and averages, including for sports like cycling and swimming.
Suunto 9 Baro
First in our Suunto Comparison is the Suunto 9 Baro is all but the same watch as the Suunto 9 but with 2 differences. Firstly, the obvious one, being the addition of a barometer. Secondly, it has sapphire crystal glass protecting the display, meaning it’s scratch-proof. And for these two additions, you’ll have to pay 20% on top of the Suunto 9 price, but we think it’s well worth it.
Additionally, the Suunto 9 Baro’s features will be loved by mountaineers and trail runners who like to know the altitude differences during their sessions. More, the Suunto 9 Baro has a storm alarm which will let you know when you might want to skip that particular day or seek shelter if you’re already out. However, the good news is that these additional features don’t negatively affect the battery life, which is key for anyone who likes outdoor adventures.
Essentially, the Suunto 9 Baro contains all the features the brand could throw at it. Without them, the Suunto 9 is a lighter watch by 9g and is rightly a cheaper option.
Considering what you pay, you certainly get a lot of watch! And a big one at that. Compared to even Garmins, known for their bulk, the Suunto 9 and 9 Baro are sturdy pieces.
Although the Suunto 9 doesn’t have the barometer, it does have some redeeming features. Namely, the wrist-based heart rate monitor, touch screen, water-resistance up to 100m, vibration motor and battery modes enabling up to 120 hours of use.
Finally, the onboard compass is precise, too with a combination of GPS, GLONASS, QZSS and GALILEO.
Next in our Suunto Comparison, we’re going to discuss the Suunto 7. And it’s niche because it fits into a strange corner of the market; somewhere between expensive fitness tracker and casual running watch. In fact, it’s more expensive than the Apple Watch 6 and Garmin Venu.
Now, that’s not to say it’s not a good watch! Indeed, the Suunto 7 has a lot to offer; a bright display, smart features, accurate HRM and on-board GPS. Plus, it has offline maps and heatmaps for running and cycling.
As for controls, it has a touchscreen and push buttons, which some runners find really useful. Inside is Wear OS software, providing navigational shortcuts for further ease of use.
If we were to create a spectrum from the Fitbit Versa 3 to the Garmin Forerunner 945, the Suunto 7 sits marginally closer to the latter. However, the Versa does beat the Suunto when it comes to battery life. Specifically, you can expect about two days between charges, which isn’t fantastic compared to dedicated running watches and even its siblings.
Finally, the biggest drawback with the Suunto 7 is the price because despite being a competitor to Apple, we can’t see anyone opting for a Suunto 7 over the Apple Watch.
So, the next model in our Suunto Comparison is the Suunto 5. What’s good about the Suunto 5? Firstly, it’s lightweight and compact compared to the others. So if you’re not looking for a bulky device, this is a great choice.
Despite being lighter, it has all the features the Suunto 9 has to offer you, including the two-week battery life and battery modes, global positioning and a wrist-based HRM.
Although you can’t have everything for a lower price, naturally, you compromise on the screen quality, 218 x 218px resolution. Now, that might not actually be an issue for you unless you get a lot of notifications, as some have said the small font is hard to read during exercising. But, really, you should be focussed on your session anyway!
All in all, it’s a wonderful everyday tracker, which is what it was designed to be. After you finish running, the Suunto 5 will tell you some handy post-run data, which is far more in-depth than any Fitbit or Apple Watch can currently give you.
Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Second to last of our Suunto Comparison, the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is what the Apple SE is to the Series 6; a slightly leaner version in terms of features. Namely, it has the same screen and build, but it doesn’t have the fancy GPS or battery modes. However, some think it looks better.
For what you pay, you get a capable multisport smartwatch that is sturdy and water-resistant to 100m, offering two weeks battery in ‘Time’ mode. And as you’re not getting the battery modes, you’ll get 40 hours of battery life in activity mode.
Suunto Traverse Alpha
The final model of our Suunto Comparison, the Suunto Traverse Alpha. Although it offers less resolution of 128 x 128 pixels, it can track hunting and fishing!
This mode is useful for providing information like moon phase, sunrise alert, shot detection, weather and can be used during nighttime. Specifically, Suunto thinks they’re catering to a neglected market.
Additional to these features, you get sapphire crystal glass, scratch-proof, a water-resistant stainless steel case, 100 hours battery life and a backlight that doubles up as a flashlight.
That’s it for now, we hope you enjoyed our Suunto comparison article! If you’re interested to see how the Suunto 9 stacks up against another market-leader, check out our review against the Garmin Fenix 6, here.
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Last Updated on January 12, 2021