Suunto 9 multisport watch review
A 25 hour battery is one of the features of this new watch from Suunto. James Witts puts it to the test
The major sell of Suunto’s new multisport watch follows in the slipstream of the Coros Pace and its impressive battery life.
You’d have struggled to make the 17hr Ironman cut-off with previous versions; with the Suunto 9 you have 25hrs in ‘performance mode’ and up to 120hrs in simple GPS mode. Real life matches the marketing and equally impressive are the ‘smart reminders’ based on your activity history, which ensures you’re fully charged for your next session. Around £500 for a big battery is elaborate in anyone’s books, though, especially when, at its heart, this is a souped-up Suunto Spartan. So what else is going on?
The main ‘advancement’ is improved GPS thanks to a twofold development: adopting a Sony chipset over their previous GPS chipset and what they term ‘FusedTrack’ – an algorithm that combines GPS and motion-sensor data to improve accuracy, which also extends battery life. On paper it makes sense; in practice, it’s pretty good, too, yet not notably an improvement on past efforts.
It also features chunkier buttons than before – we like them but it’s definitely subjective – and retains the sapphire-crystal screen that makes the information ping. And you’re given a huge amount of feedback to ping including sleep tracking, barometric altitude and heart rate, although the optical sensor is erratic at best (an extra £50 bags you a more proven chest belt). All the data can be sent to Suunto’s Movescount/SportsTracker apps, which are only adequate.
Verdict: Great battery life but it can’t top the excellent Spartan 78%
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