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Home / Reviews / Suunto 9 Peak Pro review - Multisport watches - Tri-tech

Suunto 9 Peak Pro review

Can Suunto’s new 9 Peak Pro give Garmin a run for its money? Multisport watch expert James Witts investigates...

Suunto 9 Peak Pro multisport watch

Suunto’s arguably fallen behind the likes of Garmin and Polar in the multisport market, so it was with a modicum of anticipation that we tested what the Finnish brand terms its ‘most powerful and best-performing GPS yet’.

Suunto 9 Peak Pro review

They also deem it ‘ultra thin and tough’, which it certainly is, measuring just 43mm x 43mm x 18mm and coping with an off-season period that included regular mountain-bike sessions in the Forest of Dean.

But how ‘powerful’ is it?

What features do you get?

Well, there are certainly a wealth of features for the meticulous triathlete to pore over. In the swim, it records pool pace and distance; in open water, you’re looking at distance only.

It also records heart rate, but we remain unconvinced of the accuracy of this metric in water.

On the bike, you’re looking at the usuals of distance, heart rate and, if you train by watts, power data if you have a power meter connected. As for the run, we’re talking pace, interval guidance and lap time.

That’s the basics. But what about the more advanced specifics? Or, more specifically for those who have the previous incarnation, what’s new?

Well, in the water, advancements are more for divers than swimmers, with the snorkelling mode delivering such data as depth and dive time under the surface down to 10m.

An interesting addition, but not one for multisporters. On the run side, you now have wrist-based power feedback, which will appeal to many.

You receive on-the-fly feedback, while you can also analyse afterwards in the pretty impressive Suunto app. (You can also link to a Stryd power pod, and this data will override Suunto’s.) You can add Strava Live segments for the cycling, too.

What’s GPS accuracy and battery life like?

But the major developments are more about what you don’t see with Suunto’s new GNSS chipset for improved GPS.

This is said to boost accuracy by allowing up to four concurrent systems and 32 satellites at once. It certainly held onto coverage nicely in our testing period, even during built-up runs.

Battery life’s also cranked up, with up to 40hrs in full GPS mode and 21 days for daily use. You’re also given sleep tracking, stress state, weather, an altimeter… and all powered by a new chip that’s faster than before.

What’s not so good?

So, that’s all good, but there are gripes. The first is the turn-by-turn navigation. While it’s accurate, it’s simply too small and parochial compared to the likes of the Garmin Forerunner 955 and the Coros Apex 2 Pro, which are full colour and routable.

In fact, those size issues are a bit of a constant with a petit display squeezed further by the outer bezel. We’re also not fans of the strap, which feels cheap for a £400-plus watch.

Verdict: A quality watch, but not up there with the competition.

Score: 77%

Pair this with…

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor

Pairing your multisport watch with a heart rate monitor will inevitably help provide more reliable data, which will in turn help you train more effectively.

Polar’s H10 is a popular option that can be connected to compatible devices via Bluetooth or ANT+, while an accompanying app also allows you to record and analyse your data.

The brand says the device has a battery life of 400 hours, or the equivalent of over an hour’s training per day for over a year, and you can replace it once it’s out of juice.

The H10 is also claimed to be waterproof to 30 metres.

Profile image of James Witts James Witts Freelance sports writer and author


Former 220 Triathlon magazine editor James is a cycling and sports writer and editor who's been riding bikes impressively slowly since his first iridescent-blue Peugeot road bike back in the 80s. He's a regular contributor to a number of cycling and endurance-sports publications, plus he's authored four books: The Science of the Tour de France: Training secrets of the world’s best cyclists, Bike Book: Complete Bicycle Maintenance, Training Secrets of the World's Greatest Footballers: How Science is Transforming the Modern Game, and Riding With The Rocketmen: One Man's Journey on the Shoulders of Cycling Giants