Suunto 5 GPS watch review

Does the latest from Suunto hit the sweet spot for tri? Jack Sexty puts it to the test

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
Credit :The Secret Studio

The 5 replaces the Spartan Sport in Suunto’s multisport watch collection, with better battery life (20hrs in full GPS mode), a slimmer, lighter design (67g) and more extensive features. The 5 sits between the Suunto 3 and 9 in the range.The 3 has no built-in GPS and relies on a phone app for added features, while the 9 gets a touchscreen, barometric altimeter, even more battery and a new optical sensor. Unless you’re set on elevation or want a watch for ultras, the 5 hits the sweet spot. Other features include sleep tracking, step count and calories burned, the option to program intervals, and recovery info.


One key difference between the 5 and 9 is that the 5 only pairs with Suunto’s generic sports app for syncing data and analysing workouts, whereas the 9 connects to the more in-depth Movescount. We found the app quite slow, but all the basic info is there and it’s easy to share data with third-party apps such as Strava.

The 5 has five intuitive buttons. To head out for a run or ride you select from a list of exercise options, wait for the arrow to bleep and you’re away. There’s pool and open-water modes in a long list of ‘other’ sports.

Comparing GPS accuracy and HR to our Garmin 235 on the run (and a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt for cycling), the Suunto 5 didn’t give consistent readings. Our open-water tests on a 600m loop appeared accurate and, during a race day hit-out at Windsor Tri, the watch was functional and easy to use. All of which makes the 5 worthy of attention if you’re looking for something that can handle all tri disciplines.

Verdict: A clunky app, but a capable watch that does nearly all you need for tri 83%

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