The New Suunto 9 GPS Watch Will Outlast You!
Model: Suunto 9
Battery Life: Up to 120 hours, claimed
I run long a lot. And when I say long, I mean LONG – as in all day. Literally. So when I’m out running 160km races, it’s usually a race against the clock – the race’s clock and my own watch’s battery life. I’ve had a Suunto Ambit2 since 2014 when I signed up for my first hundred-miler, and the damned thing is unbreakable. That said, I have yet to finish a race where the battery didn’t die before I crossed the finish line.
In the watch’s defense, I could always run faster. But the new Suunto 9 is a GPS watch for those of us who require more time to get to the finish line. Everything about this watch is big – even the face (though comparing it to the Suunto Spartan Sport, they appear to be the same size). With a focus on battery life, it claims a mind-blowing 120 hours with GPS active using the “Ultra” setting, which records your geolocation only every two minutes. If the watch senses that your battery is running low, it will give you a reminder to switch to a different power mode so it will last longer.
Anyone who has spent a big day out knows that there are a lot of factors that affect GPS watch data. While the extended recording interval is worrying on paper, Suunto combines the GPS tracking with motion data in the watch to improve its accuracy using an algorithm called FusedTrack. Using the watch in different recording modes, I found that the distance displayed on the watch was within 0.08 kilometres of my previous runs on my normal lunch trail route.
You can customise just about everything on the watch – even the colour scheme of the watch face. Using the Movescount software, it’s super easy to create custom sport profiles that show any metric under the sun, including sunrise and sunset. While you can control which sport modes show up in the menu by default, if you find yourself switching things up, you can still access the full array of sports on the fly directly on the watch.
Ever feel like a dork standing at the trailhead staring at your watch waiting to get a signal? C’mon, I know you have – we all have. Right out of the box, the Suunto 9 caught me off guard with how quickly it acquired satellites. The wrist-based heart rate sensors picked up my pulse almost immediately as well. After the run, the watch synced quickly over Bluetooth to my phone. The watch uses a new Suunto app to track all of your data in one place – but doesn’t transfer your workouts to Strava. If you need to poach some Strava segments, don’t worry, the watch still works with the Movescount software, which can share workout data. Smartphone pairing also enables you to get notifications sent to the watch, because you shouldn’t have to take your phone out unless you’re getting that sweet summit ‘gram.
Three things will be left at the end of the world – Tinkies, cockroaches, and this watch. It’s even self-aware, and will remind you to recharge when the battery reaches 20 percent – and again if you let it dip to 10 percent, at which point it automatically enters a power-save mode, deactivating phone notifications, vibrations and daily heart-rate measurements. How long will the battery last? After running for 67km and 17 hours of the Ouray 100, through an ice storm and two thunderstorms, the watch still had 81-percent battery left!
This article originally appeared on runnersworld.com.