Suunto Ambit to get full ANT+ functionality in November 2012, additional features in September 2012.


There’s some pretty significant news coming out of the Suunto camp around the Suunto Ambit – their GPS integrated watch focused towards ultramarathon and hikers that they released back this past spring. The unit is unique in its 50+ hour battery life with GPS enabled. As previously announced, Suunto had planned a May 2012 update (which they came pretty close on delivering, only a few weeks late), and a September 2012 update.  However, they’ve now added a November 2012 update as well.  I’d guess that they’ve simply moved features from September to November – but nonetheless, it’s features I actually care about – so I’m happy that they’re simply committing to them.

Without question – the biggest one in here in my opinion is the addition of ANT+ functionality/compatibility.  This instantly takes the watch from being an industry loner (previously they used their own closed variant of ANT, not ANT+) to being totally compatible with a metric crapton of ANT+ accessories. I have confirmed with the Suunto team that initially they’ll support ANT+ footpods (running), HR straps, and bike speed/cadence sensors.

It’s very clear that many of these changes are in response to the Garmin Fenix unit – which from a functionality standpoint far eclipsed Suunto Ambit – as well as undercut it in price.  The addition of the below features put the two watches pretty close to each other from a functionality standpoint.

However, as is always the case – we’ll have to wait and see how both the final Fenix firmware and the final Ambit November firmware functionality looks.  As is often the case in sports watches and functionality, the devil is in the details.  But for now – these details look pretty sweet!

Here’s the information sent to me by the Suunto Ambit team:

September Updates:

– “With the September 2012 software update you can download routes to your Ambit from Movescount. Select from thousands of routes made by others and share  your own. Use the new on-screen route navigation to view your progress and the detailed path to your next destination.”

– “The new local grids in the September 2012 software update include among others the
American (UTM/ NAD27 & 83), British (BNG), Swiss (CH1903) and common European (ETRS89) grids. With local grids  Ambit will match the GPS coordinates with those of your local hiking map.”


November Updates:

– “In addition to the already existing training features – such as Peak Training Effect and Recovery time – the November 2012 software update brings new training features such as chrono, countdown timer, interval timer, ANT+ compatibility and Foot POD support.”

– “The November 2012 software update will take your Ambit to a totally new and unexpected level of functionality and customization. You can create your own features or select from hundreds of community-created applications/features and download those to your Ambit. For example: Do want to know your speed in knots? The gradient of the slope? Your arrival time on your run? Your imagination is the limit!”

– “This was only the beginning…More to come in Fall 2012”

One interesting note I picked up on with the various Outdoor Retailer press pieces that have floated around is the messaging Suunto is repeating to the media that they will be continuing to improve the Ambit ‘at least annually’ adding new features.  While it’s often considered normal and expected to see firmware updates in watches, it’s rare that a company comes out and says they will absolutely be adding new features each year to a given watch already in market.  That’s positive – I wish others would do the same.  Both Motorola and Suunto appear to be the only ones able to set a firmware release schedule and nail it.  I’d personally love to see Timex and Garmin also switch to something like a quarterly firmware update schedule – rather than adhoc.  Known and consistent updates are appreciated by all.

That’s all folks, thanks for reading!  Go forth and discuss!


Hopefully, you found this post useful. The website is really a labor of love, so please consider becoming a DC RAINMAKER Supporter. This gets you an ad-free experience, and access to our (mostly) bi-monthly behind-the-scenes video series of “Shed Talkin’”.

Support DCRainMaker - Shop on Amazon

Otherwise, perhaps consider using the below link if shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. It could simply be buying toilet paper, or this pizza oven we use and love.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

Click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture



  1. This is great news! I am really looking forward to the details.

  2. picture 2 (the worm) looks great ;-)

  3. Anonymous

    ANT+ compatibility and track navigation – if they actually add that, I might just sell my FR910XT and get myself an Ambit…

  4. Let’s hope that they will target the 910XT market. I’d be curious to see if they can use the accelerometer to add lap swimming and open water swimming activities. I’d also be interested to see if they will add an ANT+ power meter capability with decent metrics.
    The Suunto hardware has two major pros to my eyes: it is made in Europe ( well Finland in fact ) and it is bulletproof.

  5. And thank you Ray for bringing this good news to us.
    Also have a look at the Bushido update that now supports ANT+ power meters. That makes it unique on the market as well…

  6. Glad I already have the Ambit and with these features I won’t be looking back!

    I disagree regarding the fenix as this watch is targeted more to the outdoor user. Don’t forget the Ambit has R-R recording capability providing TE or PTE as they call it and Recovery time. Suunto has already fixed the pace issue that plagues the 910XT users with the accelerometer.

    Thanks for the news.

  7. On why I think it’s more of an outdoor watch – I have to look at the competitive marketplace. As I said in the Suunto Ambit review, if you compare the running features alone (ignore cycling), it’s just behind the running features found in watches that are half it’s price (intervals, workouts, virtual pacing, vibration alerts, etc…). Whether that be Garmin’s, Motorola Motoactv, Timex, or even Polar watches. And again, that’s ignoring the fact that most of those watches do a ton in cycling and other sports as well.

    Yes, the Ambit is doing cool things (and innovating) – but it can’t justify a $500 price tag – $100 more than the Fenix and the other most expensive other watch out there (FR910XT). And $300 more than a ton of $200 watches that aside from having a barometric altimeter and 3D compass, do the same. For 90-95% of mass-market runners, they don’t care about barometric altimeter and 3D compass (the market has proven this). It’s the 5-10% leftover, which are primarily comprised of ultra runners, and outdoor/hiker folks.

    I do really think this updates makes it more competitive – but it also needs to be paired with a $100 price cut.

    Finally, one can argue bugs in watches – but realistically, I’ve seen and heard from plenty of users on both sides of the fence that randomly struggle with bugs in both products. I’d say I’d give the Ambit a slight edge over the FR910XT in the bug department (meaning better than FR910XT), but only because it has so many fewer features – not based on a feature to bug ratio.

    Again, just my two cents.

  8. How many waypoint/trackpoint you think the Ambit will be able to storage???

  9. Anonymous

    @ DCRainmaker: Garmin pay you good to advertise it?! ;)

  10. I’m just curious (I really am) – objectively – what features on the Ambit for a runner justify a price three times that of watches like the $135 Timex Global Trainer? A watch that in every objective chart I can think of, has more features than the Ambit does for a runner (and even not a runner).

    What features justify a price $300+ more than the Timex Run Trainer, Motoactv, or similarily priced watches?

    What features justify a price $100 more than the Fenix or FR910XT?

    I guess I don’t see it. Yes, it’s a pretty watch, yes it’s rugged, but if you’re primarily a runner, what’s the draw for paying more for less?

    I do think the Ambit has the edge on altitude accuracy over most other watches today (too early to just the Fenix), but for 95% of the market, post-workout correction is fine.

  11. I could go on a bit, I had a 910XT that I returned to REI once the Ambit was announced but… for me elevation is a critical part of my training and I run primarily trails in the mountains and foothills of Colorado.

    I can say this, I found the 910XT altimeter completely useless. The posts on the Garmin forums seem to concur with this. Coupled with the difficulty with courses and pace issues, I would argue that the functionality of the 910XT is crippled for some, certainly for me.

    I also understand the Ambit’s internal distance calculation algorithm needs some work as it is not calculating distances as accurately as it could. There is also a pause issue. However, these IMO are not crippling bugs. For some the GPS distance issue may be serious. I would not call the Garmin issues bugs, they are much more serious and have not yet been fixed despite two firmware upgrades.

    The fenix from what I have seen of your initial preview and the specs posting is geared toward the handheld GPS user, many of the running features on the Running Garmin units are unlikely to be available. The final release will decide. But I know the fenix will not record R-R HR and it does not have foot pod support nor an accelerometer so providing pace to the user will suffer the same as other GPS watches.

    Functionality-wise the Ambit and fenix already differ. The updates in my opinion put the Ambit way ahead of the fenix for anyone that wants to use it as an exercise device.

  12. Thanks Brad for the thoughts!

    Yes, I agree on the footpod piece with Fenix. I don’t get that one at all, seems kinda dumb to me to not include it. On the features, it is indeed tought to tell runner-wise still on Fenix.

    The updates are changing constantly – so new features are being added, and in some cases, imeplementations are changing. No different than Suunto and adding features not previously announced.

    Thanks for reading (and commenting!)

  13. I will be objective as well. Why did I pay for a Suunto?

    1. Customer service is amazing, they have literally replaced watches with newer models for me even when out of warranty for no charge.

    2. The watches work. I have tried a Garmin 210, 610 and 910XT. The lack of a real altimeter and waterproofing (swimming and windsurf) just make the 210 and 610 not suitable. I already said my piece on the 910XT, it simply does not work and I have personal experience with that. I can post the Garmin Connect logs if you like. So feature to bug ratio is not the important issue, the 910XT is simply broken as far as my use is concerned.

    3. Durability, the Suunto will last, my past Suunto watches have lasted and functioned for a long time. Many of my running friends with Garmins have buttons and other functionality usually fail within a year or two.

    4. A complete package. Garmin likes to parse out its functions. The 910XT appealed to me and if it functioned you cannot wear it as a watch. This is an issue for me, I have to remember to bring it. Why can’t the fenix have all of the run parameters including intervals, workouts, etc? I think that Garmin would rather have you buy two or three watches instead of one–each of their watches is specifically targeted to an individual market.

    5. As for the others, even the Timex GPS trainer is a HUGE watch, won’t fit well on my wrist and it does not have an altimeter or courses, etc.

    So, there are my reasons for paying $100 more for the Ambit worth every penny in my opinion. Yes I am an ultra runner and I do a lot of mountaineering. I agree with you, for a simple running watch for many users it may not be ideal.

  14. Awesome news. Those are my top two requests, with the 3rd being the ability to adjust the GPS reading interval to something between 1s and 60s (I want a little more battery life without giving up so much on GPS reading interval).

    I agree with everything Brad said regarding the value of the Ambit over Garmin. I am a long-time Garmin user, and still use the 610 and FR60 (indoors), but when I needed real-time accurate altitude and navigation(yes a wearable outdoor GPS), the current crop of Garmins did not cut it. The Fenix looks interesting but was not available (or on the radar) in April. Whether the Ambit is worth $100+ over competitors, I don’t know. I got a good discount, but it was the only option, it works, and it was not entirely outrageous in cost.

  15. Anonymous

    and don´t forget that people are paying different prices for different brands: Suunto is more a premium brand compared to suunto (it´s like Audi compared to Ford)

  16. or_watching

    This feature update is super news. No matter if you are in one “camp” or in both. I’m looking forward to more assessments on the distance accuracy and track correctness across both hiking and trail running. That’s certainly a big challenge for any of the wrist GPS’es. Eg assuming the Mt Si hike really was about 7.4 mi, then the Ambit reportied 15% low and the prerelease fenix reported 15% high. Neither is very acceptable to me. And yet the Ambit track ‘looked’ much better.

    As for the extra $100 for the Ambit… Have you priced out the Finnish health care system? It rocks, but someones gotta pay for it.

  17. For me the durability and reliability of Suunto products is enough to justify an extra 100 USD price tag. I’d go for this watch if it had enough triathlete features. It might come since Suunto has to find a replacement for the obsolete T6c/d series.
    BTW I still use the T6 and after 3 years of hard use it looks almost new…

  18. My experience also gives a big edge to the Ambit in build quality / durability. I got many years out of my Garmin 305, so no complaints there, but it was always a hassle getting the connection to the computer to work. The Garmin footpod does not work at temps below freezing (so not for outdoor use from Nov – Mar in my neighborhood). The 610 is not completely waterproof and the touch screen is ok most of the time but always a little squirrely (swipes in one direction but not the other).
    The only issue so far with the Ambit is it does seem to measure short on distance (0.1-0.2 miles for an 8.2 mile route I run a lot) and lack of some features that I would like. And I really wish I did not have to be online to download and look at my workouts. But the thing just works. And lightening fast GPS pickup too!

  19. @dogrunner

    There are 3rd party apps for the Ambit (Suunto) that do not require online access to view workouts. rubiTrack for the Mac and Neotracks (I think) for the PC

  20. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a 910xt, but cannot justify out against my polar 800cc with GPS and doorpost. The downside with the polar is the WIND and not ANT+ technology, also the separate GPS, but it does have a much much much better battery than the others in the market. If I can’t justify the Garmin £, then no chance the Ambit – rugged or not!

  21. GPS and doorpost? …. Footpod!

  22. I love the Suunto commitment with the Ambit. I tested an Ambit and frankly was (is) missing a whole lot of stuff for runners. I hardly understand why all the trail run team uses it (or course there is the $$$$ thing). Compared with the Garmin 610 it looses in running features. But with this update Suunto is making an huge statement. By delivering this navigation (we still need to see it in action, last update was a big flop) and announcing all that goodies they’re spoiling Fenix launch. I love that. Garmin sucks with their stupid launch and forget policie. Abandoning customers and products the minute they define the features. They just launched 2.8 firmware for the 610. Don’t rush. There’s nothing in there besides 2 or 3 stupid old bugs correction. Bad Garmin, bad! You deserve to loose all the hype Suunto has just robbed you. Way to go Suunto. I was stuck with a 610 without courses (Garmin stupidity and stuburness) and an Ambit with ridicule waypont navigation. Not anymore, I guess. Fenix is a mix bag of stuff and features for running appear to have been put aside…

    But for me the Fenix biggest scare is the Garmin policie, launch and forget. You can bet that the features they have in the end of this month are going to be the features for ever. They won’t get my money again in the hope someday they will have this or that. Oh no Garmin, not again. So this Suunto PR is terrible sweet.

    Fenix is now a no go for me at least until Christmas. There are no place for Garmin attitude in the market anymore. Excellent Suunto. Let’s hope they deliver!

  23. We need to know how many tracks can be stored, and how many track points (per track and total)

  24. It is good to see Garmin being challenged. They have long had too bad firmware quality and need to be pushed into doing better. That will only happen if they get som serious competition. Good luck to Suunto!

  25. I agree with Suunto quality. I have a 1998 Suunto Vector that is still in prime condition.

    I also agree Garmin quality control sucks. They just throw an unfinished product to the market (my experience is the 910xt) and do trial an error with the firmware and their customer’s time.

    Never experienced this quality issue with Suunto or Polar. I guess you have to choose between quality and feature set, in the case of a triathlon watch.

  26. Ricardo

    Hello, the ant+ support mean that i can use a garmin hr strap and it works with the ambit? Thank you

  27. DC, thanks for all the great info. You lay out your reviews and opinions in a very professional way: Kudos.

    A T-6 owner, trail runner, triathlete, aspiring alpinist and GIS technician, I am on the fence between the Ambit and the Fenix, primarily due to Suunto’s proprietary xlsx nonsense. I’m told that Suunto ‘may’ choose to provide an update at a later date to allow users 3rd-party sharing but ‘may’ doesn’t sit well with a $500 price tag, especially since I would also like to use my new watch in research.

    I’ve read in other forums that you have a workaround for xlsx to gpx and would love to try the functionality. Any chance you could send me a sample export from movescount.com that I could tinker with?

    Many thanks

  28. David, Suunto introduced direct export as gpx from movescount a few months back, so you no longer need a 3rd party app to convert the files.

  29. You can also use the xml file in 3rd party applications like sporttracks, rubytracks and neotrack. Then you get both HR and GPS data.


  30. I am so torn I own a Garmin 310xt happy with it but it lacks battery life and the navigation features. I was seriously looking at the Ambit but with the Fenix and its Bluetooth connectivity I am more inclined to get the Fenix. However, the Ambit build quality is stellar.

    Another issue for me is ability to use other websites i.e. RunningAHEAD, Endomondo etc for my data this is not possible today with the Ambit and Movescount and no I am not interested in messing with xml files or PC software.

  31. @odelay and @Patrick–thanks, great to know. That solves that!

  32. Some exciting updates ahead! While these are “cutting edge” (in regards to the soon-to-be-released Fenix), I would like to see some more simple updates… some things that other Suunto watches already have. I.e. sunrise/sunset, timer and the ability to lock ALL buttons, not just the one that starts/stops the activity. I would also like to see battery life in a percentage. Looking at my watch now, I honestly cant tell the difference between 50% and 20% (if there even is one). I sent them an email so we’ll see!

  33. or_watching

    Regarding your question about justifying an Ambit if you’re a pure road runner… I think the simple answer is it’s not justified. I don’t think it’s marketed to or priced for those folks.

    The marquee feature are 3D compass, 50hr long-mode battery life, Navigation, etc. Aside from folks who like the aesthetics or brand, it’s the trail/ultra runners, hikers and climbers firstly in their sights. Just look at the marketing material and “spokepersons.”

    Using the accelerometer for FusedSpeed is probably the one unique item targeted to a runner.

    Since these upcoming updates improve both the Nav and Training, it’ll be interesting to see if/where they aim the Ambit next: e.g. multi-sport.

    I’m also wondering if after they have this “halo” established if Suunto comes in with a Ambette, something thinner, lighter, maybe shorter battery life, at a lower price point to compete with the high-volume, mainstream GPS sales.

  34. Directly from the source (apologies if this has already been posted).

    link to suunto.com

  35. Hendrik

    Great news! Does that mean that we can also hope for wireless data transmitting to PC/Mac via the Suunto Movestick (which works on ANT+)?

  36. Hendrik

    Great news! Does that mean that we can also hope for wireless data transmitting to PC/Mac via the Suunto Movestick (which works on ANT+)?

  37. Anonymous

    Nobody has brought up the weight of Fenix vs Ambit? Fenix is announced to be about 142 grams and Ambit’s weight is about 78 grams.. A significant difference I think..

  38. “what features on the Ambit for a runner justify a price three times that of watches like the $135 Timex Global Trainer”

    For me it is a combination of features. It is the one device that does it all.
    1) It makes a decent but simplistic bike computer (really want ANT+ for power),
    2) It is great for hiking in mountainous areas where real altitude matters and where having a compass handy is good.
    3) It is great for running.
    4) I can use it for flying, a kind of logbook. Emergency backup navigation/altimeter/compass.
    5) when I’m lost in the canyons of a city “which way is North”?
    6) R-R is fairly helpful understanding how training is affecting you.

  39. Awesome feedback all – and some great points in there.

    Regarding uploading/downloading via ANT+ to the Movestick, I’m not sure if that’s on their radar. I’ll see where it stands. I’d love that as well. Especially because that would also open it up to using the Wahoo ANT+ iPhone adapter (as well as iPod/iPad) to do wireless uploads to the phone/other platforms.

    I’ve seen a few comments that indicate Garmin doesn’t update their products. I’m not sure that’s entirely accuate. One only need to look at the FR310XT, which received openwater swimming a year after release (out of the blue), or a long string of power metrics (albeit not Vector, which is sucky). Same goes for the Edge series, in parituclar the 500/800.

    Now, I definitely agree that bug-fixing is a huge issue that Garmin continues to stumble with. One after another of patches that address one issue only to break anothe. QA is rough.

    I’d be interested in seeing how the Ambit looks 2-3 years from now in terms of updates. They have an amazing platform with the 3D accellerometer to develop into new areas on. But it’ll be interesting to see if they’re still releasing firmware updates 2-3 years after the unit has released (per the promise).

    Either way, lots of good stuff all around.

  40. Opps, one last thing for those asking about the Fenix review.

    Once I’ve got the final firmware I’ll start moving forward on it. There were changes made to the Fenix hardware over the past several weeks to address some altitude issues. Meanwhile, software is still being updated weekly (usually now software drops on Friday). As a result, they are sending over a new hardware unit next week. Once the software is ‘done’, then I’ll go ahead and start putting together the review.

    A swag at this point says early September – but it’s hard to say.

  41. GV(NL)

    Hi Rainmaker and others,

    Thanks for the great info here.
    Does anyone know what the interval functionality, promised for November, will actually look like? Will it be just a programmable alarm that beeps at pre-defined moments, or will it be a full-blown interval trainer that regularly changes heart-rate limits and/or pace limits, preferably including an alarm on those limits?

    Thanks, if anyone knows!

  42. Anonymous

    How many tracks you think is possible to upload on the Ambit? How many MB of memory it offers?

  43. Miguel

    I’m also interested to know how many tracks (or total trackpoints) will be possible to upload, and if waypoints will be increased.

  44. Just asked, will post once I hear.

  45. this is really a great discussion.
    I’ll definitely get rid of my 910XT as it is useless to me (wrong altitude, course navi. shut-downs, you name it). For the time being the FR305 is still my best choice, I can even recharge it _and_ use it out on the trail.
    But unless any totally new device shows up its definately about Ambit vs. Fenix that I’ll go for next.
    I would like to ask if there’s anyone here using Linux to get tracks from an Ambit?
    And the other question is about the Fenix USB connection, how does it show up on the PC? E.g. is it like a mounted USB stick where you can copy the activity files and also store courses for example? If that would be possible to me this would be a strong argument for the Fenix (same for its bluetooth stack).
    And the ability to recharge the device from a battery pack and still being able to access all of its functions (910xt does not support this, even if the clip wouldn’t hide most of the display).
    Furthermore as dogrunner pointed out it would be cool if any of the makers add customizable GPS recordings (I would opt for 1s to 5min). This way you can decide yourself on battery life vs. track quality/accuracy.

  46. SN

    @Ol Nico Agree with for further justification for Ambit price. Being made in Finland and not in China like all Garmin products gives Suunto the upper hand in quality and workman ship. Also as they have already shown they are working to improve the product through software updates. I am a happy Ambit owner!

  47. My only concern about the September update is if the ambit can only record 16h of track log, then if you upload it a track to navigate, will the memory to record decrease? Will we have to administrate such low memory?

  48. Anonymous

    Hello Rainmaker & commenters

    I am a t6 owner, and very happy.
    I am facing a dilemma however. In 2 weeks time I will take part in a 6 day race (Tor des Geants). I’d lik to log my HR and GPS data without too much “hassle” (after 5 days of nigt&day running I’m not sure of my mental state if you see what i mean).

    So the Ambit seems perfect … except for battery life.
    I can live with having to hook up once with support crew to download data after about 60-70hr in the race. I can not live however with having to wait for the watch to charge.

    So my question boils down to : is there an external charging device i can hook up with the watch whilst it is capturing data ???

    Alternatively can you recommend a gps logger?

    Thanks a lot

  49. @mnaranjo
    My doubt is the same! DcRainmaker, have you some news about?

  50. The person I’m working with is on vacation until the 3rd – so she was going to track it down for me – but it may be until then. Sorry!

  51. Anonymous

    I love the ambit…but it needs sunris sunset/ storm alert and stopwatch/ count down functions and a world time with on off switchable daylight savings. sexy watch…I took mine to bed the first time I met it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Matt

    I have a really basic question. What does ABC refer to? I assume it means altitude/barometer/compass, but I really don’t know. All of the searches come up and just say “ABC” watch but no one says what ABC means!

    (I found this site looking for reviews on Ambit which I just ordered and expect to receive tomorrow–thanks for all the discussions here! Even though I don’t know what ABC stands for, I know this is the watch I’ve been looking for.)

  53. i hate my 910xt for always loosing the hearrate so i will return it tomorrow :-) and i think i will get an ambit.

    one question, do you think after the november upgrade it will be possible to connect my garmin runnig sensor and my wahoo caycling one?

    thx, i really love your tests

  54. Hmm, I don’t suspect switching watches will fix that honestly – since it’s actually the strap transmitting and the watch just reading.

    Have you checked out my guides for how to fix HR strap issues like that?

    Troubleshooting your HR strap issues Part I:
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Troubleshooting your HR strap issues Part II:
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    An interium solution using the Polar strap with the Garmin transmitter:
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    The best possible solution:
    Pickup the new Garmin 2010 Premium Soft Strap HR strap. Any of the individual straps you buy off of Garmin.com will be the correct/new version. And in 99% of the cases, if you buy it off of Amazon.com it’ll be correct too. The new strap is pictured here (in the accessories section):
    link to dcrainmaker.com

  55. thx for that fast reply, i already have that strap. it was working well the last 2 months. i am just think of switching because it´s a shame that you get a crappy belt for the 400€ i spent.

    with my girlfriends polar belts it works well.

    lucky that i bought the 910 at amazon so switching is not a problem, the garmin support is unbeliveable slow, i am scared of sending the garmin for replacement to them.

  56. Anonymous

    oI have owned a number of Garmin watches, most recently the 310Xt and 910XT and have changed over to the Suunto Ambit due to the after market service of the Suunto products.

    My Garmin’s all developed issues and Garmin was very slow in responding and resolving the problems whereas my Suunto products never failed despite some serious hammering.

    I have several bikes and kayaks – worth 20 or 30k (may my wife never discover this) so a premium of $100 over the Garmin or other brands is not relevant.

    Not having a working HRM for 2 months because Garmin’s support is very poor – that matters a lot.

  57. Anonymous

    I am pretty much worried about the comments stating that the ambit gets shorter distances than reality. I thought there was nothing simpler than an algorithm to determine the distance between two points! And if there is an error in determining the points, the overall estimated distance should always be bigger than reality. Has this maybe something to do with the corrections from the accelerometer?
    I was decided to buy the ambit until I learned about this.
    Someone could bring some light on this and chase away my fears!?

  58. We are at 26 sep.
    Any news when the update will be available?

  59. Anonymous

    Yes they are. Right now movescount is being updated and is unavaliable, watch should be updated by the end of week…

  60. Anonymous

    I would love to have a timer on this watch, 99h. And i use metric format for distance, but would be awesome to have different parts in different format, like distance in meters, temperature in F, elevation in ft.

  61. Anonymous

    You can specify custom units using Movescount, I use a mix of Imperial and Metric.

  62. Anonymous

    yeah, i found it the other day. only thing is missing for my satisfactory is timer

  63. Anonymous

    Sorry for the long post. I tested my T6 with a friend’s Ambit with the same HR belt (paired with both). While most of the things were very similar, PTE and calories were underrated on the Ambit. All body metrics were identical, EPOC peak was nearly identical on both watches (79.2 vs, 80.2), yet results differed:
    T6:PTE 3.2, 646kcal
    Ambit: PTE 2.9, 502kcal
    Ambit and Movescount have identical results, yet in the EPOC graph I can see the peak is well into 3rd zone (which starts at 60), while the calculated result is 2.9.
    Why the difference? I could understand if there were differences between Ambit and Movescount due to processing power and algorythms, but surely RR data from these two watches should produce identical results.
    This is just one example, but all are similar.
    Any ideas?

  64. same activity class?

  65. Glajda

    Yes, same activity class, weight, max HR. Everything identical. As there was only one HR belt it means even RR data should be close to identical. EPOC peak confirms that.

    I believe Ambit computations are wrong and Movescount just takes those results. As I mentioned, I can see on the EPOC graph background that level 3 starts at 60 ml/kg, EPOC peak is 80.2, yet Movescount and Ambit think this is 2.9.

  66. Anonymous


    I am planning to buy a ANT+ powermeter for my bike and would like to use the Suunto Ambit. Does anyone know if the November opdate will make this possible. Thanks for your answer.

    Greetings from the Netherlands, William

  67. Johnbee

    Hi Ray, nice Review.
    I’m a trailer (not long distance though, moe around 15-20 kms), looking after a GPS watch for my runs in the mountains. I already train with a Garmin FR60, great watch wih the foot pod for instant pace, put it lacks precision in the trails. No GPS there, and no altimeter, which is becoming more and more important for me…
    Well, I’m interested in the Ambit and I wonder if the ANT+ upgrade will get the watch compatible with my Garmin foot pod and HRM belt.
    Cheers !

  68. Ben


    I’m trying to decide whether to buy an Ambit and have enjoyed reading these reviews and comments – many thanks to all.

    I’m based in the UK and my main use will be for hillwalking/hiking. So I’m really pleased to see the recent software update adding the British grid datum, which for me was a showstopper.

    Really grateful for any comments/answers on the following to help me make up my mind:

    1. Does online Movescount also support the British grid format? i.e. can I enter waypoints on my laptop in this format and upload them to the Ambit ready for use on the hill with my maps?

    2. I see that now there is the ability to enter waypoints directly on the watch for locations other than current. Again, can I enter these in the British grid format?

    3. Finally, as Movescount is based on googlemaps, (a) is there an overlay available that, for any cursor position in Movescount, will give me the British grid co-ordinates (e.g. to check that I’m entering the summit spot-point)?, and/or (b) can I connect Ambit to other third party software (e.g. MemoryMap) on my laptop in which I already have my maps installed and upload waypoints in British grid format from there?

    Many thanks for any advice – apologies if I’ve missed the answers to these somewhere else.

  69. Anonymous

    Hello I have called Suunto customer service 1 minute ago and they confirmed that with the new software update there will be Ant+ compatibility.

  70. Anonymous

    Last week I was not aware of the planned features of release 2.x of the Ambit firmware and I decided to write the Suunto customer support email asking about ANT+ compatibility. I just received this answer 2 days ago:

    “Thank you for contacting Suunto Customer Support.

    We apologize for the delay in our answer. Please be informed that currently the Ambit is not ANT+ compatible. It should be used with Suunto ANT and Dual belts and Bike Pods. Should you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.”

    They are correct in saying that current support is not available but they sure didn’t tell me about this soon to be released 2.0 firmware.

    Maybe they hope to sell one more proprietary bike or cadence sensor! My road bike has a Duotrap sensor embedded in the frame. I will change watches before I attach external sensor to the frame…

    • jopefully the ANT+ support will come soon, i just returned my secong 910xt last week becuase once again it worked like the cheap crap which costs you 90% less.

      any new infos are pretty welcome on my side :-)

  71. Thomas

    I just picked up an Ambit and a Suunto foot pod mini. This morning I decided to test the foot pod on a indoor run. I wanted to log the cadence on my FR 305. And that when well, no problems there. However when I uploaded the data from the Ambit I found that I had speed and distance information as well. Can anyone explaine that?

  72. Darren Smith

    G’day Team i have a Suunto Ambit and I’m trying to pair my Bike Pod and Cadence Pod I’m running software version 1.8 any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated

  73. insane news :-)

    i just received via facebook:
    Hi Stephan, the forthcoming firmware update will make the Suunto Ambit compatible with ANT+ heart rate belts, bike, foot and cadence PODs from Suunto and other manufacturers. / Naoko ftom Suunto

  74. PanamaJack


    I am extremely impressed with your reviews. Very thorough yet concice without coming off as a Britanica.

    I look forward to more knowledge…

    Keep up the great work!


    ps. sending email to Suunto about the ANT+ update and compatibility with Tanita BC-1000 so will report back soon

    • DC Rainmaker


      Indeed, they don’t support the ANT+ enabled scales (Tanita and others) at this time. Though hopefully with folks asking for it they’ll support them. It’s honestly be pretty easy for them to do.

  75. Patrick


    Great reviews, Ray !

    Any news on the swim- part (counting laps in the pool, tracking outdoor swimming like the 910xt) and multisport incl. transition times??

    Thanks :)

    – Patrick, Denmark

  76. Dan Liddiard

    Yeah! I’ve got an email from FirstBeat

    The call for beta-testers and Athlete feature poll resulted in a lot of good feedback and tons of beta-tester candidates – we really appreciate your dedication!

    First Beat Athlete: Suunto Ambit support. Your feedback has already had the effect that Suunto Ambit / Movescount compatibility is going to be included in the next release of the Athlete. Release is scheduled for Q1/2013.

  77. Daniel Reynolds

    Wow. About time they released a countdown timer. I’m buying it now. That was the only missing feature holding me back.

    • That is good. But I’m missing bluetooth, wifi, graphical find back function with map, activate background light when holding the watch near your hr belt, easier GUI, more modification/settings within the watch without need for external computer, vibrator (difficult hearing the low beeps), fast transfer speed between ambit and computer, etc.

  78. René

    Wow great reviews, I read a few and I’m impressed. I currently own a Polar AXN 700 that served me into many adventures for almost a decade. Unfortunately, it had an impromptu rendez vous with the ceramic floor… I’m now looking for a wrist top computer that will do everything my polar did and add the GPS… I was wondering if there is a better “aftermarket” HR strap that would be compatible with the Ambit. Or even a cycling pod /running pod/HR strap package ?
    Have a great day
    Thanks a lot


    • DC Rainmaker

      Yes, you can use any ANT+ HR Strap now with the Suunto Ambit. And likewise, any cycling ANT+ sensor and/or running ANT+ sensor. Generally HR straps are about $30-40, footpods about $40-50, and bike sensors about $25-45 (all ANT+).

    • Here you can see all the ant+ compatible accessories: http://www.thisisant.com

      However, as mentioned below, lot of professional stores here in Sweden still tell their customers that Suunto Ambit2 is not compatible with eg Wahoo ANT+ belt, they claim you need a special device for Suunto. But…I am thinking they must be wrong. Have not tested this my self yet, but the whole idea with ant+ is that it should be compatible with all other ant+. Sales reps I talked to claim that even if its the same protocoll, the different manufacturers create different mappings, so data sent from ant+ garmin to ant+ suunto does not necessary match each other.

      I hope they are wrong. But Im not sure yet. Would be cool to have a HR belt that could be used both with my iPhone and Runkeeper and Suunto Ambit2.

  79. Robert

    Hi, all. Good discussion. Today I had a chance to try my friends Suunto Ambit. Without HR strap, just used it for biking in our quite hilly forest. GPS seems to be working just fine, but not sure whether the altimeter works correctly – seen difference in comparision to what was marked on tables during the trail and also GPS co-ordinates at my home seems to be off – in Latitude by about 6.9min and Longitude by 4.5min. I did compare it to my Garmin handheld navigation 62stc as well as Runtastic’s Altimeter Pro on iPhone. But other then that it works great. Easy to use, very good display. I had for few years a Suunto Core and agree with others it just works fine and I’m using it almost every weekend – skiing, hiking etc.

    What I’m missing is a virtual partner for running and at least some features for swimming other then water proofe – though that’s already something compare to other GPS and not just GPS multisport watches. Does anybody has an idea whether they are planning to improve the running and swimming features?

    P.S. and obviously the watch is large – in comparision to my Polar 400 and even Suunto Core.


    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi Robert-

      Hopefully you didn’t pickup the Ambit over the last 36 hours. Check out the new Ambit2 – I think it does what you’re looking for:

      link to dcrainmaker.com


    • Bengt

      The new Ambit2 does work with swimming metrics. It is quite difficult to measure exact meters and lengths, but that goes for Garmin 910xt as well.

      I am also missing “Virtual partner” from Garmin. I know there are some apps in Suunto store that tries to do something similar, but non of them have worked for me and lots of comments about that the app is not working. And you can not compare the Suunto app to the Garmin VR, as Garmin has a real animated picture of you in the display. The home made Suunto app does only show your pace in numbers, and how long before or after you are from last run. Or thiat is at least how it is supposed to work :) The suunto apps are not like iPhone apps, they are VERY simple and lots of bugs.

  80. Scott

    Hello all, great comments here, I’m considering the Ambit for back county skiing/ mountaineering but I also spend a lot of time in the ocean surfing. The tide app looks pretty cool too but does anyone have feedback on if this watch holds up in surf and the inevitable occasional pounding?


  81. Bengt

    Hello, nice reviews! Googled “Suunto ANT+ compatible with Garmin” and came here. Just bought a new AMBIT2 from Suunto and went down to Stockholms largest bike store (Cykloteket). They are claimed to be no 1 in Sweden when it comes to race bikes and accessories. I asked them if I could buy a cadence meter and connect to my Suunto GPS-watch. -No, sorry! That is not possible, they answered. We stopped selling Suunto because there was no demand for Suunto. Now we only have Polar and Garmin. Ok, I said. But is it possible to buy the Garmin cadence meter and use it with my Suunto Ambit? No way, you cant do that. It wont work! Ok, I said. But, I bought this watch with ANT+ protocol just because it is claimed to suite all accessories using ANT+? No, you cant do that. You have to find a store that sells cadence meters that suites Suunto. Ok…so I left the store and started to google. ant that is when I found this site. And what I can see this site also claims you can use all accessories with ANT+ protocoll, not to care about if its Garmin or Suunto? Have I misunderstood something or what?

    I also found out that it is not possible to connect your Suunto HR belt to your iPhone and Runkeeper. But it is possible to connect your Garmin 910xt HR belt to Runkeeper/iPhone. Strange as well. But maybe the Garmin HR belt transfers via bluetooth as well? I do not know.

    But it is a little bit scary that the largest bike store in Sweden said they stopped selling Suunto due to poor demand and that you cant buy accessories to Suunto in this store. It made me feel like, “oh…maybe I should have bought a Polar or Garmin anyway”.

    However, it is a good looking watch. Neither Polar or Garmin can compete with that :-)

    • Hi again, I made some further research and discovered a site that names all the compatible ANT+ products there are. And… it did have Suunto on its list. Both Ambit2 and Ambit2 S, actually it even had the old Ambit there for about 83 products. The new Amibt2 is compatible with 157 ANT+ accessories including wahoo ANT+ that Garmin and iPhone uses.

      So…I have not bought them yet or tried them my self. But it seems like they should work with Suunto, even to both Addnature (that sells Suunto) and Cykloteket (do not sell Suunto anymore) claim they are not combatible with Wahoo and other ANT+. They claim you need to buy special Suunto ANT+ accessories and that sound so strange. They might be right, coz I have not tried this my self yet, but why should this site (www.thisisant.com) say it compatible if it was not?

      I think Suunto should go out there and educate their dealers and resellers. I dont know how many people and potential customers that are getting false information today, and therefor chose other products?

      Keep it up!

    • It really does work, despite a few retailers not understanding it.

      Here’s a full post on how it all works on the Ambit1:

      link to dcrainmaker.com

      And within this post I talk in detail about how it works with the Ambit2:

      link to dcrainmaker.com


  82. Bengt

    Tried the new “route” function today. It is amazing! Just paint your route at home, transfer the route to your Ambit2 and then push “navigate – routes” and chose the route you just created. It is very easy to follow the route you made. Chose between 5 km view or 500 meter view. I love this function – and I really hope Suunto will make this function work in “Find Back” mode as well. Currently the Find Back function only shows the direction to where you started, as the crow flies. So…that will make it complicated when running in cities, where buildings will be in your way, or rivers, or when hiking mountains, you might want to go back in the same footsteps, but Suunto have not solved this yet it seems. If they do, it will be so cool. Just go out for any activity on unknown soil, and then just go back again exactly the same road.

  83. Hagai

    Hi everyone. Just got my new suunto ambit 2s. How do you insert the distance you plan to run in the watch?? Totally lost here. Tx

  84. Any update on where Suunto is developing / releasing a firmware upgrade for the Ambit 2, to work with a Tanita BC-1000 scale? Just returned my Garmin 910XT back to EMS and picked up the Ambit 2. After running the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc 100km in France, I need a watch that has longer battery life while providing critical data (distance, elevation, barometric pressure (nice to know the weather may turn shitty), etc.

    Thanks, Alex

    • No word there. It’s never come up in any discussions.

    • PanamaBikeStar

      I’m in weight reduction mode getting ready for the 2014 motorcycle racing season and same as Alex I would like to be able to pair my tanita with the Ambit 2 the way I did with my Garmin 310xt.

      Really annoying to have to memorize or write down weeks worth of data that then has to be plugged into a spreadsheet for analysis.