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First look at the Suunto Ambit3 multisport GPS watch

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(My Ambit3 Full In-Depth Review is now published!  Swing on over to that post for all the full details and analysis!)

This morning Suunto has announced their latest endurance and multisport watch, the Suunto Ambit3.  The watch incrementally builds on previous generations of the Ambit in what has been a roughly 12-16 month release cycle for the company.  The Ambit3 when it’s available in September 2014 will add mobile phone integration such as workout uploading and smartphone notifications, while also including support for Bluetooth Smart sensors and heart rate while swimming.

I’ve been using a few beta units of the Ambit3 for a fair bit of time now and thus have a good understanding of many of the new areas.  But because the watch and the mobile app experience are still very much beta (almost two months until public availability), please do understand this isn’t a review.  It’s more of a ‘preview of new things’ coming.  As such, things could change.  They could get better, or, they could get worse – that’s the nature of beta.  Historically speaking however Suunto actually is one of the stronger companies when it comes to releasing relatively bug-free software.  Further, they have a nearly perfect record for releasing products and firmware updates on time per the dates they’ve set (unlike most all of their competitors).  Thus, I remain optimistic on their ability to execute here.

With that said, let’s dive into what’s new and notable.  In my final In-Depth Review (which would be in early September), I’ll cover all the regular stuff that’s not new.  But as a general rule of thumb everything from the Ambit2 is available in the Ambit3 (unless noted below).

The Hardware & New HR Strap

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At first glance you may be wondering if I mistakenly took photos of an older Ambit and not the Ambit3.  But in reality the external hardware is actually virtually indistinguishable from past units.  It’s the internals that have been tweaked.  Most notably, the addition of a Bluetooth Smart chipset to replace the ANT+ chipset that was in there.  Further, they have roughly doubled the internal storage capacity.

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It’s this Bluetooth Smart chipset that enables connectivity to the phone, as well as Bluetooth Smart sensors.  Though, that does come at the cost of lack of connectivity to ANT+ accessories.

Beyond that the unit is identical to past units.  For example, there is no new vibration motor (for vibrating alerts), nor shifts in storage capacity (Update: Suunto has corrected to say it’s roughly a doubling of capacity in the Ambit3) – both common complaints about both first and second generation Ambit units.

In addition to the Ambit3 watch, Suunto is also releasing a new heart rate strap, which is substantially smaller in the pod-department than their previous strap:

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This new strap is different in a few ways.  First is that it’s Bluetooth Smart (rather than Suunto ANT like previous straps).  This means it can connect to Bluetooth Smart capable devices (including the Ambit3), such as phone apps or 3rd party devices.

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Second, the strap has a totally new connection design between the pod and the strap.  Suunto hopes to make this a bit of an industry standard.  Though, at the moment it appears to be just them (everyone else is using a slightly different standard with wider connection points).

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But the real secret to the strap is that it’s able to store data while you’re swimming.  I’ll dive into this capability later in the swimming section, but the unit is able to store heart rate data while swimming and then automatically re-sync that data in a few seconds when it comes back within range of the watch.

The New Features

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Now that we’ve covered the hardware side, let’s talk on the software pieces.  As you’ll see – that’s where all the new goodness hangs out.  In order to keep things simple I’m going to provide a bulleted list here, and then I’ll walk through these features in more detailed sections below.

– Heart Rate While Swimming
– Bluetooth Smart Sensor Support (Power/Speed/Cadence/Heart Rate)
– Daily Activity Monitoring (aka activity tracker)
– Smartphone Workout Uploads
– Smart Phone Notifications (i.e. calls/texts/Facebook/etc…)
– Ability to use Ambit3 GPS as source for phone display (i.e. on bike handlebars)

As you can see, lots there – but especially lots on the mobile side.

The singular item that was removed however is ANT+ sensor support.  The unit does not include ANT+ support.  They decided that for the modes they were looking to utilize it would have required two chips being in the unit (a separate one for ANT+ and one for Bluetooth Smart) – which would have required additional architecture/battery considerations.  I’ll cover some of my sensor thoughts in the Bluetooth Smart section below though on this.

While there’s a ton of new features coming, it isn’t however a complete overhaul of the watch.  Areas like the display/screen, look and feel, and core functionality of the watch actually don’t shift dramatically from the Ambit2.  It’s in many ways easiest to think of it as an Ambit2 with Bluetooth Smart and a whole bunch of cool phone-connected features.  Well, except heart rate while swimming – that’s device-centric, new, and cool.

Swimming Heart Rate

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The Ambit3 introduces the ability to track heart rate while swimming.  It does this in conjunction with the new Suunto heart rate strap that enables storage of your heart rate while underwater.  The strap then will burst transmit the stored data to the watch when it can get back in range.

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See, neither ANT+ nor Bluetooth Smart can transmit more than a few centimeters (an inch or so) underwater.  The signal simply doesn’t work (unlike older analog signals used in some products).  So by Suunto moving to a store and forward method it can catch-up your heart rate data anytime you come back to the wall of a pool (such as below).

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While swimming the data generally won’t be up to date, it’ll just show your last heart rate value on the watch.  I found that sometimes I’d get lucky and if I placed the unit slightly to the left on my chest it’d actually catch-up every few laps (not stopping) and I’d get an updated heart rate value.  But for the most part it only caught up at the end of the set when I stopped and put the two close together (either above or below water).

What’s cool is it then actually draws out your heart rate (if you have the graph view enabled) on the watch – just like an etch-a-sketch.  It takes about 1 second per 1-minute of heart rate data to draw.  Here’s a fun little video I shot last night of it.  Sorry it’s fuzzy, the pool lady was yelling at me to hurry up and get out of the pool at closing time.

This data is then available post-swim on Movescount, where it’ll show up just like heart rate on any other activity:

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(Note: You’ll see a few cases of where the data dropped and it flat-lines, that’s where I didn’t realize the HR strap had flipped over due to water pressure as discussed in a moment.)

And all of that it time-sync’d to your actual swim lap metrics as well.  Thus making the Ambit3 the only watch on the market today that can do both swim lap/distance/stroke metrics and heart rate recording.  Down the road the Polar V800 will also do the same as well once they implement swim lap/distance/stroke tracking metrics.

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Now, the only catch here remains the actual heart rate strap.  I’ve always had issues with keeping the heart rate strap on my chest while swimming.  In particular when I push off the wall, it often ends up down by my waist.  No matter how hard I tighten it.  I’ve tried putting it on my back, twisting the fabric, all the usual tricks.  In the case of the above swim I was fixing it every few laps and pushing off very gently (not realistic).

For women that’s not a problem because your swimsuit top tends to keep it in place, but for guys it can be tough. And no, I refuse to wear a top at the pool while swimming – there’s enough antics in my usual pool as it is without me adding to it.

Finally, note that the swim support will work just the same in openwater.  Except there you won’t get a HR ‘update’ mid-swim unless you stop to let it sync.  Still, it’ll easily record everything from your outdoor swim (including a map) for later access online.

Bluetooth Smart Sensor Support

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The Ambit3 swaps out the ANT+ sensor of the Ambit1/Ambit2 for a Bluetooth chipset, enabling it to connect to Bluetooth Smart sensors that adhere to the Bluetooth Smart standardized device profiles for sensors.  This means that it can connect to the following Bluetooth Smart sensors/accessories:

– Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Straps
– Bluetooth Smart Cadence-Only Cycling Sensors
– Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence Only Cycling Sensors
– Bluetooth Smart Power Meters
– Bluetooth Smart Running Footpods

There are a number of companies that make devices in each of these categories, from Wahoo Fitness to Stages to PowerTap to Mio, Scosche and many more.  As part of my in-depth review I’ll include a compatibility chart for what I’ve tested myself as far as 3rd party sensors go.  To date I’ve done testing with the Wahoo cadence sensors and a variety of heart rate straps.  And my updated PowerTap cap with Bluetooth Smart just arrived in, so I’ll be trying that out soon too.

Below for example is a workout showing cadence (upper portion in white) using the Wahoo RPM2 with the Suunto Ambit3, all via Bluetooth Smart.  The workout was a brick, hence why I’ve just selected the first portion that was bike-specific.

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Of course, those with ANT+ will be left out in the cold here.  The Ambit3 doesn’t contain ANT+ support for sensors, which means neither your existing ANT+ (3rd party) sensors nor even existing Suunto-ANT sensors will work.  Said differently: No previous Suunto sensors will work with the Ambit3.

Now in my discussions with Suunto I made it clear that this was a pretty big deal – especially for triathletes.  And in theory they have two paths to address this.  The first is to partner with someone like 4iiii’s and ensure that Viiiiva compatibility will solve the problem.  The Viiiiva can act as a bridge between ANT+ devices and Bluetooth Smart watches like this.  It sorta-works for certain combinations today with the Bluetooth Smart-only Polar V800.  But it’s not perfect and there are many holes.  That requires both companies to work together to address at least the most common scenarios.

The second option is that Suunto could do something similar themselves using the heart rate strap they will ship with the Ambit3, which contains the latest chipsets that are capable of running dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart (to be clear, the heart rate strap is capable, not the watch).  Thus they could build that capability into their own strap, which would instantly give them complete control over compatibility and also give them without question the most versatile triathlon watch combination on the market that appeals to the broadest possible audience.  I know what I would do if I was in their shoes…

Smartphone Integration

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With the addition of Bluetooth Smart to the unit the Ambit3 gains connectivity straight to your phone.  In doing so they’ve opened up a number of different scenarios for phone integration with the Ambit3.  Some of these areas are ‘common’ to what we’ve seen in other watches (such as uploading workouts), yet others are entirely new takes on ideas, like using the GPS from the device and the phone as the data screen.  In order to cover all the concepts I’ve divided them up into a few sub-sections below.

Note: As of July 2014, Suunto will be making the iOS app available upon release for compatible Bluetooth 4.0 devices (iPhone 4S and higher).  For Android, they are targeting “2015”, but haven’t specified at this point if it’ll be January 2015 or December 2015.

Uploading Completed Workouts/Settings Configuration:

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(Preemptive note: All these screenshots are BETA level, and unfinished.  Think of it like a strawman without the clothes.  They haven’t added the layer of ‘pretty’ yet.)

First up is the most common of tasks, which is the automatic uploading of completed workouts via Bluetooth Smart to your phone (and then onwards to Movescount online).  Like numerous other watches on the market the unit will transfer completed workouts via Bluetooth Smart from the watch to the phone.  The length of time it takes for this to complete varies a bit, but usually about 30-60 seconds depending on how many sensors you might have paired and the length of the ride.

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A few moments later this information then shows up on Movescount, the online site from Suunto that acts as your training log.

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And because Suunto recently added automatic synchronization to Strava, your workouts will near-immediately show up on Strava as well:

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Next, you can configure sport profiles and settings from the app.  This allows you to decide which sports show up on the Ambit3, and the settings for those different sports.  Further, you can configure global watch settings like languages as well in here.

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Even better is that you can also tweak display field settings directly from the app.  So I can configure and change data pages and what metrics are shown on any of the sport profiles:

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Because the app isn’t quite finished yet it’s unclear how deep the settings will go in terms of sports configuration on the app itself (for example things like recording time).  However, what’s cool is that you can actually use the Movescount mobile version of the website to tweak any ‘non-included’ settings – and then that gets immediately pushed back to your Ambit3 as soon as you press sync again (all wirelessly via your phone).  I actually just did that tonight standing poolside at the swimming pool after I remembered I needed to change a setting.  Took all of a few seconds.

Smartphone Notifications

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Next the Ambit3 will display smartphone notifications when within range of your phone.  These notifications can include text message notifications, incoming phone call notifications and anything else that uses the notification center.

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For example, here’s a notification that an incoming message just arrived:

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Now the notifications are just that – notifications – they aren’t actionable other than dismissing them.  Meaning you can’t answer the phone call or do anything from there.

The notifications can be set to ‘On’ or ‘Off’, and will simply chirp (if audio alerts are enabled) when a new notification comes in.

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This is similar to how the Fenix2 works, with the only difference being that this doesn’t impact one’s ability to record sensor data.  Note that I don’t yet have a clear idea of the battery life impact here.  I’ll be doing some testing as they get closer to final release.  But it definitely appears far better than the Fenix/Fenix2 in terms of me having left notifications enabled on one unit that’s been sitting off to the side of my desk for days now with notifications enabled and it doesn’t seem upset in the battery department.

Using the phone as a display:

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Next we have one of the most ‘unique’ features on the Ambit3, which is the ability to link it to a smart phone and have the phone act as the display.  This is actually the exact opposite of what most companies are doing with smart watches, where the watch displays what the phone wants.  And actually, Suunto is doing both.

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So why is this useful?  Well, it allows you a much bigger screen than the Ambit3 is, which can be useful for something like cycling if you put your phone on your handlebars.  In this case your watch will act as the GPS receiver and the phone will be the display.

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This is better because it reduces battery drain on the phone since GPS is off (albeit the screen is on, which burns even more).  Still, I think it’s an interesting twist and I suspect folks might have some cool scenarios here.

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Finally, it should be noted that the app can also simply record activities without the Ambit3.  In doing so it’ll allow you to pair with sensors and you’ll get standard metrics like speed/distance/etc…  But, for most people there’s a million other apps that can do that – so the interest is primarily in connectivity to the Ambit3.

Photo Integration, Movies and Data Overlay

Last up in the phone integration feature is the ability to do data overlay photos with data from the watch or phone.  This is sorta like the action cam videos you see, but with data coming directly from the Ambit3 and then using your phone’s camera:

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Afterwards the photo has some activity metrics overlaid onto it.

From there it will get associated to a given activity in Movescount, which means that it can then get pulled into a gallery based on your ride.  Now, these photos can then end up in automatically generated ‘movies’ that showcase your ride.  I saw a couple of early alpha-version clips created when I met with Suunto and it as a pretty good start to things.

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It would show your route being played back in real-time on Google Earth and then show included photos along the way that you took – all geostamped to the correct location.

At present the beta app build I have isn’t quite building my movie, so I’m left with what might be possibly be the funniest/best error message I’ve ever seen.  Normally I don’t share too many error messages from beta stuff because that’s the nature of beta – but this  is awesome enough that I don’t think (hope) they mind:

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In any case, drama aside, I’ll try and see if I can get a movie to share/post of what it looks like.

Daily Activity Tracker

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Next up we’ve got an included daily activity tracker.  This is effectively taking a FitBit and stuffing it into the Ambit3.  But more than that though, it takes into account your total activity including exercise.  It’s actually very much like the Polar V800 in this respect.

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Though, also like the Polar V800 at this point it (frustratingly) doesn’t display your exact steps or walked distance – but rather just displays a bit of a bar graph and chart.  We had some good discussions about it though, so I’m optimistic they’ll see the light in terms of being the perfect blend of activity tracker and sport tracker (and that said blend is best executed with steps listed).

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(Above would show a graph identical to that of the recovery chart two photos above, with the day’s activity, it’s just that I took the photo in the morning.)

These displays are easily accessed by just tapping the ‘Next’ button on the right of the screen, and are one tap away from the regular time screen.  Ideally I’d be able to just press ‘view’ though and see my total steps for the day at all times along the bottom (just like the Garmin FR15 can).

As you can see though – without question the merging of daily activity tracker and full endurance sports watch is most definitely the future (or rather, the present).  I don’t expect we’ll see any more major sport/running devices being made that don’t include both sides of the equation.

Models, Versions & Availability:

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The Ambit3 is much like the Ambit2 in that it comes in a few flavors and versions.  The two fundamental versions are:

Ambit3 Sport: Everything the Peak has except the barometric altimeter
Ambit3 Peak: Top of the line unit with a barometric altimeter

So basically, it’s just like Ambit2 and Ambit2 S.  There is no ‘R’ version at this point for the Ambit3 (that was the cheaper running edition).

Price-wise, things remain in the same ballpark as before with the exception that there’s a Sapphire edition offered which just swaps out the glass for a different sapphire mineral glass:

Ambit3 Sport: $400 (+$50 for HR strap)
Ambit3 Sport Sapphire: $500 (+$50 for HR strap)
Ambit3 Peak: $500 (+$50 for HR strap)
Ambit3 Peak Sapphire: $600 (+$50 for HR strap)

As with my thoughts on previous Ambit versions, no, I don’t think it’s worthwhile to buy the Sapphire edition – but that’s just me.  I’ve never heard of anyone actually hosing up the glass on their Ambit1 or Ambit2 because they didn’t have the Sapphire edition.  Just keepin’ it real.

Finally, Suunto is saying September 1st for availability of the editions above.

My Thoughts:

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On the whole the Ambit3 is hardware-wise an incremental upgrade over past models, however, software-wise it’s just starting to crack the door open a bit.  Their work on the mobile phone app could end up being really impressive (it’s still a bit early to tell).  I’m loving the fact that I can quickly and easily change data fields from the phone, versus past units requiring me to be at my computer.  On the flip side, competitors’ units allow you to change that directly on the device.

The implementation of smart notifications and mobile uploads brings it inline with functionality found on Garmin’s Fenix2 multisport watch, and the reverse usage of having the phone use the unit to capture metrics is definitely a unique Suunto feature.  And lastly, the heart rate while still having swim metrics makes them the only one in that camp – at least for a short while.

It’ll be interesting to see how the activity monitoring piece plays out, both from Suunto and Polar.  I think they’re both half-way there with what people want (or at least, what 348 people seem to ask for in the comments every day on the Fenix2 review), but the inclusion of steps and related metrics is the end-goal there – both on the device but also on Movescount (online and app).

There are however some areas that I think Suunto overlooked in the Ambit3, that I suspect may hurt them medium and long term.  First is the lack of vibration alerts – which has been commonly requested.  Second is that the app as of today doesn’t have live tracking, nor is that in the immediate plans.  It remains to be seen whether areas like course/navigational transfer via phone will make the app cut.  Lastly, the on-unit capabilities in custom workout creation and virtual partner remain sorely behind both Garmin and Polar (among others) these days.  I had really hoped to see some improvement in those areas.

Given that the unit won’t be available until September, that’s probably a better time to see what the final competitive picture looks like for triathlon watches for the year ahead (since this season will basically be over by then).  I suspect by the end of the year Garmin will have announced/released their FR910XT successor, and Polar will have made progress against their planned firmware updates.  Thus my guidance largely remains the same as it was just 2-3 weeks ago in my 2014 Summer Recommendations: See how the landscape evolves over the next few months.

With that – thanks for reading and feel free to drop any questions below.

Found this first look useful? Or just wanna save 10%? Here’s how:

Hopefully you found this first look useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my thoughts are written from the standpoint of how I use the device. The posts generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased. You can read more about the benefits of this partnership here. You can order the Ambit3 or accessories through Clever Training using the link below. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.  Note of course since it’s a pre-order, the timelines might change depending on when Suunto releases.

Ambit3 Sport (Heart rate bundle variant just select drop-down)
Ambit3 Sport Sapphire (Heart rate bundle variant just select drop-down)
Ambit3 Peak (Heart rate bundle variant just select drop-down)
Ambit3 Peak Sapphire (Heart rate bundle variant just select drop-down)

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.

1,087 Comments

  1. Luc

    Is Ambit3 available already? I see that Clever Training has it in stock.

    • Brian

      until you select a model in the drop down and it updates to pre-order status…. 🙁

      Mild design issue on the site I would say. I haven’t received any shipping update on my order yet that I placed the day they listed it, so I imagine a bit of time still to wait.

    • Daniel Reynolds

      I received an email from suunto giving me the option to order now, no joke.

    • Hey Guys-

      Clever Training actually just cut over to an entirely new front end website and backend processing system this morning. They just found that little but as well today and are working to get it resolved ASAP. As Brian noted, once you select a model it shows the backorder status.

      Suunto is currently still saying September 1st (10 days away), and Clever Training believes they’ll be in the ballpark (dependent on Suunto). Looking at where Suunto stands on recent builds, I believe they’re in the home stretch (though, I think some things might simply end up hitting a September update in terms of features).

      Appreciate the support!

  2. Sam Lewis

    Hello haven’t read all the comments so sorry if answered this already
    When linked together suunto n strava
    Will the new ambit 3 only sync moves with a gps file
    Or will it do all moves like indoor swimming/weights/treadmill data
    Like the garmin 510 can do a turbo trainer session bluetooth to connect then goes to strava really like that situation
    Is annoying have to manually put in treadmill data to strava from ambit 2s
    Cheers sam

  3. Ricardo

    Hi Ray, did you test if Adidas mini foot pod BLE works well with ambit3?

    • I have not yet. I’ll try and figure out where on earth I stuck the little pod tomorrow and test it during my run…

    • Ricardo

      Thanks, you’re great!!

    • Pieter

      Did you find your Adidas mini foot pod and try it, or is still hiding somewhere???

    • Hello Ray,

      Have you been able to test it?

    • I was unable to find it in the day I had between trips. I get back late tomorrow and have one more day between trips and will see if I can figure out where it went to.

    • Brad Olwin

      I am interested in this too, particularly if the BT footpod works similarly to the Ant+ footpod in the Ambit/Ambit2. I prefer to race ultras on 60s GPS and use the footpod for speed/distance so I do not have to worry about a battery charge. I would like to upgrade to the Ambit3 but need the footpod capability.

    • Good news, I found it (Adidas BLE Footpod) this morning. Better news, it paired just fine. Further, I didn’t see any obvious issues with it on my run. I ran with a FR620 and they were within .04 miles of each other at the end of the 5.60 mile run.

      It looked like the Ambit3 lagged a bit at first, which matches how it calibrates the footpod in the first 1-1.5KM, then I saw the two identical for the remainder of the run.

    • Brad Olwin

      Thanks!!

    • Thanks!

      Ordered Ambit3 Peak Sapphire HR and miCoach SPEED_CELL Bluetooth Smart (G75090)

      🙂

  4. Albert Llobet

    Hi all!

    Do you know if it’s possible to upload maps to the A3 like in the Fenix 2? I’ll use it for mountain trekking and I need to see some things when walking, like rivers,…

    Thanks!

  5. James

    Noticed the Ambit2 is on significant discount at REI and other locations. Should I get the Ambit2 now on discount or wait for the Amit3? I’m currently not invested in ANT+ or Bluetooth smart (plan to purchase, but could go either way). I like the idea of mobile support, but I’m on android and not sure if the mobile support is worth it or not. Thoughts / recommendations?

    • Nuno Pinto

      I have the same question, but don’t forget the activity tracker and any further development will go most likely to ambit 3. So, I am waiting for the release of ambit 3 to decide.

    • Peter

      An important thing to note is that the ambit 2 relies on the online service movescount to add routes to the watch, upload data and change settings(many can be changed on the ambit 2 itself, but “sports profiles” can not be modified). When movescount is down as it is right now for the second day in a row, you can not change settings on your watch. This has happened 3 times within the last two months according to users on the Facebook site. Here you have the option on the ambit 3 to change the settings non configurable on your watch via the smartphone app(iPhone for now). It is however not clear to me if you can add new routes via the smartphone software? But the mobile software does seem to add some options for users out of network reach, or users suffering from movescount down time.

    • This was a HUGE annoyance of mine when I switched from Garmin to the Ambit 2. I’d love to see Suunto improve their native apps (Win, OSX, iOS, Android) to allow more configuration locally (or.. GASP.. on the watch).

      Our of curiosity has anyone snooped into the settings / storage files in the Moveslink2 folder? Is it possible to hack these files to push settings to the watch? I suppose it’s overwritten the next time Moveslink connects to Movescount?

    • It appears the Ambit3 does as well, at least for sport modes. In trying now using the app, I get an error message when trying to modify modify/open/access any sport modes. I can modify system settings like backlight/etc… It may be unrelated, or not, hard to say.

      As for sending routes to the Ambit3, as present that’s not in the app – I don’t know if that’s planned for release.

    • Aaron how can I contact you via PN / EMail?

    • Mark

      Well that’s a bit of a bummer, still means you’re tied to a laptop if you want to download a route then.

    • Again, that’s not necessarily final. It’s just as of 6:45PM Central European Time on Aug 25th. It may change at 7:45PM.

    • MH

      You could review the sources of Openambit (www.openambit.org) to have a look at the USB communication. I am starting to look into that myself.
      I have not synced to Movescount for weeks and just convert the xml/sml that Moveslink places in its upload folder to get gpx files. I put the list of interbeat intervals (they are at the end of the xml/sml file) in a .hrm document, edit that such that Firstbeat Athlete will import it, and that’s it. Cant change any settings anymore and GPS cache is never updated so GPS lock is very slow, but not a problem for me.
      Ambits are great, but they lack on-device settings and detailed logviewing (laps), and you are stuck to Movescount, unless you can make do with primitive workarounds. If Suunto would fix these issues and have Android support for the A3 I’d buy one.
      The Fenix2 is more flexible I think; on-watch settings and USB mass storage, you could use it completely “offline”.

  6. I have owned the Suunto Ambit and Ambit 2 and love them. I have preordered the Ambit 3 (REI) and had a question – I note there are a number of Bluetooth Smart bike sensors out there that portend to work with iPhone etc. Will these work with the Ambit 3 or will you have to wait for Suunto specific sensors – in particullar I was looking at polar, topeak and biologic

    • In theory, yes. In reality…we’ll see. Take the Polar V800. In theory it was to be compatible with all assortment of Bluetooth Smart sensors. But in reality, only about 2 BLE sensors actually work with it without any ‘but/if’s/issues’.

  7. Hi Ray,

    many thanks for so many great reviews!

    I’ve had just two calls from different dealers here in Germany and both told me, that the availability of the Ambit 3 is delayed to 16th October for the Sport and probably even longer for the Peak. One dealer cooperated directly with Amer (Germany), didn’t know where the other gets his stuff.

    Really disappointed, because I’m standing on my own feet to not buy anything and waiting for a real world comparison between Ambit 3 and V800. Right now I’m tend to buy an Ambit 2 with a great rebate and buy the “real” toy in Spring 2015.

  8. Julien Gonzalez

    Hi dcrainmaker!!!
    I live on france like you 🙂 and y have called a French dealer ( i-run) to pre order a ambit3 peak sapphire. He say me than the ambit 3 peak sapphire has been delayed and only available in end of 2014 December. It a true? Do you think I can order the sapphire on clever training web site?
    Thanks

    • I suspect we’ll get better clarity on Ambit3 timelines at Eurobike, which starts tomorrow.

      You can indeed order the Ambit3 from Clever Training. I know that Clever Training placed large bulk pre-orders a while ago, which may (or may not) contribute to why other companies that didn’t place pre-orders would be further down the line, though December sounds awfully far off.

  9. Pumafi

    I preordered Ambit 3 Peak Black with HR (and my name on it) and today I received an email from Suunto, that my new toy is on it´s way. UPS delivers it on next week. Cool. I bought Wahoo Blue SC couple of weeks ago and hopefully they work together.

  10. Karl

    Ray have you checked if the Ambit 3 works with the Mio Link?

  11. erik

    I ordered the Ambit3 without the HR monitor from a company on Amazon.com. I did it under DC rainmaker so he would see a small $$ gain. It has been shipped and will be here tomorrow. Ive been waiting patiently all summer for this moment.

    • Rui Silva

      Really?

      Please tell us if you get the Suunto tomorrow. In my local dealer, they told me that only in mid September.

      🙁

    • erik

      I got the Ambit3 Peak today. It is a lot lighter than I expected but it feels and looks really well built. I retired my Omega Seamster automatic chronograph for this watch. I have started swimming, running and biking again after raising children for 13 years and really needed a watch to track everything. I like being able to upload everything to my phone and track my progress as I get back to being a try-athelete again. At my peak I was 150 pounds and could run 3 miles and swim 100 (50 meters) laps every morning before work. Now i’m 205 and i’m starting over.

    • Rui Silva

      Nice!!!! 😉

      Enjoy it. I will continue waiting for mine. 🙁

  12. Niko Åkerlund

    I pre-ordered my Ambit3 from Suunto website few weeks ago and it arrived today!

    Everything is set up, but MobileApp (movescount?) is not yet updated so I can’t get any iPhone stuff to work yet.

    • pa7a7oz

      How do you do a pre order in suunto website? all watches are out of stock.

    • erik

      That is super exciting as you must have gotten lucky because I’ve been stalking their site for weeks and it continued to say it was backordered. The company I purchased it from on Amazon.com says they only have a few in stock but non with the cool bluetooth swim band. I will continue to monitor to purchase the band separately.

    • Niko Åkerlund

      I think they offered pre-pre-order for registered Ambit2 users. 😉

  13. Pumafi

    UPS informed me about scheduled delivery and it`ll be Friday 29th of August. Funny thing is that Ambit will shipped from Belgium and I live less than 10 km from Suunto.

    • Nuno Pinto

      Hi Pumafi.
      I am also living in Belgium , can you tell me where did you ordered the Ambit 3 ?

    • Pumafi

      I must correct my former post. I live in Helsinki and Suunto is local company and their factory and headquarter is very close, but still the logistics are run from Belgium.

      I preordered straight from Suunto (the 500 customized products).

  14. Antti

    Does anyone have experience on the apps that can be installed on Ambits: do the apps bring any added value to the user?

    • morey000

      Apps are a tremendous feature of the Ambit, or a useless feature- depending on your needs. For the most part, many of the apps that I’ve used on my Ambit are functions that already come standard on the Fenix2. Such as an app for skiing, that counts my vertical, # of runs, top speed, etc. Or, one that calculates cycling power metrics- like TSS, IF, VI, or even a basic virtual partner for running (yeah, you need an app for that!).

      But then you can get creative. I’ve got an app that displays my total ascent during a run, and another that calculates a ‘running efficiency’ metric based on the number of heartbeats per mile 🙂 (fun, but probably useless). There are other apps for specific sports- like, people that row crew- like to know their pace over a specific sprint distance such as 500m (there are apps for that). I used a predictive finish app for an ultra, that would constantly update my predicted finish time based on my recent average pace.

      So- it allows you do to about anything you can think of with the watch. As if these watches didn’t already have enough features. Me- I’m relegated to using and slightly modifying other people’s apps, as my development skills are rudimentary. But, if you’re a software kinda person- you can read the development manual, and the sky is the limit. There are ~5,000 apps currently available on Movescount. Some are more useful than others 🙂

    • Brian

      Agree with Morey000, they can be just for fun (number of beers burned) or actually quite useful. It just depends.

      I wrote an app that guide me through a 30 minute session, 10 min warm-up, then 20 minutes of intervals, running for X amount of time, jogging for y amount of time. During the running interval, it’ll tell me to run faster or slower based on my heart rate being in a range I defined in the app. It’ll beep if my heart rate goes too high, etc.

      Sure, there are other ways to do this. But it’s kind of fun to just look down and see ‘run faster!’

    • guest

      Actually these “apps” are very limited. It is very sad to see third incarnation of Ambit “programming language” without support for something as trivial as persistent variables – so that you can actually store some values for future reference…

      Amongst these 5000 apps a lot don’t bring any added value – simply showing some API variable. Like morey said, Fenix 2 has some features that people tries to mimic with apps on Ambit – but these efforts are crude and not comfy – e.g. interval training app…

      Don’t have too high hopes – if this was Android, then “sky would be the limit” – now it’s just a extremely limited scripting language for doing some simple math on sensors + beep and flash lights. Poor.

    • Hi morey000,

      As you have/had both Ambit and Fenix2 and you seem quit a technical person, could I ask you some questions? I am still in debating which to buy but maybe this is not the best place to share. I see that I cannot see your email, I assume you can’t see mine, so if you are kind, can you email me at serbanmeste (at) gmail.com?

      Many thanks in advance,
      Serban

  15. morey000

    No doubt that adding support for persistent variables would open the door to new possibilities. Sure it would be nice to have, let’s say, a running total of your mileage, time and average pace over the past 7 days…or my favorite idea, an adaptive FTP number that auto-populates your power training metrics :). But- at some point, one moves off the watch and over to movescount or golden cheetah or other tool for a better workout analysis platform. Plus- it’s not like there’s any other competitive product that does this.

    As for a lack of a custom workout creator. Yup- the Suunto falls short of Garmin. To even have to mess with apps in order to create a custom workout is a pain. although this guy made it a bit easier: link to seckle.ch (pretty cool app development tool). I expect that Suunto will update *Movescount* to have this capability.

    If you horseback ride, and need to know your lap speed in ‘meters per minute’, or if you sail and want your speed in knots… no problem. Heck- you could even do an app that figures out, based on your intensity, how many grams of carbs you’re using up, and warning you before you hit the wall. 🙂 Or you could program a variometer for paragliding (beeps when you’re going up and can display climb rate). but ‘guest’ is kinda right. yeah, there are 5,000 apps available, but most are duplicates, really simple, untested or broken. There are probably a couple hundred useful ones, and others that may just be for fun.

  16. Kris2

    Just received my Ambit3 yesterday. Any informations about the iOS application release date ?

    PS : I ordered mine from suunto in August. It was a limited quantity (500) offer with 3 years warranty.

  17. KM

    what about Windows Phone? We do not use Apple in Finland, nor Android.

    Which one is better for a runner, Polar V800 or Ambit 3 Sport?

  18. Alexei

    hi there im mostly a swimmer, does it have swim metrics, vibrate alarms while on pool and open water? what would be the difference beneath this and the fenix2 on swimming?

  19. Myriam

    Hi,
    Are there known interferences between bluetooth sensors and watches?
    I use a Polar V800 since two months, with Polar speed and cadence sensors (bluetooth), along a Polar H7 heart strap. Everything worked flawlessly.
    The other day, I rode with someone who just received an Ambit 3. None of our watches were functioning correctly! On his side, his bluetooth sensors (Polar, too), which were previously correctly paired with the Ambit3 couldn’t be detected anymore with the V800 nearby.
    On the V800 side, the sensors worked correctly, except the H7, which lost the signal 50% of the ride. The GPS signal was lost for about 85% of the ride, something that never happened before (done this track before, there IS GPS coverage).
    None of the watches have been paired with a phone app.

    I would be curious to hear about cyclists riding in group.

  20. Brian

    wahoo, just got my shipping notice from Clever Training!

  21. Mike

    Great Review – just ordered mine from clever training, but monday morning QB’ing over the Peak vs the Sport. Rick – could you tell a difference in build quality between the Peak & Sport?
    Looks like the primary differences are bar/alt, water resistance (50m vs 100m), battery life. Really wondering if th difference in water resistance is an indicator of quality.
    I’ve had my t6d for about 3 years, and looking forward to the update/upgrade.
    Mike

  22. Karl

    Damn it. Just found out that Australian stock is delayed until 5/9/14!

    Anyone know an Australian store with stock as I fly out next week and wanted it before I left.

  23. kayumanggi

    Maybe I missed it somewhere but are the width, thickness and weight of the Ambit3 the same as the 2? Thanks!

  24. Niko Åkerlund

    New Movescount app will be released 1st of September 8:00 CEST.

    Source: link to twitter.com

  25. Mike

    I get that there are challenges to supporting both Android and Apple, but they are far behind. By not supporting at least the flagship devices is really narrow-sited, and saying “we’re targeting Android in 2015..” sounds wishy-washy. It’s a deal breaker for me unfortunately. Garmin it is.

    • rp

      you know that Garmin released android support just a bout a month ago?
      So it’s the same story for Suunto

    • Mike

      Garmin has been proactive in getting their products to work with Mac and android. They started their effort long before a month ago. I’d feel better if Suunto wasn’t so vague about their release date. I’d like to hear “January 30th we’ll push an update for android.” I imagine they’re waiting on Android L

    • kris2

      Garmin, should first look AT horrible software on their watches before iOS or Android… I used (Try to…) used first fenix 2…

    • kris92

      Garmin, should first look AT horrible software on their watches before iOS or Android… I used (Try to…) used first fenix 2…

    • Mike

      I’ve had my 410 for a long time, and it has it’s issues, but at least Garmin is being proactive, and they push regular updates. Don’t get me wrong, I REALLY like the Ambit 3, but it’s just frusterating to see companies pushing tech products that are not “in the game” so to speak with today’s mobile devices. I remember when Garmin dragged it’s feet getting Ant to support Mac! Like all athletes use Window$ or something. 🙂

  26. Mike

    I get that there are challenges to supporting both Android and Apple, but they are far behind, really narrow-sited. Saying “we’re targeting Android in 2015..” sounds wishy-washy. It’s a deal breaker for me unfortunately. Garmin it is.

    • Bernd

      Suunto Ambit 3 is a much better watch, better build. I have been using Ambit 2 for a year now and am very happy. You ARE making a mistake…..

    • Mike

      Why would I pay $550 for a watch in which I cannot use all of it’s functions? People keep giving them a pass on this, but damn it’s not like Android came out of the blue here. They need to get with the program going forward, and expect to build for both platforms. The whole “market %” argument is old and doesn’t hold water.

    • Bernd

      Good for you, go with made in China Garmin you will be happy……

    • Mike

      Why don’t you quit being a dick.

    • JoggwithoutAmbit

      or maybe YOU do the mistake … you had the lucky moment to buy the Ambit2 … and not one year before the Ambit1 … a watch which was even more “basic” than the Polar V800 at her start” … and at her “end” not even a swimming mode 🙁 … for a watch of about 600$ …

    • Bernd

      It takes one to know one….. Sorry I am scooping to your level

    • Mike

      Are you replying to me? I don’t have the ambit 1 or 2

    • Mike

      Bernd, you’ve obviously invested way too much in this thread, to be so upset, and replying with what equates to a “I know you are but what am I” response is silly. (That, or you’re like 15 years old.) I’m still sticking with you’re probably a dick. So, in an effort to salvage what a good thread, for DC’s sake, this is my last post on this. Please try to control yourself after I leave.

    • Woah-k…I get on a bike for 15 minutes and people get all up in arms.

      A few minute technical corrections (in no particular order):

      1) Garmin makes stuff in Taiwan, not China
      2) Suunto also makes stuff in Asia, including all the electronic internals and the entire sensor lineup.
      3) Suunto is headquartered and operated out of (roughly) Helsinki, end.
      4) Belgium was likely used for the initial consumer shipments. All distribution happens directly from Helsinki to vendors.
      5) There is a substantial Android penetration difference for the endurance athlete market, that’s a fact.

      A few non-technical points:

      1) I believe it’s valid to have a delay for Android apps dependent specifically on Bluetooth Smart, and specifically where a constant stream of data is required (such as what they are doing in some modes). It’s a mess due to significant variations in platform and hardware, and any company trying to do it will tell you that. I continued to hear the same message this week at Eurobike from every company trying to.
      2) I don’t believe there’s that much of a valid excuse however for not having Android sync, for things like settings, etc… That’s far easier to accomplish.
      3) I don’t believe there’s much of a valid excuse for not having a specific timeline for Android deployment. I don’t see “Sometime in 2015” as a valid date.
      4) That is all.

  27. JoggwithoutAmbit

    my answering is the reply of Bernd (August 29, 2014 at 2:59 pm)
    Joachim

  28. Bernd

    LOL you guys are funny…….

  29. Christoffer Stenbeck

    Tried to find this but maybe I missed it. Will it work with the Wahoo RFLKTR?

  30. Jussi Sallinen

    Just tried Ambit3 while swimming in a 50m indoor pool – any clue why lap lengths are between 50-150m even though I had set the pool length to be 50m?

  31. Damien

    Hi all,

    I use Ambit 2 as well as Garmin Edge 810 for cycling. I use one HR strap for both device as they use ANT+ technology.

    Just wondering, as I also has plan to get Ambit 3 (after read a great review from dcrainmaker.com), how it will works if I still want to use my Garmin Edge 810 because Ambit 3 didn’t support ANT+?

    Don’t tell me that I’ve to use 2 HR strap, one for Edge 810 and the other for Ambit 3..:((

    Just curious before I decide to go with Ambit 3.

    Thanks before for the advice..

    • The Ambit3 requires a Bluetooth Smart capable strap. If you have a default Garmin strap, it only transmits on ANT+. Thus, it won’t work.

      What you can do is get a dual-protocal strap, which transmit on ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart concurrently. That said, I am seeing some inconsistencies on the final firmware in which 3rd party HR straps are pairing/working with the Ambit3 via Bluetooth Smart.

  32. Gavin

    As always an amazing review, thank you.
    I can live without ANT is I prefer using an SMR Power Control on my bike for the information. My big question is peak vs sport. I know the former has twice the battery size but does the physical size difference outweigh this as a benefit.
    I’m an ironman competitor so typically will need it live for 10-12 hours.
    Would love to know the reason you chose the peak as your watch.
    Thanking you in advance.

  33. Bryan

    I was just wondering if the Suunto Ambit3 offered any tests outside of the V02 max? Similar to the Orthostatic or jump test in Poalr? I like the Orthostatic concept and I’d use it daily to determine if I had recovered fully or even slept well as I’m sure my rest/standing rate would be above my personal average on off days. I also like that the average is tracked over time to see progress. I’d also wonder if the Garmin Frenix2 had any such comparable tests or if either company tracked R-R too. Thanks for the great reviews!

  34. Lars Nygaard

    Anyone – do you know if the navigation zoom has been improved in Ambit3 ? 200m is not enough if used for trail running, as is the case for Ambit2.

    • Brad Olwin

      I only run trails, frequently run off trail and do a lot of “mountaineering” runs as well as fast packing. For a wrist worn device 200m is potently of zoom, as it indicates whether I am off route. If I need more information, I’ll use a GPS with a larger screen. I have not needed more zoom. The Ambit gives a very good directional indicator as well. Just my 2 cents worth.

    • Hugo H

      I am very interested in the Ambbit new version, having the Ambit 1 at the moment. I run trails too, and one feature that I would like to see is being able to backtrack to my car using the watch, telling me where to go as I am in the trail. The only way to do that at the moment is to follow the directions to the car which is a straight line. A closer navigation zoom on the watch would be greatly appreciated on my part too!

    • Brad Olwin

      Hey Hugo, this was updated on the Ambit2 some time ago. There is the same feature you have on the 1 but also a find back feature that retraces your steps and inserts waypoints from wherever you activate it. It shows a breadcrumb path to follow as well. This feature will likely not change in the Ambit3.

    • Hugo H

      Wow, Thanks for the info Brad!! I made the suggestion to Suunto when I first bought my Ambit 1, never heard about it after that! You made my day! 🙂 I can’t wait to upgrade my “old” watch!

    • Lars Nygaard

      I follow you – and thank you for replying. Do you know if the Ambit3 actually comes with a higher zoom level ? I live in Denmark – and we probably have to wait until October to get our hands on the new release:) The question has been raised by other people earlier in this string – no anwers yet:)

      Thanks for a GREAT reveiew.

    • Nigel

      Have you tried the Suunto webshop? I live in the UK and nowhere had it in stock on release day except Suunto themselves. They offer next day delivery if you are impatient (like me 🙂

      Would have used CT but our ridiculous import charges would have added an extra £60 to the overall price …

    • Brad Olwin

      According to the manual for the Ambit3, which is now available, the zoom level is the same. For me it is enough, I don’t know why you would want more, I have found the zoom level of 200m more than enough. The entire screen is at 200m so it is very hard to miss a waypoint or turn in my experience.

  35. Duncan Roosma

    Hey Ray, is there a ETA on the final review?
    I would like this watch, but i am an android user, is the watch usable without smartphone support?

    Thanx

    • I’m also an Android user and I ordered the Ambit3 yesterday. I expect the Ambit3 be as usable without smartphone as Ambit1 and 2.

    • Correct, it is perfectly fine sans-phone.

      As for a final review, likely about 2-3 weeks. The next two weeks are packed going into Interbike and Interbike itself. Which gives me time to test/use the final firmware a bit, along with the final version of the app.

    • > Correct, it is perfectly fine sans-phone.
      As an Linux user with a Android phone I wonder if it works without a computer also?

      I was thinking to buy it and then help out in the openambit project until it is suported but it seems like you need something “external” (Win/mac sw or Iphone) to configure it and not like the old way with on-device menus to do this kind of things.

    • Not really sans-computer.

      You’ll need something to configure and sync and update firmware. I haven’t played with Openambit (though, I am aware), so I’m not sure what the limitations are there.

  36. AJ

    Got mine yesterday, the regular model in blue. I’ve been using the Ambit2, but much of my stuff is BTLE/ANT+ compatible now. Seeing a new color that wasn’t black or white really pushed me to get this thing. I only use it for training, so the blue for daily wear isn’t an issue and I figured the blue is a little extra safety during runs/rides/OWS because of the flash of color. Really wish they made the Peak model in blue, as the blue is the only reason I opted for the regular model versus the Peak.

    I love suunto and am making the move from all-Garmin products. Previously I have experience with Suunto’s diving products. To me, the Ambit2 wasn’t that comfortable, and neither was the Fenix or Fenix2 (Tomtom Multisport, Forerunner 910 and 620 are all extremely comfortable). I have small wrists unfortunately. However, the band on this one is awesome. The Ambit3 fits perfectly on me and it’s not uncomfortable in the least. I guess it’s the newer softer band material?

    Thanks for the review!

    • Morey000

      AJ,
      In looking at the official Suunto images, the A3 Sport band looks just like the A2S band. When I was shopping for a new watch, I found the Ambit 2 didn’t fit my small wrists, but the Ambit 2S fit comfortably, so it doesn’t surprise me that the new 3 Sport will fit small wrists better than the old 2. The question is, did they change the band on the new Ambit 3 Peak such that it will fit smaller wrists? Or are you just enjoying the fit of what was always the smaller/ more comfortable watch and band?

    • Jamie

      Who’d you get the blue from? CT has them on pre-order still. My local running store can’t get them in yet either. I have a marathon in a few weeks and want my watch:(

    • AJ

      I preordered a couple weeks ago through CleverTraining and received it in the mail.

    • AJ

      Ah, interesting. So it sounds like it’s the “Sport” and not the fact that’s an Ambit3 versus Ambit2. I compared the two bands side-by-side and the Ambit3 Sport band is definitely different, more latex-y or something, than the top model Ambit2.

      So great question. I think if they ever come out with the Ambit3 Peak in blue, I will upgrade, but I’ll check to make sure it has the more comfortable band before I do otherwise it would be too uncomfortable to upgrade.

  37. andy

    The phase-out of Ambit2 is disappointing to us all-ANT+ cyclists. HR monitors are the least of our problems, though even there it seems off-putting to have to plunk down another 50-100 bucks for new monitors in addition to the cost of this (likely overpriced — see my recent comment on the Ambit2) watch.

  38. Shirley

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your excellent review, I’ve just bought the Ambit 3 on Clever Training. I thought I would see an announcement somewhere, then realised you have sneakily updated this page with CT links, heh.

  39. Karl

    MovesCount for IOS has been updated. Now I just need the watch to go with it!

    Just a question Ray, I linked my Mio Link with the App, but can’t see how to view HR during an activity? Were you able to do this?

    Seems to track HR as you see it in the post activity summary, just not sure how to see it mid-session.

  40. Martin Hammer

    I’ve now my Ambit 3 peak an i’m a little bit confused.
    In Movescount, the gps-accuracy is changeable from Best-8h Battery to ok-25h battery. But i thought, that battery life is 50h at its best like the ambit2???

    Could you say something about that issue?

    Thank you.

    • Brad Olwin

      Martin, maybe the movescount site has some incorrect text, the website shows the same battery as the Ambit2. Did you register the watch correctly and select the Peak model on the Movescount site? I don’t have mine yet so I cannot see the settings.

    • I see the same for my peak sapphire. But really, who cares? It’s oviously a static text and true only for the 2S and the 3 sport models.

  41. Martin Hammer

    One more thing.

    I thougt, the memory size of the ambit 3 peak was doubled. But at the app designer, the app needs the same memory like the ambit 2. So the memory is equal Ambit 2. ;-(

    • Calum

      The memory on the watch is not the same as the memory available in the app designer, they’re 2 different things. The thing Suunto doubled was the memory available to store moves, the thing you are looking at is the maximum size of an apps code.

    • Martin Hammer

      Ah, thank you.

    • Marco

      When I read about the new memory size of ambit3, I hoped in an increased max size of an app code. However I confirm that from the app designer, the max code size for ambit3 seems the same as that for ambit2. This is not a good news.

  42. Mikko

    How does the defined heart rate limits -function work? This is mentioned in the ambit3 sports model manual in section 3.91 using suunto smart sensor, but not explained any further. For example, can I set HR range from 150-160 and the device beeps once when going under lower limit and beeps twice when going over upper limit? And same beeps when entering back to the defined zone.

    Thanks, Mikko

  43. Wow… lotsa reading and still I’m not sure where to go. Maybe people can chime in and offer to steer me, or Ray if you have a thought.

    I’m not a “traditional” athlete in that I view things like running, and other workouts as things I do to train for my main activity which is not really a “sport”. That would be climbing and specifically alpine climbing. That said, running is probably the main trackable activity that I care about.

    Currently, I use an FR610 which is beginning to fail and a Fenix1.

    I use the FR for tracking all my runs which are mainly trail runs these days. I don’t really care about the virtual partner and the workout upload is of negligible benefit as I find it distracts too much and is too “fiddly” to be worth my time. If it has a better implementation on the FR620 or the Fenix2 I might change my mind about that feature though.

    I use the Fenix1 to log my hikes and climbs. Obviously, it does little for the actual climbing but it’s nice to have data regarding the approach, etc. Sometimes, these climbs can go 16 to 24 hours so battery life does end up being an issue. One reason for this, is that I find it to be a major pain in the ass to navigate all the settings on the Fenix to quickly change recording intervals for gps data etc that would save me battery life, change what data is on a given screen, delete my previous track and start fresh, etc. Basically, the UI for a watch sucks pretty much always which isn’t much of a surprise given the limitations involved with a tiny screen and four buttons. I upload the resulting tracks and waypoints for critical navigation decision points into Basecamp upon completion of the adventure and I also preload certain data before I set out. I use both the barometer and the elevation data for making choices about safety and navigation.

    So that leads me to my question:
    Do I update my Fenix and get a Fenix2 which may well serve as a great running watch?
    Do I ditch both the Fenix and the FR610 and go to an Ambit3 Peak?
    Do I buy a FR620 as a running watch and keep my Fenix1 which though frustrating does do the job?

    I should say that I’m curious about the recovery indicators and VO2 Max estimation features of both the Fenix2 and the Ambit3 and I do like the idea of being able to setup data screens on my phone. I’m not totally thrilled with the idea of abandoning GarminConnect because I have years of data in there and I haven’t found a online portal I like better for the price (free). Movescount looks promising though…

    Sorry I don’t have a definitive question, just putting this all out there and seeing if people have some strong opinions they could offer.

  44. alainquimarche

    Hello everybody

    I have one direct question to the happy few who owns an Ambit3.

    Is the number of steps done with the activity tracker directly available in Movescount when you connect your watch ??

    The data is existing : create a new move WITHOUT ACTIVITY TYPE.Save it. Edit it, and you have a field for “steps” that appears ! Thus you can edit and save.The export to Excel is not functioning yet.

    To explain, i am recovering from a major health accident by walking everyday and i use a Fitbit One.
    Following the recommandations of our mutual guru Ray, i bought a Forerunner15.
    I keep this data in an Excel file to see my evolution.

    But i now have the intention to buy me a trainer bike with all the normal geek equipment 🙂 The Ambit3 could then be the only thing i need.

    And thank you again Ray for the fantastic job you are doing here for us.

    • Timo

      No, it seems that atleast currently the step count is not synced from the watch. This would be great. Also I would like all the activity data to be shown in movescount. Perhaps in a separate section which would show steps, other activities and recovery time during a day. This would be valuable data.

    • Timo

      Also currently the watch does not show the actual step count during a day.

    • Brad

      A video from one of the Suunto designers says they are not going to implement step counts……However, they have been VERY responsive to customers. If you have the watch and start asking for this feature as I will, they may implement it. Suunto did this for both the Ambit1 and Ambit2. The tracking shows calories and recovery but not steps. I would like it to monitor sleep as well. I will be asking for steps or at least distance and for sleep metrics.

    • Timo

      Yep, sleep metric is also something I had in mind. I don’t mind even if I have to manually activate sleep and awaking time, but having them in movescount as a statistic would be awesome. I will request these too. I wonder if Ray has better channels to Suunto than the support email they provide.

      I am starting to wonder if the daily activity algorithm even counts steps. Maybe that is the reason they don’t show it on the watch…

    • Flo Loferer

      Hello Ray,

      I am asking myself the same question as

      TIMO: Also I would like all the activity data to be shown in movescount. Perhaps in a separate section which would show steps, other activities and recovery time during a day. This would be valuable data.

      and BRAD: I would like it to monitor sleep as well.

      Do you know if there are any plans to implement this to Movescount (maybe similar to Polar Flow)?

      Thanks for your answer
      kr
      Flo

  45. Niklas

    I have a question re the white version of the Ambit3 Sport. I remember the 2s white was specifically designed for women (at least the wristband). I just like the white color of the ambit3 but do not have the smalles of wrists (and am a guy). Do you know whether the ambit3 white is also designed for women (incl. wristband)?

    • Timo

      I have the white Amibt3 sport. Yes the wristband is shorter than the blue version. Both white and blue sport have silicone strap while the black one does not. I like the silicone one a lot more. It was very hard to decide between blue and white. I ended up with the white and have liked it a lot. I felt the blue one stands out a bit too much when used throughout the day.

      If you want I can measure the white strap?

    • Niklas

      Hi Timo,

      thanks for your reply, which is much appreciated. I ended up buying the black Peak HR, as I was unsure whether the white one might be a bit too “flashy”. I wear a suit at work and would like to wear the watch every day. SO I thought the white one might not work too well with that.
      I hope to receive the watch on Monday (fingers crossed) and am already quite excited.

      Thanks,
      Niklas

  46. Kevin Hoffmann

    Does anyone have an alternative to purchasing a new band for any of the Suunto Ambit models that doesn’t cost more than $50? I have been duct taping my band for far too long to keep it in working condition because I am not interested in condoning the crazy expense of the new watch bands.

    • Brad

      I would contact Suunto, the customer service is great and they may be happy to replace your band especially if the watch is less than 2y old.

  47. Christian

    So, if you had to choose between the Fenix 2 or the Ambit3, what would your choice be?
    I mean there are downsides to them both, but, which is the best overall watch in your opinion, talking multisport watch?

    I’m looking for a new watch, and I really want to buy the one with the most features and the most reliable watch for multisports.

  48. Christian

    So, if you had to choose between the Fenix 2 or the Ambit3, what would your choice be?
    I mean there are downsides to them both, but, which is the best overall watch in your opinion, talking multisport watch?

    I’m looking for a new watch, and I really want to buy the one with the most features and the most reliable watch for multisports.

    Hoping for an answer

    • Brad

      If I were you I would read the Garmin forums on the fenix2 but note that many that post have issues. I have a lot of trail running friends that prefer the fenix over Suunto. Then read posts on Watchuseek under Suunto. Most of the information you want is there. I prefer the Ambit but I have specific reasons for doing so. The two watches are very different in their implementation of what they do. The fenix is probably better if you do a lot of navigating and would use that feature. I believe the Ambit is a better exercise watch but that is my personal opinion. I have not used a fenix but did have a 910xt when they first came out.

      Tough choice but those sites will help you with more information.

    • Christian

      I have been around the web and like you say i have also found comments where people say that the Fenix have a tendency to freeze, I was leaning most to the Suunto, but I’m a little afraid of the usual flaws that a new product can have.

      But then with the Suunto, some people complain that the strap aren’t comfortable..

      But since I haven’t had the pleasure of neither one of theese watches maybe someone with experience could just do a quick summarize of kind of like “pros and cons”.. I guess thats the easy way out, the harder way will then be scrolling through the web myself. 😀

    • AJ

      I’ve owned the Garmin 910xt, Fenix, Fenix2, Ambit2, and currently the Ambit3 Sport. I still think that for straight-up triathlon, the 910 is the best. It’s super reliable and comfortable and all the bugs are worked out of it. It seems to me like the Garmin Edge 500 in that regard, just bulletproof and works. Though I know the Edge 500 and 910xt both had their issues initially.

      The Ambit3 is the best all around watch so far though. I like the functions better than the Fenix2 and I had a lot of freezing/losing data with the Fenix2. It’s also more comfortable and looks better imo. My primary uses for these watches are mountaineering, ultrarunning, and triathlon. I also absolutely do not use these watches for biking though and I’ve never understood those who do so versus just using a dedicated cycling computer with a bigger screen that can display more data fields and maps/navigation.

      For reference on which watches I prefer, the Ambit3 is my favorite all-around, do-anything watch, 910xt is best for triathlons specifically, and the Forerunner 610 is the best running watch (though I had to return it because I couldn’t justify owning it and an Ambit3).

    • Brad

      I agree with what AJ said although I have never owned a fenix, but a 610 and 910xt as well as Ambit1 and Ambit2. I am awaiting the Ambit3. I am an ultra runner but also bike. I like the Ambit for ultras and hiking/mountaineering. For the bike the Ambit3 but not other models will let you route the watch info through your iPhone so you can use the iPhone as a large bike display (with a case of course) without needing another device. As far as I know the fenix does not do this.

      The fenix has better map functionality and many of my ultra running friends find that very useful. The Suunto’s navigation features are good and you can upload routes to the watch but you do not get a map and it is less sophisticated than the fenix.

    • Christian

      Thank you AJ!

      Super interesting comment, definitely something to think about.

      I have a question about the ambit3, i know you wrote that you do not use it for cycling, but with the new BT in ambit3, does it support multiple BT devices, for example the HR-belt and a cadence sensor?

  49. Martin

    The Ambit3 synchronize with Movescount via iphone app when i finish the action.
    I use runalyze and need the files. But when I connect the ambit3 with my PC, moveslink synchronize but no .sml file could be find on the PC. So I have to export the move from movescount.
    How I could get the files from the watch to the PC without stop synchronizing the watch with the iPhone?

    Thanks.

  50. Jamie

    FYI: the Suunto site has all the sport versions “in stock” and ready to ship. Haven’t checked the Peaks or Sapphire versions though. I chatted with the folks at Clever Training and they won’t have the blue or white sport models for a while since they didn’t even get enough initial stock to fulfill the pre Sept 1st orders.

    Just wanted to give you all a heads-up. I was waiting for the Blue to be released and just ordered mine this morning with one day ship for delivery tomorrow. Can’t wait(obviously!!)

  51. Brad

    The manual for the Ambit 3 is here link to suunto.com under support. The answer is it supports 1 HR, 3 bike sensors (only 1 at a time), foot pod and power. All have to be bluetooth smart. So yes, you can have 3 different bikes or for speed/cadence and 1 power meter in addition to the HR strap.

  52. Christian

    Does anybody know some examples of cadence sensors compatible with the ambit 3??

  53. Bryan

    I was wondering the heart rate zones could be configured for a specific sport profile? I know for instance heart rates in swimming tend to be lower. If its not already in movescount that would be a nice feature.

    • Pavel

      Well, I have received A3Peak just yesterday but I haven´t found the possibility of defining the HR zones for specefic activities. Even the general HR limits (which I used in T6c) can´t be eneterd which I see as strange limitation 🙁 I hope I will find the way after couple of days

  54. Brian

    Anyone had any luck with A3 and the Scosche rhythm+? I can get mine to pair in the setup area, but the A3 refuses to find it during an exercise. Suunto hr strap workes fine.

    • No luck for me, it’s something I’ve raised to Suunto as well.

    • Brian

      Well, at least I’m in good company. Both are brand new, so I was curious if it perhaps my rhythm was bad.

    • Yeah, it started in one of the most recent firmware versions. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been so hesitant lately on specifying which devices do and don’t work, as things have changed firmware to firmware unfortunately.

    • JT

      Same problem here too. The Scosche flashes purple meaning that it is connected and ready but the A3 doesn’t recognise it at the exercise stage. I’ve confirmed that my Scosche works with other devices. I’ve contacted Suunto and am awaiting their response.

    • Shirley

      Oh dear I’ve purchased a Rhythm+ recently via CT 🙁

      I hope they solve this problem soon.

    • Brian

      Same here. But sounds like I’ll hold off on returning my Rhythm+ as defective, since, it likely isn’t.

    • Yeah, I’m seeing issues across a number of BLE devices, so I don’t think this is a Scosche issue. Could be wrong, but seems unlikely.

    • Ulrich

      Same issue here. Please notify Suunto Support to get them going for a bug fix …

    • I’ve already notified them. But please do note that little me telling them is different than a bunch of people. Said differently: Please do open up a support case with Suunto to drive home that point.

    • Craig

      That’s disappointing news. I just ordered both from CT. Hopefully, a firmware fix will sort it out.

    • Shirley

      I’ve just sent out an email to Support. Hopefully it’ll get fixed soon.

  55. Jaume Lopez

    ‘ve been reading your site days in all the areas, I think a thorough job and very well done, plus lots of help, I misplaced my 310XT few days ago (it’s under the bike up somewhere :()
    I’m after a replacement for my 310xt, torn between the 910XT and the Fenix ​​2 and decided I had almost the Fenix ​​2 (has escaped me for a few days supply of clever -100 $) But today I read this on the Ambit 3 … should think me jumping Gamin Suunto? you recommend? Thank you.

    • I think it really depends on when and what you’re using the watch for. Given the influx of new watches to the market, and features being added to the market over the next short while – I still think most users should see how the market places out over the course of the fall and then make decisions based on personal requirements.

    • Jaume Lopez

      Way, do not discuss my interest in the other post, I half year short distance triathlons and half year of train and trail running, trail or ultra. I was too lazy to change the brand that took 2 years of records and personal records planning workouts.

  56. Mike S

    Ray – thanks for the great overview.
    I received my ambit 3 sport yesterday, it’s great for what I was looking for in an update to my t6d.
    Pros –
    – movescount integration ( I have 3 yrs of data stored)
    – programmable moves
    – programmable views
    – activity tracker and recovery (interesting to watch so far)
    – concept of being able to leave my watch and still record data mid workout (not tested yet but will do so this week)
    Cons
    – would like to view epoc mid workout
    – would like to view vo2 mid workout
    – programming views is a little clunky, and it is ready to erase a display by accident.
    – size of the smart monitor chest strap, pretty tight @ the biggest setting, and only 1 size option.
    My use case is about 65% weight room, 15% pool (growing), 20% cardio strength training (ropes, sandbags, cones, etc). I aspire to compete in a sprint triathlon in 2015.
    Hope this helps, struggled with the choice between peak and sport, happy I went with the sport.
    Mike

  57. Paul

    I was comparing the Ambit 3 Sports with the Peak, on the Suunto site, and i noticed the battery life on the Peak is DOUBLE compared to the Sports version, is that possible?

    • Morey000

      That is correct. The battery life of the Peak is twice that of the Sport. The battery is larger and the watch is a couple mm thicker. If you are familiar with the Ambit 2 product line, the Peak is the new version of what was the Ambit 2, and the Sport is the new version of the Ambit 2S.

  58. guest

    I’m really upset by Suunto!!! I ordered my A3 peak HR on their official page on Monday, Sept 1st. My credit card got charged, confirmation e-mail arrived saying that just before they send it, another e-mail will arrive. They declared delivery to my home in 2-3 days (!!!).

    Since then:

    1. No order status change info
    2. No any other contact regarding my order or problems with it
    3. No answer from support@suunto.com since Tuesday.
    4. My local Suunto distributor says that my order isn’t even visible in Suunto’s system, and there are several other people in the same situation as mine.

    This is not the way business should be done. I’ve never seen any online shop with such poor service and without elemental process transparency to be observed by client.

    Avoid at all costs! I’m doing my charge-back today and heading for Garmin. If Suunto has so many problems selling their goods, I don’t want to discover how poor they after-selling support is. Ridiculous…

  59. Ludovico

    exaggerated 😉

  60. Jamie

    Not sure what to tell you. I ordered from their site direct(US one, TN based) at 9am Tuesday when I was notified the Blue sport was in stock and got email confirmation of it’s shipment later that day. Granted, I paid for overnight ship and they send it out by 1pm on day of purchase, not sure how long they take to ship them out using free/reg ship but I wouldn’t think multiple days! I got mine Weds(yesterday by 10am) and set it up without issue. Ran with it this morning. Love everything about it, much better than my Garmin 610. No regrets!

    • Nuno Pinto

      Hi,
      Besides SUUNTO online shop, is there any online shop where I can order Ambit 3 HR. I am having problems with the address form due to use a military PO BOX. Regards

    • Craig

      Clever Training ships to APO etc. I have had several items shipped to the Middle East no problems, usually arrive in less than 10 days. And Clever Training gives you a 10% discount if you use the code at the top left of this page.

    • Craig

      Actually it’s top right under Rays Bio.

    • interp

      well, I ordered my Ambit 3 Peak HR on Monday and it took them till yesterday evening (~7pm) to ship it out. I’m pretty sure, that I wont get it today, probably next monday. I am a bit disappointed because I was sure Suunto would ship in time 🙁

  61. Nigel

    The only problem I’ve found is that you need to have the app open on your phone and autosync (on the watch) set to auto in order to get notifications.

    This is OK but when you finish exercising it auto syncs to movescount. If you then connect the watch to your computer (in my case a mac, it might be different on PC) you don’t get the SML file on your hard drive – so you can’t import the activity into third party apps (in my cast sporttracks.mobi).

    I tried an ‘export as FIT’ from movescount but can’t get the file to import, this could be a problem with either movescount or sporttracks.mobi. IF the exercise utilised GPS (so pool swim won’t work) then you can export as TCX, this works fine and includes both GPS and HRM data.

    This is fairly minor in the grand scheme of things and overall I’m very happy with the watch, everything else works without issue – I’ve done runs, swims and bikes so far without a hitch – I just have to remember to close the app down on my phone while I train.

  62. Ulrich

    Does anyone having the A3 HR version encounter any issues with the HR belt such as wrong data (e.g an HR rate about 235) or is it just me?

  63. Got my Peak Saphire from Progear (Ordered 30.08, shipped by EMS from Finnland to Germany) today 🙂

    Looks very nice.

    The only thing is: I was not able to turn notifications on. Is this only possibe when MobileApp is paired? It would be annoying to have to wait for this feature until the Android-App is ready…

    • Nigel

      Yes, the notifications require:
      1. movescount app paired
      2. ‘Sync’ setting on the watch set to ‘Auto’
      3. The movescount app active on the phone (can be running in the background)

    • Jamie

      It is my understanding that the ambit3 only has iPhone/iPad Bluetooth integration, no Android compatibility currently.

    • I thought Notifications would be/use a ‘native’ Feature of iOS/Android and therefore not need the Movescount App.

      But even if it needs an App on the smartphone I hope Suunto will put this functionality to a sepearate App because I don’t want to have the Movescount App running all day.

    • There’s an initial setup portion that has to channel through the app, same with Garmin watches.

    • Nigel

      On my Ambit3 I don’t get any notifications unless the app is running on the phone. I have asked Suunto for clarification on this but in my experience if the app isn’t running I get nothing.

    • Brad Olwin

      The app does not need to be running on my phone, most of the time my screen is off. Even if I leave my phone somewhere and go out of range, the Ambit3 reconnects the Bluetooth connection without doing anything or turning the phone on.

      For notifications to work, you have to specify them in the Setting/Notification Center on the phone.

    • Huub Raemakers

      Hi Brad,
      I cannot find the Movescount app in my Notification Center. Can you maybe tell me how you did this?
      regards
      Huub

    • juan

      movescount app not running = no notifications at all
      the bluetooth gets disconnected when movescount is closed

  64. Marcus

    I wonder if the ambit3 will be able to control the music on my phone. It would be great for runners. Wonder if this is i. The develipment pipeline.

  65. LB

    No one has responded to my question yet so I’m asking again.

    Does anyone know for certain that the Ambit 3 Sport will have the SiRF iv GPS chipset?

  66. What I still don’t get or simply haven’t read anywhere: Can I download on movescount.com created training-sessions to the device and how does it appear/work?

    • Nigel

      You can create a training plan on Moveslink.com and then sync the watch.

      The watch can hold up to 60 planned moves.

      On the watch you can see your planned moves for the day by pressing the ‘next’ button.

      When viewing a planned activity selecting ‘start’ will begin recording for that activity.

      This also works with custom moves. For example I have an ‘aerobics’ activity which also uses the GPS (as I do this outside and it includes sprint work). I have called this activity GPAER and loaded it to the watch.

      On movescount I plan a standard ‘aerobics’ move and sync to the watch. When I select this and hit ‘start’ I am taken to the screen where I can select the activity type, from here I can select my custom move ‘GPAER’. If I’m working inside I can select standard aerobics (no GPS) or GPAER and just choose to skip searching for satellites.

      I hope this all makes sense!

      If you download the manual you can find the information on page 94 (at least that’s the page on the English version).

    • Hi Nigel,

      thanks for the explanation and the hint. I will have a look and get back to you if you don’t mind.
      Background of my question: I feel comfortable with the training feature on Garmin Connect + the synch to my Garmin device but I wonder, if Suunto offers something similar.

    • Nigel

      I’m happy to help if I can. Whilst I have no experience of Garmin watches just let me know what you’d like to achieve and I will see how (if) it can be done.

    • I still don’t get it and I am happy that you offered help 🙂

      Let’s say: I want to make a training session:

      15 Min. Warm Up -> Moderate Heart Rate Zone
      followed by
      800 Meters Interval -> Maximal Heart Rate Zone
      3 Min. Recovery -> Moderate
      800 Meters Interva -> Maximum
      35 Min. ‘Cool Down’ -> Moderate

      Would I have to plan 5 Moves in Suunto terms? If yes, is there a chance to combine these segments to one training and download it to the Ambit3?

    • Nigel

      Yes – sort of.

      You would need to create 4 sport modes
      Warmup
      Interval
      Recovery
      Cool down

      For each of these sport modes you could set the specific variables you want (duration, HR limits etc)

      You can then create a ‘multisport mode’, which in your case would like
      Warmup
      Interval
      Recovery
      Interval
      Cooldown

      This multisport can then be uploaded to the watch. The main problem is that the intervals would need to be identical.

      The watch can support 2 multisport modes and 10 individual sport modes (but these can be changed on the fly using the iPhone app).

      My understanding is that Garmin watches are much better at this sort of thing (and intervals in general) than Suunto. You may be better off hanging fire and seeing what garmin come with – but you could definitely do it.

    • Ok – Now I got the idea and I agree, Garmin is more flexible and easies to use here (at least for now). I hope Suunto catches up. There is nothing better than good competition! 🙂

      Thanks for your time and effort explaining this to me.

  67. r4d4r

    Hi guys,
    I have a question regarding the activity tracker. Does it in the final version display steps directly on the watch?

  68. Hi Ray and the happy new owners of an Ambit3,

    Before making the move from the Ambit2, I’d like to know if it is possible to use the Movescount App on the iPhone to transfer an App of the Movescount App Zone to the Ambit. For example is it possible using the iPhone to change a Data field on the Ambit3 to “Current Incline” (a Movescount App) ? From the screenshot shown by Ray the choice seems limited to conventional fields. If someone that has customized Apps in its Ambit fields could try I would love the feedback. Thank you. Did someone try the Ambit3 with the Viiiva and any Ant+ PODs ?

    • MarcoBerg

      Matt,
      You need to add the app from the web to the mode you want to use it. When you have done that, then you can modify the fields/displays for that app from within the Ipone.

    • That is exactly what I wanted. Great. Thank you Marco.

  69. MarcoBerg

    Ambit3 connects fine with Mio LINK, but it seems to lag. I get about 10 seconds lag with my heartrate on Ambit 3. Anyone else with Ambit3 experiencing the same annoying lag?

  70. Nigel

    One question, which I can’t find the answer to anywhere (although it is mentioned briefly in the manual) how do you enable ‘graph mode’ for the HR?

    • Brad Olwin

      You need to go into the Gear/Ambit3 menu on Movescount and set this in the sport mode you are using. There are a number of graphs you can display, not just HR. For example, you can use an app that will show your HR zones in the graph and your HR as a percent or as a zone.

      To display a graph, add a new watch display field to your sport mode then select until you see the graph that has a selectable view, not the barograph. You can then slelect the app or just HR to display a graph. Note here again, you can display a graph for many apps such as elevation, %oxygen, HR zones, etc.

      You will then need to resync the watch

      Hope this helps, it would be easier with photos.

    • Nigel

      Thanks for that Brad, I’m still trying to get my head around the movescount site and the myriad of display options the watch has.

      I’m going off to have a play with it now!

  71. caamin

    Can I just buy regular sports without HR and later if required can buy the smart sensor for HR

  72. caamin

    Can I just buy regular sports without HR and later if required can buy the smart sensor for HR.

    • Jamie

      Yes, you’ll just pair the Smartsensor later. That is what I plan on doing with mine, I have disabled the watch trying to pair with anything until I add them on eventually. I got tired of dismissing the “searching” each time I started and activity. You can do that on the Movescount site and then sync your watch with the app(if using an iDevice). Just don’t forget to re-enable the search option for your specific monitor when you do buy it!

    • alainquimarche

      Hello,

      I bought an Ambit3 Peak with HR last friday.
      My SmartSensor HRT belt has stopped functioning only after 4 days.
      It has never functioned properly, i always had to stick it to the watch to establish connection.
      I have always removed the sensor after a move, and just rinse the belt under water.
      Maybe they have a battery issue or a real quality problem ?.?.

      The Ambit3 is a fabulous running watch that will be mature in several months after firmware updates. As of today, the activity tracker is totally useless for example.
      My advice would be to buy a “naked” Ambit3, and get a third-party HR, such as those rewieved on this site. Or wait for a fully operational SmartSensor.

      Am i the only one with SmartSensor trouble ??

  73. Jason

    Someone please clarify for me. I understand full android integration is in 2015. Will the watch simply upload workouts to Movescount or Strave using bluetooth on an Android device?

    • Nigel

      From what I have experienced the watch doesn’t connect to the ‘phone’ as such. It connects to the app. If the app isn’t running you get no notifications, upload capability etc.

      So I think the answer to your question is ‘no’. You would need to wait for the android app to be released before you could transfer anything.

    • Jamie

      Gonna agree with Nigel on this one, I think you need the app to get them to “talk” to each other. I don think your Android will know what to do with the watch’s info otherwise.

    • Correct, until Suunto releases an app, there’s unfortunately zero integration between the phone and the Ambit3. No notifications, no uploading, nothing. All of that has to be driven/configured from the app first, on the phone you are using.

  74. Bernd

    Please anybody’s help would be appreciated. Everytime I read people using the A3 manual I go to Suunto’s website and look for it. The only manual I find are for A2 and the other models of there watches. Where in gods name is it??????

    Thanks

  75. Emanuel

    Hi, I bought a Wahoo rpm cadence pod (only cadence) but when I connect this I view only the cadence and in the watch the velocity is 0 kmh. On Movescount I can choose cadence pod but in the watch I can choose bike pod. Excuse me for my english, i am Italian

    • I believe they’re having the same problem as the V800, in that Wahoo broadcasts both a zero-value speed as well as your actual cadence. Both the V800 and the Ambit3 then appear to take the zero-value speed over GPS speed (whereas Garmin simply takes the non-zero value).

    • Jhonny Anrea

      I wrote a post before I saw this #850.

      Hmm, ok. There is no fix for this then, do you think it will be one? Other vice I have to send the sensor back.

    • Wahoo has the capability to fix it from there end as well. When I talked to them back in August they said they would do it. I’ll ask them tomorrow at Interbike.

    • Jhonny Anrea

      Oh, your so nice! That would be great, thank you! Looking forward for a positive answer 😉

  76. Chris

    So, I have an Ambit 3 Peak on hold that I was intending to pick up today. I decided to call Suunto customer service to see if I could get a more solid ETA on this supposed 2015 Android SW push. That would make me feel a little better about spending $550. Their answer: “Sorry, I have no information for you.” This is sad for two reasons– 1. As a customer facing position, you should NEVER have “no information”. 2. This is a lazy answer and hints at what my future interactions with support might look like. Bad business. Garmin at least, proactively communicates with their customers and provides consistent updates. I don’t get how Suunto, who obviously makes a good product, can maintain business this way. Bummer.

  77. Casey

    Does the swim heart rate signal go through a wetsuit? And is the data storage technology broad enough to capture an entire 1900 m 70.3 race swim to review later?

    • It goes through a wetsuit above water, but not below. Even below water without a wetsuit, the signal from the HR Strap to the watch does not happen on an Ambit3. As noted, it occurs via a post-water sync process (be it at the end of a lane line or the end of a race). I don’t expect any issues with a 1,900m swim. Though, I won’t have a chance to test such an openwater distance until this weekend.

  78. Julie

    Question re: the calorie estimation on these watches, based on something I read in the Ambit 3 user manual:

    “Without a heart rate sensor, your Suunto Ambit3 Sport provides calorie consumption and recovery time for running and cycling activities where speed is used to estimate intensity…”

    Does this mean that during running and cycling activities calories estimation is ONLY via speed, or that it estimates using speed only during these activities BECAUSE a HR monitor’s input isn’t factored in? I ask because I am a new runner, and very very slow, but I’m a “big girl” and my HR shoots up into the 170’s even at slow speeds. I had an issue with a Garmin Fenix2 where the calorie estimations were FAR off what I was seeing on my Polar, and if this is an issue with the Suunto design I may need to find another solution for my needs.

    Also, while I’m here: I’m also debating a bit between the Peak and Sport models (I’m leaning towards the Sport) with regards to the baromatric altimeter. I do *some* hiking, but I’m certainly not a mountaineer by any stretch of the imagination. Is the GPS altimeter “good enough” for reasonably estimating my elevation gains & losses? Or is there basically zero reality to the GPS-based numbers?

    Thanks for your input, anyone!

    • Jamie

      Julie, usually these devices make a calorie estimate using your body stats(age, gender, weight) as well as speed in an activity when calculating burn, HR is another factor it uses to be more accurate in that calculation but doesn’t negate the whole estimate if you do not have a monitor. It will be generally close, the HR monitor can just dial it in better. I had a Garmin 610 before I got the Ambit3 and sometimes used a HR monitor and sometimes did not, the calorie calculations were always pretty darn close to each other reguardless. While I did not get the Ambit3 with HR monitor, my cal calcs so far seem to be just about the same as my Garmin’s were, so I trust that it is pretty accurate in it’s estimation thus far.

  79. Karl P

    Anyone have any experiences with which BLE speed/cadence and foot pod sensors are functioning correctly with the Ambit3 Peak and release firmware 1.0.16?

    • Brad Olwin

      The Wahoo Blue SC works perfectly with my Ambit3 Peak and paired immediately. I am getting both speed and cadence.

  80. Bernd

    I seem to be having trouble moving ROUTES to my new Ambit 3 Peak? I have routes from my A2, can those not be moved? Do I need to recreate them? The routes show up in My Routes in Movescount.com

    Thanks for your advise

    • Brad Olwin

      They should be available but you do have to select them to show in the watch much like the Ambit2. Under Gear for you Ambit2, select Navigation then expand Routes and select Use This Route in Watch. I was able to sync routes both through the computer (USB) and the Movescount app for my Ambit3 Peak.

    • Bernd

      Thank you Brad, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

      Regards

      Bernd

  81. panos

    Do you know Ray if Suunto plans to add pedal smoothness and torque efficiency support in the near future ?

    Stages powermeter is bluetooth and provides these metrics.

    • Do they (Stages) provide them over Bluetooth Smart to 3rd party apps though? I’d have to look and see what the standard actually looks like there. Technically speaking those are ANT+ terms, so I’m not sure what it looks like on the BLE side.

  82. dave chang

    I just found your website. It is amazing.

    Dont know if you give advice: I am coming of a Suunto t6c and looking for a new HRM for running. I often use the watch on holidays when hiking, so the GPS is more than welcome.

    Now I am stuck in between deciding on the new Ambit3 or a 100 euros less Ambit2. A couple of things not entirely clear:
    has the 3 improved on measuring running pace on a treadmill or is it the same as in the 2?
    is it possible to measure running pace without a foodpod without GPS switched on both on the 2 and 3?

    • The question should be “Is it possible to GUESS running pace without a foodpod without GPS switched on?” Why don’t you want use GPS?

    • dave chang

      I cannot always use GPS as it will not be available indoors in my gym.

    • Brian

      For what it is worth, here is a move I did using indoor mode with an Ambit 2s: link to movescount.com

      Pace and distance both record ok without GPS/Footpod. Accuacy could be debated I’m sure, but it does work.

    • dave chang

      it looks OK!

      i guess the question i am struggling with is: If I am not interested in using it for swimming and I am not interested in the connectivity stuff but I am interested in using it without GPS and foot pod: is then the Ambit 3 a significant improvement over the Ambit 2?

    • Brian

      If you aren’t interested in the connect aspect to a mobile device, I’d lean to the Ambit 2 if you can find one for a good price.

      I mainly upgraded for the BT connectivity and HR Whilst swimming (and the activity tracking stuff is semi-interesting). Without those two, I’d happily stay with my Ambit 2 for a while longer.

    • Brad Olwin

      I agree completely with what Brian said.

      The Ambit2 will likely see at most one more update, maybe none, while the 3 will likely see improvements.

      The connectivity of the Ambit3 is a very nice feature as you do not need your computer to upload moves or change sport modes/screens.

    • mih

      Brian,

      are you saying that you could record distance without using GPS/footpod in gym? how does it work then? Or did you put the distance manually on the watch from treadmill?

    • Yup, it was added in a firmware update this past spring, shortly after the Ambit2 R. You can read about it in my Ambit2 R review. I actually just used it as well on the Ambit3 a week or so ago. Worked slightly better than Garmin’s implementation, both of which were within 10% of actual pace/distance. In general, the Ambit has the best implementation I’ve seen, but none of them are perfect. In my case, I used it in a pinch since I forgot my footpod. Better than nothing for the training log, but not great.

    • mih

      Thanks Ray.

      That sounds very good, so no need to buy BT footpod or using old Quest for the treadmill runs. Can you still tweak it with the distance showed on the treadmill if its not accurate?

      Other answer I cannot find is the current pace display, from all the information I managed to find it looks like Ambit (all versions) can only show paces in 0:05 min/h increments, is that true? My Quest can show it in 0:01 min/h, which I would prefer.

      One more thing, I was thinking to write to you for some time, but there was never opportunity to do so (call it laziness…), I have been reading your blog for months and you are doing great job! Not sure if you plan doing any tests / comparisons of training software, but I was looking for ages for some good application for OS X which will not be cloud based, and it took me few months to do so. At the end I went for rubitrack3 which IMO is very good piece of software for what I need (and no cloud dependant), but probably there is many people who can have similar issues, so some apps review / list /comparison could help them.

    • You can’t tweak the distance on the watch post-run.

      For software, it’s something I know a lot of folks want. The challenge is twofold. First is that apps are constantly changing – often once a week (mobile, desktop or web). So it’s really tough to keep something current. A bit easier for desktop, since the options are limited. Your choice of Rubitrack is pretty solid, and realistically, about one of only 1-3 options that are viable on Mac.

      Second, is that especially for software focused things, the second I say I don’t like something, the company fixes it immediately. Which, I suppose could be argued might be good (or maybe not), but it again, back to point one makes it tough to keep current.

      Third (bonus), is that if I were to go into more app reviews, then I get apps that complain I don’t cover them. Really, the number of app developers that send me variants of flame mails when I don’t write about them but write about something else that interests me would amaze you. So, given the limited time I have, I try and focus on things that have the biggest impact.

      That all said, when I see things that are cool & unique, I like to write about it.

  83. Javier López Ruiz

    Hi Ray,

    I have been swimming competitively for years, but I have never used these watches for training. Now, I have started to do running because I wanted to move to do Aquathlon.

    I would like your advice because I am not sure which is the best choice for me.

    As I am not going to use the cycling features (maybe once or twice per month), ¿which watch fits me better? I am considering the new Ambit3 S, the consolidated 910xt, get the 220/620 and forget about swimming metrics as I am not used to or just wait the new garmin watch and use meanwhile an app in my mobile.

    Thanks in advance,

    Javier

  84. Arno Vaa

    Ray,

    Do you know of a simple way to copy a sport mode in Movescount, either thru web interface or the iOS app? Or import a screen from one sport mode to another?

    Or do you actually have to go through the entire rigamarole of defining each screen from scratch? If so, it’s a serious shortcoming, IMHO.

  85. Karl

    It’s here!!

    Simple question, do I need to take the Heart Rate pod off the belt each time I’m finished a session?

    Or will it cease detecting a heart beat and just turn off?

    It’s a lot smaller than I expected and I’m worried about losing it. However not sure if I leave it connected will the battery drain?

    Thanks,
    Karl.

  86. Tom

    Hi Ray,

    Are you still on track for “early September” in depth review of the A3? If so, tick tock…

    A2 on sale now is great value, but after having spent a long vacation without my computer I realize that being able to upload/sync with iPhone is something I am willing to wait/pay extra for. Also, I only have BT bike s/c and hrm — no more ant+

    • Probably mid-September at this point. Prep for Eurobike and Interbike has pushed things a bit, along with outstanding issues I’m having with the Ambit3 that I’m awaiting answers on.

    • Nigel

      Out of curiosity, is one of the issues loss of connectivity to the app? My A3 seems to drop it every day and I have to delete the pairing and re-pair.

      I’m was hoping this was an issue that would be fixed in an update, but am beginning to wonder if I have a faulty unit.

    • Brad Olwin

      My connection is rarely dropped. In fact when I go out of range for the A3 and the iPhone, it will reconnect when in range when the phone screen is blank. The only time the connection dropped was when the A3 was on my bike handlebars and the phone was in my back pocket and that was only once in a 1.5h ride.

      I would try pairing again as this has not been my experience.

    • Nigel

      I’ve had to repair the thing around 3 times now. It then works for 4 or 5 hours and drops again – it then won’t reconnect unless I repair.

      I’ve contacted Suunto support cause I think it may be faulty.

    • Wayne

      I’ve been having this same problem with my A3. it will work fine and stay connected for a day or so and reconnects when the phone has been out of range but then sometimes it will disconnect and no matter how many times I try to re-pair it won’t re-connect. the watch says it’s connected, Bluetooth setting indicate it’s connected but the app says it’s not connected. I’m hoping it is just a software or app update required.

    • Jamie

      I have not had pairing issues but I turn on & off my Bluetooth just for uploading activities, otherwise my iPad battery dies too quickly with BT on all the time. But it is instantaneous uploads & sync when it does, no input from me other than sliding the BT switch on my Settings menu. I just leave the app open in my tray and my watch is set to “auto sync”. Flawless.
      My only complaint(and it is tiny as an issue!) is that on all my activities screen #2, the center line I have “temperature” as the field but the website based Movescount calls this field “blank”(must not be on the site but is on the app?) so when I update an activity, it clears out my temp field to nothing. So I have to re-add that field in my app anytime an activity is uploaded.

    • Nigel – For me that isn’t/wasn’t one of the issues. My issues are primarily around sensor connectivity (1st and 3rd party).

    • Edgar

      First I want to thank you for such a great website. I check the site everyday for important knees. I think you should have a paypal donation bottom so we can contribute to all the valuable information you provide and hard work.

      In terms of Suunto 3, I had no problems swimming! riding! or running. The problem with automatic sync is an issue. I had discussed this with Suunto, and they agreed there is a problem with the app. I found a solution, however. If you sync with app, you will loose some information and you will have problem sending the file to third party website. Even Strava, it will not sync. However” if you turn the autosync off, and upload the information via web, all the data and the transfer options will be there.

      Just my humble 2 cents

      Thank you

      Edgar

    • MarcoBerg

      1st party!? So it is a problem to connect with Suunto’s own Smart sensor HR-belt?
      My Polar HR-belt is very hard to get connected with, but the Ambit3 works fine with Mio Link.

      I have no problem to connect with my Wahoo SC.

    • Karl

      I was actually going to post how good the strap is.

      I did a workout where I know my old watch/strap (Suunto Quest) always had issues (burpees, weighted chins etc) and the Smart didn’t miss a beat (see what I did there!?!)

    • Nigel

      That’s exactly what I’m seeing Wayne. I have contacted Suunto but, like you, I hope it’s just a software/firmware issue

    • Brad

      What data are you losing with automatic sync, my Strava looks fine but I have only synced 3 moves. I can find no problem with the data. Strava cannot tell whether the elevation data are ok but it looks fine.

    • vpoux

      I have exactly same issue of pairing when I use “Auto” mode for bluetooth connection.
      If I activate pairing only when necessary I have no concern.
      I have contacted Suunto. I saw some question about this issue on their website.
      I hope it’s just firmware issue and could be solved quickly…

    • Craig

      Any word on a firmware update to address this issue? Not being able to use the Scosche RHYTHM+ HR monitor is a bit frustrating.
      I sent a support request about this and I got the mirror email i.e They are looking into it.

  87. Matthew

    I suppose it’s not possible to utilize movescount via smartphone browser to link to ambit 3?

    • No, you need to use the app. You can however make changes using the Movescount web app and then sync those changes via the app. That’s useful for the settings which you can’t tweak via the app (most of them).

    • Matthew

      Not an apple/iPhone user unfortunately. What is the web app? Do you mean the normal movescount website, i.e., using the charging clip?
      Thanks

  88. Jamie

    Hey Ray, I don’t mean to bug you about a specific ? but I can’t find this info in the manual. Do you know how I can get rid of/disable the second time zone “next” flow through bottom field on my time screen? I just don’t need that info but I can’t get rid of it, so it basically says what the main time says only the opposite AM/PM time since I can’t figure the darn thing out!

  89. Chintan

    Hey Ray – Placed an order for sports Blue (so can easily flaunt that) on CT, love that 10% off deal – thanks to u

  90. Eve L

    Any thoughts on how the Ambit 3 will fit small women? Am hoping to try one this weekend at a trail run, so should know more soon, but have always felt they are too big, especially the Sapphire face versions.

    • Karl

      It’s pretty big.

      I have big wrists, wear G-Shocks mostly and this still looks pretty big on me. Not noticeably big like a U-Boat but big.

      I think on a small wristed woman it would be too big.

    • Shirley

      I have tiny wrists and I can wear it on the second to last link. And it’s pretty comfy. I’m using a Sport though.

    • Jamie

      I am a small wristed, petite female and I think my blue is big but rides smaller than my 610 ever did. The band is more “rubbery” and supple, so it is more comfy in a smaller notched position. I like it personally. But yes, it is big. Very similar to the pics posted on the Ambit2 & 2S review thread Ray posted of his wife wearing them.

  91. Helm

    I’m also a lucky owner of the Ambit3 sports.
    The reason to buy was a disappointment about the Garmin Forerunner 220 which is on the one hand very light but has on the other hand (in my point of view) an imprecise GPS-reception. First of all it is hardly impossible to get the current pace for short intervals.
    So I compared both watches directly during a run. Sometimes the FR has problems to get the GPS-signal. This day again. The A3 instead of gets it VERY fast! Wow!
    On the run there were big pace-divergences between the intervals. At home I imported the file from the FR into the movescount to compare the differences. There i could see nice steps from interval to interval for the A3 and a very sluggisg and delayed line for the FR. Maybe there is a hardware defect. I don’t know. The firmware was up to date.
    The only thing I wish for the A3 is a better access to and handling of the notification view.
    Otherwise I’m very, very impressed with the Ambit3!!!
    Thanks in this line for the great preview an the possibility to compare notes and questions!

    • Brad

      Are you aware that you can assign a shortcut to the notifications screen?
      1. go to Connectivity in the Options menu and Select Notifications (don’t go to the screen, just highlight Notifications).

      2. Hold the View button ( hold to design as shortcut will appear) and keep the view button pressed until the screen goes away.

      3. Return to the main time screen and hold the view button down. Notifications is assigned as a shortcut and a long press on the view will get you directly to the Notifications.

      That will get easy access, I don’t know of any solutions for the handling of the view.

    • juan

      yes… shortcut is nice but only works in time mode… if you are doing an activity any notification will show up in screen for few seconds and disapear completely leaving no way to check past notifications until the activity is stopped and saved……. not very nice…. also in the apps theres no way to interact with notifications which would fix this shortcoming…

  92. George Harris

    Ray, I have a question concerning the activity tracker on the Ambit3. During the day I note the activity being tracked but when I go run and use the GPS exercise mode no activity is tracked. For example I had 842 calories on the activity tracker when I left for my six mile run. When I came back I still had 842 calories. I thought this activity tracker tracked all activity like the Polar V800 I have. Also maybe I am missing something but there is no way to view your daily activity via Movescount. Correct? Again the V800 is better on the software side as well.

    • Jamie

      Hmmm….mine tracks it all. When I go for a “move”, my calorie burn is added into my daily activity level. I don’t even have a HR monitor!

  93. Brad

    Mine added the calories but you need the HR strap to track calories during a move. Did you use one? If not I do not think the watch will calculate calories as it does not know how hard your effort was.

    • George Harris

      I figured out what the issue was. I turned off the HR belt search function at the start of the exercise. Now it goes directly to GPS and does not search for the HR strap. Once I did that calories were recorded during the exercise. I did three exercises today two runs and a walk and it recorded calories. Wish the Ambit3 manual would tell you about this but posted this here so others will benefit from my experience

    • Jamie

      It is unfortunate that it won’t count an activity if you dismiss the HR monitor search when you start an activity. Yesterday, the hubs & I went for an impromptu bike ride that I didn’t wear my HR monitor for. Thinking it would revert to using speed & distance & my weight as normal calculation for my activity & daily tracker, I just didn’t bother putting it on. Whelp, it didn’t show my nearly 1,000 cal burn bike ride & walking around at the farmer’s market during the “paused” riding time. So my activity for the day was “inactive” and there were no cals calculated in my activity. I did edit the file in MC but that didn’t change what my watch said:( Needless to say, my HR monitor is going back. I don’t want to HAVE to wear a HR monitor all the time. Dismissing that at the beginning should revert the watch to basic cal calcs, not just not do it at all!

  94. panos

    Ray, when you prepare your in-depth review, please ask suunto about their plans on future updates of the firmware with new features, especially pedal smoothness and torque efficiency.

    • panos

      Oh, and another idea/question for Suunto: I think it would be very nice and profitable for Suunto and Wahoo to cooperate.
      Imagine this: AMBIT 3 + Swimming HR + RUNNING DYNAMICS.
      I think the combination would be a Garmin 620 killer

  95. Karth

    I have the A3 and I can change the general setting from the Movescount app. But I can’t customizing the sport mode. We see that the A3 is synchronising but the display of the sport mode doesn’t change on the Watch. I’m connected to internet when I do that. Has somme body the same problem or the solution to solve it? Many thanks

  96. Niklas

    I have received my Ambit3 Peak HR early this week and am super happy with it. Spot on for GPS (quite a relief after the Fnix2 experience) and absolutely reliable.
    However, I have one question with regard to alarms/sounds. I don’t want the alarm to go off every time I receive a notification, which is why I turned the sound off. However, during a run I would like to have these sounds turned on again. Is there something in the profile I can change for the sound to be on when in sport mode?

    • MarcoBerg

      Niklas,
      Sound is either on or off. This is for all modes(incl. buttons), so when you go for a move, then turn on the sound from within the movescount-app and sync with Ambit3 and you will get your sound alerts.

    • Niklas

      Hi Marc,

      thanks for your reply. That works fine.

  97. cristian zantedeschi

    Someone tested ANT+ power meter + VIIVA BRIDGE + SUUNTO AMBIT 3?

    It its work ? ( I have a power2max for example … )

    thanks !

  98. Kevin

    Ray,
    Thanks for all the reviews, and I hope your in-depth review comes out soon as I am waiting to see your opinion on the Ambit 3. Not sure when your review is coming out so I was hoping your may be able to answer a few questions as I am looking at returning my second Fenix-2 that freezes up and the GPS accuracy is poor at best. When I have asked Garmin to resolve the issue they keep having me reset and telling me to delete files or wait 5-mins after satillite is found to get a “better” lock on it.
    So with all my issues I am looking at the Ambit-3 and hae a few questions:
    1. Does the Ambit 3 Peak Black have the option of a white background screen with black letter/numbers?
    2. Does the Ambit 3 Peak have a internal accilarometer that work inside on the “dreadmill”, or would I need a footpod?
    3. Would the heartrate strap that comes with the watch sync with my iphone app Wahoo?

    Thanks for feedback and all your reviews

  99. Chintan

    Strapless Wrist HRM or Chest HRM which is more accurate and any alternative to new suunto smart sensor HRM

  100. Ross

    Does the Ambit 3 Peak Black scratch easily? If not, I really don’t see the point of the Sapphire version. In my opinion, the Sapphire doesn’t look as nice and it is quite a premium to pay for a watch that will likely be outdated in a year. The Black’s new bezel looks sharp.

    • mike s

      The new bezel is on the sport, not the peak, correct?
      The black peak bezel looks like the ambit 2 from what I can tell.
      Also, as far as I can tell the advantage between the peak and sport would be longer battery life. I went with the sport, it seems like I go through about 50% battery, every 3 days.

  101. Jhonny Anrea

    Hey again! I got the Ambit3 now plus the Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor. I can pair the sensor but aint get any speed from the GPS when I’m cycling… It feels like the ambit think the wahoo is a speed sensor to. Do you have any solution?

    • Jhonny Anrea

      Just went out and went away from the bike and started it with out pairing the “Bike Pod” and GPS speed works but wen I go to the bike and the “Bike Pod” pairs it loses the speed measurement.

      (If I choose only “Cadence POD” in Movescount it aint finding the Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor.)

    • bo

      See post #780 above. I have the same issue. Ambit3 can see the RPM but when i start the activity speed and distance stay at zero. Hopefully this is fixed.

  102. Brad

    I have an Ambit3 Peak Black and it is working well except for one interesting issue that I cannot figure out. Using the phone as a second display for the watch works and is great for biking. I tested to see if I could take a photo with the data metrics overlaid on the photo and I cannot get this feature to work. I get the screen that states tap to take a photo and I can see an image of what I want a photo of but when I tap the circle, I get a larger screen that has Blank Photo at the top and no data (“Blank Photo”) is in white letters. The photos that I take are stored in my camera roll but are never imported into the move or displayed unless I add them manually. There are no data metrics on any of the photos.

    Anyone else seen this or tried it. DC Rainmaker has an image of a photo taken this way on the Preview but I cannot get it to work. Note that my BT connection, syncing, etc are all working normally. I have an iPhone5 not 5c or 5s but that should not be the issue.

    • Brad

      Have the answer for my own post. Apparently the photos with data overlay work only if you are doing the move in the App but this is a bug that Suunto knows about and will be addressed.

  103. Steve S

    Hi – for those that already have the Ambit 3 Sport in hand:

    The Ambit 2 had a couple of different strap variations – some more rigid material, others more flexible (I think on the white Ambit 2S or R). Curious if the strap variation still exists with the Ambit 3 across the different models/colors, or if they are all the same, or ???. A post above says the blue strap is flexible, but not sure about the white or black versions in the sport model. At the bottom of this URL (link to suunto.com) all the sport models are shown together, and the black model band looks a little different than the blue/white & sapphire versions, so I’m not sure what to expect?

    Thanks.

    • Jamie

      Hey Steve,
      I have the blue model(I think you are referencing my post above about the strap & fit) and it does have the silicone strap that is super flexible(same feel as a smartphone soft case)It looks like the white strap is the same material but I am not sure about the black strap as it does look slightly different than the white & blue ones. Hopefully someone will chime in with that info for ya! I definately think that silicone strap is what makes such a large watch ride so well on my small wrists. I had no idea what I was missing with my stiffer plastic strap that was on my 610!

    • Steve S

      Thanks Jamie – good info and hopefully the black model owners can chime in. Can you tell from Ray’s photos in this article if the black strap he has is even the same design as your blue one? I have yet to find a place locally that has any the models so hard to find out for sure.

    • Jamie

      No, my strap is not the same as the black one in Ray’s preview of the 3. But I think he has the “Peak” black model(which would match what the Suunto site shows as being on the Peak black). Mine says “Sport” on the back whereas his preview does not. So I still don’t know if the black strap on the black sport will be silicone or the harder material(like traditional watch bands are). Hopefully an owner will chime in and confirm/deny it’s material.

    • Correct, mine is the Peak model.

    • Steve S

      Update/reply 2: My local REI got a black Sport Ambit3 yesterday. That particular model has a “softer” strap than the previous black models, but it is not the super-soft silicone-like material that Jamie and others say is on the blue sport ambit3 model, or on something like the white Ambit2 R variation. It’s an improvement from the rigid black strap, but not the soft strap like they’ve used in some other cases.

  104. Shirley

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to switch off rest times during indoor swimming? Since Movescount doesn’t transfer non-GPS moves to Strava I had to export a .fit file of my swim into Strava. However I did not get information of all laps but instead one whole interval of the entire distance I’ve swam. Pushing off the wall is also listed down as a rest/interval in Movescount. So in conclusion in Movescount intervals and pace is accurate, whereas after export to Strava pace is wrong because rest time is added in as swim time.

  105. Karl

    One issue so far.

    I’ve added a single POI (My home) using the MovesCount website. Its shows on there with the correct Latitude and Longtitude.

    When i sync the watch the POI shows up, with the correct name and thecorrect Longtitude, however the Latitude shows as 0.00000N

    This means when I navigate to it i get a distance of a few thousand kilometers.

    I’ve tried deleting the POI from the watch and the website and re-creating but still the same.

    Haven’t tried creating the POI from the watch by standing outside and setting the location, however even if this works it’s not useful to have to be in teh spot physically before setting a POI.

    Any ideas?

  106. Ulrich

    Hi Ray,
    any idea if Suunto will release a bug fixed FW in regards to BLE connectivity anytime soon?

    Thanks & br Ulrich

  107. Jeremy Marie

    Still debating between sport and peak to replace AMbit 2.
    Not sure I have a real use for barometric altimeter…but I like the long battery (in one year, the battery difference between 2 and 2s have been useful like…3 times).
    As I’m leaning on longer trail-running (typically 100kms), the Peak seems to hold the lead.
    But, even with the peak, the battery won’t make it till the end -> I need an external battery (like Anker) so, if I’m to buy an external battery anyway…the 3 Sport may be the clever choice.

    Has anyone tried to run with the Ambit and an external battery attached? I’ve tried to simulate this yesterday, the plug seems to hold on well, but I’m still thinking on how to hold the battery itself…May be around the forearm, secured by a buff (I often keep a buff around the wrist just in case…may be useful to secure the battery…)

    • Adam

      how much time do You need exactly to run 100k?
      If it’s less than 20hrs, than Ambit2 / 3 Peak will make it on Good GPS setting (5sec sampling) without external battery. Ambit2S or Ambit3 Sport would need one in this case. Clear advantage.

      If it’s more than 20hrs, I would strongly recommend to stay on 50k and marathons 😛 But even if, this would mean You would walk majority of the distance and than Ambit 2 / 3 Peak could be set to Ultra tracking (60sec sampling) and would make it again without external battery. Ambit2S or Ambit3 Sport would need one in this case. Again clear advantage as above..

    • Brad

      Jeremey, I run 50K to 120 milers and I have the Peak and do not use an ext battery. I don’t like having the hassle so when over 50 miles I use 60s GPS fix and a footpod. The footpod gives good pace and distance data for the race and th 60s fix gives an overall route. Since it is a race I don’t need an accurate GPS trace but I do need to carefully monitor pace. I have also found in deep canyons you can get an errors in the GPS by a few miles that will affect your pacing for a race. Just my 2 cents worth.

      I have tried running with the battery, it is ok but you have to put the battery in a pocket on a handheld or your pac and will have a wire hanging around…I prefer the footpod.

    • Jeremy Marie

      100k in french Alps, I won’t be unhappy with running it in sub20h 🙂
      Anyways, the more I think abut it, the more I lean toward the peak…just because “in case” I need it…and the case may happen. Even if I can make it with the Sport and 5s GPS fix…well the peak does the same with 1s gps fix.

      i do not need a clean route, just a good estimate of the distance to know if the following base is near or not…even the pace is not so important (for mountain trail I mean, for a roady race it would be different of course).

    • Jeremy Marie

      I don’t think I want to bother with footpod anymore, and not sure if it would be useful during trail running with steep uphills/downhills.

      But the more I think of it, the more I figure that an external battery is a so-so answer (it may be used for longer ultra trails where the pace isn’t really high and where holding a battery for sometimes may not be too inconvenient…)

      Thanks for your inputs Brad && Adam !

    • Morey000

      I successfully used an external USB charger while running with my Ambit 2S. The battery was in a pocket, and I ran the wire down my sleeve. the clip held and charged during pouring rain. Other than the extra minute it took me to set it up at an aid station- it was no problem.

    • Jeremy Marie

      Thanks morey000

      Do you have any advice on external usb charger?
      I was looking at the Anker models (astro miny that is), it seems quite small and should give enough power to fully charge the ambit two times I guess.

      Actually, the lower profile and “enough spec” aspects of the 3 Sport could make it for me…

      And knowing how I am, if I find I miss the baro-alti and battery life, I’ll buy AMbit 4 peak 🙂

    • Jeremy Marie

      Thanks morey000

      Do you have any advice on external usb charger?
      I was looking at the Anker models (astro miny that is), it seems quite small and should give enough power to fully charge the ambit two times I guess.

      Actually, the lower profile and “enough spec” aspects of the 3 Sport could make it for me…

      And knowing how I am, if I find I miss the baro-alti and battery life, I’ll buy AMbit 4 peak when it’s out 🙂

  108. John

    I am wondering if someone might have a solution for me. I currently have the 3 Sport, but can’t get HR alerts to work. HR Limits are on in my sport profiles, sound alerts are on, but if I go above my HR there is no beeping on my watch. I have synced it multiple times.

  109. Brad

    John, HR alerts are not instantaneous on the Ambits. If you go over, it takes a minute or more of being over before the alarm sounds. This, I think, is so a short spike does not trigger the alarm. The alarm will only sound once every two or three minutes. You will get a tone immediately when you return to the designated HR zone. It is implemented differently than Garmin.

    • John

      Thanks Brad. Polar is like Garmin then, letting you know almost immediately when you’ve gone over your max hr. Suunto makes it difficult then for anyone who wants to train via heart rate, as 1-2 minute delay is significant over a long run.

    • Adam

      Suunto makes it extremely flexible: simply write an app and trigger the alarm the way You want.

    • John

      Adam, I spent 5 hours yesterday researching the “app” functionality of the Ambits. Even tried to write my own app. Perhaps you’re much more intelligent on the software end than I am, but I could not figure out to write one to get it to trigger the alarm the way I want it to.

    • Brian

      I’d start with creating a variable for TargetMaxHR. In the app, set that to the Suunto_HR. If that is more than your taget, use Suunto.AlarmBeep() to beep.

      This might get old – every second it’s over, it would beep. This can be fixed by adding in some counters where maybe it beeps every 10 seconds or something, and then resets when you get back under. Admittedly that gets quite a bit more complex. But it can be done.

      On a very simple level, something like this should get you started:

      /* While in sport mode do this once per second */
      if(SUUNTO_HR > TargetMaxHR){
      Suunto.alarmBeep();
      RESULT = SUUNTO_HR;
      } else {RESULT = SUUNTO_HR;}

    • John

      Brian, Thanks! I’m playing around with it now. That helps. Everything else about the watch I absolutely love, compared to the Fenix 2 I had for about 2 months. The other stuff just works.

    • John

      This functionality is just too archaic, limited, and not user friendly. I train primarily by HR, with different HR settings within the same workout. I don’t want to keep looking at my watch to see where my hr is. I really wanted to keep this watch, since I like everything else about it, but without implementing a custom workout program on the software side like Garmin or Polar, I won’t be able to keep it, and will be returning it today. It’s sad though, because it would seem that implementing custom workouts on the software side wouldn’t be that difficult.

    • Adam

      I think the more time You will spend exploring, the more You will start to enjoy it! And constantly improving/adapting Your app. At least this was my experience (and I am not any coding geak :-P).

      Anyway, if You will have any trouble, just browse through existing apps (not necessarly from HR area, but simply any app) or post question here.

      If You won’t find it interesting at all, write here exactly what You wish the app to do? I (and I am pretty sure many others) will try to help…

      Adam

    • Adam, I’m sure you’re not a “coding geAk”, you don’t even know how to spell “geEk” 😛

    • Adam

      that would be my english to be blamed mainly.

    • John

      Adam, I have browsed through the apps and have not found an app that suits my needs. I’ve tried to see if I could edit or revise it to suit my needs, but couldn’t. Ideally, what I want is an app that would alert me when my hr goes above the following parameters until my HR drops below:

      1) Max HR 142 for 7:30
      2) Max HR 152 for 7:30
      3) Max HR 162 until stop

      I haven’t been able to get it work.

    • Vpoux

      Hello,
      In order to generate the code of your apps, you can visit this web site:
      link to mytrainingplan.eu
      I use it to create my own training session

      Vince

    • Adam

      My code is probably way to complicated for Your needs, but it should works. I havent tested it on the watch, just the simple app testing on movescount, but You can try it out:

      /* reset all variables at start of activity */
      if (SUUNTO_DURATION == 0)
      {
      TargetHR1 = 142; /* set here You 1st target HR to any value */
      TargetHR2 = 152; /* set here You 2nd target HR to any value */
      TargetHR3 = 162; /* set here You 3rd target HR to any value */
      Beeps = 0; /* Number of beeps */
      Over = 0; /* indicator of exceeding TargetHR */
      Buffer = 2; /* set buffer for smoother alarms */
      Interval = 450; /* set here duration of interval in sec (7:30 is 450sec) */
      }
      else if (SUUNTO_DURATION (TargetHR1 + Buffer))
      {
      /* if CurrentHR just went over TargetHR */
      if (Over == 0)
      {
      /* set number of beeps to 3 */
      Beeps = 3;
      /* set Over flag to avoid constant beeping */
      Over = 1;
      }
      }
      /* CurrentHR below Target HR */
      if (RESULT < (TargetHR1 – Buffer))
      {
      /* if CurrentHR just went below TargetHR */
      if (Over == 1)
      {
      /* set number of beeps to 1 */
      Beeps = 1;
      /* reset Over flag to avoid constant beeping */
      Over = 0;
      }
      }
      }
      else if (SUUNTO_DURATION (TargetHR2 + Buffer))
      {
      /* if CurrentHR just went over TargetHR */
      if (Over == 0)
      {
      /* set number of beeps to 3 */
      Beeps = 3;
      /* set Over flag to avoid constant beeping */
      Over = 1;
      }
      }
      /* CurrentHR below Target HR */
      if (RESULT (TargetHR3 + Buffer))
      {
      /* if CurrentHR just went over TargetHR */
      if (Over == 0)
      {
      /* set number of beeps to 3 */
      Beeps = 3;
      /* set Over flag to avoid constant beeping */
      Over = 1;
      }
      }
      /* CurrentHR below Target HR */
      if (RESULT 0)
      {
      Suunto.alarmBeep();
      Suunto.light();
      Beeps = Beeps – 1;
      }

      All settings are done inside first IF (while duration == 0). You can define there the interval lenght and of course HR levels. I have added also “Buffer” that is used to avoid constant beeping while on the edge of current target HR. I have predefined it to value 2, which means that it will beep if You exceed not 142bpm but 144, and going back below target HR at 140 not 142… You can simply define it with value 0 to have alarms at exactly target HR.
      Watch will beep 3 times when going over target HR, and only once when You will be back below target HR – this is controlled by variable “Beeps” and again You can change it the way You want.

      Adam

    • Adam

      Some characters were cut :-/, mainly the greater/lower value checks in some IFs :-/ I am trying to paste here link to the app itself, but movescount generates some error. I will try it later, but meanwhile You can serach the app by “hralarm”, created by Lehoo. If You will have more luck openning it in movescount…

    • Adam

      here is the link:
      link to movescount.com

      hope it gets to work soon…

    • Dom

      I think the site has defanged what look like HTML tags in your code, removing everything between each pair of less than and greater than signs. Try wrapping it in code tags or using < for less than, maybe?
      Let’s see:

    • Dom

      Aha. Forget the code tags and replace < with & l t ; and > with & g t ; with the spaces removed.

    • Dom

      Aaand you sorted it out yourself while I was posting those, ignore me.

    • John

      @Adam, thanks for your help. Am trying to work with it this morning. Suunto could easily incorporate custom workout designs on their end ala Garmin and Polar. They have software and website designers. It would save a lot of people much frustration.

  110. Karl

    Bit of an issue after the recent MovesCount website udpate.

    I did three moves while the website was being updated. The watch sync’ed to the phone app, however these have not gone to the website.

    they show on the app as greyed out. Any ideas how to get these to sync across??

    • Brad Olwin

      Happened to me too. Just connect the watch to the USB cable on the computer. My moves uploaded this way. They need to fix this.

    • Karl

      I tried connecting it but i think the service was still down.

      I uninstalled the app, reinstalled and re-paired the watch and they sync’d across OK.

      new moves sync properly too.

    • Josha

      Seconding, Brad’s comment. Had the same issue, and this fixed it.

  111. Jamie

    Does the HR graph show up on the watch ONLY with the Suunto monitor or does any HR monitor work? Reason I ask is that I bought a Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart monitor and it works fine & records great but I can’t get a graph type chart to show up on my watch! What do you “enable” and where, if any works. A graph shows up for my daily activity monitor, so I know it can. And my MC app & website show a graph for HR. Why oh why can’t I figure this out?!?! Help….please….I have a marathon Saturday and want to get my watch setup right.

    • Karl

      Have you added the graph as a screen on any of your activities?

      Add a screen to an activity on MovesCount and you’ll see laft and right arrows on the bezel of the virtual watch.

      Click those till you see the graph screen, hit the little arrow to selct what you want the graph to show.

    • Jamie

      Ah….the bezel side arrows! That is what changes the screen options for seeing data! I hadn’t even noticed them before, just the blue up & down arrows ON the screens next to the field names. Black bezel side arrows!!! Ding ding! Winner! Thanks Karl!

  112. Heini

    Does the Smart sensor store HR for all activity/workout profiles or only swimming? Ie. if I do for instance a crossfit session and leave the phone/Ambit3 in the bag will the workout HR data be stores and transferred when getting close to the iPhone/Ambit3 Again?

    And thank you for your excellent reviews 🙂

  113. Juan

    Hi.
    I have a AMBIT 3 sport blue. In my running pages I have a field with the Tempeture. I don’t know why but it works. I run 8 km and the tempeture changes from 32*c to 28*c (I live in Canary Island.).

  114. Peter

    Ambit 1, 2, and now 3 owner here. Love the concept of bluetooth synch – but a little flakey? I don’t ride (MTB) with my iPhone so as soon as I leave the house (or car) I lose connectivity as expected. Coming back in range of the iPhone bluetooth, the watch does not re-etablish connectivity about 90% of the time and I have to generally do something to force it to connect and synch (activate the app, turn bluetooth off then on on the phone, etc.).

    Anyone have similar experiences or a workaround that makes it possible to just have the watch synch automatically

  115. Owen

    Hi Ray, any idea how the ambit3 plays with Kinetic inRide for trainer workouts? I’m curious if that also sends accurate speed & cadence info to the watch as well as power?

  116. Owen

    Hi Ray, any idea how the Ambit3 plays with the Kinetic inRide for trainer workouts? I’m curious if that also sends accurate speed & cadence info to the watch as well as power?

  117. Arthas

    This is the first time I buy a sport watch, so this could be a silly question (pardon me if it really is). Here it goes…

    How many hours of workout can be stored in the watch before memory is full / old data is overridden?

    The reason why I ask this is I will have a 9-day bike trip, each day riding 10 hours. There will be no PC access and none of my teammates have iPhone (damn!). The trip is next month so Andriod phones cannot help. I will be recording at 1s GPS interval, and I only record basic data like GPS location, distance, pace, elevation. Can Ambit 3 last for my trip on its own memory?

  118. CJ

    Hi,

    I just purchased the Ambit 3 and I’m trying to decide if I should take it back and just get the much cheaper 2s or 2. Can someone please tell me the main differences. I initially liked the idea of getting text messages while riding, but I do not have an iphone, so until they update to Android, I can’t get them. Any input is greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

  119. correct me if I’m wrong, but you only get a notification of a received text message, not the whole message, that’s it. It’s only static notifications as they would appear on your phone, you cannot respond in any way. Plus, who wants to carry their phone while training ?? I don’t get this new trend… it’s a training watch, not a smartwatch ! Suunto should stick with what they’re good at : useful training metrics and great hardware-design. Innovation is good, but in this expensive RnD market, I wouldn’t mind being the follower and only implement new technologies when the cost has been reduced. Suunto, if you want to go into the smartwatch niche, do it right and add a microphone to the ambit4

    Yes, you could save alot and get the ambit2,

    • CJ

      I carry my phone while cycling…..I suppose you don’t like the extra 100 grams on your bike while on a 3 hour training ride? I knew I couldn’t respond through the watch, but as long as I can see the message that’s fine with me.

    • I’d guess that approximately 95% of people carry their phone in their back pocket during training. Maybe a bit more.

    • CJ

      Thanks for the reply,

      do you know if they are going to support Android based smartphones, or are they just going to stick with iphone?

    • Yes, they plan to in 2015. From what I’ve heard in the last few days, it’ll be in the earlier portion of 2015, rather than later in the year.

    • You’re right about carrying the phone on the bike. But running ?

      Ray, you say 95% of people carry their phone while training. Do you mean for cycling only or training in general. If 95% carry their phone will running, I’m astounded !

    • Drew Martin

      I started carrying a phone while running when my children were born. I just wanted to be accessible at all times in case of emergency. I like the notifications to the watch from the phone during activity so I can peek and make sure it’s not an emergency and run on…I just use this:

      link to clevertraining.com

      I have found it to not be a hassle at all.

    • I was referring to cycling.

      Running on the other hand varies heavily by country (and ability) from what I’ve seen. For example, I’d guess there are far less people running with phones in the US, compared to Singapore. I did a 10K race in Singapore and was blown away by how many people were running with phones, it was mind boggling (it was at night, so it was easy to see the glow): link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Drew

      Wow that is some glow. Now I guess I should mention I don’t carry mine during a race or track work. But most other training runs I do tend to have it on me and don’t even notice it’s there. But then again I don’t have a Samsung Galaxy Note or some other giant phablet 🙂

    • Brad

      I carry my phone most of the time on my runs. I run primarily alone, I run on trails in remote areas or off trail in remote areas. The phone has downloaded maps so I can see where I am without a connection and serves as my gps device when I need it. I am often in places where the weather can change dramatically and I may be 15 to 20 miles from a trailhead. The phone connects to a satellite communicator so that I can send a message to family friends and to start/end tracking. It is a matter of safety for me. So yes, I am part of the group that carries a phone…oh and it allows me to take photos too without carrying a camera. Useful device…I do not listen to music while I run again primarily out of safety.

    • yeah, that’s is very understandable, when you go miles into trails.

      Brad, are you BradOlwin from watchuseek.com forums ?

    • Shirley

      I’m from Singapore. Ray, that 10k race you went to was more like a party-race, so it’s very likely that the more serious runners aren’t there. Personally if I were to go into a race like this (and I have an upcoming Puma night race that I will be running for fun in a neon tee), I would be bringing my phone as well for photos 😉

      For more serious races you’ll see a lot of people with Garmins or Polars. I do bring out my phone on my long runs, because I did it once without a phone or money (!), and it was a really bad idea. A flipbelt, I found, is a really great way to carry your phone and other essentials, because it doesn’t bounce. At all.

    • True, though, in many of the more ‘fun’ runs I’ve done elsewhere in Europe and in the US, I’ve never seen that volume of runners with phones. Not even a fraction of that.

  120. dan aziz

    will my wahoo bt strap work with the ambit 3?

  121. SS

    Hi Ray. I just recently got the Ambit2 and was planning to use it mostly for indoor training/running, outdoor running, hiking, and mountaineering. Do you think it’s worth the upgrade to Ambit3 for the pure convenience of syc’ing wirelessly? I guess I’m just thinking that it would be nice to have that option when you’re on the go and want to do it wirelessly through your iphone. Also, I had purchased the foot pod mini, which I’ve come to learn I wouldn’t need if I were to upgrade to Ambit3? Thanks for your input.

    • You actually don’t need the footpod with the Ambit2 either. With the update this past spring the functionality is the same there between the Ambit2 and Ambit3.

      As for wireless sync, that’s a tough one. The price gap is pretty strong right now between the Ambit2 and the Ambit3, so much so that I think the Ambit2 (or more specifically the Ambit2 S) is a huge value right now price wise.

  122. Ulrich

    Hi everyone!
    Today I got a reply from Suunto Support regarding the BLE connectivity issues with some 3rd party devices. They told me to “stand by for the near firmware update”.

    Cheers

  123. Matthew

    Hello Ray,

    Do you know if there are any plans to work directly with TrainingPeaks? Thanks!

    Regards,

    Matthew

    • They were talking at one point, but I don’t know where that stands. Technically speaking it’d be about 95% on Suunto to implement, since the API for TP is well understood and utilized.

  124. Sam Lewis

    Can it be charged up by a usb external battery solar panel while in gps/ track mode

  125. Goran

    Does anyone else have the problem in outdoor swimming with HR data, it seems i have the data before entering the water and after coming out. In between I have a flat line.

    I didn’t find any setting where you could tell the HR module to start memorizing data.

    • Did you wait for the unit to finish syncing before saving the activity (should only take about 10-30 seconds, in a paused state).

    • Goran

      I haven’t paused the activity, but i was outside water for a minute before stopping it.
      Will try tomorrow with pausing after getting out of the water.

    • Goran

      Pausing the exercise after exiting water didn’t help. Still getting flat line while in water, it seems that the HR module doesn’t record the history while in water.

      I wrote to Suunto support, hope they answer soon.

  126. Chintan

    Hi,

    Wahoo TICKR X or Suunto Smart sensor which is better choice for my ambit 3 sports

    • Only the Suunto strap will allow you to sync your HR data after a swim, thus, for use with the Ambit3, I’d go with the Suunto strap.

    • panos

      One way i guess you can syncronize (after the workout) ambit 3 and tickr X is to use Sportracks.
      You upload your ambit 3 workout to Sportracks.
      You export tickr X data from wahoo app in a format that can be imported to Sportracks.
      You import that data to Sportracks and choose to update the ambit 3 workout.

      At least that is the way i am gonna try to get swim hr an running dynamics from
      the combination of ambit 3 and tickr X. I hope it works.

    • Sepp

      It’s not about syncing to movescount, it’s about recording data under water and then syncing it to the watch itself.

  127. Dan

    Good morning.. I notice the Ambit 3 Peak Black is the same price as the Sport Sapphire.. If the Peak has a 50 hour battery life, compared to the 25 hour battery life of the sport watch, would it not be better to go for this one? I am a tri athlete (long distance) and unsure how important that would be. Also if you turn the GPS off, will the battery life last a number of days / weeks without a re charge?
    Thanks

    • It really just depends on if you need the additional during-sport battery life, or if you need the barometric altimeter. For many folks (I’d actually guess most folks), they don’t need either. Now, assuming you’re doing Iron-distance as you noted, then it might make more sense.

      As for GPS off, yes, it’ll last many weeks.

    • Paul

      Dan, im pretty much in your same shoes, im still wondering whether to get the Peak or the Sport.
      The Peak has the barometer which i dont really care for.
      The Peak has double battery life, and that is VERY important for me.
      Im not a triathlete but i do pretty long hikes and bike rides and such, so battery life is very important.
      And indeed, if you turn the GPS off the battery life lasts for a number of days, the Suunto website says 30 days for the Peak and 14 for the Sport.
      Im kind of disappointed Suunto didnt make the battery for the Sport as powerful as the one for the Peak.
      The black Peak is kind of ugly and boring, the Peak Sapphire is a bit better looking but we’re talking about a price almost double than the Sports (600 vs 400 euro with HR strap).
      I like the Sport colors a lot more, especially the blue one, but im afraid if im going to buy that one, im going to regret it when i run out of battery.

    • Jamie

      Agreed.
      It would have been nice to have a better battery life in the Sport. I just really disliked the lack of colors in the Peaks though….ugh! Black or black with a silver bezel….really?! I had to weigh the times I will likely need that extra battery in a single activity, and the times I would need over 20 hours at once are few & far between(like maybe 2x a year) and in those times, I could use a charger with it in my vest during the first part, which I would be wearing anyways since it would be an ultra event that requires mandatory supplies being carried. So that helped me make a decision that 362 days a year, I’d rather look at my blue watch that is lighter weight and thinner depth and for 2 days/events, need a charger hooked up for a few hours, than buy one of those black ones that will only shine in it’s battery usefulness 2 days out of the year.
      The lower cost was a bonus! But yes, something like 3/4 of the battery life of the Peak or something closer than half would have been nice.

    • Brad

      I agree with you Jamie and if the sport had the baro altimeter I would have bought one. I use that feature quite often and typically need 15+ h of battery only 2 times per year but I went with the peak….

  128. Karl

    Hoping someone with an Ambit can help me out.

    I have a route in the watch for a 2 day hike. I have start, end and multiple way points along the way.

    I know I can start an activity, start the route and get guidance from waypoint to waypoint.

    My question is, if I’m half way into day 1 and decide to start the navigation, how do I tell the watch which way point to start at?

    Seems you have to choose start, end or any point inbetween and then which direction pyrite travelling in. However this isn’t much use if you are lost and not sure which waypoint you are closest to.

    Would be easy to accidentally choose a waypoint which is 1-2 back from where you are.

    Any tips?

    • Adam

      Hmm, I remember Garmins used to have an option to display the nearest waypoint – pretty cool. Not sure though for Ambit, but probably not.
      One tip could be to assing different icons to each waypoint, then You should be able to see the route itself with all waypoints (with different icons) in overall route view and easily decide which one is the closest from Your current position.
      Then, deciding which direction to go (start or end), is not really dependent on the fact that Your are lost.

    • Paul

      Good points Jamie, you convinced me to go for the Sport Blue.
      It’s more convenient to bring an external battery for the few times in a year im going to need the extra battery life, rather than looking at the ugly Peak every day, lol.

    • Paul

      i quote the wrong person, sorry

    • cristian zantedeschi

      I have also bought the SPORT BLUE !!

    • Jamie

      Nice Paul! I really think you’ll like the choice you made. External chargers are pretty easy to use, especially if you have to wear a pack or take supplies anyways.
      The blue is pretty rad looking IRL! Enjoy!

    • Brad

      On day two it would help if you know which waypoint is next. If not choose one that is close and start your move, you may be asked which direction, go forward. On the Nav screens, you will see the direction to the next waypoint, if it is one you have already passed, select skip waypoint from the options menu and the next one will appear. If you selected 3 or 4 waypoints back that you already passed, one can simply continue to skip waypoints until you are headed toward the next one.

      It is a bit clunky but I have done this during the middle of a route when I thought I knew where I was going and did not start Nav. It is faster than it sounds and works fairly well.

  129. Chintan

    Hi,

    Treadmill running what to set for exercise mode as running or indoor training, if set to running should leave GPS On or Off

    • Brad

      leave it off, it will try to lock on and won’t take your speed/distance from the accelerometer. If you select treadmill from the exercise list, most of the settings are in place already.

  130. Tim

    Does the Ambit3 record transition times for triathlons and does it do it in an easy fashion like the 910xt and V800?

  131. Check out link to ambitintervals.com – a site/app I’ve created to design structured workouts & interval sets for Suunto Ambit watches.

    The site generates two Ambit Apps – one to track your duration for each workout step (time, distance, bpm, kcal), and one to track your target (pace, speed, watt, bpm, cadence). The apps are meant to be used together, configured on the same screen.

    Still not as easy/good as workouts on Garmin watches – but a better option than having to hand-code each interval session as a custom app.

    • John

      @Jonas, Thank you for the link. It is definitely the best I’ve seen from a user standpoint. However, I get no beeps when my heart rate is above or below the thresholds I set. I only get an alert when it’s time to go on to the next interval. Without hr notification during each interval, it won’t really work for my purposes.

    • Thanks for the comment John and suggestion!

      You’re right, currently it only beeps to notify that you have reached your duration for that step. Notifying for target/intercity is a good idea. I can add it as an option/checkbox weather you want audio alerts when you are above/below your target.

      How would you like the feature to work? Continuous beeps until you’re back in your defined range, or perhaps a doble-beep when you’re above, and a tripple beep when you’re below (but only once, to avoid too many annoying beeps)?

    • John

      Jonas,

      If you’re asking me, definitely NOT continuous beeps! Ideally, something like you suggested. A double beep above maybe once every 10 seconds until you are back within range. As for notification below the range, I would say that isn’t as important to me, especially if you can’t code it so it won’t beep if you happen to pause the workout and your heart rate returns to resting. For example, I used the mytrainingplan.eu website that was mentioned, and tried a run. Whenever I would stop take a photo, and my heart rate dropped below the zone I had set, the watch would beep continuously even though my workout was paused. It was the most annoying thing I had ever encountered with a watch. I would just assume that if the workout was paused, the notifications would stop. But I guess not.

      Again, many thanks for your website and programming this for the rest of us.

  132. Jubbleys

    Hi, I have the ambit 3 Sport blue and am new to tracking my performance except on the occasional endomondo or mapmyfitness app on my phone.

    But I am struggling to understand the calorie output, it seems really off or I just don’t understand it, I went kayaking for 3.30 hours and went over 6 miles and my heart rate never really dropped below 100bpm the whole journey.

    Ambit3 told me I burnt 642 calories? my gut and every other website and app points this out to be wrong by about 2000 calories.

    Sorry if this is a very inexpedience question but I have spent hours googling any details and cant find any helpful info to decode what’s going on.

    Thanks for any advice, I tried posting on Suunto forum but have had nobody respond.

    • Jubbleys

      Sorry i did 9.9 miles not 6

    • Brad

      I agree with you Jamie and if the sport had the baro altimeter I would have bought one. I use that feature quite often and typically need 15+ h of battery only 2 times per year but I went with the peak….

    • Brad

      Sorry Jubbleys that was stuck in the wrong place. Have you checked to make sure all body metrics in Movescount agree with the Ambit and are accurate. If your age/weight and activity class are not set properly, the calories will be way off.

      However, burning 2000 kcal requires a serious effort. For me, a 26 mile trail run with 7000 feet elevation gain and an avg 122 bpm HR was 3281 kcal. Unless your HR was very high, I think 3.5 h in a kayak might not be 2000 kcal.

    • Karl

      Maybe post a link to your move in MovesCount? I would think that there is a setting wrong somewhere. Maybe set to female instead of make? This makes a big difference in calories.

      You should be getting more than 650 calories burnt over 3.5 hours and 6 miles.

      I wouldn’t think it would be 2650 but closer to 1800.

      This is a great website for estimates:
      link to shapesense.com

    • Jamie

      Brad, I could see that the barometer would be a handy feature. You gotta do what you gotta do, it would be nice if they would give an alternate color scheme in the peak. 3 gens in, I think they know these Ambits sell decently. I doubt they would get stuck with a ton of popular colored ones(like say, if they had an alternate color choice be red, aka something normal color wise, like they did with the blue in the sport). Or make the silver bezel one be gunmetal grey instead of black, etc. Etc.

      Jubbleys,
      That is a crap ton of cals for a kayak ride(your old estimate, not the 6xx, just to clarify!) but I am forever jealous of other people’s activity calorie burn. I am a tiny female and I just ran a 26.2 marathon Saturday and sadly burnt all of 1401 cals for the trouble. Man oh man, what I wouldn’t do for a 2XXX cal burn day! I have to try so dang hard just to get close even.
      I can’t imagine! So it sounds like it isn’t possible to me to have a kayak ride that went 9 miles be so high. I kayak all the time and if I break 400, I am ecstatic!

  133. Daniel Reynolds

    Thanks for the discount! Just bought and saved $50.00. Can’t even get that kind of discount on ebay, lol. 😉 Cheers.

  134. Pawel

    Hi, so I confirm my ambit 3 works with Polar stride sensor (foot pod) from polar v800.

    Regards Paul

  135. Nelson Valente

    Hi, can I see the “live track” ( like Garmin) or something similar with the new Ambit 3?
    Best regards

    Nelson Valente

    • Skoinas

      @Nelson, why not read the review first? It’s clearly discussed there.

    • Brian

      But to answer the question, no. I hope they will consider adding it in the future. Espeically since I could actually use it (unlike on my Fenix2 – I’m not willing to give up heart rate data for live tracking)

    • Nelson Valente

      @Skoinas I’ve read the review and it isn’t clear to me (I’ve read the Fenix 2 review and that was clear)

      Best Regards!

    • Skoinas

      @Nelson, you read the review? If you had read it, or done a quick search like I am doing, you would have found the following, all from DCR, which would have answered your question:

      “Second is that the app as of today doesn’t have live tracking, nor is that in the immediate plans. It remains to be seen whether areas like course/navigational transfer via phone will make the app cut.”

      “No, [Live Tracking is] not in the cards today. Down the road Suunto could certainly add it via an app update and device firmware update. But not today and/or for launch.”

      “No, [Live Tracking’s] not currently planned.”

      “No, [Live Tracking’s] not possible.”

      “For example, do you value ANT+ sensors or Live Tracking? Go Fenix2. Or do you prefer Bluetooth Smart sensors and swimming HR tracking? Then go Ambit3.”

    • Nelson Valente

      Tks to answer @Skoinas
      I know that is’t possible at moment, my question was in the future… but thanks i understand now.

      BR

      Nelson Valente

  136. Joel Engström

    For me the biggest draw back seems to be the lack of make-your-interval-on-the-watch just before you start your training. Is it possible to sit down one night and program and transfer like 20 different intervalprograms to the watch (for example 1. Named “20×400”: warm up until press button, 20×400 m/400 m, warm down until press button; 2. Named “6×1 km”: warm up as above, 6×1 km/3 min, coool down as above. 3 and so on). When I want to start my training id like to just choose theintervalprogram id like to run from the watch without using a computer.
    is this possible? Will the memory on the clock be enough? Thanks!

    • Kaspar

      Hi Joel,

      You can load a maximum of 10 different activity configurations onto the watch. If you use them all for different running setups, that should carry you quite far. Of course, you will have to store 10 versions of your interval counter app on Movescount, as apps are shared between configurations. If you use the very basic Suunto interval timer, you can define it differently for each config.

      Memory is not a problem in this regard. I think only running apps use memory, otherwise they’re just small bits of code on the watch.

      Myself, I have three running configurations on mine, one generic with auto-lap, one with an interval timer app and one with a distance countdown app (which I both have to configure on the web site before use).
      Still leaves me seven configs for swimming, biking, hiking…

      Cheers
      Kaspar

  137. Dan Byrne

    HI Ray/All

    I recently purchased the Ambit3 Peak and tried to pair it with the Wahoo RPM cadence sensor under ‘Pair’ -> ‘Bike PODS’. It’s pairs fine – but then when I ride it it isn’t registering any cadence. I notice in the review above you used the same cadence sensor – whats the trick as it has me beat and I can’t find anything to explain what to do 🙂

    • Brad Olwin

      It works fine for me, make sure the magnets are reading and close to the sensors. You could try to re pair as well.

    • Dan Byrne

      Hi Brad

      I believe you are talking about a different type of Wahoo cadence sensor. Mine is the Wahoo RPM which has no magnets to spin past it: link to au.wahoofitness.com

      I have since managed to connect it as a ‘Bike POD’ but then only the cadence reading works and all distance, speed and other calculations on the Ambit3 read as Zero (i.e. it things I’m not moving.

  138. Josh Roberts

    I see someone mentioned an issue with calorie count above. I am having the same issue, but mainly the activity monitor is way off and it doesn’t seem to be recording calories when I use gps for a run. My activity tracker shows an average of 1300 calories burned per day. Everything else I look at shows that I would burn about 2000 daily without running and I currently run about 30 miles per week. I have the Ambit 3 Peak.

    • Jamie

      Josh,
      Make sure that in Movescount.com(not the app, but the browser version), in “Gear” and your Ambit3 exercise/sport settings, under “advanced” that you have unchecked the HR monitor box(will be listed with footpod/cadence/speed sensors). Then resync your device using the app(or computer). This will default the cal count during an activity back to using speed and distance as the cal count and include it in your daily activity tracker screen. So if you don’t want to wear your HR monitor all the time, you’ll either need to have multiple sport listings but some with HR box checked and some without(so you always get a calorie count) or just uncheck/check that little box every time you alternate wearing/not wearing your HR monitor.

    • Josh Roberts

      Thanks Jamie, but it looks like that is already set up with the box unchecked for the sport (trail running) that I have been using. I see that pods to search has HR belt checked. Could that have anything to do with it. I did contact customer service at Suunto and they told me it won’t record calories burned in exercise mode without a HR belt, but that doesn’t sound right to me.

    • Josh Roberts

      So, see two different things. Use heart rate limits which is unchecked and pods to search which has the HR belt checked. I am guessing you are talking about the pods to search selection. Is that correct Jamie?

    • Jamie

      You’ll want to uncheck all the ones that have to do with HR monitoring, so both the HR limits box AND the HR sensor/pods box. Unfortunately if it ever searches for a HR sensor at the beginning of an exercise(which means something IS checked that shouldn’t be if you aren’t wearing one), it keeps searching for it even after you dismiss it to “later”(which in my mind is lame-O!) and it will not calculate calories in your activity.

      And yes, Suunto is INCORRECT and it WILL record and calculate calorie burn in an exercise without the HR monitor(if you don’t have the boxes checked for it to search for it) using speed & distance to do so. It even says that in their own owners manual for the device!

    • Josh Roberts

      Thanks Jamie!

    • Josh Roberts

      Hey Jamie! The calorie thing works great now. Thanks for the info! Since you seem to know a lot, I figured I’d ask you another question. Now that I’ve unchecked the heart rate monitor, it seems that the option for viewing average pace has disappeared under the speed section of the choices. Would I just use the current activity average pace under the multisport section instead to get the overall average pace of my runs?

    • Jamie

      Josh,
      “Average pace” will only show up in either the top or bottom field areas, not the center. It disappears from the “speed” options menu if it isn’t in the top or bottom field choice. I have tried it both with HR pod checked & unchecked and I still get the same result, it disappears as an option in the center field.

    • Josh Roberts

      Thanks once again Jamie! Kind of odd, but at least I have it sorted out now.

  139. Sean

    Your a legend man I’m new to triathlons this year and you break stuff down perfectly for a newbie to the sport. Cheers

  140. Cristian Zantedeschi

    Hello !

    SUunto ambit 3 sport doesn’t Pair with VIIVA hr strap, and it doesn’t recognize the signal of the power meter POWER2MAX, bridged through the VIIVA strap. ( p2max is ant+ –> VIIVA BRIDGE –> bluetooth smart)

    it doesn’t work

    • cristian zantedeschi

      update :

      SUUNTO AMBIT 3 sport does pair with VIIVA strap

      SUUNTO AMBIT 3 sport does recognize POWER2max power pod, bridged ( ant+ –> bluetooth smart )

      BUT !

      the problem is the same as STRAVA APP:

      only 1 thing at time ( and only 1 pod at time )!

      It seems that VIIIVA bluetooth has an ID, and it is an unique ID for the device and not for the BRIDGED POD/VIIVA HR

  141. Josh Roberts

    So I contacted customer support at Suunto and they are telling me that the Ambit 3 will not record calories burned in exercise mode unless you are wearing a heart rate monitor. Really? That would mean that the activity tracker is pretty much worthless unless you pay for and use a heart rate monitor. Does this sound right to you?

  142. waffles

    From the Ambit3 manual:
    “Without a heart rate sensor, your Suunto Ambit3 Peak provides
    calorie consumption and recovery time for running and cycling
    activities where speed is used to estimate intensity. However, we
    recommend using a heart rate sensor to get accurate intensity
    readings.”

  143. James

    Hi Ray,
    I am looking forward to your final review of the ambit 3. I am trying to decide between that or Fenix 2. I do mostly trails in Michigan and will probably do a couple 50 milers over the next couple years. Just wondering your thoughts and eagerly waiting for your review to post.

    • Hi James,
      I have both. The f2 has a much better specification, looks better, has better software integration (I love to plan my trail runs with BaseCamp), but it is VERY unstable and the GPS accuracy is terrible. The A3 is less complex, lacks a lot in navigation, but it just works.

  144. Daniel Reynolds

    Wow. Just got the watch today. What a huge improvement over the ambit 2. The buttons feel better. The screen resolution looks better. The watch feels lighter. I’m totally digging it.

    • Verdy

      Hello Daniel, Just notice on the comments a few days back. Did you order from Clever Training on Sept 16 and got it on Sept 19? That was fast…

  145. Daniel Reynolds

    Yep. That’s right. Fast shipping from Clever Training. Thanks guys.

  146. Craig

    I think there is something screwy with the way the watch calculates calories used when connected to a Scosche RHYTHM+ heart rate monitor.
    I went for a 10k run yesterday @ 6 min/km, HR AV 166 bpm and when I finished, I synced with movescount. It said I only used 353 cal. Watch logbook also says 353 cal though Strava calculated 1091 cal.
    I know there can be a difference between HR v tables for calorie calcs but surely not that much?? I have checked all of my body metrics and they are correct.

    Am I missing something here?

    As an aside, it is a great watch. Leaves my TomTom MS cardio in its wake and in combination with the Scosche RHYTHM+ is perfect.

    • Hmm, seems like one set is a bit too low (Suunto), and the other far too high (Strava). I would expect about 600cal give or take 50-80 calories (basic maths says about 100c per mile).

      If you’ve double checked your profile metrics I’m not super sure there’s much more you can do there to be honest. :-/

    • Josh Roberts

      I’ve had the same issue with the Ambit 3 recording lower than normal calories burned. Do we know if the activity monitor is calculating any calories when not in motion like a garmin vivofit or is it strictly only calculating when you have it on your wrist and it’s moving. I wore both all day the other day and went for a 7 mile run. At the end of the day, the vivofit had me burning 2800 calories and the Ambit 3 1700.

  147. Oratios

    I am using for almost two weeks now the Ambit 3 Peak and I have already asked for a replacement HR sensor and emailed twice SUUNTO (no response yet). I mostly swim, bike and run but my problem is about openwater swimming. The HR readings I get are plainly absurd (i.e 31bpm while swimming in open water). That alone destroys all the data of the day as it messes with recovery time, calories, vo2 max, epoc….etc. I have tried to swim not only bare torso but with a triathlete suit, or a swimming t-shirt. NO LUCK. Any ideas? I haven’t been able to get that nice graph you demonstrate on youtube.

  148. ivan david garcia

    Hello to practice triathlon what watch you recommend suunto ambit 3 or polar v800.
    I’m happy with my garmin 910XT missing but made more accuracy in measurement of heart rate.
    in terms of polar v800 battery suunto ambit and 3 have better duration?
    thanks

  149. Daniel Reynolds

    I bought the Ambit 3 without the heart rate strap. Now, I’m thinking of buying the strap. Anyone know where to find one? Can’t find any online. Thanks

  150. Chintan

    Any way to copy existing exercise mode or always have to create new one from scratch, if you want something very similar with minor tweaks copying would help – any suggestions – thanks

  151. Michele

    Great article great product!
    Only a question, I have not understand how to use the HR belt in a swimming pool.
    I have to wear the sensor? and when I download the data?
    Thanks
    An italian fan

    • Correct, you have to wear the heart rate strap in the pool. Upon completion (but before you press save, above water), it’ll download the data from the strap to the watch.

  152. Rob Robinson

    Quick question- will the Ambit3 work the Polar H7 heart rate sensor?

    • Jamie

      Yup, I briefly had one and it works like a charm with the Ambit 3. I decided to return it and get the Suunto HR monitor and strap though, since it has memory and is smaller, but cost the same($79).

    • Rob

      Thanks Jamie. I’ve had issues with Suunto straps in the past. None of them have lasted more than a few months for me. I currently use a Polar strap with a Garmin Ant+ sensor with my Ambit2. The Polar strap is by far head and shoulders above the Suunto or Garmin strap in regards to more consistent HR readings and lasting longer. Maybe Suunto have improved their strap. I’m unsure. Bummer I cant just snap the new Suunto transmitter on to a Polar strap but since they went to a smaller design- I’m sure it won’t fit.
      So- you’re saying the Suunto transmitter has memory and the Polar H7 does not? – but when you download your data of your workout to Movescount or wherever- won’t you have all the data you need saved anyway? I guess I’m unclear what the “memory” function of the Suunto HR monitor actually does. Thanks again 🙂

    • Jamie

      Memory to record your HR when not within range of your watch(like swimming, in Ray’s post). Then you’ll upload it or let your watch capture it once you are back within watch/device range. The H7 is just instant reading, so your HR at that moment, not what it was 5 secs ago or 5 mins ago or whatever. I guess for me, being the same price as each other, why not get the Suunto one? Not that the H7 was bad or anything, it actually recorded my trail marathon last weekend just fine, steady readings, no chafe or issues with fit. My mind just wants best bang for the buck, for me, that seems to be the Suunto one.

    • Rob

      Ok- great. Thanks for the info. Cheers!

  153. Chintan

    Smart sensor connects to watch but cannot connect to iPhone app – any idea ?

    • Nigel

      Are you wearing the sensor when you try to connect? I have found it only connects if you are wearing it and the sensor is detecting your heart

    • Also, ensure the watch isn’t concurrently connected to the sensor (Bluetooth Smart sensors can only support one connection at once).

    • Hi Ray,
      concerning your previous comment regarding BT 4.1 and multiple devices allowed. Will the smart sensor eventually implement BT 4.1 or do we have to wait for new BT 4.1 products from Suunto?

    • It’s hard to say. I believe the specific chipset they’re using in their (Nordic) does support it at the hardware level. We’ve seen Polar attempt some of this, but they’re having a heck of a time and the BLE engineering team they have their is a bit bigger and more advanced than what Suunto has (one of their employees was recently the lead of the BT SIG for sports). Thus, I’d expect to see Suunto sit things out and let Polar figure it out first.

    • Chintan

      What is the difference in connecting the sensor to the watch versus app if you get same result I won’t worry much still I would like to atleast connect to my app

    • Nigel

      When you connect to the app it checks for firmware updates and lets you know how much battery power you have remaining.

      Other than that not much point at all.

    • Chintan

      This is what I got back from Suunto

      Chintan. Just to inform you that, you can’t directly connect the smart sensor to the Movescount App. The connection should be from smart sensor to watch, watch to Movescount App.

      Is this correct ?

    • It should work with the HR strap to at least show HR in a basic mode on the app.

      However, it doesn’t yet support downloading from the HR strap to the app directly, of saved data.

    • Chintan

      I see another person reported same issue, Ray if u talk with suunto please bring this up

  154. Chris

    Maybe I missed it in the review, does anyone know how long of a recording the heart rate monitor support before needing to sync with the watch?

    Does it just stop recording if it gets full?

    • Brad

      I asked Suunto this and they answered on their website (you can check for some useful other answers there as well). In short it depends on the HR. At 120 bpm I was told 3h of recording time I believe, it could’ve been 2h. It is a reasonable amount of storage. When I am absent from the watch for 1h it syncs the HR info in about 10s, before I get the watch out of my locker to turn off—very nice.

  155. Christian

    How does the Ambit3 register the length of the swim I have done in a indoor pool? Is it when my hand hit the edge or when i puss off the wall?

    It seems like sometimes it does not register my laps.

    • Nigel

      I’m pretty sure it’s the push off.

      Most watches have difficulty accurately counting laps, but I’ve found the Suunto to be fairly good. Over 56 lengths of a 25m pool the worst reading I got was 54 lengths. Most of the time it has been spot on or under by one length.

      Compare this to my TomTom Multipart which appeared to just make up random numbers (always under), anything from 17 to 44 – never really anywhere close to the actual length swam.

      So, because I swim a fair bit and wanted something I could rely on (as I hate counting laps and the manual counters are a pain) I’m happy with the Ambit.

    • Bo O

      The A3 does an okay job at counting swimming laps; for me, it seems more like a proxy than exact distance. I am a decent but learning swimmer and notice some variation on each lap as my stroke rate isn’t consistent sometimes. It seems like it consistently overestimates my distance even after retraining the watch after a warmup. I think if you have a lot of experience and swim with a steady flow it works well. Lastly, the HRM is worthless in the pool unless you wear a top to keep it in place.

  156. Marios

    Hey Ray,
    I was just wondering how close you are to your final review of the Ambit3? In your preview you mention early September 🙂 Hope you have time to do it.

  157. Paul

    any suggestion for a BT speed and cadence sensor that is going to work with the Ambit 3?

  158. Brad Olwin

    The Wahoo BT speed/cadence sensor works great with the Ambit3

  159. Clas Lau

    Hi.

    With the Armbit 3 – can I run one heart rate strap that sends both data to my Edge 510 and the armbit simultaniosly? Cannot go witheout the edge for my bike portion of the brick, and still I’d like to keep the armbit running for the intire duration of the triathlon?

    Clas

  160. Bo O

    I have owned this watch since it was released. It’s been great but nothing seems to work with this. Wahoo RPM cadence and/or stages power meters. No android support either. Suunto support is lacking and no communication to users. I can’t be the only one experiencing this. After dropping 450 in this watch I expect more.

  161. r4d4r

    Hi guys, I am having problems with the HR monitor. It pairs with the watch just fine, but I cant connect it to the movescount phone app. Any ideas?

  162. Simon Richardson

    Hi. I’m thinking of getting the Ambit3 but I want to get an optical HR strap that is Bluetooth and ANT+ to connect to my Edge 810. Is the Ambit working with the Scosche RHYTHM+ now??

    Is there a view on which is best the Scosche RHYTHM+ or the MIO link?

    • Bernd

      Simon the Mio works great

    • Craig

      Am using a Scosche RHYTHM+ with no problems, works great.

    • Actually, there is a catch.

      If your Scosche unit was made after August, it’ll work with the Ambit3, but if before then, it won’t. Scosche will swap it out. The issue appears to be that Suunto is doing a validation check for RR/HRV, and if a unit doesn’t transmit that it won’t pass the check. This is technically not per BLE spec.

      In the case of Scosche, they went ahead back in August and added a HRV/RR value just for the heck of it – hence why it works for units after then. Again, the BLE spec doesn’t require it and typically optical vendors don’t include it because the data isn’t super-accurate at this point.

    • Brian

      Do you know if Suunto is planning to drop that validation check in a future firmware? I’m guessing my RHYTM+ was made pre-august, hence why I can’t get it to work. Any suggestions about getting a replacement – I loathe calling tech support. (Let’s just say Suunto’s response to me on this issue thus far has been less that a complete waste of time)

    • I talked with Scosche about it today, you can simply e-mail they’re support and they’ll take care of you (get you a new unit).

    • Dom

      Is there any way to tell from the Scosche unit packaging if it has that firmware version, Ray?
      I have one on order already (chest straps give me weals after 10 miles or so) and am considering picking up an Ambit 3 at some point.

  163. Bernd

    I just got back from Europe, did not take my iPhone. My one and only move there just does not sync. I since have tested one move with the iPhone close by and it works correctly. Does any ones of the knowledge gods know how to force sync a move? I would be sad if it would be lost.

    Thanks for your help

  164. Jamie

    Hey Ray,
    For getting a third party BT smart sensor, like cadence on the bike or HR monitor, have you ever had it happen that a sensor works currently but in an update, no longer does with a device(especially Sunnto Ambit series)? Or is it that once it pairs, it always does. I am concerned about buying something that works with my Sport and then months later, no longer does. But Sunnto does not make all sensors out there.
    And please tell us your review is coming soon! I’d like to see some charts from you.

    • Sure. Here’s a preview from my Ambit3 review of the sensor compatibility tables as of today, Sept 25th, 2014: link to dcrainmaker.com

      I’m showing it here since I just finished presenting it as part of a session around standards issues.

      My review should be out Monday, I had planned for it to publish today, but unfortunately the Polar M400 had a last minute date-change from next week to today, which killed the time I had allocated to finalize the writing of the Ambit3 review.

      That said, don’t let the chart scare you too much without additional context. It’s really the only core issue I have with the Ambit3 (sensor compatibility).

    • Jamie

      Wow! That totally helps! Thanks!

    • Hannes

      Hi, just another sensor for your table:

      POLAR cadence Bluetooth Smart (link to polar.com)
      Same issue as Wahoo RPM –> Cadence yes, but overrides GPS speed with 0-values.

      Thank you so much for your very detailed tests!
      Hannes

  165. Josh Roberts

    Anybody else having issues with Suunto customer support having no clue how the Ambit 3 works? I emailed a question about the inaccuracy of the activity tracker and got a response that “the device does not record calories normally burned during a day by casual activity”.

    • Brian

      I’m not terribly impressed either. I sent them a ticket about my scosche hr strap, and the trouble shooting steps they sent me were about how to reset pair the Suunto strap. So yeah, they leave a bit to be desired.

    • Jamie

      Thirds.
      I have called them twice about questions I had, one computer related to Movescount not working on my hubs computer(I still can’t get my watch to talk to the computer via USB, it only says “program not responding, contact vendor”) and they have zero clue on how to trouble shoot it, other than reinstalling it a gazillion times. Not that I expect them to be whizzes for every computer out there but come on, just uninstall & reinstall on Windows??? That’s it?!?!
      The other one, it was cal & monitor related and I just figured that one out myself eventually, just by checking a box, test running it, nope…didn’t work….check another box, test run….yay, it worked. Trial and error type stuff. Stuff they should be able to answer, especially if it is even buried in their own owners manual.
      Now that being said, I have had less issues WITH my watch than I ever did both my Garmins usage wise, it always gets GPS fast, is accurate, doesn’t freeze up, etc. So product wise, I am impressed. But support wise….oy vey!

    • Josh Roberts

      Completely agree Jamie! Product wise, way better than Garmin. On the support side, it’s like they have had no training on the new product whatsoever. They tried to tell me at one point that none of their watches record calories burned without a heart rate monitor. I’ve been able to get a lot more info from this thread than from them.

  166. crackers

    I am trying to decide between the ambit3 sports and peak.

    From reading the posts here seems like the difference between the two is peak’s longer battery life and barometer, but according to suunto’s website the peak also has weather features which the sports doesnt have? Weather feature seems to be pretty significant for a watch like this. I dont mind getting the peak but like others, the colors are just limited and boring.

    Please if anyone can clarify if I am reading the website specs wrong? Thanks for any feedback!!

    • the weather features are tied to the barometer readings. If you go with the Sport, you loose the weather features (because there is no barometer) and also altitude readings (again, tied to the barometric pressure). You can still have GPS-based altitude but it’s often less precise. It depends on your needs.

    • crackers

      Thanks Dimitri for the clarifications.

      I guess for me weather is important and maybe not for others, guess i have no choice but to go with the peak and dull colors dang 😐

  167. Asaf

    Hi Ray
    Do you think Ambit2 will get the activity tracker feature (as in Ambit3) in a future firmware? Is it possible technically or are there any memory limitations?
    Thanks!

  168. James

    Hey Ray,
    I realize you are busy do you have an eta for the ambit 3 detailed review? I am waiting to read before making any purchase deicision.
    Thank you for all of your hard work and expertise.
    James

    • Monday. It got deferred due to a last minute change in date on the Polar M400 announcement, that zapped my time.

    • Why are you all waiting for the final review? What new and extraordinary information do you expect?
      I think already everything is said here (I have already bought the Ambit 3 Peak Saphire). You just have to read what as written and stop asking the same things again and again (It is really annoying to get the same questions over and over again).
      Nobody can tell you if you should buy the Ambit 3 or which model of them, it is your decision. And to make a good decision it is only necessary to read the information and compare it with your needs.

    • James

      Bernhard,
      Whatever…
      James

  169. I have bought the Ambit and the Adidas Speed Cell Footpod in the beginning of September. I have used the Speed Cell now for 7 runs of 12km / about an hour.
    Today my Ambit was not able to connect to it, I suspect the battery is empty. I’m also not able to connect with my mobile anymore.
    Has someone found a similar battery drain?
    I was used to change the battery in my old footpod once a year.

    • Marcel

      Bernhard,
      You might give your watch a ‘power off’ via the Servicemenu on the watch and than turn it back on. I had a similar issue with my HR Belt and the mobile App, not connecting via bluetooth anymore.
      Have had it 3 times since purchasing the watch, and registered a service ticket with Suunto.

  170. Flo Loferer

    Hello Ray,

    after using the Suunto Ambit 3 for almost a week now I am asking myself some questions, alse because I have tested the Polar V800 for a month before:

    1) I would like all the activity data to be shown in movescount. Perhaps in a separate section which would show steps, other activities, sleep duration and recovery time during a day. This would be valuable data.

    Do you know if there are any plans to implement this to Movescount (maybe similar to Polar Flow)?

    2) when i navigate along a preplanned route is there a possibility to get warned when i leave the route?

    Overall I like the Polarv V800 a little bit more, but at the moment there are too many functions still missing. But most of these functions will follow with future updates… so I am not sure which watch I should buy.

    Thanks for your answers
    kr
    Flo

  171. Alex

    I am planning to purchase the Ambit 3 as my daily watch. Can the ones using it as a daily watch provide some thoughts on weight/size? What about overall comfort? Would you recommend it as a daily watch?

    Thanks a lot,
    Alex

    • Brian

      I wear mine as a daily watch – no complaints about size weight. I’m somewhat used to a slightly larger watch (Forerunner 910, Fenix, Ambit 2s). The A3 is a tad heavier than the 2s (mainly because I bought the peak version, not the sport), but not a huge difference. I find it comfortable enough to wear all day, doesn’t really get in the way. I do have extremely small wrists too (I wear it on the 3 smallest hole). I’m a bit of a weather geek too, so I find the barometer stuff kind of fun. And I like that I can use it to receive notifications, and it doesn’t ravage the battery (unlike the Fenix…).

    • mih

      Hi Alex,

      I had the same dilemma when I was thinking about buying Ambit watch. I have small wrists, but I have to admit that Amibt3 (Peak) is more comfortable to wear than my old Suunto Quest and I do not notice that it is larger.

  172. Hi All!

    Just a heads up that my full In-Depth Review of the Ambit3 is now published. It’s available here: link to dcrainmaker.com

    As usual, I’ll be closing comments on this post to keep things clean, but feel free to take comments/discussion over to the in-depth review.

    Thanks for waiting for the review!