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Suunto announces new Ambit3 Run, colored HR straps, workout creator and more


Suunto has announced their latest watch onto the market, the Ambit3 Run.  This watch follows in the footsteps of the Ambit2/2S/2R variants whereby Suunto takes an existing watch and then produces a variant of it specifically focused on the running segment (by removing non-running features).

In the case of the Ambit3 Run, they’ve pared back much of the multisport focus of the Ambit 3 Peak & Sport, but kept the running areas.  Additionally, like last year when they announced the Ambit2 R, they’ve taken the opportunity to announce new functionality that will be ushered in with the Ambit3 Run, but is coming to all Ambit3 units via a free firmware update.  I’ll briefly dive into those updates in a later section.

Ambit3 Run


As noted above, the Ambit3 Run takes the existing Ambit3 and simply removes the multisport functionality along with that of swimming and cycling sensors.  But fear not, you can still create custom sports though, just as with the other Ambit3 units (as long as it’s not swimming or multisport).  These sports must be created online using Suunto Movescount (website), and then can be transferred to the watch using either USB or Bluetooth Smart (phone).

Of course, the primary purpose of the watch as the name implies is indeed running.  You can create a multitude of running modes such as trail running or hiking with an extended duration option, which allows you to reduce the GPS signal rate so it extends the battery life of the unit.

The strength of the Ambit3 Run over some competitors though is that it maintains much of the navigation functionality.  This means you can follow a route or route to a point of interest (POI).


In addition to the ‘standard’ functions that the Ambit3 already provides, the Ambit3 Run will gain new functionality that I’ll discuss in the following sections.

In the meantime, here’s a few unboxing photos of it:

You’ll notice that the unit includes a new color heart rate strap.  Suunto is following in the footsteps of Polar with a series of brightly colored heart rate straps.  These new Smart Sensor straps are functionally the same as previous Bluetooth Smart straps, but just more colorful.



Speaking of colors, here’s the full listing of Ambit3 Run Colors:


Additionally, the Ambit3 Sport is getting a new color – ‘coral’, seen below:


I’ll look to complete some form of review of the Ambit3 Run once the new spring functions are rolled out.

Workout Creator for Ambit3 series

Perhaps one of the biggest feature gaps between the Ambit series (all editions) and competitors such as Polar and Garmin has been the lack of structured workouts (intervals or custom).  While you could always use some 3rd party apps from the Suunto App Zone, these apps were cumbersome to configure and lacked flexibility and functionality provided natively by other companies.

Suunto is aiming to remedy that with a new workout creator for the Ambit3 series.  This will allow you to create structured workouts, such as intervals, online and then transfer them to your device using either the phone app or USB.  You can see an example provided by Suunto of the workout creator below:


Once on your device the watch will guide you through each of the steps of the workout.  In the case of the Ambit3 Run I have here, that functionality isn’t quite enabled yet, so I can’t demonstrate it at this point.

In addition, they’re also adding in a tie-in for the mobile phone app which will give you voice prompts of your workout steps.  So this would be relatively similar to a lot of dedicated phone apps that give voice prompts for structured workouts/intervals.

This functionality is planned for release within March.

Ambit3 Software Update 1.5 & 2.0:

Suunto has brought back a bit of their near-term software update timeline plans, which can be seen here.  This is sorta akin to a few years ago when they released their quarterly plans for software updates (though, they did that for the whole year).

The first round of updates is being called “1.5”, and will be released this month (March).  There are some very tiny variations between models (such as the first one on battery), but overall, here’s the gist of it:

Battery Life Extended: On this one, they’ll be upping the expected battery life in the three GPS accuracy modes (Best/Good/OK), to higher values, topping out at 200hr for the Peak edition.


Workout Planner: As noted above, this will enable both on-watch prompts for structured workouts, as well as on-phone voice prompts if using the app.


Asian Languages supported: This will add Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Korean.  This is primarily notable because for these markets it’s incredibly tough to sell devices without native language support.


Upload of Suunto movies to YouTube: Pretty straight forward, will allow you to upload these movies direct to YouTube for more prolific social sharing.

Then, coming later this spring is software update 2.0 for the Ambit3 family.  This update will bring with it the following functionality:

Sleep Recovery Test: This test produces sleep quality data and correlates that against your recovery state.


Quick Recovery Time: This is essentially a heart rate variability test that’s designed to measure recovery.  This sounds fairly similar to what Polar has on some of their units as well.


Running Performance: This will show trending of your performances within the Movescount app itself.


Additional Languages: This will bring the watch inline with Movescount, and between the two of them they’ll both support the following languages: EN, CS, DA, DE, ES, FI, FR, IT, JA, KO, NL, NO, PL, PT, RU, SV, and ZH.


Firstbeat Compatibility: The unit will allow exported files to work with the 3rd party Firstbeat software, which is primarily used to analyze heart rate variability within activity files.

Note that these updates will only be available on the Ambit3 family of watches.

Finally, a couple of app-specific notes:

Android support: This is still on target for ‘April 2015’, which will see the release of the Android app to support the Suunto Ambit3 family and syncing of that data similar to what’s available on the iOS platform.


Follow function: The app will soon allow you to follow other’s activities, kinda like Facebook or Strava.

A few quick thoughts:


The Ambit3 Run is a logical next step for Suunto, ideally to tap into the lower priced markets that the existing Ambit3 Sport and Peak units overshoot with their higher prices and different target audience.

The challenge I think though is that being priced at $299US/€249 (without a HR strap), it’s gonna be pretty tricky to compete against other units at that price point.  The mid-range watch GPS market has dropped in price significantly over the last year, primarily led by Polar and their M400 (at $179US).  The core advantage of Suunto and the Ambit3 Run over the Polar M400 is the Ambit3’s ability to navigate a route or a POI.  But on the flip side, the M400 has better daily activity tracking (steps/distance/etc…) and already has structured workouts within it.

And of course, that’s all before we even add in the Garmin Vivoactive, which was announced in January and is expected to start shipping in the next 30-45 days.  That watch at $249US does include navigation support as well as vibration features and a host of other functionality not found in the Ambit3 series.  Of course, that watch (assuming it works as expected) won’t just eat into other competitors products, but actually Garmin’s own higher end products such as the Garmin FR620.

So while there’s nothing wrong with the Ambit3 Run as it’s likely going to be a solid little watch once the spring updates are out, it’s also a bit tricky given the current pricing plans.  I would think it’d be a much more competitive watch at $199US.  But…that’s just my two cents.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Lars Ejaas

    Ohh my! It looks SO great with that colour!

    Great to see that Suunto FINALLY figured out, that a lot of runners USE structured interval workouts!

  2. Mikael Klingbjer

    I hope that Suuntos new colored heart rate strap doesn’t dye the running t-shirt during long runs, like Polars blue one :-(

  3. S-Go

    I hope Suunto gives a lot of these features to the Ambit 2 series as well, wherever it is possible, with the hardware in them. Suunto has pissed off a lot of its customers in the recent past, with repeated Movescount outages and delays in the release of it’s Movescount app for Android.

    Leaving Ambit 2 Series owners out of this update will further alienate an already pretty irate customer base. On the other hand, adding new features to existing hardware will garner a lot of free brand loyalty that the company sorely needs right now.

    • I don’t believe there are plans to support the Ambit2 series for these updates.

    • Paul

      Zero chance

    • André Faria

      Correct me if I am wrong but the Ambit2 still didn’t do 2 years right?
      Isn’t a little bit arsh to stop “support” before the two years (usually the warranty time).
      Any news on the offline app for desktop?

    • The Ambit2 is still supported no problems, just no new firmware updates/features for it.

    • KenZ

      Respectfully disagree. I got an Ambit2 after they announced the Ambit3, and couldn’t be happier. Sure, I may not get all the neat upgrades, but you know what? Unlike the horrendously buggy Fenix2 with which I was on my THIRD watch in three months and it still failed or locked up or dropped GPS or couldn’t load routes reliably over 50miles or whatever….. the Ambit2 has had ZERO problems, locks, freezes, data drops, etc.

      Perhaps I’m showing my age, but when I line up for a race, I want to know that my $h!t will actually function for the 10-30 hours I’m out there, not crap out at hour 3, completely failing to even keep accurate time (which the Fenix2 did to me on two races). Fancy is nice, but not at the expense of dependability.

    • Even if I have a Ambit 3 and not an Ambit 2 it is disapointing to read this.

      If you buy a a Suunto Ambit you pay some 100 $/€ more than for a competitor watch. And for this amount of additional money I would expect a good quality and long support with software updates.

      Of course there are technical limitations but not including ready developed features (for nearly no costs for the combany) into older models is a no-go for a high price product!

      If Sunnto is not going to change this politics I’m going to change the brand or perhaps buying fewer a new model. I’m not going to spend every second year 600+ Euro for a new watch and selling it with a loss of 500 Euro because Sunnto is making it worthless with their marketing politics. I remember the time a bought a Suunto watch for 300 Euro and sold it some years later for 150 Euro!

  4. Marcel

    Aaargh! More watches! :) I am looking for a replacement mid-range watch for my FR610. First I thought:perhaps the TomTom cardio runner. Then: or maybe the Polar M400, and now perhaps the Ambit 3 Runner.. Are any more expected? I am looking forward to a full review of this one, if one is planned, and perhaps a listing of all decent midrange options? At first I thought I didn’t need the structured workout-option, as I just did my runs and hated intervals; but now that I’ve tried doing regular intervals on a treadmill, I am starting to see the benefit (especially to speed) and the fun of it, so I’ll be taking that outside again, too. The idea of needing computer access to set them up, though, sounds like a lot of hassle, especially for when you run on a weekend trip elsewhere (or for someone like you who travels a lot) – setting up an interval on your phone and being able to transfer it to your watch would be a great option.

  5. stefanosM

    I was waiting for the vivoactive and to see if someone write a conenctIQ software for workouts.

    But if the Run lands with good price, probably I will go for it.

  6. phensel

    Thank you for the news !
    I´m a ambit2 owner and I´m also hope that Ambit2 series will get stuctured workouts & intervals as well.
    I have an other question: I´m using the Movescount sync to STRAVA. Thats a mess because it doesn´t sync any indoor activities at all.
    I´m wondering if the new, introduced sync support for sportstrack/TrainingPeaks have the same limitation?
    Would be great if somebody can share his/her experience.

    Many thanks

  7. Would really need that Workout Creator tool for my Ambit2. I understand the difficulty will be in transmitting the workout to the device itself since no Bluetooth is available. Something that could be simply overcome by integrating it into the Movescount website. At the moment we (Ambit2 users) have to create a custom ‘app’ for every workout / interval-training. That’s just crazy and I know Garmin and TomTom have better solutions for this.

    • phensel

      I agree. Wich app are you using for that porpose?

    • John

      “…Garmin have a better solution for structured workout…” Which one is that?
      I have being using a forerunner 220 for over a year now and always create my structured workout on Garmin Connect and download it to the watch. I don’t know of any other way so I do not see any advantage of Garmin over Suunto there. Alright, you can set up an interval training using the menus on the 220 but the structure is fixed and you can only specify the length of the interval / rest and the number of repeats – that’s it. That is better than nothing at all, I agree, but I only ever used this “feature” once last year when Garmin Connect was down for the day. Its way too simple for my workouts.

    • With the Garmin watches you have two options:

      1) On the watch itself: Depending on the model, some Garmin watches allow complete customization of workouts, while others only for interval-specific workouts. Either way, Suunto lacks both options.

      2) On Garmin Connect: The online workout creator is actually incredibly powerful if you poke at it a bit. A bit quirky yes, but once you get the kick of it it’s actually impress all the targets, sub-sets, etc… that you can create. This is more powerful than creating it on the watch itself, as the watch you can’t customize more than the WU/MainSet/Cooldown. For the online workout creator, I’ve created some really darn complex workouts and never hit a limitation there.

    • John

      Thanks for the reply. Yes I agree, the workout editor on Garmin Connect is great. But is customizing an app for the Suunto with Movescount all that different in principle than creating a workout on Garmin Connect?

    • I’d say it’s substantially different. I wouldn’t ask The Girl to try and customize an app (potentially in code), publish the app on her data screens, then sync her watch – all to just change a single line in an interval. On Garmin Connect, that’s a quick 2-second operation and then just save/sync.

    • Daniel

      i had a FR405 and used at the time garmin connect to configure it. now i have an ambit2s and i use link to ambitintervals.com. for the kind of workouts I schedule , i do not miss a thing (i mainly follow furman first plans).
      it has some limitations though, because of suunto API:
      fi., one has to press lap button to trigger next step. or there is one single beep-tone for all alarms (too high, too low, next lap, …), which sometimes is irritating. but if suunto would provide a couple of additional commands to their programming reference, i think it would be on pair with garmin connect for 99% of the people out there.
      i dont understand why suunto do not implement the ambitintervals.com functionality themselves. or buy the existing web page and add a couple of improvements.
      the watch is cool, i am very happy with it. but somehow Suunto’s attitude surprises and dissapoints me. not a single change in API in last two years. they seem not to listen their customers base.

  8. Marcel

    404 – a heads up: the link to the “Ambit 3 Peak & Sport” doesn’t work :)

  9. tfa

    “…Smart Sensor records and stores your heart rate (HR), transferring the data wirelessly to your Ambit3 watch or the Suunto Movescount App on your smartphone.

    If you do a sport in which it’s inconvenient to wear a watch, you can still record your HR. Put the belt on, leave your watch or smartphone aside and when you return after workout your HR data transfers wirelessly to your watch or (with March update) your smartphone…”
    this is working well or? Sounds like a new memorybelt …

  10. Phil

    $299?!?!? Suunto is out of their minds. I really hope they do something with ambit4 because they are just throwing money out the window and pretty soon there won’t be any left to throw out. I’d love to be in meeting room when the guy says “we should keep releasing these R watches” so I can get a good laugh.

    • John

      That’s € 50 more than what I paid for the Garmim Forerunner 220. If 50 buck buys me a well tested and reliable good quality watch, then that’s money well spent. In the long run, you save more money buying a quality product.

  11. Richard Pinnell

    A real shame that they are not going to release the workout creator for the Ambit 2 series. However, there is an third party site here: link to ambitintervals.com where you can create complex intervals.

  12. Drew Martin

    Ambits already integrate with FirstBeat directly so it’s a bit odd they have that listed as a 2.0 firmware update. It pulls directly from MovesCount.

    • pajic

      Well, I try to transfer the data from Ambit 3 in to FBA using the Movescount as a source for import in FBA but the download always breaks during 2nd workout (no mater if 2nd of 4 which was during my first try or 2nd of 80 which is now 5months later). Would you have any idea here ? I would be happy to continue with FBA.
      Surprisingly, there is no response from FBA team.

    • Drew Martin

      That’s odd..is it always on the same workout? If so maybe delete that workout in MovesCount. Mine hasn’t had any trouble yet.

    • Paul

      FIrstbeat Athlete is almost abandon-ware. Firstbeat haven’t updated it for years and there are countless bugs left in it (including its integration with Movescount). I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a response from support.

  13. Chris

    Ray – any idea if the lime wrist band is compatible with the Ambit 3 Peak?

  14. CJ

    Looks good, I’m also a little puzzled at their choice in price point. It seems like a decent device but pricing over $200 with this feature set severely limits distribution – something I know they struggle with in the US

  15. Jeremy

    With their recent auto-sync with training peaks update, I guess the strava sync within movescount has evolved: some kind of indoor activities I usually make (HRV for recovery) now gets synced with strava, whereas they never did before.

  16. aminox

    Good review. Definitely agree on the pricing: $200 is a good buy, $250 isn’t. If I was making running watches, I would not want to be making watches in the $250-300 range because that segment is so cutthroat competitive right now — which is good for us consumers, I suppose.

  17. erik

    I own the Ambit 3 and would very much like a much more detailed step/calorie counter! I like the email and text notifications via my iPhone. I spend upwards of an 1.5 hours in the pool everyday and can’t bring my iPhone into the pool so its a nice added feature in case i get an important notice. Also, I’ve been in meetings where looking at your phone is considered rude, but getting a notices on the ambit is nice. I’ve also had great luck paring it with my bluetooth wrist heartbeat monitor.

  18. Matěj Novotný

    I am looking forward for great new software features. Thank you, Ray, for announcement.

  19. John

    Can I use the Ambit 3R’s GPS for measuring distance, yet pull the current pace from a footpod? If so, I’ll buy it right away. This is something I cannot do with my Garmin Forerunner 220 and a big disadvantage, as current pace based on GPS is unreliable, at least on the Forerunner.

    • erik

      yes, go to Suuntos’ website or DC rain’s review. It is so detailed it will track my swim distance in open water and it will do the same on road or bike distance. it will also give me an actual route I ran on my iPhone app.

    • John

      Thanks Eric, but I am not so you sure I made my question clear. I’ve seen conflicting reports on this. DCR’s review of the 2R does not mention it explicitly but one other very reliable reviewer claims that there is NO way of displaying current pace from the Footpod while using GPS for overall distance and course. You can only use a footpod by turning off GPS, which is just like the Forerunner. Don’t know about the 3R. Maybe they fixed this. For me this is a buy / don’t buy feature.

    • Brad

      John, all the Ambit series allow you to use the footpod as you have described. This is exactly how I use the footpod for ultra races so I do not have to carry a charger. If a footpod is selected and paired the Ambit will default speed and distance from the footpod but still record a GPS signal with whatever frequency you have set. I have used this feature often and if you search the questions for Ambit3 Peak they confirm this.

      To be clear, both speed and distance will come from the footpod and only the route from the GPS. At 60s fix I would rather have it this way.

    • John

      Thanks very much Brad for clearing that up. Great!
      If it has vibration alerts as welll….the Ambit 3R will be my next watch :-)

    • Unfortunately no Ambit watch includes vibration alerts.

      (And thanks for the expansion Brad!)

  20. DavidG

    Thanks for that report Ray, please keep em coming…

    I got a Peak and my HR strap is pretty beat by now, any ideas where i could just buy the straps without the HR sensor itself? Didn’t find anything online and for sure don’t want to spent $$$ on another HR sensor.


  21. Spiderstu

    I’m an Ambit3 owner and I’m disappointed that Suunto are not doing more to enhance the activity tracking capability of the watch. For example it tracks my activity level each day and shows a nice bar chart for a rolling 7 days, but there is no way to see this and track it except to view it on the watch itself. It doesn’t make any sense given that Garmin are going to provide this with the Fenix3 and Vivoactive. Please Suunto – the hardware is there……

  22. Rem

    Hi Ray and thx for report .
    would new workout create lap interval that can be analyse later via movescount ?
    Current native , though limited, interval planner provider that but not app based interval. (Polar v800 do not generate lap interval as well. Dont know for garmin.

    • Marios

      That’s a very good question. People have asked for a programmatic way for Apps to trigger intervals but Ambit doesn’t have an API function to do that. Now as you correctly point out the existing (very basic) interval timer auto-triggers laps so one would hope that the new and advanced interval planner would also auto-trigger laps.

      Maybe Ray can chime in on this one.

    • Rem

      Answer is NO.
      The new workout do not create interval lap.
      So you’re good to press lap button each interval…

    • Marios

      Seriously? So if I program and convoluted interval and the watch beeps at me between transitions, I will also have to cross my arms and take a lap? Who comes up with this stuff? Do they give them to runners before they release the features?

  23. robert

    Good to see Suunto are listening to feature requests. I’m hoping as I’m sure many are for vibration alerts in the ambit 4

  24. Jon

    Ray or anyone,

    In the market for a new mid-range watch. I honestly want 2 big things. Accuracy (Do both road and trail running) is the biggest thing. I want as ridiculously accurate as I can get. The other is a watch that would look good both on/off running, ie with a polo shirt/khakis at work.

    Other things to consider…The battery life is whatever since I can always carry a charger (I’d prefer 12 hours or so). I usually don’t carry my phone when I run, but do on longer trail runs (where chances of getting cell reception are crap, esp in the mountains) so the NEED for alerts isn’t needed.

    What are the watches I should be looking at? This Ambit 3 Run? The Garmin Vivoactive? Anythiing else I should be considering? I like the Ambit3 because of the SirfStarV chipset. I have the IV chipset in a current watch and have had no issues with that.

    • robert

      For what you’ve listed I’d go fenix 3 GPS combined with glonass should give you the best accuracy available. However looking at the forerunner 620 garmin took from September 13’s launch until November 14 3.30 firmware for GPS accuracy complaints to die down. Fingers crossed the fenix 3 works out of the starting blocks

    • Martin Smejkal

      Honestly speaking Fenix 2 was known for his constant GPS issues a poor accuracy, so i dont think F3 is going to be much different. I would be looking for device with SiRF chip inside.

      The most accurate device today is Polar V800. On the other hand their M400 is rather terrible from accuracy perspective (different chip – Mediatek).

    • GPS chipset names are meaningless. What matters is software, firmware, and antenna position. The actual chipset name is just one factor.

      The FR920XT uses MediaTek and folks are thrilled with it. The Fenix3 builds on top of the FR920XT, and so far people seem happy with it.

    • robert

      I’ve had three mobile phones with mtk chipsets and everyone was dire. As Ray said that’s just one factor. I managed to fix the one. They had connected the antenna to two pins which had the effect of shorting out.

    • John

      I’m not so sure if its “meaningless” – I have read countless times from people who switched from Garmin 610/210 to 620/220 and found the GPS performance worse. Of course this could be due to the chip itself or to other factors like the antenna, firmware, software etc. But surely in the worst case scenario, the Garmin GPS software could only have stayed just as good as it was. So to me, the likeliest candidate is the hardware.

  25. A

    Any idea what GPS chip is used? I’d consider the new Ambit3 run if it’s lightweight, longer battery life, and also has a higher quality GPS chip. One of the drawbacks I have found with the Polar M400 is not being able to adjust the GPS resolution to extend battery life.
    link to fellrnr.com

    • Jon

      Chipset should be the same as the Ambit 3. SirfStarV.

      10 hours in 1 second interval
      15 hours in 5 second
      100 hours in 60 second

  26. waffles

    I am looking for an iOS app for my Ambit 3 that would allow for some decent amount of workout analysis, preferably directly linked to Suunto’s Movescount cloud service.

    The current iOS version of Movescount lacks basic elements for runners, e.g. lap/split or pace info. Furthermore chart axes are not zoom-/scale-able, rendering them pretty useless.

    In short, are there any better iOS apps out there?

    In my ‘Garmin days’, I was using ConnectStat and I was very happy with it. However, it seems to be limited to Garmin data. My import attempts of Suunto workouts have not been very successful (split info missing).

    • @waffles, have a look to iSmoothrun, I use it for workout. Fantastic iOS app !

    • waffles

      Merci Philippe;

      I took a look. From the screenshots and video review I found, it seems iSmoothrun is a more of ‘watch replacement’ – a very capable/customizable I might add. However, what I am looking for is an iOS based analytics tool for my workouts that automatically pulls them from Movescount.

      I am not sure if you are familiar with ConnectStat: exactly like this, but fully compatible with Suunto/Movescount data, rather than limited to Garmin data.

    • ToniT

      TrainingPeaks, it just got even automatic sync from the Movescount.

    • Brad

      rubiTrack works as well and is an iOS app. It will sync directly from Movescount and stores the data on the device not in the cloud (unlike TrainingPeaks) and requires no monthly fee. Look for it on the app store, it has a lot of info including training stress, weight and gear tracking etc. I highly recommend it.

    • waffles

      Thanks Toni;

      I have started looking at TP. It seems very comprehensive, with cloud service, training plans, etc. I have synced some of my workouts with the free account I have created. The feature set in the free version seems to be rather limited. The analytics I am looking for may be available in the premium version, but I am a bit reluctant to spring for a subscription ($120/yr) just yet, since my Sporttracks 3 offers most of it (sans an iOS app).

    • waffles

      Thanks Brad;

      I downloaded and synced rubiTrack. Not bad, but what I am still missing are the analytics around laps. I found a way to set splits in the app, e.g. 1 mile, 1/2 mile, etc., but it does not seem to carry the lap information, e.g. of an interval training 4 x 600m with 200 RI – all recorded with manual splits – and I like to see what my average pace was during each of the intervals. Is this available and I have simply missed it?

  27. robert

    With regard to the workout creator. If your working with hr zones will it now alert you instantly if you go above your desired limit or is it still two minutes later?

  28. ToniT

    Ray, would you have any more insight to the “Running Performance”. This was unclear to me, “trending of performances within Movescount”. Have Suunto revealed any more details on this?

    Is it some new derived number, like TSS in TrainingPeaks. Something like Matched Runs in Strava or what?

  29. CarloFals

    If gps 1 sec and backlight on, witch watch will last the longest; Ambit3 or Fenix3 ?

    Battery capacity A3/G3?

  30. Jeff Dean

    I was really excited about this until I got to the price. They need to get a product in the $199 price range if they want to really compete. It’s too bad. I would love to get rid of my Garmin but nobody else seems to be able to beat them.

  31. Thomas

    I wish Suunto would find a way of releasing less expensive Ambits without disabling software features. A choice of materials like what Garmin is doing with the Fenix could be a nice start

    • robert

      You know what surprises me is that some bright spark hasn’t reverse engineered the runner and turned it into the sport model. That kind of thing has been happening with phones for years. I don’t condone it, plus it invalidates warranties if your brave/stupid enough to try it. But it happens

  32. Nic

    What I’d like to see is some means of getting, analyzing and looking at the data from the Ambit3 without the need to log into movescount everytime. I find it to be a huge faff, especially if you don’t have a very good internet connection (or have no internet connection available).

    What I’d like is a nice bit of desktop software that works with the ambit3, that can do everything movescount can do; right on my laptop. Something without having to go online and faff about with sharing this and sharing that and export this and export that in such and such a format.

    For such a high price tag you’d think that it would come with a CD and some software as a minimum.

    I’m sure these updates are great n all, but if you cant access the data from the watch, then whats the point?

    • I’m sorry, I’m confused. What’s a CD?

    • robert

      I,m guessing compact disc, they’ll be over in the sale hall with the beta max tapes. Seriously I understand the environmental reasons for not including them with everything especially as there normally out of data as soon as you load them, on the flip side I do feel short changed when spending as much as a top of the line device costs. For off line annalsys you could demo first beat athlete it’s a little limited in everything you can see, there is no recovery advisor but if the coaching function suggests a day off, it’s more or less saying you need to recover. For me that’s normally every 5th day.

    • Robert Black

      guide to where the workout files are stored locally prior to uploading to movescount.
      link to forums.watchuseek.com

    • Nic

      Hah, yes a CD is a compact disc. my point isnt that I specifically would like a disc with the watch, but more that there should be some offline means of analysis as robert has said below, perhaps the sotfware would be downloadable from their website I don’t know.. A disc or no disc there still isnt any suunto software that allows offline analysis of the data recorded from the watch. The watch records so many different lots of data (GPS coordinates, altitude, barometric pressure, temp, cadence etc.) that you would (well I would) think that a bit of dedicated software could have more flexibility in terms of analysis than an online website with limited exporting features.

      I don’t know, maybe there just isn’t enough demand for it?

    • waffles

      You may have to look into some 3rd party s/w solutions, e.g. Sporttracks 3.

    • Aaron

      For post-workout analysis, SportTracks 3 works if you’re a PC (another throwback reference, lol). You can import your workouts straight from the filesystem on your PC, and if you don’t care about things like GPS maps, well – there’s no need for an internet connection. If you really want to go off-grid you can use the openstreetmap plugin to download and cache maps on your PC too.

      Modern connected devices practically require a web connection, if only for the firmware updates. “Just in time” firmware development seems to be the norm now to achieve the aggressive market-delivery windows for these watches. Or… “a few months after in time”. Ouch. But true.

      But it’s worse with the Ambit – you simply can’t configure the watch without the web interface. It’s not possible on the watch itself, and the software installed on your computer is little more than a data transfer agent. If you’re web connection is sketch, I’d cross Suunto products off your list.

    • John

      Take a look at “runalyze”.
      I have used this as a cloud service but according to the web site you can download the software, install it on your PC and from then on use the software on the PC – no need for internet connection. Not sure how easy/difficult it is to set up. Its a German based site so you might have to switch the language to english on first visit. I really like the design of this site – lots of stats on your data and everything is configurable. I love the fact that I can view graphs and my track in full-screen mode.

    • Andre Fari

      Offline software for training analysis there are quite a few, but for messing with watch setting there is nothing.
      There is this petition for suunto to make one link to change.org

      Also email suunto asking for it.

  33. Rami

    Any plans for Suunto to add “live tracking” function to Ambit3 + phone app?

  34. Unpleasant surprise on my first run with the Ambit 3 Run: my normal 7 km route gave only 108 elevation meters, whereas my Suunto Ambit 1 always gave around three times as much. Aren’t the ambit 1 and ambit 3 run using the same technique?

    • The Ambit1 would have used a barometric altimeter, versus a GPS altimeter with the Ambit3 Run.

    • Thanks. yes, found the same in the specs. Did not expect this big difference. Probably caused by the run going over a lot of small (<20 m) hills. Need to see how accurate it is when I get to the alps (bought it for UTMB in august as the Ambit 1 battery does not hold that long anymore)

  35. chrisc92

    Ambit 3 has been upgraded to SW 1.5 last night

  36. ToniT

    Did not hear the any audio prompts on my iphone, during the first workout. Have they added the audio prompts?

  37. Larry Ellis

    I’m pretty keen to get one of these.

    Need a replacement outdoors watch for my old Nike watch. Since I’ve been using a Pebble for that last 3-4 months, I really can’t go back to a watch without notifications, and being a photographer who does a lot of bush walking and cycling, the GPS functions will be very handy.

    The Fenix 3 was tempting, but too buggy and too pricey for what it can do right now. Ambit 3 Peak is a bit pricey still for what it can do and on the cusp of a new model, I’d be crazy to lay down that kinda money only to see a new model out, possibly in the next 3-4 months.

    I think one of these will tired me over till the Ambit 4 is announced or launches, and it will give me time to get a feel for the Ambit design, and I can decide to either stay or mover over to the Fenix line.

    The Ambits just sound a bit more reliable and stable than the Fenix range, and if it wasn’t for that and a few little things like display and back light, I’d probably have gone with a Fenix 2.

    Fingers crossed the Ambit4 has vibration alerts!

    • Mokater

      I loved my Nike sport watch. Too bad, it was discontinued. The watch still works, but I can’t replace the band. Sucks. I just bought the a3 run today. I think it’ll be great.

      Good luck to you.

    • John

      Hi Larry,
      just a word of caution – I don’t know about the Fenix and its back light, but I just got an Ambit 3 Run and I can tell you that I do not like the back light at all. In fact I am very shocked at the quality of the display in general. I can only read the display if I hold the watch at a particular angle i.e. if I’m looking straight at the watch at 90 degrees to the face. If I tilt the watch so its at a slight angle, the glass reflects back at me, so I see trees, sky, buildings everything except the data. Although I can switch on the back light and adjust the contrast, if the display is set to black writing on white background, then the back light just seems to cause the display to invert i.e. white against black. If the display is set to white on black and I switch on the back light, it just looks as if the glass is fogged up. I am going to try it out a little more and hope I can figure out how to improve it, but at this rate, I think this aspect alone will cause me to send it back – if I cannot see my data clearly during a run, then its no good to me at all.

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  39. Doug

    I have been trying to decide between the Fenix 3, Ambit 3 Sport, & Ambit 3 Run. Do you have any indications when you might have one of your complete reviews ready to go on the Ambit Run? Do you know if it supports live tracking at all.

    Many Thanks

    • I don’t have a specific timeframe for the Ambit3 Run at the moment. However, the simplest way to look at it is whether or not you really want additional sensors beyond running ones. So if you want power meter connectivity or cycling sensors – than one of the other units is better.

      No Ambit units support live tracking.

    • Josh

      I’ve just had my second run with my new fenix 3, I’m now on my third unit. My first two were returned as I thought for sure they had to be defective based on how far off the tracks were. It’s clear that the software or firmware needs fixing as on my 9 mile run two days ago the watch was almost spot on, but on today’s 3.16 mile run the tracks were so far off its just silly. Both watches soaked for 30+ minutes, both times 1 second recording GLONASS on. The ONLY reason I bought the F3 over the A3run was the vibrate alerts. Seeing as how all out 26.2 training begins in two weeks, I can only give garmin so much time to rectify the problems before considering another device. Ray, have you found the notification beep for calls or texts viable on the ambit 3 series and have you found its tracking as reliable as say the 920? May just revert back to a 620 due to the awesome rebate currently available.thanks in advance for the reply! Fwiw, the tracks were off during a portion of my run in which tree cover was 60 yr old oak trees overhead but not so dense that it’s like the forest. Just suburbia.

    • I found the notifications on the Ambit3 generally are pretty consistent, I also don’t have any issues with the Fenix3 or FR920XT in that regard either.

  40. Josh

    My apologies let me clarify my question. When running with the 920 or the F3 the vibrate feature is great to notify me of texts or calls. I also get a beep noise notifying me. On the A3 do you find the beep loud enough even with headphones on with music on low setting? The lack of vibrate concerns me slightly.

    • Josh

      And do you find its accuracy as good as the 920?

    • I did most of my FR920XT accuracy testing with the Ambit3, so you’ll see that in the tables of that review. No issues either way.

      I didn’t wear any headphones though while testing the Ambit3, so I can’t say there. It’s generally not known for having the loudest beep.

    • Josh

      Thank you. One thing that occurred to me is that since I always have to run with a phone as I am on call, I’ll hear the text chime anyway and will know to look at the watch. We will see how it performs vs the F3 which has just performed poorly for me. And I wasn’t able to get over the looks of the 920 despite its amazing performance. Thanks for the replies.

  41. Adam

    Do you know if the workout creator is available online or if it is only through the ios app?

  42. Jorge Rocha

    Hello! I have an Ambit 3 Run. But Jesus!!! Can someone help me and pintpoint a apk or onther “way” to create intarval trainig (running) Thanks!

    • Kristoffer

      Hi there.
      I don’t really find it too troubling that you have to create intervalls online and then transfer them to the watch. I suppose the most important question is if the watch manages to store SEVERAL different workouts? Does anyone have an answer to this?


    • John

      there is an App for the iPhone for creating workouts like interval training. It looks great at first but I really struggled with setting up a workout. Maybe its just my iPhone (5c) but everything is too crammed together – I have very fine fingers for a man – or so my girlfriend tells me ;-), but I constantly fumbled at setting the parameters. I did not find setting up a workout from start to finish all that intuitive and I searched in vain for help or a user-manual. Only after watching a video on YouTube by a considerate Suunto customer, I found out what I needed to do, but hell could Suunto not have made this easier?
      After a whole hour or more I could go run my workout – but it did not work. Argh! I defined my workout so that the warmup would end on a press of the lap button, but the Ambit always logged a lap after 1 K even though I switched the auto lap off. Tried this on two consecutive days – the auto lap always screwed up my workout – starting the first interval after 1K. I’m sure there is a setting or a workaround but life is too short!
      This not properly tested App coupled with the Ambit’s awful backlight and reflective glass led me to return the watch.
      Looking forward to my next interval training – with my Forerunner 220. Now I appreciate my 220 and Garmin Connect a lot more.

  43. Elie

    Waiting for the Ambit 3R to be be added to the comparison chart.

    • Peter K

      Likewise it would be good to have seen the comparison of the run – I had to check the Sport vs others and keep a mental note of the things I knew were not on the Run. Anyway I just bought the Ambit3 with HRM for NZD 307 (exactly 200 USD right now) and reckon that was a bargain.

  44. Luiz Fabricio

    How can I enable the option “NAVIGATION” on the [Start Stop] Menu?
    My watch only shows the following options:
    I would appreciate any help on this.
    Thanks in advance.

  45. Will Marshall

    I can’t seem to find the NAVIGATION menu outside of an activity either. That is a serious bummer and the manual says it is possible….

    • Matt B

      I see this as an option. Which version of the watch are you using? Have you updated the firmware?

    • Luiz Fabricio

      Exactly what I am talking about, Will Marshall.
      I assume that you talking about the Ambit3 Run like I do.
      I upgraded to the latest firmware (1.5.44) and still no success… :(

  46. Will Marshall

    I just bought a new AMBIT3 Run and updated the firmware – You have the latest software version 1.5.44. Only options are pair personal general and connectivity.

  47. Hafisz

    Hey man, seems like I miss your point on your review of the Ambit 3 Run (re the battery). 50 hours with the gps on? Similar to Ambit 3 peak? By the way, awesome works dude!!

  48. Hi, I’m thinking on getting the Ambit3 but aside form weekend long trips I do sometimes 2-3 week long ones with not power source available (possibly solar charger if I invest in one) and possible in cold conditions so battery life is important for me. How does the 1.5 software update work in real life, not just marketing chit chat on their website. Did anyone get a change to really test it?

  49. Mate,
    Firstly congrats on building such a massive blogging empire here….your gear reviews etc are awesome. No stone unturned! Hope things are ticking along well for you guys in Paris.

    I run a blog myself….nothing compared to the warship you have here, but it has definitely been a great experience.

    I’m hoping you can help me out here….I’m clearly a slow learner because be stuffed if I can find out how to have the newly released Running Performance/Efficiency feature come to life on my Ambit3Peak. I’ve searched around and have had no luck. I’m usually a bit more tech-savvy than this!

    Anyway – if you have a quick answer I’m all ears.

    Cheers and thanks from quiet Melbourne, AUS.

  50. carlos george

    Is it possible to skip a step? For instance, what if I set up Step 1 as a warmup for 2 miles but want to begin Step 2 at only 1.5miles. How do I skip to Step 2? Or if I have a Recovery of 4 minutes between intervals but decide I want to start the next at only 3 minutes, how do I end my recovery early? Thanks

  51. Petrus de Klerk

    Hey Ray, any update as to when your in-depth review of this bad boy will be out?

    • I think at this point it’s unlikely I’ll publish a standalone review of it. It slipped by without a ton of interest and I’ve been sucked into getting reviews out for more recent products. Sorry!

    • Petrus de Klerk

      That’s indeed a pity but completely understandable. I’ve been using the unit for the past three months or so (mainly trail running with some road missions interspersed here and there) and am really happy so far. The only (albeit slight) problem I have is that there are HUGE (between about 40% to 100%) discrepancies with regards to the measurement of elevation on the watch. On a recent 40km trail run, for instance, my elevation gain/loss per Movescount showed about 1,600m, and after “correcting” on Strava using known GHPS points this was bumped up to more than 3,000m! In most (all) instances where I record run on a known route the unit shows about half the elevation it should. I know this is in part due to GPS vs. barometric altimeter accuracy but was wondering whether you have any additional thoughts on this? I have also checked with fellow users/running mates that use the unit and they have noted the same thing (as I originally thought I might have a faulty watch). All in all (as mentioned) not a massive problem but still thought it might be worth an ask. As an aside – thanks for the great work, your site is still one of my favourites and my first stop when researching any new gadgets!

  52. Tim Dalton

    Do you think Suunto will add the ability to create custom/structured workouts to the Ambit 3s? I used to have the Garmin Forerunner 610, so was used to being able to create various interval workouts myself and upload them to the watch. For the life of me, i cannot figure out how to do it on Suunto.

  53. Hi DC, have you checked the compatibility of Suunto Ambit 3R with some Polar’s devices using Smart Bluetooth (such as H7 HR strap and stride sensor)?

  54. Greg

    Hi DC,
    I really appreciate your detailed product reviews. I could use some advice on a running GPS unit. I’m a road runner and I’m considering taking up trail running and duathlons. I have an old Garmin Forerunner 305, but it’s time for a new watch. I liked the alarm on the Garmin set for each mile run, and the long battery life, but I didn’t like losing a signal in a tunnel and it’s slowness in acquiring a satellite signal. I also need a larger display since my eyesight ain’t what it used to be. I’m looking at a Suunto Ambit 3 Run, a Polar M400 and a Garmin Forerunner 235. Based upon my basic needs, what would you recommend and why?

  55. Orzen Han Quoc

    Thanks for that report Ray, please keep em coming…

  56. Soeren

    I’m walking back and forth between this watch, and the new Garmin Forerunner 230 HRM. Has anyone had any problems with HR and GPS accuracy on the Suunto?

    These features are the most important ones for me, and they seem pretty good on the FR 230, according to the in-depth review on this site.

    BTW, thanks for an awesome site :-)

    • Dave

      I actually just took my Garmen 230 back to REI to exchange for the Suunto Ambit3 Run. I really liked the featureds and ease of use of the Garmin, but the face glass cracked upon a very minor impact after only weeks of use. It just isn’t burly enough.

  57. nikgr

    Well, it’s Suunto so you also pay for the insane Suunto service. I have sent 3 Ambits for repair, 1 mine and 2 for friends, all 3 of them came back after 1 week. With the difference that they didn’t come back as they were, they were replaced with new ones.
    You send something to Suunto service, you get back a new one. I think that’s why Suunto is always more expensive and if you ask me this is a fair trade.
    Trying to repair a Garmin for example is a disaster that will cost you time and money. Suunto doesn’t ask any questions, they just replace your watch.

    Having said that, Movescount is far inferior to Garmin’s software. If Suunto fixes that then they will dominate the market.

  58. TFidalgo

    Hi, i am choosing a GPS watch to track my running, cycling and crossfit workouts, it is the Ambit2 S beter than the Ambit3 RUN ?

    • Dunno if you are still looking for feedback, but the run would be fine for you. The only thing you need the S for is the swimming modes – which I get around by setting it to a random cardio mode and record just HR.

    • Johnnyboy

      Hey William, can the Ambit3 Run record laps in an outdoor swimming pool through a Movescount app? I mostly run but I do swim once in awhile.

    • SK

      I wonder too if Ambit3 run is still able to count pools, strokes etc, not interested into HR in pool. Thx

  59. alp

    Hi, I use a ambit3 run. May you give some technical details about gps recording. battery has not to be enough for 15 hours running with 5 seconds gps recording . how would I have problems If did I use that with 1 minute gps recording ( Sorry for my bad english , actually I wanna learn that, If I run with 1 minute gps recording, What are the results and is it healty ? )
    Thanks a lot, Best REGARDS…

  60. Hamish B.

    Has anyone managed to get the Ambit 3 run to work with the stryd power meter foot pod? (not the stryd pioneer HR belt/power meter.

    From what I read ambit 3 run is supposed to be stryd compatible, but doesn’t seem to work for me. Disappointing as native stryd support was my primary reason to buy the ambit 3 over a garmin.

    I’ve posted on the suunto site also and will report back if I have any luck there. There was an old response (december 2015) saying not compatible with footpods at all (which is a bit stupid since it is a running watch!).

  61. Ann Marie Cody

    Is there a reason why the Ambit3 Peak and Sport are on your comparison chart, but the Run is not?