Suunto adds Komoot Routes Turn by Turn Integration in Latest Update

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Despite coming up on its third birthday here in about two months, the Suunto 9 received a modest firmware update yesterday (as did the Suunto 5). But more importantly, all Suunto Spartan, Suunto 5/7/9 watches get the new below-outlined Komoot route and turn by turn integration functionality.

For the Suunto 9, this update adds the following features, and here’s the exact text from their Suunto 9 firmware update listing:

  • New ‘Tour’ battery mode with up to 7 days of continuous GPS tracking
  • Turn-by-turn navigation alerts powered by komoot. Plan your route on komoot’s desktop or mobile app and sync it to your watch. When a turn is approaching, you’ll receive an alert, so you can enjoy the scenery instead of focusing on your watch. (Not available in China)
  • Points of interest creation and navigation: Save important locations in Suunto app or on the watch. Navigate towards those locations with your watch.
  • SuuntoPlus™: Red Bull X-Alps (only in Suunto 9 Baro). Red Bull X-Alps is a handy tool to keep track of you vertical speed. Nice for paragliders to see, feel and hear how fast you are climbing.

And here’s the listing for the Suunto 5 firmware update:

  • Turn-by-turn navigation alerts powered by komoot. Plan your route on komoot’s desktop or mobile app and sync it to your watch. When a turn is approaching, you’ll receive an alert so you can enjoy the scenery instead of focusing on your watch. (Not available in China)
  • Points of interest creation and navigation: Save important locations in Suunto app or on the watch. Navigate towards those locations with your watch.

Also – I’m told that the backend pieces do actually work on Spartan watches too, even giving turn by turn directions. So while a firmware update hasn’t been released, it does actually still provide the same functionality below.

Probably the most notable one is the turn-by-turn integration with Komoot. Now, this doesn’t give you mapping on your Suunto unit, rather, it’s akin to the breadcrumb trail style routing previously there. The first key difference though is now your Komoot routes push to the Suunto platform, where you can then tag them to push to your watch. And the second main difference is that Komoot will give you turn warnings, whereas previously it was just following a breadcrumb trail best-effort.

This is available on the Suunto Spartan series, Suunto 5, Suunto 7, and Suunto 9 watches. There’s almost no differences between how this works on the different models, with the minor exception that Suunto says the Suunto 5/7/9 can display slightly more descriptive turn illustrations.

To get it all working you’ll need to:

1) Ensure your Suunto App is linked to Komoot (Profile icon > Partner Services > Komoot
2) Create a *NEW* route in Komoot: It does not seem to pull in historical routes, only new ones created from today.

To get a route into the Suunto App, first, create the route on Komoot. As noted above, it doesn’t seem to pull in any of my historical routes, but if I basically just save a route with a new name, then it shows up in the Suunto app. Then, tap the library icon from the routing page. Then, choose the route you created and select to ‘Use in Watch’:

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By default the routes won’t automatically push to your watch. This is a bit different than how every other platform/device company works, and I’m not quite sure why Suunto would do it this way. Obviously, if I just created a route, I want it on my device. Ideally, they’ll change this behavior and just set it to automatically sync new stuff, but until then – don’t forget to toggle it.

Then, on your watch go to navigate like normal – either via a workout or via straight navigation sans-workout. Either way, you’ll see your route listed there. It would be nice to see perhaps a small Komoot icon here (as it would in the app too). Just little things that Polar/Wahoo/Garmin/etc do (to varying degrees).

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You’ll see all the route shown, as well as notably all the turn markers:

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Once out on the route, you’ll see the teal-blue line of the route:

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And then as you bumble along, you’ll get notifications to turn left and right, as well as the distance to the turn:

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If you go off the route, you’re on your own. It’ll simply notify that you’re off-route, and that you need to sort yourself back to the route using the breadcrumb and compass like normal.

Finally, they also announced a new Suunto 9 Baro Titanium edition, which as you might surmise, is now composed of titanium bezel with a nylon style strap.

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And in case you didn’t notice – you can customize the exact watch materials/colors/straps/etc on a Suunto 9 watch using their online ordering thingy. Even putting a little bit of text on the back.

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Ok, with that – go forth and route. Thanks for reading!

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46 Comments

  1. Sparts

    Ray, is thew new variant the the Suunto 9 Peak that was rumoured to be launched?
    Bit disappointing if so – basically the same watch with titanium bezel and lighter strap…..

  2. Jeremy

    Note that this update is also available for Spartan watches, for the most part.
    My guess is that this is a new fw for existing watches, just a facelift for the S9 and that a new watch is coming between now and…this summer (summer being late july/august, I think….)

    • I didn’t see any firmware updates for the Spartan series, or are you saying you can actually do this via the Spartan, just without the TBT bits?

      Interestingly though, while looking for that – I noticed the Suunto 5 also got mostly this same firmware update, minus the tour pieces. Updated the post to reflect that.

    • janne kallio

      The turn by turn info is also available for spartan watches

    • Ahh, cool, good to know!

    • Sparts

      I don’t see any Spartan firmwear updates either. I’m in the UK.
      Coudl be rolling them out by region?

    • It’s not a firmware update, just ensure your app is up to date, and you’re good to go!

    • Jeremy

      You’re right! The “bonuses” for the Spartan line comes from the App update, not the watch…which is still pretty cool though.

    • Bobson

      Actually, the implementation is slightly different on Spartans, it seems, since the watch doesn’t give you specific directions (such as “turn left”), but is limited to sending you a notification that you are either near or at a “waypoint” (it does show you the distance and minutes to the next one, though). As someone else mentioned in the comments, the functionality to use waypoints as tbt navigation has been on the watches for a while, so for the Spartans at least this is just a way to automate setting up a waypoint for every turn, which can be quite handy and much less time-consuming. Combined with the recent ability to sync POIs from the Suunto app (which by the way seems to get a decent update with new features every few weeks at the moment, plus it’s much cleaner-looking than any of the other watch brand apps), my old Spartan is getting a new lease on its life that I really appreciate.

  3. Hoot

    When you mentioned that the watch is now composed of Ti, I got all jealous that Suunto will give away a Ti-case watch for 599$! But apparently only the bezel is made of Ti. What a relief..;-))

  4. Yannick

    Hi Ray,

    On this last day (March 31st) to take advantage of the 30% discount for Suunto Ambit users to upgrade to Suunto 5/7/9, is it reasonable to expect a new flagship Suunto model in 2021 to replace the Suunto 9? Or would you recommend I jump in and switch to the Suunto 9?

    Thanks!

    • Sparts

      Lol, I’ve been holding off for the same reason. I still have a Spartan.
      It’s three years since they released the 9. My money is on them rolling something.

      Keen to see what Ray thinks.

    • Not sure there.

      Ultimately, it depends on what you want feature-wise specifically from a Suunto 5/7/9, and what you’d be paying for it. It’s 3-years old at this point, and while it has received firmware updates along the way, I think most would agree it’s fairly aged at this point compared to what Polar and Garmin are offering, or even Wahoo in some aspects (very slim aspects, namely triathlon).

      So it really comes down to what you want out of it.

    • Yannick

      Pretty much what I thought. I just went from potentially saving 30% on a Suunto 9 to definitely saving 100% 😉

      Thanks again!

    • Jeremy

      Really, just save your money for the “we’ve never been closer to its release” next Suunto watch.
      And in case it doesn’t appeal to you, I’m pretty sure you’ll easily find a S9 watch with a nice discount.

      (the 30% discount also works for the new S9B titanium?)

    • ZR

      Ya, I wouldn’t touch a new Suunto at this point. They have done so little to improve the quality of the watch over three years and until they release a new one with all the bells and whistles I’d just look to another company.

  5. ZR

    Ray, here is the problem, turn by turn was already available via WP via the Suunto app. The new battery mode of 1000 hours is cool, I guess, if you’re into doing the Appalachian Trail or something like that. Otherwise there isn’t anything here.

    • There wasn’t turn by turn for Komoot routes.

    • ZR

      Correct, so if someone uses Komoot as there primary route planner they can now directly export them and have the functionality that already existed within the Suunto App. But turn by turn directions is not a new function, it’s one that has existed since last fall.

    • Jeremy

      No, TbT using waypoint was a turnaround, not a “straight-in” function.
      In the end, you’ll achieve the same thing, sure, but with lots of fuss, whereas you don’t have to do anything when using Komoot…
      (save from tweaking the imported route to add some waypoint may you want to)

  6. Zoli

    But the titanium edition already exists so what’s new (except the nylon strap and the slightly lesser weight)?

  7. Justin B

    Ray can you set at what distance you get the turn alerts, or does it change if you’re running vs cycling? I’ve used the audio cues for turn-by-turn navigation on the Komoot app and it works well except for when a route loops on itself and gets confused, but that may be due to having rerouting turned on if I go off course.

    • There’s no setting of distances that I know of. I haven’t tried both sport types to see if it differs though.

    • ZR

      There is not a way to modify the distances. The workaround is to utilize the Suunto App and place a waypoint at the approximate distance before a turn you would like it to alarm.

  8. Gerwyn

    Suunto 9 is currently £120 cheaper than a Fenix 6X Pro and £220 cheaper than a sapphire Fenix 6. Given that it only misses out on maps and pulse ox in the main isn’t the Suunto a better value buy? More durable. It has many of the firstbeat features and the app looks like it is improving all the time. There’s only one year difference between F6 and Suunto 9 in terms of tech. Paired with a good chest hrm, seems like good value for multi-sport outdoor activities. Plus on the Garmin forums the F6 seems to be having issues with battery life and sensor connections dropping. What do you think?

    • Gerwyn

      Currently trying to choose between the Suunto 9 Baro and the Fenix 6X pro. Finding it a tough choice.

    • Yeah, that’s a pretty big ball of yarn to unravel.

      The challenge is that at a high level, yes, both are GPS watches that are roughly the same size and have longer battery lives. But honestly, it kinda ends there. Sure, both have Firstbeat features, but until Firstbeat killed the nifty part of their site that showed which features every device had, it would have shown the Fenix 6 series having dozens of features, whereas the Suunto 9 only has a handful. Of course, one can debate the merits of all those features – or if you’ll even use them.

      Of course, that’s fundamentally why the Suunto 9 is so much cheaper (and often even cheaper than you quoted). Suunto knows they can’t compete on features anymore (nobody really can).

      I don’t really have a good deep-dive comparison post between the two of them, or anything up to date in that realm. Sorry!

    • Gerwyn

      Thanks. That was useful in helping me. Much appreciated.

    • Rob

      In November Amazon warehouse had a 30% discount at checkout offer on, making a ‘Like New’ Suunto 9 Baro reduced from £268 to only £187!
      I still didn’t buy one.

  9. Upontill

    It’s too little and waaaayy too late. A Garmin Fenix 6 pro has been recording my training for a month now.

    Sorry Suunto, you’re like a stale lover, the old days were amazing and we had such amazing adventures together, but the same old conversation about how great things used to be is boring and your brown flares should be in the bin. I’m leaving. It’s not you, it’s me. No, actually, it is you.

  10. Stef

    Literally the worst watch ever made. Good luck seeing the screen at any time of the day. A pure waste of money. If you’re thinking of buying one, don’t. You’ll hate yourself if you do.

    • Griff

      Definitely not the “worst” watch ever made. I think the Magellan Switch holds that title. While not the best, it is a very nice watch.

    • Sparts

      Put the back light on… Or move to the UK where the sky is always grey 😂

  11. Derrick

    Am I missing something, but it doesn’t look like turn by turn works when planning a route on a remote trail? Is this only for roads? I’ve tried to upload GPS files and the route will show, but I don’t receive turn by turn notifications.

    I was kind of excited about this option as I run exclusively on remote trails and would find this feature useful.

    Any help or clarity would be appreciated. Thanks.

  12. Griff

    Is anyone else having trouble connecting their Suunto app to the Komoot app? When I go to Profile icon, I don’t see a Partner Services as Ray describes?

  13. Puck

    This is the update that really makes the Suunto 9 the perfect outdoors watch.
    It has been an issue that the only way to plan routes was on the mobile app, now with Komoot its a fantastic navigation and trail tool.
    Love the 7 day ‘Tour” battery management too, ideal for stage race ultras.. where as it was always a custom management that you had to set up on the watch.

    • Bobson

      Note that you can also plan routes elsewhere (such as on plotaroute.com), and then upload them to Komoot, which will then automatically add waypoints before sending them to the Suunto app.

  14. Michael J

    So it’s this any different to creating left/right/draught POIs like some of us have been doing since Ambit days?

  15. JJS

    Two little downsides came up when I tested this new feature:
    1. The sync with Komoot works only 2-way. Means that all my finished workouts are transferred to Komoot too!
    2. For running this is perfect! No need to stay on the breadcrumb page on the watch because the turns popping up when they are near. BUT: For biking the popups are much too late. Mostly they came when I have passed the turn!

  16. darren

    So what’s the gps ping on the tour mode? Every 5 mins or something. Can’t find info anywhere

  17. Mike Hall

    Hi,
    Do you think Suunto will be bring a fully mapped watch to match the Fenix 6x

    Mike

    • It depends on the definition of “to match the Fenix 6X”. I don’t think it’s commercially viable for Suunto to do that at this point, feature for feature-wise.

      I do think it’s viable for them to move the needle closer on the Suunto 7 side of the house, in terms of added navigational features utilizing the foundations of Wear OS. I think it’d be incredibly challenging , without substantial sums of money and development time, to get full routable mapping on a Suunto 9 style watch.