Tag Archives: Suunto

Hands-on: Suunto’s Spartan Sport Wrist HR watch

This week at CES, Suunto has officially unveiled their first optical heart rate capable watch – the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR.  You may remember back this past summer, when news first came out about Suunto’s plans for an optical … Read More Here

Suunto announces planned optical HR Spartan GPS, sensor details

Yesterday Suunto announced further details of their Spartan series, including the addition of the Spartan Sport, which is basically the cheaper sibling of the Spartan Ultra.  The Sport is at 499EUR, vs the Ultra at 649EUR.  Neither include the kitchen … Read More Here

Suunto announces new Spartan Ultra GPS watch, rolls out refreshed Movescount site

Today Suunto’s refreshing both its website as well as its flagship multisport GPS watch series.  With the website, they’re making it a bit easier to find and plan new routes, while with the watch they’re giving it a color touchscreen.  … Read More Here

Suunto Ambit3 Multisport GPS Watch In-Depth Review

It’s been nearly three months since Suunto announced the Ambit3, though considerably less time since the unit started making its way into the wild with final hardware and firmware.  Since well before either of those dates I’ve been testing the … Read More Here

First look at the Suunto Ambit3 multisport GPS watch

(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 … Read More Here

Suunto rolls out direct integration with Strava, a brief overview

This week Suunto became arguably the first major GPS watch maker to integrate directly with Strava.  Not the first ever, but the first of the biggies (Polar, Suunto, Garmin, and to a degree, Timex).  The implementation of automatic transfers to … Read More Here

Suunto Ambit2 R In-Depth Review

Back in late January Suunto announced their Ambit2 R running-focused watch, which comes as a derivative of the Ambit2 line that was introduced last spring.  The 2R aimed to offer a lower price point than the higher end Ambit2 and … Read More Here

A short behind the scenes visit to Suunto and Omegawave

Last Friday as I finished up my frozen adventures in Finland, I had a couple of hours after my work meetings wrapped up before my flight back home.  So rather than spend that time hanging out in the Helsinki airport … Read More Here

Suunto Ambit 2 and 2S In-Depth Review

It’s been just over a year since the first Suunto Ambit came out (which for clarity I’ll use the term Ambit1 during this review), and during that time Suunto has made impressive progress on the original unit through a series of pre-announced and predictable (and even on time!) firmware updates.  Today, Suunto has officially announced their latest addition to the lineup, the Ambit2 and Ambit2 S.  With the new Ambit, Suunto is squarely taking aim at not only the ultra-running and hiking market that the Ambit1 targeted, but now – the triathlete.  It introduces both indoor and openwater swimming functionality, as well as multisport mode.  With a slew of other features, make no mistake that this is aimed directly at the Garmin FR910XT.

But, how well does it work?  And can it knock the FR910XT off the top spot?  Well, I’ve spent a lot of miles with the watch recently, and am here to give you all the details: Good, bad, and ugly.

Because I want to be transparent about my reviews – Suunto sent me two final retail units to try out (Ambit2 and Ambit2 S). Once I’m complete here, I’ll send this back to Finland and then go out and buy my own (to be able to support y’all in the comments section down the road). Simple as that. Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints. If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon or Clever Training links from this page to help support future reviews.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular triathlete out there. I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background (my day job), and thus I try and be as complete as I can. But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out. Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

So – with that intro, let’s get into things.
Unboxing:
Because I’m covering two slightly different variations of the Ambit in this post, I’ll be doing two unboxing’s below, somewhat in concert.

Here are the two models.  The Ambit2 is on the left, and the 2S is on the right. Apparently there was a mix-up and they sent me the original Ambit1 box for the Ambit2 S.  Nonetheless, here they are:

On the back however, you’ll see in the SKU that it does list the 2S on the right side for the lime one.  Perhaps they were trying to recycle old boxes. Shrug.

Taking a detour for just the full Ambit2 model, here’s its inner box removed from the outer shell:

 

Inside, you’ll find the watch looking up at you:

Below the watch is a compartment with all of the accessories included.  This will vary slightly depending on whether or not you picked up the variant with the heart rate strap.  Otherwise, you’ll still find the USB charging cable, and the manual.

Here’s a closer look at the Ambit2 (Sapphire):

And the back:

Switching back to the Ambit2 S, here’s its inner/outer box:

Inside you’ll find the 2S just like Ambit2:

Inside the box of the 2S you’ll find the USB charging cable, the manual, and depending on which variant you’ve bought – the heart rate strap.

And the backside of the 2S.  You’ll see it’s essentially identical on the back to that of the Ambit1, and the Ambit2.

Looking at the common accessories, you’ve first got the USB charging clip.  This four-pin charging clip simply bites onto the unit itself, and can be powered via any old USB wall outlet you have lying around – or a computer.

Then depending on which bundle you bought you’ll also have the HR strap. This includes the strap piece, and the little pod that snaps in between it:

Here’s how it snaps into place on both sides (in this photo, it’s half-snapped on the left-side):

Note that the Suunto strap included is NOT ANT+.  Meaning the strap included is not compatible with any ANT+ devices you may have, instead, only working with other Suunto devices over a proprietary variant of ANT.  That said however, if you do have an ANT+ strap (say you’re converting from being a Garmin/Timex/etc…. user), then that will work with the Ambit lineup (all Ambits).  Good deal, huh?

Finally, you’ve got the manual.  Unlike most companies in the sports technology world however, Suunto’s manual is actually really detailed and very solid.  And in nine languages.

Now that everything is unpacked, let’s go ahead and look at how it compares in size to other units.
Size Comparisons:

As you can see above, the watch face sizes are actually really similar across the most competitive units in this space: The Ambit’s and Fenix.  Virtually indistinguishable.  On the far sides we have other triathlon-focused watches with integrated GPS.  At the far left is the Timex Global Trainer, then the Garmin FR310XT, then the Garmin FR910XT, then the Garmin Fenix.  Continuing towards the right we have in silver the Suunto Ambit2 Sapphire, then the Ambit2 S Lime, then the original Ambit followed by the Magellan Switch Up.  Both the Garmin FR910XT and the Magellan Switch up in these photos are utilizing the quick release kits.

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A perfect example of a creative Suunto Ambit App: Bike Power Meter Display

This past weekend I spent a bit of time poking through all the new apps that have been released onto the Suunto Ambit App zone.  There’s tons of really cool stuff that people are doing – despite the highly limited … Read More Here

A detailed look at Suunto’s new big Ambit update including App Zone & ANT+

Earlier today Suunto released their 2.0 firmware for their Ambit watch, which has previously been targeted primarily at the hiking and ultra running crowd.  Though this update will move it a long way towards bringing in other segments as well, … Read More Here

Garmin Fenix adds footpod & indoor training support

Today Garmin (Nov 1st, 2012) announced and released a new firmware update for the Garmin Fenix watch – which has been primarily targeted at ultra runners and hikers.  This comes in firmware version 2.90. The watch itself came out over … Read More Here

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

There’s some pretty significant news coming out of the Suunto camp around the Suunto Ambit – their GPS integrated watch focused towards ultramarathon and hikers that they released back this past spring. The unit is unique in its 50+ hour … Read More Here

Garmin, Suunto and Polar want your feedback (directly)

This might be the quickest post I’ve ever written – but it’s one that I feel probably deserves some brief mention – if only to divert mail flow from my own inbox, directly to theirs (at the office this is … Read More Here

Suunto Ambit In-Depth Review

(Please Note: As of April 29th, 2013 there is a new Ambit – the Ambit2 and Ambit2 S. Please check out that review, especially because Suunto has now said no further functionality firmware updates will occur for the original Ambit … Read More Here

A weekend of watch previews: Suunto Ambit and the Soleus 2.0 GPS

Rewind the clocks to 10:30PM Friday night, which is the time at which I finally managed to secure the not-yet-available Suunto Ambit box from DHL.  Due to a strange series of errors, DHL had decided not to deliver the unit … Read More Here

Week in Review–March 18th, 2012

The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered … Read More Here

A much better USB ANT+ stick for your Garmin Forerunner…by Suunto

If you’re like me and are constantly on a laptop – there are really two minor issues that I have with the Garmin USB stick that I use to download workouts from my Forerunner to my computer.  First up is … Read More Here