enduranceCaitlinwrote a review of Suunto Suunto 9 Baro on September 1, 2018
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The Suunto 9 is a very impressive, multi-purpose high end sports watch. I just recently switched over to using the Suunto line of products, and the watch and the apps are quite sleek and nice. That said, there’s definitely also a learning curve, and I’ve found that the best way to learn features is often to explore the watch and the website with curiosity. Even now after over a month, I doubt I know how to use all the features, especially the post-workout analysis on Movescount – but there’s a lot of cool stuff to dig into! Overall I’d highly recommend it – excellent battery life, attractive display, detailed web-based analysis of training, etc.
The Suunto 9 looks great, I’ve gotten quite a few compliments that it’s attractive, even though it’s fairly big on my wrist. It also has a comfortable wrist band, and is much more comfortable to wear than my previous sports watch – this is handy if you ever want to track your sleep, which does require wearing the watch during the night. It’s possible to change the watch face display to several different variations, and as I travel I really like the mode where I can see my current time as well as the time of day where I came from. The one complaint I have related to the appearance is that the screen catches quite a glare in the sun outside, so it can be difficult to see the display. It’s also a little hard to take a picture of the display, but if you change the angle you can usually find something that works, for that mid-workout progress update! It took me a little while to find the way, through Movescounts, to change the training display for each type of session; once I did so, it’s great to be able to customize to see workout duration, time of day, heart rate, interval time, or any other possible metric in simple combinations on your wrist.
Battery life is really excellent. It can go so many workouts without charging, and it’s great to be able to switch battery modes during a workout, in case you did forget to top off the charge. The charging cable is magnetically attached and doesn’t have to plug into a port, it just connects some metal prongs to the back of the watch. It seems much more reliable than some systems that have to plug in, where there’s a risk that the port will get dirt encrusted from wearing the watch.
Probably one of the main areas where I’ve noticed a difference between the Suunto 9 and my friends’ other-brand watches is in acquiring satellite and heart rate signals – I just have to select the workout type and it’s all ready to go right away, maybe a 1 second delay! Other people meanwhile are waiting at the start of the workout to acquire satellites or heart rate.
Suunto currently has two apps I think, the Suunto app and the Movescount platform… this distinction is a little bit confusing to me, but I’ve heard that they’ll be improving the functionality of the Suunto app soon. For now, the Movescount app and web platform is a great way to look at past training sessions, evaluating day by day or month by month, looking at maps, speed, and heart rate metrics as needed for my pursuit of elite athletics. Durability of the watch itself is excellent – the screen is impeccable after 2 months now of constant wear, just have to wipe it with a cloth occasionally, like a sunglass lens. The buttons are made of metal, and in the black color they’re showing a tiny bit of wear down to the silver metal beneath, which makes them look even better and shows the quality. The band is in great shape, just like new even after having been washed off from plenty of dirty runs and bike rides, and I believe the band is easily replaceable if there are problems.
Definitely a great watch – lots of pros, very few cons. Note that I did receive this Suunto 9 free as an athlete ambassador – it has a high price tag, but if you’re going to spend the big money on a high-end, gps-tracking heart rate watch, I’d highly recommend you consider this one.