on 28 March 2014
Having tried the Garmin Forerunners (220 and 620) and Edge 510, Suunto is in a league of its own. Whereas Garmin make their products in China, this watch is made in Europe. Whereas Garmin cripples their firmware so you can't use and navigation functions, the Suunto let's you route, track back, add POIs etc. I could go on.
Top 5 reasons I love this watch
1. Recovery time, vO2, Peak training effect all included (try doing that on a garmin 220)
2. You can add apps for free and the Suunto made Apps are great. Ghost runners, orthostatic tests, increasing speed intervals, cooper tests, bespoke training.
3. The backlight is amazing, like a torch and is is user configurable.
4. Every single screen, option, recording interval user configurable. It's like having an open source watch. You set it up how you like. I have added sleep modes, orthostatic test modes, increasing speed modes, ghost modes, VO2 tests. If you like your devices dumbed down with limited options this isn't for you.
5. The watch has that Suunto cool that you don't get with polar, garmin, nike. It's just a level of quality build and design the other guys can't match.
Thr next firmware upgrade will add all the new features from the new Ambit2 R. This watch really is a bargain considering all it can do.
on 13 September 2014
In terms of value for money I was far happier with my old Garmin Forerunner 110 (at approx. half the price). You can play around no end with the settings on the Suunto, but in my experience the accuracy of pace readings is terrible. The Garmin showed single digit speeds (mins and secs/km) accurately. The Suunto only shows 5 second intervals, and, despite running at a constant speeds, it shows huge variations - from under 5 min to nearly 7 min/km in the space of a few hundred meters! Despite several trials, and changing settings, I could not avoid this unreliable feedback. Needless to say, I generally ignore the pace readings now.
Internet connection is also not 100% reliable, but once connected and downloaded, the site is OK to navigate and quite fun. Annoyingly, changing the settings is not straight forward. I modified and saved new views before going on holiday, but it was not recognised until I returned from holiday and reconnected the watch. Therefore, I had to run without knowing exact distances, since this was one view I wanted to re-add.
In summary, on the plus side:
++ picks up GPS quick (in comparison to the Garmin, which seemed to take an eternity in comparison).
+ good battery life
+ tons of settings to play around with
and the negatives:
- expensive for standard running functions
- unreliable pace readings
- modifying and saving settings not really intuitive/reliable
There are those who will defend the watch as being just too advanced for most. But at the end of the day I feel its a shame such an "advanced watch" does not live up to expectations given the price.