Suunto 9 Peak Sports Watch and Fitness Tracker: Small but Mighty

Introducing Suunto's thinnest, smallest and toughest watch to date

File Photo: SportPlus


Suunto's latest sports watch may appear to have a smaller screen than its earlier editions, but don't let its size fool you, it is the toughest Suunto sports watch yet while its superior technical features and better app set-up integration will keep you hooked and wanting to try out more activities with it.


In fact, making the Suunto 9 Peak a smaller and sleeker watch was largely intentional, with the current design a lot less bulky and a much better fit for a variety of activities throughout the day beyond sports.


We had the opportunity to try out the Suunto 9 Peak over the previous few weeks, courtesy of Key Power Sports, distributor for Suunto in Singapore.

And having brought the watch out for a number of runs across a multitude of environments: from the trails of MacRitchie, to Singapore Sports Hub, Marina Bay, Seletar Reservoir, Yishun Dam, and the hills of Fort Canning, we're confident that we've explored a good range of the watch's features to give our inputs.


While these may not be the harshest of environments or conditions to test the watch in, and we weren't able to try out all of the watch's 80 plus sport modes, we believe this would still be a relevant review for those staying in this tropical climate, and may be considering an upgrade to whatever sports watches they have been using till now.


Design


This has got to be one of the sleekest sport's watches on the market. In fact, Suunto admitted that improving the design was a huge part of its remodeling efforts in this flagship watch.


While the original Suunto 9 looked somewhat bulkier, the Suunto 9 Peak features Nordic-inspired styling, and has stripped away unnecessary weight and material.


The new watch comes in at 62 grams, 20 grams lighter than the original Suunto 9, while the thickness has been reduced by 6 millimeters.

File Photo: SportPlus


Durability


According to Suunto's media release, the watch has been tested in the harshest of conditions. Although it may not quite be as unbreakable as Casio G-SHOCK's watches, the fact that the watch face is made of sapphire crystal does add to one's confidence in its ability to withstand damage.


While saying it is unbreakable may be an exaggeration, it is significantly more scratch proof than earlier editions as well as a slew of other sports watches out there on the market.


Software and Features


There is a multitude of software upgrades to the Suunto 9 Peak. If you are familiar with Suunto's watches, you will be well aware of the host of workout modes, health metrics etc and this watch is no different.


What really catches the eye however, are the significant improvements in GPS accuracy including the Snap to Route breadcrumb navigation feature, wireless frame updates which allow you to receive updates without plugging your watch to a computer, fast charging which allows the watch to reach full charge within an hour, as well as Ghost Runner mode, which allows a runner to have his or her own virtual pacer.

File Photo: SportPlus


Also worth mentioning are the fast magnetic charging, wireless firmware updates via Bluetooth and improved sensors across the board including heart rate monitor and ambient lighting.


Fitness Tracking


This has been arguable the most impressive part of Suunto 9 Peak. While there are already a host of fitness trackers on the market, many have not been able to replicate the kind of accuracy we see here in the 9 Peak, particularly when it comes to GPS tracking.


Suunto 9 Peak's 'Snap to Route' feature basically takes your GPS track, which one would normally record and then upload onto Strava or Training Peaks, and maps it onto the route of your choice. The result? A breadcrumb navigation that guides you through the predefined route at much higher accuracy.


Image via Suunto


This is particularly useful in the city and built up areas where GPS accuracy may usually be affected or obstructed, resulting in inaccurate readings of your distance and consequently pacing.


If you are looking to improve on your run timing but do not have the luxury of having friends to pace you, our favourite 'Ghost Runner' mode which can be found under Suunto Plus, would be of massive help too.


This data page via Suunto Plus takes the split timing of your first kilometre, and uses it as a pacer for the rest of your run. Plenty of other impressive features, but these are the two which impressed us the most.

File Photo: SportPlus


Battery Life


If you are tired of watches that require daily charging, then you will be surprised at the longevity of the battery on the Suunto 9 Peak. That is of course, if you choose to customise a more conservative use of the watch's battery under its 4-5 battery burn modes.


Choose between any of Performance mode (22 hours), Endurance mode (56 hours), Ultra mode (100 hours), Tour mode (162 hours), where basically the higher the GPS accuracy, the poorer the battery life; and the lower the accuracy needed, the longer the battery life.


Tour mode basically sees the watch reducing its GPS updates, but is probably only relevant if you are not using it on a day-to-day basis.

File Photo: SportPlus


Is the Suunto 9 Peak worth its cost?


If you are a Garmin or Fitbit user, and are worried that the Suunto 9 Peak won't measure up to its billing, you can be rest assured that it is a worthwhile investment.


While the Suunto 9 Peak is one of the pricier options of sports watches and fitness trackers in a very competitive market, ranging from SGD $870 to SGD $1,029, Suunto has made a name for itself as a reliable brand specialising in sports watches, dive computers and precision instruments.


With its stylish and sleek design paired with superior intelligence and accuracy, the 9 Peak promises to be a game changer for those who have a heart leaning towards adventure and exploration.


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