Suunto. The company says it "stands for adventure", with a pioneering spirit for exploration in its DNA since 1936, when "Finnish orienteer Tuomas Vohlonen set out to create a more accurate compass, and subsequently invented a new method for manufacturing liquid‐filled compasses". Today, Suunto proudly boasts that it is "at the forefront of design and innovation for sports watches, dive computers and instruments used by adventurers all over the globe".
The company has a range of smartwatches, with the one we're looking at today having launched earlier this year, being Suunto's next-gen smartwatch, the Suunto 7. It is billed as being "a premium smartwatch that combines Suunto’s versatile sports expertise with the helpful smart features from Wear OS by Google".
Wearables have boomed over the last five years, and while the Apple Watch has proven extremely popular with iPhone owners, and is what I personally use as I am an iPhone user, there are over 2.5 billion Android users out there, which also represents a giant market that has never had more choice in smartphones, headphones, accessories and smartwatch wearables.
That said, Android Wear watches work with iOS, too, so if you prefer a round watch to Apple's square watch, then iOS owners can also benefit from the Suunto 7 smartwatch.
As you'd expect, the Suunto 7 offers a "seamless integration of Wear OS by Google for an experience that supports sports and everyday life in one, streamlined interface", and has the following key features:
- Sports experience brings 70+ sport modes, from running and cycling to skiing and surfing, with accurate exercise tracking, music controls on the watch and access to the Suunto app for detailed training insights while delivering up to 12 hours battery life in continuous GPS Tracking mode.
- Offline outdoor maps with built-in Suunto Heatmaps across 15 activities allow users to always find their way and know the best training routes, even when their phone is left behind or there isn’t network connectivity available.
- Wear OS by Google makes everyday life easier with Google Fit, Google Assistant, Google Pay and thousands of apps available from Google Play, plus daily features like notifications, calendar updates and weather when you need it.
- Adventure-proof design tested in Finland to be shock-proof, water-proof and dirt-proof.
Heikki Norta, the chief digital officer and president of connected devices and digital services at Amer Sports Corporation, Suunto’s parent company, said:
“Today, whether sport is your passion or your lunch-hour escape, we live in a blended life that demands a technology partner who does not sacrifice functionality in sport or everyday use. Suunto set out to overcome the challenge of designing a smart watch with robust sports watch features, and vice versa, in order to help users get the most out of both their sports and their busy lives.
"Combining Suunto’s decades worth of versatile sports and outdoor expertise with the helpful smartwatch features from Wear OS by Google provides an incredible opportunity for us to inspire new and expanding audiences to explore their surroundings, wherever those adventures might take them.”
So, what are some of the other Suunto 7 features?
You can see that the Suunto 7 boasts the new vivid, full-colour offline outdoor maps, which enable athletes to follow their location on-the-go with an ultra-bright OLED touch-sensitive display, as well as wrist-based control of music playlists for convenience on the go.
In addition to these new features, we're told the Suunto 7 "delivers sport expertise, with more than 70 sport modes from running and cycling to skiing and yoga, battery life to support a full day of active smartwatch use and still have enough juice left for your daily workout including accurate exercise measurement with wrist-based heartrate tracking, barometer for elevation readings, and training insights. To extend your experience, you can follow your exercises and trends from Suunto app and connect with partners such as Strava.
"Balancing sport and everyday expertise, Suunto’s integration of Wear OS by Google delivers proactive and personalised help from Google Assistant, secure payment options with Google Pay, and personalised coaching from Google Fit. Thousands of additional apps are available on the Google Play app store".
Pankaj Kedia, head of Qualcomm Wearables said: "The Suunto 7, based on our advanced Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform, is the first smartwatch to deploy the dedicated Sports experience mode with up to 12 hours with continuous GPS tracking or up to 48 hours in daily use enabled by our platform.
"We are delighted to be collaborating with Suunto to combine the best of sports, style, and smarts in this powerful smartwatch designed for both the extreme and casual athletes.”
The company tells us the Suunto 7 is "designed and tested in Finland to survive the toughest of conditions and adventures and to withstand shock, water and dirt with a Gorilla Glass screen. Users can brave the elements with confidence or stay inside and hit the gym or yoga studio, all without missing a beat".
Suunto 7 at a glance:
- RRP: $599 AUD
- Weight: 70g
- Bezel: Stainless Steel
- Watch Case: Reinforced Polyamid
- Strap materials: 24mm Strap (available in assorted silicon, leather and textile
- Navigation: GPS, Glonass, Galileo
- Battery Life: Up to 12 hours in GPS tracking mode or up to 48 hours in daily use*
- Water Resistance: 50 meters
- Operating system: Wear OS by Google
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 Platform
- Phone support: iOS and Android