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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Suunto 9 Baro Smartwatch | Review

An extremely handy smartwatch that can join you on every adventure

Why We Chose The Suunto 9 Baro Smartwatch: Extremely durable, user-friendly, lightweight.

The Suunto 9 Baro represents the new flagship model in their range of sports watches. This smartwatch is packed full of features that make tracking and logging your days out while hiking, running, climbing, or whatever else you like to get up to in the outdoors, not only extremely easy, but also enjoyable.

The battery life is certainly Suunto’s main selling feature for the 9. A single charge can last up to 120 hours in the ‘Ultra’ mode which keeps up GPS tracking but deactivates wrist heart rate tracking. In ‘Endurance’ mode, battery life is 40 hours with full wrist heart rate and GPS tracking.

With 80 pre-installed sport modes that are able to track over 50 different values such as heart-rate, GPS location and many others, there doesn’t seem to be an outdoor sport that this watch wouldn’t be able to track and give you essential feedback on.

“A single charge can last up to 120 hours in ‘Ultra’ mode which keeps up GPS tracking but deactivates wrist heart rate tracking.”

Running watches don’t always offer to carry GPS tracking, whilst traditional hillwalking watches don’t house heart rate sensors. The Suunto 9 offers both in a pretty sleek form factor.

Suunto have fitted it with an optical heart-rate monitor, and although this won’t perform as well as a chest heart rate monitor, it’ll become a great solution for on-the-go heart rate measurements where a chest strap might be a little overkill. But for those of you who are looking for improved heart rate readings, then all it takes is a simple pair up with an aftermarket heart rate chest strap.

Encompassing all of this geekery and thar hefty battery life is a sleek looking housing which turns this into a good looking watch with a clean aesthetic. The large colour touchscreen display (320 x 300 mm) takes up almost the entirety of this watch face. It’s protected by a sapphire crystal, meaning it’ll survive the knocks that time in the outdoors will inevitably put it through.

Whilst a touchscreen is a nice feature, it was good to see that Suunto have kept their three classic buttons on the right hand side of the screen. These buttons allow you to circumvent the need to use the touchscreen – useful when you’re wearing gloves. The brightness of the screen can be adjusted, which is particularly useful if you’re spending lots of time in direct sunlight.

An ideal travel companion for multi sports trips.
The watch face is made from super tough sapphire crystal. Photo: Chris Johnson

So what to do with all this data you’ve gathered? Well, Suunto have made it extremely easy to upload it all wirelessly from your watch to your phone once you’ve paired the two together via Bluetooth. From Suunto’s own app, you’re able to view all of your tracked days and compare them to previous weeks to measure how your fitness is improving or simply how many steps you’ve walked over the given period.

You’re also able to connect your device to your Strava account, allowing you to continue battling it out for the fastest times on specific trails with your mates.

“This is certainly the cleanest looking outdoor smartwatch out there on the market right now.”

Once you’ve paired the watch with your phone it will give you all notifications that usually appear on your phone’s lock screen. If you don’t like notifications but would still like to make use of the phone app then you can switch them off or silence them in the ‘Settings’ menu.

This is certainly the cleanest looking outdoor smartwatch out there on the market right now. And with those clean looks, you’re also getting best-in-class battery life, with some fantastic activity tracking modes packed into it.

Jordan, our Staff Writer, is a fan…

The Suunto 9 will show you vital statistics based on the activity you're tracking.

Tester’s Verdict

Jordan Tiernan, Outdoors Magic Staff Writer

“I’ve been using the Suunto 9 over the past three months for tracking ski touring ascents, logging running progress and aiding hiking days both in Iceland and Norway. The watch has impressed me with its multi-day battery life, even when you’re using power-sapping tools such as GPS and heart rate.

“I’ve previously been using the Suunto Core for the past eight years and whilst that’s a bombproof watch, it’s got a relatively minimal feature set. The Suunto 9, on the other hand, offers up much more in this regard, particularly for training use. I’ve found it very easy to use for laying out all my training data, which in turn has made tracking and improving my progress enjoyable.

“Once back from a trip – no matter what the activity – I love that it lets me upload all of my data to Suunto’s own web or mobile app and even my Strava account to display all of my previous days out in chronological order.

“This allows me to then look back on and breakdown each activity, which is particularly useful for seeing any improvements I’m making in training. For example, I’ve been using it to track any developments I’ve made on a specific hill-climb, or any decreases in my min/km time over a certain section of my training runs. I’d go as far as saying I’ve genuinely improved as a runner since I’ve been using it.”

Suunto 9 Baro Smartwatch

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