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.