As a hiker and trail runner, I’ve really liked using the Suunto’s navigational tools. It offers route following and tracking on detailed maps that demonstrate trails, contour lines and important landmarks. Sadly, it doesn’t have any text labels, so you won’t be able to see the names of things like summits or bodies of water.
Suunto have added dual-frequency GPS/GNSS satellite connectivity to this – something that, I believe, hasn’t been available in any of their previous watches. This gives you extremely accurate positioning, even in high up or particularly remote places, although I have found that getting a location can take a little bit of time, particularly if you’re indoors or in deep woodland.
The Suunto mapping software is free and its tiles, along with any route you want to follow, can all be downloaded for offline use. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that any downloads made on the Suunto app need to be done over a wifi connection.
Other features of this watch that are beneficial to outdoor enthusiasts are the sunrise and sunset times, weather details and storm alerts and the built-in altimeter.
Watch Construction and User Interface
The watch face is large but overall the Suunto Vertical still has a svelteness to it – it doesn’t feel heavy or bulky. The screen is nice and clear too, even in bright daylight. You can move between screens and make selections using the touch screen or you can stick with the three side buttons. I’ve found myself mainly using the buttons. I’ve not been a dedicated Suunto user but I still found the UI quick to work out and get around. That said, I accidentally set this to Japanese when I first picked it up, so it took a while to figure out how to switch back to English!
In terms of durability, I dropped this onto a hard floor once, to my horror, but I found absolutely no damage to the screen or bezel. After a month of regular use, the screen is immaculate with no scratches or scuffs. That’s not too surprising given the glass is made from sapphire crystal and the bezel a grade 5 titanium. It’s water resistant to 100m, so you’ll need to work hard to do any damage there.
This is an excellent watch. With its class-leading battery life, ease of use and its super handy settings for outdoor enthusiasts – special nod to its navigation functions – I’d say this is the best GPS watch I’ve tested. As a final point, I think it’s also worth commending Suunto for making this using 100% renewable energy and for offsetting 100% of the carbon emissions created in its production.
Some Other Key Things Answered
Can I use it to control music from Spotify? Yes, but there’s no music storage
Can I use it for payments? No
Are the map downloads free? Yes