Suunto 5 Sports activities Watch Assessment: The Show Cannot Hold Up The Tempo

Suunto 5

The Suunto 5 sports activities watch is sturdy, however the show holds it again

“The Suunto 5 wows with its function listing, however disappoints with uncomfortable design and a poor show.”

Nice battery life

Rugged and sturdy casing

Useful health coaching plans

Fairly priced

Shoddy glass over show, poor brightness and determination

Uncomfortable strap design

Finicky coronary heart charge monitoring

No barometric altimeter

Restricted sleep monitoring

Suunto is understood for its rugged out of doors watches that may take a licking and carry on ticking. The corporate’s newest GPS watch, the Suunto 5, is not any exception. It’s a rugged multi-sport watch you may confidently put on whereas mountain biking, rock scrambling, or path operating.

The Suunto 5 falls in the course of the Finnish firm’s lineup between the flagship Suunto 9 and the entry-level Suunto three Health. It gives a little bit of all the things from stress monitoring to high-end options like clever battery administration and adaptive coaching. Nevertheless it’s not all rainbows and unicorns, as there are a couple of vital flaws that detract from this in any other case succesful GPS watch. Right here’s what it’s like.

Sturdy however flawed design

The Suunto 5 falls into the multi-sport class, so it’s greater than most informal health watches just like the Fitbit Versa and heavier that your light-weight operating watches just like the Garmin Forerunner 245. It measures 46mm throughout the face, which places it within the “massive, however not obscenely massive” class.

At 66 grams, it’s heavy, particularly when in comparison with similar-sized watches just like the 38.5-gram Forerunner 245 or the 55-gram Garmin Intuition. Regardless of its girth, I used to be comfy carrying the Suunto 5 when exercising exterior or on the fitness center. I wore it 24/7 for testing functions, and I undoubtedly felt the urge to take it off whereas on the workplace or throughout occasions out on the town. It’s a watch you’ll solely wish to put on whereas exercising.

Like most Suunto watches, the Suunto 5 screams sturdiness. The chrome steel bezel and glass fiber strengthened polycarbonate casing are rugged. I by no means nervous about glancing a tree whereas operating or mountain biking as I knew the casing and bezel might deal with the influence — and it did. The buttons are also well-made: even when lined in grime, mud, and sweat, they by no means jammed and have been simple to press.

On the underside of the casing is the guts charge monitor which lies practically flush with the casing. The charging port sits alongside the perimeter of the case subsequent to the guts charge monitor. It’s not a really perfect location because it shortly acquired clogged with sweat and grime.

Although Suunto didn’t skimp on the casing and bezel, the Finnish firm reduce corners with the show on the Suunto 5. The glass masking the show scratches simply; after a couple of weeks of carrying the watch across the clock, I had a number of small scuffs on the show, though I by no means fell laborious or had a collision to trigger them.

Like most Suunto watches, the Suunto 5 screams sturdiness.

One other disappointment is the 218 x 218 decision show. It suffers from a dim backlight that makes it close to unimaginable to learn in daylight. It’s additionally small at 1.2 inches in comparison with the dimensions of the watch (1.Eight-inches). The show is extremely poor, and I like to recommend you take a look at the Suunto 5 in individual earlier than shelling out $329 for it.

The Suunto 5 is provided with a one-size-fits-all silicone band. The band is held by a metallic clasp and has two sliders to carry the unfastened finish in place. It feels safe on my wrist and I by no means nervous about it breaking or unexpectedly falling off. However consolation is one other story. The band has inflexible lugs that join the strap to the case, and whereas they’re curved, these inflexible items aren’t versatile and by no means comfortably match my wrist. They induced the watch to slip awkwardly and acquired in the way in which whereas sleeping. On multiple event, I awakened in the course of the night time because the band was painfully digging into my wrist.

The Suunto 5 is on the market in a wide range of colours together with a black band with a black bezel, a white band with a silver bezel, a burgundy band with a copper bezel and my private favourite — a graphite band with a copper bezel. The latter two colours are a pleasant change from the usual black and white watches. They’ve knowledgeable look that doesn’t scream “rugged health watch” in your wrist.

Whereas that is undeniably a rugged watch, the poor show, shoddy glass high quality, and uncomfortable match ruined my expertise of carrying the Suunto 5.

Unintuitive interface

Although Suunto added a touchscreen to the Suunto 9, the corporate caught with the normal 5 button structure for the Suunto 5. Every button has a devoted operate that permits you to view your notifications, entry a shortcuts menu, cycle by means of your day by day stats and extra.

Suunto 5Kelly Hodgkins/Digital Tendencies

Sadly, the watch controls will not be intuitive and there aren’t any labels on the bezel to point their capabilities. I did lastly get accustomed to the interface, however there’s a massive studying curve, particularly in case you are switching from one other model of gadget. When you be taught the capabilities of every respective button, utilizing the watch turns into loads simpler.

Finicky coronary heart charge monitoring

Beneath the rugged exterior of the Suunto 5 is a strong health tracker with options which are borrowed each from the Suunto three health watch and the Suunto 9 journey watch. It’s a multi-sport watch with assist for extra thna 80 completely different sport modes. You’ll be able to add as much as eight sports activities on the watch and customise each with the info fields you need.

Not solely does it deal with land-based actions, the Suunto 5 is water-proof all the way down to 50-meters so you should use it for each pool laps and open water swimming. Like most GPS watches, open water swimming is hampered by the water, which interferes with the GPS sign.

Suunto’s adaptive coaching plans are good for these trying to keep their health.

The Suunto 5 is provided with an optical coronary heart charge monitor that’s finicky at instances. Like most wrist-based optical coronary heart charge displays, the Suunto 5 takes a number of minutes to normalize once you begin an exercise and lags barely behind your current coronary heart charge once you change your effort. Although common coronary heart charge throughout an exercise was correct, the max coronary heart charge throughout an train and the guts charge zones tended to be increased than different gadgets such because the Forerunner 245 and the Polar Ignite.

The 24/7 coronary heart charge monitoring additionally jumps wildly once you transfer your arm, spiking 20 factors increased than the opposite health watches I used to be testing. A part of this inaccuracy may be the results of the ill-fitting band, which makes it troublesome to get a snug and cushty match.

Health coaching that meets your wants

The most effective health options within the Suunto 5 is customized and adaptive coaching plans. The watch helps you to select whether or not you wish to “Keep”, “Enhance,” or “Enhance” your health exercise, and generates 7-day coaching plans. The plan mixes laborious and straightforward days so that you by no means overdo it, and every session is assigned a time and an depth stage.

While you begin an exercise, you may select to finish the exercise plan or ignore it and do your individual factor. For those who observe the plan, the watch tracks your depth and offers real-time steering to maintain you exercising on the appropriate tempo.

Suunto 5Kelly Hodgkins/Digital Tendencies

I discovered the coaching plans to be geared for enhancing your health at an entry-level as an alternative of pushing you laborious. After not operating for a number of weeks as a consequence of surgical procedure, the coaching plan was good for my return to understanding. It detected I used to be inactive and tailored the coaching to ease me again into operating. After a couple of weeks of coaching, I used to be again to operating 5 to six miles often.

Moreover efficiency monitoring, the Suunto 5 is full of FirstBeat-style metrics like stress, physique assets, and health stage (VO2Max). Just like Garmin’s physique battery, physique useful resource measures your bodily exercise, stress stage, sleep, and restoration. It blends all these metrics collectively and spits out a proportion that estimates your present power reserves. Not all these metrics can be found on the flagship Suunto 9, positioning the Suunto 5 for the athlete who needs to trace all aspects of their well being.

Sleep monitoring might be higher

Suunto retains it easy with sleep monitoring, offering a sleep rating primarily based on the quantity and high quality of your sleep. You should use this easy-to-interpret worth to trace your sleep over time similar to you’d your operating tempo or VO2Max. The sleep rating is also utilized in different metrics resembling physique assets and restoration time.

Sleep knowledge is distributed every morning to the Suunto app, however the evaluation is restricted in comparison with Fitbit and Garmin. You’ll be able to solely view your complete sleep time, awake time, deep sleep time, in a single day coronary heart charge, and sleep rating. There is no such thing as a hourly graph of your sleep nor any additional breakdown of your relaxation into REM sleep or gentle sleep.

Suunto 5Kelly Hodgkins/Digital Tendencies

The Suunto 5 precisely measured once I fell asleep,  however struggled typically to detect once I awakened. Each infrequently, it thought I used to be waking up once I was simply rolling over to hit the snooze button. More often than not, the watch ended my sleep once I acquired off the bed and greeted me with “Good Morning” as I used to be strolling out of my bed room. However the watch didn’t catch moments like when a canine barked or an surprising alert woke me up and interrupted my sleep.

GPS goes past exercise monitoring

The Suunto 5 has built-in GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, and QZSS satellite tv for pc assist that can be utilized for exercise monitoring and navigation. It information an exercise in progress and shops that GPS knowledge so you may evaluate your efficiency then subsequent time you run or bike that space. GPS accuracy is spot on, even within the woods.

The watch additionally helps utilizing the GPS for navigation, permitting you to journey to some extent of curiosity (POI) or observe a route you’ve added to the watch. There is no such thing as a barometric altimeter, however the watch does calculate the elevation and offers an elevation profile, each of that are generated utilizing GPS knowledge.

Smartphone notifications

The Suunto 5 connects to your smartphone through Bluetooth LE, sending health knowledge to the Suunto app. It helps smartphone notifications so you may view incoming alerts on the cellphone.  Like most health trackers — sans the Apple Watch — you can’t reply to alerts. Every alert offers sufficient of a snippet so you may determine if you want to pull out your cellphone or simply ignore it till later. A “Do Not Disturb” mode helps you to flip off all alerts once you want radio silence.

My solely gripe was connectivity. After I walked away from my cellphone and returned, the watch would reconnect and re-download all of the notifications on my cellphone. The fixed beeping of those notifications is annoying at house and disruptive in public.

Versatile battery life

Battery life is an enormous promoting level that units the Suunto 5 aside from its competitors. Suunto’s secret sauce is its trio of power-saving battery modes — Efficiency, Endurance and Extremely — all three of which debuted on the Suunto 9. Every energy mode tweaks the watch settings by turning off options to get as a lot energy out of the battery as needed. The watch is at all times monitoring the battery ranges reminding you to cost your watch earlier than a exercise or prompting you to alter the battery mode mid-workout so you may proceed monitoring your exercise.

These clever battery modes turn out to be useful because the Suunto 5 burns by means of the battery when 24/7 coronary heart charge monitoring is enabled. As an alternative of the promised 14 days of battery life, I averaged about 7-Eight days with heart-rate monitoring and notifications enabled. I do get a whole lot of notifications so your mileage could fluctuate.

After I was mountain climbing with full GPS monitoring and coronary heart charge monitoring, the battery lasted roughly 15 hours. After I used Endurance mode to dial down the GPS monitoring and heart-rate monitoring, I reached 35 hours, wanting the promised 40 hours, however nonetheless higher than most different smartwatches.

Suunto Move App: Messy, however enhancing

Suunto’s app ecosystem continues to be a sizzling mess. The corporate is step by step transferring away from its Movescount platform and transitioning all its gadgets to its new Suunto app platform. Don’t anticipate to make use of Movescount with the Suunto 5, because the watch syncs solely with the brand new Suunto app. Present Suunto homeowners must transfer all their Movescount knowledge over to the brand new Suunto app or simply begin over with their new Suunto 5 app.

The excellent news is that the brand new Suunto app is enhancing steadily. It has a clear interface that’s thoughtfully organized and straightforward to make use of. You’ll be able to view your steps, energy burned, and sleep with day by day, weekly, month-to-month, and yearly breakdowns. You can also view all of your actions and evaluation right here.

The app shops a wealth of knowledge that’s geared towards the athlete in coaching who needs to trace their efficiency. It’s not as sturdy as Garmin’s Join platform, which has higher knowledge evaluation and quantity crunching.

The Suunto app can sync its knowledge to the Sports activities Tracker internet app, which is taking the place of Movescount. Sports activities Tracker works for informal athletes, however efficiency hounds who wish to dive deep into metrics shall be disenchanted.

For those who favor utilizing third-party providers, you may export your coaching and well being knowledge to apps like Strava, Coaching Peaks, Apple Well being, and extra.

Worth, availability, and guarantee data

The Suunto 5 is on the market now for $329 from Suunto’s web site and different retailers.

The corporate gives a two-year restricted guarantee on the Suunto 5 that covers defects in supplies or workmanship. Suunto will repair any defects freed from cost by both repairing the watch, changing it, or refunding the unique price.

The Suunto 5 is a rock-solid watch that delivers on coaching and multi-sport exercise monitoring, in addition to robust battery life. However Suunto reduce corners with the show and glass high quality, making it vulnerable to scratches and troublesome to learn within the daylight. It’s additionally not very comfy to put on, ruining the expertise of it on the wrist.

Is there a greater various?

The Suunto 5 packs a ton of options into an inexpensive multi-sport watch, however the dim show could also be a deal breaker. A strong various is the Garmin Intuition, which has an identical rugged design with options which are geared for out of doors adventures. Multi-sport athletes who principally run ought to think about the light-weight Forerunner 245 or the long-lasting Coros Apex.

Take a look at our information to one of the best health trackers for extra.

How lengthy will it final?

The Suunto 5 is constructed like a tank and will final for a number of years — so long as you utilize a display screen protector to guard the glass from scratches. Suunto slowly and steadily updates its gadgets and its app ecosystem and I anticipate they may do the identical for the Suunto 5.

Must you purchase it?

No, the show brightness, consolation, and glass high quality are deal breakers for me.

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