Suunto, a company based in Finland, will release its next product on June 26. It’s called Suunto 9 and is a multisport GPS watch designed with long battery life and durability in mind. The Suunto 9’s target audience is high-level athletes who need a watch that can withstand extreme training.
Watches have been brought back into the spotlight over the past few years since the release of smartwatches. Tech companies have released smartwatches that have pressured watchmakers to go beyond the standard watch and make digital versions that offer more than just the date and time. Brands like Tag Heuer, Louis Vuitton, and Fossil have all made their own smartwatches to compete with Apple, Samsung, and Google’s offerings.
The Suunto 9 takes a different approach than traditional watchmakers and does not try to compete as heavily with many of features that popular smartwatches offer. Instead it stays focused on what the company is good at, sports and fitness. While one could argue that Apple Watch and other smartwatches are focused on sports and fitness as well, those devices try to wear a lot more hats which prevents them from offering features like 120-hour battery life.
Yes, you read that right, 120-hour battery life. Until recently, popular smartwatches like Apple Watch struggled to offer a full-day to heavy users. With the release of Apple Watch Series 3, battery life appears to be have become a larger focus but even it can’t reliably work for more than 48 hours.
Suunto’s new watch not only gives you multiple days of use as simply a watch, the company’s battery life estimations are based on users tracking workouts with GPS. The Suunto 9 offers three different workout modes that help you manage battery life according to your needs. The modes are called Performance, Endurance and Ultra.
The Performance mode will yield users with 25 hours of use, Endurance will offer 50 hours, and Ultra will provide up to 120 hours. Each mode has trade-offs associated, but there is also a custom mode that allows you to tweak battery performance and features to fit your individual needs.
In case you have never heard of Suunto and that has you on the fence, it will likely put you at ease knowing that the company has been around since 1936. Having this knowledge would certainly help me digest spending the $599 that the company is charging for this watch.