Suunto 7 assessment: We take a look at the Wear OS working watch

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The Suunto 7 is the Finnish sports activities watch maker’s very first smartwatch. Whereas the likes of the Suunto 9 and the Suunto three Health have supplied some type of smartwatch-like performance, it’s taking issues up a notch.

Suunto has turned to Google’s Wear OS to offer these extra smarts, which embody NFC funds, a built-in music participant and the power to obtain apps from Google’s Play Retailer.

Not all the things has been left to Google. It is in a position to observe train utilizing Suunto’s personal options, as you’d count on, and new mapping options that you just received’t presently discover on different Suunto sports activities watch.

At £429 Suunto is hoping you’ll spend greater than it prices to purchase the newest Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Lively 2 and a bunch of different sporty Wear OS watches to have it in your life. And, for that matter, the Garmin Vivoactive four which mixes nice sports activities monitoring with good stable smartwatch options.

We’ve been placing the Suunto 7 to the take a look at for just a few weeks to seek out out if it made the suitable transfer to tackle the Apple and Samsung’s of this smartwatch world. Right here’s our full verdict.

Suunto 7: Design and display

Like Garmin and Polar, Suunto is taking part in catch up so far as making its watches the sort you’d wish to wear the entire time and never simply once you’re figuring out. It has been including extra colour choices, nicer bands and together with bezels that assist to create that extra eye-catching look.

That progress on the the design entrance can definitely be seen on this watch that is for certain. That is undoubtedly one of many nicest trying watches Suunto has ever made.

There are 5 designs in whole and all characteristic good, massive chrome steel bezels that encompass the touchscreen show that basically dominate that general look. The 7 feels just like the Suunto 9 when it comes to stature, however it’s slimmer than Suunto’s prime finish sports activities watch. It additionally weighs in at round 70g, making it 10g lighter, and it exhibits.

The strap holding that watch case in place is interchangeable and makes use of the same pin mechanism featured on different Wear OS watches, for once you wish to swap in one thing new.

Suunto has opted for 4 bodily buttons, with the three on the suitable of the watch case providing the identical type of performance and management as Suunto’s present crop of sports activities watches. The solo button on the left of the case is essentially reserved for accessing smartwatch options like launching the app drawer and launching Google Assistant.

Suunto has slapped it with a water-proof score that makes it match for the water at as much as 50 metres depth providing monitoring for pool and for open water swimming.

The touchscreen show is gorgeous too. It is massive, shiny, colours actually pop and people deep blacks are a certain signal that it is a top quality AMOLED display in place right here.

Total, It’s a step in the suitable course for Suunto. Some fashions of the 7 look extra enticing and fewer sporty than others, however finally it is a good, comfy watch to wear day and night time.

Suunto 7: Wear OS

As talked about, Suunto has turned to Google to make the 7 a full fats smartwatch. With Wear OS on board, you’ll be able to entry Google Assistant, use Google Pay, observe well being and health by way of Google Match and obtain different Wear OS apps.

Google’s companion cellphone app nonetheless takes care of the establishing of the watch, however you can too pair it up with Suunto’s personal app to achieve larger sports activities monitoring insights. In the event you care about that, and we think about you do, then you must undoubtedly do this.

There isn’t a terrific deal to focus on so far as how these options evaluate on different Wear OS watches. Funds is extra helpful than utilizing the Assistant, accessing the Play Retailer from a watch nonetheless appears a bit awkward and Google Match remains to be a bit clunky. Notification assist is sweet and dangerous. The nice being tucking away the notifications in a separate display and the dangerous being these notification alerts on the watch that pop up once you’re interacting with one other watch characteristic.

Our preliminary concern was that throwing Suunto’s software program into the combo to an already working system that is exhausting to wholly love would make issues worse, however really it was the other. Having Suunto in command of sports activities monitoring as an alternative of placing Google’s entrance and centre is certainly factor right here.

Suunto 7: Sports activities monitoring

In the event you care about health monitoring, then you’ll need to cope with Google Match as a result of Suunto doesn’t supply another for that. Very similar to different Wear OS watches, that’ll cowl step monitoring however doesn’t assist sleep monitoring. You’ll have depend on a 3rd social gathering app for that.

Swim monitoring in contrast: Suunto 7 (left and centre) and Kind Swim Goggles (proper)

In case you are extra involved with the sports activities monitoring, you then’re effectively served right here. Monitoring actions is sweet and straightforward to do and glancing at knowledge in real-time is simple to do on a treadmill and within the pool. You get a exercise abstract on the watch as soon as you’ve got ended that exercise and there is some very nice graphs to show metrics like tempo and coronary heart price.

On the accuracy entrance it is good, however under no circumstances excellent. Choosing up a GPS sign is sweet and fast, although it tended to overreport distance coated skewing metrics like common tempo and pace. It was the same story with swimming, the place it had a behavior of including a pair extra lengths onto the entire swim. Hopefully these are points that may be rectified with software program updates.

Knowledge summaries can be found on the watch and within Suunto’s companion smartphone app. This knowledge can be fired over to Google Match as effectively, although it is a a lot nicer expertise in Suunto’s bettering cell app. Like Polar and Garmin, Suunto made desktop apps first and it is beginning to construct a smartphone equal that feels higher optimised for a smaller display.

Suunto 7: Coronary heart price accuracy

Suunto has packed on an optical coronary heart price monitor however, in contrast to its sports activities watches, there is no choice to pair with an exterior coronary heart price monitor chest strap for those who’re not happy with the accuracy.

That coronary heart price monitor dishes out real-time knowledge in your actions, can be utilized for coronary heart price zone coaching and in addition gives coaching insights associated to the results of you coaching in your general health in addition to restoration. If you wish to see knowledge like real-time common coronary heart price or energy burned, you have to flip to Google Match or a 3rd social gathering app for that.

So it is slightly bit fragmented when it comes to how that onboard coronary heart price monitor is put to make use of. In the event you’re utilizing it predominantly for monitoring effort ranges throughout exercises, it may serve a combination bag when it comes to efficiency and accuracy.

We put it to the take a look at for some straightforward and interval runs and indoor biking and rowing periods. Above is pattern knowledge from a interval treadmill session. Common and most coronary heart price readings are usually not far off, and people coronary heart price graphs paint the same image of that session. For different exercises, it wasn’t so dependable towards a chest strap.

Basically, we would put within the bracket of wrist screens that may have a behavior of struggling to maintain up with the sudden spikes and drops in coronary heart price for some excessive depth exercises.

Suunto 7: Mapping

Suunto’s heritage lies in navigation and the 7 definitely performs as much as that heritage. From that massive colour touchscreen show you’ll be able to view breadcrumb trails in actual time and obtain maps to make use of offline.

Mapping options can be found from the exercise display the place you could have big selection of map kinds even overlaying swimming and golf maps. There may be additionally the power to obtain maps for offline use. You possibly can seize a map that maxes out to round 50km after which it’s going to obtain when your watch is sat on the charger and you’ve got it linked to Wi-Fi.

Suunto additionally faucets into the warmth maps characteristic that is presently accessible on its internet app and brings it to the watch in a very nice manner. This lets you see warmth maps for the preferred routes for fifteen sports activities modes. So for those who go away and take your trainers with you, it ought to assist you discover routes with out you trying to find them.

Casio’s newest Professional Trek smartwatches gives to retailer maps offline, however it feels higher executed on the Suunto. In the event you’re in search of the characteristic that units Suunto aside from different Wear OS watches, that is the one.

Suunto 7: Battery life

This isn’t your typical Suunto in a single very apparent manner. Not like a Suunto 9 or an Ambit, you’re not getting the promise of week’s of battery life. The 7 is like most different smartwatches working on Google’s Wear OS within the sense that it’s going to final days versus week’s away from a charger.

Suunto breaks down what you’ll be able to count on from the battery in a wide range of eventualities. It says you’ll be able to count on 18 hours, very like the Apple Watch and it’ll muster up four hours of monitoring out of doors exercises. So, utilizing the GPS.

In the event you’re controlling music taking part in in your cellphone, Suunto says you’ll get eight hours, but there’s no point out of the way it holds up when you’re streaming music straight from the watch.

If you’re utilizing maps throughout exercises, it’s 7 hours and fundamental watch mode will get you 40 days.

So how did we fare? Effectively, it tended to final comfortably for a day and a bit extra the subsequent morning with out sports activities monitoring. That’s with the display brightness set to auto and having full notification assist on. After we tracked a 30 minute run, it noticed a battery drop off of 10%.

After we did the same size run, this time with the display set to remain on throughout that run, it dropped by 25%. On a common day with out sports activities monitoring, it dropped to about 70% by round 10.30am and 58% by 11pm/midnight.

The standard Suunto proprietor is definitely not going to be impressed with its battery efficiency, however for those who’re completely satisfied to cost it day by day and put the sports activities monitoring to make use of for round an hour, it ought to do the job.

When it does drop to 0%, there’s a small magnetic charging cable that clips onto the pins on the again of the watch. To get from 0-100%, you’ll must have it on a charger for 1 hour and 40minutes. A 20-minute cost although, provides you with sufficient for two hours of sports activities coaching in response to Suunto.

The Suunto 7 is a smartwatch that manages to deliver some attention-grabbing software program options to the desk, however is finally held again by acquainted Wear OS shortcomings. It is a disgrace Suunto did not go it alone a bit like Garmin did on the Venu, as a result of there’s the foundations of a very nice smartwatch right here. In the end although, it is ended up with one thing that prices greater than an Apple Watch and a complete host of different sporty smartwatches that provides you with a greater general expertise. Even when it does have these nice mapping expertise.

  • Suunto sports activities monitoring
  • Good mapping options
  • Suunto’s nicest trying watch
  • Costly
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Coronary heart price monitor accuracy