Could this be the answer – 50 hour battery life?
The Suunto Ambit Silver HR ($550) combines a GPS navigation system, altimeter, 3D compass with advanced heart rate monitoring into a well-designed wrist unit for outdoor pursuits and everyday use.
The Suunto Ambit Silver (HR) package includes Suunto Ambit Silver, Suunto ANT Comfort Belt, USB power cable, and Quick Guide.
I didn’t have much time to review the Ambit before sending it back to Suunto. Some highlighted features are:
SPECIALIZED OUTDOOR FUNCTIONS
- Full-featured GPS with Waypoint navigation
- Unique 3D compass
- Accurate barometric altitude
ADVANCED TRAINING FUNCTIONS
- Highly responsive pace and speed (FusedSpeed™) with accelerometer integrated GPS
- Accurate vertical speed with barometric altimeter
- Advanced heart rate monitoring with Peak Training Effect and Recovery Time
- Online sports diary with planning & analysis tools in Movescount.com
- Compatible with Suunto Bike and Cadence PODs
MOUNTAIN & EVERYDAY EXPLORATION
- Robust BuiltToLast – casing (very nicely constructed)
- Enhanced battery lifetime; approximate operating time in:
- Outdoor mode 50h – with longer GPS tracking interval, suitable for hiking
- Training mode 15h – with shorter GPS tracking interval, suitable for running
- Watch mode 30 days – watch mode including ABC functions
- 100 m / 328 ft water resistant (ISO 2281)
- Upgradeable with new functionalities through Movescount.com
The Ambit has a very large watch face so you can read the data/numbers very easily. After the initial satellite acquisition, the Ambit took less than 5 seconds to acquire a GPS signal (very fast). The longest satellite acquisition was around 15 seconds. Scrolling through the data/function is intuitive and easy. You cannot update training features on the watch unless connected to the software. I loved the heart rate strap, because it did not have any external tags and seams that would ruin your nice tech top.
Several features I want to highlight are (1) the FusedSpeed function and (2) battery life.
First, what is the FusedSpeed function? FusedSpeed is a unique combination of GPS and wrist acceleration sensor readings for measuring your running speed more accurately. This is beneficial when needing highly reactive speed readings, that is, when running on uneven terrain or during interval training. Additionally, if you lose the GPS signal, the Ambit is able to continue showing accurate speed readings with the FusedSpeed.
Second, how does the 50 hour battery life work? This was one of the features I wanted to test. To obtain the 50 hour battery life, you will need to change the training function using the software to set a GPS fix every 60 seconds. However, when I tested the setting with “Brand X” (using 1 second GPS fix), it was less accurate as expected. There was a 0.1 mile (0.16km) difference per every mile. Thus, in a 100 mile (161km) race, you will be off by approximately 10 miles (16km). I can see this function would be more useful in a “hiking” endeavor. To obtain the 15 hour battery life, you will need to set the GPF fix every 1 second. When compared to “Brand X”, the accuracy was within 1%. This is within the GPS accuracy range. I was not able to fully deplete the battery to test the 15 hour claim, because the watch would charge every time you sync with the software via USB cable to the computer.
Overall, a very well-constructed GPS watch. The Ambit is very durable and (if you are into looks) it is a very attractive timepiece that can be used as an everyday watch with TONS of other features.
First, you will need to install Movelink2. Movelink2 is the connection software for the computer and watch. This will be used to transfer data from and to the watch.
Second, you will need to establish an account on Movecounts. This is the online software for you to transfer any settings to the watch and to review your workout.
In the “My Moves” section, you can review your training data (e.g., heart rate and zone analysis, speed & distance (Google Earth View), etc.)
There are plenty of other features I have not listed. The only issue I had (more personal than function) is that the software is only available online. I would like the option to have the software installed my on PC with the option to upload to the internet.
The Suunto Ambit is a definite contender in the GPS watch category. With the FusedSpeed, optional 50hr to 15 hr battery life settings, barometric altimeter, 3D compass and more, it truly is a “GPS for Explorers”. Coming in at $550, if you are looking for a longer battery life with GPS accuracy with GPS fix at 1 second, there are other manufacturers priced $100 below the Ambit price tag. I would like to see the following updates to the Ambit:
- Wireless PC Connection
- PC downloadable software
- Update to multiple GPS fix setting – 15 sec and 30 sec (option to pick your endurance activity with the balance between accuracy and battery life)
- Ability to change the training setting on the watch
Overall, the Suunto Ambit is loaded with features for the adventurer and trail runner looking for a GPS watch that also looks great in the office.
I’d love to hear your experience with the Ambit if you are using it.
The review above was based on the software version 1.0. Suunto has released the 1.5 version for the Ambit. I would respectfully disagree with the comment below that the review is “outdated”, since the improvements really are for waypoint/compass/navigation, except for GPS signal acquisition time improvement.