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Suunto 9

Suunto 9
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
£499 to £549
  • 80%

  • Suunto 9
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 3rd July 2018
  • Heart Rate functionality
    Editor: 95%
  • Heart Rate Accuracy
    Editor: 95%
  • Activity Tracking features
    Editor: 85%
  • Running functions
    Editor: 95%
  • Cycling functions
    Editor: 80%
  • Fitness monitoring features
    Editor: 95%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 95%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 100%

The Suunto 9 is a technical multisport GPS watch designed for athletes demanding the very best from their sports watch. What makes the Suunto 9 stand out is the amazing battery life – up to 120 hours with GPS and an intelligent battery life management system. It even provides smart reminders to ensure it lasts as long as you need it to. Made to last – the Suunto 9 is designed for long, hardcore training and ulta-racing. You can rely on the Suunto 9 – it’s been tested to the extreme for thousands of hours in the most extreme, harsh and tough environments. The Suunto 9 has been reviewed by CardioCritic

Suunto 9 reviewed by CardioCritic


Release Date > June 2018

Product it replaced > None – the Suunto 9 is a new product

Suggested Retail Price > Regular version £499 / $599

Who’s it For?

In short, the Suunto 9 is for the ULTRA athlete – for those who look at a 10k run like a mere warm up session. If you’re not training / racing for more than 4 or 5 hours at a time then stick to the Suunto Spartan Trainer wrist HR or even the far cheaper Suunto Spartan Trainer (amazing value for money). In Ultra Battery mode you can expect a whopping 120 hours of GPS waypoint tracking (no HR). The Suunto 9 also includes a Barometric Pressure sensor giving access to useful features such as Storm Alarms and other sophisticated Weather functions. So we’ve got phenomenal battery life, weather alerts and storm warnings so it’s becoming clear the Suunto 9 is for the extreme outdoor performer. Coupled with these great features it has everything the elite performer would expect from off the wrist Heart Rate, 80 different sports profiles including multisport options and powerful training load and recovery analysis. The Suunto 9 is for elite athletes who demand essential training functions with performance monitoring metrics all wrapped up in a robust, water resistant (100m) case topped off with a sapphire mineral glass face.

Battery Modes

The Suunto 9 has 4 x battery modes :

  • 25 hours – Performance Mode
  • 50 hours – Endurance Mode
  • 120 Hours – Ultra Mode
  • Custom mode – you choose what’s important and it tells you the expected battery life

The various battery modes affect the duration of the battery by altering the following parameters

  • GPS Accuracy
  • Display Timeout
  • Wrist HR
  • Touch Sensors on/off
  • Brightness
  • Vibration alerts
  • Bluetooth

It is possible to change the battery mode in the middle of an exercise session (press & hold middle right button)

Suunto 9 – Key Features

Suunto 9 at a glance feature table


Suunto have used the “Fused” prefix to describe a more accurate method of measuring a certain parameter by combining GPS data with barometric pressure data (FusedAlti) and internal accelerometers for speed / distance (FusedSpeed). HOWEVER .. in the case of FusedTrack Suunto have done something frankly amazing. In ULTRA battery mode the GPS is only sampling every minute or even less. The Suunto 9 uses data from the gyroscope, compass and motion accelerometer to fill in the speed, distance, direction data between the missing GPS co-ordinates. I have seen an amazing review on DC Rainmaker’s site that shows some stunning accuracy comparing a track recorded with FusedTrack to that of a Garmin Forerunner 935 in full 1 second sampling mode.

What does it mean in the real world …

When you set your Garmin to UltraTrac battery mode – the GPS track is made up of straight lines between co-ordinates taken ever 60 seconds or so … If you switched back on yourself between samples this change of direction will be missed and the track will show you went straight from A to B. With the Suunto 9 and FusedTrack all the “wiggling about” between data points is tracked and saved giving a far more accurate representation of the actual route. Great job Suunto !!

Feature Details


  • Best on Test - stunning battery life with 25 hours in performance mode. Get an amazing 120 hours in ultra mode
  • Suunto FusedTrack - cleverly combines GPS with internal accelerometers (motion sensors in the watch). This provides more accurate speed / distance data and better track accuracy during ultra long runs
  • Intelligent battery modes and smart reminders
  • Powerful training summary on the watch with graphs and lap tables
  • Fore warned is fore armed with storm alarms & weather trends
  • Get back before dark with sunset/sunrise times
  • Tough Sapphire glass & 100 meters water resistancy
  • Athlete tested to the limits of extreme endurance and performance. The Suunto 9 has undergone thousands of hours of testing in the world's toughest conditions
  • Sport expertise and support for over 80 sports and multisport events
  • Wrist based Heart Rate Monitors sensors (optical LED sensors on watch back) providing convenient HR feedback.
  • Cons

  • Lacks the APP support of the Garmin Fenix etc - but - it's not trying to give gimmicky features - just pure & advanced training functions
  • Maybe a bit too big for smaller wrists - could do with a Suunto 9S like the Fenix 5S ...
  • Next Model Up

    This is the top of the range in Suunto’s ever increasing range of fitness watches. When I first read the press release I was a little uncertain how the Suunto 9 fitted in with the existing Suunto Spartan range … to be honest, I’m still a little uncertain. Take a look at Suunto’s own COMPARE features – looking at the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR. Spartan Ultra and this model. There’s so much overlap it’s quite hard to determine any substantial differences. Most the differences can be found in the GPS & Navigation section.

    Next Model Down

    This is where the confusion starts for me … what is the model BELOW the Suunto 9. It could be the Suunto Spartan Ultra – but their features are just so similar. The RRP of the Suunto 9 is £499 in the UK / $599 in the US. The Spartan Ultra was £599 / $699 when it was released but Suunto have now lowered it to £419 …. does this mean that they see the Suunto 9 as the better watch. Either way, take a look at the Suunto Spartan Ultra, Spartan Sport Wrist HR and even the Spartan Trainer – also with wrist HR. They are all very good GPS sports watches. Review their key features on using the compare function and get the one that most suits your needs and budget.

    Alternative Models?

    The product from other brands with the closest functionality to the Spartan Ultra is the Garmin Fenix 5 (also consider the Fenix 3 HR). The Fenix range, like the Suunto 9 and Spartan Ultra are aimed at customers looking for a ROBUST outdoor solution with ABC functionality (Altimeter, Barometer & Compass watches) and multiple sports modes plus training load and recovery analysis

    • Garmin Fenix 5 – Garmin’s top of the range ABC watch with wrist based HR for outdoor adventure and beyond
    • Garmin Fenix 3 HR – Garmin ABC watch with wrist based HR for the outdoor adventurer / multisport athlete

    PR Video – Suunto 9 Introduction

    The Suunto 9 is a multisport GPS watch designed for athletes who demand the best from their sports watch. Suunto 9 delivers an amazing battery life – up to 120 hours with GPS and an intelligent battery life management system with smart reminders to ensure your watch will last just as long as you need it to.

    Sizing & Specifications

    Mapping and App Support

    The Suunto 9 is supported by Suunto’s website and their iOs and Android movescount app. Having your phone connected to the Suunto 9 gives access to smartphone alerts and notifications and maps (on the phone).

    Following Routes

    The Suunto 9 has the ability to follow a GPS route. These routes are stored in the NAVIGATION section of the watch menus and also available from a pull down OPTIONS menu when in EXERCISE mode. The routes can be ones that you have undertaken before, a route that someone else has shared on Movescount or one that you have constructed yourself using the NEW ROUTE feature in Movescount. Once uploaded to the Suunto 9 simply follow the breadcrumb trail clearly shown on the watch’s clear birght display.

    Contructing a NEW route on Movescount

    Easily construct a route on Suunto Movescount

    Using someone else’s Route (publicly shared)

    A shared route on Suunto Movescount

    Using one of my own Routes (previously ridden)

    A pre ridden route uploaded to the Spartan watch from Movescount

    Conclusions and Review Summary

    Here’s the bottom line – if you’re not partaking in racing or training events over 6 or 8 hours consider the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR (unless you need the weather / barometric features …). If you are participating in training / race events over 10 hours or events over several days where charging the watch is not an options then consider the Suunto 9 or Spartan Ultra. What makes the Suunto 9 different to the rest of the Suunto and Garmin adventure racing watches is the FusedTrack feature.

    Technical specifications


    Bezel material: Stainless steel
    Glass material: Sapphire crystal
    Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide
    Strap material: Silicone
    Weight 81 g / 2.86 oz
    Wrist sizes:

    130-230 mm

    Strap width:

    24 mm

    Integrated wrist heart rate Yes
    Customizable watch faces Yes
    Touch screen lock

    during exercise

    Touch display Yes
    Color display Yes
    Vibration alert Yes
    Automatic daylight saving time Yes
    Water resistance
    100 m (according to ISO 6425)
    Battery type
    rechargeable lithium-ion
    Firmware upgradable Yes
    Time, date Yes
    Alarm clock

    1 configurable alarm

    Dual time Yes
    Automatic timekeeping Yes
    Countdown timer Yes
    Stopwatch timer Yes
    EN, CS, DA, DE, ES, FI, FR, IT, JA, KO, NL, NO, PL, PT, RU, SV, ZH*
    Configurable backlight
    brightness / mode
    Button lock

    during exercise

    Display type
    Display resolution
    320 x 300
    Battery indicator
    percentage / icon
    Metric and imperial units Yes


    Smartphone compatibility

    Most common models supported, check here for detailed compatibility list

    Connectivity (between devices)
    Bluetooth Smart
    Phone notifications on the watch Yes
    Compatible with online sports communities
    Strava, TrainingPeaks, MapMyFitness and more
    Watch software updates from cloud Yes
    Compatible with Suunto Movescount App Yes
    Compatible with Suunto Movescount Yes
    Compatible with Suunto app Yes


    Operating temperature

    -20° C to +55° C / -5° F to +130° F

    Storage temperature
    Recommended charging temperature


    In time mode
    14 days
    With 24/7 tracking and mobile notifications

    7 days

    Training mode with GPS

    25h / 40h / 120h

    Intelligent charge reminders Yes


    Digital compass Yes
    Tilt compensation Yes
    Declination correction Yes
    Direction scale
    north indicator
    Compass accuracy
    Compass resolution



    Step counter Yes
    Calories burned Yes
    Activity targets

    steps, calories

    Heart rate assisted daily calories tracking Yes
    Daily minimum heart rate tracking Yes


    <table”>Sleep duration

    Duration, average HR during sleep

    Bed timesYesTime awakeYes



    Satellite systems
    GPS recording rate
    Best, Good, OK
    Waypoint and visual route navigation Yes
    Zoom levels in navigation Yes
    Auto zoom based on route shape Yes
    Breadcrumb trail in real time Yes
    Route planning with altitude profile Yes
    Outdoor maps by satellite, terrain and topography in web

    by Mapbox, Google Maps & Android

    Heatmaps to browse and show on Moves Yes
    Route planning with heatmaps Yes
    Personal route library synced to watch Yes
    Point of Interest (POI) navigation Yes
    GPS track analysis Yes
    Track logging, viewing and sharing Yes
    Intelligent battery modes
    >Performance, Endurance, Ultra, Custom


    Barometric altitude Yes
    GPS altitude Yes
    Combined GPS and barometric altitude (FusedAlti™) Yes
    Altitude in daily mode Yes
    Total ascent/descent

    in exercise

    Vertical speed

    in exercise

    Automatic alti/baro profile Yes
    Log recording rate
    1 s
    1 m
    -500 – 9999 m


    Sunrise/sunset times Yes
    Storm alarm Yes
    Sea level pressure Yes
    Automatic alti/baro profile Yes
    Temperature Yes
    Temperature display range
    -20° C to +60° C / -4° F to +140° F
    Temperature resolution
    1° C / 1.5° F
    Pressure resolution

    1 hPa

    Move altitude graph in Move summary Yes



    Setup intervals

    on watch

    Interval guidance during training Yes

    HEART RATE (requires HR belt or wrist HR monitor)

    Heart rate measured from wrist Yes
    Heart rate belt compatibility

    Bluetooth Smart belts

    RR interval

    with Suunto Smart Sensor

    Heart rate in beats per minute Yes
    Records heart rate in swimming
    yes, with Suunto Smart Sensor
    Heart rate graph in real time Yes
    Calories Yes
    Peak Training Effect Yes
    Personal heart rate zones Yes


    Cadence based speed and distance Yes
    GPS speed and distance Yes
    Chrono Yes
    Foot POD support
    Bluetooth Smart
    Autolaps Yes
    Manual laps Yes
    Analysis of pace, speed graphs and tracks on the map Yes


    Training based recovery time Yes
    Recovery time daily view

    on watch

    Feeling stored after training to watch Yes


    Logbook with Move details
    on watch
    Move summary with lap details
    on watch
    Training load with totals by sport
    on watch
    Training logbook for long term overviews Yes
    Training analysis with graphs, lap tables, maps, totals Yes
    Training insights totals duration/distances by sport Yes
    Training types stored to Moves

    on watch


    Move sharing to social media Yes
    Move rating and commenting Yes
    Follow other members and get feedback via activity stream Yes



    Pool swim pace and distance Yes
    Openwater swim pace and distance Yes
    Records heart rate in swimming
    yes, with Suunto Smart Sensor
    Swimming time by pool length, lap, total Yes
    Swimming stroke rate, count and type Yes
    Automatic intervals Yes
    Interval lap table Yes
    Lap table for swimming analysis with stroke and pace Yes
    Interval guidance with swim pace/duration/distance training support

    on watch

    Stroke efficiency (SWOLF)



    Cycling speed Yes
    Average speed in real time Yes
    Bike POD with speed/cadence support
    Bluetooth Smart
    Bike power meter support
    Bluetooth Smart
    Bike Power (W), average and maximum (with power sensor)
    Bluetooth Smart
    Bike Lap and Lap Maximum Power (with power sensor) Yes
    Power distribution and graphs
    with power sensor (available in Suunto
    Peak Power Curve for peak power outputs
    with power sensor (available in Suunto
    Real-time lap table with avg HR, avg power and avg speed Yes
    Interval guidance with power/speed/heart rate

    on watch


    Running pace Yes
    Suunto FusedSpeed™ Yes
    Running power with Stryd sensor Yes
    Foot POD calibration


    Lap comparisons Yes
    Average, max, lap pace in real time Yes
    Interval guidance with running pace/heart rate/distance

    on watch


    Change sport mode during exercise Yes
    Preconfigured multisport modes Yes – 80
    Post-analysis of multisport exercise by sport Yes
    Multisport exercise summary on watch Yes


    Customizable sport modes and displays Yes
    Graphical displays in sport modes

    heart rate, speed and altitude

    Available measurement parameters

    > 50 values on watch

    Numeric displays in sport modes

    1-7 fields, lap table view

    Pre-installed sport modes on watch
    > 80
    Sport modes for specific purpose (racing, intervals, long training…) Yes

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