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Suunto Ambit3 Sport

Suunto Ambit3 Sport
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
£150 to £275
  • 80%

  • Suunto Ambit3 Sport
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 23rd May 2017
  • Heart Rate Monitor functions
    Editor: 95%
  • Heart Rate Accuracy
    Editor: 99%
  • Activity Tracking features
    Editor: 80%
  • Running functions
    Editor: 90%
  • Cycling functions
    Editor: 90%
  • Fitness monitoring features
    Editor: 90%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 90%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 90%

The Suunto Ambit3 Sport GPS performance watch for triathlon / multisport has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic

Update > In October 2016 Suunto released their new Suunto Spartan Sport GPS multisport watch. If you want the latest and greatest offering from Suunto, then please check the review of the Spartan Sport here. Please note. I still hold this Ambit3 Sport in very high esteem and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good GPS runners watch with Bluetooth connection to iOs & Android smartphone. Apart from the full colour touchscreen of the Spartan Sport there are several features that this Ambit 3 Run has that appear to be missing from the Spartan eg. no Suunto APPS support, running cadence and track back … however, there are loads of new features like improved rest and recovery analysis, recovery time view on watch post training, 80 plus pre-installed sports modes and personal bests ….

ambit3-sport-with-hrm

Release Date (UK) > February 2015

Product it replaced > Suunto Ambit 2R

Suggested Retail Price (when new) > £199-£249

Replaced by > The Suunto Spartan Sport (Oct 2016)

Quick Summary : If you don’t need the barometric weather functionality of the Ambit3 Peak, but you still want MultiSport support, then please consider this Ambit3 Sport. Available in several colours including blue, coral, black, white and sapphire you are certain to get a watch that looks as good as it performs.

The Ambit3 range of Suunto’s first Bluetooth only wrist computers and they no longer support the previous ANT+ sensors. With a Bluetooth connection to your Smartphone you can download your sessions to Movescount and even set your Ambit3’s display settings. Acting in a similar way to a Smartwatch the Ambit3 will send push notifications when you phone receives phones calls, texts and emails.

suunto-ambit3-sport-white

MultiSport GPS with Training Load & Recovery Feedback

The human desire to get faster is universal amongst most athletes, at all levels. Whether you are doing the local ParkRun, pushing yourself to your limits on the trail, finding your limits on your bike or punishing yourself in the water, the Ambit3 Sport could be your invaluable training partner. A multisport GPS tool that could help you become the best you can be. Just as importantly as tracking live running, swimming and biking performance is analysing the quality of your sleep and active recovery time.

Swimming Feedback

The Suunto Ambit3 Sport is generally sold (but please check) with the Suunto Smart belt. Just like the Garmin HRM-swim belt, the Smart belt stores the heart rate data from the swim LOCALLY. At the end of the swim, when the signal between watch and HR belt is re-established, the swimming heart rate data is broadcast to the wrist unit. With the Ambit3 Sport and SMART belt you get full swim-metrics plus heart rate feedback. At the time of writing this (Sept 2015) it is only this, the Fenix3, the Polar V800 and the Garmin 902XT TriBundle that have the ability to give heart rate & swim-metrics from the same wrist unit.

Suunto Ambit3 with SMART belt gives heart rate post swim

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Note > this product was replaced by the Suunto Spartan Sport (Oct 2016)

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Smartphone Connectivity

Suunto are no different to everyone else in that they have an App for iOs and Android phones. The Suunto Movescount App lets you plan your workouts and evens provides voice guidance during your training (should you want them). The Movescount app even lets you can adjust the watch’s settings on the go, then relive and share your experience (depending on available network coverage).

Note – we have ticked YES for this watch with regard to “Virtual Partner”. Although not included in the STANDARD features the user has the ability to install the relevant APP in to the Ambit3. For Virtual Partner download the Ghost Runner APP from Movescount. It’s not exactly the same but it basically allows you to run a chosen distance in a target time, racing against a “ghost runner” to pace you throughout.

ambit3-bluetooth-connected

Closest Competitor

The product from other brands with the closest functionality to this Ambit3 Sport would be the Polar V800 and the Garmin Forerunner 920XT. Both offer true multisport functionality with multiple disciplines being recorded in one exercise file. Each has it’s own pros and cons over the others and we would, in all honesty, be happy to use any for the duration of a triathlon and the training leading up to it.

Polar V800 as an alternative from Polar as their GPS sports watch for triathlon / multisport athletes

Forerunner 920XT as an alternative from Garmin as their top of the range MultiSport GPS watch

Next model UP

The model up from this one is the Suunto Ambit3 Peak with additional navigation support, weather alerts and barometric pressure sensor for more accurate altitude feedback

Ambit3 Peak with additional navigational functionality

Next model DOWN

The Suunto Ambit2 R would be the model down from this one. They are very similar in operation, style and general functionality. The main difference is that the Ambit2 R does NOT allow for multisport training. The Ambit2 Sport adds multiple sports training pages and the ability to perform a triathlon (or other multi-sport event) in ONE session. By that we man all the training data is stored in one file for post session review in Movescount.

Suunto Ambit2 R

Key Features

MULTISPORT

  • 15h battery with 5 sec-GPS accuracy (1 min-accuracy: 100h)
  • Speed, pace, distance and GPS altitude
  • Route navigation and track back
  • Compass
  • Heart rate in swimming**
  • Bike power support (Bluetooth Smart)
  • Multiple sports in one log
  • Interval workout planner*
  • Interval workouts with voice guidance*
  • Activity based recovery time
  • Quick recovery and sleep quality tests (Firstbeat)**
  • Movescount training programs on the watch
  • Extended feature set through Suunto Apps
  • Languages: EN, CS, DA, DE, ES, FI, FR, IT, JA, KO, NL, NO, PL, PT, RU, SV, ZH

For availability information, check www.suunto.com/software-updates

CONNECTIVITY

  • Upload and share your moves instantly*
  • Customize your watch on the go*
  • Time and GPS satellite data up to date on the go*
  • Use your phone as second watch display* (Add an extended battery pack for your smartphone to support even longer adventures.)
  • Integration with Strava and TrainingPeaks

ENRICH, RELIVE AND SHARE

  • Take photos during your Move showing your current speed, distance, and more*
  • Create a Suunto Movie of your Move with 3D map, key metrics and images*
  • Share your experience instantly to your social media networks*

*with the Suunto Movescount App
**with Suunto Smart Sensor

Note! The Ambit3 watches are Bluetooth Smart compatible, not compatible with ANT+™ (e.g. Suunto ANT PODs, Suunto Dual or Suunto ANT belt)

Full Technical Specification

GENERAL

Water resistance 50 m (according to ISO 6425)
Battery life in time mode 14 days
Battery type rechargeable lithium-ion
Firmware upgradable  Yes
Time, date  Yes
Alarm clock 1 daily alarm
Dual time  Yes
GPS timekeeping  Yes
Countdown timer  Yes
Stopwatch timer  Yes
Backlight LED
Configurable backlight brightness / mode
Button lock customizable
Invert display  Yes
Display type matrix
Display resolution 128 x 128
Battery indicator percentage / icon
Metric and imperial units Yes
UI languages Yes

SUUNTO APPS

Compatible with Suunto Apps Yes
Max. nr. of apps per sport mode 5
Most recommended apps by activity Yes
Logging of app specific metrics Yes
Create own metrics with advanced formulas Yes
Chrono, GPS, HR, weather and altitude data yes, excluding weather
Running, cycling, swimming data Yes
Rich math functions, if/then-logic, sound, backlight, etc. Yes

COMPASS

Digital compass Yes
Tilt compensation full
Direction scale degrees / mils
Needle north indicator
Bearing lock with orienting indicator Yes
Compass accuracy
Compass resolution

PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Operating temperature -20° C to +60° C / -5° F to +140° F
Storage temperature -30° C to +60° C / -22° F to +140° F

CONNECTIVITY

Watch customization Wireless / USB cable
Compatible with Suunto Movescount App Yes
Photos with watch data overlays with Suunto Movescount AppFor availability information check www.suunto.com/software-updates
Data transfer Wireless / USB cable
Connectivity (between devices) Bluetooth Smart
Compatible with Movescount Yes
Phone notifications on the watch with Suunto Movescount AppFor availability information check www.suunto.com/software-updates
Phone as secondary display of watch with Suunto Movescount AppFor availability information check www.suunto.com/software-updates
Smartphone compatibility iPhone, AndroidFor compatibility information check www.suunto.com/software-updates
Suunto Movies with Suunto Movescount AppFor availability information check www.suunto.com/software-updates
Watch customization Wireless / USB cable
Compatible with Suunto Movescount App Yes
Photos with watch data overlays with Suunto Movescount App
Data transfer Wireless / USB cable
Connectivity (between devices) Bluetooth Smart
Compatible with Movescount Yes
Phone notifications on the watch with Suunto Movescount AppFor availability information check www.suunto.com/software-updates

OUTDOOR FUNCTIONS

GPS TRACKING & NAVIGATION

Satellite systems GPS
GPS recording rate 1, 5, 60 s
Battery life (GPS active) 10, 15, 100 h
Coordinate systems WGS84 Hd.d°
WGS84 Hd°m’ s.s”
WGS84 Hd°m.m
UTM
MGRS
British (BNG)
Finnish (ETRS-TM35FIN)
Finnish (KKJ)
Irish (IG)
Swedish (RT90)
Swiss (CH1903)
UTM NAD27 – Alaska
UTM NAD27 – Conus
UTM NAD83
New Zealand (NZTM2000)
Waypoint and visual route navigation Yes
Max. nr. of Points of Interest (POIs) 250
Find back Yes
Track back Yes
Track logging, viewing and sharing * Yes
Route planning * Yes
Route points per route / POIs in watch 1000 / 100

ALTIMETER

GPS altitude Yes
Altitude graph Yes
Total ascent/descent GPS based
Vertical speed GPS based
Altitude difference yes**
** available as Suunto Apps

Log recording rate1, 10 sResolution1 mRange-500 – 9999 m

TRAINING/SPORTS FUNCTIONS

SPEED AND DISTANCE

Distance based autolaps Yes
Log recording rate 1, 10 s
GPS Speed and distance Integrated
Foot POD support Bluetooth Smart
Bike POD support Bluetooth Smart

HEART RATE

RR interval Yes
Heart rate in beats per minute Yes
Heart rate in % of max hr Yes
Real-time average and max heart rate Yes
Heart rate limits Yes
Heart rate zones * Yes
EPOC & V02 max values * Yes
Heart rate graph in real time Yes
Calories Yes
Peak Training Effect Yes
Recovery time Yes
Real time EPOC yes**

** available as Suunto Apps
Log recording rate 1, 10 s
Records heart rate in swimming yes, with Suunto Smart Sensor

TRAINING, PLANNING & ANALYSIS

Chrono Yes
Laps >1000
Autopause Yes
Autoscrolling of exercise displays Yes
Memory left indicator Yes
Speed and heart rate-based guidance during exercise Yes
Interval timers Yes
Fitness test yes**

** available as Suunto Apps
Training plans downloadable from Movescount Yes
Log summary on the watch with lap details Yes
Customizeable sport modes and displays 10 modes / 8 displays per mode
Training analysis* Yes
Training logbook with story and image support * Yes
GPS track analysis* Yes
Activity based recovery time Yes
Sleep recovery test (Firstbeat™) Yes
Quick recovery test (Firstbeat™) Yes
Activity monitoring Yes
Compatible with online sports communities Strava, TrainingPeaks, MapMyFtiness and others www.suunto.com/software-updates

MULTISPORTS

Change sport mode during exercise Yes
Preconfigured multisport modes Yes
Multisport exercise summary Yes
Post-analysis of multisport exercise by sport * Yes

RUNNING

Running pace Yes
Suunto FusedSpeed™ Yes
Average pace in real time Yes
Running cadence Yes
Average stride length yes**

** available as Suunto Apps
Ghost Runner yes**

** available as Suunto Apps
Lap comparisons by kilometer/mile * Yes
Marathon End-time Estimator yes**

** available as Suunto Apps
         Running Performance (Firstbeat™) Yes

CYCLING

Cycling speed Yes
Average speed in real time Yes
Multiple Bike POD support Yes
Hill incline in real time yes**

** available as Suunto Apps
Bike Power (W), average and maximum (with power sensor) Bluetooth Smart
Bike Power 3s, 10s, 30s (with power sensor) Yes
Bike Lap and Lap Maximum Power (with power sensor) Yes
Power distribution & graphs * (with power sensor) Yes
Peak Power Curve for peak power outputs * (with power sensor) Yes
Normalized Power (Suunto Apps / TM by Training Peaks) yes**

** available as Suunto Apps
Aerodynamic drag in real time (with power sensor) yes**

** available as Suunto Apps
Cadence POD Support Bluetooth Smart

SWIMMING

Pool swim pace and distance Yes
Openwater swim pace and distance Yes
Swimming time by pool length, lap, total Yes
Swimming stroke rate, count and type Yes
       Swim styles detection with personal style teaching Yes
Stroke efficiency (SWOLF)  Yes
Automatic intervals Yes
Dynamic lap table with stroke, pace and duration * Yes
Records heart rate in swimming yes, with Suunto Smart Sensor

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