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The best Suunto watches you can buy

Suunto's watches are fit for sports enthusiasts, but which model is right for you?
By
February 18, 2022
suunto 7 review suunto heatmaps running 1

Suunto is a big name in the world of sports watches but not so much in the smartwatch world. The Finnish company produces wearables chiefly for outdoor enthusiasts and sports professionals looking for performance monitoring and onboard GPS smarts with lengthy battery life. Suunto watches are also known for their build quality.

Buying the right Suunto watch for your needs

All Suunto watches focus on fitness and sports tracking above smart features. In this respect, you can’t really go wrong with any if you’re seeking a training companion. You can find a heart rate sensor on every watch listed below. They all feature water resistance to some degree, and each uses Suunto’s mobile health, training, and planning app. Fitness tracking for a dizzying number of activities, from fishing to skiing, is also a common trait. While battery life will differ between these devices, all feature battery-saving modes for use with GPS.

However, the models do differ in some key areas. As with any product, finding the right Suunto device is about weighing up the features you need against the device’s value. We break down the key differences below to help you find the best Suunto watch for your needs.

See also: The best fitness trackers you can buy right now

The best Suunto watches

  • The Suunto 9 Peak is the best Suunto watch you can buy. It crams the best of the Baro’s features into a slimmer body and then some. It’s also the best-looking Suunto you can buy for the boardroom but will serve a hiker or mountain climber just as well.
  • The Suunto 9 Baro is the best Suunto for multisports enthusiasts. It crams a kitchen sink’s worth of features into a stocky, hardy outdoor multisports watch.
  • The Suunto 7 is the best Suunto smartwatch. Powered by Wear OS, this is the best option for those wanting a more familiar smartwatch experience with the usual Google services.
  • The Suunto 5 Peak is the best Suunto for most people. The newest watch in Suunto’s range includes the core traits of the Baro and Peak but ditches some specifics and pricier features.
  • The Suunto 3 is the cheapest Suunto watch on this list. It sheds several features but makes up for it at a lower price. It’s the best gateway Suunto you can buy.

Suunto 9 Peak: The best Suunto watch

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Suunto

The Suunto 9 Peak is the firm’s new flagship wearable. It’s essentially an upgraded Baro (below) in a slimmer 10.6mm thick body, which should make for a more comfortable fit when out and about. It’s also considerably lighter and smaller than its Baro counterpart, weighing 62 grams with a 43mm diameter face. The Peak doesn’t slim down on build quality, though. It arrives with a sapphire glass lens melded into a polyamide/stainless steel shell.

Suunto also touts a usual battery life of two weeks but can also last for 170 hours in GPS tour mode, or 25 hours with high-accuracy GPS tracking. Paired with offline turn-by-turn navigation, this makes it ideal for weekend treks or mountain climbing adventures. The Peak also includes an optical heart rate sensor and an SpO2 sensor meant for blood oxygen tracking at high altitudes. You’re also getting the ability to update firmware over the air, which is an oddly novel feature for Suunto.

That said, the Peak lacks a few creature comforts common on other smartwatches, including no wireless payments support and no onboard music storage or control smarts.

suunto 9 peak 1
Suunto 9 Peak
The Baro's slimmer, upgraded sibling
The more stylish Peak borrows many features from the Baro but includes an SpO2 sensor, slimmer build, and OTA updates.

Suunto 9 Baro: The best Suunto watch for multisports

suunto 9 baro
Suunto

The Suunto 9 Baro, like the Peak, packs a laundry list of features. For one, it’s tough and bulky. It uses a glass fiber reinforced polyamide body surrounded by a stainless steel bezel. The package is water-resistant up to 100 meters. In total, it weighs in at 81 grams. The 50mm face is also coated in sapphire glass.

Suunto also claims the same battery life numbers for the Baro as the Peak, and the company’s usual GPS battery saving modes also feature. An altimeter and barometer inform onboard weather forecasts, offline navigation also features, while activity tracking covering a wealth of activities (more than 80) is also baked in. A heart rate monitor adds to its utility as a fitness tracker.

Despite all of this, the Suunto 9 Baro is expensive for what it lacks. Like the Peak, you won’t get additional health tracking add-ons found on other smartwatches, like an ECG or BIA sensor. There’s also no NFC and no wireless payments system available. You also miss out on the Peak’s SpO2 sensor and OTA updates.

suunto 9 baro
Suunto 9 Baro
Suunto's flagship wearable
Suunto's flagship watch packs in everything you could ever need in an outdoor sports companion including a durable build, host of fitness tracking smarts, and more.

Suunto 7: The best Suunto smartwatch

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The Suunto 7 is the company’s only genuine smartwatch running Google’s Wear OS as a software base. This probably makes it the most adept device for Android users seeking a balance between sports tracking and smartwatch features. It includes sleep tracking, body resource measurements, and continuous heart rate tracking. The Suunto 7 also tracks more than 70 sports, features support for Google Pay, Google Assistant, and the app benefits of Wear OS.

Wear OS’s presence might be a blessing and a curse, though. The OS has its fair share of problems, even if it does play nicer with Android devices. It seems unlikely that the Suunto 7 will be bumped up to Wear OS 3, too. The watch also doesn’t last as long between charges as its counterparts. Beyond this, the Suunto 7 doesn’t pack support for external heart rate monitors, but this might not be something buyers of this particular device overtly requires.

Divers and swimmers may want to look elsewhere, too. The Suunto 7 features 50m water resistance and lacks the weather alert systems of its pricier siblings.

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Suunto 7
There's a new outdoor Wear OS watch in town, and it's made by Suunto. The Suunto 7 Wear OS watch packs a GPS, offline maps support, and much more.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Suunto 7.


Suunto 5 Peak: The best Suunto for most people

The Suunto 5 Peak is the company’s latest watch and packs a design inspired by the pricier Suunto 9 Peak. It’s one of the company’s lightest ever watches, coming in at just 39 grams, improving on the outgoing Suunto 5’s bulky frame. This makes it great for runners and daily wear. Despite this, it still features built-in GPS and a host of battery-saving smarts, which can stretch the time between charges to 100 hours with GPS enabled.

The Suunto 5 Peak also includes tracking for over 80 sport modes, daily health tracking features from step tracking to sleep quality, and the company’s smart maps feature that highlights popular routes.

Despite these improvements, the Suunto 5 Peak comes in at the same price as the Suunto 5 — a big win for those looking for a sports-first watch.

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Suunto 5 Peak
Lighter, smarter, but not pricier
The Suunto 5 Peak packs styling inspired by its much pricier sibling, tracking for more than 80 sports modes, battery life up to 100 hours in GPS mode, and more. It's a marked improvement over the Suunto 5.

Suunto 3: The best Suunto watch on a budget

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Suunto

The Suunto 3 is the lightest and smallest watch in the range. It looks like a mini Suunto 9 Baro, weighs in at just 30 grams, and packs five days of battery life. It also includes tracking for various sport modes, heart rate monitoring, and compatibility with several tracking services.

Where the Suunto 3 falls short is its lack of built-in GPS. It’s the only Suunto on this list that will require a companion phone to track your runs. This omission, and a few others, does bring its price down by a fair bit, so the trade-off makes sense for those less serious about their training regimes. However, if you do need a GPS watch, we’d recommend fishing above the Suunto 3. But as a gateway Suunto watch, the 3 does just fine.

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Suunto 3
The budget option
By shedding several features present on its pricier siblings, the Suunto 3 comes in at a much lower price. If you can look past the lack of a built-in GPS or smaller battery, it's the watch to get on a budget.

Honorable mentions

That’s it for our list of the best Suunto watches you can buy, but it’s only a taste of what’s out there. We also want to give an honorable mention to these products:

  • Suunto 9: Even though it’s a little long in the tooth, there’s still plenty going for the original Suunto 9. It lacks the integrated weather features included with the Baro and Peak, but it still packs 100m water resistance, a tough shell, and a claimed week’s worth of battery life with GPS training modes. Thanks to its age, it’s also fairly affordable.
  • Suunto 5: Outclassed and replaced by the new Suunto 9 Peak, the original Suunto 5 could still be a good pick if you’re looking for a watch with a chunky build and oodles of battery life. You might find it on sale more regularly now, too.

FAQs

Q: Do Suunto watches have onboard music playback and streaming support?
A: Only the Suunto 7 supports onboard music storage/playback, streaming services, and pairing with Bluetooth headphones. Suunto’s other watches do not. Notably, watches that do not support music playback can act as music remote controls for tracks playing on a smartphone.

Q: Do Suunto watches support iOS and Android?
A: Yes. You can use Suunto’s watches if you own an iPhone or an Android phone.

Q: Do Suunto watches support external accessories, like heart rate monitors?
A: Suunto sells its own Smart Heart Rate Belt that’s compatible with the vast majority of its watches.

Q: Are Suunto’s watches water-resistant?
A: Yes. All Suunto watches are water-resistant to at least 30 meters. The Suunto 9 series can withstand depths up to 100 meters.

Q: Where can I find replacement Suunto watch straps?
A: You can find a host of replacement Suunto watch straps here.