Suunto 7 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Great integration with Google apps, clear and crisp screen, accurate, 12 hours of GPS
Cons: Button functionality is not well thought out, pricey
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|Price||Check Price at REI|
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|$299.00 at Amazon|
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|Check Price at REI|
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$151.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Great integration with Google apps, clear and crisp screen, accurate, 12 hours of GPS||Excellent quality, accurate, simple design, astounding value, very easy to use, great feature set, very long battery life||Low profile design, great battery life, very accurate, low cost||Solar rechargeable, good feature set, all functionality is built into the watch without the need for the apps||Excellent features, downloadable workouts, access to Garmin ecosystem, small watch face, excellent accuracy, lower price|
|Cons||Button functionality is not well thought out, pricey||Backlight isn't bright, heart rate monitor accuracy is a little off||No mountain sports or navigational features||Buttons are easy to push accidentally, can't use a screen protector, small screen, can't modularize the features like other Garmin products||Lacks navigation and higher end features, plastic design, battery life isn't for ultra athletes, scratches easily|
|Bottom Line||A large crisp touchscreen with a plethora of Google-based app integrations, but unfortunately a bit difficult to use||A well-constructed and accurate watch with a minimalistic design, excellent battery life, and all the right features||A fully functional and incredibly light GPS sports watch boasting out of this world battery life||A top recommendation for any adventurer heading out on a longer expedition that needs GPS and a rechargeable device||This lower-priced GPS watch is easy to use and intuitive with a host of features that'll aid in moving your fitness forward|
|Rating Categories||Suunto 7||Coros Apex||Coros Pace 2||Garmin Instinct Solar||Garmin Forerunner 45S|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Suunto 7||Coros Apex||Coros Pace 2||Garmin Instinct Solar||Garmin Forerunner 45S|
|Model Tested||Graphite copper||Standard||N/A||Standard||N/A|
|Watch Face Material||Scratch resistant Gorilla Glass||Sapphire glass||Corning glass||Power glass with photovoltaic panels built-in||Chemically strengthened glass|
|Bezel||Stainless steel||Stainless steel bezel||Fiber reinforced polymer||Fiber-reinforced polymer||Polymer|
|Case||Glass fibre reinforced polyamide||Alumnium||Fiber reinforced polymer||Fiber-reinforced polymer||Polymer|
|Strap Material||Silicone||Silicon or nylon||Silicon or nylon||Silicone||Silicone|
|Tools Required to Change Band?||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Size Tested||One size only||44mm||One size only||One size only||39 mm|
|Measured Main Body Size (diameter or W x H)||50mm||44mm||43mm||46mm||40mm|
|Measured Screen Width||35mm||33mm||32mm||22mm||26mm|
|Measured Weight||2.3 oz||1.7 oz||1.2 oz||1.9 oz||1.2 oz|
|Measured Charging Time||70 min||70 min||80 min||140 min||130 min|
|Battery Type||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion|
|Measured Battery Life With GPS On||12 hours||24 hours||29 hours||29 hours||10.5 hours|
|Manufacturer-Reported Battery Life||Smartwatch mode: 2 days
Time mode: 40 days (battery saver)
GPS mode: 12 hours
|Smartwatch mode: 25 days
Full GPS mode: 25 hours
UltraMax GPS mode: 80 hours
|Smartwatch mode: 20 days
GPS mode: 30 hours
Ultramax mode: 60 hours
|Smartwatch: up to 24 days/54 days with solar¹
Battery-saver watch mode: up to 56 days/unlimited with solar¹
GPS mode: up to 30 hours/38 hours with solar²
Max battery GPS mode: up to 70 hours/145 hours with solar²
Expedition GPS activity: up to 28 days/68 days with solar¹
¹ Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions
² Solar charging, assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions
|Smartwatch mode: up to 7 days
GPS mode: up to 13 hours
|Navigation Built In?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Satellite Networks Used||GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, BEIDOU||GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU||GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU||GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO||GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO|
|Maps?||Yes - basic||Yes - basic||No||Yes - basic||No|
|Back to Start Navigation?||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Water Resistance (max depth)||50m||100m||50m||100m||50m|
|Daily Fitness Tracking?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Compass?||No - added with Google Play||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes - widget|
|Main Software App||Suunto||Coros App||Coros||Garmin Connect, widgets for other features||Garmin Connect, widgets for other features|
|Can Software Cross Over to Different Software Ecosystems?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Suunto 7 stands out for its large clear touchscreen and integration with Google apps and features. The watch itself has basic functionality, but its niche is the apps that you can add via a unique app menu. Still, while it is nice looking, the price is high and the battery life short, and we think it's not the most intuitive.
This is a well-featured GPS watch. It includes the basics, such as GPS tracking, fitness tracking, and sports profiles (almost too many to count!) with some basic navigation. It has music control, Wear OS by Google (many features here), and a host of other options with third-party apps via the Google Play store. It uses the Suunto app, which offers nice features to view past runs, logs, and share your activities with friends. The watch itself isn't very featured without the use of a phone, but the integrations make it competitive with other competitors. It is compatible with Google Fit and the Garmin App.
- GPS tracking
- Sports mode (tens of options on the watch itself)
- Tones and vibrations
- Music control
- Music storage with a downloaded app
- Free offline outdoor maps with navigation (via an app)
- Smart notifications
- Touch screen
- Integrations with: Google Fit, Google Play Store, Google Assistant, and Google Pay
- Google translate
- Works with Apple iOS and Android
- Interchangeable staps
- Shock, water (50 m), and dirtproof
- Scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass
Battery life for this watch is sufficient for any recreational athlete that doesn't need more than a few hours of GPS per day. Suunto claims a meager two days in smartwatch mode and 12 hours in GPS mode. During our tests, we actually got closer to three days in smartwatch mode with one or two activities, but we also weren't using music control or other apps that require a little more power.
During our GPS test, we got a little over 12 hours. We saw the GPS go from 100% to 80% during a three-hour run, which wasn't surprising for the estimated time. While this might last for a 50K run at best, it's not designed for super endurance events. It does have GPS battery saver mode, however, which will give you a little more juice. Charging it took only 70 minutes in our tests (the manufacturer claims 100 minutes) when charging from a wall port.
Ease of Use
Of all the watches tested, we felt the Suunto 7 was less intuitive and more challenging to figure out. It was one of our least favorite watches for this reason. It has a touch screen design with buttons for added functionality, but figuring out the buttons took a bit of time. You can scroll down to see notifications, but that's about it. Two buttons seemed to access the music controller, which we thought was a bit silly. To get to the menu settings, we had to push the top left button twice. Even after a few months with this watch, we still felt mildly confused and frustrated by the design.
The dedicated Garmin app is quite easy to use, with activities synching automatically. A notable fact is an app can only have one watch device on it at once. So if you have multiple devices (like we did for testing), you have to disconnect and reconnect the watch you want to use. Overall, we like the touch screen capabilities that worked even in cold weather, but the overall design isn't very intuitive.
Accuracy is okay on the Suunto 7 but not great. We tested GPS on a known 10.8-mile bike ride, and it reported back 11.01 miles as the final distance. Even though this distance is only 0.3 miles off, this is a lower accuracy than many of the other tested watches. On the map, it was clear that the GPS wasn't picked up along sharper corners and through steeper canyoned sections of our ride.
The heart rate accuracy, however, is good. The watch has a larger fit, but the band is flexible, making the fit a little better. We noticed it did an excellent job at keeping contact and attaining a heart rate reading during runs. During our resting heart rate tests, the variation in beats per minute (bpm) was between 1 to 7, which is quite good.
This watch looks sleek and stylish. Many like the color combinations, and we appreciate that the fit accommodates many wrist sizes. The watch face itself is a lot bulkier and chunkier than most. We measured the size to be 50mm (body) and a 16.5mm thickness. The manufacturer claims a 50mm body and 15.3mm thickness. For its chunky size, it isn't too heavy, with our scales showing 2.3 oz (claimed weight is 2.57 oz).
The screen is also quite large, with large fonts that are easy to see while exercising in both high and low light. The screen size is 35mm (measured), and those that like touch screens will appreciate its functionality. That said, we did find the buttons at an odd location for right-handed folks that wear the watch on their left hand (start and stop is close to the wrist and harder to use). Still, if you like a larger watch face, this is a nice design — if you want a smaller design, look elsewhere.
There are so many other watch options with better value. While this is a well-featured watch that integrates smoothly with Google OS, it lacks some features that others at a lower price tag boast. The stand-out feature is the touch screen. Other than that, you can find a better deal.
The Suunto 7 is a well-featured GPS watch with a touch screen and Google OS. It has many features like integrations with Google Fit, Google Pay, and music control. It's almost like wearing a smartphone on your wrist, with the ability to add apps from the Google Play store. The battery life is subpar, but it does have a nice look. Unfortunately, however, the price is high, so unless you really want Google app integrations, we feel there are much better GPS watches for the price.
— Amber King
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