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Suunto 7 Review

A large crisp touchscreen with a plethora of Google-based app integrations, but unfortunately a bit difficult to use
Suunto 7
Photo: Amazon
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Price:  $400 List | $372.99 at Amazon
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
Manufacturer:   Suunto
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 18, 2021
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 11
  • Features - 20% 8
  • Battery Life - 20% 5
  • Ease of Use - 20% 4
  • Accuracy - 20% 7
  • Design - 20% 6

Our Verdict

The Suunto 7 has a large, crisp touchscreen display with Google play integration. It is relatively accurate with a host of features derived from the integration of Wear by Google OS. It features all that you'd expect from a more expensive GPS watch with the ability to control music, use Google pay, and more. Unfortunately, while the touchscreen is simple to use, the button functionality on the menu is sub-par with a relatively steep learning curve. Of our tested watches, this is one of our least favorites due to hidden menus and challenging features. Overall, it isn't one we'd recommend to our friends unless they are specifically seeking a touchscreen with Google app integration.

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Pros Great integration with Google apps, clear and crisp screen, accurate, 12 hours of GPSExcellent quality, accurate, simple design, astounding value, very easy to use, great feature set, very long battery lifeStellar battery life, nice size and weight, comfortable, easy to use, simple software platform, seamless syncing and updates, touchscreenLow profile design, great battery life, very accurate, low costExcellent features, downloadable workouts, access to Garmin ecosystem, small watch face, excellent accuracy, lower price
Cons Button functionality is not well thought out, priceyBacklight isn't bright, heart rate monitor accuracy is a little offLarger knob is easy to push accidentally, can't be plugged into a computerNo mountain sports or navigational featuresLacks 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 useA well-constructed and accurate watch with a minimalistic design, excellent battery life, and all the right featuresWith all the right features and monstrous battery life, this watch is one of our favorites for ultradistance events and explorationsA fully functional and incredibly light GPS sports watch boasting out of this world battery lifeThis 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 Apex Pro Coros Pace 2 Garmin Forerunner 45S
Features (20%)
8.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Battery Life (20%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
4.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Accuracy (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Design (20%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Suunto 7 Coros Apex Coros Apex Pro Coros Pace 2 Garmin Forerunner 45S
Model Tested Graphite copper Standard Standard N/A N/A
Watch Face Material Scratch resistant Gorilla Glass Sapphire glass Sapphire glass Corning glass Chemically strengthened glass
Bezel Stainless steel Stainless steel bezel Titanium Alloy Fiber reinforced polymer Polymer
Case Glass fibre reinforced polyamide Alumnium Alumnium Fiber reinforced polymer Polymer
Strap Material Silicone Silicon or nylon Silicon or nylon Silicon or nylon Silicone
Tools Required to Change Band? No No No No Yes
Size Tested One size only 44mm 47mm One size only 39 mm
Measured Main Body Size (diameter or W x H) 50mm 44mm 47mm 43mm 40mm
Measured Thickness 16.5mm 13mm 13.4mm 11mm 11mm
Measured Screen Width 35mm 33mm 33mm 32mm 26mm
Measured Weight 2.3 oz 1.7 oz 2.0 oz 1.2 oz 1.2 oz
Measured Charging Time 70 min 70 min 80 min 80 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 36 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: 30 days
GPS mode: 40 hours
UltraMax mode: 100 hours
Smartwatch mode: 20 days
GPS mode: 30 hours
Ultramax mode: 60 hours
Smartwatch mode: up to 7 days
GPS mode: up to 13 hours
Navigation Built In? Yes Yes Yes No No
Satellite Networks Used GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, BEIDOU GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO
Maps? Yes - basic Yes - basic Yes - basic No No
Back to Start Navigation? No Yes Yes No No
Water Resistance (max depth) 50m 100m 100m 50m 50m
Music Control? Yes No No No No
Music Storage? No No No No No
Daily Fitness Tracking? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Touchless Payment? Yes No No No Yes
Sleep Tracking? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blood Oxygen? No No Yes No No
Compass? No - added with Google Play Yes Yes Yes Yes - widget
Barometric Altimeter? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Temperature Sensor? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Main Software App Suunto Coros App Coros App Coros 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.

Performance Comparison


The display is clean and crisp, but some of the buttons and general...
The display is clean and crisp, but some of the buttons and general use are confusing.
Photo: Amber King

Features


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.

This menu accesses all the apps that you can load up and use when...
This menu accesses all the apps that you can load up and use when connected to cellular or wifi service.
Photo: Amber King

Notable Features:

  • 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

We enjoyed the basic features of this watch while cross-country...
We enjoyed the basic features of this watch while cross-country skiing.
Photo: Amber King

Battery Life


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.

We felt like the battery was always drained, requiring frequent...
We felt like the battery was always drained, requiring frequent charges.
Photo: Amber King

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.

The buttons are large and flat, but not as clickable as other...
The buttons are large and flat, but not as clickable as other contenders.
Photo: Amber King

Accuracy


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 distance logged after our 10.8-mile ride. A little off.
The distance logged after our 10.8-mile ride. A little off.
Photo: Amber King

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.

A look at the heart rate monitor.
A look at the heart rate monitor.
Photo: Amber King

Design


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.

A larger watch face that's easy to see, but a bit bulky for our taste.
A larger watch face that's easy to see, but a bit bulky for our taste.
Photo: Amber King

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Enjoy this watch on any outdoor mission. Just know we don't think...
Enjoy this watch on any outdoor mission. Just know we don't think its of very high value.
Photo: Amber King

Amber King