Reviews You Can Rely On

Suunto 9 Peak Review

Great for those interested in top-of-the-line Suunto products, but we'd recommend choosing a different watch in our lineup given the price tag
Suunto 9 Peak
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $569 List | $569.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Slim design, great mobile app
Cons:  Confusing watch interface, slow menus and scroll, expensive
Manufacturer:   Suunto
By Matthew Richardson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 12
  • Features - 20% 7.0
  • Battery Life - 20% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 20% 5.0
  • Accuracy - 20% 8.0
  • Design - 20% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Suunto 9 Peak looks great and packs a ton of features in its slim body. We were impressed with the touch screen, even when wet, and the solid app integration. Unfortunately, it seems Suunto may have been more focused on design than performance. We found this model to be frustratingly confusing to operate, even with its dedicated buttons and touch screen. The menu systems and scroll felt slow, and the user experience felt sluggish. We think this watch is for users that know they want a Suunto product — if that's not you, we'd recommend a different model in our test group.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Suunto 9 Peak
This Product
Suunto 9 Peak
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $569.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$689.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$699.00 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$399.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$199.00 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
68
88
86
76
68
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Slim design, great mobile appExcellent battery life, great interface, advanced health metrics, beautiful screen resolutionDurable, incredible battery life, large screen, great appGood battery life, comfortable, easy to use, great valueLow profile design, great battery life, very accurate, low cost
Cons Confusing watch interface, slow menus and scroll, expensiveApp could be better, calibration of ABC difficult, expensiveHeavy, expensive, limited touch function, resume later function not enabled across all activitiesLacks some toolset functions, scroll wheel has unintended clicksMinimal activity profiles, no navigation features, plastic construction
Bottom Line Great for those interested in top-of-the-line Suunto products, but we'd recommend choosing a different watch in our lineup given the price tagThe best GPS watch for everyday use and extended adventures in backcountry terrainThe most rugged expedition-ready watch we tested with insane battery life in a large 51mm caseA fully-featured GPS watch at a great price makes this one of our top recommendations for all user typesA fully functional and incredibly light GPS sports watch boasting great battery life at an incredible value
Rating Categories Suunto 9 Peak Garmin Fenix 7 Coros Vertix 2 Coros Apex Pro Coros Pace 2
Features (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Battery Life (20%)
7.0
8.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Ease of Use (20%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Accuracy (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Design (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Suunto 9 Peak Garmin Fenix 7 Coros Vertix 2 Coros Apex Pro Coros Pace 2
Watch Face Material Sapphire crystal Corning Gorilla Glass DX Sapphire Glass Sapphire glass Corning glass
Bezel Stainless steel Stainless steel Grade 5 titanium alloy with PVD coating Titanium Alloy Fiber reinforced polymer
Case Glass fibre reinforced polyamide Fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover Titanium Alloy with PVD Coating Alumnium Fiber reinforced polymer
Strap Material Silicone Silicon Silicon or nylon Silicon or nylon Silicon or nylon
Tools Required to Change Band? No No No No No
Model Tested Standard Standard Standard Standard N/A
Size Tested One size only 47mm One size only 47mm One size only
Measured Main Body Size (diameter) 43mm 47mm 50mm 47mm 43mm
Measured Thickness 12.5mm 15.5mm 16mm 13.4mm 11mm
Measured Screen Width 30mm 33mm 35.5mm 33mm 32mm
Measured Weight 2.19 oz 2.75 oz 3.17 oz 2.0 oz 1.2 oz
Measured Charging Time 68 min 168 min 128 min 80 min 80 min
Battery Type Rechargable lithium ion Rechargable lithium ion Rechargable lithium ion Rechargable lithium ion Rechargable lithium ion
Measured Battery Life With GPS On 23 hours 56 hours 135 hours 36 hours 29 hours
Manufacturer-Reported Battery Life In time mode: 14 days;
24/7 tracking and mobile notifications: 7 days;
Training mode with GPS: 25h / 50h / 120h / 170h
Smartwatch mode: 18 days;
GPS: 57 hours
Smartwatch mode: 60 days;
GPS: 140 hours
Smartwatch mode: 30 days;
GPS mode: 40 hours;
UltraMax mode: 100 hours
Smartwatch mode: 20 days;
GPS: 30 hours;
Ultramax mode: 60 hours
Navigation Built In? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Satellite Networks Used GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, BEIDOU GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU
Maps? Yes - detailed Yes - detailed Yes - detailed Yes - basic No
Back to Start Navigation? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Water Resistance (max depth) 100m 100m 100m 100m 50m
Music Control? Yes Yes Yes No No
Music Storage? No Yes - 1000 songs Yes - 32gb storage No No
Daily Fitness Tracking? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Touchless Payment? No Yes No No No
Sleep Tracking? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blood Oxygen? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Compass? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometric Altimeter? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Temperature Sensor? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Main Software App Suunto Garmin Connect, widgets for other features Coros App Coros App Coros
Can Software Cross Over to Different Software Ecosystems? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

With its edgeless screen, slim body, and excellent touch screen, it's clear that the team at Suunto wanted to focus on design for this model. We think it's one of the sleekest models we tested, but we wish the performance matched. Unfortunately, the user experience felt slow and confusing, and we could never fully dial in the button layout when testing this model. Obviously, you'd get the hang of it after a while, but we don't find it as intuitive as the other models in our lineup.

The 9 Peak functions fine during activity, but we weren't fans of the watch during everyday use, which should be a priority at this price point. The screen, while bright, isn't as sharp as the other premium models in our lineup and closely mimics those found on the cheapest models we tested. We found the edgeless design to be beaten up easier, and the screen is far too small to be useful for navigation. Ultimately, unless your priority is exterior design and the app ecosystem, we'd recommend a different model.

Performance Comparison


The Suunto 9 Peak is one of the best externally-designed watches we...
The Suunto 9 Peak is one of the best externally-designed watches we tested - we just wish the internals matched the exterior.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Features


Various sport modes, data fields, and health tracking are found in this model, but the only navigation features are bread-crumb mapping and route navigation. Topo maps aren't included, and given the screen size, they would probably be mostly unusable even if they were offered. There is no on-device storage like other devices in this price range, so we'd suggest a different model if you want to download music. Luckily the 9 Peak does include your ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) functions.

Notable Features:

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Assistance tool
  • Alarms
  • Several activity profiles
  • Pedometer and calories burned
  • Altimeter
  • Barometer
  • Temperature
  • Compass
  • Blood oxygen sensor
  • Battery modes
  • 100-meter water resistance

Take a look at the Suunto website to see the full scope of all the features offered.

Given the price tag, we feel this device is a bit lacking when compared to similarly priced models. Ultimately the features on this model work and can still lend themselves to good GPS functionality, but we find it a less compelling model compared to what you can get in this price range. If features are your priority, this probably isn't the model for you.

Fewer customizations are enabled throughout this model than on...
Fewer customizations are enabled throughout this model than on others we tested. If you want to make your watch your own you may look elsewhere.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Battery Life


This model has a claimed max battery life of 170 hours or a performance tracking mode of 24 hours. Based on the on-screen options and the provided documentation, it's unclear what the sampling rate of these various modes is — the only information provided is Best/Good/Okay/Low. While this watch performed fine during activities, we found ourselves charging the device more even in standard smartwatch mode and using it normally throughout the week. There is a battery customization option, but you may be left wondering (as we were) what "Good" actually means.

The data fields were a bit more difficult to read on this model and...
The data fields were a bit more difficult to read on this model and we found the backlight and off-white color to be a somewhat underwhelming when compared to the competition.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Ease of Use


The menu systems found on the 9 Peak are confusing, and even after weeks of use, we still could not seem to operate the watch without hitting the wrong button. It's clear that the intended use of this watch is via the touch screen, which is quite good even when wet. The button interaction is annoying, with the enter button and back button being the same but with different hold presses. Swiping back and forth is more natural. The various widgets are accessed by scrolling up and down, similar to other models, but the action isn't a loop. When you get to the bottom of your tools or menu, you have to scroll all the way back to the top, a design choice we just don't understand.

Obviously, if this is your dedicated watch, you will come to be familiar with the nuances of the interface. You won't be using a whole pile of watches at once, as we were. But that illustrated the shortcomings with the 9 Peak because the interface gave us more difficulty than most models. On the flip side, the mobile application is well designed, and its interface is easy to learn and understand. Your content, activities, and metrics are displayed nicely, and the integration for syncing activities works well. We wish that the watch itself provided the same experience as the app.

We cannot understand why Suunto did not make their menus a loop...
We cannot understand why Suunto did not make their menus a loop. Once you get to the bottom you have to scroll back up to the top. Frustrating.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Accuracy


When tasked with our three-mile GPS test route, this watch performed well and was similar to the other models in our test group, with just a +/- 0.01 variance for overall distance. With today's multi-satellite capabilities, there rarely are times when a GPS signal won't connect. If you often find yourself in advanced technical terrain, you may want to think about a dual-frequency model, especially at this price point. The Garmin Fenix 7 and Coros Vertix 2 both have this feature and only cost a bit more.

Our 3-mile remote dirt road testing zoomed in on a corner looking at...
Our 3-mile remote dirt road testing zoomed in on a corner looking at how the various watches track.
Credit: Matthew Richardson


The heart rate monitor on this model worked better than on the other Suunto models we tested. This could be due to a better fitting watch, but we still only found a 3 - 5 bpm difference compared to our chest rate monitor at resting, which is adequate for our usage. If heart rate metrics are a priority for you, we'd recommend a dedicated chest strap heart rate monitor.

The heart rate monitor on this model worked well but annoyed us. The...
The heart rate monitor on this model worked well but annoyed us. The proximity detector never seemed to work so it flashed constantly even while not in use.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Design


The design of the 9 Peak is elegant and sleek. The all-metal bezel and case proved to be durable. However, the edgeless design seems to attract scratches easier than other models. The screen bezel is also fairly large and is rather noticeable. The screen resolution leaves a bit to be desired given the price tag, but the colors are nice, and it's readable under most circumstances.

If you find some GPS watches to be overly large, this one could be a great option for you. Removeable watch straps are appreciated. We aren't a huge fan of the pin design for stowing the excess watch strap, though. It takes enough force to insert the pin that it generally is forced into your wrist — while not painful, this feels a bit overengineered. The small buttons are fairly thin, so the keypresses feel a bit cheap, another indication that the touch screen is the preferred method of interaction. Regardless of any negatives, the build quality is top-notch, and we give props to Suunto for creating such an elegant design and solid build.

While nice looking, we found this watch strap to be a bit over...
While nice looking, we found this watch strap to be a bit over engineered unlike the simple tried and true design found in the competition.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Value


We cannot recommend this model based on the cost. You can receive more features, a better interface, and longer battery life for the same price. This model is for those who prioritize design or desire a sleek model that will fit better on smaller wrists. If this design is calling to you, we would suggest waiting until improvements are made or if you can find it discounted.

Conclusion


We had high hopes for the Suunto 9 Peak, given the design, but unfortunately, the internals didn't impress us. A less than stellar user interface and short battery life makes us recommend other models, especially at this price point. This watch is for people that put a high priority on design or have a smaller wrist. Being one of the smallest watches in our lineup, we can understand the difficulty of including everything in such a small package. Case design and style are clearly the standout attributes, so if improvements are made in the future, this could be more of a contender in the market.

Putting down some miles at Phils World, which is the perfect place...
Putting down some miles at Phils World, which is the perfect place to test out a new GPS watch.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More