Here at CES 2020 we were introduced to the Suunto 7, the latest in a range of sport watches by the Finnish-based watchmaker that have been in the industry for over 80 years. Today we got hands on with what they believe to be an incredible fusion between sporting and lifestyle products – and I can confirm that Suunto have absolutely hit the mark.
The question for Suunto was a simple one… how do you give a fitness buff all of the functionality they need, while still providing the style and battery required out of an everyday smart watch? Well, by partnering with Google and utilizing their WearOS, Suunto were able to deliver the most raw version of Android – only to then overlay their tried and tested sporting software.
Despite being scarcely known outside of the fitness community, Suunto are making a push into the broader market with the Suunto 7. The first thing you’re sure to pick up on is that the 7 looks NOTHING like a fitness watch. It’s not bulky, jagged or otherwise screaming “Look at me! I hiked today!”.
You can optionally pick up a leather band variant, allowing you to take it for a run in the morning, and still look the part in the office.
As per being WearOS, you have full access to any app on the WearOS Play Store, but the kicker really is in the tech that Suunto bring to the table. Their software recognizes over 70 different sports and can provide an incredible amount of data to assist you in your training.
I’m not much into sport (unless you count lifting a gaming headset on and off), but went ahead and trialled the running software. The most impressive feature of which was the ‘heat-map’ as Suunto described it.
Rather simply, willing users around the globe allow the collection of their running data. Suunto then build a ‘heat-map’ of the exact paths these runners take. Which is to say that if you were going for a run in unfamiliar territory, you have access to the routes and paths that all of the locals are running down. This in turn lets you know both what the best tracks are, and the areas to avoid.
The aspect of this I found most interesting is that these maps work offline. You’re able to leave your phone at home and rely on the Suunto 7 to keep you on track. It works in such a way that when you plug your watch in at night to charge, it will download all of the maps in a 50km radius of your current position – whether you’re resting your head at home or on tour, you’ll have an updated map.
By allowing the consumer access to everything your everyday smart watch would normally have through WearOS, while overlaying their extensive sporting software, Suunto have developed a watch for all occasions with the 7.