Tech

Suunto 7 Review: A true Smartwatch focussed on mapping & fitness

If you’re reading this thinking how accurate are the run cycle tracking, or bike tracking, or swim tracking on the Suunto 7 – look away, this is the story of a fat bloke with a stylish new smartwatch with some serious capabilities.

At $799 the Suunto 7 is both an expensive smartwatch, and an expensive fitness tracking watch. But as a combination – there’s some outstanding value there.

Key to that value is the true smartwatch experience you’re getting. There are plenty of watches that can actively track your run, your swim, your ride – but they are all a bit drab when it comes to the actual on-screen display.

That is the first and most important thing you’ll notice when you see the Suunto 7. Firstly because it’s massive – a 50mm face is probably not for everyone, but boy does it look great with the full-colour display shining at you.

There’s nothing on the market like it. Suunto’s heritage is instrumentation, tracking, fitness – this thing has all the brains, plus it’s a looker too.

I guess the size would put a small few buyers off, but in fact it’s a selling point making the information on the screen really come to life.

Of course, that screen means there’s no week-long battery here, Suunto say 2 days, I say a little over that, but as with all these smartwatches, you’re better off in the habit of daily charging anyway.

The brightness and clarity of the screen are matched with the operating system. Google’s WearOS is a great smartwatch operating system, which when paired with Suunto’s app for sports and fitness tracking really comes into its own.

Flick into a mode requiring GPS tracking and you’ve got around 12 hours battery life – but hey, I didn’t go for a bushwalk to test that – sorry, my dedication doesn’t stretch that far.

Suunto say this thing tracks some 70 or more sports modes, for accurate exercise tracking across anything from surfing, skiing to running or cycling down to your basic walk on a treadmill.

Perhaps the jewel in the crown though is the offline maps.

Leave your phone at home, off you go, and your watch is tracking you and guiding you in real-time on a full-colour map. Not dropping a little marker every now and then – real-time tracking.

And when you do get home, because it’s WearOS – you can pay for that coffee using Google Pay. Simple.

I doubt if you’re in the market for this style of watch you would look past this once you see it in the flesh – worth checking that out at JB HiFi to really get the beauty of that screen.

The battery life compared to rival products from Garmin and others is a downside, but that OLED screen will offset that every day of the week I reckon.

It’s a pity Google or Suunto haven’t jumped into the watch with software updates to add an always-on style display as Apple did in their Series 5 smartwatch, because that prolongs battery life and saves constantly twisting the wrist to see the time.

And just on that, probably my only real negative to the Suunto 7 is just that – it seems to take a lot longer to “show” me the watchface when I twist my wrist to look at it – that it does on any other smartwatch. Some tweaks required there.

All in all though, outstanding quality, functions, design, and screen. Not cheap, but I think you want to show off anyway, so this will do the trick:)

Web: Suunto
Buy: JB Hi-Fi

Suunto 7 Review: A true Smartwatch focussed on mapping & fitness
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