Suunto 9 Peak Pro

Suunto 9 Peak Pro: timeless style, endless battery (review)

100% human

As we move into summer it’s the perfect time to look at the latest fitness watch from Suunto. At a glance, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro looks almost identical to the base version, the Suunto 9 Peak. However, the subtle differences on the outside are in stark contrast to the major differences inside.

A huge overhaul of the user interface, new sensor capabilities, long battery life and many other features all pack into this sleek, aesthetically appealing watch. I spent several weeks with the Suunto 9 Peak Pro as my daily driver and fitness tracker to test out its seemingly endless range of new features.

Details: Suunto 9 Peak Pro

Price (RRP)AU$759
ManufacturerSuunto
Product pageSuunto website
Warranty2 years

Look and feel

I was instantly taken by the 9 Peak Pro and its simplicity. Its monochromatic, all-black stainless steel bezel and display paired with the all-black silicone strap appealed to this reviewer’s design background. With the rapid evolution of GPS sports watches over the past 10 years or so, rarely does a device looks just as good – if not better – than it performs. The 43mm display looks rather streamlined on the wrist yet the 22mm wide band is comfortable enough but notably not as comfortable as some of the alternatives. All of this does, however, pair well with the black buckle for a consistent, well-considered Suunto watch you can wear on any occasion.

The watch in the stainless steel model comes in All Black, Ocean Blue, Pearl Gold or Forest Green for $759. Alternatively, there is the titanium option in Titanium Slate or Titanium San for $959. There is also a customise-your-own feature that lets you pair any watch model with any strap including silicone, microfibres and leather options, all having a range of colours and styles. Built with high-quality materials like sapphire glass and tested to US military standards, you won’t question the watch’s durability any time soon.

Suunto 9 Peak Pro Features

When choosing a sport or fitness watch, the features are always the biggest selling point, and the Suunto 9 Peak Pro delivers. The biometric sensors are numerous, measuring everything from heart rate to blood oxygen level. Although measuring your blood oxygen levels isn’t the most critical feature, it has become an industry standard for high-end GPS watches and can be helpful if you are adapting to training at altitude. You can also track your fitness through a V02Max estimate, or check on your stress and recovery levels as a percentage.

Looking at the capabilities of several other GPS watches, like the Garmin Forerunner 935 and the Suunto 9 Peak, the 9 Peak Pro comes out ahead in more areas than one. It has an unbelievably large list of available sports to choose from including everything from your standard running, cycling or swimming, to some more niche activities like roller skating, obstacle racing or mermaiding (don’t ask). The Suunto 9 Peak Pro also performs well as your day-to-day health tracker. It keeps on top of your movement with its built-in step counter, displays calories burned, and has customisable activity targets to fit your lifestyle. You can also control music and media via the watch but do note that it does not have any offline music storage like some of its competitors out there.

For those experienced runners, it’s the subtle improvements that can make all the difference. Its small details, like the current pace displayed to the second, rather than to the nearest 5 seconds, or measuring V02Max to one decimal place for a more accurate fitness estimate. Additionally, you can now see a measurement of power output without needing a third-party attachment. With that said, it is very simple to attach heart rate straps, stride pods or power meters if you wish to do so. Connecting my Garmin chest heart rate strap for more accurate heart rate data took a matter of seconds and worked flawlessly.

It’s worth mentioning that the Suunto 9 Peak Pro has many of the convenient smartwatch and connectivity features of a smartwatch such as Bluetooth, phone notifications and updates from the cloud. It is also very easy to set up and connect to apps such as Suunto and Strava. I was disappointed, however, to not see a metronome in the Suunto 9 Peak Pro. A metronome is a clever setting that Garmin and many other smartwatch brands include in their premium GPS watches that help an athlete with their cadence.

Heart rate and GPS accuracy

Whenever a new sports watch launches there is so much emphasis on its new and improved features. After many years of being an avid runner and using multiple sports watches, I find that the metrics that matter the most are the GPS and heart rate, and more specifically how accurate they are. An accurate GPS is key to almost all other data. For example, the pace of a run is calculated using the time spent running and the distance travelled. If your GPS is not accurate then most of your other data is also off. The good news is the Suunto 9 Peak Pro does a fantastic job providing very accurate GPS data from every environment I tested.

Moving on to the updated heart rate sensor, I found the new sensor to be a definite upgrade. The downfall here is that wrist heart rate sensors are not the most reliable in general and can produce questionable data at times. In this case, I would describe it as decent enough to get by for the casual user. I always recommend using a heart rate strap or belt for a more accurate reading.

Battery life

Suunto watch data
Viewing some of the data in the Suunto App

The outstanding battery life may be one of the top reasons to buy the Suunto 9 Peak Pro. This is a vast improvement from the base version and Suunto claims you can get up to 21 days of battery life in daily use. There are many battery modes to choose from based on how you want to use your watch. These include Performance, Endurance and Tour, as well as the option to create your own custom settings. Performance is the most powerful battery mode, capable of recording up to 40 hours of outdoor activity with the highest GPS accuracy, while the Tour mode is said to last 300 hours of continuous use. To test the battery, I ran 10km (approximately 50 mins) in Performance mode with the navigation turn-by-turn setting on and this only used 2% battery.

This best-in-class battery life along with the flexibility to customise your options positions the watch strongly for endurance and ultra athletes. Suunto is one of the only watches that provides a battery life estimate based on the current charge of your watch, which is super handy. If you did, however, forget to charge, Suunto has you covered with fast charging capabilities, meaning you won’t have to wait around all day. One hour to charge from empty to full means you will be back to smashing your PB’s in no time.

Updated UI

It’s possible to overlook the importance of interface updates, but here the quality of life improvement was fantastic. That’s not to say it’s perfect, however. Suunto may not yet be on the same level as Garmin when it comes to how intuitive their watches are to use, yet the updates to the Suunto 9 Peak Pro have closed the gap significantly. The faster processor along with the highly responsive and smooth menu system provides a vastly superior feel to past generations of Suunto watches. A big tick from me for the redesigned interface.

GadgetGuy’s take: Suunto 9 Peak Pro

Finally, a sports watch with all of the features and metrics we have come to expect (plus some extras) without compromising on style. You can also buy and use the Suunto 9 Peak Pro guilt-free as it is built from 100% recycled materials with the lowest carbon footprint of any GPS sports watch on the market. The biggest updates that have a lasting effect are the amazing battery life along with the more accurate GPS tracking. These features plus a much-improved interface make for a top-quality sports watch. And I think it looks sublime even when not training.

Suunto 9 Peak Pro GPS Sports Watch, All Black
Suunto 9 Peak Pro GPS Sports Watch, Titanium Sand
Suunto 9 Peak GPS Sports Watch, Granite Blue Titanium
Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Price not available
$ 1,195.52
Price not available
$ 599.00
Stainless steal
Titanium
Titanium
Fiber-reinforced polymer
Suunto 9 Peak Pro GPS Sports Watch, All Black
Price not available
Stainless steal
Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
$ 599.00
Fiber-reinforced polymer

More smartwatch news and reviews on GadgetGuy

Suunto 9 Peak Pro
An impressive battery, strong GPS tracking, and user interface improvements make the sleek Suunto 9 Peak Pro ideal for endurance athletes.
Features
9
Value for money
8
Performance
9.8
Ease of use
8
Design
10
Positives
Sleek, stylish and lightweight design
Best-in-class battery life
Custom battery and performance options
Updated smooth and fast UI
Negatives
No metronome feature
Interface could be more intuitive
Watch band is not as comfortable as some other options
9