Suunto’s GPS watch hits the slopes for vertical adventures

When it comes to GPS watches, the majority of devices that tend to pass by our desks tend to be about tracking distance, but this is almost always about how far you travel. If you need to think about height, there’s now a watch for you.

Set to be released to Aussie store shelves this week, Suunto’s latest addition to its GPS watch family is one made for people where altitude is an important factor in their lives.


Called the “Ambit3 Vertical”, it’s name kind of gives it away, with an ambitious look towards people keen on making their way up and down mountains, and as a result supporting elevation features such as barometric pressure tracking and routes for altitudes with real-time ascent information for both gain and vertical distance remaining.

A GPS is of course included, which Suunto says also works with GLONASS, giving you up to 250 points of interest to program, and course logging.


Suunto tells us that the design on this one is a little lighter than its other watches, relying on a combination of materials, including composite plastic, as well as stainless steel for the bezel and glass for the screen.

Despite the change in construction, though, the Ambit3 Vertical is still just as durable as some of the other models Suunto has built, including enough durability to survive the multi-sport functionality for running and cycling, while water-resistance has also been applied so the sport mode also works while swimming.


Oh, and because this is the age of smart watches, you’ll even find a bit of that functionality, too, with mobile notifications also part of the package, and the watch working with Android smartphones using Bluetooth Smart, as well as most iPhones out today.

Battery life is apparently good for up to 100 hours of life, too, and if it’s anything like the previous Suunto we checked out — the Traverse — you’ll find the charger can be plugged right into a USB port for easy instant battery life.


As for pricing, you’ll find Suunto’s Ambit3 Vertical in stores shortly for a recommended retail price of $629, though a version will be released with Suunto’s heart rate sensor for an extra $50 ($679 RRP).