Suunto 5 – Fresh tech from Finland

Training nerds, unless you’ve had your forum feeds severed and left your smart devices under rocks up a munro, you will know that Sunnto’s latest watch, the Sunnto 5 launched on the 4th June. And yes, before anyone asks you are correct, Sunnto did launch the 9 previously – let’s not get hung up on names, what’s important is features vs price point.

Suunto describe the 5 as “One step, one stroke, one revolution, repeat. The world around you disappears. Suunto 5 is built for these moments. It is engineered to perform with you for as long as you need it to. A compact GPS sports watch with great battery life.

Now first things first, battery life. From how many training sessions you can complete in a week from a single charge to those taking on 50 mile ultras and beyond, one of the two biggest gripes for GPS watches is battery life (the other being GPS accuracy). The Sunnto 5 has a respectable 40 hours of life and if you want to go full on ultra, multi day, big elevation change, slow moving, self sufficient “I can’t afford to carry a battery pack, every gram counts” the 9 can go up to 120 hours on full ultra mode. But, how often are you going to do that? Secondly, GPS accuracy, the more you use the longer modes, the less accurate the GPS track/distance is, as algorithms and witch craft take over to fill in the blanks. Once again, you’ll have better accuracy in the standard modes, though as seen on the 9, the tech boffins in Finland developed new software to cut down the variance – I can’t explain how.

What I’m trying to say is, for most of us 40 hours sounds huge, for some of us, it may seem too little, but just like a car you’d buy for two track days a year, do you really need that feature/specialism?

40 hours of battery life is plentiful for all but the biggest of races/adventures/mad training sessions, however, in addition, for those concerned they’ll run out too soon, the watch has been designed to learn your training patterns. Essentially it’s tracking how you use your battery on an average cycle, so it can notify you when to charge ahead of that long run at the weekend, so you don’t suddenly get the dreaded low battery warning and theres no way to charge.

Like many, I don’t only run. I use my watch to record road rides, mountain bike rides, the rowing machine at the gym, hikes…. even stand up paddle boarding, though to be fair, that was only once. The Suunto 5 has over 80 customisable sports modes and can track your vital metrics for your coach, online training plan or that mate who is the yoda in the office when it comes to fartlek, intervals, back to backs and all the little metrics that reveal what you’ve been up to each time time you hit start.

Suunto have included what they call their High IQ training companion who will motivate you not to miss a session, track your fitness, provided personalised guidance and goals, monitor your sleep and recovery. If you havent got an office yoda or coach, the 5 will help you on your way to your goal.

A recent addition, the new Suunto App allows you to see where people are training, popular routes, create challenges and if you’re a solo runner like myself for all but my races, show you that you aren’t he only one out there putting the work in. For those looking to share on Training Peaks, go social on Strava or create a custom video on Relive, the 5 has these apps integrated to allow for easy uploads and sharing.

So there you have it, the Suunto 5. It is just over half the price of a Sunnto 9, at £299 compared to £499 for the 9 and £685 for the 9 Baro, shares many of the same features, but does away with many that appeal to a smaller audience. Looking at the information I’ve been provided and on the website, it’s a stripped back version that provides what you will need, rather then what you may need for a series of different mountain based scenarios.

If you want to find out more about the Sunnto 5 – CLICK HERE


Information provided by Spike Communications