The new Suunto Vertical GPS adventure watch takes everything that was great about the 9 Peak Pro and makes it better. A larger face and display, longer battery life, dual-band satellite positioning, and solar charging lead the list of new features, it delivers advanced tracking and more detailed mapping while doubling the time between charges.
It’ll be available in two models – Titanium with solar charging, and stainless steel without solar – with 60 to 500 hours of battery life under normal usage tracking workouts and activities and continuous heart rate monitoring. But, if you’re completely underutilizing it as just a watch, the solar-equipped model could go up to a full year.
Mapping, Routing & Modes
The Suunto Vertical comes with free access to global maps, which will be easy to see with the larger 1.4″ full color screen. And there’s 32GB of storage so you can load a lot of territory for offline viewing.
Three different map styles more clearly show the terrain and routing, depending on the area and situation, and all three are downloaded with any map area you load onto the watch. At launch, offline maps will not show all of the road names, but that’s something they’re working on.
The companion app makes it easy to create routes, and both it and the watch will shows trails, contour lines and water. The Vertical’s touchscreen combines with the buttons to scroll, pinch & zoom for full functionality, even with gloves.
Creating a route
The watch makes it easy to follow your pre-planned route, which you can create within the Suunto app, or import from GPX or partners like Komoot.
Their app has road surface type, avalanche terrain, 3D satellite, and heat maps to choose from, with activity heatmaps for more than 30 sports to help you find popular areas for almost anything you want to do. Turn by turn announcements can be used, just turn that feature on when you add and use a route, and Suunto heatmaps can sync with any Hammerhead Karoo 2 cycling computer.
No route? No problem, just follow your breadcrumb trail to get back to your starting location after you’re done exploring. POI, Bearing, and Compass navigation carry over from other models, too.
Training & Modes
They have more than 90 sport modes pre-loaded, which includes options for variations on a sport. For example, if you choose “Mountain Biking”, you can select from Enduro, Downhill, Trail, etc., with the ability to setup different screens and pair different devices (like a power meter) to different modes so that you can see only what you want for each mode.
If that’s not enough, you can add custom modes to make up whatever sport you want (Pickleball, anyone?). It now syncs your starred Strava Segments, and you get 60 days of Strava Premium for free with purchase of the watch.
Suunto has an even deeper partnership with Komoot, making it easy to load your routes and tracks from their global activity/planning/mapping platform onto your watch.
A new Training Zone with load, volume, intensity and other metrics are now in the app to help you track your progress if you’re not doing it elsewhere.
New dual band GNSS brings in the stronger L5 signals in addition to L1, which helps avoid signal reflections when in urban environments.
It reads five different satellite networks – GPS, Gallileo, GLONASS, Beidou, and QZSS – which provides better accuracy and quicker signal acquisition, connecting with up to 32 satellites at once.
And it can do all of this and still provide 60 to 140 hours of tracking, with logging every second for granular detail in Performance, Endurance, and Ultra modes. Get the solar watch and that increases to 85-280 hours with good light (50,000 lux of sunlight).
Performance – all systems, dual band
Endurance – all systems, single band
Ultra – all systems, single band at 50% power
Tour – 2 min log intervals, up to 500 hours with solar
Timekeeping & HR monitoring
You’ll get up to 30 days on battery alone just working as a watch with 24/7 continuous HR tracking. Turn off HR monitoring and you’ll get about 60 days, or more than a year with the solar version!
And it charges fast, adding about 10 hours of use with just 10 minutes of charging. There’s a solar charging graph to show you much more energy you’re adding from the sun, and the app will show historical charging from the sun, too…just in case that’s important to you?
Basically, you can add 40% to 100% more battery life by using the solar. It’s slower, adding 1-2% per hour, so it’s only meant to increase its range, not be the main source of charge.
All models now get a Sapphire crystal lens, not just the top models. Titanium models are full titanium, including the back plate, bezel, and body. They meet the MIL-STD-810H tests, which means it’ll pretty much handle anything you or I are likely to throw at it, but Suunto’s engineers chuckle because they actually test it to even higher standards.
It keeps the barometer and altimeter, too, maintaining its status as a full-featured outdoor adventure watch.
The face has a larger 49mm diameter than the 9 Peak Pro (which is 43mm), but it shares the same charger as that model. Wrist bands have a quick release 22mm pin, and options will be available. Screen is 1.4″ diameter.
Like the others, it’s made in Finland with 100% renewable energy and its production and shipping and entire lifetime of emissions (from you charging it) are fully carbon compensated. And not just compensating by buying generic offsets, they’re actually working in Africa to create eco-sustainable opportunities that improve livelihoods in that area.
Available now for pre-order, retail sales start May 16. Stainless steel models are $629, Titanium/Solar are $839.