A truly smartwatch experience for those who like the outdoors
Sunto is a synonym for rough, outdoor items ranging from compass sports watches. The Suunto 7 we have here is part of a range of the company’s ‘smart sport’ watches aimed at combining ragged sports watches with the functionality offered by a WearOS powered device. Although we have wearable labor-intensive materials, they are usually built based on proprietary platforms. So they may be limited when it comes to functionality and versatility that can offer an established wearable OS starting at Rs 36,999, is the Suunto 7 worth picking up from other wearables? Find out.
Suunto 7: Design and build
The Suunto 7 packs a very heavy build, which is to be expected from a sports watch. It packs a large metal body with soft silicone straps. However, the wearable is still relatively light. It packs a total of four buttons, which is quite a lot more than any other wearable item on the market, but it adds the whole ‘out there’ look that seems to be going for the sunto. The bottom of the Suunto 7 is made of hard plastic and has optical heart rate sensors and contact points for charging.
A notable little feature is that the four edges around the Suunto 7’s display are slightly raised. This helps protect the display if placed round (or omitted). The display itself is made of gorilla glass which adds a degree of protection. Another simple thing to note is that the wearable is water-resistant up to 50m.
Despite the large size, the Suunto 7 is quite comfortable to wear. However, the large size means that it may seem a bit unpleasant to those whose wrists are small.
Suunto 7: Display and UI
The Suunto 7 packs a large AMOLED color touchscreen that is beautiful and vibrant, although the display glass is quite glossy, the display bright enough to be exposed to sunlight. It all ticks in the right box. However, the same cannot be said for UI …
Google’s WearOS powers the Suunto 7, and for the most part it’s okay. However, it becomes annoying when trying to use it in line with Sunto’s own decisions about what the UI should be. The four wearable buttons also make things a bit confusing. For example, swiping to the right while inside a menu will take you one step back. But in the main menu, it will enable Google Assistant. The only button on the left side of the device acts as the ‘Home’ button most of the time. But when used on the home screen, it opens up a list of Google apps.
Note that these apps are different from the tiles that can be accessed by swiping to the left on the clock face. The other three buttons on the right seem to be dedicated to the activity. While on the clock face, the top button acts as a quick way to bring up the activity menu, the middle one brings media control, while the bottom button quickly brings up a stopwatch. When an activity is turned on, the button at the top will pause / restart the activity, the bottom will close it. But if you press the button below without interrupting the activity, a marker like lap time will be set. Are you still following me?
Overall, I’m sure anyone will get used to the setup after a few days of use. Plus, the buttons make it easy to use while wearing gloves or underwater. But I still think there could be more elegant ways to do the same. Garmin and Fitbit seem to have nailed their UIs. Sunto would do well to take hints from them.
Sunto 7: Fitness
Sunto has been making sports watches for a long time. So users can expect Suunto 7 to offer many activity tracking options and fortunately does not disappoint the wearable. The watch offers a full host of activity tracking options ranging from walking and cycling to hiking, pool, kettlebell, roller skating and more.
I usually have a system where I do a set of seven minute workouts to measure the effectiveness of any wearable against competitors. However, due to a very annoying and constant pain in my wrist, I could not do it. Fortunately, my office has been opened so that I can use my travels as a standard.
My journey is quite simple. It sees me walking most of the time while traveling and sits in front of my computer the rest of the time. For example, all the steps I take on office days are usually near the same ballpark. Fortunately, the step counter was on-point at about 5000 steps. In addition to steps, wearables also track calories and
Suunto 7: App
To set up Suunto 7, users need to install two apps on their smartphone. WearOS app and Suunto app. Although it is mildly inconvenient, it is not bad. WearOS apps handle smartwatch focused features such as apps, clock face, notifications, tilt-to-wake and more. The Suunto app is where users get access to activity-related metrics.
WearOS is pretty straight forward and with the exception of the initial setup, I’ve rarely used it. As mentioned earlier, users will also be able to change the clock faces. I personally like the ‘Hit Map’ clock face because it shows an overview of your local area where frequent traveling activity is highlighted.
The Sunto app is more focused on fitness and therefore could possibly be an app that users can access more. The app is quite simple and gives users access to information in the form of cards.
The first thing users will see when they open the app is a round up of their activities. This includes the total duration of their activities as well as the breakup of their activities throughout the month. Swipe lets users access their weekly form, fatigue and fitness levels.
You will get detailed information by tapping on any one activity card. In addition to information on duration, distance, average speed and much more. Users can access information such as climbing, training stress scores (based on intensity and duration), speed, cadence, and more.
One of the most interesting features of the app is that users can replay their activity and root. This allows them to see their speed, height and heart rate in different sections. This can be a handy tool when planning a route as it allows users to fine-tune routes based on their level of intensity.
Swipe right from the main tab gives users access to calendars, activity trends and maps.
Suunto 7: Battery
The Suunto 7 offers a battery life of about one day, which can be pushed to one and a half days on average. This is similar to other smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 6.Revaluation) However, it is lighter than dedicated fitness wearables like Garmin.
This can be a bit of a hassle for anyone looking to use the device for something like hiking / camping. Plug points may be low and in between and require the use of a power bank.
Suunto 7: Judgment
Suunto 7 offers a fantastic unique. Its WearOS base gives users the flexibility to access major apps that they can install on their wearables. At the same time, Sunto’s legacy and skill give the watch a top-notch build that can compete with any rough watch on the market. As such, the Suunto 7 is arguably the toughest device that can call itself a proper smartwatch.
However, not everything is perfect. The UI of the Sunto 7 is the least confusing. Relatively weak battery life is a concern for those planning to wear it for camping or long trips.
The UI concerns as well as the relatively poor battery life makes it difficult to recommend to new users looking for a solid new wearable. However, those who need toughness and don’t really need smart features can do well with something like the Garmin Forerunner 55. Similarly, those looking for a fitness-centric device without too much roughness might consider something like the Apple Watch SE or Samsung. Galaxy Watch 4 (Revaluation), Both of which are quite affordable.
The Sunto 7 has a unique position, making it one of the only smartwatches to feature this level of roughness. As such, it doesn’t really have much in terms of direct competition. However, if Sunto can streamline the UI and improve battery life, it has the potential to be the best.