I’m already a Suunto fan and currently use the Suunto 9 Baro that I’ve had for 3 years now, so I jumped at the chance to test out one of the new range, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro.
First comparisons were just how light this watch is, compared to an extremely bulky Suunto 9 Baro it was like I wasn’t wearing a watch at all, in fact the first run out I kept checking my wrist to make sure I had it on! The updated touch screen is clearer and easier to use than past models, with more vibrant colour it’s much easier to see when out on a run. When trailrunning at night the back light automatically comes on when you lift your wrist to look at the watch which was a really helpful function.
The watch has a different type of charger than previous models and I found that the magnets to connect it to the watch were not quite as strong as they have been before, however, the charging time was rapid and I had full charge within an hour.
The watch linked to my phone via the Suunto app instantly and the ‘set up’ functions were straight forward and easy to follow. The only issue I had was changing the setting from km to miles, I searched and searched the watch functions and couldn’t figure it out. Google was my friend though and once I knew how to do it, I’d changed it in seconds (it’s under the language setting for those wanting to know).
When I first received the Suunto Peak Pro 9 I didn’t get chance to go out and test it immediately due to being poorly, so 2 weeks went by before I used it for trailrunning, I was pleased to see at this point I still had around 60% battery life from the original charge and after the first few short runs I did, I still found that no recharge was necessary.
The watch came with all your basic functions you now see in sports watches.
- step count and calories on which you can set yourself daily targets
- sleep tracking
- heart rate tracking
- do not disturb function which is great if you’re sleeping with the watch on as you can switch off your notifications between certain times.
- power saving mode, great if you’re out on the trails with depleted battery life and need to get home
The Suunto Peak Pro 9 also comes with 3 different battery settings; performance, endurance and tour. Offering the option to extend the battery life depending on the distance you are running. Performance obviously offers the most accurate when it comes to stats and is the best performance for your GPS, even in this mode your watch will last 40 hours so it’s great for those taking on Ultra Marathons. Endurance mode is 70 hours offering a good covering of GPS accuracy with tour mode lasting a whooping 400 hours! However this mode is very low on GPS accuracy.
I used the Suunto Peak Pro 9 in performance mode throughout testing and didn’t have any issues with battery life, even over a back-to-back run weekend using GPS.
All Suunto watches link to the Suunto app where you can plot routes and track your progress, personally I use the app often to plan my routes with accuracy, you can plot routes with turn-by-turn navigation to make sure you don’t miss key turns. Your watch will beep at you and let you know where you’ve gone wrong if you go off route. If I could improve one thing on the watch face when navigating it would be to have an actual map shown, its currently a line that you follow and when you get to a fork in the trail it’s not always clear which route to take. At this point I often get my phone out and check on the app just to be sure I’m going the correct way.
Through the Suunto app you can also access the Suunto plus store which offers a huge selection of extras to use on your watch. From exercise workouts to fitness tests, run drills to race plans. There’s loads to choose from. You can also select a drink alert setting, choosing from 10 min, 15 min or 20 min options. I’m terrible for not drinking enough on long runs and I found this function useful.
Another function I really liked on this watch was that you could control your media from it. It’s such a faff when a song comes on that really isn’t doing it for you and you have to get your phone out to skip to the next track. With the Suunto Peak pro 9 you can control song selections from your wrist.
All in all, I really liked the Suunto Peak Pro 9 and was quite sad when I had to give it back. Priced at £419 I think you really get value for money, it’s a great sport’s watch, fantastic for ultrarunning and trail running, and it’s light enough and small enough to use in day-to-day life.
Check out the Suunto Peak Pro 9 watch on the Suunto Website
Test and Review by Laura Yates for Ultrarunner Magazine.
You can also see all the Technical Specs HERE