In 2022, when we reviewed the Suunto 9 Peak, we remarked on how it managed to strike the perfect balance between form and function. It was versatile enough to track any type of fitness activity but could also be worn as a modern, stylish everyday wristwatch because of its svelte and minimalistic design. Now, the successor the 9 Peak Pro brings some welcome fine-tuning and upgrades to make this one of the best fitness watches you can buy on the market so far in 2023.
For the unaccustomed, Suunto has been marking sports watches for nearly 80 years. They identify themselves as a brand that offers consumers accuracy, robustness, reliability, and design, and are proud of being Finnish to the core. Most of their products are put to real-world tests in Finland as a means of product control which we have come to appreciate. What started as an endeavor to make an outdoor watch with versatile navigation functions and multisport plus heart rate tracking has culminated in them becoming the perpetual underdog of the fitness world, and with their latest release the 9 Peak pro, they again prove themselves to not be underestimated.
To keep things short, we are going to discuss the changes Suunto has made to the Pro variant instead of rehashing our last review which you can check out here. The most notable improvement of this generation is a newly upgraded chipset, one of our complaints about the 9 Peak was that at times, navigating the interface seemed a little sluggish but not anymore. The new hardware translates into a faster, smoother interface. The digits are larger, the colors are clearer, and the contrast is stronger. This ensures excellent readability, faster access to functions, and convenient operation. New color coding and more use of white space make it easier to read during a workout, too. The entire UI has been updated to make it easier to use the watch’s various features, switch modes, and change settings.
The efficiency of the battery has also been improved. The Peak 9 Pro boasts an impressive 30 days in time mode and 21 days if mobile notifications and Bluetooth are enabled. That’s three times the battery life from the Peak 9 which had only seven days of battery life. The biggest upgrade we think is the GPS battery usage which now stands at 40 hours in full out-of-the-box mode, quite the upgrade from the Peak 9’s 25 hours. Suunto has long had multiple battery-saving options that are available when selecting the user’s desired sport mode and the Peak 9 Pro is no different. Although a custom mode can be created, the standard options are Performance, Endurance, and Tour. In addition to battery improvements, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro has also received a notable upgrade to its satellite tracking, with two additional navigation systems. It can now connect to four satellite networks (GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BEIDOU) and up to 32 individual satellites at once, significantly increasing the accuracy of location readings.
Also of note, is that the 9 Peak Pro is now equipped with 95 preloaded sport modes to choose from including two brand new additional modes – snorkeling and mermaid-ing (yes, it’s a thing!). With a watch on, you can also now go underwater to a depth of 10 meters without worries. Using the Suunto app (now available on iPads and Android tablets, too) users can continue to create routes, use heatmaps, avalanche guidance, and other features to create good routes, then share them after they’ve ridden them as 3D animations. For multisport athletes, Suunto now syncs efforts with Hammerhead cycling computers, too, making it easier to see all your workouts in one place.
We are also big fans of Suunto’s promise of manufacturing their products in a more environmentally friendly way. The energy required to make the Suunto 9 Peak Pro now comes from 100% renewable sources. When it comes to the carbon footprint, the watch creates only 7.5 kg of CO2e during its entire lifespan. This is as much as a fuel-powered car generates over 44 km.
To sum up, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro is all about refinement rather than innovation and we are completely in agreement with that. The 9 Peak Pro manages to fix all our gripes about the previous iteration and improve where it matters most – accuracy, battery life, and mode tracking. It remains in our books, one of the best fitness watches on the market for those who want to be able to wear a one-and-done device for both work and play.
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