As a broad rule of thumb, smartwatches can casually do sports, and dedicated running watches offer light smartwatch functionality. But a hybrid of the two that entirely satisfies both hasn’t really materialised yet – especially if you’re an Android user and the Apple Watch is off limits.
Suunto is hoping to fix that with its latest smartwatch. The Finnish company has the sporting credentials, and it’s hoping to tick off the smartwatch staples by adopting Google’s Wear OS as the operating system of choice for its Suunto 7 wearable.
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This obviously means it’ll work with any Wear OS apps, but more importantly Suunto is very much a sports-first company. To that end, the Suunto 7 has over 70 sports modes with a dedicated Suunto app for training insights on the go.
And while there’s no mention of cellular data, the Suunto 7 offers offline outdoor colour maps making it far easier to head out for a run or cycle without your phone to guide you. Said maps also include heatmaps which show the more and less popular nearby routes for you to explore.
Obviously to track all of this, the Suunto 7 will have a built-in location tracking, and can connect to GPS, GLONASS and Galileo. The screen is a 1.39-inch OLED number, which looks pretty stylish, as smartwatches go, and it’s powered by the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor.
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It all looks pretty promising, but the biggest test will be battery life. Wear OS devices have historically not had stellar stamina which can be a deal breaker for runners, and while Suunto is promising up to 48 hours of regular use and 12 hours of GPS, we’ll have to put it through its paces ourselves to be sure.
Testing time shouldn’t be too far away: it’ll be launching on January 31, and will sell for $479 (around £365). If you’re sold even without a review, then pre-orders are open right now.