The announcement of the Suunto 7 came as a huge surprise. Not so much the watch per se but the adopting of WearOS by Google to maintain their relevance in this fickle consumer market. I was initially skeptical but after doing some research online, I’m of the belief that this may just work in Suunto’s favor. The single concern I have is the price tag. The Finland designed watch will set you back $479.
This is a quick summary of the Suunto 7’s key features:
- WearOS by Google
- Powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 3100 Platform
- 70+ native sports modes
- Free offline outdoor maps and built in heat maps
- AMOLED touch display up to 1000 nits.
- Wrist HR
- Barometric altimeter
- Google Pay
- On board storage for music
- Google Play app store compatibility
- Adventure proof, operating temperature from -20 °C to 50 °C
- GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, BEIDOU / GALILEO
Most people would think of the Suunto 7 as an overpriced smart watch powered by WearOS and they aren’t wrong, but it isn’t so simple. In the last few years, a multitude of WearOS watches have come and gone. What sets the Suunto 7 apart from the rest is the inclusion of Suunto’s expertise in fitness recording and making rugged wearables. The company further had the sensibility of plugging their weaknesses with WearOS’s capabilities. By adopting WearOS, Suunto was able to bring about contact-less payment, maps, and music on the wrist; features which took Garmin a few years to fine tune. There is also integration with Google Fit while workouts are recorded within the Suunto app. Workout interface appears to be natively Suunto’s based on press videos.
The Suunto 7 is targeted at the regular individual, such as working professional or busy parent, who has to carve time from a packed day to fit a work out. These people will likely appreciate the convenience that WearOS brings, such as contactless payment, constant connection, and music, but relish the deeper workout interface offered by Suunto.
Battery life is definitely a concern and Suunto has gone to the extent of putting out a webpage to elaborate on the Suunto 7’s battery life. Still, I have my reservations about a 2 days battery life. Beauty comes at a price and that AMOLED screen has to be powered somehow. It remains to be seen how the battery would fare in practical use when the incessant notifications vibration comes, along with playing music from the watch, and thereafter going for a GPS enabled workout with wrist HR. It is a tall order. Suunto claims the watch can last “18 hours of versatile device use and up to 4 hours of outdoor workout.”
I think the Suunto 7 is gorgeously constructed with a to-die-for display. However, Suunto 7’s price tag is certainly difficult to stomach.
Pre-orders have begun at Suunto and the watch is expected to be available from 31st January 2020 onwards.