Two Months With the Suunto 9 Peak

I got my hands on the new Suunto 9 Peak, the brand’s thinnest fully featured sports watch to date, a few months ago. I was curious because I have small wrists and frequently struggle to obtain big, cumbersome wearables to fit properly. Could such a small watch possibly equal the capacity of the heftier models? In a nutshell, the answer is almost. The lengthier answer is that it lacks a few features but makes up for them in other ways, and it has firmly become my go-to watch.The most significant compromise is battery life. The Suunto 9 Peak is said to last seven days in typical daily heart-rate tracking mode and 25 hours in “performance” GPS mode, according to Suunto (three other battery modes allow you to select less-frequent GPS pings in exchange for longer battery life). However, I discovered that one Saturday in daily monitoring mode, along with a two-hour long run, was sufficient to reduce the battery from 100% to 30%. I got two of those days back-to-back before needing a recharge when I moved to a more battery-conscious mode.

Regardless, I simply became accustomed to leaving it plugged in overnight. I’ve forgotten a few times and woke up with a battery that was about 15% charged. My annoyance was short-lived, however, because the provided magnetic charging plate charges at a frighteningly quick rate. In the period of just ten minutes, my 9 Peak went from five percent to 25 percent—enough for a 40-minute workout. You could get away with simply plugging it in while getting ready for bed and getting most of the way to a full charge if you wanted to keep it on all night for the sleep-tracking measures.

Would I choose this watch for situations where I’d need it to run for more than 30 hours without recharging? Most likely not. Would I choose for it in an ultra-distance event with well-spaced aid stations and a crew carrying a battery pack? Yes, absolutely. To put it another way, I’d use it for almost anything other than a long, unsupported journey.

In every other regard, the 9 Peak is identical to other Suunto timepieces you’ve already seen. It has a blood-oxygen sensor, wrist-based heart rate tracking, selectable sport modes, a barometric altimeter, route mapping (via the app, available for iOS and Android), and a sweat-resistant touch-screen interface. All of this in a comfortable, slick-looking design that’s thin, light, and sleek enough to wear all day. Most crucially, I can adjust the tightness of the fit on my small wrists without cutting off circulation.

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