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Suunto 7 GPS sports watch (copper/graphite) review

  • Fitness
Suunto 7 GPS sports watch (copper/graphite) review

Does it have GPS fetaure? It includes built-in GPS with the ability to view colour maps and download them for offline use. There are also heatmaps supported for a variety of activities to help find popular routes in new areas. The 50mm sized smartwatch packs an impressive 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 resolution AMOLED and the key hardware features to make it a good outdoor companion. Know about more features in Suunto 7 GPS sports watch (copper/graphite) review.

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Where the Suunto 7 truly shines is with its sport and activity tracking. Beyond basics like running, biking, or swimming, the 7 also offers tracking compatibility for mountain biking, roller skating, weight training, snowboarding, boxing, and bowling, among so many others.

In the box

Inside is the watch wrapped around a cylinder of cardboard. Below it sat a paper reminding you of Suunto’s heritage around adventure. Inside said cardboard toilet paper roll is the charger, playing hide and seek. The charger is different than any other past Suunto product. It includes a magnet in it to keep the charger securely attached to the watch when charging.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Plenty of fitness metrics
  • Offline mapping
  • Accurate tracking
  • Google Pay
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Great display
  • Two-day battery life
  • Smooth performance and software
  • Hard-wearing, water resistant case

Cons

  • Battery life short (for a running watch)
  • No route guidance
  • Exercise and lifestyle tracking use different systems
  • Maps a bit disconnected
  • Laggy touchscreen

Specs – Suunto 7 GPS sports watch (copper/graphite)

  • 1.39-inch AMOLED display
    • 454 x 454 pixels, 1,000 nits
  • 24mm quick release straps
  • 70g
  • 50mm case
  • 5ATM water and dust resistance
  • Glass fibre reinforced polyamide casing
    • Stainless steel bezel
  • 4.5GB of user-accessible storage
  • NFC
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi only (no LTE)

Price

The Suunto 7 is available to buy now for $279.30 / £295 / AUS$449 for the model featuring a stainless steel bezel. If you want to buy the Suunto 7 Titanium, that pushes the price up to $499 / £429 / AUS499.99.

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Suunto 7 GPS sports watch (copper/graphite) review

Build

You’ve got your pick of eight different looks, and Suunto offers the glass fiber reinforced polyamide case with either a stainless steel or a lighter (and more expensive) titanium bezel.

You can also grab it with a silicone strap or the newer microfiber textile strap for a softer feeling band that can still hold up when things get sweaty. Those straps can be removed if you want to mix those looks up.

Design

We measured the size to be 50mm (body) and a 16.5mm thickness. The manufacturer claims a 50mm body and 15.3mm thickness. For its chunky size, it isn’t too heavy, with our scales showing 2.3 oz (claimed weight is 2.57 oz).

There are four buttons around the watch case. The top-left is the home/all apps button, the top-right is the non-programmable Suunto app button, and the other two are both programmable. Wear OS really benefits from a rotatable crown, but unfortunately there isn’t one on the Suunto 7.

Screen

The screen is also quite large, with large fonts that are easy to see while exercising in both high and low light. The screen size is 35mm (measured), and those that like touch screens will appreciate its functionality. 

Display

Front and center is a 1.39in, 454 x 454 resolution AMOLED touchscreen display, which has Gorilla glass to make it more durable for outdoor adventuring. It’s a pleasingly sharp, colourful display that’s bright too with a sunlight boost feature that aims to give that AMOLED screen a brightness kick where it can sometimes struggle for visibility in bright outdoor light. 

Processor & Wear OS

There’s also Wear OS here too with Google providing staple features like notifications, Google Pay, the ability to download apps and music controls. The software on the whole is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 processor alongside 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage. While that delivers an overall slick performance, it could mean that the 7 may not be in the running to get updated to the new Google Wear OS update being built by Google and Samsung.

GPS tracking

On the sensor front, you’re getting built-in GPS, and support for GLONASS, QZSS and Beidou satellite systems. You’re getting an altimeter to track altitude and there’s an optical heart rate monitor to track heart rate during exercise and during the day. That HR sensor data also feeds into training features like training load and recovery and training effect to better optimise when to train and when to save those tougher sessions.

Heatmap

Heatmaps are available during exercises, but Suunto also included an awesome Heatmaps watch face for the Suunto 7 that auto-updates based on your location. It’s literally one of my favorite watch faces I’ve ever used. You can zoom out or in on your current location and set it to any one of the 15 Heatmaps you like.

Heart rate

The heart rate accuracy, however, is good. The watch has a larger fit, but the band is flexible, making the fit a little better. We noticed it did an excellent job at keeping contact and attaining a heart rate reading during runs. During our resting heart rate tests, the variation in beats per minute (bpm) was between 1 to 7, which is quite good.

Sleep tracking

Once you enable sleep monitoring from the Suunto app on the watch you can start tracking that bed time. That sleep data also powers a body resources insight that looks at activity, stress tracked and recovery to see what resources you have at the beginning of each day.

Sports mode

There are 70 sports modes in total, with activities like boxing, obstacle racing, dancing and kettlebell workouts covered too. You won’t be able to track jabs or kettlebell swings, but you will be able to track heart rate and workout duration. Some options include walking, running, cycling, swimming, boxing, and horseback riding. It connects to Google Fit, Strava, and Endomondo, plus has its own GPS and mapping system. The maps show popular and not-so-popular walking, running, and hiking routes.

Supported apps in Suunto 7 GPS sports watch (copper/graphite)

While you do have access to third party apps and Google’s own Fit apps to track exercise, Suunto includes its own software to cover this, which you can access from the top right physical button.

For runs, you can choose to connect to Google Fit and more interestingly, follow routes. Those routes are created on the Suunto app and then synced with the watch, which you can follow as a breadcrumb trail in real time. You also have control over how those maps are displayed, whether you’re tackling trails or want to tap into the heatmaps, which will show you popular routes.

Fitness feature

In the Suunto companion app, there’s a rich amount of data to delve into. You can explore your fitness and fatigue levels, calorie burns. Suunto now also lets you track things like step counts and sleep monitoring instead of relying on Google Fit. Step counts in general were in line with Garmin’s fitness tracking.

Battery life

Features like Google Pay and notifications work without any major issue and the combination of Google and Suunto’s software is by and large complimentary. Performance-wise, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 processor alongside 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage. So it’s not the latest 4100+ platform, but generally swiping through screens and launching apps was a slick enough experience.

Suunto 7 GPS sports watch (copper/graphite) Performance review

Features like Google Pay and notifications work without any major issue and the combination of Google and Suunto’s software is by and large complimentary. Performance-wise, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 processor alongside 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage. So it’s not the latest 4100+ platform, but generally swiping through screens and launching apps was a slick enough experience.

The dedicated Garmin app is quite easy to use, with activities synching automatically. A notable fact is an app can only have one watch device on it at once. So if you have multiple devices (like we did for testing), you have to disconnect and reconnect the watch you want to use. Overall, we like the touch screen capabilities that worked even in cold weather, but the overall design isn’t very intuitive.

I came away impressed with the Suunto 7 heart rate sensor. All three of the devices were quick to pick up on trends throughout my treadmill run. In fact, I think the Suunto 7 performed better than the Forerunner 245 during the first six minutes or so. It was able to pick up on the slight dip at around the five-minute mark, while the Forerunner didn’t.

All three devices picked up on the drop down to ~140bpm at 23 minutes, and all three rose up again a few minutes later. I was a bit concerned about the HR sensor accuracy when I learned that Suunto was going with a different supplier for the Suunto 7, but those concerns have been laid to rest.

Overall performance is excellent. The tight relationship Suunto has with Qualcomm has paid dividends, as the smartwatch’s software is smooth and fluid, even when using apps like Spotify. The OLED screen is colorful, but no different from any other recent smartwatch I’ve used. Using the Suunto 7 every day is a comfortable, effortless, frustration-free experience, and that can be a rarity for WearOS watches.

Alternate of Suunto 7 GPS sports watch (copper/graphite)

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

Quick Take: Detailed maps and exceptional battery life

Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi | Battery Life: Up to 120 hours

Pros
  • Highly detailed maps
  • Up to 100 hours of run tracking
Cons
  • Maps interface a little clunky

Why We Like It: The Fenix has always been a rugged, indestructible timepiece for the backcountry that we’ve used for trail running and, well, everyday running as well. The biggest reason is because of the watch’s never-ending battery—it’ll last 15 hours with GPS and music, or you can adjust settings to stretch it to 120 hours of run tracking. We find that we have to charge it only about once a week with regular use. It also has one of the biggest screens you’ll find on a GPS running watch, one that’s capable of showing you up to seven different metrics on a single display.

A cool new feature of the 6 is PacePro, which replaces your old printed pace bands for race day. As a digital tool, the watch factors hills into each split, so you can better manage your energy on a rolling course—and you can customize the strategy; we like shooting for a negative split and running the uphill sections a little harder. But the feature that we use the most is the watch’s navigation. It includes a map complete with street names. Zooming and panning is doable, if clunky, but it helps keep me from getting lost when navigating unfamiliar cities. I also use it to plot out courses in advance, and the watch gives me turn-by-turn directions on the run so I get where I’m going without any unnecessary detours.

Editor’s recommendations

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