Watch and Learn

SUUNTO AMBIT2 R

$299 ($249 without HRM), suunto.com

What’s different?

This is identical to the Ambit2 in shell construction and contains most of the same features. Suunto has removed the triathlon and multisport functions, and some of the more complicated navigation tools. Everything else remains the same.

Standard Features

Set-up

It’s small, light and simple to set up. Creating an account on the supporting website, movescount. com, and syncing the watch to it took only a few minutes.

GPS lock

Astoundingly good; it locked on in less than 10 seconds each time.

Functionality

Press three buttons and your GPS is locked on. It’s easy to use on the run and there are 25 data- field options, which you can configure to your liking.

Battery life

It’s 50 hours as an everyday watch, with three options for battery life in GPS mode:

8 hours updates every second

12 hours updates every five seconds

25 hours updates every 60 seconds

Supporting software

Navigating the movescount website is easy. It downloads satellite positions for the following week to your watch, for quicker lock-on. It also stores training data and has a raft of clever analytics tools.

SNAZZY FEATURES

FuseSpeed

This deals with any temporary loss of GPS signal. The watch learns your pace by fusing your cadence with your speed. So when GPS cuts out in a tunnel, the watch uses your cadence to estimate your speed until you re-emerge.

Navigation

No other watch offers this function at this price. You can navigate to a set point of interest—your home address, for example—or you can download and follow a training route.

Apps

The movescount website has a huge number of apps. Options include predicting marathon time based on current speed and racing a virtual competitor. You can also design your own app—there is now one on the site that tells you how many beers you have ‘earned’ by training.

Recovery time

A clever estimate of how long your body needs to recuperate. It’s based on the duration and intensity of your session.

The Verdict

Two small irritations aside—the somewhat iffy calorie counter and the fact that the device does not support Bluetooth—this is a first-class watch. It has brilliant technology for the price and Suunto has stripped out anything that isn’t inherently useful to runners. Build quality is excellent and it’s reliable, durable and easy to use. A firm thumbs up.

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