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Review: Suunto Ambit2 and Ambit2 Sapphire

posted by gumptiongear August 4, 2014 0 comments

Review: Suunto Ambit2 and 2S

“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” – Salvador Dali

The Suunto Ambit2 and Ambit2 S represent the next technological leap in the SUUNTO family.  Built on the success of the award-winning Suunto Ambit, the Ambit2 comes with a veritable cornucopia of outdoor features and functions coupled with a level of technological smarts necessary to support your adventurous ambitions.

On Performance and Design…
The original Ambit (read our full review here) featured an array of  tech savvy and easy-to-operate features and and seamlessly merged them all into an intuitively designed tool ready to track, monitor and report every one of your high octane adventures.  With the introduction of the Ambit2 and Ambit2 S, Suunto unleashed the next technological leap forward in the Suunto family.

Review: Suunto Ambit2 and 2S

The Ambit2 comes in three variations, Black or Silver and the Sapphire edition (featured as part of this review). The Sapphire offers an identical feature set to the Ambit2 but comes with a brushed steel bezel and sapphire crystal glass ready to endure even the most extreme activities.

From trail runs through the heart of California’s Central Valley basin, to the summit of Mt. Whitney and an array of training sessions on land and sea in between, we found the Ambit2 S  to be the perfect choice for explorers, endurance athletes, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.

Ready for adventure, wherever nature takes you.

Like the original Ambit, the Ambit2 retains a barometric pressure reading and graph as well as temperature readings. It also maintains a 3D compass that ensures you can find your way home and navigate any potential whiteout conditions – it’s a feature that Christopher Columbus would have given his left arm for, and one that any outdoor enthusiast will find themselves using repeatedly.

Review: Suunto Ambit2 and 2S

Just as with the original Ambit, Suunto offers the ability to update the firmware that runs this techy marvel by connecting your watch to the website via the USB cable.  Why is this important? Because it eliminates the days when innovation and time force your GPS watch to the trash heap of obsolete and outdated technology.  Thanks to Suunto, you’re always up to date with the latest tweaks, updates and improvements.

Review: Suunto Ambit2 and 2S

But lest anyone think the Suunto engineers were resting on their laurels and simply offering users a slightly tweaked and repackaged version of the original Ambit GPS watch, the Ambit2 has plenty of new tricks up it’s proverbial sleeve.

FuseAlti and Multi-Sport Versatility…
Longer battery life and more data storage are two of the improvements that come along with the new Ambit2 and 2S. And the latest software 1.5 update provides even more goodies that help provide even greater information on your surroundings and adventures. True, there are the naysayers who will deem the storm watch tracker and sunrise/sunset app as trivial features, but from our experience in the field, they proved to be not only helpful, but virtually indispensable.

Review: Suunto Ambit2 and 2S

But the biggest departure from the prior iteration of the Ambit comes in the form of Multi-Sport versatility and the new FuseAlti feature. It’s these features which truly make the new Ambit a multi-sport athletes dream tool.

Nearing the summit of Mt. Shasta

The previous Ambit used only barometric data to determine altitude whereas the Ambit2 and Ambit2 Sapphire utilize a combination of GPS data and barometric data to determine altitude. This measurement results in a more accurate altitude reading, and is one tool that will satiate even the most voracious vertical monsters out there.  The Ambit2 S uses only GPS for altitude readings.

Review: Suunto Ambit2 and 2S

To our triathlete, swimming and adventure racing friends, be prepared to fall in love.  The Ambit2 not only features both indoor and open-water swimming functionality, but a multisport mode that lets  you effortlessly switch between different sports within the same workout.

By pressing the “Back Lap” button for a three seconds the Ambit2 seamlessly transitions from one sport to the next without stopping the cumulative tracking. This provides data for each leg of the race, adventure or triathlon as well as overall data totals. The original Ambit GPS watch was able to track both cycling and running, but couldn’t transition from one to the other while still tracking both sports totals.

The App Revolution Continues…
A decade ago, most people would have considered ‘Apps’ some type of advanced high school course. Today, apps are an integral part of our daily lives that seemingly upgrade every experience from the mundane to the complex. Thanks to SUUNTO, the same is true for the Ambit2 and Ambit2 S.

In addition to upgrading the Ambit, the smart kids at Suunto have also upgraded the Suunto App Zone, and Movescount website. Both services are places where users can find and create free Apps for the Ambit series that range from apps that allow you train in your optimal fat-burning zone, to apps that tally up the number of slopes you’ve shredded by day’s end. has also been updated with new tools for in-depth analysis, enhanced navigation and improved opportunities for sharing.

Bottom Line…
Once again, the Suunto engineers deserve credit for  crafting a product and platform that is  not only highly sophisticated, but intuitive and simple to understand.  In terms of technology, Suunto continues to offer one of the best user interfaces that we’ve encountered.  The Ambit2 and Ambit2 Sapphire are as easy to operate in the field as it is at home on the computer and engages with your every stride, stroke or pedal providing accurate pace, route navigation and tracking while the heart rate monitor helps you train within your ideal zone.

Sure, you can spend your hard earned dollars and purchase a GPS unit that  focuses on your activity of choice. Or you can step things up a notch and go with the one GPS unit designed to conquer them all.

*Gumption Gear Review received the item featured in this review from Suunto at no cost and receives no monetary compensation for this or any related review. The item featured was provided solely in return for our honest views and opinions.

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