Throughout history and across disciplines, from the three Pyramids of Giza to the trilogy as bid for literary greatness, the No. 3 has represented the pinnacle of achievement, the triple crème de la crème – and the new Ambit3 is no exception. With the Bluetooth-enabled Ambit3, Suunto proves the axiom that indeed, “3” is the magic number.
On Performance and Design….
Suunto’s first Bluetooth enabled product family consists of the Ambit3 Peak ($500), the Ambit3 Sport ($400) and the women-specific Ambit3 Sport Sapphire ($500). This triad of offerings is smarter, brighter, and with the ability to create a “Suunto Movie”, the new line of Ambit offerings is even more fun. All told, these GPS enabled multi-sport watches do everything, except blend up your post training smoothie.
If you’ve been paying attention, then you already caught the little fact that the Ambit3 is now Bluetooth-enabled. The shift from ANT+ to Bluetooth connectivity is not only the biggest update, but a massive move that opens up the Ambit to becoming an integral companion to our infinitely connected lives. This new connectivity terminates that ball and chain feeling some users felt with the Movescount website, wherein previously, you could only adjust the watch and make changes while plugged into your computer.
Now all that has changed. Courtesy of the new Suunto Movescount App, the Ambit3 family easily integrates with your iPhone or iPad (Android compatibility available April 2015), allowing users to adjust the watch, analyze key metrics and even get in some #instabragging on the go. It also means that you can keep up to date by seeing call, text message and push notifications directly on the display of your Ambit3. Translation: You’ll never have to stop mid-run again just to see who’s calling.
For those who always thought their athletic nature made them the perfect stunt double for Chris Evans or Scarlett Johansson, the Ambit3 has something extra for you. The Ambit3 might not be your golden ticket to Hollywood, but it does provide the ability to produce your own “Suunto Movie”.
With one tap you can turn your move into a “Suunto Movie” – an animation of your journey visualized with a 3D map where highlights and photos of the adventure are embedded along the track. To get a better idea of how it all works, you can see an example Suunto Movie of Kilian Jornet’s recent record ascent of Denali below:
Suunto Smart Sensor
Available with the Ambit3 Peak and Ambit3 Sport HR models, and as a stand alone item, is the Suunto Smart Sensor. The Suunto Smart Sensor comes with a redesigned heart rate belt, and can also be used on its own when attached to Movesense compatible sports apparel. As the smallest Bluetooth Smart compatible heart rate sensor on the market, the new sensor offers a better fit and greater comfort, particularly for those long training days in the pool.
And it’s on those days when you’re out chasing the black line that the Suunto Smart Sensor truly impresses. During your workout, go ahead and keep your focus on the pace clock and the finer details of your stroke work. All the while, the Smart Sensor stores your heart rate data and then transfers it to your Ambit3 or the Movescount App once you’re out of the water.
New Activity Tracker
Want more? You got it. The with the new Ambit3, Suunto has also included activity tracking. Unlike some of the wearable devices designed only to monitor daily movements, the Suunto Activity Tracker does not trace the exact number of steps you take over the course of the day. Nor does it track the number of hours you sleep, or nudge you when you’ve been inactive.
Rather it takes a broader view of your activities as a whole. The built in accelerometer tracks your daily movement. Then the Ambit 3 combines this data with regular activities to provide daily and weekly summaries on both the watch itself and via Movescount, Suunto’s online and phone App. Consider it one more tool to help keep you focused and driving forward towards your goals.
Little Things Make Big Things Happen
But it’s not just the Bluetooth capability and other new functionalities that makes this the best Ambit yet. Thanks to a slightly softer band that feels more lifestyle and less ‘all things endurance sport’ – the new Ambit3 Sport we tested is easily the most comfortable Ambit to date. Suunto also switched to a slightly wider font on the display, making it easier to take in all the information whether you’re pushing the pace on the tarmac or streamlining out of a flip turn.
Notes from the Field…
Today’s athlete stands in the midst of a wearable technology revolution. The rush to turn cool new features into athletic accessories has resulted in new wearables being announced on an almost daily basis. Suunto’s new Ambit3 represents a beautiful blend of tough functionality and ‘smart technology’. But make no mistake about it, the Ambit remains a tool designed for those who push the limits and live beyond their comfort zone.
Perhaps the biggest question is this: Do I need to upgrade to the Ambit3? The cynical among us might argue that with much of the Ambit platform remaining the same, this latest update is little more than Suunto’s attempt to stretch a double into a triple. For those using their current Ambit as their daily swim, run or mountaineering buddy, dropping $400-$500 to upgrade to the latest version isn’t a necessity.
That being said, if sports has taught us anything, it’s this: Like triple axles, 3-pointers and hat tricks, good things that come in threes. For those looking to jump into the Suunto game, or for the athlete who desires the convenience of Bluetooth connectivity, then the answer to the question is a definitive ‘yes’. In our opinion, the Ambit3 is the best GPS option on the market which means the only decision left is which Ambit3 model to choose.
As the new flagship of the Suunto Ambit family, the Ambit3 Peak is designed with serious adventurers and athletes in mind. With up to 50 hours of battery life while in GPS mode, the Ambit3 Peak is loaded with Suunto’s hallmark outdoor functions such as route navigation, barometric information, altimeter and 3D compass. A reinforced casing and a stainless steel bezel ensure that the Peak is ready and willing to endure any adventure you’ve got in mind.
The Ambit3 Sport version has many of the features of the Ambit 3 Peak, including multisport mode, and accelerometer but it excludes the Altimeter/Barometer. When it GPS mode at a 60 second fixed rate, the battery life will last half as long as the Ambit3 Peak. Rounding out the triumvirate is the women-specific Ambit3 Sport Sapphire. Crafted with feedback from 100’s of women throughout the design process, this new addition blends modern comfort with the same functionality of all the other watches Suunto brings to the market.
There’s something about three that works across all mediums, all formats, all sizes. Three is beauty, three is symmetry, three is design. With a beautiful blend of tough functionality, smart technology and exceptional performance, there’s no doubt that for Suunto, ‘Ambit3’ is the magic number.
*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.