Although the niche market for smart watches has existed for several years, there have not been many breakthrough innovations in this area. Most products are simple copy and paste products, only incremental improvements can be seen. This is why whenever Suunto releases a new product, it is like a breath of fresh air, because this Finnish watchmaker tends to follow its own rules.
After using Suunto Traverse Alpha and Suunto 7, what will the new Suunto 9 Peak bring to distinguish it from other smartwatch crowds? Let's dive into it and find out.
Suunto's main market segment is the outdoor and active people, who have always made their watches sturdy-so far this has always meant having more bulky figures. But Suunto 9 Peak is the first watch made by the Finnish team, and it can be kept compact enough to be used as a formal watch.
The dimensions of 9 Peak are 43 x 43 x 10.6 mm (1.69 x 1.69 x 0.42 inches), which is about the same size as the Apple Watch 7 series. The weight of 52 grams (1.83 ounces) can hardly be felt on the wrist, and it will not get in the way even during strenuous activities.
The aesthetics of Suunto 9 Peak is what distinguishes it from other Suunto watches before it. The bezel is a perfect cylinder, made of anodized stainless steel, surrounded by sapphire crystal lenses. Not only did the two look good, but they didn't have as many micro-scratches in 30 days of daily use.
On the right side of 9 Peak are three pill-shaped metal buttons as an alternative touch screen for alternative control methods. It comes in handy, especially when a person is wearing gloves, whether for the cold or for sports.
Suunto 9 Peak uses a transflective display, which makes it better than most smartwatches in terms of legibility in the sun. This is arguably the best feature of this sports watch for me, because most people do not exercise in the dark, but in the light! Even in an environment with weak light sources, I found that I can read the time on this watch through reflected light without the need for backlight.
The excellent readability of the transflective display under the light source also means that fewer backlights need to be used, consume the least amount of power, and contribute to the long battery life of 9 Peak.
Knowing that the battery life of Suunto watches is usually very long, I did not test 9 Peak in the power saving mode, but in the maximum performance mode with full notifications, heart rate monitoring and blood oxygen monitoring, and responsive backlighting. In this mode, I can still comfortably get a full 2 weeks of battery life.
The charging of Suunto 9 Peak is done through the charging disc, and the charging speed is very fast. From the depleted watch, it is fully charged in 40 minutes, and I am happy to use it for another 2 weeks.
Suunto 9 Peak makes its strap become the main aesthetic feature by matching its color with the glass fiber reinforced polyamide case back. The version we tested was a mossy gray variant, which almost looked light blue-but with a more earthy tone. The light blue tone is matched with white silicone lining holes to create a sporty and youthful appearance.
One of my favorite strap designs is the push pin, which replaces the strap loop because it can more safely hold the extra-length strap in place even when I move a lot.
The shoulder strap also has a quick release lever for quick replacement of the shoulder strap. Once I changed it to some black black silicone straps, 9 Peak looked like it was at home in a suit and tie.
The latest Suunto sports watch manages to incorporate the company's DNA features (such as long battery life and durability) into a new compact design. Its readability in the sun makes it one of the most useful watches for exercising in bright environments, and I hope all devices with digital displays have this feature. The new minimalist design also makes 9 Peak the most exquisite watch in Suunto so far.
Suunto 9 Peak is durable, versatile and has a long battery life. It is a great choice for travel watches, and we awarded it the IBTimes recommendation badge.
David is a technology enthusiast/writer. He travels frequently and has the mission of exploring how to make his maintenance flight more enjoyable. This is a contribution to the ongoing IBTimes business traveler gadget review series.