After many weeks of research, discussion with other runners on various Facebook Groups, and much contemplation I eventually chose my new running watch: the Suunto Ambit2.
This watch replaces my Garmin Forerunner 305, and I mainly purchased it for the advanced navigation settings and the extended battery life. I'll be writing a full review soon, but in the meantime here are my initial thoughts having only had the product for a week:
- This is a premium product, both in design, build and functionality (it's a top of the range running watch)
- Can be used as an everyday watch (battery will last approx. 1 month if no GPS is used)
- The watch initially seems complex, especially the use of inbuilt apps (still not got my head fully round it at the moment)
- All watch configuration is done online at movescount.com and not on the watch itself (complete opposite of Garmin)
- However this means greater customisation than Garmin
- Picks up the GPS signal very quickly - within 2 seconds (no joking)
- Only picks up GPS signal when selecting an activity (hence the long battery life)
- Can measure my stride (Cadence) without the need for a footpod (yeah!)
- Provides more statistics than I know what to do with!
- Although it's large (as pointed out by Stouty on more than one occasion) it's relatively light
- Navigation function is a breeze to set up and operate, although a little disappointed the map zoom is only to 200m. My old Garmin was 25m, so less chance of making a mistake. Will only become a potential issue on complex routes with many tracks close together. However I've tested on a cross-country run and it worked fine and got me where I needed to be
- Doesn't have all the super-dooper running functions you'd get on a Garmin (e.g., virtual pacer, training plans, interval options etc.). Some of these are possible through the use of apps (either ones already created or ones you develop yourself), but my gut feeling is the Ambit2 is a watch for a runner who knows how to run, and is therefore more about providing key data (during runs) and statistics (post runs) as opposed to tell you how you should be running
- Movescount is much better than Garmin's equivalent Garmin Connect - better reporting back of statistics
- Scratch-resistant and waterproof to 50m
- I've ran 6 times using the watch (both standalone running and following a route) and it's taken that many runs for me to get the screen data I am comfortable with. There are so many options with so much data reporting back; it's a case of filtering what's needed on a run and what isn't.
- Supports a whole host of sports, each feeding back specific data. Thus far I've only used the running option, but on Sunday I will test it in the water. Key sports (but there are more) include: Alpine Skiing, Cycling, Indoor Training, Mountaineering, Open Water Swim, Pool Swimming, Run a Route, Running, Transition, Trekking, and Triathlon
I'm looking forward to putting the watch through its paces and will report back on my findings shortly...