We love tech here at Unsponsored HQ and when we can combine that love with the great outdoors it gives us a warm glow inside. So getting hold of the new (at the time) Suunto Ambit Peak 3 was quite a day.
MY GPS of choice up until very recently was a Garmin Foretrex 401 (as favoured by many members of the armed forces). It did its job well but I didn’t use a great deal of its features apart from getting a GPS location fix when things got a bit sticky. Although it did what I needed it to do technology has moved on and it’s always great to have an excuse to upgrade some tech. The Ambit Peak 3 came recommend from a friend of mine who had used pretty much everything else that was on the market at the time. I have owned the Sunnto Ambit Peak 3 since December 2015 and have used it weekly since that time.
If you have a current GPS or sports watch you have some ANT+ enabled sensors such as a heart rate monitor you cannot use them with the Ambit 3. Unfortunately for you the Ambit 3 Peak is not Ant+ enabled. Instead it uses bluetooth for its connectivity so Bluetooth sensors are required. I purchased the Ambit 3 Peak with the Suunto Smart sensor and HRM strap. As I don’t own a pile of sensors this didn’t impact on my choice at all.
What I really like is the ability to run the screen dark with lighter text. I find this much easier to use for some reason.
One of the things that drew me to the Ambit 3 is the ability to customise displays. The interface is super simple to use and the screens are fully customisable via the Movescount website. I can therefore have only the elements I want displayed on the screen whilst exercising. Whether it’s the time, altimeter, stopwatch, compass or a multitude of other displays you can have it where you want it. You can also have different screen displays for different sports. Essentially I don’t need to scroll through lots of data screens to get the bits I want.
The strap is comfortable and has plenty of adjustment. It is hiding up well and has not been damaged by sun cream or UV. It is as good as new. I love the two strap retention loops. They work really well.
There is also an app that works well (eventually) with iOS it took a few goes and updates to take place before it was fully operational. The Android version seems to have issues that are well documented on the forums.
After completing ten “moves” which is essentially an activity using the watch the smart sensor for the HRM started to play up. I lost all pulse transmitting capabilities despite the sensor being correctly paired with both the watch and my iPhone 6s (separately of course as it will only connect with one device at any one time). After learning about batteries and changing batteries, resetting the watch, iPhone and sensor there was still no pulse feed.
I contacted Suunto via email but received a general receipt stating that support issues could take upto 7 weeks to sort out. So I phoned them and was talking to a real person within minutes. I was taken through some diagnostics procedures and data was sent to Suunto to be checked. Within a few days I had an email from the same person I dealt with stating that the sensor was at fault and a new one would be sent. The new one arrived within a few weeks from Romania.
How has it been?
The watch is doing exactly want I wanted it to do. The GPS tracks produced are bang on and it’s great to be able to see the routes overlaid on to Google type satellite images and maps. I do spend some time on the Movescount website checking out summary data from my “Moves”.
I have customised the screen display to show just the things I need and have even put them in the order I want. This can be done online or via the app.
Battery life is pretty good. I tend to use the watch only during periods of exercise so it’s not a daily wearer. However using the watch for weekly mountain bikes of around 4 to 6 hours and being on as a normal watch the rest of time results in the Ambit 3 only needing to be charged on a weekly basis when I plug it in to sync data files. If I am using it just as a watch the battery lasts for weeks in between charges.
I have had the watch for well over a year now.
Since getting the new sensor back for the HR monitor I haven’t used it. Likewise I haven’t used the app. I still use Movescount.
The watch has had several software updates over this period of time that have on the whole enhanced its features and function. One of the ones I have really liked is the one that draws out your route on the watches screen.
I haven’t noticed any degradation in the lifespan of the battery but again I am using it in the same way as previous so it hasn’t been hammered by being warn everyday and charged many many times.
Would I buy it again?
Yes I would. It does what I want it to do without incorporating a load of stuff that I don’t need and wouldn’t use.
There have been some new watches released since I bought the Ambit 3 back in 2015 but as yet I haven’t been tempted to swap.