Saturday, January 09, 2016

Outdoor Retailer W16: Introduction Sunnto Ambit 3 Vertical GPS Watch and Inital Review

Article by Sam Winebaum Editor Road Trail Run

Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical

Suunto, sister company to Salomon, introduced the Ambit 3 Vertical a multi-sport wrist "instrument" for the vertically minded runner, skier cyclist and triathlete. As the name says the unique focus is on vertical ascent, descent, vertical speed, and even incline grade and its accurate real time vertical data as Vertical includes a barometric altimeter. Horizontal focused swimmers are not forgotten with not only open water distance and pace but in water heart rate via the Smart Sensor. Every imaginable (I think) multi-sport training, recovery, and data capture feature is available and easily configurable to the display via multiple customizable Sport Modes. In a first, integrated display of run "power" is also optionally possible.
Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical 

I have been lucky enough to test the Vertical for the last month, pre introduction, as part of my assignment evaluating and writing about wearable tech for Competitor Magazine. The Vertical is a spectacular watch made even better when combined with the Movescount app and site.  In addition to running and nordic skiing, I have used it to clock my vertical during and alpine ski day, about 19,000 feet. Vertical is simple to operate via large buttons with no finicky touch screen and has an easy to learn on screen interface. Most everything can be configured via Movescount.

At the link here a comparison of the Ambit 3 Vertical, Peak, and Run models. In a nutshell the Vertical includes all the features of the Peak except the Peak's weather prediction features but it does measure temperature. I  have found this not very useful in winter unless the watch is over a very thick jacket as wrist temperatures are way higher than ambient in winter. My only other wish to date is that the screen be a bit easier to see in bright and dim light, but something has to give to get up to 100 hours of battery life (60 sec fix rate).

Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical 

The Ambit 3 Vertical adds to the Ambit 3 Peak:

  • the vertical features described above
  • vibration alerts
  • advance route planning via Suunto Movescount topo maps with uploaded route profile displayed on the watch as you go (see photo above)
  • running power and cadence displayed on the watch via the optional, new Stryd Powermeter. I have tested the Stryd with the Vertical and it is a very compelling new way to look at and consider real time effort.
  • both GPS and GLONAS navigation
  • multiple ascent summaries: last 7 days, 30 days, full year, all time displayed on the watch.
Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical 
A feature common to the all Ambit 3's is Recovery Time and Status, description here. I have found this feature extremely useful. Hammer every day and guess what, your time to Recovery cumulates...

Ambit3 Vertical: vertical view of one of my recent runs
A big part of the Suunto experience is the Movescount app and site. Workouts and experiences are called Moves. Photos taken along the way are welcome and there is all kinds of beautifully displayed data.  Here is a link to the Move illustrated below. All Moves easily shareable in various ways including Facebook, Strava, Twitter, Blogger, Word Press, and many others.  

Using the app, you can also create a YouTube Movie from your Move. Your Move will be automatically traced on a 3D topographic map wth pictures taken along with key data, all appearing in context. The Movie is professionally rendered and shareable, at the push of a button. The Suunto Movie below is of a trail run on beautiful  very soft, freshly groomed snow early one morning in Park City Utah's Round Valley. Missed the picture of a mountain lion I surprised, fortunately he was off in the distance...

Top Features (from Suunto)
  • Updated sleeker design
  • Vibration alerts
  • Real-time altitude profile directly on watch with current ascent gain and remaining ascent
  • Built-in barometric pressure tracks ascent with accuracy through FusedAlti
  • View a summary of vertical gain by day, week and even year
  • Plan ascents through Movescount App with topographic maps and altitude information
  • Relive and share activities/workouts through Suunto Movies and automatic data overlay images of key metrics 
  • Push notification of incoming calls and messages 
  • Activity based recovery time (more holistic view of recovery due to daily activities and not only logged exercises)
  • up to 100 hours of battery life (60 second GPS fix rate)
  • Completely customizable 

  • Real-time hill incline percentage*
  • Running power through integration of Stryd Powermeter 
  • Advanced recovery features with quick and sleep recovery test by Firstbeat
  • Speed, pace, cadence, distance
  • Movescount training programs 
  • POI - points of interest - log with one push of a button
  • Find back, track back
  • Altimeter, barometer, compass
  • Temperature 
  • V02 max values*
  • Autopause
  • Workout planner, interval timers
  • Ghost runner,* marathon end-time estimator*, average stride length*
  • Real-time hill incline percentage*, average speed*, ski run counter*, max speed*, beers/wine burned off calculator*
  • Speed, pace, cadence, distance
  • POI - points of interest - log with one push of a button
  • Find back, track back
  • Altimeter, barometer, compass
  • Temperature
  • Multiple sports in one log
  • Customize/preconfigure multisport modes
  • Heart rate while swimming with Suunto Smart Sensor 
  • Multiple bike POD support (Bluetooth Smart) - Power, cadence, lap, power distribution, peak power curve/output, normalized power, aerodynamic drag in real-time
  • Use phone as secondary display of watch 
  • Speed and average speed in real-time
  • Pool and open water pace and distance
  • Heart rate while swimming with Suunto Smart Sensor 
  • Swimming time by pool length, lap, total
  • Swimming stroke rate, count and type
  • Swim style detection with personal style teaching 
  • Stroke efficiency (SWOLF)
  • Automatic intervals
* via apps downloadable to the watch.

The Vertical is $469/$519 with HR. Available starting January 14th

See the rest of our Outdoor Retailer Reporting and Coverage: New Balance, Brooks, Saucony, Suunto and more  here

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The Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical 
Available from Running Warehouse HERE
Use Coupon Code: RTR10 for 10% off! $468 instead of $520