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Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Suunto focuses on fitness, durability with 9 Peak

Not every smartwatch comes with a big operating system. In Suunto’s latest wearable, the focus is on staying fit and keeping your body in good condition.

Ever since step counters, GPS, and fitness goals came to watches and wearables, we’ve largely been spoiled for choice.

While you can always don a classic time piece that is only a time piece, these days if you want to slap on a watch, there’s a good chance you’re getting something with something extra inside. It might be a wearable made for running or something just to get you off your backside, and it could even come with an operating system that lets you download apps to it, as well. Quite a few wearables let you pay for things simply by tapping your wrist to a payment terminal.

Watches that do a little bit more are largely the go these days, and while they can cover fitness, they may not be focused squarely on it, including it as a feature, but not the be-all, end-all.

For folks who intend go running and throw themselves into the thick of it, this can mean that the popular smartwatch mightn’t be the best smartwatch for them. Rather, they may be looking for something with more tracking, better battery life, and none of the stuff they don’t need. They may not need the apps, the mobile payment, or the extra schmick features that make a smartwatch so smart.

Fortunately, there are models of wearables that service these needs, and they usually come with a laser focus on health and fitness.

This week, Suunto is announcing one such device, launching the Suunto 9 Peak, a watch that is more health-focused than smartwatch, yet still offers the Bluetooth connection to get the device doing a little bit more.

Built for folks who are already active rather than like the mere wearable for reminding you to move, the Suunto 9 Peak comes with a GPS built-in to track your movements and running, supporting as much as 170 hours of GPS tracking in a tour mode, all while keeping the size down.

Suunto says its thinner and lighter than its previous model in this spot, the Suunto 9 Baro, and includes up to 14 days of battery life as a watch and up to 7 days with GPS tracking and mobile notifications, because both are supported here, the former with a built-in GPS connection and the latter using Bluetooth 5. As such, the Suunto 9 Peak isn’t your typical smartwatch, missing out on that whole snazzy Google Wear OS operating system, something Suunto makes in another watch.

Instead, the Suunto 9 Peak still manages to fit in a touchscreen interface using a custom system, connecting to a phone and offering music controls, notifications, and health tracking via steps, calories, blood oxygen (SpO2), heart rate, and a heap of other sensors, as well, covering altitude, weather, and more.

Durability is also a key factor, with the Suunto 9 Peak coming in two versions, either made with sapphire glass and stainless steel, or a slightly more expensive model with sapphire glass and titanium, resulting in a thin and durable watch, at that.

But the price may end up being a bit steep, with the activity-based watch fetching a high price, likely from the durability and long-running GPS.

It’ll see release in Australia shortly from a hair under a grand ($999.99) for the stainless steel Suunto 9 Peak, while the titanium equivalent will cost $1199.99 locally.

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