Hochkönigman Skyrace GPS Testing: Suunto9, Suunto Spartan Ultra

The fun of a run like the Hochkönigman Skyrace is also when you can use that to check out how “time pieces” like the Suunto9 perform on such a tour…

The Suunto9 firmware is still a relatively early one, so this should just be considered a preview. Talking of an “accuracy analysis” for its GPS in the current (early) state of the software would be misguided.

But, I used it together with a Suunto Spartan Ultra and the Suunto GPS Track POD, all at best GPS settings, anyways.

Thus, you can have some fun checking out how each of those different time/tech pieces recorded my GPS track.

Hochkönigman Skyrace GPS Tracks

The results are far from bad:

If you zoom in, of course you can see differences.

One note, as usual:

The S9 was on my right wrist, the Spartan Ultra on the left, and the GPS Track POD on my running vest’s right shoulder strap.

Thus, there should be – and is – some offset from which direction the respective watch/tool was pointing.

There is one section, in particular, where the GPS Track POD recorded me quite a ways off from where the Suunto9 and Spartan Ultra put me. I cannot really explain this; it is quite strange – and just what happens.

Still, all in all, this is promising.

Suunto9 Outlook

Really, to get into the S9 as one should for a review, it will take a long tour requiring the use of this new watch’s FusedTrack in the Endurance and Ultra battery modes.

Using a low GPS sampling rate to achieve extra-long battery life while getting much better tracks than such low GPS sampling could provide on its own, thanks to FusedTrack, is exactly what the Suunto9 is about, after all.

Of course, there shall also be more testing and data for a verdict, but this still needs updates, time, and data…

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2 Comments

  1. michal

    thx for the first “real world” test Gerald!

    Have a few questions:

    1) All 3 devices were set to GPS_fix “best” (1s) right? Seems that they perform quite similar (if you take the left/right arm into account)
    Would be nice to see how the SSU (Good(1s,on-off), OK(60s)) compares to the S9 (Good(60s-FusedTrack), OK(120s-FusedTrack)). I hope it’s on your list!

    2)Navigation: If you’re in Ultra-Mode (60s, 120s) and you want to navigate, does the s9 switch so 1s_fix like the Ambit/Spartan series? (i now the s9 platform is basically the Spartan platform, i’m just curious)

    thx in advance, keep up the good work!

    • Yeah, all 3 were at 1 second GPS fix / best. I’m working on a Suunto9 preview now, then some how-to, and then comparison data. (The preview will already clarify why that order.)

      Navigation should work as you’re thinking, yes.

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