While Suunto fans are waiting for entirely new watches*, the Finnish watch brand is going upscale and minimalistic with new variants of the Suunto 7 WearOS sports smartwatch and the Suunto 9 Baro outdoors/sports watch.
New Suunto 9 Baro Titanium
The new Suunto 9 Baro Titanium is tested to MIL-STD-810, a US military standard for durability that has become a very popular measure (and marketing claim).
With grade-5 titanium bezel and a textile strap, this model of the Suunto 9 Baro will be the lightest in that range.
For the Suunto 9 Baro Titanium, the two color variants of the titanium bezels are “Charcoal Black” and “Granite Blue.”
Suunto 9 Textile Strap
The textile strap looks to be one of the nylon straps that have recently become very popular. They are plenty comfortable, but also resistant to both abrasion and exposure to sun and water.
The Curious Addition of Titanium, Again
A Suunto 9 Baro Titanium variant actually exists already–and has for a while. It does not have the new bezel geometry or textile strap, though.
In this regard, this new titanium variant is only a cosmetic change to add more options.
That isn’t big news, but there are also new software features (see below). And it might show that Suunto wants to appeal more to people who will buy their watches by both features and looks/materials.
(This might not be the consumer segment that looks for updates to new watches, discussions of GPS accuracy and the intricacies of navigation – but it should not be underestimated, either!)
New Suunto 7 Titanium
The Suunto 7 Titanium also comes with a minimalistically-designed titanium bezel and with a microfiber textile strap (like the one that came with the Suunto 7 Graphite special edition).
This microfiber strap is a bit more comfortable than (nylon) textile straps, but also takes on a bit more water and thus needs more time to dry than textile straps, let alone silicone straps which can just be wiped dry.
The Suunto 7 Titanium will come in matte black or “stone grey” titanium.
It is, again, interesting that Suunto would be launching new variants of the Suunto 7. It’s only a cosmetic upgrade/addition, but might indicate that this smartwatch from Suunto is selling.
Or at least, they haven’t given up hope on this WearOS model – and looking at the new features coming in the software (see below), they shouldn’t!
New Watch Straps
Three new silicone straps matching the Titanium models’ colors will also be launched.
(Most likely, the textile straps will also become available separately, same as the microfiber ones.)
The New Titanium Looks
The design of these titanium variants is an interesting departure from the previous bezels.
The older bezels look cool and somewhat more outdoorsy, they may protect the screen a bit more, but they have a tendency to chew through the cuffs of wool clothes.
The new “minimalistic geometry” is basically a very clean, round, flat look without any edges, unlike the previous watch models’ bezels with slanted edges and protrusions at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.
The biggest news, however, are not the new premium variants of these watches, they are the software updates.
Suunto 9 (Baro) Update
Software update 2.4.12 for the Suunto 9, in staged release from March 30, 2021, brings (to quote straight from the Suunto website; I’ll also have separate blog posts to go into more detail):
- New ‘Tour’ battery mode with up to 7 days of continuous GPS tracking
- Turn-by-turn alerts powered by komoot…
- Points of interest creation and navigation: Save important locations in Suunto app or on the watch. Navigate towards those locations with your watch.
- SuuntoPlus™: Red Bull X-Alps (only in Suunto 9 Baro). Red Bull X-Alps is a handy tool to keep track of you vertical speed. Nice for paragliders to see, feel and hear how fast you are climbing.
Suunto 5 Update
Update 2.4.12 is also available for the Suunto 5, where it brings:
- Turn-by-turn alerts powered by komoot.
- Points of interest creation and navigation.
Suunto 3 Update
Even the Suunto 3 gets some performance improvements and bug fixes through update 2.4.12.
Suunto 7 Gets Sleep Tracking, Resources, Daily HR – and Komoot Navigation!
Perhaps the most exciting update now announced, with staged release starting from April 19, 2021, is the one for the Suunto 7.
This update brings:
- Sleep tracking
- Body resources
- Daily heart rate
- Turn-by-turn alerts powered by komoot (Not available in China)
Enhancements and fixes:
- See information to your next waypoint in map view when using route navigation.
More about this update coming! Let’s just say, it enhances the value of the Suunto 7 for fitness tracking tremendously!
So, here we are for now.
*There has been a leak–well, an FCC submission–for a new Suunto 9 Peak, apparently featuring changed hardware internals, not just a new outside. No good information about that is yet available, of course; it can probably (going by the usual timing with FCC submissions) be expected some time during this summer.