Going out for a Suunto GPS testing alone can get quite strange – as you can see for yourself in this post, for which I went to my usual testing ground that is the Sonnsteine trail…

At the Bergmarathon this year, I had managed to forget my main running clothes after showering, but fortunately they were left and recognized there.

Meaning, I had good reason to go out into that area – which I decided to use for a Suunto GPS testing extraordinaire.

I went to my usual testing ground of the Sonnsteine trail, where there are nicely variable mountain conditions, including forest cover, roads, exposed trails, and trails next to a rock face.

Sonnsteine Trail Suunto GPS Testing

All that, this time around, with the Suunto 9, (on my left wrist together only with the) Suunto 3 Fitness, the Suunto Spartan Sport WHR Baro on my right wrist alongside the Ambit3 Peak, and the GPS TrackPOD from Suunto on my running pack.

(The Suunto 3 Fitness, of course, got no GPS of its own but the track recorded by my Sony Xperia smartphone.)

Here, everything ran at the best GPS setting available for the respective device.

GPS Tracks

As you can see for yourself, even when all the devices come from Suunto and run at the same time, there are differences.

Compare with the one other GPS device I had, my smartphone, and there’s still a distinct difference.

Telling which device gave the best results would be difficult.

At least at the beginning, it was not the Suunto 9; it had some issues there.

All in all, however, the Suunto 9 track just looks smoother than the others, but all are a bit jumpy – and all are basically where the trail goes, on the ground, for the most part.

Full Data

Suunto 9 Spartan WHR Baro Ambit3 Peak GPS TrackPOD Suunto 3 Fitness
Duration 01:51:29 01:51:29 01:51:33 01:51:45 01:51:31
Distance 6.95 km 7.11 km 7.32 km 6.70 km 6.90 km
Number of Points 6689 6689 6692 6704
Ascent 755 747 771 848 n/a
Descent 769 769 771 841 n/a
Max Altitude 986 m 983 m 1037 m 1036 m n/a
Min Altitude 399 m 397 m 427 m 422 m n/a
Avg. Altitude 733 m 731 m 774 m 782 m n/a
max speed 7.70 m/s 4.40 m/s 5.10 m/s 4.60 m/s 28 m/s ( :-p )
min speed n/a
avg. speed 1.42 m/s 1/24 m/s 1.20 m/s 1.13 m/s 1.03 m/s
Energy 1620 kcal 1605 kcal 1519 kcal n/a 1339 kcal
max HR 187 bpm 184 bpm 183 bpm n/a 184 bpm
min HR 90 bpm 89 bpm 87 bpm n/a n/a
avg HR 158 bpm 157 bpm 158 bpm n/a 159 bpm
max cadence 142 rpm 253 rpm 106 rpm n/a n/a
min cadence n/a n/a
avg cadence 57 rpm 59 rpm 49 rpm n/a n/a
max temperature 32C 32C 32C n/a n/a
min temperature 28C 27C 26C n/a n/a
avg temperature 30C 29C 29C n/a n/a

Heart Rate

Heart rate recordings (Ambit3 Peak from a Suunto HR belt, all the other watches from their oHR) are quite consistent here. Of course, there are some differences, but overall, not many that are too bad.

Sonnsteine HR Readings

Altitude

Something happened with altitude data; certainly FusedAlti doesn’t look to have ever kicked in (and I had just left the watches with their last reference altitude from who-knows-when).

Sonnsteine Altitude Profiles

That way, the profile ended up relatively similar to each other, but the devices all counted different altitudes.