*First look at the Suunto Ambit 2S – a more updated review will be posted when I have had more of a chance to use it.
Pros: Thin, fast at GPS connecting and great display.
Cons: Forced internet connectivity for gpx files and large face for small wrists.
Best Uses: Shorter/Single Day (>8hr) adventures for full GPS tracking, multisport or any outdoor adventure.
When I first got my hands on the Ambit 2S from Suunto NZ, I was intrigued. This would be my first delve into the world of Suunto after being a Garmin Forerunner user for over 10 years now. I was pleasantly surprised after I’d had numerous conversations about how Suunto was so complicated and to me, the Ambit 2S certainly wasn’t!
Starting out with the shape, it’s big, but not as big as I’d imagined – and definitely not bigger than my Garmin 310XT (or it’s predecessor the 305 – practically a brick on your arm). It had a nice face, very legible display and the light was good for reading the watch at night.
I first loaded the watch up on a run around Castle Hill Village. Compared to the Garmin – it was much faster to pick up satellites – literally seconds, compared to minutes with the Garmin.
Here’s a further rundown of what I experienced on my first runs with the watch.
The screen is large, just like the Garmin counterpart, but it’s sleek and stylish and could pass as an everyday watch (where the Garmin simply can’t). I like the crispness of the display and the night time light is super bright for runs at night.
Ease of Use
I was quite surprised when first using the Ambit 2S as it was really easy to use.
Suunto’s have previously had a tendency to be complex. Maybe that’s the nature of being Finnish, or maybe that they are just more technical pieces of kit. But To be fair I’ve not used all of the functions – in fact I don’t really need them for this challenge, but they are all there in nice order. The start/stop function is simple to use and everything works nicely with the ‘next’ key doing exactly that – sending you to the next screen. You can cycle through your data, compass, navigation features and it feels like you’re totally in control.
The only gripe I’ve got is that to customise most of these screens, you have to download Movescounts to your computer, connect the watch, go to the website, change the settings online and only then will you be able to put the distance on one screen, rather than the time (or whichever you were wanting). This is a bit of an oversight on Suuntos part for people without an internet connection. Yes, I agree that you can plan your route and set it up when you have a connection; have different modes with the correct functions, screens etc. – it’s just slightly annoying not having that functionality on the watch. Gripe over.
Saying all that, the changes online are really easy to make, the movescount website is intuitive and it’s done in split seconds compared to the pressing numerous buttons on the physical watch.
The fastest watch I’ve ever tried to connect to satellites – literally within seconds. Accuracy is very good, in fact, the best – and it’s never lost signal once yet (even in thick West Coast New Zealand bush).
As with the screens, the whole download thing has to be connected to the internet to download your data – it has to be done via movescount. A little annoying, especially as sometimes I want to see the data on my computer without having the internet – but it’s a compromise and you can always review it on the watch until you plug it into the computer anyway.
A beautiful watch with some amazing features. I’m thoroughly impressed with the Suunto on my first tryout with one of their watches. I’d say I;m a die hard Garmin fan, but this has changed me somewhat – however it’s not for those without the internet- or those wanting to view your runs and planning to be without it for a long while. Other than that, top notch watch!