Friday, January 20, 2012

Suunto Ambit - finally a GPS for ultratrail runners?

The new Suunto GPS watch to be released this spring is marketed as "The GPS for explorers". It sure seems interesting from the perspective of ultra trail running.

According to Ultra168, Suunto Ambit offers the following features:

  • Rapid response built-in Waypoint GPS (SiRFstarIV chip) 
  • Built-in FUSED Accelerometer (linked to the GPS)
  • 50 hour battery life (with 60 second interval GPS use) 
  • 3D Compass 
  • Accurate Barometric Altitude 
  • Real time Heart Rate Graph 
  • Temperature Measurement 
  • Highly responsive Speed and Pace training function using FusedSpeed integrated GPS Accelerometer 
  • Advanced Heart Rate Monitoring with built in PeakTraining Effect and Recovery Time function 
  • Water resistant to 100 meters 
  • Available in Black and Silver 
  • Built to Last Technology and sleek design.
In addition to this, some sources mention there is a positive/negative display switch.

This sure sounds like my dream GPS. I already have Suunto Core, but a GPS with ultralong battery life would be more fun to play with. Garmin Forerunner 910XT has about 20 hour battery life with continuous GPS, and Suunto Ambit will be in the same ballpark. They both use an USB cable for battery charging and data loading.

However what's really interesting is the new "60 second interval GPS use", which might well be good enough for a race like UTMB, where the cutoff is 46 hours. Still, I'd like to know some more details, like the size, weight and price of the watch...


Zhang-Schmidt said...

Positive/negative display switch is a fact; backlight should also satisfy people who wanted more light.
Size will be comparable to a Core (actually, I think it may be a bit less wide, except for the antenna bit at the 6 o'clock, but thicker), but that's more of an estimate than anything else.
Pricing seems around 600 USD, EUR 400, but there's going to be a cheaper model without HR function, and one with HR...


Trail Plodder said...

Thank you for the info Gerald. Sounds good to me.

Will said...

congrats on UTMB! Not sure what this means but hope to see you in Europe somewhere!

Trail Plodder said...

Thanks Will. As my CCC race will start on Friday morning in Courmayeur and your UTMB will start on Friday evening in Chamonix, I could already be done by the time you reach Courmayeur. I'll probably see you finish in Chamonix!