“You met me at a really unusual time in my life”, I advised the smartwatch strapped to my wrist. “Do you thoughts if I name you Suu by the way in which? It’s simpler than Suunto 7. Cheers”.

Self isolation-induced mania apart, let’s dive straight in. At £430, the Suunto 7 is likely one of the pricier smartwatches seeking to earn a spot in your wrist. Promising fashion, Android Wear smarts (a primary for the Finnish firm), and a cavalcade of fitness-tracking choices, it appears to tick all of the bins on paper.

But does it ship?

Design and luxury: chonky couture

The Suunto 7 is a sexy watch that one way or the other manages to look rugged, trendy, and modern, all on the similar time.

The 4 {hardware} buttons give it an air of a standard sports activities watch, whereas the 4 raised edges across the steel dial add some nice character, whereas subtly hinting on the instructions you’re in a position to swipe – a intelligent contact.

From the facet, the Suunto 7 is noticeably chunky which, mixed with its 55mm face, leads to a watch which may be too giant for some. We haven’t any complaints on our facet although – it’s mild, suits us nicely, and the silicon strap is extremely snug, to the purpose the place you’ll overlook you’re even carrying it. Having mentioned that, we haven’t been sleeping with it on, because it’s undoubtedly extra noticeable tucked underneath a pillow.

Screen: shiny, sharp, vibrant

The Suunto 7’s display is up there with the very best smartwatch screens we’ve laid eyes on. Its 454 x 454 pixel-packed show serves up razor-sharp textual content, and the truth that it’s an AMOLED display means you’re handled to true blacks and punchy colors too.

Visibility can also be taken care of, due to its potential to succeed in as much as 1,000 nits, which is just a bit underneath the max brightness of the iPhone 11 Pro’s display. In different phrases, it’s tremendous shiny when it must be, and also you’ll haven’t any downside studying the show even on the sunniest of days.

As with most smartwatches there’s a noticeable black bezel surrounding the display, which we’d relatively do with out, nevertheless it’s not a dealbreaker by any means, and is much less noticeable if you happen to use a watch face with a black background.

Performance and value: Breezy however noisy

The 4 buttons talked about earlier take just a little getting used to earlier than muscle reminiscence kicks in, however that doesn’t take lengthy. The one on the left fires up Google Assistant with a protracted press, or summons a listing of all put in apps with a daily push. On the fitting, the top-most button opens Suunto’s personal health app (extra on that in a bit), whereas the center button gives a helpful shortcut to media controls, so you possibly can skip/replay songs whilst you’re on a run. Finally, the underside button brings up a stopwatch, which is helpful if you happen to’re timing laps, or rests in between health club units.

The solely actual niggle we’ve discovered is the shortcoming to return at a easy button press. Instead, you’ve acquired to manually swipe to go to earlier screens, which might get annoying if you happen to’re diving deep into menus.

Apart from that, it’s enterprise as ordinary if you happen to’ve used Wear OS earlier than. It’s zippy, for essentially the most half, with very uncommon stutters. Built-in NFC enables you to pay for bathroom roll and different necessities together with your wrist, and apps like Spotify, Google Play Music, Citymapper and extra are simple to put in, and work as anticipated.

The solely factor we truly hate – and we don’t use that phrase flippantly – is the Suunto 7’s vibration. It sounds, and feels, like a cricket with a sore throat that’s blasting away on a vuvuzela whereas trapped in a tin can, and it’s simply terrible. So a lot so, that we’ve caught ours on Do Not Disturb mode to keep away from notifications disturbing us altogether.

You can nonetheless swipe up at any time to see your notifications, and we relatively like this handbook possibility because it’s much less distracting. But if you happen to want to have messages pop up in your display, you’ll simply should reside with the thrill.

Fitness and well being smarts: Wishful thinker

As a sports activities tracker, the Suunto 7 comes nicely geared up. Its built-in app covers all the principle sports activities – working, biking, swimming – every with its personal sub-category. You’ve acquired lots extra to select from too, from strolling, weight coaching, circuit coaching, yoga/pilates, dancing and extra. The latter group characteristic extra fundamental stats, nevertheless it’s good to know that a lot is roofed.

As ordinary although, we’d advocate taking a number of the numbers with a pinch of salt. We’d like to suppose we truly burn 500 energy throughout a 45-minute lifting session, however the actuality is extra conservative.

When you’re out working, the GPS works nicely, locking on shortly whereas precisely capturing your route. The Suunto app is nice to make use of too, displaying your route, pace, steps, distance, energy burned and extra. Local maps as much as round 50km may also be downloaded over Wi-Fi when charging, in order that’s one much less factor to consider.

You can even view a heatmap of working routes in your native space, if you happen to want some inspiration. This map can also be out there as a swanky watch face too, which is a enjoyable little quirk to assist the Suunto stand out from the group.

Unfortunately, issues get just a little extra complicated if you wish to monitor extra normal stats, like your day by day steps, common coronary heart fee and high quality of sleep. For that, you’ll want a separate app like Google Fit. It’s not a large problem, nevertheless it’s an additional app you’ll must dip out and in of if you wish to monitor the whole lot.

Battery life: Daily juice

The Suunto 7’s battery life is each good and unhealthy, relying on the way you have a look at it.

For an Android Wear smartwatch, it’s relatively spectacular, lasting two full days on a single cost – albeit, days with minimal to no sports activities monitoring use.

Day one noticed us going to mattress with 65% left within the tank, and with day two leaving us with 26% earlier than hitting the hay. Used virtually completely as a smartwatch then, you gained’t have to fret about charging the Suunto 7 daily. Sports monitoring is, nonetheless, in all probability why you’re studying this review within the first place, and that’s when the battery life understandably takes a success. Losing about 10-12% per 30 minutes of working, you’ll undoubtedly must cost each evening if you happen to’re a very eager train fiend.

Suunto 7 verdict

At £430, the Suunto 7 ain’t low cost, and it even manages to out-price the most recent Apple Watch by round thirty quid.

It’s engaging and cozy although, and comes filled with all of the sports activities monitoring tech you’re prone to want, with a strong battery life, relying on how exhausting you push it.

Still, you possibly can decide up one thing like a Garmin Venu for round half the worth, and that may last as long as 5 days on a single cost. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has an analogous battery life to the Suunto 7, however is once more, cheaper, with a slimmer, much less chunky construct, which you’ll want.

If you’re a fan of the Suunto 7’s sporty, rugged appears to be like, and wish complete sports activities monitoring with out being fussed about common charging, then this might very nicely be the niche-filling wristwear you’re after. For everybody else although, you’re higher off saving some money and springing for one thing just a little extra pockets pleasant.