"Capable of resisting anything our sport throws at it". Reader review by Ben Williams.
Bike, run, swim and hike this GPS enabled Suunto Ambit 3 Sport watch with track and tell you speed, time distance and more.
Suunto Ambit 3 Sport GPS watch review
Reader review by Ben Williams
Is it a GPS logger or a navigational GPS?
How fast does it start-up and find signal?
As it’s a watch there is no boot up time, from selecting the Exercise option to finding satellites it is between 1-10 seconds depending on location.
Tell us about the mounting options
I purchased a separate handlebar watch mount so I can see the riding data and bread-crumb navigation without having to compromise my grip on the handlebars. It is possible to simply wear it on your wrist though.
Any mapping included? Is it any good?
As a basic navigation device there is no mapping included.
On-the-fly navigation. Is it turn-by-turn? Basic bread-crumb following?
It’s just a basic bread-crumb style of navigation.
Is it easy to operate, especially on-the-fly?
It is very simple to operate, changing views is achieved by cycling through screens with a press of a single button.
Tell us about the screen. Is it touchscreen or physical buttons? How is it in bright light, and low light?
The menus are navigated through physical buttons so it isn’t a touch screen. The screen brightness can be adjusted via Movescount if needed although I have never found a need, it is possible to invert the dark and light aspects of the display on the fly for personal preference and there is also a back-light which is perfect for evening/night rides.
How easy is it to get a route in it? Uploading a pre-designed route from a computer, and also plotting/amending a route with the device itself.
Uploading routes is very simple, importing GPX files in to Movescount is simple enough and routes can be created within the software too. Other software is needed to edit existing routes though and it’s not possible to edit within the device itself.
Does it play nicely with other apps (Strava etc)?
Syncing between Movescount and Strava has been seamless in my experience, there is a slight delay but I’ve not experienced any failures to date.
Is there any software provided and/or online service? Is it any good?
Movescount is the web based software for Suunto devices and I’ve found it to be more than adequate for my requirements. There is a raft of additional elements that I personally don’t utilise such as community uploaded training plans, a calender to track events, an app zone, training insights etc. Basic information such as ride data, ride logs and metrics such as EPOC and est. VO2 are available if you wear the HR monitor.
Connectivity to other devices (smartphone, HRM, power meter etc)
HR monitor, bike sensor and foot pods are available as accessories. I use the chest strap HR monitor which is comfortable and can be used for swimming if required. Post ride data can be uploaded to a smartphone via Bluetooth while out and about so there is no need for cables or a computer. However, this process can take some time. It has taken upwards of five minutes for the watch and phone to sync which doesn’t bother me personally as I appreciate a large amount of data is being transferred but looking at the reviews for the Movescount app I may be an exception. From there the data is uploaded to Strava or other third party apps automatically.
As the device's primary function is a watch with a secondary use as an activity tracking and navigation device, for me it's excellent value for money. The battery life is excellent, it goes in to a standby mode when it is static but even wearing it 24 hours a day I can get about two weeks out of it (without navigation or ride recording). I fit screen protectors on mine which I replace when needed but I have had a number of big offs and while the bevel is showing signs of these hits the watch itself works perfectly, it is definitely capable of resisting anything our sport throws at it. My only niggle is I'm between size adjustments on the strap so either slightly too large or a bit too tight. A Velcro strap would be better for me personally, first world problem really. Rating: 9/10.