I have bought a Fenix 6x Pro (solar) because I wanted what I had as close to possible as the S7 but with better normal battery life.
For me it was more the battery life overall that I was starting to have an issue with, as I need AOD on ,which means I am looking at 2.5%/hr in normal operation which means - 44% required for normal operation / 11% for sleep tracking per night (about 1.8%/hr)/ 10% for approx 1 hr of tracking = normal day use 65% leaving 35% = approx 14hrs - however the big issue is its a 45min min charge to get back to 100% and lately not had that time (15mins to 30mins max), so after 3 days I am having to find odd times to get back enough charge and what about on days I do more than 1hr tracking… I could put power save tilt and AOD off, and then it works, but I want AOD on - hate not being able to see the time.
Really wanted the S9 Peak as touch screen, looks good, has good battery life and I really like the suunto app eco system, but no music, no maps and no NFC payment.
Garmin was pretty much only option with the above 3, and had to look at higher forerunner or Fenix - decided on Fenix with its better looks (looks close enough to S7 that wife hasn’t spotted change yet).
Love the additional health features Garmin provides and have noticed the following differences to the S7:
Sleep tracking time duration and stages are similar to what I get with S7, however its recharge is different (Garmin not 1st beat) and it gives much better recharge which I think is much more realistic.
Body battery also seems to work better as heavily linked in with stress - all seems to work and makes sense on how i feel. Respiration/Pulse Ox pretty much seem to sync in and tie in with what I know of my sleep i.e. Ox is OK but on low side when sleep, notice on days when Apnea is higher, this factor decreases, same with respiration - so all fitting in nicely.
I really miss Training Peaks training metrics - Garmin’s is so much more complicated and difficultto work with.
From HR perspective similar but F6 is definitely better - faster to respond, as a little bit more conservative (adjusted my zones to match S7 zones) - prefer the S7 zone meter as larger easier to see and shows active zone, rather than F6 which is pointer and icon against static zone across top of screen - though can add other guages like training effect etc.
Suunto 7 much easier to set up - F6 all on watch and all with buttons (also do miss that fantastic screen), plus now have amazon music playlists offline (as good as spotify these days, plus already have it due to all the echo shows in the house). Does everything the S7 does, in its own way, yes can’t create specific replies but only did that a couple of times a day, generally find just being able to read the notification is enough. Also miss the strap of the s7 which was lovely and supple, F6 strap feels as though you are putting on armour (though no irratation and does feel more secure).
From GPS breadcrumb track perspective - little bit cleaner, but not amazingly so.
Altitutude - thought the S7 was under-reading - but actually it does a good job, seems as though the F6 was overreading, but when put auto correction on it, comes back to same elevation as my normal routes on S7 show, though get better total ascent and descent as seems to measure for every meter rather than just every 3m like S7.
Distance - over a 4km track difference is approx 100m. At a specific 1km marker was about 40m, however had that as a 1km marker before on the S7. Think the F6 is more accurate, especially as it gets a fix so much quicker, which I often didn’t fully wait for S7. But really not much of difference that I could find over shorter distances.
Do love the additional health features Garmin provides with calorie tracking (syncing with MyFitnessPall), weight, hydration etc. All helps me with improving my fitness and weight loss.
@malcyway I agree! I would like to customize the data that is shown, not just the colour. Specifically: seeing sunrise/sunset times, hours till next sunrise/sunset, current HR, daily step count. And remove that stupid dual time!
@northeast_trekker Agreed, this has been communicated to Suunto quite a bit. I hope something will come of this, I would love to have the altitude graph be user zoomable, on routes as well as the displayed graph. Even better would be color coded for grade. we will see what happens but I doubt firmware changes will come to the Spartans.
The S9b is built for trail and ultra running! I have used mine for many races and countless trail runs. Without HR you will get 35+ h of battery life, close to your 40. In Endurance mode, where little is sacrificed you will get 50h with HR. Using a belt will get ~34h in Performance and 50h in Endurance mode.
I would never use an extended (Endurance or Ultra) battery mode in a race or in a long self-supported run. I don’t trust its reliability. I had serious issues when I tried to use Good/5-sec battery mode on A3P in a 100 miler in the past, which led to tons of frustration during the race, and I’d never ever repeat that mistake again. And I need more accurate distance during a race to estimate splits, remaining distance to aid stations, etc. Also Strava really dislikes FIT files produced by Endurance and Ultra modes.
Well, I have used both 5 sec fix on A3P for 100 mile races (actually 120 miles too) and the S9b on Endurance mode for self-supported and races (100miles). I have no issues or frustrations. I don’t really care that much about Strava and if you change to Race there are no issues. I always laminate or on my phone carry aid station splits for several finish times. For the races and events I do, it is impossible to estimate instant pace or use instant pace. The average pace and average between aid stations is useful and Endurance mode is fine for that.
And now that there are watches that deliver 60 hours in the best GPS mode, I think there is little reason to compromise by using Suunto’s extended battery modes.
I typically use Navigation so those estimates are best case scenarios. What is real battery life? How is Navigation dealt with on other brands? Suunto switches to 1s fix only while on Nav screen. With FusedTrack and my standard Navigation uses I can get 50h on Endurance mode, which is great. The tracks are nearly as good as 1s fix. I don’t need perfection.
Routes on SA are super and can be loaded to the watch offline while exercising. Great when I bail off trail and have bailout routes on the phone
After several activities (cycling, walking, kayaking) downtown, riverside, countryside, in woods and on hills my result is that my Suunto watches are in the following ranking concerning the GPS accuracy:
Ambit 3 and Spartan Ultra at the same level
S9 with GPS
S9 with GPS+Galileo
For me there is no reason to upgrade from a Spartan Ultra or an Ambit 3.