Date Posted:4 February 2016
Suunto is one of the top brands when it comes to GPS sportwatches. If you’re into running, cycling, swimming, hiking, or a combination of these sports, Suunto has just the watch that would include the features you need for a certain sport. The Ambit3 series has different models targeted for different athletes or fitness enthusiasts.
Suunto uses suffixes to distinguish each model from each other.
The Ambit3 Run has all the essential features that you would like for running. It’s just like the Ambit3 Sport but without the multisport functionality. Unlike its rival sportwatches, the Ambit3 Run has navigation functionality which lets you follow a route or route to a point of interest (POI).
The Ambit3 Sport offers world-class GPS sportwatch functionalities for swimming, cycling and running, as well as a strong feature set for hiking, navigation and the outdoors. You can sync it with your mobile phone using Bluetooth Smart, and record heart rate underwater while swimming.
The Ambit3 Peak is the high-end multisport outdoor GPS watch that in a way that it has all the features of the Sport but includes a barometric altimeter and longer battery life (30 days in time mode). It provides route navigation and track back, weather trend indicator, storm alarm, and sunrise/sunset times.
The Ambit3 Vertical is the newest entry among the bunch. It’s slightly different physically in a way that it does not have the satellite hump found on the wristband of the Ambit1/2/3. You can view current vs route elevation profile on the watch, dashboard ascent graphs/details, and 3D distance.
Unlike the Sport and Peak, the Vertical adds in vibration alerts and GLONASS GPS capabilities. You also get the barometric altimeter available on the Peak and the same battery life like that of the Run and Sport (14 days in time mode).
All Ambit3 models except for the Run offers you the ability to change sport mode during exercise and create preconfigured multisport modes. This lets you easily switch from one sport to another during a triathlon.
You can use Bluetooth Smart connectivity to pair the Ambit3 Sport, Vertical, and Peak with compatible footpods, bike pods, cadence pods, and bike power metres. In addition, the Ambit3 series brought other minor features like the ability to use your phone as a display for the watch and activity monitoring. This lets you have an idea about your movement throughout the day but doesn’t measure your daily steps or distance traveled, nor does it track things like sleep.
Steel and polyamide
Mineral crystal or Sapphire crystal
Battery life in time mode
GPS TRACKING & NAVIGATION
GPS recording rate
1, 5, 60 s
Best, Good, OK
Battery life (GPS active)
10, 15, 100 h
20, 30, 200 h
Waypoint and visual route navigation
Find back/Track back
Combined GPS and barometric altitude (FusedAlti™)
Weather trend indicator
Automatic alti/baro profile
SPEED AND DISTANCE
Distance based autolaps
GPS Speed and distance
Foot POD support
Bike POD support
HEART RATE (REQUIRES A HEART RATE BELT)
Heart rate in beats per minute
Heart rate zones
Records heart rate in swimming
yes, with Suunto Smart Sensor
TRAINING, PLANNING & ANALYSIS
Autoscrolling of exercise displays
Activity based recovery time
Change sport mode during exercise
Preconfigured multisport modes
Multisport exercise summary
Average pace in real time
watch or Foot POD
Foot POD calibration
manual or GPS
based on GPS
Multiple Bike POD support
Cadence POD Support
Pool swim pace and distance
Openwater swim pace and distance
Swimming time by pool length, lap, total
Swimming stroke rate, count and type
Stroke efficiency (SWOLF)
So which Suunto Ambit3 model fits your lifestyle? Tell us on the comments below.
Here are other buying guides that can help you in your online shopping.
By: William on 19 December 2017
I have used a Suunto Ambit 1 for so called "mountain biking." The insane battery life, complete waterproofness, and according to my tests in Cold, miserable weather, it still functions in temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. I would recommend stowing in a jacket or parka in those kinds of conditions to preserve battery life.
My experience with the Ambit 1, and presumably the Ambit 3, is that the watch is reliable, it has navigation which is really useful out in the woods, and it is bombproof! The whole lineup is made for adventurers. If you happen to crash on your favorite course, don't worry about the watch, chances are it won't break.
23 March 2017
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By: Jarrod on 19 February 2017
Why do none of these watches mention anything mountain bike specific? Which model would best suit mountain biking and why? Cheers, J
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