Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Review: Suunto 9 Peak Pro Multisport Watch

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With the chicly designed Suunto 9 Peak Pro, Suunto expands its market reach beyond hardcore divers into the broader markets of smartwatch users and watersports aficionados.  

Rated up to 10m but waterproof to 100m, the Peak Pro is the first smartwatch with a dedicated watersports mode for snorkeling and, most interestingly, mermaiding. Featuring a heart rate monitor and pulse oximeter, GPS, and 97 different sports modes, multidisciplinary athletes will love all the data this watch can collect. 

First Impressions

The ugly truth about a lot of tech wearables is just that – they’re ugly. But not the Suunto 9 Peak Pro – this piece is truly stylish. And I was lucky enough to snag it in the highly sexy pearl & gold.

Beyond its versatility, it is easily the sleekest and most fashionable diving smartwatch on the market. The 9 Peak Pro is significantly slimmer and lighter, and sits with a much lower profile on the wrist than the Garmin Descent MK2S, making it more comparable in profile to, say, the Apple Watch. 

However, unlike the Apple Watch’s conspicuously tech appearance, the 9 Peak Pro looks like a classic watch with a traditional round clock face and bezel, making the piece easier to access for various outfits. Those that find tech wearables and diving computers unfashionable and conspicuous should seriously consider Suunto 9 Peak Pro. 

Snorkeling with the Suunto 9 Peak Pro
Snorkeling with the Suunto 9 Peak Pro

Notably, Suunto eschewed traditional secondary band loops that secure the tail of the watch in favor of a slim button that secures the tail down. It’s a clever and stylish change– I give major props to Suunto for creating this little moment of ingenuity in their fashion. 

I loved the tone of the pearl & gold- the gold is warm, and the off-white band is both creamy but bright neutral – precisely what a woman wants in her wardrobe. The silicone band is also incredibly soft and comfortable. When I wear one on each wrist, my Garmin MK2S feels positively cumbersome, and the gray, beige band color looks dull compared to the beauty of the classy gold & pearl Suunto 9 Peak Pro.

I found the three navigation buttons slightly sharp and slightly uncomfortable to press. They left little marks on my finger pads. I’d prefer it if the edges were somewhat more rounded.

I had difficulty with the band button – mine kept coming undone – this could be a utility and fashion concern for some. It also inadvertently seems to become snagged in my hair quite frequently. 

The bezel is the same height as the face of the watch. While very sleek and visually attractive, I’m concerned that this exposes the touchscreen watch face to scratching and damage. And after only a few weeks of use, the paint on the bezel had become slightly chipped and scratched. The watch face, however, is still scratch free. 

Admittedly, I am wildly clumsy, lead an adventurous life, and am frankly not careful with my things. Thus, I am also perhaps the best person for crash-testing tech wearables.  If the Peak Pro came out with no face scratches and a merely chipped bezel, one could see the only slight chipping to the bezel as a testament to its durability. 

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro si a good looking smartwatch
The Suunto 9 Peak Pro si a good looking smartwatch

 

Functionality & Battery Life 

I can’t speak to all 97 sport modes, but I did take my Suunto 9 Peak Pro with me on the major activities I do – fun diving, snorkeling/mermaiding, weightlifting, & running. 

I’m still not sure what the difference is between the mermaiding and snorkeling modes- both seem to record total session time, dive time, depth, number of dives, surface intervals, GPS location, and environmental measures as water temperature. 

However, after using both modes, I found the modes informative, fun, and easy to use. Unlike a traditional dive computer where the act of physically diving down in water will initiate my diving session, I needed to select and press start immediately before each session for the watch to register any dives, which over the month of testing, I frequently forgot to do and found this slightly frustrating to adjust to. 

With a depth rating of 10m, this is not a watch for deep-depth divers- so if that’s what you are looking for, there are other options on the market. This smartwatch is for aquatic folks and multisport athletes who rejoice in the shallows and casual diving- perfect for mermaids, avid snorkelers, and fun divers! 

The battery life is exceptional. In a 24hr period of wearing my Peak Pro, which included a 1hr running session and endless fidgeting with my Peak Pro without the battery saving mode, the battery lost about 2%.

Consistent with my finding, while using my watch through my 3-5x per week exercise sessions and 3-5x per week ocean sessions, I’d only needed to charge my computer once every few weeks. If you go off the grid a lot, you will love the Suunto Peak Pro. 

This is fascinating in conjunction with one of the Peak Pro’s most unique design features- when you turn your wrist, the watch face lights up. So the mere act of looking at your screen brings the face to life without pressing a button – I love this built-in feature, mainly because it doesn’t drain the battery life. 

It should be of note that I did turn the connectivity off. I don’t enjoy notifications (yes, you can, of course, customize those to your liking), and having any device perpetual paired or searching for connection is going to drain even the most robust battery, so I don’t necessarily find it helpful to have on when measuring the battery. 

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro can be used for virtually any sport and activity
The Suunto 9 Peak Pro can be used for virtually any sport and activity

Interface

Part of the beauty of the design is the lack of writing or etching polluting the watch’s surface, but it also makes it initially less easy to understand how to use each button. I’m not going to lie – I initially struggled with the interface and navigating the different features.

After putting aside my mental laziness, I figured out the middle button was a way to navigate through standard biomarker and environmental measurements and a back button. The up button (besides scrolling for up) served to access activities. And the down button, other than downward scrolling, 

One fantastic highlight is that the Peak Pro features a touchscreen! That’s right – a diving computer with a touch screen! 

Data Reliability

I enjoyed the results the few times I took my 9 Peak Pro running with me. Side-by-side with google maps and my Garmin MK2S, it mapped my run perfectly, recorded my distance, and seemed to have an accurate heart rate monitor. 

The same goes for dives and diving. However, after a few months of wearing the computer, I’ve had some questions. On a day I barely moved from the bed, except for a bodyweight gym workout in an enclosed space, my 9 Peak Pro registered that I’d walked an impressive 11,000 steps. And I’d gotten a blissful 11 hours of sleep the night before. If only. 

Price

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro is competitively priced to retail at $549USD, coming in at a comparable or significantly cheaper price than some of the other smartwatches with diving features on the market. Mermaids,  If you are looking for a multisport smartwatch that you can take to the sea and are not looking to shell out 700-1000 USD, this could be the perfect option! 

Conclusion

This computer is easily the most attractive multi-sport smartwatch on the market. While it’s rated to 200m, it will have limited appeal to those focused on depth diving, line training, or scuba. Still, this tech wearable broadly appeals to watersports athletes and enthusiasts outside those niches and broader markets. We like its fit, appearance, price, and comprehensive analytics. 

Key Specs

  • Weight – 52-62g
  • Watchface Diameter – 43mm
  • GPS
  • Battery life up to 21 days
  • Sleep tracking
  • Blood Oxygen Level Tracking
  • Water Resistant to 100m

Price

  • Suunto 9 Peak Pro – $549 USD / £419 GBP / €499 EUR

Buy It Now

SUUNTO 9 Peak PRO Premium Sports GPS Watch SUUNTO 9 Peak PRO Premium Sports GPS Watch
$409.00

Suunto 9 Peak WatchDesigned for the peak experiences that sport makes you feel, for the adventures that stay with you forever. The Suunto 9 Peak is the thinnest, smallest and toughest watch Suunto has ever made. Product Features: Intelligent Battery Modes-25-170 Hour Life, Over 80 Sports Modes, Sapphire glass and stainless steel, GPS Navigation, Weather Functions, Blood Oxygen, 100 M Water Resistant, Sleep Tracking.

07/16/2024 09:24 am GMT

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Performance
Features
Graphics/Interface
Value For Money

SUMMARY

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro is an attractive & comfortable smartwatch that gives an astonishing range of data. While its limited metrics for depth diving may not appeal to certain niches, it has a broad appeal for fun divers, mermaids, and multisport athletes.
Emily Krakoff
Emily Krakoffhttps://emilydives.com/
Emily started her aquatic career as a scuba instructor and moved on to become an AIDA Master Freediving Instructor, Molchanov & SSI Freediving Instructor while growing her own online diving community. She does commercial underwater videography & photography, & social media management. Her work underwater has taken her to four continents & ten countries- such is the magic of diving!

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The Suunto 9 Peak Pro is an attractive & comfortable smartwatch that gives an astonishing range of data. While its limited metrics for depth diving may not appeal to certain niches, it has a broad appeal for fun divers, mermaids, and multisport athletes.Review: Suunto 9 Peak Pro Multisport Watch