Suunto 7 Experiences: Easy GPS Conditions, Pace, HR, Altitude, Battery

From Florence and its difficult conditions for GPS, let’s go to flat open countryside ideal for GPS and see how GPS tracks from the Suunto 7 recorded here compare to others…

In such easy conditions, where there is always a clear view to the sky, it is not surprising to get very similar GPS tracks from all GPS watches.

Then again, differences or issues, such as the “meandering” that the tracks recorded by the Suunto 9 used to show, become all the more obvious in such a situation.

Tracks and Distances

In the test runs here, it becomes pretty clear that easy conditions make for good tracks with few issues:

GPS Tracks
The “Suunto Unknown” here is the Suunto 7; this was mid-January. As you can see, only the smartphone GPS is a pos.

Distances recorded here were:
Suunto 75.19 km
fenix 6X Pro5.13 km
Polar Vantage V5.14 km
Coros Vertix5.11 km
Polar Beat (Samsung S9)5.10 km
Mid-February, and there is some meandering sometimes, but it’s all quite similar, again

Suunto 712.64 km
fenix 6X Pro12.62 km
Polar Vantage V12.58 km
A few days later in February…
Suunto 711.22 km
fenix 6X Pro11.10 km
Polar Vantage V11.08 km

Pace Recordings

Pace recordings per kilometer, no matter which watch, are thus also similar:

This last run, let’s look a bit closer…

Pace overall
Pace Detail / Selection, zoomed in on the first kilometers (before the spike just before km 7)

This is interesting…

By the looks of it, the Polar Vantage V smoothes the pace very strongly, so that it is not as fast to react – or as disturbed by whatever it was that disturbed it sometimes.

The fenix 6X Pro also reacted less strongly/badly than the Suunto 7, but similarly overall (at least, compared to the Vantage).

The Suunto 7 shows something that has later become clear from GPS overall, which is that its algorithm looks to be a touch too sensitive. For interval training within certain ranges of pace, it should still be usable, if not as good as the others.

(And I must say, seeing this graph makes me wonder if the Vantage isn’t perhaps too sluggish in its reaction to pace changes…)

Then again, the Suunto 7 is made for someone who does sports as a counterbalance to a busy life, not someone who is a sports data nerd.


There is not much altitude change on these runs. Like with the GPS, that may mean that it is less sensible to have a look at this here – or that any errors would only become more pronounced.

What’s noticeable is just that – of course, what else? – different watches sometimes start out at different altitudes and continue with (more or less) the same difference between them.

Given that I never bothered to reset altitudes to my current location, absolute altitude values should not be looked at. What counts is that the graphs, trends and thus ascent/descent values are similar enough. Are they?

Run 1:
Suunto 79 m6 m
fenix 6X Pro10 m10 m
Polar Vantage V10 m10 m
Coros Vertix19 m17 m

Run 2:
Suunto 7130 m135 m
fenix 6X Pro151 m152 m
Polar Vantage V143 m140 m

Run 3:
Suunto 758 m63 m
fenix 6X Pro51 m62 m
Polar Vantage V58 m59 m

Those differences between watches are easily explained by different algorithms, counting different elevation changes as real or just an artifact; they *are* similar enough that they are within rounding errors.

Heart Rate Readings

oHR is something I have not often posted about because it’s been a very mixed bag for me.

In the summer, it’s often pretty good. In cold temperatures, my hands get little blood flow, optical heart rate measurement becomes more guesswork than actual data collection.

Some people have reported excellent oHR recordings from the Suunto 7; I cannot confirm that. The only reason the Polar Vantage V is the device to judge all others against here, however, is because I was using it with the H10 HR chest strap (its Precision Prime oHR sensor has not usually been very good for me).

This is with oHR from the Polar Vantage and all others (but all close to each other, which is not ideal in and of itself). The Garmin fenix 6X Pro is the clear winner…
Not horrible all together, but the Garmin is closer again
In the cold, and I would have restarted the Suunto 7 (or any other watch) if I had seen values as unlikely as those during a run I really needed to have recorded okay

Don’t take these three examples as the be-all, end-all, though. I have had better results from the Suunto 7, worse results from the Garmin, etc.

Battery Runtime

Battery is probably a bigger worry, especially on the Suunto 7 as a WearOS watch.

The runtime of the Suunto 7 is, of course, nothing that should be compared to those of a dedicated sports/outdoors watch. It needs to be viewed as its own thing or, at most, compared to other WearOS. Anyways…

In Italy, over 55 minutes (and 8.8 km), the Suunto 7 battery went down 18% (from 100% to 82%).

In the two (latter, I forgot to write down the battery ‘consumption’ on the first one in January) easy runs here, battery usage was:

47% to 35% (12% down) over 1:07:30 (and 12.5 km)

(Garmin fenix 6X Pro only went from 68% to 65% battery;
Polar Vantage V from 64% to 58%.)

23% to 7% in 58 minutes, 11.1 km on the second run, down 13%.

It would not be appropriate to extrapolate directly (much as I would like to say that I should be able to run 100 km in 10 hours :-p ), but that should get the Suunto 7 to 8+ hours of runtime…

Now, off to the mountains I go!

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