Suunto 9 Software Update 2.4

The Suunto Spartan watches still did not get another update. With the release of the non-baro Suunto 9 models (on October 2, 2018), though, Suunto has released Suunto 9 software update 2.4.

This update is for the Suunto 9 (without baro) as well as the Suunto 9 Baro, and actually also for the Suunto 3 Fitness.

If you just want to hear about it…

Suunto 9 Updates

For the Suunto 9 (Baro), the updates are mainly for sports use. (At least as far as they are visible to the user; there are always software enhancements and bug fixes in the background, as well.)

Daily Use Enhancement

In daily use, the major change is that settings for tones and vibrations have been separated.

In easier terms: You can now set your Suunto 9 to beep or vibrate or do both when you push buttons or when there are notifications (as before). But, you can separately choose for the alarm(s) to be via sound and light and vibration (or without vibration), or with vibration only.

Suunto9 alarm options: vibration or tones (or both)

Okay, now for the really easier way of putting it: The Suunto 9 finally has a vibration-only alarm.

Just one word of caution: The vibration on my Suunto 9 has been so soft, it has regularly failed to wake me. And I usually count myself a light sleeper.

Also note that sounds during training (such as for intensity zone changes and guidance, autolaps, etc.) are still a part of the “General” tone settings which also apply to button pushes and notifications in normal use.

Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb setting
Do Not Disturb active (now only shows the “no volume” symbol)

The “Do Not Disturb” mode has also been changed, in line with the way such a mode works on smartphones:

It no longer turns the watch into a time-only display not allowing any actions until deactivated.

Rather, it is a DND that turns off interruptions (read: notifications) while allowing any other action, including starting a sports activity.

Training Enhancements

Here, there is a lot…

Training Options

Before starting an activity, the “Options” now also offer the possibility…

  • to activate or deactivate HR measurement,
  • to set autolaps and
  • to turn on/off autopause
  • to deactivate the “Feelings” element shown after stopping an activity recording
Options before starting exercise: Turn on/off HR
Options before starting exercise: Set up (and activate) autolaps (and autopause)
Suunto9 autolap choices: duration or distance
Suunto 9 (duration) autolap setting

Progress Bar

There is a new horizontal progress bar showing how far along a set goal one is. (This actually brings Suunto 9 software update 2.4 to the same level/use as it has been on the Suunto 3 Fitness already).

Suunto 9 training screen with intensity (HR zones) circle display and horizontal progress bar active

This way, intensity zones can be shown on the outside ring display (heart rate or power); the bar shows progress along a duration or distance goal.

Button (Really: Actions) Lock

Lock and pause work a bit differently from how they were, at least (I think) when I last spoke about them:

You no longer double-tap the watch to get to a time of day and battery percentage popup. That wouldn’t work with the Suunto 9’s battery modes turning off the touchscreen, after all.

Rather, you hold the lower button to get to such a screen, push the button while on that screen to lock the display. And that lock is like the “actions lock” of the Ambit series, i.e. it still allows you to go through the screens of your sports mode by pushing the middle button (or swiping if you use the custom battery mode with touchscreen on) (??).

Suunto 9 lock screen, at the same time, the new battery percentage / time-of-day popup screen

When you have the navigation screen active, by the way, you cannot lock the watch there. The lower button is then used for opening the navigation menu. But, you can lock the watch on another screen, then go to the navigation screen.

(The hack to long-press the middle button to activate the zoom, then long-press the lower button to lock the watch still works. You’ll have to switch to another screen to unlock the watch again, though.)

Pause Screen (and Lock)

The pause screen’s middle display shows total duration… but push the middle button and you can also see battery level and time of day, HR, or distance.

Suunto 9 pause screen: total duration

Suunto 9 pause screen: battery percentage and time of day
Suunto 9 pause screen: heart rate

Suunto 9 pause screen: distance

Oh, and if you want to pause the watch and not accidentally resume or end the activity: You can actually long-press the lower button while on the pause screen to lock the watch into pause.

Just make sure you hold the button until you see the battery level and time of day display asking to push the lower button to lock the watch, or you’ll have ended your activity recording…

Autolap Popup Improvements

The autolap popup display has also, and nicely, been improved:

It shows the lap number in inverted colors, making it easier to recognize, for one.

Suunto9’s new lap popup

In terms of data, the standard of it is to show… well, it depends on the sport. And now, partly, also on whether you have a Stryd / PowerPOD paired and did a certain ascent/descent.

In running, probably our major interest, a distance autolap popup on Suunto 9 software update 2.4 shows duration (of the lap), heart rate or cadence, and the total duration. (Lap pace, which was the same as the lap duration with the standard 1 km/mile autolap, is gone.)

Alternatively, when power is measured, it replaces HR or cadence.

Or, when a certain ascent/descent is measured, that replaces the total duration (with the number of meters/feet that was ascended or descended – whichever is higher).

A duration-based autolap displays the distance, HR/cadence (or power), and pace (or ascent/descent).

Manual laps also adjust based on sports and other measurements, e.g. in running to show duration, HR/cadence (or power), and pace (or ascent/descent).

Activity Summary

Finally, activity summary (after an exercise or in the logbook) now also shows the number of steps taken during an activity – whatever that is supposed to be good for.

Sports Mode Customization via Suunto App

There is one more not-so-little something regarding customization of sports modes that has come with Suunto 9 software update 2.4, but it comes with a big caveat:

You can now use the (new) Suunto app to customize your Suunto 9’s sports screens.

There is a limit of four screens, but one of them can now be a custom graph screen (i.e., the graph of your heart rate or the altitude graph).

Suunto9 sports mode customization (some display options) in Suunto app

Careful, though, for sports mode customization (or route sync) via the Suunto app breaks the watch’s connection with Movescount…

8 responses

  1. Hollis Avatar

    Thank you for the great info. I synced my 9 with the Suunto app to try out the Sports mode customization, knowing that would cut my connection with Movescount, but also assuming there’d be SOME way to get the file to Strava. But after tinkering with it quite a bit, I haven’t been able to extract a file for upload. Any ideas on this? If not, I may be done with Suunto for now. This whole Movescount vs. Suunto app thing is ridiculous.

    1. Two things:

      One, you should be able to find your data on, logging in with the same data you used for your account in your Suunto app. And there, the “Edit” hides an export functionality which you can use to import the data to Strava.

      Better yet, number two: Strava sync should be coming to the Suunto app (at least its beta) shortly

  2. Dennis Van Eeuwijk Avatar
    Dennis Van Eeuwijk

    Hallo what you think of the new garmin instinct
    I have been a suunto user a long time
    But i was waiting for suunto to release a new outdoor watch
    But now garmin has done that
    Any rumors

    1. No rumors, but I’ll have an unboxing and first impressions soon. The Instinct is a nice enough value-for-price package that I bought one. (If you’re on Facebook, you could have seen that here.)

      1. Dennis Van Eeuwijk Avatar
        Dennis Van Eeuwijk

        Thanks cant wait for the review from a suunto lover anyway so maybe i decided to switch after all these years of suunto if your review is good

  3. Hey there Gerald,
    I’ve been trying to determine from reviews, videos etc. without success…does the Suunto 9 and/or Spartan series allow one to access the countdown timer while recording an activity? I occasionally race sailboats, and this is a crucial feature that surprisingly not a lot of GPS watches have. For example, my Suunto Traverse has a countdown timer, but one cannot get to it when recording an activity.
    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    1. The newer Suunto watches don’t allow access to the timer in the activity mode(s), either. You could perhaps use the intervals feature as a workaround, but it would take some time to set that up on the watch and it would only work for times between 10 seconds and 30 minutes

      1. Alrighty, thanks–that means it would work, but would be a (likely) pain.

        Thanks for what you do here on your site by the way–you’ve got details that no one else anywhere in the world has in your reviews! 🙂

        P.S. I had emailed you a few months back about the new Suunto straps and compatibility with the Traverse. I’m happy to say that they do work (at least the flat ones)…but one has to take the new pins out of the strap and replace them with the original ones for it to work.

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