In today’s world of GPS smartwatches, the options for a rugged, dependable, everyday adventure companion are endless. Among the lot, Suunto is one brand that has innovation and ingenuity cemented into the company’s foundation since they first discovered a new method for manufacturing liquid-filled compasses in 1936. Fast forward to present day, the company's catalog runs the gamut from dive computers to sport watches to digital services. So how does Suunto top their current GPS smartwatch offerings, which top out with the Peak and Peak Pro? Well, they do so by pushing the limits even further with the new and aptly named Suunto Vertical.
One of the ways that the Suunto Vertical pushes the sport watch limit is by building on what is already an extensive and comprehensive map database. On-screen, the Suunto Vertical displays a precise color depiction of your current terrain and highlights the differences in altitude with accurate contour lines, just like a topo map. Paired with the Suunto App, you’re able to access all sorts of additional information including sport-specific heat maps, road surfaces and the most popular taken routes, all of which can sync straight to the watch.
The Suunto Vertical is also equipped with a dual-band GNSS satellite system that ensures pinpoint GPS accuracy whether you’re in the middle of an expedition in Alaska or on a casual weekend stroll through your local state park. But the best part is that all of the offline maps provided by Suunto are absolutely free of charge, no subscription required.
The Suunto Vertical also features an improvement in battery life that is equivalent if not better than its competitors. The Vertical boasts 85 hours of battery life during continuous exercise and GPS tracking. With Tour Mode (during which heart rate tracking is disabled and GPS pings are less frequent), its power reserve skyrockets to 500 hours, and when Daily Mode is engaged, the Suunto Vertical Titanium Solar variant can supposedly last up to one year without charging.
Just because the Suunto Vertical is a sport watch doesn’t mean that all design touches are lost. The case comes in an attractive silhouette that hits all the right notes with its sleek bezel, angular lines and form-fitting action pushers. One improvement that most of us wanted to see was a larger screen, and Suunto delivers on the Vertical with a 1.4-inch display (0.2 inches larger than the Peak and Peak Pro).
As outdoor enthusiasts, we can’t ignore the fact that Suunto is making a concentrated effort in reducing its carbon footprint, too. Their entire factory based in Finland operates on 100% renewable energy, and the company itself is an ongoing participant with the Tree-Nation reforestation project. The Suunto Vertical comes in four different titanium solar variations and four stainless steel standard models, all of which are currently available for preorder. The new watches will be available for online purchase and in select Suunto retailers on May 16th.
Price: $629 (stainless steel); $839 (titanium)