Customer Reviews: Suunto Ambit HR Watch
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Price:$231.98 - $550.00
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on November 18, 2012
My first Ambit was returned after three days because the buttons quit working properly and the back light wouldn't go off. My second Ambit is being sent off to the service center because one of the bolts holding the strap to the watch fell out. Yep, it's going to the service center for THAT. I called their unhelpful "help line". There is no way to simply even purchase the bolt since "the product is so new". In my mind, it's pretty ridiculous that I have to send the watch to the service center for this! I sure hope it's covered under the warranty!

The watch operates fine, but for the amount charged, I expect high quality control and superior support. Suunto provides neither. As a result, I cannot recommend this watch. Regardless of the features offered, they are useless if the watch breaks constantly.
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on August 28, 2012
This is the second "wrist top device" I've purchased from Suunto I'm not impressed with their durability. The Suunto Ambit that I bought (retails w/heart-rate monitor for ~$550.00) malfunctioned w/in 2.5 months of purchase. I run 4-5 times/week in the US Mid-Atlantic region in a suburban/rural environment with light precipitation so the conditions that I ask the watch to function are not extreme in terms of temperature, moisture, or roughness.

As of this morning, the buttons on the Ambit no longer work properly: I am unable to navigate its settings or turn the backlighting off.

I called Suunto for help and they directed me to the website where I've been unable to locate any icons of FAQs that are useful in fixing the problem. Afer waiting for the power to drain on the Ambit I plugged it into the computer, powered it up, and experienced the same problem again (stuck in one mode with the backlighting on).

My last watch by Suunto had the bezel ring break within 3 months. Their gear is not cheap and should last longer. Suunto advertises great capabilities, but they don't bear up under normal wear and tear. Disappointing.
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on November 9, 2012
** Update ** 29 Nov 2012

I received an email in my inbox from Suunto announcing the release of Ambit 2.0 software. According to Suunto "This update also adds the much-anticipated Foot POD support, ANT+ compatibility and an Interval Timer to your Ambit." The updated manual and videos are in a 26 meg adobe .pdf file found at [...]

I will be taking more screenshots from and updating my review to reflect my experience with the foot pod.

My Ambit arrived this afternoon along with the Foot Pod mini(bought separately). Since I have not used the Ambit yet I will focus this part of the review on my impression of the product set-up, firmware upgrade, packaging and contents, as well as my experience. *I will upload product pictures after my write up.
Note to be as thorough as possible I have included many details - to make life easy for you I have separated the feedback into sections. Scroll down to the features that are important to you and you can skip all the other things that may not make a difference in your decision.

The long and short: Impressed thus far, no complaints or suggestions for improvement.

Packaging: I recently bought a Seiko and a Citizen watch (I have reviews up for both) and the packaging for this product is on par with the packaging quality of both manufacturers. There is a product sleeve with all the marketing jazz on it (a picture of the watch the model, the sku, etc), pushing the watch box from the sleeve and opening it reveals a tight compartment where there is only room for the face of the watch and the band fits into a cut-out keeping the watch from moving during shipping. removing the watch and the insert that secures it in the packaging reveals a compartment where four, quickstart instruction manuals are kept (the big foldout kind with pictures and instructions in seven or eight languages). The alligator clip and heart rate monitor were in this compartment along with the manuals. The heart rate monitor is SOLD SEPARATELY with SOME units so be sure you double check that the Ambit version you are buying includes the HR monitor (** Amazon sometimes - as I understand it - links product reviews based on the base product, NOT the individual package I bought).

Watch Size: Holy moly this thing is BIG. It is thick because of the electronics it houses and the size of the face makes this my biggest watch (see customer images for a side by side shot with my Citizen). I am 6'3" and 270lbs and I feel fine wearing this. If you are a skinny, marathon type body you may want to find this watch at a local sports store and try it out before investing this much money. That's just for those that care about aesthetics. : The firmware updates, customization, and data downloads are all handled through this site. If you are buying this item and you are deployed or have a loved one that is overseas without a computer and internet connection have the watch shipped to a friend or family member or home (if you're the gift giver) and update the firmware yourself before shipping this expensive little thing overseas.

Firmware update: I removed the watch and alligator clip style USB cable, plugged it into my Lenovo X220T Win7 machine, and followed the instructions to link the watch to my profile on First the instructions tell you how to download the software, the software installs then asks for your email address to link with your profile, and finally does an automatic check to see if the watch has the latest version of firmware. Mine didn't so an update was necessary. It was all automatic with one prompt that I had to click "yes" to upgrade to 1.8.6 - the Ambit's latest firmware. Total time to update was about five minutes - DO NOT freak if at the beginning the status bar stays at 1% complete for a minute or two.

"Customizing": see my image in the photos. When you hear reviewers talking about customizing the watch profile or menus this is what they mean.


As I use this product I will update my review to reflect my experiences.
review image review image review image review image
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on June 30, 2012
An amazing watch, very robust and looks really good. I personally prefer the silver one sine it looks better in reality compared to the black one. The black one with the black display looks completely different from what you see in the pictures and ads.
The GPS works great and fast and you can basically do anything with this watch - exercise, navigate, navigat while exersize, count calories, distance speed pace whatever you want. You can create your own sport type using movescount and program what data you want to see in each screen. This include a chart for altitude or heart rate, up to 3 types of data in each screen.The watch software is updatable through movescount so this watch is going to get even better with updates.
There is one thing which I feel is missing and I wish it will be added in the future - when you run at night or spinning in the dark in the gym you want the light to be on constantly but it is not possible for now.

I think this watch is truelly amazing since it is the first GPS watch which...
1. You can wear on daily basis since it looks really good especially if you have a massive arm(like I do :)
2. Another reason you can wear it daily is the fact that it is water ressistent up to 100 meters unlike some other gps watches like the garmin 405. Actually this the first watch that combines a really effective GPS with serious water ressistance and serious shock ressistance - kudos to suunto. And no - I do not work in suunto.
3. One watch that does everything - exersize, outdoor adventure activities, fast and easy navigation where ever you need it.
4. The first GPS watch which can work for a full month without recharging if you do not use the gps. If you use the gps it still gives you longer batter life then the competitors and it is the only gps watch that can work with one minute gps fix not just one second fix, this allows a lot more gps time in activities which do not require 1 second gps fix like tracking for example.

To summarize I think Suunto have done an amazing work with this watch.
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on November 9, 2013
Have no worries friends, YOU ARE GETTING WHAT YOU PAY FOR (in this case). I am in the military and I needed a watch that could put up with the demands of my job not only during training, but out in the woods/desert/snow/mountains during field exercises and missions. I wrestled back and forth for about a month before taking the leap and grabbing one of these Suunto Ambit. Price was the biggest hurdle I faced. You might be thinking, "Do I really need all of those features for that price?" The answer is no, you probably don't NEED them. Do you want them? Of course you do. I was tired of buying watches and thinking "I wish this watch kept pace, I wish this watch had a GPS, I wish this watch had a compass, etc etc." Now those thoughts are gone. 100% satisfied with the watch. The watch is 5 stars, the price makes it a 4.

PRICE: Most money I've spent on a watch to date (I've got 8 watches currently) at around $315 for the watch, charger and HR monitor. It is also the BEST watch I've had to date. YOU ARE GETTING WHAT YOU PAID FOR. Shell out the extra cash and put your mind at ease knowing you've got everything you need right on your wrist If you have no interest in the features of the watch and just want to know the time, then this watch is not for you. If you are an outdoorsman, serious athlete or in the military in a MOS that requires you to be outdoors, navigate and complete the mission, then this watch is for you.

SIZE/FIT: The watches screen size is great. I can easily see and read the screen when I am running full speed. It fits my wrist great and I really love the holes in the watchband to make for more breathability. One issue I have is that the faceplate does tend to scratch easily.

MOVESCOUNT: Every ruckmarch and run for PT (physical training) I wear this watch along with the heart-rate monitor. On movescount, you can personalize your watch display settings under different exercise categories. For example, I created a category titled RUCKMARCH. I like to know my current pace in time/mile and avg pace/mile, so I put it on the first screen. I like to see the chronograph, current time, and elevation, so I put that on the 2nd screen. I like to know my current heart rate bpm, average heart rate and elevation, so I put it on the 3rd screen. Now all I have to do to switch my watch settings before a ruckmarch is hit OPTIONS_EXCERCISE_RUCKMARCH and boom..ready to rock. The same thing goes for things like running, hiking and walking. After the ruck I can go to and checkout my progress, pace, heart rate, route, top speed/avg speed, weather during the ruck, elevation and where in your workout you are achieving the best results. It really has helped me become a better soldier/athlete.

GPS/COMPASS: The compass is on point. I was going through a land-navigation course at Fort Bragg. I was on my last point of the night and wanted to double check my current location after coming out of a swamp. I go to reach in my pocket for my compass and my protractor....they were both gone! "I'm screwed, now I will never find all of my points! I don't have enough time to go back in the swamp and look for my gear", I thought, then it hit me that I had the watch. So I looked at my map, estimated the Grid Coordinate, turned on the compass and gps on the watch and started walking. Got to my final point 30 minutes later and the gps brought me within 2 meters of the point. After that I was watch ever. Not to mention you can set up to 200 waypoints/gridpoints with this watch

HEARTRATE MONITOR: I have 3 other heart rate monitors. This one is the most comfterable. Sometimes I wear it all day just to keep track of my resting heart rate. Seems to be fairly accurate, might be 7-8 beats off for me.

TEMPERATURE: Seems to be off a bit. I think it might go off of your body heat and not just the surrounding area. Guess it would work better if you took it off your wrist.

If you are military or a serious athlete, do yourself a favor and buy it...thank me later.
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on September 29, 2014
I had this watch less than a year and the band fell apart, literally, a new one is an arm and a leg, when there are problems Suunto dont answer.
A new nut and bolt to hold the strap on costs $35, mine came loose and fell out somewhere.
In Hong Kong in a Suunto approved store I was charged $100 for a new charging cable.
All in all I am very dissapointed, I threw the watch in the bin after replacing the strap 2 times and watching the 3rd strap disintegrate as well.
I have written to Suunto 4 or 5 times, sent photos of the strap, but I have not received anything at all from them.
Really was a waste of money for me. I thought I was buying quality.
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on February 10, 2013
I received the watch on time and was very pleased to get it. I charged it up as directed and set the watch as directed. However, within 2 days the display went blank. I called Suunto and they walked me through a forced download of the firmware. Unfortunately, that did not solve the problem. So I shipped this back for credit as there was no replacement offered from the seller. The worst part about this is that this was the second Ambit I had the same issue with. I own 2 Core watches and love them both. I am not sure if there is a QC issue with this model but having 2 fail within a short amount of time was definitely not what I expected. As I stated, my Cores work flawlessly and was looking forward to using the GPS feature.
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on May 16, 2013
Technical details and benefits of this watch exceeded my expectations, which were high before purchase. I compared it with other similar brands and models and finally decide for this Ambit Suunto... and I'm extremely happy. Is very easy to use because all the buttons and screens are clear and in a logical order, and you can personalize any visual option any time using (which is very simple to use). I'm using my Suunto Ambit everyday for excercise (running, hiking, mountain biking & pilates), and the software is helping me to control the evolution of my physical condition. The GPS works excellent and navigation module is very easy to use. This Ambit seem to be big and heavy but it is not a problem when you exercise every day. I love my Suunto, it was a perfect choice for me. Highly recommended.
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on July 3, 2015
Got this as an early adaptor to the Suunto tech. Has been replaced by two new models since, but mine is still solid, reliable and zero hassles with software/cloud platform (July 2015).

Will definitely consider the 4th generation that should come out later in 2015, once the Bluetooth protocol has been through a version of testing. Suunto may lag in some features (vibration alerts) to Garmin, but they have a solid reputation for stability, which I value more. Apart form swimming, which my 1st gen version does not support, I use this for everything from navigation on multiday MTB tours to running and cycling and as a daily watch. This is an extremely durable watch that will last for many more years.
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on September 25, 2012
I purchased the Suunto Ambit Silver with HR belt from Princeton Watches through and have owned since the end of August 2012. Delivery was superb and watch quality and finish is excellent. I've used the watch primarily for running and weight training/indoor workouts in Florida, and have also used it on 3,600 ft hiking ascents in South Carolina. I like to use it on my runs and then post results to the Suunto free website, So far the Ambit has been very reliable.

The backlight is bright, you can configure and customize the data display to show the metrics you need and navigation through the various features is easy. The face houses three rows of data display with the center row being larger font and the easiest to read. It can be difficult to read the top and bottom rows of data when you're moving quickly but it's been okay. It will be an issue for some. The watchband is a bit stiff where it connects to the watch but I haven't had any issues. The band adjusts well and though I have a smaller wrist I like the fit. It's a larger watch but the size grows on you. It's a nice looking watch and I especially like the silver. The black Ambit will lose paint and show silver underneath, but you can apply a bit of black spray paint to refresh anytime. For me, silver looks better and is easier to maintain.

The third and fourth days I owned the watch I took it for hikes in the South Carolina mountains. It was interesting seeing the ascent and descent in elevation, vertical climb and distance metrics and the compass features in action. There was a difference between the watch elevation and the posted elevation at the peaks of two mountains. I may not have calibrated the watch correctly; keep in mind I had only owned the watch a few days. It was several hundred feet off at the peaks but the watch was accurate in terms of start and end elevation. What I mean is that when we returned to starting point at the end of the hike, the watch was extremely accurate. It was also great to see the GPS working and the new update with route maps is an outstanding feature upgrade.

The buttons are easy to operate, battery life has been good but I have only taken it below 50% battery expenditure once. You won't see many Ambits around if you're looking for uniqueness. I've seen only one other one, a black Ambit, on the wrist of the guy who introduced it and recommended it to me (a special forces enlisted man heading to OCS). The ANT heart rate strap/belt is comfortable but I'm having problems using it on LifeFitness, Pace and Landice treadmills. Maybe I need the Dual Heart Rate pod but I'm not having any luck getting heart rate readings from treadmills. The belt/strap is comfortable and it wears well. Suunto recommends washing the belt in the washing machine to clean salt off the electrodes to keep it reading accurately. I usually hand wash mine. I'm disappointed I have not been able to get my ANT pod & strap to work well with various treadmills. I'll follow up on Suunto and post an update after I get more information. The only way I've gotten it to work is to get and stay close to the treadmill display panel to get a consistent HR output during workouts. The new 1.8 software update includes new route and mapping features but I have not tried these. is a great tool and it's great to see your performance metrics online. You can also share moves, follow others and others can follow your experiences online from anywhere in the world. It's fun seeing where you've run and how far you've gone, even when it's only a 3.5 mile run. And, you can see the improvement (or declination) in your personal performance. This is I can think of right now. I really like the Ambit very much. It's attractive, solid and robust (banded it a bit several times) and I would definitely buy it again. If you might need the HR feature, you should buy the HR belt when you buy the watch to save approximately $25 if you buy the HR belt separately. The good news is that the watch will only continue to get better through the updates and new features Suunto has in the works. The next software/firmware update in November will include footpod compatibility so you can use the watch on a treadmill and obtain accurate distance metrics for uploading to

This watch gets better every day of use and with every Suunto upgrade. I'll post an update on the HR and treadmill issue soon.
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