Design, functionality, and variability now range the full spectrum of what is possible. Suunto, a market leader in adventure watches introduced the original Ambit almost two years ago. The watch can be worn without tracking functionality as a normal active-wear and dress watch.
Today, Suunto has officially announced their latest addition to the lineup, the Ambit2 and Ambit2 S. With the new Ambit, Suunto is squarely taking aim at not only the ultra-running and hiking market that the Ambit1 targeted, but now — the triathlete.
It introduces both indoor and openwater swimming functionality, as well as multisport mode. But, how well does it work? And can it knock the FRXT off the top spot?
Because I want to be transparent about my reviews — Suunto sent me two final retail units to try out Ambit2 and Ambit2 S. Simple as that. Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails — leave only footprints. If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon or Clever Training links from this page to help support future reviews.
Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added — or if bugs are fixed.
Here are the two models. The Ambit2 is on the left, and the 2S is on the right. Apparently there was a mix-up and they sent me the original Ambit1 box for the Ambit2 S.
Perhaps they were trying to recycle old boxes. This will vary slightly depending on whether or not you picked up the variant with the heart rate strap. And the backside of the 2S. This four-pin charging clip simply bites onto the unit itself, and can be powered via any old USB wall outlet you have lying around — or a computer.
Good deal, huh? And in nine languages. Virtually indistinguishable. On the far sides we have other triathlon-focused watches with integrated GPS. Preemptive question and answer about previous section: If I send everything back, how is it that I have all these units for the rolling pins?
Simply put: I buy them.
Supporting the site through the links you see at the end helps with this. In recent months, Clever Training helps out with the majority of the unit re-purchases from their retail stock. Next is to note that the Ambit2 and Ambit2 S are slightly different in terms of thickness. Not a ton, barely noticeable unless you had them both and something like this to measure them: As you can see below the Ambit2 silver is 1.
I threw in the older Ambit1 black as well, which is. Width-wise, all Ambit units are identical — I measured it as The Ambit2 is 93g, whereas the Ambit2 S is 73g. This comes from the addition of the barometric altimeter and temperature sensors, which adds 9g of weight between the Ambit2 S and the non-Sapphire Ambit2 82g — not pictured : While the above is the Sapphire model for the non-S Ambit2 , the non-Sapphire model is slightly lighter at 82g — identical to that of the Garmin Fenix.
Her wrist size is 14cm or 5. She did a couple of runs with the Ambit2 S. In her case, she had to have it tightened down to the very last notch in order for it to be snug. Anything less and it was bouncing around.
Running: First up is pressing the Start button and choosing exercise. Each activity type has pre-configured device pairings associated with it, for example — a heart rate monitor, or a bicycling cadence sensor. Then the view button can be used to change the bottom half of the screen within a given data page.
Sorta like a rotating banner. Below is a short video clip I took showing what the instant-pace looks like on the Ambit2 while running. I was pacing against a boat along the river which I assume was doing the same speed as they almost always do in this section.
You should do this with a known distance location — such as a track.
Once paired the unit will at this point automatically use the footpod in place of GPS for speed and distance data, as well as provide cadence data.
This sucks. Other units on the market today will automatically failover to the footpod in times of need i. Cycling: Cycling with the Ambit2 is in many ways like running. The Ambit2 supports three bike profiles.
However, these bike profiles are a little different than most other units in that they apply to specific pods, and not to the whole bike. As for the other pods, it can be a bit confusing. Suunto ANT is private and closed, and only Suunto devices can use it. Of course, you can also jury-rig something too.
Indoor cycling is no problem at all any of the bike sensors. Power meters enable a cyclist to measure their actual output, irrespective of environment conditions such as head winds or changing grade a mountain. This enables you to compare the output of a lbs rider to a lbs rider.
Measuring and recording power meter data is probably one of the most fickle things you can do in sports technology today. While it seems easy, there are literally a hundred ways companies can and do screw it up. These screw-ups often come in the form of incorrectly parsing the data, or more importantly, the drops of data.
How a given head unit handles different power meters, the calibration of such, and the data recording rates are absolutely critical to accurate power data.
Riders can spend an entire season just to move their FTP Functional Threshold Power w, so data screw-ups that have a wider margin of error are simply unacceptable. Doing so is relatively simple.
This is of particular note, because you generally want to be prepared for such things. For example, in the case of a PowerTap, you should be off your bike and holding it still. In the case of the Quarq, you should be off your pedals and not rotating them.
Or at least, the last and current value.