Finnish watch manufacturer Suunto has announced a new GPS ready multi-sport watch they call the Ambit. The Ambit will feature all of the tools we have come to expect from Suunto such as a compass, barometric altimeter, barometer, thermometer, weather tracking, and heart rate monitoring (relies on an optional heart rate belt), an alarm and dual time zones. In addition to this bevy of features, the main new skill set of the Ambit is its SiRFIV chip driven GPS ability. Suunto calls the Ambit “The GPS for Explorers” and, providing it delivers a usable and reliable experience, we can’t think of any reason we wouldn’t want one on-wrist for our next adventure.
The Ambit can manage waypoint navigation and can also render your location in conjunction with multiple coordinate systems. The Ambit can also blend data from its accelerometer and GPS connection to render highly accurate speed and pace measurement data. All of the data collected by the Ambit can be synced with Movescount.com where users can plan and share their next sporting achievement or training goal and even customize certain settings for their watch (via a USB cable).
Available in a black or silver case which is 100m water resistant and fitted with a mineral crystal, Suunot does not list the size of the Ambit but it will be large (see wrist shot). Power comes from a rechargeable lithium ion battery and the Ambit screen has an adjustable back light and can be reversed (either white text on a black background or black text on a white background). Additionally impressive is the 50 hour battery life with GPS enabled, allowing for two straight days of GPS use before requiring a recharge.
GPS seems like an excellent functionality for planning routes, bookmarking locations or sharing your coordinates with others. Imagine the practical use for a back-country skier given access to speed, altitude, and coordinates if they needed to be rescued. The Ambit is not the only GPS watch on the market but it boasts a full feature set, an attractive design and excellent battery life. The competition is growing in the GPS watch segment but much of the early development came from handheld and dashboard GPS manufactures like Garmin, so we are happy to see continued innovation from a well known sport watch brand like Suunto. The Ambit is slated for retail release in March and pricing should be in the neighborhood of $500.