Suunto X9i review

£306
Price when reviewed

Finnish firm Suunto makes watches for outdoor enthusiasts and its desirable products sit in glass cases at many outdoors shops. The X9i is the firm’s top-of-the-range GPS “wrist-top computer” and has a price to match.

Suunto X9i review

It might look bulky compared with most standard watches, but it’s comfortable and looks pretty stylish, too. And when you consider what’s stuffed inside, that bulk is much easier to swallow. Not only does the X9i have a 12-channel GPS receiver, but a temperature gauge, a barometric altimeter and digital compass.

The watch has a rechargeable battery that’s good for several weeks (as long as the GPS receiver isn’t continually in use), and routes can be downloaded to your desktop PC and uploaded to the watch using the supplied crocodile-clip USB cable.

It’s strong on the software front, coming with Suunto’s Trek Manager software, which can plan routes and overlay tracks onto maps, and there’s also a handy tool for exporting routes directly from the watch to Google Earth.

But there are no fitness features, and in use the X9i proved itself a bit of a mixed bag. We loved the clear screen and the altitude and atmospheric-pressure history profiles, but it’s complicated to use and performance isn’t great. It consistently took over a minute to get a satellite lock from cold and occasionally lost position in built-up areas.

So while the X9i may have the most impressive hardware feature set squeezed into the smallest package, it simply can’t match the Satmap for hikers, the t6 or Polar for athletes, or the Garmin Edge 705 for all-round appeal.

Details

GPS recommended use Hiking

Hardware

In-car mount type N/A

Other functions

Traffic information N/A
Postcode search N/A

PC Software

Software supplied Suunto Trek Manager

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