The Pursuit – EP131 “Come Sail Away” w/ Micayla Gatto Adam X Sauerwein
Suunto released a brand new watch this spring, called the Vertical. I’ve been testing this thing every day since the day it was released, and I’ve got some thoughts.
I tested the Titanium Solar version of the Vertical, which retails starting at $839.
Key features include:
Smartwatches are often too smart for me. They’re loaded with functions I don’t understand, with generally difficult user interfaces. This one was really easy to get used to and comes paired with a great app that provides insights into your training, sleep, and health trackers. It also provides access to tons of free maps that you can download and access on your device.
Suunto claims the battery lasts up to 60 days – but in the standard settings, it lasts more like 20. With the solar boost, and on the eco setting I could certainly see it lasting the full 60. The most impressive part about the battery isn’t necessarily how long it lasts, it’s how fast it charges. It’s actually ridiculous. This morning I was at 10%, threw it on the charger while making coffee, and it was all the way up to 40% a mere 10-15 minutes later.
Checking my heart rate and blood oxygen level is my norm now. It’s easy to access, and have found this function to be super accurate. To be honest, before this test, I didn’t even know what blood oxygen meant. Now, I’m basically a doctor.
Other face functions include steps, calories, weather, music controls, push notifications, and sleep. In the past, I’ve used a Whoop for my calories, heart rate, and sleep, but have found this watch to check all of those boxes well enough that I canceled my subscription.
Activity-wise, there are endless tracking options for pretty much any sport you can think of, even orienteering, whatever that is. Actively tracking mileage, heart rate, splits & vertical.
Testing wouldn’t be complete without comparing this device to some of the other tracking methods that people use. I’ve already mentioned Whoop, which was rendered irrelevant once I had the Vertical.
Compared to my Wahoo Element, it still holds up. It’s almost exactly even on both vert, and mileage on the road, but tends to be off by about 5% on most mountain bike rides. The GPS takes a while to sync at the trailhead, but even then, there’s still some contrast. The thing I miss most is the auto-pause feature. I’m not entirely sure why it doesn’t exist, or if I’m not smarter enough to figure it out, but seems to me that it should be a mandatory feature.
As far as Strava matching goes, it’s never the same. This likely isn’t on Suunto but on Strava, since we all know Strava is all over the place.
The Vertical watch is a great tool for anyone frequenting the outdoors. It’s stylish, functional, and offers great looks at what your training looks like beyond the surface-level statistics. Starting at $629, it’s fairly priced for a feature-heavy device.
The lack of an auto-pause is the only real miss. I did find that the watch un-syncs from my phone frequently, but pairs right back up as soon as I open the app again.
The durability over the month-plus that I’ve owned this thing had been unmatched, too. I’m careless and hard on my gear, so the fact that the watch looks new still is shocking, even after multiple hard crashes and numerous spilled coffees.
As a buyer, the Suunto Vertical is a top choice for me.
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