Introducing the Suunto Vertical adventure watch – the latest innovation from Suunto, the world leader in sports watches, diving computers, and compasses. Building on the success of the Suunto 9 PEAK, the Suunto Vertical takes outdoor exploration to new heights with its advanced features and rugged design.
As the name suggests, the Suunto Vertical is designed for individuals who constantly strive to push their potential and ambitions to the limit. Whether you’re a seasoned mountaineer, an avid hiker, or a passionate trail runner, this watch is the perfect companion for your wilderness adventures.
Durability is a key feature of the Suunto Vertical. The watch comes in two models (4 colors each): the “Suunto Vertical TITANIUM SOLAR” with a titanium case and solar charging function, and the “Suunto Vertical” with a stainless steel case. Both models are built to withstand the toughest conditions, making them reliable tools for explorations everywhere, from the highest peaks to the steepest valleys.
Equipped with offline maps, adventurers can navigate confidently without the need for an internet connection. You can plot your course, track your progress, and find your way back to safety with ease, even in the most remote locations.
The Suunto Vertical also boasts an incredible battery life, allowing you to stay out in the wild for longer without worrying about running out of power. Its accuracy ensures that you can rely on the watch’s data for precise measurements, helping you plan and execute your expeditions with confidence.
For active individuals, the Suunto Vertical offers a wide range of exercise tracking options with over 95 sports modes. Additionally, you can create custom modes to suit your specific activities. Analyzing your daily activities in detail, such as steps, heart rate, sleep, calories, stress levels, and even blood oxygen measurements, will help you optimize your performance and recovery.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the built-in weather forecast and storm alarm, which provide timely updates and alerts to keep you informed about changing weather conditions. The watch’s endurance test, meeting MIL-STD-810H military standards, ensures that it can withstand harsh environments and deliver reliable performance in extreme situations.
The Suunto Vertical is a robust and feature-packed adventure watch designed to cater to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. With its 49mm case measuring 13.6mm thick, it presents a substantial yet comfortable profile on the wrist. The watch comes in two variations: one with a stainless steel bezel and another with a titanium bezel. The titanium option offers a lighter feel, but it does come at a higher price point compared to the stainless steel model.
At the heart of the Suunto Vertical is a 1.4-inch, 280 x 280 matrix touchscreen display, which is larger and higher in resolution compared to the Suunto 9 Peak and Peak Pro. While it may not rival AMOLED or OLED displays, it still provides strong viewing angles in bright outdoor light and remains easily readable even in clear pool water. One unique feature of the titanium model is the solar charging ring that surrounds the display. This innovative technology promises 30+ more battery life compared to the non-solar variant, ensuring that the watch can last longer during extended outdoor adventures.
The watch features three large, flat buttons on the side, which serve as the primary means of navigating through the menu screens. While they might feel a bit stiff to press, they are still efficient in responding to on-screen actions. On the back of the watch, there is an optical sensor that takes care of heart rate monitoring and blood oxygen tracking. This feature is valuable for keeping track of your fitness levels during various activities.
The Suunto Vertical comes with a 22mm silicone strap, which provides comfort and durability during outdoor activities. The strap is easily removable, making it convenient to swap in a new band if desired.
Water resistance is an essential aspect of any adventure watch, and the Suunto Vertical doesn’t disappoint in this regard. It can be submerged in water up to 100 meters in depth, making it suitable for swimming both indoors and in open water.
The Suunto Vertical is a feature-rich adventure watch tailored for outdoor enthusiasts, making it an ideal companion for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and other outdoor activities. While it also covers indoor activities like rowing and circuit training, its true potential shines when you venture into the great outdoors.
One standout feature of the Suunto Vertical is its dual-band GPS/GNSS capability. This innovative technology allows the watch to communicate with five major satellite systems over multiple frequencies, improving tracking accuracy in challenging environments such as urban areas with tall buildings or dense wooded areas. During testing, the Vertical’s dual-band GPS demonstrated solid performance, delivering accurate route mapping and metrics. While metrics like distance, pace, and average pace showed good results, the ascent data sometimes seemed slightly higher in comparison to other devices.
The watch’s heart rate monitoring performance proved to be reliable during steady-paced workouts, with comparable results to a Garmin HRM-Pro Plus chest strap. However, during intense exercise, some sporadic spikes in maximum heart rate were observed. Fortunately, the Suunto Vertical offers the flexibility to pair external heart rate monitor straps for more accurate readings.
One major advancement in the Suunto Vertical is its ability to view maps offline directly on the watch. Unlike previous Suunto watches that relied on the companion phone app for richer mapping experiences, the Vertical allows you to download maps by region through the app and then sync them to the watch. This seamless process provides access to maps on a dedicated screen or as an additional screen during workout tracking. The watch offers different map display types, including outdoor, dark, and high contrast, allowing you to clearly distinguish contour lines, water bodies, and other key elements of your surroundings. While not as detailed as Garmin’s mapping support, it still serves as a valuable tool for navigation and exploration during outdoor activities.
The Suunto Vertical’s touchscreen interface makes it easy to scroll through maps, while physical buttons allow for zooming in and out. To use turn-by-turn navigation with mapping, you can enable this feature when creating routes in the Suunto companion app.
The Suunto Vertical is not just a watch for outdoor adventuring; it also doubles as a fitness tracker and a smartwatch, making it a versatile companion for everyday use as well. When worn throughout the day, the Vertical tracks various fitness metrics, including steps taken, calories burned, continuous heart rate data, and overall activity levels.
During testing, step counts on the Suunto Vertical appeared to be higher than those recorded by a Garmin device and the Oura Ring. The continuous heart rate tracking, however, felt more reliable and consistent. The watch also excelled in sleep tracking, particularly in capturing sleep duration and the time it takes for the wearer to fall asleep. Nevertheless, the presentation of the tracking data on the watch and the connected app may not be as visually engaging as some competitors’ offerings.
As a smartwatch, the Suunto Vertical shows potential, but there are areas for improvement. It allows you to view notifications from your paired smartphone, control music playback, and change watch faces. These features generally work as expected, but the overall user experience is not as smooth or polished as one would expect from high-end smartwatches like those from Apple and Garmin. The basic nature of the display and noticeable sluggishness in the software somewhat hinders the overall smartwatch experience.
The Suunto Vertical boasts impressive battery life, particularly in basic watch mode, where it can last up to an impressive 60 days. However, when using activity tracking features and displaying smartphone notifications, the battery life decreases to around 30 days. The titanium solar model we tested offers even more extended battery life, ranging from 85 hours to up to 30 days, depending on the GPS mode in use.
During our week-long testing with all features enabled, including onboard blood oxygen tracking, the battery life lasted less than a week. Even after turning off the power-intensive blood oxygen tracking, there was still a noticeable battery drain, leading to roughly a week of battery life. Suunto addressed this issue by notifying us through the companion app that having the backlight turned on contributes significantly to battery drain. Once we turned off the backlight, the battery life showed improvement, lasting longer between charges.
In GPS tracking mode, the battery consumption proved to be remarkably efficient. During over an hour of outdoor tracking in the best GPS mode, the battery only dropped by 2%, which confirms that the watch lives up to its reputation for excellent GPS battery performance, even in optimal GPS mode. With some settings adjustments and careful power management, users can easily match this GPS battery performance on a day-to-day basis.
As for the solar charging support, similar to Garmin’s solar charging technology, it works best when the watch is regularly exposed to sunny conditions. Regular exposure to sunlight will provide the added benefits of solar charging and help extend the overall battery life over time.
The Suunto Vertical marks a significant step forward for the brand in its quest to compete with other top sports watch manufacturers such as Garmin, Polar, Coros, and even the Apple Watch Ultra. With the inclusion of essential features like mapping support and dual-band GPS, coupled with Suunto’s excellent battery performance during tracking and comprehensive outdoor data, the Vertical showcases its potential as a serious contender in the sports watch market.
The addition of mapping support allows users to access offline maps directly on the watch, a feature previously limited to the companion app. Dual-band GPS ensures improved tracking accuracy, making it more reliable in challenging environments. These enhancements contribute to a more robust and reliable outdoor experience for adventurers and athletes alike.
One area where Suunto still needs to improve is the on-watch software experience. While the watch excels in terms of tracking and data collection, there have been some concerns regarding the software’s overall user experience and interface. Fine-tuning and optimizing the on-watch software could elevate the Vertical to a higher level, placing it in direct competition with some of the best sports watches on the market.
Overall, the Suunto Vertical showcases its potential and progress in creating a sports watch that can compete with the leading brands in the industry. With its impressive feature set, mapping capabilities, and strong battery performance, the Vertical has laid a solid foundation. By refining the on-watch software experience, Suunto could position itself as a compelling choice for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, ready to take on the best watches in the market.