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Following on from the release of the Ambit 2, Suunto have now released updates for the original Ambit to add many of the Ambit 2's features to your watch. These include a storm alarm and sunrise/sunset app, countdown timer and an autopause function. The updates will also improve some in-use aspects of the watch, such as connection stability to belts and pods and a faster sync to Movescount. For more details, see Suunto's support site here.
The update that adds UK grid references to the Ambit's GPS is now available. Connect your Ambit to your PC and it will update automatically. All new watches will check they have the latest software on first connection.
The Suunto Ambit has been designed for use in the mountains offering the skier, mountaineer, trail runner and hiker GPS technology, 3D compass, barometer and altimeter combined with an optional heart rate monitor. The Ambit, as in Ambition, is the perfect watch for those training in the mountains as it records speed of ascents along with locations and provides valuable barometric information and temperature.
The advanced GPS system logs your location and uses pre plotted way points (via your PC and movescount) in order to navigate your route accurately. The Ambit's GPS uses UK Grig (BNG), Lat/Long, UTM or MGRS co-ordinates.
The Ambit has the option of coming complete with an ANT Comfort Belt (heart rate monitor) allowing you to take full advantage of the training modes. All Ambits are compatible with ANT heart rate belts, whether you purchase it with one or not. The Ambit is also fully compatible with the Suunto range of PODs allowing you to gather valuable information for your training needs. Please see related products.
One great feature of the Ambit is the ability to change the display from Positive to Negative LED. Whether for aesthetics or for use in bright sunshine, you can always have the screen you prefer.
The housing has been designed to be super tough and durable ensuring this mountain instrument will withstand knocks in the toughest of conditions and will not let you down when you need it most.
Average Customer Review: Suunto Ambit 17 Reviews The first 10 are shown below, see all the reviews...
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Reviewer: Gavin Salt, WORTHING (5-2-2014)
Until last week this would have been 5 stars, however, having had my watch for about 6 months the display dies. OK not everything lasts forever and it is covered by warranty. However there are loads of similar complaints (with screenshots and even YouTube videos). Suunto warranty service seems good so far - fill in a form online and arrange for UPS to collect.
I am now worried about the long-term reliability. I do hope there are not loads of problems with the watch design.
Real shame because prior to these concerns, I really liked the watch. The display is very clear. Battery life was longer than expected. Performance in the mountains was great, the altimeter was accurate (within the limitations of an altimeter and accepting the laws of physics!). Now I am wondering if I also need to take a spare watch to the mountains!?!
Reviewer: MB, Worcester, Worcestershire (12-8-2013)
I bought this watch expressely for the GPS function to use when out on the hills, especially in bad weather with poor visibility. It has been incredibly useful in helping to check navigation and micro-navigate. I find it helpful to look at the route taken when back home via Movescount. For instance seeing where I went wrong coming off Ben Nevis during the snow! However the altitude function often needs resetting when on the hills to ensure accuracy.
I use the HR function for running, as unfortunately it won't work when swimming, and find the combination of GPS and HR useful for logging runs and noting distance covered. It has allowed me to be more precise in my training and encouraged me at times to push it a bit further, knowing how far I have already gone and how well, or not, I am doing.
The updates have been useful, such as adding British National Grid for using OS maps. I only wish they had adapted this earlier model for swimming, as I would certainly use the lap counter and HR monitor.
The watch is a little bulky, although impressive for its capability, and the face does catch easily chipping of the black paint. Otherwise it wears well as a casual watch, despite its size. I chose this over the Garmin Fenix, as I like the attention Suunto give to their watches and also have a Suunto D6i for freediving.
Reviewer: Jeremy Levy, London (8-6-2013)
Just love this watch. I previously used a Suunto Core which was really great: for skiing, ski touring and hiking, and other outdoor activities. I was taken by the Ambit to get the data output and in combination with HR belt physiological output, calorie burn and mapping. It is just fantastic and I love it, and have now bought a second as a present. It was very easy to set up, offers huge range of personisable watch faces and screens using the web site, easy to use in practice. I have now used it for ski touring, cycling and gym sessions and it has been great for all, slightly less so for the gym, but all you can get out of that is HR and calorie burn anyway - Not much height climbed in my gym anyway other than the stairs getting in ! Linking with the web site (which is easy) it maps your activities beautifully giving a whole range of data from HR to speed to ascent and descents. Battery life seems fine even in the cold. Its very light to wear and not too thick: buttons easy to use and the range of screens you can see when exercising is just amazing.
Altogether just awesome. Service and price from Facewest as good as always.
Reviewer: Wade Glasspoole, Balham, London (12-3-2013)
Awesome - exactly what I was looking for out of a GPS watch. My primary considerations were battery life and accurate altitude readings for long mountain runs and adventure races.
Also I was looking for a watch with simple to use functions - I'm not the biggest technophile out there and certainly don't want to spend hours in the hills playing with a watch.
The Ambit meets all these requirements perfectly. Out the box the thing just works! After a quick play with the buttons it all becomes clear. It picked up the satellites in seconds and off I went! Distance tracked is very accurate, altitude readings great - and combined with the HR monitor makes this a very cool tool.
Reviewer: Matt Bailey, Aston, Henley on Thames (7-2-2013)
I bought this watch as the strap broke on my Suunto Core. This watch is a great blend of the Core and the T5 training watch. Its a very good training assistant with a HR belt.The watch is quite big so might look a bit out of place on smaller wrists. The buttons are superb and the user interface is very straight forward and makes sense.
Reviewer: Paul Frost, Bodmin (6-2-2013)
I purchased this to replace a Garmin 405. The Suunto Ambit has surpassed all expectation thus far. It is comfortable and I have neither found it heavy nor excessively large.
The wrist strap is long enough to mount over clothing when necessary and the controls are easy to operate.
Connection the a heart monitor and satellite lock take just a few seconds; it uploads a small amount of GPS data after each download to assist finding its initial position. Battery life is excellent.
Configuration is easy when connected to a computer; you are basically able to set whatever information you wish to be displayed, on a series of screens that you choose, for each type of activity you pursue.
I have found the indicated calories expended to be much less than that suggested by the Garmin; in reality I suspect that the Suunto uses a more accurate algorithm that appears to consider many more factors to produce a realistic result that clearly varies with effort and terrain.
I highly recommend the Suunto Ambit.
Reviewer: David Gladwish, Santa Venera (28-1-2013)
The Suunto Ambit HR is robust, tough and comfortable on the wrist. Some people have said it’s a little on the large side, but considering its features and the GPS, I find it remarkably compact. The perforated straps allow good ventilation and the buttons are nice and big, making it easy to use even with thick gloves on.
The levels of customization available have surpassed my expectations, and the data has proved invaluable during running, cycling and trekking sessions. Having bought this for high altitude climbs, I was a little concerned about the GPS capabilities under clothing but so far it has continued to give accurate data under a hardshell and an insulated sleeve.
For slower activities like mountaineering/trekking, switching to the once per 60 second GPS reading saves a lot of battery life, whereas the once per second reading are ideal for faster paced sports. The heart rate monitor is very comfortable and doesn’t slip or lose readings on the go.
For those planning prolonged trips in the outdoors, it recharges via a USB cable, allowing connection to almost any portable solar device.
Reviewer: Calum Robinson, London (6-1-2013)
Really reliable. I use it for my cycle commute nearly every day, I also use it for running, walking and mountaineering.
Battery life is at least as good as Suunto claims. The display is excellent compared to other watches. It's not too big to wear as a regular watch. Movescount (the Suunto website for tracking your training & changing Ambit settings) has never been a problem.
There aren't any problems with the watch, other than GPS taking a while to lock on in the city (although that's the same for any GPS device). The HR strap also takes a while to "warm up" on cold days if you don't wet it first.
I bought this watch because it has better battery life and a better screen than any of the other GPS watches, and I'd buy it again.
Reviewer: Fin, Stamford (16-12-2012)
This is my second Suunto watch having bought an Observer a number of years ago from Facewest. I love the Observer and have worn it as a day-to-day watch and for outdoor expeditions in the Scottish mountains. The Ambit though, is a very different beast.
For me the Ambit is a serious sports and training tool. It is everything I expected and more. The features and ease of use are fantastic. I use it to improve my trail running performance and find the access to data a real motivator. I just want to get out there and 'race the clock'. Getting back, connecting to a computer and down loading maps and stats is so easy.
It is outstanding - more a portable training computer than a watch. The Movescount site and community are also very good. The only very slight downside is that it is a bit chunky for day-to-day wear and it needs a USB cable to charge.
Reviewer: Clark Gubbins, Durham (5-12-2012)
This watch is amazing. I recently upgraded from the Suunto Quest, another great watch, but it didn't offer GPS tracking and altitude information, plus there was other HR monitor data that I wanted. I'd originally wanted the Ambit, but was put off by the price and got the Quest. I wish I had gone straight for the Ambit now as I've got to find a buyer for the Quest!
It's quite straightforward to set up and use, more so because it's pretty much the same software as the Quest and is very similar, but you can also configure lots of settings while it's connected to your computer, via the Movescount website. Neither the watch nor the website are difficult to use, but like all new interfaces, take a little getting used to. With the amount of features and data available to the user, I don't know how the interface could be simpler.
The battery lasts a month when not in use for GPS, and will last 8 hours on a 1 second update and 50 hours on a 10 second update, whilst you're running.
It tracked all of metrics accurately and gives you the ability to configure every screen of information available, with up to 3 areas per screen, so very customisable and lots of info to get whilst running. This includes being able to add a screen to show the 'Apps' that you can create online. This is a genius stroke and further enhances the appeal of the watch. I configured an app which measured calories burned (in real time), divided by 200 which told me the number of large glasses of red wine I had earned so far (measures in 'Vinos'). I had the heart rate monitor from my Quest so I was able to track that data and see it in real time, including average heart rate in real time which isn't available on the Quest, plus got a far more accurate measure of my energy consumption during the run. You can view the details of my first run here: http://www.movescount.com/moves/move9070564 to check out the data the watch tracks.
The screen can be set to white numbers on dark background or vice versa - the former looks cooler but the dark on light is easier to read. There are also lots of features that would allow you to get more use from it as a day-to-day watch and for trail-running/hiking, such as dual time, date, alarm, temperature, barometer and compass. It comes with a USB cable to connect to the PC for data transfer, and to charge the watch, but the USB means that you can also charge it from your mobile phone charger (e.g. iPhone socket), if necessary.
I'd say the only downside is the size - it's quite big and has a solid GPS receiver on the strap. My everyday watch is a similar size, and heavier, though, so it wasn't a problem for me. However, devices offering simliar features from other manufactures (Garmin 910xt) are even bigger and don't look as 'watch-like'.
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