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Suunto closes the gap on Garmin in race to dominate sporting smartwatch category

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Finland-based Suunto, a specialist sports watches and dive computers and instruments, has unveiled a fresh line of premium smartwatches.

The Suunto 7 collection is positioned as a direct competitor to Garmin’s MARQ range, which launched last year and are gaining traction among more traditional jewellers including Beaverbrooks.

Suunto’s watches run the latest Wear OS from Google on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 Platform and aim to be as effective for wearing during sports and everyday life thanks to a single streamlined interface.

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There are over 70 sports modes including running, cycling, skiing and surfing where the watch will keep track of exercise and offer training tips.

Suunto 7 watches have built-in GPS tracking, and will keep working for up to 12 hours while in tracking mode and well over a day with GPS disabled.

There are also offline outdoor maps with built-in Suunto Heatmaps across 15 activities that allow users to always find their way and know the best training routes, even when their phone is left behind or there isn’t network connectivity available.

Moving more into everyday life, the watches have built in Google Fit, Google Assistant, Google Pay and thousands of apps available from Google Play, plus daily features like notifications, calendar updates and weather.

Despite having the computing power of a tablet on the wrist, the watches are still shock-proof, water-proof and dirt-proof.

“Today, whether sport is your passion or your lunch-hour escape, we live in a blended life that demands a technology partner who does not sacrifice functionality in sport or everyday use. Suunto set out to overcome the challenge of designing a smart watch with robust sports watch features, and vice versa, in order to help users get the most out of both their sports and their busy lives. Combining Suunto’s decades worth of versatile sports and outdoor expertise with the helpful smartwatch features from Wear OS by Google provides an incredible opportunity for us to inspire new and expanding audiences to explore their surroundings, wherever those adventures might take them,” says Heikki Norta, chief digital officer and president of connected devices and digital services at Amer Sports Corporation, Suunto’s parent company.

Suunto 7 watches retail for £429.

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Tags : garminsmartwatchessuunto
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder