Suunto Race Review: AMOLED Marvel and Advanced Features
The brand new Suunto Race. has built upon the foundation that was just set with their recent Suunto Vertical, having many of the same features like a dual-frequency satellite chipset, offline topo maps, as well as a touchscreen protected with a sapphire lens.
But, instead of the memory and pixel display that’s found in the Vertical, they went with an AMOLED display. They also added a new Crown, which helps usability quite a bit. And, there’s also now HRV tracking.
Just like the Vertical, the Race comes in two different versions. There’s a stainless steel model as well as a titanium model. So let’s check out what else this smartwatch brings to its buyers’ wrists in this review.
Design and Build Quality:
The Suunto Race maintains the sleek and robust design of its predecessor, the Vertical, with a balanced 49mm size that is slightly thinner. Its 100m water resistance rating and sapphire lens ensure durability, making it suitable for a variety of outdoor activities. The subtle modification to the bezel’s top edge offers a refined touch, merging form and function seamlessly.
One noteworthy enhancement in design lies in the band, now providing a smoother transition during wear compared to the Vertical. This minor adjustment significantly enhances comfort, showcasing Suunto’s commitment to user experience.
- Measurements 49 x 49 x 13.3 mm / 1.93 x 1.93 x 0.52 ”
Weight 69 g / 2.43 oz
- Bezel Material: Titanium
- Glass material: Sapphire crystal
- Case material: Glass fiber-reinforced polyamide
- Strap material: Silicone
- What’s in the box? Suunto Race, Charging cable, Printed user documentation
The Suunto Race heralds the introduction of a groundbreaking AMOLED display, measuring 1.43 inches with a resolution of 466×466 pixels. This display is nothing short of vibrant, with colors that leap off the screen, ensuring readability even under direct sunlight. The optional always-on display mode enables quick access to essential information. However, the sleep mode, while functional, does not entirely deactivate the display, maintaining a dim state throughout the night.
Furthermore, the AMOLED technology effectively addresses concerns about screen burning, as Suunto employs pixel shifting in the always-on display mode to prevent any potential burn-in issues.
User Interface and Navigation:
The inclusion of a digital crown, a distinctive addition to the Race, vastly improves usability. It facilitates smoother navigation through menus, a feature that was occasionally challenging with only three buttons. The crown proves especially beneficial when scrolling through widgets, providing a more intuitive interaction.
The updated interface optimizes the crown’s functionality, streamlining the user experience. Swipes and touches on the AMOLED display are predictably responsive, providing a seamless interaction with the watch.
Satellite Chipset and Mapping:
Armed with a dual-frequency satellite chipset, the Suunto Race guarantees high accuracy, even in challenging environments. The precision of the tracks it generates rivals some of the best in the market, underscoring its reliability.
The addition of offline topo maps enriches the navigational experience, offering crucial context to your location. While not fully routable like Garmin maps, they furnish valuable information for outdoor enthusiasts.
Training and Recovery Features:
The Race introduces an assortment of new training widgets, including a recovery training widget, a training progress widget, and TSS (Training Stress Score) metrics. These metrics furnish invaluable insights into your training load, progress, and readiness for peak performance.
Furthermore, the incorporation of HRV (heart rate variability) tracking during sleep is a significant addition for understanding overall health and readiness for training.
Despite the power demands of the AMOLED display, the Suunto Race offers commendable battery life. Depending on usage patterns and the activation of the always-on display mode, it can last between 6 to 12 days. This stands as a testament to Suunto’s effective power management strategy.
For outdoor activities, the Race truly excels, offering up to 40 hours of battery life in the highest performance mode with dual-frequency GPS. The introduction of the fast charging feature, providing 6 hours of training from just a 10-minute charge, is a game-changer for those leading active lifestyles.
- Related Content:
- Garmin Forerunner 965 vs. Garmin Epix Pro
- Amazfit Bip 5 Review
- Apple Watch SE Review
- Impressive AMOLED Display: The Suunto Race boasts a vivid and high-resolution AMOLED display, ensuring excellent visibility even in direct sunlight.
- Digital Crown Enhances Usability: The addition of a digital crown significantly improves navigation, making it more intuitive and efficient.
- Dual-Frequency Satellite Chipset: This feature ensures accurate tracking, especially in challenging environments with poor satellite signal conditions.
- Offline Topo Maps: While not fully routable, these maps provide essential context to your location, a valuable tool for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Extensive Training and Recovery Features: The Race offers a comprehensive set of training metrics, including recovery training, training progress, TSS, and HRV tracking during sleep.
- Competitive Price Point: Compared to similar sports watches, the Suunto Race offers a robust feature set at an attractive price, making it an excellent value for money.
- Solid Build Quality: Like its predecessor, the Vertical, the Race is built to last, with a durable design and 100m water resistance rating.
- Limited Smartwatch Features: The Race lacks some of the advanced smartwatch functionalities found in competitors, such as contactless payments and offline music storage.
- Interface Lag: Despite the AMOLED display, there may be some slight interface lag, especially in certain areas of the watch’s navigation.
- No Full Routable Maps: The topo maps provided are not fully routable, which may be a drawback for users who require detailed turn-by-turn navigation.
Reasons to Buy:
Active Lifestyle Enthusiasts: For those leading an active lifestyle, the Suunto Race offers a range of features catering to outdoor activities, including accurate tracking, topo maps, and extensive training metrics.
Value-Conscious Consumers: With a competitive price point, the Race provides a robust feature set at a fraction of the cost of some high-end competitors, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers.
Performance-Oriented Athletes: Athletes focused on training and performance will appreciate the wealth of metrics provided by the Race, including TSS, HRV tracking, and recovery training, enabling them to fine-tune their training regimen.
Sunlight Visibility Priority: The vibrant AMOLED display ensures excellent visibility in direct sunlight, a critical factor for outdoor activities where clear visibility is crucial.
Brand Loyalty or Vertical Owners: If you’re already a Suunto Vertical owner, the Race offers an upgrade with its AMOLED display, digital crown, and additional features, making it a logical choice for those familiar with the brand.
When it comes to price, the stainless steel Race comes in at $449, and the titanium model comes in at $549, which is substantially lower than the Vertical and offers many of the same features. It’s also a pretty competitive price in the current landscape of sports watches.
The Suunto Race emerges as a formidable contender in the sports watch domain. Its introduction of an AMOLED display, coupled with the digital crown, sets a new standard for usability. The battery life, despite the power-intensive display, is commendable, rendering it a reliable companion for outdoor enthusiasts.
The dual-frequency satellite chipset ensures impeccable tracking, further solidifying its position as a top-tier sports watch. With a competitive price point, the Suunto Race offers exceptional value for its features. While lacking certain smartwatch functionalities, its core focus on sports performance and tracking makes it a standout choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. It stands as a testament to Suunto’s commitment to innovation and excellence in the world of sports technology.