EXCLUSIVE – New Suunto AMBIT 2 and Ambit 2S First Review & Movescount Upgrade

A little over a year ago the hoopla surrounding the launch of the new Suunto Ambit was to be honest a little crazy. For the first time the all conquering Garmin brand finally had a genuine challenger. As an ultra runner we always wanted a watch that could outlast our crazy running adventures and do it efficiently, accurately, reliably and in style.

The Ambit started to answer all those questions and quickly became our favourite gadget.

But knowing the heritage of the Finnish company, they were not going to rest on their laurels. We saw a couple of decent firmware upgrades extend the gap on the Garmin Fenix and the launch of the new App Zone in Movescount giving us a heap of new workout options. But there were still a couple of things missing and our readers told us this in droves.

Firstly, a lot of us ultrarunners also participate in other sports including multisport disciplines like Triathlon and Ironman so jumping between the bike and jumping in the pool are often all part of one workout. Secondly, the introduction of Apps via a Movescount App Zone was OK, but not really living up to the communities expectations.

So what have they done this time round and are we likely to see the same level of hoopla ?

World Mountain Running Champ and Suunto Ambassador Jono Wyatt input was key to the changes

Well approximately 5 months ago I was approached in my capacity as a member of the Suunto Expert Advisory Panel* to start field trials of the new Ambit 2 and Ambit 2 S. I was also sworn to secrecy!

Now we love an exclusive here at Ultra168 and wearing a new watch out on training runs was always going to turn heads and start a conversation I couldn’t have.

So I had to be careful where and when I would and could use it knowing that come the launch I needed to be able to give a very honest review of what the new family members have to offer over and above the original Ambit.

So while the world wakes up today to a media blitz from Suunto, you can be confident that we have had a significant amount of time with the watches in question and we are happy to share our thoughts.

So what is new ?

Firstly Suunto have not just upgraded the the Ambit, they have actually launched 2 completely new watches. The new Suunto Ambit 2 and the Suunto Ambit 2 S. And secondly, they have completely redesigned the Movescount interface by enhancing the look and feel and also increasing the role that the apps now play in every day exercise.

Why have they done this ? Well in feedback we received at Ultra168 and universally shared across forums it was clear that a lot of the features of the original Ambit met the needs of the outdoor adventurer more suited to climbing, trekking and hiking and spoke less to the multisport athlete.

As ultra runners we loved the long battery life and the robust build, but as an everyday watch some of these features were superfluous. Also even though the watch is smaller and more stylish than say a Garmin 910XT it was still pretty bulky.

So has Suunto addressed these needs by releasing two different Ambit’s? We think so and we look at both watches in detail below.

The original Ambit is replaced by the Ambit 2 and for those after a lighter more sleek multisport watch you now have the choice of the Ambit 2S

Review of Ambit 2 S

The Ambit 2 S is where we see the most changes from the original watch. It is up to 20 grams lighter than the new Ambit 2 Sapphire tipping the scales at 79 grams and is aimed fairly and squarely at the multi sport athlete and ultra runner who doesnt need all the bells and whistles of the more expensive Ambit 2 (reviewed below)

On the outside, there is a more simple design, it is sleeker, and lighter to look at. Slightly thinner in its depth when compared to the Ambit 2 but the display stays the same size. It now comes in 3 new colours – Red, Lime and Graphite and each colour choice will undoubtedly prove to be popular with a wider population of Suunto fans as this has been a successful ploy with their wider range of sports watches in the past.

The new Ambit 2 S Range (L-R Graphite, Red, Lime)

The watch utilises the full power of the GPS chip by using this feature throughout its new interface.

I gave this watch a pretty good hammering over the last few months as I was spending more time on the bike during a little sabbatical from racing ultras and so having the ability to test it against the more mainstream multisport watches was what I was after.

If you are wedded to the Garmin 910XT and its bike and swim functions then this watch will make you think again. Not only is it smaller, lighter and better looking, it now has the ability to support the various power meters (ANT+) often found on bikes such as those measuring wattage. Finally, I was able to combine HR, speed, climb rate and wattage (Maximum and average) all in the one display and delve into the data in more detail on Movescount by showing a nice power curve graph.

For the swimmers, the Ambit 2S utilises the FusedSpeed chip and accelerometer to capture every aspect of your swim workout. For the first time you can now measure pace, distance, intervals and stroke rate regardless of pool length. The watch is supposed to start recognising your different stroke styles so if you change mid work out you can analyse the difference post workout in Movescount. As someone limited to the doggy paddle I will have to take their word for it ! Suunto assured us that you can press any of the function buttons when the watch is submerged, ideal for those starting and stopping sets.

Now the feature that really made this watch standout from the crowd for me was the ability to switch effortlessly between different sports within the same workout. On a number of occasions I would road ride, trail run and then jump on a Stand Up Paddle Board. Each of these disciplines was only a button press away and I was then able to break down my splits and performance across the entire workout.

Battery life is cut in half and this reduction is due to a smaller battery pack and so now you get 8 hours on full 1 second GPS and HR recording and up to 25 hours on 1 minute intervals for the GPS. The Ambit 2S will last for 15 days in normal watch function compared to 30 days for the Ambit 2.

A nice addition to the display is that you can now see % battery life as part of the normal functionality allowing you to top off your charging prior to a workout if required.

Review of the Ambit 2

The first thing you will notice about the new Ambit 2 is on the outside. It now comes in Black, Silver and a very high quality Sapphire design. The Sapphire look is the top of the range in terms of pricing and is the last word in style. It features a brushed steel bezel and has sapphire crystal glass on a black strap.

Definitely a watch you can wear for work as well as pleasure. It is heavier, tipping the scales at 92 grams compared to 89 g for the black and 82 g for the silver. To some this adds to the quality feel and to others makes it a little heavy for smaller wrists.  The sapphire also has nice recessed black anodised quarter markers cut into the bezel again making it look impressive against the steel.

On the inside they have upgraded both the CPU and GPS chips, based on the same original design, but now offering more accurate and extended functionality. Battery life and GPS fix times remain the same as the original with up to 50 hours battery life on 1 min record intervals.

The new Ambit 2 Range (L-R Black, Sapphire, Silver)

The newest features that sets the Ambit 2 apart from the original is focussed around the aspects of measuring where you are positioned relevant to your altitude. The altitude measure utilises the barometer to ensure an accurate elevation reading but on start up it counts on the GPS to gain an initial fix using the new FusedAlti technology

Why the change ? – This overcomes the annoying issue we all discovered where we often measured negative elevation above sea level. This was very obvious for someone like me that lives on Sydney harbour and I would just grab my watch and run from home only to discover my starting elevation was down below where the fishes live!

Another great feature and something we have come to enjoy reading from Kilian Jornet’s training log is the ability to see on-the-fly total ascent and descent and vertical speed. If you can get the screen to show a climb rate of 1000m/hr then you are up there with the great Catalan’s feats.

For those of us who end up doing the big overnight ultras you can now dial-up Sunrise and Sunset times, tide times and even storm warnings utilising the barometric pressure apps. These features became really useful when working out my headtorch battery burntime based on where I was likely to be on the mountain and at what time the light would disappear and for how long allowing me to decide on how many batteries to take with me.

The Ambit 2 still comes with the option to include a HR strap and the design of the belt has not changed and we are glad they have not messed with this unit as it is very comfortable to wear.

All of the features reviewed for the Ambit 2 S are also available on the Ambit 2

Ambit2 Specs

Movescount Redesign and App Zone

I love my gadgets and always ensure I have the latest iPhone or iPad. But what makes me such a fan of the Apple world was cemented a couple of years ago with the introduction of Apps. For me, this was the true marketing genius of Steve Jobs. Build a device that allowed the community to use in any way they wanted. One simple device and a million ways of using it.

New Ambit 2 Silver showing map function

This is the same philosophy at play at Suunto. They have enhanced the hardware in the new Ambit 2 but the really exciting advance for me is only just beginning and yet to reach its full potential. Suunto have redesigned and upgraded the Suunto App Zone – the community forum where users can find and create free Apps for their Ambit’s. The upgrade now gives developers more advanced features to add to their apps and coupled with the new technology gives unlimited applications. So while we all got excited last year when they launched a number of useful apps such as the one I use most often on training runs – The predicted marathon time App which is based on your current running speed and it then project forward the time you will cross the 42.2km threshold.

How have they done this ? Well they have included a few techy additions to the data capture including IF & ELSE logic. What does that do ? Simply you can now record one parameter and if it changes you can see what it does to other measure within your workout. For example, for those cyclists out there obsessed with aerodynamic efficiency you could hypothetically create a “live aerodynamic drag” App that would give you feedback on your bike of the most aerodynamic position in the saddle by utilising your speed, air pressure, cadence, wattage data and as you moved quicker and easier along the road your watch would indicate this to you with real time feedback.
Ambit2_S_Perspective_View_Lime - RUNNING Negative Metric
New Ambit 2 S in Run function

For those racing trail ultras with limited course markings, you could create an App that has detailed route markings and once you step more than say 15m off course the watch will politely remind you to get back on track. One I came up with in testing was to measure my ideal calorie burn rate based on my size, weight, estimated calorie expenditure for the course conditions and then the App would prompt me when to eat and drink at set intervals with alarms built in if my effort exceeded my available calorie intake based on the terrain covered.

You can see that the possibilities are endless and once other brands get on board such as footwear and nutrition and the community grows the number of apps flooding Movescount will be growing by the day.

It is possible to run up to 5 different apps in one sport mode compared to just the one app per sport available with the original Ambit.

And finally, Suunto have redesigned the graphics packages for their propriety Movescount portal making it visually more striking and now enabling it to converse with other social media platforms such as Flikr easier.

Conclusions and Summary.

Suunto have gone to great lengths to clarify the positioning of their new range and this is backed up by their new pricing strategy. It is now a simple descending scale in price from the top of the range Ambit 2 Sapphire with HR belt at $699.99 AUD down to the Ambit 2 S in the 3 colours at $449.99 AUD.

So if you are in the market for a new sports watch, you are serious about your sport and you are looking for something which combines function and form with a fully customisable set of applications created by the community – then the extended Ambit family has all bases covered and would be hard to pass up.

Which do you choose ? Well it depends if you are more multi sport focussed or outdoor adventure focussed. The Ambit2S is ideal for triathletes and Ironmen who may get into ultras over the shorter distances while the Ambit 2 will be found on those engaged in long overnight 100 milers where navigation is required. For me, I love the Ambit 2S for everyday training use but will ensure I have one of the Sapphire beauties on my wrist as soon as my lotto ticket comes up.

A couple of things we are not happy about – Firstly there is still no Bluetooth Smart chip within the unit and no known timeframe to resolve this.

And for those of you who own the original Ambit might be thinking that this new functionality will be available to your watch with a simple firmware upgrade ? Unfortunately not, new chips inside negate the ability to change up but you will be able to utilise the Appstore features.

The full Ambit 2 and Ambit 2S will be available in May 2013 from your local stores including our favourite Footpoint Shoe Clinic.

Side by Side comparison
Ambitcompa*Marcus Warner is a member of Suunto’s Expert Advisory Panel and while this has no commercial arrangement, he has been given a number of Ambit’s to test over the last 12 months in which he provides in-depth testing and feedback direct to Suunto.
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67 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE – New Suunto AMBIT 2 and Ambit 2S First Review & Movescount Upgrade

  1. Thanks Marcus for the detailed review ahead of launch, exciting times and good to see that Suunto is not resting on their laurels. But are the changes enough to warrant an upgrade from the original Ambit if your are just doing ultras and not multi-sports? Hhmm, not sure. I suppose if I can sell my current one then perhaps. One thing I always wondered why Suunto is not providing a bit more flexibility is the GPS recording frequency. There’s a huge difference between 1 sec and 60 secs and ~16hrs and ~50hrs battery life. Why not just make that a parameter so the user can set it flexibly. If I take 30hrs for a hard 100 miler then I have to currently put up with the less accurate 60 secs readings whilst e.g. a 30 secs setting may just fit the bill. Surely it can’t be difficult to technically implement, do you know what is Suunto’s reason not to improve this aspect? Thanks.

    1. Totally agree – seems a handful of us 100miler runners need this option. Technically I cant see it being too difficult as every other function is customisable. Will do some digging. If this was an iPhone someone would jailbreak it and off we go !

    2. It is wrong to to consider GPS as your ONLY device for tracking speed/pace & distance.
      If you drop down to mostly any other time then the 1 sec fix interval, you might as well use a mini foot pod to record your actual and accurate speed and pace.
      The assumption that the FusedSpeed sensor will cover for itself in the meanwhile while there’s no GPS data is relying on too much.
      Instead of settling for averages, just use the Foot POD for those really, really long runs.

      1. Thanks Gideon, well of course I see your point, but I may not want to carry yet another piece of kit. I’m using a GPS watch because I don’t want to use a foot pod. It’s annoying having to change them everytime I change shoes, and I don’t want to buy half a dozen foot pods to cover all shoes. I don’t need 100% accuracy, it’s not a 5k run, but 60 secs GPS granularity misses out a lot especially on switchbacks.

        So why not just make this a user-configurable parameter that can be set from 1 – 60 secs so your customers can set this at their preference and to balance accuracy vs battery life, instead of hardcoding only two options?

      2. “Thanks Gideon, well of course I see your point, but I may not want to carry yet another piece of kit. I’m using a GPS watch because I don’t want to use a foot pod. It’s annoying having to change them everytime I change shoes, and I don’t want to buy half a dozen foot pods to cover all shoes. I don’t need 100% accuracy, it’s not a 5k run, but 60 secs GPS granularity misses out a lot especially on switchbacks.

        So why not just make this a user-configurable parameter that can be set from 1 – 60 secs so your customers can set this at their preference and to balance accuracy vs battery life, instead of hardcoding only two options?”

        Please don’t think I’m trying to argue (I mean in a bad way) :), but you contradict yourself.
        You cannot have both 100% accuracy and that amount of long life in one device…

        15 hours (up to) is a hafty amount of running time, we all agree.
        but for now technology limits us still.

        The use of the sensor in the ambit only shows the reliance on acceleration rather then pure gps technology which is flawed in constant speed under 20km/h.

        More then that, the 60s is not meant for running, especially performance runners like you.

        A well calibrated foot pod is supposed to give you at least 98% accuracy (which is alot!), along side with the ambit with fused speed off (don’t want inside sensor interfering).

        I have always argued before the ambit and fused speed days of the benefits of the foot pod.
        They still remain in extreme cases 🙂

      3. Hi Gideon, no problem, there is nothing wrong with a healthy debate. You want to be a leader in the market, so I’m simply providing feedback based on practical experiences for your consideration to improve your products. Am absolutely not expecting 100% accuracy and perfect battery life. As I mentioned, it’s a balance between the two, that’s the whole point. What I’m saying is that there is a big difference in accuracy between the 1 secs and 60 secs setting. There is also a big difference in battery life at these two extreme settings. What I simply wondered was to provide flexibility. If I could set it at 15 secs and get 24hrs battery life, for example (actual life may differ …), that would expand the usability of the Ambit.

      4. Well, if I had to sum up my point of view, is that it doesn’t matter if it’s 60s, or 10s, it won’t be as accurate as 1s fix combining the acceleration sensor. Which leads me back to saying that the foot pod will ultimately be the best partner for those super-ultra long runs exceeding 14-15h…

        I’d admit, there are stuff I would change on the Ambit, or let us say make things a bit more flexible.
        If I had to pick one example that relates to our military market here, was the Datums and Grids. Why not have only custom or the datums and grids we want on the watch, instead of all (but in which they are not applicable to our Israeli grid).

        I hope that in the future such options will come to the Ambit.

  2. Great review, thank you.

    Perfect timing. I am just looking to replace the Garmin 610.

    Can I put an Ambit 2 in black aside with you guys? happy to pay a deposit. How much will it cost me?

    Cheers Geoff

    1. Hi Geoff – glad you like the review and thank you for replying. Unfortunately for us we dont retail gear but I can highly recommend our sponsors at Footpoint Shoe Clinic – give Will a call and he will gladly help you out. Pricing wise, the Ambit2 in black with HR monitor will retail around $599

    2. As an owner of a Forerunner 610, I’d say go for the Suunto! I’m yet to get my hands on an Ambit 2, but the Garmin is plagued with bugs and reliability issues. Can’t wait to trade mine for an Ambit 2!

  3. This is shitty: “And for those of you who own the original Ambit might be thinking that this new functionality will be available to your watch with a simple firmware upgrade ? Unfortunately not, new chips inside negate the ability to change up but you will be able to utilise the Appstore features”. Because the Ambit has a lot of stupid bugs and if there is no future updates than I really think ending my relationship with Suunto for more upgradeable Garmin. Also 99,9% of Ambit Apps are soooooo useles….

    1. Hi Olivier,

      Please see my response further down which hopefully clarifies some points relating to the Ambit vs Ambit2 and software upgrades.

      Also, access to many of the new advanced Apps for 1st generation Ambit allows users to completely customise the data you want to see with if/then logic which is already seeing some amazing creations with real world useability.


      Suunto Australia

    2. Hi Alex,

      As mentioned in an earlier post of mine, first generation Ambit is definitely not a forgotten member of the family and we will continue to support it in being one of the best wrist-top GPS devices for explorers.

      A new software update will be available for the original Ambit in June. Click here for further details of how the original Ambit will continue to be supported.


      Enjoy your next adventures,

      Suunto Australia

  4. Hi Marcus, thanks for the post! just a quick question for you. As a fervent user of the Ambit, when I look at the new functionalities of the Ambit 2, it seems to me like there is no new functions related to new hardware on the watch, apart maybe for the Multisport functions. The question is now: will Suunto keep up wit its commercial promises and provide these updates on the Ambit firmware? As a menber of Suunto’s advisory panel, have you seen/heard anything about that? Thanks Again, Olivier

      1. Thanks Mate, interesting to see if Suunto will maintain its upgrade commitments as features like the GPS fix for altitute and weather forecast functions can be added easily to the Ambit. The Ambit actually already records the altitude bu GPS simultaneously to the barometric measure. Thanks for passing that through to Suunto and thanks again for the great blog! Olivier

      2. No worries and thanks for contributing. I think the move to the FusedAlti now means the GPS locates sea level for up to 15 minutes to ensure any changes in air pressure means you dont start at negative sea level which was always happening to me. That has now stopped with the Ambit2

    1. Hi Olivier,

      As mentioned in an earlier post of mine, first generation Ambit is definitely not a forgotten member of the family and we will continue to support it in being one of the best wrist-top GPS devices for explorers.

      A new software update will be available for the original Ambit in June. Click here for further details of how the original Ambit will continue to be supported.


      Enjoy your next adventures,

      Suunto Australia

  5. I’ve owned an ambit for less than 3 months and bought on the expectation that there would be firmware upgrades to enhance the functionality to do things like have more than one app available per sport mode, upgrade the incredibly limiting apps programming features (some conditional logic, even an exponent function would be nice) and yeah that gps based altitude stuff instead of the barometer underwater readings. Expectations based on comments on suunto websites and seemingly from suunto reps. So what do suunto do? They collect all the good ideas and suggestions from Ambit users continue to promote the upgradeable firmware features of the watch and then secretly design a new piece of hardware to sell all while continuing to sell what they know is about to shortly become an obsolete piece of hardware. So what are the plans for ambit 1 firmware upgrades now? I know suunto don’t make any money upgrading firmware so fair enough they bring out a new piece of hardware but the right way to do this would be to let people know well in advance what they’re doing so people don’t drop $600 on a piece of kit that belongs on the obsolete shelf five minutes later. How long have suunto been in development for the ambit2? Who bought an original ambit last week? last month? last year? How do feel about your purchase now? Owners of flagship products tend to have the highest advocacy levels compared to owners of lower end products. Why would suunto treat their most advocating customer base in this segment with such contempt? I was in the market for a foot pod, not now. In fact, never ever again suunto.

    1. Perfectly agree with you Kelly. I bought mine in January and I’m very dissapointed reading the news abut the Ambit 2. All the surveys and questions and promises for nothing. Also, never again Suunto.

    2. Same Here. Total disrespect for their customers. When I change my watch I will definitely not buy another Suunto.

    3. Same here, bought two Ambit 1 watches exactly one month ago. Fell for their promise that there would be new features via firmware updates. Now comes the ugly truth… and they even make it official that they would not do any feature updates anymore. So much for the weight-scale feature I was hoping for…

      Don’t get me wrong: I am not blaming them for not making features accessible that require more CPU than the Ambit 1 has, but there is a number of features that really does not seem to be primarily CPU-dependent, like FusedAlti, App Date visible in log, etc.

      Lastly, I feel it is a bit strange that a watch becomes outdated in less than a year. It is acceptable for this usual Apple gear that gets firmware-updates for three years after the devices come out – but a watch should last longer IMHO (or at least get the updates…)

      1. So I hear its definately no more firmware upgrades for people that took the punt on the Suunto Ambit1. I see on another site someone bought one yesterday!!!! Just thinking, but if prospective purchasers of the Ambit2 find out how pissed off some Ambit1 users are, maybe they won’t buy one. Prospective Ambit2 owners should ask themselves – when is Ambit3 coming out, what sort of firmware upgrades can they expect after that? Is it in development already? Would Suunto tell you? If you are an unhappy Ambit1 owner, I suggest that you let people know, as many as you can. Twitter, FB, all those other social media sites that I don’t know much about. Ambit1 owners have some power here. Lets demand a firmware upgrade. We have the capacity to significantly diminish the sales of the Ambit2 by letting people know. I cannot imagine anyone in the market for these watches buys one without doing any research and there are probably only a handful of sites that get most of the traffic when it comes to reviews of this sort of gear. Go there and let people know. Demand an upgrade to the ambit firmware.

      2. For what it’s worth Kelly – I have been using both watches over the last year and even today I took my Ambit 1 out for a 3 hr run even though I have Ambit 2;s right in front of me. Its still a great watch, with awesome features and runs all the apps ect just doesnt allow you to run 5 consecutive or multisport – but as far as watches go – its still a leading piece of technology that is worth utilising as an ultrarunner.

    4. Hi Kelly,

      Thank you for your feedback, we are keen to let you know that first generation Suunto Ambit is far from a forgotten member of the Suunto product family and will continue to be fully supported by the brand.

      If we look back to when the Ambit was first released globally in March 2012, we decided as a brand to support our loyal fans by offering periodical software updates that provided true functional benefits to the user. This was something that had not been seen in the GPS watch market before and due to the combination of our design teams hard work along with valued user feedback, we have delivered more than 50% more features to first generation Ambit owners. This exceeded our expectations to the point that the Ambit now has great new features from on-screen navigation using routes, the creation of App Zone leading to the first and only Apps seen in a GPS watch, to ANT+ compatibility and many others. We see this journey as a huge success for both the brand and our loyal fans, and the first generation Ambit today remains among the best products in the market in its category of integrated GPS watches for outdoor explorers.

      While no major SW updates that would bring new functionality are planned for the first generation Ambit, the Ambit will continue to evolve through the App Zone which is updated to offer more versatility in terms of Apps creation. There are already thousands of Apps available and more are generated every day. At the same time, Movescount.com receives a major update, providing new opportunities for advanced analysis of the moves made, new interactions between maps and graphs as well as many other improvements that users have asked for.
      While developing the Ambit, we also listened to feedback from many consumers who were expressing the wish for a full/advanced set of multisport (running, biking, swimming, triathlon) functionalities to be built into the Ambit for athletes. Thus we are introducing a new generation of Ambit family with rich multisport functionality – beyond the first generation Ambit features. This is a natural extension driven by the needs of our consumers and technological progress. With this new generation of Ambit products (Ambit2 & Ambit2 S) Suunto continues to further enhance the functionality of the Ambit family and the Movescount.com sports community – driven by the needs and wishes of our customers.

      We will continue to drive innovation and strive for excellence in this space to help give our community members best in class products that deliver to and redefine their expectations of what is possible with outdoor and training products.

      I look forward to any feedback you and other users have, and hope that you will continue to enjoy this great journey with Suunto.


      Suunto Australia

      1. Sam,

        None of this addresses the point. Suunto have misled people into buying the Ambit 1 through their actions by allowing them to believe that further firmware upgrades would deliver new functionality and features into the Ambit 1. Myself and others bought the Ambit based on this and its clear now that we have been misled. Some might say Suunto have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for example.

        For other unhappy Ambit 1 owners reading this please consider signing the petition on movescount.com by leaving a comment at the group called “Ambit 1 Upgrade Petition”. Also, feel free to join the group, give it a thumbs up and let others know. Find it by going to Community, Groups and searching for “petition”. Sam I would encourage you to read the comments here and see how other people feel about this issue.

        Look forward to your comments on this.



      2. Just enter our competition Kelly and win one then you would be happy 😉 And remember its just a watch and the trails are waiting so go enjoy a run. Thats what I do when things annoy me.

      3. I bought my Suunto Ambit two months. And I am totally disappointed with this. I feel like I was betrayed by Suunto, honestly. And yes, you are not addressing Kelly’s concern/.

      4. 412 members now on the Ambit 1 Upgrade Petition group on movescount.com. On the front page of the groups listing and rising fast. Movescount have made a comment there recently. Visit and join.

    5. Hi Kelly,

      As mentioned in an earlier post of mine, first generation Ambit is definitely not a forgotten member of the family and we will continue to support it in being one of the best wrist-top GPS devices for explorers.

      A new software update will be available for the original Ambit in June. Click here for further details of how the original Ambit will continue to be supported.


      Enjoy your next adventures,

      Suunto Australia

      1. Sam,

        It is great to see the feature upgrade being announced.

        That said, some will be satisfied with this. Others will not.

        After all, there will have been people who would not have bought the Ambit 1 if it had been clear that its evolution was nearly at an end.

        If you are one of those who are still not satisfied, I suggest that you explore your options with your retailer. I received an offer of a full refund from mine.


  6. Thank you for a great review! I have one question you might be able to answer though. I have sent it to the Suunto support, but haven’t received an answer yet.

    The ONLY thing that prevented me from buying the first Ambit was the fact that you can’t choose whether to use satellites or the foot pod to calculate speed/pace and distance if the foot pod is paired. This option is given in both Garmin watches I have owned so far (Forerunner 305 and 610), and also in 910XT which I was about to buy before I stumbled upon the Ambit.

    305, 610 and 910XT also allows you to calibrate the foot pod using GPS. This I know is not possible in Ambit and Ambit2.

    So the question, do you know if you can choose between satellites and foot pod to calculate speed/pace and distance if the foot pod is paired? If not this would be a deal breaker for me. Unless, of course, anyone could point out the advantages using the pod for this? 🙂

    Thanks in advance.

      1. Really sorry to hear that. I wonder why Suunto won’t let the users choose between the foot pod and satellites to calculate distance. I mean, the GPS is in use anyway so it can’t be to save power. And how many people have the possibility to run on a track to calibrate the pod? I think this is a strange decision by Suunto, to keep it this way. Otherwise the Ambit2 would have been the sport watch of my wettest dreams.

  7. So glad I stumbled across this site. I was going to purchase the Ambit yesterday but ran out of time. Then discovered that the Ambit2 is out!!! All the feedback has definitely made me rethink my purchase and potential brand.

  8. The Suunto website has an * next to heart rate zones, and states it’s available in Movescount. Does that mean that heart rate zones are definable in Movescount or only visible in Movescount? In other words, do you set the zones in Movescount, and are they then visible on the Ambit 2 with alerts? This is the only piece of information that I don’t feel is clear, and is preventing me from making my decision, as I want to stay within very clearly defined heart rate zones and don’t want to have to look at my watch every 30 seconds to monitor my heart rate.

    1. Hi John,

      To clarify, the HR Zones are not a pre-configured screen in Ambit family but are shown as a visual comparison in Movescount.com summary.

      You can set HR alerts on the Ambit to stay within a clearly defined zone while you train / race so you don’t have to keep a regular eye on the device.

      Hope this helps,

      Suunto Australia

      1. From ironman Athlete:
        1. can HR be specified on a per sport basis? (for most cyling HR zones are 10-15 lower compared to running)?
        2. Looks ambit 2s is not atractive option, since 8 hour data logging is not sufficient for most IM finishers. Having powermeter data sampled at one minute intervals, prevents detailed post-exersize analysis. Can the GPS be turned off, and just rely on bike POD and foot POD for speed?

  9. Thanks for the review.

    Think ill wait until the Ambit 6 is released next year. I thought this new one would have a better than 16hr battery life. Will stick with the 310xt for the time being

  10. Does the Ambit2 have naviigation features like that on the Garmin Fenix? (eg following a bread crumb trail) and getting alerts of going of a pre-defined track and so on.

    Also does it have a vibration alert feature. These features have me leaning towards the Fenix

      1. Hmm,
        I just check and it’s not on the Ambit (1st one, I own it) it will point you to the direction back, but only in a straight direction.
        Are you saying the Ambit 2 has these features, I can’t find it in the manual. Again only a find back in a straight direction, and haven’t seen anything about it alerts you if off track. this is really important for me.

        Disappointing about the lack of vibration alerts.

  11. Can you actually charge the Ambit2 while running ?? I mean, I have got a battery charger which I could bring in my backpack for the really long runs, and then plug in the charger for an hour or two during a run.

  12. While i appreciate, that Suunto are now going to release a new upgrade. The damage has still been done as I bought this high priced watch 2 months ago. I understand that that there are technical limitations to the Ambit 1. I also understand that all intent and purposes there is an inherit risk in buying something “first to market” But the this risk was mitigated for me when I was making the buying decision by the promise that it would be firmware upgradable for years and years to come.
    By suunto’s statement it seems that they have squeezed everything they can into the upcoming June firmware upgrade, does this mean that this is the last one? Also I see that certain features are available and not others because of “memory restrictions” As a suggestion perhaps it’s possible to choose which firmware upgrade you want depending on what type of athlete you are.. For eg: I would much rather have the swimming upgrade or multi-sport than the sunrise/set or weather alarm…

  13. movescount upgrade: a nightmare: a lot of bugs, no explanations about necessary upgrades and downloads, so some of them if not all look abusive and really disturbing. is it the finnish touch ?
    a bit surprised that each time they upgrade their platform they can’t release something working…… how to manage ambit data without going through movescount ? any freeware around ?any other experience ?

    1. I got an email regarding the upgrades.
      For me everything works, and looks great. I do have one issue and form one of my moves, the map isn’t showing. They release an update for Moveslink if you have problems uploading and also an update for the watch (2.08) I think was the firmware

    2. One VERY BIG THING that needs pointing out is that one can ONLY upload to Movescount and can’t use the data collected with any other software!!!!!!! This is after a long conversation with Suunto support. Even though there are lots of improvements on the way at Movescount, it won’t include comprehensive export formats – the existing ones are useless – as I was told “nothing will be as good as Movescount”. That means, particularly if you are a cyclist, and want to use power to manage your training, you are effectively unable to use TrainingPeaks, WKO+, Golden Cheetah and many other really good bits of software. So, marvellous watch though the Ambit2 is, it will be my last Suunto purchase unless they allow one’s own data to be used with other software. They don’t mention that it is not compatible with other software – all products from competing manufacturers such as Garmin, Polar etc. allow exports to various programmes – and it is something most people would expect.

      1. I don’t use power metre but do need to at times use other programs with my Ambit, can be done.

        To upload Garmin files (and other GPX files) look for a program called MX Activity Mover, this does this for you, found here : http://www.movescount.com/settings/applications

        To use data from the Ambit to other software, I do the following
        Export from Moves Count, there’s an option to do this, can usually export out as a GPX, KML or XLS format.

        Or using a 3rd party tool, I use Neo Tack, import to raw xml file (located: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Suunto\Moveslink2) then can edit this if you wish and export this to other formats..

  14. Is it right the Ambit rounds pace to the nearest 5sec/km on the display? Or will it actually display say 3:42/km.

    1. Ordered one this morning. Guessing this rounding is just for the instant pace and the pace per current lap is to the second like other watches…..

  15. Hi.

    Is someone able to tell me if they will be able to upgrade this watch with a Bluetooth conect option. (Why they didn’t in the first place is beyond me) or is it a hardware issue which can only be fixed in future models. Reason I ask is that it would be awesome to be able to upload the data directly to moves count via the iPhone or iPad rather than having to conect to a computer. (The best thing about the iPhone and tracking software is its available instantly)……. The ability to upload to an iPad or iPhone would be the cream of the crop.

    Also am I able to increase the number of waypoints over the 100 limit. As I kayak a lot and would love to store my fav spots and have them available on my wrist at a glance rather than having a larger more cumbersome dedicated GPS

  16. Regarding the “one app per mode” limitation for the original Ambit (aka: Ambit1) – there is a way to overome this problem to some extent. Please, check my app which in fact combines 4 apps in 1. http://www.movescount.com/apps/app10011503-4in1_Cardiac_Drift_HR_maxHR_maxSPD – this app shows you every 2 seconds a different thing: Cardiac Drift, Karvonen HR%, max HR in the current lap, and max speed in the current lap. Have a look at my app – it is easy to rewrite it so that it combines some other maps that you need. You can also drop me a msg – I can write an app for you if you have a great idea and don’t fancy wirting apps.

    1. Pretty smart idea Piotr. I’ve been unsuccessful writing an app that turns the light on each autolap (or per km). Can only get it do it the first lap then it stop. Be great if you could write that up.

  17. I have suunto ambit 2 ,nice device but you have to charge it one time in 30 days( just use as watch ) and if you use its attractions ( gps ,execises prog. ….etc.) you have to charge everyday so if you want to buy it you have to accept to carry its charger with it

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