Suunto has announced the availability of the Ambit, a new model to their extensive line of wrist top computers. The Ambit is aimed towards backcountry hikers, skiers, mountain climbers and comes equipped with a built in GPS navigation system, altimeter, heart rate monitoring system and a 3D compass. This isn’t Suunto’s first GPS enabled watch (if you can call it that) but it is one of the first that doesn’t look like you are carrying a brick on your wrist.
Under the hood of the Ambit has some really interesting technology built in. It has a built in accelerometer that when combined with the GPS is supposed to provide more accurate speed data and a faster response time to speed fluctuations while running or hiking.
To help maximize battery life, the GPS and heart rate functions can be turned off. Expect the rechargeable lithium-ion battery to last about 15 hours with every feature running and 100 hours under normal operation. That might not sound like a long time but you need to remember that this is a tool developed for training or multi-use where you can access a charging source on a semi-regular basis.
Another cool sounding feature of this unit is that you can download and track your training stats on Movescount.com. They have also developed the ability to upgrade the operating system with new features through the same website.
Here are some of the Abmit functions from the press release:
Specialized outdoor functions of the Suunto Ambit include: Full-featured GPS (SIRF IV) navigations with Find Waypoint functionality with route planning, tracking and track logging, 100 waypoint creations in watch and Movescount.com, location in multiple coordinate systems, 3D compass (including military scale), barometric altitude, temperature.
Advanced training functions include: accurate and highly responsive pace with FusedSpeed™, heart rate functionality, including real-time training effect, recovery time, accurate vertical speed with a barometric altimeter and online sports diary with planning and analysis tools in Movescount.com.
Look for the Ambit to be at your local camping store sometime mid to end of March with a price point of about $500 or $500 if you want the wireless heart rate monitor strap.