The Suunto 7 Titanium follows the same tone as the Suunto 9 Baro Titanium that was introduced a few weeks ago, Suunto takes advantage of the release of a new firmware version with some new features to relaunch the watch, but with a superior finish.
The changes Suunto has applied to this model are the same as in the case of Suunto 9. First of all materials, it is clear that the bezel of the new model is made of titanium (grade 5 titanium indicates Suunto). It also changes the aesthetics, being now much cleaner. The strap is also special, using the microfiber one that Suunto has in the accessories catalog at a price of 59€. Combining both things the weight of the watch goes down to 51.9 grams, 18.1 grams less than the original model.
In the software section the Suunto 7 Titanium is announced with new features, which of course will also reach the Suunto 7 which was already on the market. Specifically sleep recording, body resources, heart rate tracking, navigation with turn notifications and a new watch face.
Below I tell you in detail what these changes are with respect to the original Suunto 7, and also about the new features.
- Very comfortable on the wrist due to the lower weight and the fantastic strap
- Although it seems like a strap to be pampered, it is perfectly enduring intensive use
- Navigating with heat maps opens a new door to exploring hitherto unknown routes
- Good operation of the optical sensor
- Updates have solved most of the complaints I had when the first model came to market
- Google doesn't seem to put too much interest in Wear OS
- Google Music closed... nothing has come out to replace it
- Suunto's sports app still does not let us use external sensors
Suunto 7 Titanium, what's new
The new Suunto 7 Titanium changes aesthetically from the original model. The one that came to the market just over a year ago had four most prominent brands on the bezel.
Now that bezel is completely smooth, more minimalist, in the image and likeness of the one we also find in the Suunto 9 Baro Titanium.
The aesthetic aspect is a completely personal matter. The aesthetics of the new model is cleaner and elegant, the one with the steel bezel is somewhat more rugerated. Personally I like the design of the new one better, but it's totally personal.
But beyond the bezel perhaps what catches the most attention is the microfiber strap. Very soft to the touch, much more comfortable than the silicone strap offered with the original Suunto 7, and at first glance with the feeling of being much more fragile.
Precisely because of this strap I took a little longer with this review. I wanted to make use (and abuse) of it. Obviously I can't tell you how the strap is going to be in a year, but I can tell you that in the more than two weeks I've worn the watch I have sweated it running and riding, it has swallowed a lot of dust on gravel routes, has seen plenty of sun on long bike rides and absorbed chlorine from the pool.
How is the strap after such a demanding use? Perfectly, without any hint of wear.
Another doubt I had with this strap was whether it would not absorb liquid, especially sweat, and thereby smell like a wet dog. Yes, it absorbs liquid, but today it does not smell like anything.
It also does not absorb too much water. I've always showered with the watch on my wrist and when I came out of the shower it was obviously wet. I've put on long-sleeved shirts, but at no time have my cuffs get wet.
I can say that it is by far the best band I've ever found on a sports watch. Comfortable, lightweight and with a very good presence. The only doubt would be its long-term durability. Obviously it will never be the same as a silicone strap (practically eternal), but at the moment all I can say is that it has not suffered any wear and tear.
But returning to the watch, changes in materials and strap not only give the Suunto 7 Titanium a better aesthetic, it is now also lighter. While the steel Suunto 7 weighs 70 grams, the Suunto 7 Titanium set reduces to just 51.9 grams. A fairly small weight considering that it is quite large (50mm in circumference), and that size has not changed.
What has not changed either is the fantastic AMOLED display, obviously with touch control. However, it does not do without control buttons, which is to be appreciated on a watch that is designed for sports. The touchscreen can be used for everyday tasks, but when we have sweat on our hands, or we are in the pool, it will be totally useless.
The Suunto 7 has its own Suunto application, which runs on top of Google's Wear OS operating system. This is an important advantage, but it is also the worst thing about the watch.
As with any other watch that uses this operating system, we need to think that it is necessary to charge it daily. And if we want to enjoy one of the new features presented next to the Suunto 7 Titanium (sleep analysis), even before you go to sleep.
Yesterday I disconnected the watch from the charger around 11pm, just before I went to sleep. I have used the watch throughout the day to check notifications and also a little more than 60 minutes of GPS. 22 hours after disconnecting it from the charger is at 33% remaining battery.
It would be enough to go through the night without issues, but the ideal is to look for the right time to charge it daily. In your favor note that charging is relatively fast, needing only a little more than an hour to charge it completely.
My main objection to Wear OS is how Google is treating it. As it has happened with many of its products over time, one month is their favourite and one month after it becomes oblivion (or even completely disappear). For example, Google discontinued Google Music as a music playback solution. This happened at the beginning of the year, several months have passed and nothing is yet known that will replace it.
Not everything is bad about Wear OS. Thanks to Google's operating system, Suunto can offer features such as wireless payments with Google Pay, apps, music playback, etc. These are things Suunto could not develop themselves for the simple reason that they don't have enough size and development capacity.
It also allows them to focus almost solely on the watch's own application and be able to add features such as maps for navigation. Without a doubt one of the most outstanding features of Suunto 7.
Only Garmin can offer something similar, and it does so because it has the advantage of developing cartographies and navigators for vehicles for many years. The advantage they have is their maps are routable, while in the case of Suunto 7 it is an image on which the route is superimposed.
But well, let's talk about new software features and I want to remind you that if you want to know all the basic details of the Suunto 7 you can read the in-depth review of the original model.
New software features
Leaving aesthetic changes aside, it's time to talk about the new features included in the latest firmware update for all Suunto 7 (either titanium or steel).
These are three health functions collected in new widgets or tiles that are also reflected in the Suunto App, a new watch face and the possibility to make navigation routes with turn alerts thanks to Komoot.
They are not specific to Suunto since they are features that were present in other models in the range. But they do offer a little more detail thanks to the AMOLED display of the Suunto 7 and its algorithms are more up-to-date.
This is the same Firstbeat algorithm used by other brands such as Garmin (in which it is called Body Resources).
It is a monitoring of energy expenditure, how much we have remaining and how we recharge with rest and sleep.
Touching the tile it opens the general activity screen for the day, where there is a section dedicated to resources.
All resources data is also synchronized with the Suunto App.
On the sleep tile each day you can see a graphic with the total duration of rest. It just covers what you sleep at night, and not the naps you can take throughout the day. However, note that by default it is disabled and you will have to manually enable it. But once done, you'll have all the data daily.
The main image of this card shows, in larger size, the average number of hours asleep in the last 7 days. And below that data, the sleeping hours of last night along with how many resources you have increased thanks to sleep.
As with other tiles, touching it or pressing the button allows us to access more details such as what time you fell asleep and what time you woke up, how many resources were available upon waking up, a summary of what sleep was like as well as the quality and minimum and average heart rate during the break.
The information is quite detailed. Perhaps it does not reach Polars level (for example it lacks heart rate variability), but it is clear and concise.
As for the detection of going to sleep, I think the records are pretty good, too. Last night it was hard for me to fall asleep and I spent quite a long time spinning in bed, and the watch identified it perfectly.
Heart rate monitoring
The heart rate tracking tile shows your current HR, but also a graph of the last 24 hours, including also the sleep period. The interesting thing about this card is that it takes great advantage of the AMOLED screen of the Suunto 7, showing the icons at the bottom for the sleep period (sleeping doll), as well as the workouts (running doll).
That running doll just indicates that we have done an activity, not that it was a run. In fact on that day I did bike in the morning after waking up and swimming pool in the afternoon.
Like resources, clicking on the tile we access the general activity information, where it will also show the maximum and minimum heart rate for the day.
You can also check all the details on the watch, or in the Suunto app along with sleep and resources values as well.
Turn by turn navigation with Komoot
The integration of turn alerts with Komoot is also exactly the same as in the rest of the Suunto range, so there are not many differences from what I told you in the analysis of the Suunto 9 Baro Titanium. At least, no more than the differences themselves between both watches (display and maps integrated into the Suunto 7).
Komoot is a navigation service of an Austrian company, designed specifically for adventurous users. This is not the first time that a manufacturer relies on this platform for its navigation management. Komoot is supported by Suunto to be able to have turn alerts. It therefore benefits from the development of third parties without having to allocate its resources to do the same.
I don't consider it something to criticize, except for the fact that Komoot is a premium platform and we find that, after paying a significant amount of money for the watch, if we want to make use of this feature we will have to pay again. Although for that Suunto includes two regions for free in the Value Pack included with the purchase.
The truth is that it is a very complete and easy to use platform, in which in addition to being able to create your routes you will also be able to see and navigate the routes that other users load on the platform. Let's say it's a social network of adventurers.
Now Suunto has also begun to make use of this integration. This implementation is something similar to what Polar did with the presentation of its Grit X, to give the watch a turn notification before reaching the point where we should change our way. By using Komoot the manufacturer saves the development of the entire feature and puts it in the hands of a third party, a “win-win” for everyone.
Communication will be bidirectional. That is, from Suunto App, all your activities will be synced to Komoot, and in turn the Suunto App will be able to download the navigation routes we create or find in the Komoot community.
This synchronization is automatic, so we won't have to do anything on our part. We do the management in Komoot and then in the Suunto App we will find the route created, you will simply have to select it to send it to the watch.
Routes created with Komoot have turn notifications. The implementation is done as a waypoint with a name. That is, in the turns Komoot adds a point of interest with the necessary name at each moment, so that the watch can notify us of the location of that turning point. Not only will it do it with left or right, also with other names such as fork, etc.
As it is an alert screen that appears on the watch, we don't need to be viewing the route at all times. We may be seeing our data screen or the altimetry profile of the route, and when we are approaching the turn the screen will appear in the foreground.
The alert occurs twice. First 100 meters before the turning point to be prevented from coming a change in the path. And secondly when we are in the turn (well, a few meters before), so that we do not get lost at any time.
There is no map or drawing that appears on the screen, because as I said the way it is implemented through waypoints it is not possible, although you can always go to the navigation screen and check the route with the help of the compass.
Turn notifications will appear only if we have used Komoot to create the route, used someone else's route on the platform, or uploaded a GPX file to Komoot from another location.
If we do the route directly from Suunto App, no such turn notifications are added, is Komoot who adds the necessary waypoints. But there is an alternative way to do it.
Create routes with Suunto App and have turn notification
Do you want to continue using the Suunto App to design your routes because you're used to it and it's more comfortable for you? No problem: Create the route, download the GPX file and upload it to Komoot.
This is the procedure from an iPhone, but on Android it will be very similar. First you need to create the route with Suunto App, as you have always done.
Next you have to share the route with the specific button (photo on the left). We copy the URL of the file we are sharing and paste it into the web browser, so we can download the GPX file.
Once you have downloaded the GPX file, open it by selecting Komoot to do so. The Komoot app will open and ask you which of the two you want to select (because in the GPX there is the full path and a simple path). Select the first and import it as a planned route.
You'll have to select the type of sport and it will probably ask you if you want Komoot to correct the route. I prefer let Komoot do it, because in Suunto App we draw “by finger”, and probably what Komoot does is using the maps themselves. But this is already a matter of each and test-error method.
When we already have the open route in Komoot (at the bottom we can see all the details), we simply save the route and give it a name.
And since Suunto App and Komoot are linked both ways, automatically as soon as you return to the Suunto App you will find the route you just saved in Komoot.
Explained it seems more complicated than it is, but basically it is: draw route in Suunto App, share and open GPX with Komoot, save route, find it in Suunto App.
Komoot works by unlocking regions. As soon as you subscribe to the platform, you can unlock the region of your next route. That first region is free and allows you to create unlimited routes in that area.
But if you want to use more regions, you'll have to unlock them. You can choose to unlock a province for €9, or unlock all regions with a single payment of €20. That would be all you need to enjoy that navigation with turn-by-turn alerts, you don't need to be subscribed to the Komoot Premium option but simply unlock the region or regions you're going to use.
But the value pack included with the purchase of a Suunto watch will include the ability to unlock two additional regions. Of course, it's for new buyers, not for existing ones.
GPS and optical heart rate performance of the Suunto 7 Titanium
I don't want to extend too much with GPS analysis, because it's something I already did at the time in the review of the original Suunto 7. It was already good at the time and continues to be so in the new model.
The operation of the three watches in this workout has been really good. Obviously this are not three perfectly superimposed graphs, because that is not how technology works.
As I highlighted in the first Suunto 7 review, GPS performance is good at almost all times. Yes, I've had some punctual error, but exactly as with any other model. But I've never had any major impact.
With regard to the optical HR sensor, I did have something to check. Not about the sensor itself, with which I almost always obtained very good results, but because of the type of strap used.
In the Suunto 9 Titanium review I had some issues with the sensor, something that I put on the textile strap. The Suunto 7 Titanium, despite being also “textile”, is very different from that of the 9. Something more elastic, but without reaching the level of a silicone strap that allows a much more precise fit.
But well, I won't get ahead of events. I'll start with this progressive workout. In it I start smooth and make a total of three blocks picking up the pace.
The truth is that there is nothing to stand out, even at the beginning of the activity when it is cold, something that can be common in both optical sensors and those with chest strap. This first example is passed with note by the two optical sensors present in the comparison.
We're going now with a short interval workout, which is typically the most complicated thing for optical sensors.
The points indicated correspond to heart rate peaks of the Polar Vantage M2, which has generally performed well, almost identical to that of the Garmin HRM-Tri chest sensor.
However on this occasion the result obtained with the Suunto 7 Titanium was quite bad. Not only is it lost during any of the intervals, is that even at the beginning the tracking was poor, which leads me to think that that day I did not wear the strap tightly. I find no other justification, because as you have seen in the previous example at least that initial period should have done it correctly, it's more than capable to do so.
But don't worry... it'll be for interval workouts. Next another one with 3 minutes intervals. On this occasion instead of the Garmin Enduro I wear the Polar Vantage M2.
And here everything goes back to normal. There is a slight spike in the initial part of the workout, which I pointed out with a circle. This peak is more pronounced in the case of the Vantage M2 (and it has not occurred this time with the chest sensor).
But I don't want you to look at that, as I say, it's something that goes into normal. I have specifically pointed out the rising and lowering parts of intensity in the intervals.
Both the Vantage M2 and the Suunto 7 Titanium have tracked the 8 intervals correctly. In fact the only strange peak is around the 40 minutes mark and belongs to the Garmin HRM-Tri chest strap.
If both models have recorded the heart rate correctly, why so many arrows? Because where I want you to look at is the rise and fall of intensity. Because optical heart rate sensors estimate (and do not measure), it is common to find delays in intensity changes. But it's something that usually doesn't happen with the Suunto 7 and other smartwatches of the same style, probably because of its increased information processing capacity.
In each and every one of the intensity ups and downs the Suunto 7 has responded with the same speed as the chest sensor, while the Vantage M2 has taken a little more time to notice the change. The two readings are correct, the only difference is the speed in doing it.
In short, I have done nothing but corroborate the good feelings that the optical sensor of the Suunto 7 has always produced. In fact, that sensor has always seemed to me rather better than that of its siblings, the Suunto 5 and Suunto 9.
Where it is not so fine is in cycling, as is always usual in optical sensors. And here we have a problem since the Suunto App continues to not allow the use of external sensors.
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Suunto 7 Titanium opinion
The Suunto 7 Titanium is a more “premium” option within the range itself. As with the recent Suunto 9 Baro Titanium, the goal is to relaunch the watch with a model with a little more margin for the manufacturer, but providing elements of distinction that make it interesting and exclusive.
As for the Suunto 7 itself, I still find it an interesting model, but you have to be very clear who this watch is intended for. Suunto 7 is for those who are looking for a smart watch for everyday use and that also gives great importance to sport. But it is also for the one that a Suunto 9, a Fenix 6 or a Polar Vantage V2 fits big in terms of sport and short in the smart section. It is not a watch for triathletes or ultra distance runners. As long as this becomes clear, everything will be fine.
Suunto continues to release updates for its smartwatch. Something they have already been doing it quite steadily since the launch just over a year ago, focusing these updates on covering missing features. And it should be noted that whenever Suunto adds something, they do it with care.
The three new tiles are good proof of that. It is not simply adding sleep records, daily heart rate or resources, but they are all related and nourished by information that is relevant to each other. And the integration with Komoot is very positive because it adds a feature (the turn alert) that we could miss on a watch with maps for navigation.
In fact right now I think that the most limiting factor for Suunto is Google, because as with many of its products it seems to be in an “impasse”. Most likely, this is due to the purchase of Fitbit and because they now need to clearly define which way they want to go and how to combine Wear OS and Fitbit OS.
And with that, thanks for reading!