Suunto Ambit3 Run, running and navigation clock | Full analysis


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Today's is not going to be an analysis as such, but a list of details. I've been deciding for some time how to approach the test of this Suunto Ambit3 Run, and I had three options.

1- Do a complete test
2- Expand the information on the Suunto Ambit3 Sport test
3- Make an entry with annotations and printouts

The Suunto Ambit3 Run is almost identical to the Ambit3 Sport, but with some of the features cut out. It takes about 40 to 50 hours to do each of the tests you see on the page, and not only does it take that many hours, but it also doesn't make sense to revisit something that I already detailed in great detail a little over a month ago. It also wouldn't be fair to those of you who have already read the test of the Sport version, as I'll force you to read another full analysis where I'll repeat the same thing.

The second option I was shuffling around for quite a while, but as I pointed out ideas to try, I saw it as less and less feasible. Making incisions in every point of discord between both models was going to end up being chaotic, and most probably you, my fans and readers, would end up with a tremendous mess in your head and not knowing if the one I'm talking about is the Sport or the Run, or even the Peak.

I finally chose the last option, so I'm going to detail the specifics of the Ambit3 Run, so that when you read the Ambit3 Sport I think it's the easiest way for both you (most importantly) and me. Remember, this test is merely an introduction to the Ambit3 Sportif you read it now, or the epilogue if you prefer to read it after the main analysis.

As I always like to clarify, this test has been made possible by Suunto, as they provided the watch for the test. And once it is completed, I'll send it back to youI want it to be absolutely clear at all times, thus guaranteeing the independence of my evidence. I write my opinion freely and I don't have to be concerned about whether anyone likes what they read to get something in return.

These tests, my work in short, is supported by your help. If you buy something through the links provided will generate a small commission, which are those who pay the page, purchases of devices and work done. And best of all, at no cost to you.

Aesthetics and materials

The first difference you will appreciate is what you see at first glance. The design is different between the Run and the Sport, just as it was when the Sport was compared to the Peak. But of course, in the end it depends more on the particular taste of each user.

Suunto Ambit3 Run

It's not that the Ambit3 Run has a bad feel, but it does feel coarser than the Sport version, especially because of the bezel material, which is made of polyamide (a type of plastic) in the Ambit3 Run and steel in the Sport. Also, although both models have a mineral glass, the Ambit3 Run is completely flat, and the Sport is concave, giving a higher quality feel.


The straps are the same in both models, made of silicone. The feel in both cases is very good.

Sports Modes

This is where we find the main differences. The Suunto Ambit3 Run, as its name suggests, is a watch designed for runners, yet it supports a multitude of sports, such as kayaking, cycling, etc. But you won't find three things on the Ambit3 Run:

  • Support for external cycling sensors. If you want to use power or speed sensors, it's not your lucky day. You won't be able to do it in the Ambit3 Run.
  • There is no possibility to have swimming metrics, nor outdoor swimming. If you are going to swim frequently and also want to know your rhythms, distances and heart rate, you have to choose the Ambit3 Sport.
  • Despite supporting multiple sports, you can't set up a multi-sport mode where you can quickly switch between sports profiles without leaving the activity, so even though you can have defined running and cycling modes, you couldn't create one specifically for a duathlon.

Suunto Ambit3 Run

In short, everything is quite reasonable given the use of this model, and from the point of view that you are exclusively a runner and will not practice any other sport (at least intensively, to splash around in the pool you don't need metrics), there is nothing you can miss. Only those who participate in a duathlon can find themselves somewhat lame with the Ambit3 Run compared to what the Sport version can offer.

Other software differences

In addition to the above, there are differences in the clock menu. Some are logical (such as not being able to attach bicycle sensors).

Dock menu
ACOPLAR" menu on Ambit3 Sport

The Run model obviously does not allow for the pairing of bike and power sensors.

Suunto Ambit3 Run - dock menu
Menu "ACOPLAR" in Ambit3 Run

But there are stranger things that I can't explain, for example in the activity menu of Ambit3 Sport you can find the option to enter directly into navigation.

Exercise menu
Menu of activities in Ambit3 Sport

But in the Ambit3 Run, the navigation option does not appear in that menu. To start the navigation we have to be inside an activity and enter the advanced options by pressing the "Next" button.

Suunto Ambit3 Run - activities menu
Activities menu in Ambit3 Run

There is no reason for this absence on the menu, as both watches share the same type of navigation, and you will be navigating the same way with the Sport and the Run.

Similarly, in the Ambit3 Sport we have the same type of compass as in the Ambit3 Run, but in the Ambit3 Sport you can access the compass (as a widget from the clock screen) to be able to navigate directly as you see in this video.

In the Ambit3 Run we have no chance to activate that screen.

Suunto Ambit3 Run - display menu

But again, the compass is available, only that you have to access it by activating it within the advanced options menu.

My opinion

The Suunto Ambit3 Run has one major shortcoming (as does the Ambit3 Sport): The lack of vibrating warnings. It will only warn you by on-screen messages and sounds, which do not stand out precisely because of their high volume.

He faces stiff competition. Well below his price is the Polar M400The newest version of the Android application, with a more complete activity monitor, better quality screen, finished Android application and more developed workouts. You also have the Garmin 220The newest version of the device, which, although it does not have an activity monitor, offers much more advanced training and a vibration warning.

But not only does he have to fight with the rest of his competition, he also has the biggest enemy in his own house. For a little more than the cost of the Ambit3 Run we can find the Suunto Ambit3 SportAlso the Polar V800Both watches have multisport features and higher quality construction, and the price difference is small.

In the end, what should make you decide on this model is the complete navigation, which you won't find in those Garmin or Polar. If you're a trail runner, the Ambit3 Run offers you absolutely everything you need. But if you're an asphalt runner and don't need the navigation, any of your rivals offers the same for less, and with the difference in price you can pay yourself a tribute after winning your next race.

Buy Suunto Ambit3 Run

Here are the prices of the Suunto Ambit3 Run, not only in Amazon Spain, but also in other European Amazon's. It may happen that in some of them you have a much better price than the one offered in Spain and it is much more interesting to buy it. The guarantee is the same wherever you buy it.

The initial price difference with respect to the Ambit3 Sport is 100 ?, according to the manufacturer's price list. With that difference, if you are not going to swim, it is worth buying the Run. But it is very common that, thanks to occasional offers, the price differences narrow. If there is a difference of around 50 or 60 ?, even if you do not make use of the extra features of the Sport version, simply because of the quality of materials between both models it is worth buying the higher range.


Operation - 8.5
Connectivity - 8
Design, finish and comfort - 9
Battery life - 8.5
Applications - 7
Price - 6.5



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Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Hello again, Eduardo.
    If you allow me some questions about the suntoo ambit (the different versions...), I would like to know if the RUN version also has incorporated the features of the cell phone alerts to the watch or it has capped the SPORT version...
    On the other hand, it is important to know if the SPORT version has an altimeter and barometer, or if it has a PEAK version, and it is less important if the pectoral bands of the SUNTOO AMBIT are the same from 2 to 3 or if it is recommended to use the one that comes in the pack.
    Thank you again and a greeting.

    1. Yes, in the Run you have the same possibilities of use with the mobile phone as in the Sport version, that is, right now you receive notifications from iOS and in the near future, also from Android.

      The barometric altimeter is reserved for the more mountainous version, the Peak. In Sport and Run the altitude is defined by the GPS (therefore the data offered are not very faithful to reality).

      The Ambit2 used ANT+ connection, while the Ambit3 has switched to Bluetooth, so you have to buy the watch with the sensor, because the old one doesn't work.

  2. Hi, I am hesitating between buying the Ambit2 S or the Ambit3 Run. The difference in money does not reach 10 euros. I'll tell you my particularities. Right now I usually go running four days a week: three on a dirt track and one on asphalt. Although I don't do it nowadays, I wouldn't rule out in the medium or long term, getting into mountain running and running a half marathon. I was also hesitating between the Polar M400 and the Garmin 220. The first one makes me back that its battery life is much lower than what Polar specifies and that its Gps connection is not the fastest and most efficient. The second one, I don't like that when the battery reaches the end of its useful life it can't be replaced and you have to throw the watch in the trash.
    See if you can help me decide. Thank you very much.

    1. If you are going to use the navigation options (in terms of mountain use, especially when training, as the races are usually well marked), neither the M400 nor 220 are options, especially looking ahead, as it is an option that you can get to use. In addition, of the three, the Suunto has the most autonomy.

      When it comes to choosing between the Ambit2S and Ambit3 Run, if you're not swimming and don't need to connect external sensors when cycling, the Ambit3 is a better choice, both for current performance and for future upgrades.

  3. I forgot, the difference in money would be the same, I'm looking for a reliable, durable, well serviced and perfectly functioning watch. Thanks again.

  4. I bought it without studying the subject in depth and it is the most wasteful money I have spent in a long time. The chest band the first day I used it twisted all over and it stayed like a churro. The connection between it and the phone is awful sometimes it fails up to 8/9 times before connecting then there are a lot of times that it loses the communication. It is impossible to see the heart rate at the same time as the time or the chronometer. For me it is a very limited watch with a very improvable functioning.

      1. Hi!
        I am in doubt between Ambit2s, Ambit3Run and Ambit3sport.
        I'll tell you my preferences:
        I want a reliable and durable watch. I don't swim or ride a bike - just run mostly in the mountains.
        On asphalt I run marathons and trails I am interested in covering races of up to 60-70km maximum at an amateur level, and above all to be able to see during the race (apart from the basic data) the altitude, the positive and negative altitude difference at each moment (these last data I am not sure if they can be seen DURING the race, somewhere I think I have read that it is only possible at the end of the exercise).
        Another question: I also read that the Android system of this watch is not finished. I don't understand: what does it mean?
        Thank you very much for the clarifications!

        1. Well, none of those three have an altimeter, so it won't work for you...

          For the use you want to give him I recommend the Ambit3 Vertical (which is also now on sale), like the Sport but with an altimeter and perfect for running in the mountains.

          The thing about Android is that the mobile app is still green when it comes to syncing and working with notifications.

  5. Hey, Eduardo, thanks for the article.

    I have a M400 polar fleece without a band but I'm thinking of changing it for a Suunto Ambit3 Run or Garmin FR 230 both with a band. I only do mountain running (now called Trail) for distances of approximately 25kms and what interests me is basically distance, altimetry and being able to have a map of the race. That's why I'm interested in being very precise, which one would you recommend?

    1. None of the three have a barometric altimeter, so if you are interested in height data you have no choice but to raise the budget

  6. Hey, Eduardo, good to see your articles.
    I have one question left about the ambit 3 run, and that is if the gps detects the open water crossing as well as the sport one.
    Thank you very much! Greetings!

    1. No, the Ambit3 Run only has a running profile. To have swimming profiles you have to go to the Ambit3 Sport.

  7. Hello, I would like to give this watch to my partner. He usually does long walks in the mountains, as well as topographical races. Is there a watch that allows you to define a point on the compass like this at the same price?

    Thank you very much.

    A salute.

    1. To navigate to a certain point and guide you by the compass, I don't think there is anything simpler and more practical than the Spartans. Adding them from Movescount makes things much easier. Another option would be the Garmins, but managing the POIs is much more complicated and less practical. But they are all at a similar price.

      Anyway, remember that if you buy it through Amazon 1TP11You can return it within a month with no problems (to poder ser, through the links I provide 😉 ).

  8. Hi Eduardo. Thank you very much for your contributions. I have a doubt when you say that it supports kayaking cycling ... it means that it will mark you speed, peak traning and recovery time of this modality. I explain myself: I have the suunto ambit 2 r and I am happy with it. I am going to give my brother the suunto 3 run and I would like to know if it has the same settings as the ones I mentioned.
    A salute!

    1. Yes, in those sports it behaves exactly the same as in the racing modes, the difference is that it allows you to have different screen settings for each mode and when you synchronize, the specific sport will appear.

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