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Update for Suunto v 2.9.42, Firstbeat metrics in Suunto 9

Available for Suunto 3, Suunto 5 and Suunto 9


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A new update for Suunto is released today, mainly for the Suunto 9which is the one that receives the most news, but also for Suunto 3 and Suunto 5Therefore, it seems that the Suunto Spartans have reached the end of the road in terms of development and future updates.

You already know that to update the watch you must connect it by USB to the computer and open Suuntolink, where it will indicate that there is an update available and you can proceed to update.

Suunto Update October 2019

As usual with Suunto updates, they are released in stages. You may connect the clock and not see the update appear; this is because one of the phases has already been completed and you will have to wait for the next phase.

The reason is none other than that, in case of an unforeseen problem with the update, the distribution can be stopped immediately so that not all watches are affected.

Let's go over the news that the new version brings.

What's new v 2.9.42 in Suunto 9 and Suunto 9 Baro

Here's a quick list of what the update includes.

  • Estimation of the physical fitness level of running and walking sports (VO2Max)
  • Sleep Quality Metrics
  • Stress level and available body resources
  • Automatic time zone setting in the Suunto App
  • Basic information for first exercise
  • Time of day on the activity screens
  • New and improved GPS reception
    1. Improvement of the compensation position
    2. Irregular speed improvement (to avoid irregular tracks)
    3. Improved starting position accuracy
    4. Improvement in open water swimming
    5. Increased performance of GALILEO
    6. Precision improvements in static position
  • Error correction (sometimes blank screen, cycling summary without altitude data)

This update for Suunto 9 is an update of Firstbeat metrics from Suunto 5 and Suunto 3. Both already included VO2Max estimation, sleep metrics, stress level and available resources.

You can find more information about these functions in the Suunto 5 testwhere I go into detail on each of them.

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Of course, it is important to remember that to have these metrics you have to activate the heart rate recording throughout the day, as they need pulse data to provide the information. Keep in mind that this will affect the autonomy of the watch, so activate it if you are really going to use it.


Like other new features we have the GPS-based altitude adjustment. At any time you can ask the watch to perform the GPS-based altitude adjustment, correcting the barometric altimeter data to start recording from there. Of course this will only be found in Suunto 9 Baro.

The basic information for the first exercise is simply a first-use guide to what you need to do to perform well in training data.

In the data screens, the time is now displayed directly at the top, no more strange combinations of buttons or keystrokes are necessary.

Suunto Update October 2019

Finally, they indicate that there are different improvements with respect to GPS reception, not only in "dry land" sports but also in open water swimming. It will be a question of seeing it in successive tests.

What's new v 2.9.42 in Suunto 5

The list for Suunto 5 is very similar, but logically it does not include anything about Firstbeat metrics (which were already present in 5) or things related to the barometric altimeter, which Suunto 5 does not have.

  • Automatic time zone setting in the Suunto App
  • Basic information for first exercise
  • New and improved GPS reception
    1. Improvement of the compensation position
    2. Irregular speed improvement (to avoid irregular tracks)
    3. Improved starting position accuracy
    4. Improvement in open water swimming
    5. Increased performance of GALILEO
    6. Precision improvements in static position

What's new v 2.9.42 in Suunto 3

For Suunto 3 logically even less, as there is no GPS to be improved.

  • Automatic time zone setting in the Suunto App
  • Basic information for first exercise


The "most important" update is the Suunto 9, as it is the one that receives the most new features. But it is practically an update with respect to the rest of the range.

Be careful, it's not a small thing, don't forget it's about metrics licensed through Firstbeat This is very easy when you launch the watch, because you spend a part of the margin to pay for it, but updating a watch that is already on the market has to be a pretty tough negotiation, and I guess Suunto has had to pay a fee for all the Suunto 9 sold so far, so it's a big effort for the brand.

There's also another thing to keep in mind, this update marks the end of life for Suunto Spartan upgrades. Now comes the criticism from all users of these devices; part of it will be right and part of it will be wrong.

It should not be forgotten that the Suunto Spartan was released in 2016 with the Spartan Ultra. It means that Suunto has been updating the model for a little over 3 years (and certainly at the beginning it was highly necessary, as it came to the market quite lame in terms of functions), regardless of the fact that other models such as Spartan Baro, etc. have been introduced later.

No one in Suunto promised that the Spartans could have sleep metrics, stress level or resources available. I agree that the Ambit 3 did have VO2Max estimates, which is something that was lost when the Spartans were passed over. Could they have incorporated it? Of course, it wouldn't be anything complicated, but remember what I explained to you about the fees to be paid to the company responsible for the algorithms (Firstbeat), multiplied by the millions of Spartan units that may have been sold (whether they are still operational or not). It is certainly not feasible.

There are no GPS improvements for the Spartans? Normal, because the improvements are not oriented to a model, but to a chipset. In this case, the Sony GNSS chipset, which is the one that needs more affection from all manufacturers right now. That chipset is present in Suunto 5 and Suunto 9, but not in the Spartans.

So actually what we haven't received on the Spartans that could have come is the basic information for the first exercise, the altimeter setting with GPS or the time of day on the activity data screen. I mean, I don't see that it's too important to worry about.

It's not a question of defending a brand, but of facing reality. At some point the brand has to decide how far it will go with the updates of a watch, at which point it can devote more resources to the current range and the models being prepared in the future. This will be done by Suunto, Garmin, Polar or whoever.

At least that's the way I see it. If you see it differently, here are the comments so you can express your opinion or frustration. Be that as it may, thank you very much for being there and reading all my rolls.

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. It's a bit like you say, and a bit of the other. They still have mistakes to polish that have not historically been given importance, and I wonder what's wrong with that.

    The screens with graphics are incomprehensibly incompatible with the customised activity profiles; the low power mode, whose readings simply don't work; or when you have a workout scheduled, which you can turn off during the activity, but the Zones are stuck and can't be removed. Bugs reported from centuries ago, which remain unresolved and now I wonder what, if ever they are solved, they will be for the new range only.

    On the other hand, Suunto's drift is worrisome. To the very bad management of its platform migration is added this new iteration so small. That Suunto, so focused on the trail and the mountain, Garmin takes the subject of maps through his nose, and there is no reaction...

    1. Yes, of course, and I'm the first to criticize how the migration to the Suunto App is going, how slow it's going and all the problems it's creating. Suunto has no excuse for that, like what you say about the graphics, or not being able to have a duathlon sport profile, etc.

      What I meant is that this is present in Suunto in general, so whatever it is, it is the way Suunto sees how their customer or market is and prioritizes as they want, it has nothing to do with Spartans or new models.

  2. Hi, Eduardo!
    As always, great for bringing you the news. Following the Suunto forum I thought the update was coming to the Spartans too, but it was a bit of a surprise that they stopped updating them.

    Partly because of that I was thinking of changing my Spartan Sport to a Phoenix 5 plus or 6 for triathlon mainly (I think I'll discard the 945 because it's more plastic). You think it's worth paying for the 6 or with the 5plus I'll have enough, wanting music but not maps. I've read both reviews, but I'm not sure if it's worth the difference. All thought of buying it for the black friday offers.

    Thank you and keep it up!

    1. Thank you, Nacho.

      For triathlon the best option is always the 935/945 for size and weight (more comfortable underneath the neoprene), but in functions it is the same as the Fenix so it can also serve.

      The 5 Plus can probably be on Black Friday, the Fenix 6 I doubt it very much.

      Whether one or the other is worth it will depend on the offer. At the normal price I clearly opt for the Fenix 6 for autonomy, more features, etc. But with 200 Euros difference (for example), I don't think the improvements that the 6 has over the 5 Plus are worth it.

  3. Note that for me the most relevant improvement is the screen magnification from 1.2″ to 1.4″, but because to me, who get into the Pyrenees, the mapping functionality seems to me the cock in vinegar and that extra size has to be noticed very well.

    Too bad I'm not crazy enough to spend $750 on a watch 😛


    1. Well, I'll tell you what, that's like the TV in the living room. You can go from 42″ to 55″, but after a week you'll be used to it and you'll think you could fit 65″...

      Believe me, after the third day you don't even realize it.

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