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  1. #1
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    Wrist mounted battle royal!!! Suunto Ambit or Garmin Fenix?

    So the both of these seem to do exactly what I want. GPS, HRM, bike cadence attachment thingies, they're pretty geeky, I can have waypoints set when I wonder off into the wilderness.

    The Ambit is a little more up front, but when you add the price of a HRM band to the Garmin...well...it gets closer

    Both are ANT+, so that is good. Garmin claims a slightly better battery life.

    I've used garmin software before (my wife has one of their cycling computers), and while I'm not overly impressed, it is usable. And it may be slightly better now. I have zero experience with Suunto.


    So anyone have opinions? A favorite? Hate one or the other? I'm even open to other suggestions, but it has to have all the same features...and be wrist-worn.

  2. #2
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    Wrist mounted battle royal!!! Suunto Ambit or Garmin Fenix?

    I believe the fenix will only display current hr. no max, avg, or zones. No training functions. I am looking for a watch gps and hrm as an upgrade from my forerunner 205. I think the 310xt will get me what I want plus a few extras for a reasonable price.

  3. #3
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    I don't have experience with either of those, but this guy's very thorough reviews really helped me make a decision on a piece of equipment awhile back (incase you haven't stumbled across these already).
    Suunto Ambit In-Depth Review | DC Rainmaker

    Garmin Fenix In-Depth Review | DC Rainmaker

  4. #4
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    Re: Wrist mounted battle royal!!! Suunto Ambit or Garmin Fenix?

    I tried both of these out and both watches have their strengths. My decision was based on the need/want for fitness functions over navigation features. The Ambit stayed.

    The Ambit looks great, has seemly better build quality, configure via pc, has PTE and recovery quantification of training impact. It also has many omissions like countdown timer, sunset sunrise, and a long list of other features that are in the fenix. It relies on an internet connection to configure using Suunto's Movescount software.

    The fenix is ultimately satisfying with its feature set and beyond my ability to describe it all here. It is sooo capable in the navigation area. It has a nice vibration and sound alarm, never miss an alarm again. It is configurable on the fly with no dependency on a pc or internet connection, which is inversely inconvenient when compared to point and click setup. As an example of functional refinement, the backlight mode can be set so that during night time hours, depressing any button will activate the backlight and during daylight hours button depressing will Not automatically activate the backlight. It reads the sunset/sunrise calendar as a reference. These are just a few things.

    Why I didn't choose the fenix? It did not excite me as the Ambit does. The Ambit just looks great. The fenix "felt" like I was strapping on my Edge gps and didn't quicken the pulse. My unit also condensated under the glass in cool conditions. It also locked up once.

    If I had to take a trip out of state I would take the fenix. Everyday day to day in my local habitat where I know the trails and urban environment which is 95% of the year, the Ambit is it. Also the Ambit gives me PTE/Recovery features that my Edges do not give me.

    I just may own both one day if the motivation is right because there is so much to like about both watches.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies!

    I've been reading reviews threads on watchuseek.com, but I'm still not sure. I like a LOT of the things about the fenix, but in reality, the training functions are probably what I'll use the most. As much as I like to think I'm a gnarly adventurer...I spend most of my time not that far from my home, on trails I know.

    I'm definitely going to check out the DC rainmaker reviews. The Ambit just looks cool. I've never used any of their stuff, but they do seem to have a lot of fans....

  6. #6
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    I am a big fan of Suunto. I have a couple of their watches already and recently was wanting to and another nice watch to the collection. It started out admiring the black faced Cores. I already had a Core with a white face with black lettering, but then wanted the white lettering on the black background. I came across the Ambit at REI and thought is was a bad-ass looking watch. I later learned that the display was selectable to either display mode-cool!

    DC Rainmaker, watchuseek, and other blogs are a good source of information and wont add anything more on that level here. What i will share with your is my buying process. I think you are going down a good path of analysis. Decide full well what your intended use will be and go with that rather than being led by the temptation many qualities leading the selection/decision process. I tried out the fenix for a good week before i returned it to make sure the honeymoon phase wore off somewhat, so I could make the best decision. Your decision for either one will obviously be a personal one. Perhaps you should test drive both to give you assurances of what you will be getting into as I did. In the back of my mind I would have remained forever wondering what the other was like if I hadn't tried them both out. I am settled on the Ambit now and happy with that decision. Of course, if you do this, prepare yourself ahead of time that because prying one away before the return period expires may be a difficult experience.

  7. #7
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    Le Pirate, did you decide? Which one did you end up with?

  8. #8
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    Resurrecting this thread from the dead!

    Ended up getting a Suunto Ambit a few weeks back when REI had their anniversary sale. I knew the ambit 2 (and 2S) were out, but looking at the differences, I figured the discount on the ambit 1 was worth it.

    I can honestly say: I love it!

    When I was trying to decide, I had to be honest with my self. I liked the Fenix for what I "could" do with it, but the Ambit was better for for what I "do" do (hahaha do-do...sorry). I've used it several times, and all but once it was for things that the fenix wasn't going to be as good at...workouts (bike rides, runs, etc). I've only used it for navigation once so far...and I actually just used the compass.

    Navigating the watch is pretty easy on screen, though there are a couple things that I had to look at the quick guide for (some menus access when you hold a button down for a couple seconds, rather than just push it). I like the Movescount interface on the computer, though I know that is a complaint for some. I like being able to set up my different screens for different exercises (for example: I have my primary screen for MTBing with heart rate, distance, and current speed).

    Also, I don't wear it constantly, but I used it 4 times last week on bike rides, and on one run (total of about 6 hours of GPS, HR time), and i still had 3/4 of a battery left, I think? Battery life does not seem to be a real concern, though it may be if you wear it every day.

    Trying to think of other stuff about it. I'll have to load some way points, and try to use it to navigate somewhere. Just haven't had a chance to try that out. The one thing I didn't really think about previously, but I've been highly impressed with, is the compass. After you do a calibration with it, you don't have to hold it flat for accurate readings. It'll read properly at any angle...pretty cool. (this may be a common thing, I've just never had a compass built into a watch)

    BTW--it's NOT tiny. A lot bigger than I thought it was. But it doesn't get in the way at all.

  9. #9
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    thanks for the review. the feature you mention regarding the compass is called a 3 axis compass. it's not common in gps fitness watches, but it is common in handhelds and in basic ABC (altimeter barometer compass) watches

  10. #10
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    Ambit2 vs. Fenix, for Marathons, XC MTB races, hunting, and backpacking trips -- which one to buy?
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

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