Posts Tagged ‘Garmin’

Suunto X10 Review

November 10th, 2010

Pros

  • Many features not found on other watches (e.g. barometer)
  • Saves up to 500 waypoints
  • Waterproof up to 100 meters/330 feet (farther than competing Garmin watch)
  • Very lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Consistent construction problems make watch unwearable: numerous horror stories of watch face and buttons falling off due to cheap adhesive

Review

Suunto X10The Suunto X10 Watch is designed as a high-grade, complex, multi-function GPS athletic watch. Suunto has a reputation for very high end watches. The number of exceptional features found on this watch are well above most competitors: the company has put considerable thought and effort into equipping the Suunto X10 with nothing short of every bell and whistle they could think of.  Unfortunately, the watch’s construction does not seem to have been approached with that same level of care. Consistent complaints of structural defects, if unaddressed by Suunto, will make the purchase of the X10 a gamble.

It’s an understandable gamble: the laundry list of features on this lightweight watch (its housing is just 76 grams) is impressive. Its menu-based interface gives users control of some of the standard GPS running watch features, including distance, speed, stopwatch, etc. It also tracks the route of travel using responsive GPS technology. The Suunto X10 will mark and keep track of up to 500 waypoints.

Less common features include the X10’s compass, barometer (with storm watch technology), thermometer, and altimeter. It is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters (about 330 feet) and also features adjustable declination. In addition, the X10 contains a calendar and can be set for 5 alarms at once: 3 daily alarms, 1 altimeter alarm, and 1 weather alarm.

More conventional, practical features include the Suunto X10’s backlight, rechargeable battery (charger is included), and low battery indicator. Suunto recommends the X10 for use in backcountry travel, military assignments, and generalized outdoor adventure activities.

Like other GPS watches, the data that the Suunto X10 collects can be tracked for statistical comparison overtime and is compatible with Google Earth (to recreate routes travelled).

One final feature of the Suunto X10 GPS watch is its inclusion of a 2-year warranty. This, unfortunately, is a feature noted by many owners of this watch because they have had to take advantage of it. Despite Suunto’s reputation for high quality watches and clear emphasis on multi-functionality, numerous owners report structural integrity problems. Specifically, the adhesive used to hold the watch together does not hold. The plastic watch face, as well as the buttons, have both fallen off for multiple owners of this watch. Though Suunto replaces the unit quickly and politely, the replacements do not seem to be any better.

Unless Suunto has improved their assembly and found a new adhesive, the bells and whistles may not be worth the purchase.

Bottom line: The Suunto X10 is a high-end GPS watch that has many fun features and gadgets not found in other GPS watches, including barometer, digital compass, thermometer, and even altimeter. Unfortunately, the X10’s lightweight plastic housing is not always held together with reliable adhesive. Unless Suunto has changed their manufacturing practice, buyers should be ready for the possibility of the watch falling apart, literally, at the seams.

What Accessories Come With GPS Running Watches?

April 1st, 2009

While there are several brands that generally dominate the running watch market, there is no single such watch that is right for everyone. Even between the major manufacturers who specialize in GPS running watches (Garmin, Polar, Suunto, and Timex, to name a few), there are many different models to choose from.

Accessories might make the difference in the watch you ultimately choose. Besides looking at the various features presented by different watches, you’ll want to keep an eye out for what sorts of accessories they come with.

In terms of charging and syncing with your computer, GPS running watches have different ways of syncing with your computer, as well as charging. From USB connection charging docs to wireless transmitters, see what’s compatible with your computer before purchasing the watch itself.

Shoe pods are a really popular accessory for running watches that utilize GPS technology. With a second device that attaches to your shoe (and connects wirelessly to the watch), you can measure not just distance and pace, but stride length as well. Useful for advanced runners.Polar RS300x

For runners looking for heart rate monitoring, many of these watches come with a wireless belt style monitor, which instantly transmits information straight to the watch’s display screen for easy reading.

Are you a runner, but also a biker? Many wrist-mounted GPS displays feature adapters or add on pods (like foot pods, but for your bike) to help measure your cycling cadence. And to track your speed and distance while biking without having to look at your wrist, you can find a handle bar attachment to mount the watch securely for easy viewing. This is great for those training for a duathlon.

What about triathlons? While not an accessory per se, you’ll find that many of the top GPS running watches are also water proof up to a certain depth, making it easy to monitor your entire training process.

Just like with girls running shoes, which come in a million different types and styles, there is no single watch that is right for everyone: and that ability to choose is a good thing. With different features and accessories available, the best way to select the GPS watch that’s right for you is to look at what you want and what the watch has to offer.