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DJI Mini 3 Review
7:43 pm | February 10, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

When DJI released the Mini 3 Pro in 2022, it felt like the company was turning its back on true beginner-friendly drone models. Sure, the Mini 3 Pro is small, highly portable, and sits within the regulator-friendly sub 250g category, but some of the features on offer—and indeed the price—are geared more for advanced users and professionals.

It made sense commercially that the Mini 3 Pro was launched first, but with the release of the Mini 3, beginner drone enthusiasts now have a more affordable option to consider. 

From the outside, DJI’s two Mini 3 models look almost identical – the main difference is the absence of obstacle avoidance sensors on the Mini 3, which is one of the main limitations of this less expensive model.

DJI Mini 3 specs

Sensor: 12MP 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor
Equivalent focal length: 24mm
Video: 4K up to 30fps, 2.7K at up to 60fps, FHD at up to 60fps
Stabilization: 3-axis mechanical gimbal
Collision avoidance: No
GPS: GPS, Glonass and Galileo
Flight Times: Up to 38 minutes
Maximum flight speed: 35.8mph
Size: 148×90×62 mm folded / 251×362×72 mm unfolded
Weight: 248g (with battery & microSD card)

Collision avoidance is incredibly useful whether you’re an absolute beginner or an experienced pilot, but it is something you can live without. Neither the Mini 2 nor the original Mavic Mini had obstacle avoidance and both dominated the entry-level drone market. Other key downgrades include lower video specs, no 48MP photos and no subject tracking (Follow Me).

It’s not surprising that the Mini 3’s features have been pared back, but on the whole, it’s still a high-quality portable drone capable of capturing photos and videos in both landscape and portrait format. 12MP photos can be captured in both raw and JPEG, while video can be captured at up to 4K and 30fps. And despite not having collision avoidance, you can still enjoy Quickshots automated flight patterns.

DJI Mini 3 folded next to its controller

(Image credit: Future)

DJI Mini 3: release date and price

  • Released December 2022 
  • Available in five main kit options 
  • Basic RC-N1 kit costs just $559 | £519 | AU$829 

Touted as a less expensive and more basic version of the Mini 3 Pro, the DJI Mini 3 was both announced and released in December 2022. Since many of the main features are conserved between the two models, users can select the option that best suits their individual needs and, of course, their budget. 

The Mini 3 is available in five main kit options: drone only, for those who already own a compatible controller, which costs $469 | £439 | AU$699 ; the RC-N1 controller kit for $559 | £519 | AU$829; the DJI RC (smart controller) kit for $699 | £669 | AU$1019; the RC-N1 Fly More Combo at $718 | £678; and the DJI RC Fly More Combo for $858 | £828. In Australia, the Fly More Combo Plus bundle costs AU$1188 and add the remote controller to that bundle the costs is AU$1378. The bundles include two Intelligent Flight Batteries Plus (47 min max flight time), but these take the weight of the drone above 249g.

  • Price Score: 4/5

DJI Mini 3 on a table with propellers folded and camera protector on

(Image credit: Future)

DJI Mini 3: Design and controller

  • Lightweight 249g folding design 
  • Two controller options 
  • Increased flight time over Mini 3 Pro

If you’ve seen the Mini 3 Pro, you already have a good idea of what the Mini 3 looks like since the two are nearly identical. The main visual difference is that the Mini 3 doesn’t have collision avoidance sensors. But like all Mini models, the Mini 3 sports a folding design where the propeller arms fold in for convenient storage and transportation. Folded dimensions are 148×90×62 mm and unfolded are 251×362×72 mm, and the drone including battery and microSD card weighs just 248g. 

The Mini 3 offers a slightly longer flight time than the Mini 3 Pro using the same 2453mAh Intelligent Flight Battery. The maximum advertised flight time is 38 minutes compared to the Pro’s 34 minutes, but taking into consideration environmental factors as well as the default charge level of 25% when Return to Home is initiated, flight time in reality is around 25 minutes. These numbers come from winter testing and we think flight times will improve during the warmer summer months.

DJI Mini 3 RC-N1 controller with screen turned on, on top of a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)

 There are two controllers available and the less expensive option is the standard kit that comes with the DJI RC-N1. This is the same controller that you get with Mavic 3 models, Mavic Air 2S, Mavic Air 2, and the Mini 2. At the top, this controller has a phone holder where you can store the phone connector cable when not in use. 

The other controller option is the DJI RC Smart Controller, which features a 5.5-inch touchscreen with 700-NIT brightness. The DJI RC is faster to set up and much more convenient – plus the screen is clearer in sunlight than some mobile phone screens 

  • Design 5/5

Back of DJI RC-N1 showing triggers and joysticks

(Image credit: Future)

DJI Mini 3: Features and flight

  • 12MP 1/1.3-inch sensor 
  • Level 5 wind resistance 
  •  Quickshots flight patterns 

DJI drones are well-known for their ease of use, and the Mini 3 is no exception. Set up is incredibly easy with controls providing a generally positive flight experience with no perceptible lag between input and execution. There are three main flight modes available: Cine, Normal and Sport. Cine is the slowest with reduced control sensitivity for capturing smoother video footage; Normal is the most commonly used mode; and Sport is the fastest of the three with a top speed of 35.8mph.

Wind resistance up to Level 5 (up to 24 mph) is as advertised, and the Mini 3 can fly in these conditions with the flight mode set to Sport. It’s a small and lightweight drone, but nowhere near as powerful as a Mavic 3. Against 24 mph winds, it can drift, and controls become less responsive as the drone fights against wind gusts.

In terms of features, the main point of interest for most people will be the camera, which can be rotated 90° between landscape and portrait format. All photo and video functionality is available in both orientations. The camera houses a 12MP 1/1.3-inch sensor and provides a 24mm equivalent focal length alongside a fixed f/1.7 aperture with a focus range between 1m and infinity. Shooting modes include Single Shot, Timed, Auto Exposure Bracketing, Panorama Sphere, 180°, Wide Angle and HDR. 

DJI Mini 3 upside-down showing under collision sensors

(Image credit: Future)

The camera is the same as the one on the Mini 3 Pro, but 48MP shooting in Raw and JPEG is not available on the Mini 3. However, you can easily increase the size of the 12MP Raw files using Adobe’s Super Resolution in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. When we tested the Mini 3 Pro, the in-camera interpolation of Raw files was pretty much identical to Adobe’s Super Resolution, so despite the absence of the feature in the drone, you can still achieve similar results in post-production and essentially, the only cost is time.

A time-saving feature that beginners will welcome is the inclusion of Quickshots. These are automated flight patterns that allow you to capture interesting video footage with ease. There are five options available and all can be shot with the camera set horizontally or vertically. One thing to bear in mind here is that the Mini 3 doesn’t have obstacle avoidance sensors, so you have to be sure that there are no obstacles nearby that the drone could potentially crash into while performing Quickshots.

Collision avoidance is a useful feature, but one that has been omitted, presumably to help reduce cost and differentiate the two Mini 3 models. There are downward vision sensors that help with hovering accuracy and work in tandem with GPS, Glonass and Galileo global satellite positioning. This keeps the drone in position as it is hovering when the controls are released. Then there are several Return to Home functions that automatically fly the drone back to the take-off point in various scenarios including when the battery is low and when the connection between the controller and drone is weak or dropped. Some RTH functions need to be initiated by the pilot, while others, like low battery RTH, are initiated by the drone.

  • Features and performance 4/5

Showing top of DJI Mini 3 and battery compartment

(Image credit: Future)

DJI Min 3: Image quality

  • Raw and JPEG photo capture 
  • Video up to 4K at 30fps 
  • Excellent image quality overall 

Overall image quality is excellent considering the small size of the camera and sensor, which is incidentally larger than the sensor used in the Mini 2. Images are sharpest in the center, with a drop-off in sharpness as you move towards the edges of the photo frame, but this isn’t the same case for video footage. 

ISO handling is also excellent across the ISO 100-3200 range, with natural color present and little to no color or luminance noise visible. This is thanks to DJI’s dual native ISO technology, first seen in the Mini 3 Pro, which helps these tiny drones to produce better image quality at higher ISO settings than some more expensive drones with larger sensors. So, combined with the fast f/1.7 aperture, 2.4 μm size pixels and DJI’s chip-level HDR technology, photos and videos can be captured in low light conditions with fantastic results.

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DJI Mini 3

(Image credit: Future)
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DJI Mini 3

(Image credit: Future)
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DJI Mini 3

(Image credit: Future)
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DJI Mini 3

(Image credit: Future)

Photos can be captured in JPEG and raw, with the former providing decent results straight out of the camera, and the latter providing more advanced users increased editing control. Video is slightly more limited than with the Mini 3 Pro, but you can shoot in 4K at up to 30fps, 2.7K at up to 60fps, and FHD at up to 60fps. And when shooting at 24/25/30fps, HDR video is captured.

There’s only one video profile option of Normal, with no Log profiles available, and the maximum video bitrate is 100Mbps – so not ideal for a professional workflow. Enthusiasts, however, may prefer the Normal profile anyway since this kind of footage is easier to handle than Log footage and doesn’t require color grading.

If you intend to shoot video, even at a basic level, it’s recommended that you use ND filters to achieve the correct shutter speed for natural-looking movement. An ND filter set is available separately from DJI and in a nutshell, the 180-degree rule for video suggests that the shutter speed used should be roughly double the frame rate of the video being captured. So, if you shoot at 30fps, the ideal shutter speed is 1/60 sec – easy. 

  • Image and video quality 4/5

DJI Mini 3 on top of wooden table with propeller out ready for flight

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the DJI Mini 3?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If our DJI Mini 3 review has you wondering about alternatives, here are two rivals to consider:

DJI Mini 3: testing scorecard

First reviewed: January 2023

Garmin Instinct Crossover review: The smart Casio G-Shock of my dreams
3:56 pm | January 31, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Two minute review

The Garmin Instinct Crossover is a Garmin Instinct 2 with an upgraded chipset and analog hands, and I love it. It’s one of my favorite activity watches of 2022 based on the novelty factor alone, although the fact it uses the excellent Garmin Instinct 2 as a base means it’s a very capable adventure watch, not just a one-and-done gimmick. It's definitely one of the best Garmin watches out there and the best hybrid outdoor watch I've tried, although it falls slightly short of perfect as it's overpriced for what you get.

The hands are based on a technology Garmin calls ‘RevoDrive technology’. Revodrive ensures that if the watch takes a big knock, moves into a different timezone, or undergoes any other event which would cause an ordinary analog watch to display inaccurate time, RevoDrive will automatically calibrate the watch using its satellite technology. 

This technology is also what allows users to actually make the most of the Garmin Instinct 2’s smarts. A simple press of any of the function buttons (other than the light) will stop the watch’s analog timekeeping and swivel the analog hands to form a horizontal line between the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. 

Information and workout statistics are generally presented in list form, so you can scroll through the info and see it clearly, even though the analog hands are in the way. When you’re done, return to the home screen, and RevoDrive will return the analog hands back to the correct time. 

Overall, there are a few improvements in the Instinct 2’s hardware, which we’ll cover later, and all the usual Garmin stuff is as good as ever, including Body Battery functionality, route tracking with TracBack, excellent running metrics, and all the usual health-tracking features, such as heart rate variability. 

The only issues preventing the watch from earning an elusive five stars is the increase in price as a result of the analog hands, which pushes it into the same territory as Garmin watches with more functionality, such as the Forerunner 955

Garmin Instinct Crossover: Price and availability

 The Garmin Instinct Crossover is available pretty much everywhere you can get Garmin watches, including at Amazon and direct from the Garmin website. It’s priced at US$499.99 / £479.99 / AU$999.99 for the base version, although the solar-charging model costs $549.99 / £529.99 / AU$1,049.99. A tactical version of the Solar, with stealth mode and a kill switch to clear all user data instantly, is also available at an additional premium, although the extra features are unlikely to appeal to anyone outside of the military or those with a love of 'tacticool' gear.  

Garmin Instinct Crossover

(Image credit: Garmin )

Garmin Instinct Crossover: Design

  • Great integration of analog elements
  • Rugged exterior
  • Very thick – maybe too thick?

The Instinct 2 was already one of the best-designed rugged watches available at its price point. It’s cheap enough to feel like you can throw it around without worrying about spoiling a four-figure watch, yet expensive enough to carry lots of Garmin’s best features and use premium materials in its construction. Garmin hasn’t reinvented the wheel here, with chemically strengthened glass on the non-solar version (the solar version gets Garmin’s Power Glass), and the fiber-reinforced polymer/stainless steel case and bezel that are also present on the Instinct 2. Garmin has also swapped chipsets, from the Instinct 2’s Sony to an Airoha, which expands the watch’s GPS options.

It’s still a 45mm watch, but slightly deeper at 16mm compared to the 14mm Instinct. This adds additional wrist protrusion to an already very chunky watch, but it’s easy to see why: Garmin has added the analog hands, which have a super-Luminova glow-in-the-dark coating, inside the case of the Instinct. This requires that extra 2mm of space, although we imagine future iterations will be able to streamline the tech somewhat, and bring it down to 14mm or even 12mm. As is, thanks to the rugged bezel, thick silicone strap and analog hands, the whole thing gives off real Casio G-Shock vibes. 

Until, that is, you press one of those function buttons and the watch bursts into life. Considering that it’s built like a tank, the way the hands are designed to interact with the smart elements of the watch – rotating with the touch of a button to be as unobtrusive as possible when reading the information on the screen – is surprisingly elegant. In the words of Futurama’s Zapp Brannigan, it’s built like a steakhouse but handles like a bistro. 

The satisfying whirr of the motor as the hands buzz around to form a straight line doesn’t really get old. I’ve been using the Instinct Crossover for around a month, and I’m still not tired of showing people. It’s like I said when reviewing the blood-pressure strap on the Huawei Watch D: I love that innovations in smartwatches are getting physical again. Tech should be fun as well as functional, and it needs to look good. Despite the depth of this watch, face-on it’s a really attractive beast, as good-looking as any other analog adventure watch I’ve come across. It’s like a Garmin had a baby with a G-Shock Mudmaster, and I wholeheartedly love the design. 

I’m a longtime Garmin user, so I already love the design of the Garmin Connect companion app. It’s easy on the eye, and intuitive to navigate for the most part, although I’m still using my thumb to hit the wrong portion of the screen occasionally after a workout, slamming my thumb directly below the stat I want to expand rather than switching tabs. I love the heat map the app generates after a run, with different colors depending on my speed and exertion during particular parts of the course – it’s one of Garmin’s most useful features, and an example of beautifully-presented data. 

  • Design score: 4/5

Garmin Instinct Crossover watch

(Image credit: Matt Evans)

Garmin Instinct Crossover: Features

  • Great health and fitness tracking
  • Good adventure credentials
  • Lack of screen space means certain features are missing

There are tons of functions and features here, pretty much all of which have already featured on the Instinct 2. Activity tracking features abound, providing notifications on floors climbed, distance traveled and steps taken, as well as other health metrics, such as a sleep score and Garmin’s very useful Body Battery score, which monitors your recovery and tells you how prepared you are for your next adventure. There’s no Training Readiness though, which is essentially a more advanced version. 

The Instinct Crossover measures your heart rate 24/7. It also offers a heart rate variability measurement (which watches for irregularities while you sleep), and an estimated respiration rate to help monitor your exertion during exercise. It’s a really terrific watch for the outdoors in particular, offering environmental information such as sunrise and sunset from the watch face, as well as GPS coordinates, elevation information, and your distance from a designated destination, which you can set up in the app. 

The sports profile I use the most often is running, and I’ve given that an extensive go with the Crossover up to around 14 miles. There’s great GPS integration, on-wrist running power, and TracBack, which can help you return to the start of a route.  The autolap feature works well whenever I pass the kilometer marker, as Garmin Connect provides an update in my earbuds with a few stats such as time and average pace, just like most conventional running apps. 

The cycling and swimming profiles offer similar functionality, with speed, cadence, lengths and stroke counts replacing granular running information like stride length. Like the Instinct 2, this is a perfectly good triathlon watch, and if you’re looking for something a bit stylish and quirky that’ll still give you all the info you need, the Crossover might be an ideal fit. 

There’s no onboard music on the watch, just music control, which is disappointing at this price point. In fact, there are a few features here that are missing. The Garmin Forerunner 955, which you can get for around the same price, offers onboard music storage, a Training Readiness score, a daily Morning Report push-notification digest, Pace Pro advanced pacing tools, and topographical maps. I can appreciate that it’s hard to include maps with the analog hands, but it’s a feature that’s really missed here, especially as so many of the Instinct Crossover’s features are geared towards the great outdoors. 

In its haste to raise prices, Garmin has done the Crossover a disservice by placing it above the Instinct. It’s now in the ballpark of the premium Forerunner and Fenix ranges, all of which specialize with topographical map functionality and dedicated sporting features. The Instinct 2 is a phenomenal watch at its current price, and the Crossover is a wonderful alternative to it, but it can’t compete with Garmin’s other watches in the $500 / £500 / AU$1,000 space. 

  • Features score: 4/5 

Garmin Instinct Crossover and Forerunner 955 watches

Left: Garmin Forerunner 955. Right: Garmin Instinct Crossover. (Image credit: Matt Evans)

Garmin Instinct Crossover: Performance

  • Accurate GPS and health tracking
  • RevoDrive works a treat
  • Quite bulky for everyday wear

During my tests, the GPS was highly accurate, and comparable to the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar, as well as the Apple Watch Ultra, when it came to measuring my overall speed in time per kilometers covered, and comparable heart rate measurements. I’m completely satisfied with its accuracy, having tested it alongside other high-standard watches, and I’d have no qualms about using it as an everyday running watch. 

As mentioned above, I love the heat-map design of the routes shown in the app, and as usual, the watch fed my data into Strava and uploaded my runs automatically. LiveTrack, the feature which allows friends and family to monitor your runs remotely, works a treat.

I personally don’t need onboard music and maps, as I generally use Spotify, stick to the roads, and keep my phone on me, but habitual trail runners might like to make use of both features, in which case they’d be better off with a Forerunner. I can see why people might need these features, but I’ll be keeping my phone on me as a matter of course – as a runner with asthma, I may one day need to stop and call my wife to pick me up, although that’s not happened yet.

The watch was big and bulky, and took a little getting used to. As good as it looked, its extra thickness was very noticeable, bulging under my sleeve when I wore it during the day, and it’s big enough to feel obtrusive when worn at night. However, it wasn’t an uncomfortable wear; Garmin’s silicone straps are generally very good, and this watch was no exception. It’s just big. 

It provided me with a good selection of Garmin’s baseline health metrics, with all the detail I’ve come to expect, from daily stress scores broken down into minutes of rest, low, medium and high energy, to continuous heart rate monitoring and an HRV score. 

You can pick your watch face configuration to show the information you want, and although the 176 x 176px monochrome display is quite basic, that’s part of the charm: the idea of having an analog watch is to make sure you’re not as connected as you would be with a full smartwatch, and the hybrid offers you the best of both worlds by limiting your interactions with yet another screen. The Crossover’s display reminds me of a Casio LCD screen, which is just another part of its retro charm – I really did fall in love with it, and the RevoDrive technology never showed me an inaccurate time despite my constant flitting between modes. 

  • Performance score: 4/5

Garmin Instinct Crossover: Battery Life

  • 28 days in smartwatch mode
  • 25 hours in GPS mode
  • 70 days for solar-extended unit

Garmin claims the battery life for the standard Instinct Crossover is up to 28 days in smartwatch mode, or up to 25 hours in GPS mode. On average, with moderate GPS usage, that will take you down to a hair under three weeks, which is pretty much exactly what I found – I used my Instinct Crossover for around 18 days before the battery depleted, and charged it up in a little under an hour. 

The Solar version offers a longer battery life, with 70 days of solar-extended use provided that you spend around three hours a day outside to make the most of its Power Glass technology. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the Solar version (or 70 days) to test it. 

  • Battery life score: 4.5/5

Garmin Instinct Crossover: Buy it if…

Garmin Instinct Crossover: Don't buy it if…

Also consider

First reviewed: January 2023

Suunto 9 Peak Pro review
2:07 pm | January 26, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro has been given a powerful upgrade internally when compared to its almost identical-looking predecessor, the Suunto 9 Peak. There’s a new processor, new GPS, new optical heart rate sensor, and way more battery life. In terms of looks, though, not much has changed aside from a slimmer 10.8mm thick chassis and lighter 64g weight. 

The biggest drawback here is the fact that Suunto decided not to upgrade the watch’s screen. Measuring 1.2 inches, the monochrome sapphire crystal display has a relatively low 240 x 240 pixel display. While there is an LED backlight, it can sometimes prove difficult to read in some instances as the text isn’t as crisp as you’d expect on a smartwatch - especially one of this price.

On the plus side, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro is super comfortable to wear for longer workouts across all types of activities. It’s also made more sustainably than most other wearables on the market, as it claims to have been built from 100% renewable energy with a 7.5kg CO2e carbon footprint. 

When it comes to features, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro is teeming with fitness-tracking tech, boasting 95 trackable activities - from the more popular running, cycling, and swimming to the more obscure, such as snorkeling mode. As you’d expect from a sports watch of this caliber, there’s way more included than activity or step tracking. You’ll also find insightful training tools such as peak training effect, training load, and recovery time recommendations. All of your data is presented clearly in the connected Suunto app, which offers you heaps of post-workout data to sift through ideal for measuring your performance and helping you to track improvements over time. Although it has to be said - the suite of fitness and recovery insights on offer here, while comprehensive, doesn’t live it to those you’ll find on Garmin or Polar devices. 

Performance-wise, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro ticks most boxes as a premium activity-tracking smartwatch. Despite a few instances where the interface feels sluggish - especially when you’re asking a lot of it - it can handle commands with ease while providing decent accuracy. 

As for battery life, the 9 Peak Pro easily outperforms its predecessor. In our tests, the device lasted just over two weeks before needing a recharge. That was using it to track some kind of workout activity almost every day, sometimes with GPS monitoring enabled and sometimes not, alongside smartphone notifications.

Suunto 9 Peak Pro: Price and availability

  • Out now in the UK, US and Australia 
  • Priced from £419 RRP in the UK, $549 in the US and AU$759 in AUS
  • Also comes in a more expensive but lighter titanium model

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro is available to buy now in the UK, US and Australia, with a starting price of £419, US$549 and AU$759, respectively. That’s a “starting” price because the 9 Peak Pro comes in two models. There’s the cheaper non-titanium offering, which we are reviewing in this article, and a more expensive but lighter and more durable Suunto 9 Peak Pro Titanium. The latter retails for £110 / US$150 / AU$200 more than the standard model at £529 / US$699 / AU$959.

In most instances, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro comes in at just a bit pricer than its predecessor, the Suunto 9 Peak, which currently retails for £349 / US$469 / AU$999. (Yup, for reasons unknown, the older, less feature-rich model costs more Down Under.)

When it comes to colorways, there are four options available for the standard Suunto 9 Peak Pro model: black, blue, gold and green, and sand or slate options for the titanium version. 

Suunto 9 Peak Pro smartwatch

(Image credit: Lee Bell)

Suunto 9 Peak Pro: Design and screen

  • Slim and lightweight for a rugged sports watch
  • Planet-friendly design and manufacturing process
  • Disappointing display 

If you’re already familiar with the Suunto Peak range, you’ll probably be aware that the 9 Peak Pro is almost identical in physical design to its predecessor, the Suunto 9 Peak. In fact, side-by-side, you’d struggle to tell them apart. The real update is reflected in the sports watch’s innards, where it packs an array of significant improvements over the 9 Peak, including a new processor, new GPS, new optical heart rate sensor, and bigger battery life.

While it is slimmer and lighter than Suunto’s last Peak release, measuring just 10.8mm thick and weighing a super light 64g (which is pretty slender for a rugged smartwatch), those unfamiliar with the Suunto 9 family’s design should be aware that it doesn’t boast anything particularly inspiring in terms of aesthetics. It’s handsome enough, sure, but as a rugged sports watch designed for the super active, fitness enthusiasts and athletes, it’s a bog-standard design that won’t get you excitedly showing it off to your mates. Those less fussed about looks will be pleased to know it touts military-grade durability, and so has been designed to withstand all manner of knocks.

The biggest downside for us is the Suunto 9 Peak Pro’s display. Measuring 1.2 inches, the monochrome display is a 240 x 240-pixel display made from sapphire crystal glass. While it does offer an LED backlight, it can sometimes prove difficult to read as the text isn’t as sharp as you’d expect from a watch of this class. The display is touch-enabled, though, so can be controlled by either tapping your fingers or via the physical buttons on the side, which is a nice touch (literally). 

However, it goes without saying that the lack of color and brightness in this display makes the Suunto 9 Peak Pro a no-go for those looking for an attractive- or expensive-looking smartwatch that can be worn every day, especially outside of fitness. 

Plus points? It’s super comfortable. We wore it for several hours during longer workouts, across all types of activities, from yoga to squash and running, and we hardly noticed it was there. It’s also made more sustainably than most other smartwatches on the market, thanks to its green energy claims. A great step forward for the wearables market. 

Overall, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro is a robust and fairly decent-looking design let down by a disappointingly cheap-looking display.

  • Design and screen rating: 2.5/5

Suunto 9 Peak Pro smartwatch

(Image credit: Lee Bell)

Suunto 9 Peak Pro: Features

  • Tracking for 95 sports activities
  • A comprehensive suite of training tools 
  • Easy-to-use and insightful app

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro is teeming with fitness-tracking tech. Take, for instance, how it boasts a whopping 95 supported sports activities, from the major ones like running, cycling, and swimming (as well as a multisport triathlon mode, which is always nice to see) to the more “exotic” shall we say, such as snorkeling mode, which offers up metrics including depth and dive time, although not quite to the same extent as Apple Watch Ultra's Oceanic+ app. We also found a mode for Squash, which Garmin doesn’t have, although Polar does. 

The core sports tracking experience is overall very good and works well most times, but this is hampered somewhat by a sluggish interface and the watch’s relatively small, monochromatic display, which can often put a damper on things. Still, the suite of training tools, fitness, and recovery insights on the Suunto 9 Peak Pro is fairly comprehensive, but still not on par with the likes of Garmin or Polar, though. 

As you’d expect from a sports watch of this caliber, there’s way more included than just tracking your workouts or steps and telling you how many calories you’ve burned. You’ll also find insightful training tools such as peak training effect, training load and recovery time recommendations. It’s also possible to let it monitor your daily stress levels, find out your estimated fitness age and check out what your VO2 Max fitness level estimates are. Bundled in with this is a built-in SPO2 sensor so you can keep tabs on your blood oxygen levels and as well as acclimation. 

All of your data is presented clearly and immersively in the Suunto partner app, which has seen some vast improvements over the years, with heaps of post-workout data to sift through—ideal for measuring your performance and tracking improvements over time. 

Those who are looking to use the Suunto 9 Peak Pro as a navigation tool will be able to take advantage of its ability to plan, upload and follow routes using breadcrumb-style and turn-by-turn navigation. Although we found the watch’s low-quality display made this tricky to make use of when running. 

Other features include sleep tracking, which is pretty standard on smartwatches these days. Although the accuracy of this on the Suunto 9 Peak Pro doesn't quite seem to be quite on par with dedicated sleep trackers, such as the Withings Sleep Analyzer tracking mat.

As with most modern smartwatches, the Suunto Peak Pro 9 is able to feed notifications to your wrist straight from your smartphone. There’s also a stopwatch, an alarm clock, automatic daylight saving updates, calendar sync, and weather information. You can also control the music of a paired phone, but there is no offline music for apps like Spotify or Deezer, nor are there contactless pay features - both of which you’ll find with most modern Garmin smartwatches. 

  • Features rating: 4/5

Suunto 9 Peak Pro smartwatch

(Image credit: Lee Bell)

Suunto 9 Peak Pro: Performance

  • Super easy to use 
  • Somewhat sluggish interface 
  • Decent battery life 

So how does the Suunto 9 Peak Pro stack up performance-wise? Well, one thing we loved about using the watch was how easy it was to use. Even as a complete Suunto newbie, we can imagine it’s really easy for anyone to pick up and watch and start tracking activities right away. 

When using it for fitness, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro does exactly what you’d expect it to as a more premium activity-tracking smartwatch. Despite a few instances where the interface feels sluggish—especially when you’re asking a lot of it, for example, controlling music while activity tracking and using GPS—it can handle most commands with ease while providing decent accuracy. 

Take GPS performance, for example, which seemed decent for the most part despite taking a little longer than we’d like to find a satellite signal. You can expect it to lock onto a signal within about 15-20 seconds or so but that really depends on your location. This is by no means slow, just not on par with the best the industry has to offer, like the German Fenix 7. The 9 Peak Pro’s optical heart rate performance seems pretty solid, too. 

  •  Performance rating: 4/5 

Suunto 9 Peak Pro: Battery life

  • 21 days in smartwatch mode
  • 40 hours in GPS mode
  • 300 hours in battery-friendly GPS

So what about the 9 Peak Pro’s battery life? Suunto has certainly given it a boost in this regard, especially when comparing it to its predecessor, the 9 Peak. In smartwatch mode, which is basic activity tracking and receiving phone notifications, Suunto claims the 9 Peak Pro will offer 21 days as opposed to the 9 Peak’s seven days. GPS mode is now 40 hours, up from 25 hours, and in the battery-friendly GPS mode, you’ll get 300 hours as opposed to 170 hours. While these are some impressive improvements on paper, do they stack up in the real world?

In practice, we found the 9 Peak Pro just about lives it to its claims. Using the device to track some kind of workout activity almost every day, sometimes with GPS monitoring enabled and sometimes not, alongside smartphone notifications, lasted us just over two weeks before needing a recharge. 

It’s also pretty quick at re-juicing itself, too, powering up from 0-100% in just over an hour.

  • Battery life rating: 4/5

Suunto 9 Peak Pro: Buy it if…

Suunto 9 Peak Pro: Don't buy it if…

Also consider

First reviewed January 2023

How we test

We test all our smartwatches in real, sweaty conditions. We wear them for multiple workouts, testing functions such as the heart rate monitoring and calorie counting functionalities and comparing them to other market leaders. We'll wear them while we sleep, eat and train to wear down the battery, ensuring the watch lasts as long as it claims. For example, we wore the Suunto 9 Peak Pro for over three weeks to check it lives up to those 300 hours.  

When it comes to GPS tracking, we'll often run or cycle while wearing another watch, and use the GPS tracking on a phone-based app to check for discrepancies. 

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