Hot on the tails of the Garmin product releases, Suunto has announced their latest watch, the Suunto 5, which is launched after the Suunto 9. Rather than name things in chronological order, the Suunto 5 fits in as the mid-range watch of the series.

Amazon has the watch at a pre-order price of £299 whereas its bigger brother, the Suunto 9 is £412 while the cheapest offering, the 3, is £142.95.

If you are ready to part with your hard-earned cash you may be wondering how the new watch stacks up against the competition.

Pricing

The obvious alternative choice is Garmin’s range, with this being priced identically to the new Forerunner 245 Music, but thanks to the competitiveness of the internet you can also get the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music for just £299.99.

Then there is the Polar Vantage M & V. The Vantage M has an RRP of £249 but it is just £202 at the time of writing.  Whereas the Vantage V should be £439, but you can get it for £319.99.

So it is quite a crowded price category, and you have lots of choices.

£269.68
£439.00
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22 new from £269.68
9 used from £250.80
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Last updated on 15th June 2019 4:38 pm

Suunto 5 vs Suunto 9

The S5 is basically a cut-down version of the S9, it has a smaller battery, no compass, and no barometric altimeter, but that’s about it, in fact, they have added a few features the S9 doesn’t have. So if you have your heart set on Suunto but can’t afford the flagship device, then this is well worth considering.

The S5 has access to a bunch of FirstBeat features that the S9 lacks and these include:

  • Stress tracking metrics
  • Body resources (aka body battery) metric
  • Sleep quality metrics
  • V02Max tracking/metrics
  • Adaptive training plans

The S9 is still probably one of the best endurance watched available on the market and it has battery options of 25/50/120hrs (depending on mode) whereas the S5 has 20/40h.

The S9 has a barometer and compass so it will be much better for hiking and climbing.

Suunto 5 vs Spartan Trainer

The S5 is the replacement for the older, but excellent, Spartan Trainer

  • Increased battery life from 10hrs to 20hrs in regular modes, and 30hrs to 40hrs in extended modes
  • Changed from plastic bezel (base option) to stainless steel bezel
  • Changed from plastic screen (base option) to mineral glass
  • Added adaptive training plans (not on Suunto 9)
  • Added sleep quality metric (not on Suunto 9)
  • Added stress tracking metric (not on Suunto 9)
  • Added body resources metric (not on Suunto 9)
  • Added VO2Max fitness level
  • Changed GPS chipset from MediaTek to Sony
  • Changed GPS recording track modes from Best/Good/OK to Best/Good
  • Added additional GPS options: GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS
  • Added intelligent battery modes: Performance, Endurance, Custom
  • Approx. the same weight: 66g for Suunto 5, to 57g/66g/74g for Suunto Trainer variants
  • Only can connect to Suunto/Sports Tracker platform/apps (not Movescount)

Suunto 5 vs Garmin

While this has the same RRP of the Forerunner 245 it may not be the best comparison, the FR245 is more of a running watch so lacks some of the multisport features this does.

The RRP of the FR645 should mean that it isn’t comparable to this, but at the moment you can get the FR645 for £299.

However, they are not like for like watches either. If you are a serious athlete doing triathlons or very long endurance events then he Suunto 5 is a better choice with triathlon modes and compatibility with bike power meters, as well as the 40h battery life.

For the average user that enjoys a variety of sports that wants a sort of hybrid smartwatch/multi-sport watch then the FR645 is likely a better choice with its music streaming, NFC payments, and generally superior Garmin ecosystem.

Suunto 5 vs Polar Vantage V

£269.68
£439.00
in stock
22 new from £269.68
9 used from £250.80
Amazon.co.uk
Free shipping
Last updated on 15th June 2019 4:38 pm

Another option, again, technically the Sunnto 5 would have been closer in price to the Polar Vantage M, but as that has been out a while now, you could get it for £202, so almost £100 cheaper, or pay an extra £20 and get the Vantage V.

The Vantage V has a lot of similar specs, with some worthwhile extras, in particular, it has built-in running power, so if you are a keen running this could be well worth it. It has a similar battery life of 40h and it also has a barometer.

Movescount

When I reviewed the Suunto 9, they were in the process of phasing out Movescount, and with the launch of this watch, you no longer get access to it. My issues with the Suunto app/Sports Tracker platform was that it didn’t link it with apps like Strava, but since that review, it looks like Suunto have enabled quite a lot of connected services making it much better, and a suitable replacement for Movescount.

Feature Comparison

Table generated via DC Rainmaker

FUNCTION/FEATURESUUNTO 5GARMIN FORERUNNER 645GARMIN FORERUNNER 245POLAR VANTAGE V
PRICE£299£299£299£319
GPS RECORDING FUNCTIONALITYYESYESYESYES
DATA TRANSFERUSB & BLUETOOTH SMARTUSB/BLUETOOTH SMART/WIFIUSB, BLUETOOTH SMART, WIFI (ONLY MUSIC HAS WIFI)USB, BLUETOOTH SMART
WATERPROOFINGYES - 50MYES - 50M50 METERSYES - 30M
BATTERY LIFE (GPS)UP TO 40 HOURS14HRS GPS/5HRS GPS-MUSICUP TO 24HRS REGULAR GPS, 24HRS+ FOR ULTRATRACUP TO 40 HOURS
RECORDING INTERVALVARIABLE1S OR SMART1-SECOND, SMART, ULTRATRAC1S
SATELLITE PRE-LOADING VIA COMPUTERYESYESYESYES
QUICK SATELLITE RECEPTIONGREATGREATGREATGREAT
ALERTSSOUND/VISUAL/VIBRATEVIBRATE/SOUND/VISUALVIBRATE/SOUND/VISUALVIBRATE/SOUND/VISUAL
BACKLIGHT GREATNESSGOODGREATGOODGREAT
ABILITY TO DOWNLOAD CUSTOM APPS TO UNIT/DEVICENOYESYESNO
ACTS AS DAILY ACTIVITY MONITOR (STEPS, ETC...)YESYESYESYES
CAN CONTROL PHONE MUSICNOYES (FR645 MUSIC VERSION)YESNO
HAS MUSIC STORAGE AND PLAYBACKNOYES (3.5GB)YES (MUSIC VERSION)NO
STREAMING SERVICESNOSPOTIFY, IHEARTRADIO, DEEZERSPOTIFY, DEEZER, PANDORANO
CONTACTLESS-NFC PAYMENTSNOYESNONO
BLUETOOTH LEGACY (PRE-4.0) TO PHONENONONONO
BLUETOOTH SMART (4.0+) TO PHONE UPLOADINGYESYESYESYES
PHONE NOTIFICATIONS TO UNIT (I.E. TEXTS/CALLS/ETC...)YESYESYESFeb-19
LIVE TRACKING (STREAMING LOCATION TO WEBSITE)NOYESYESNO
GROUP TRACKINGNOYESNONO
EMERGENCY/SOS MESSAGE NOTIFICATION (FROM WATCH TO CONTACTS)NONOYES (VIA PHONE)NO
BUILT-IN CELLULAR CHIP (NO PHONE REQUIRED)NONONONO
DESIGNED FOR CYCLINGYESYESYESYES
POWER METER CAPABLEYESNOWITH SOME CONNECT IQ APPS (BUT CANNOT RECORD DATA)YES
POWER METER CONFIGURATION/CALIBRATION OPTIONSYESN/AN/AYES
POWER METER TSS/NP/IFNON/AN/ANO
SPEED/CADENCE SENSOR CAPABLEYESYESYESYES
STRAVA SEGMENTS LIVE ON DEVICENOYESNOTBD FUTURE UPDATE
CRASH DETECTIONNONOYESNO
DESIGNED FOR RUNNINGYESYESYESYES
FOOTPOD CAPABLE (FOR TREADMILLS)YESYESYES (ALSO HAS INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER)YES
RUNNING DYNAMICS (VERTICAL OSCILLATION, GROUND CONTACT TIME, ETC...)NOWITH RD POD, HRM-TRI OR HRM-RUN (NOT VIA OPTICAL HR)YES (WITH ACCESSORY)NO
RUNNING POWERWITH EXTRA SENSORYES WITH RD-POD OR 3RD PARTY APPSNOYES (BUILT-IN)
VO2MAX ESTIMATIONYESYESYESYES
RACE PREDICTORNOYESYESNO
RECOVERY ADVISORYESYESYESYES
RUN/WALK MODENOYESYESNO
DESIGNED FOR SWIMMINGYESYESYESYES
OPENWATER SWIMMING MODEYESNONOYES
LAP/INDOOR DISTANCE TRACKINGYESYESYESYES
RECORD HR UNDERWATERYESNONOYES
OPENWATER METRICS (STROKE/ETC.)YESNON/AYES
INDOOR METRICS (STROKE/ETC.)YESYESYESYES
INDOOR DRILL MODENOYESYESNO
INDOOR AUTO-PAUSE FEATURENONO (IT'LL SHOW REST TIME AFTERWARDS THOUGH)NOYES
CHANGE POOL SIZEYESYESYESYES
INDOOR MIN/MAX POOL LENGTHS15M/Y TO 1,200M/Y17M/18Y TO 150M/Y20M/Y TO 250 M/Y
ABILITY TO CUSTOMIZE DATA FIELDSYESYESYESYES
CAN CHANGE YARDS TO METERSYESYESYESYES
CAPTURES PER LENGTH DATA - INDOORSYESYESYESYES
INDOOR ALERTSNOYESN/A
DESIGNED FOR TRIATHLONYESNONOYES
MULTISPORT MODEYESNONOYES
CREATE/FOLLOW CUSTOM WORKOUTSNOYESYESYES
ON-UNIT INTERVAL FEATUREYESYESYESNO
TRAINING CALENDAR FUNCTIONALITYYESYESYESYES
AUTO START/STOPNOYESYES
VIRTUAL PARTNER FEATURENOYESYESNO (BUT CAN GIVE OUT OF ZONE ALERTS)
VIRTUAL RACER FEATURENOYESYESNO
RECORDS PR'S - PERSONAL RECORDS (DIFF THAN HISTORY)NOYESYESNO
DAY TO DAY WATCH ABILITYYESYESYESYES
HUNTING/FISHING/OCEAN DATANONONONO
TIDAL TABLES (TIDE INFORMATION)NONONONO
JUMPMASTER MODE (PARACHUTING)NONONONO
GEOCACHINGNONONONO
WEATHER DISPLAY (LIVE DATA)NOYESYESNO
FOLLOW GPS TRACK (COURSES/WAYPOINTS)YESYESYESNO
MARKERS/WAYPOINT DIRECTIONYESYESNONO
ROUTABLE/VISUAL MAPS (LIKE CAR GPS)NONONONO
BACK TO STARTYESYESYESFeb-19
IMPROMPTU ROUND TRIP ROUTE CREATIONNONONONO
DOWNLOAD COURSES/ROUTES FROM PHONE TO UNITYESYESYESNO
ALTIMETER TYPEGPSBAROMETRICGPSBAROMETRIC
OPTICAL HEART RATE SENSOR INTERNALLYYESYESYESYES
PULSE OXIMETRY (AKA PULSE OX)NOYESNO
HEART RATE STRAP COMPATIBLEYESYESYESYES
ANT+ HEART RATE STRAP CAPABLENOYESYESNO
ANT+ SPEED/CADENCE CAPABLENOYESYESNO
ANT+ FOOTPOD CAPABLENOYESYESNO
ANT+ POWER METER CAPABLENONONONO
ANT+ WEIGHT SCALE CAPABLENONONONO
ANT+ FITNESS EQUIPMENT (GYM)NONONONO
ANT+ LIGHTING CONTROLNOYESYESNO
ANT+ BIKE RADAR INTEGRATIONNOYESYESNO
ANT+ TRAINER CONTROL (FE-C)NONONONO
ANT+ REMOTE CONTROLNONOYES FOR GARMIN VIRBNO
ANT+ EBIKE COMPATIBILITYNONONONO
ANT+ MUSCLE OXYGEN (I.E. MOXY/BSX)NOYESYESNO
ANT+ GEAR SHIFTING (I.E. SRAM ETAP)NONONONO
SHIMANO DI2 SHIFTINGNONONONO
BLUETOOTH SMART HR STRAP CAPABLEYESYESYESYES
BLUETOOTH SMART SPEED/CADENCE CAPABLEYESYESYESYES
BLUETOOTH SMART FOOTPOD CAPABLEYESYESYESYES
BLUETOOTH SMART POWER METER CAPABLEYESNQONOYES
TEMP RECORDING (INTERNAL SENSOR)NOYESNOYES
TEMP RECORDING (EXTERNAL SENSOR)NOYESYES (TEMPE)NO
COMPATIBLE WITH FIRSTBEAT HR TOOLS-N/A-N/A