Suunto X9i watch review

If you're of the more adventurous type a watch that just tells you the time and maybe offers you a stopwatch isn't going to cut it, you need something a lot more beefier than that if you are going to show your tough credentials.

In steps the Suunto X9i a watch from the company more famous for its dive computers, that offers a host of other features, in fact, the fact that it tells the time should be seen as a bonus, as this is no ordinary watch.

So what do you get? Well there is an Activity mode, built-in barometer, altimeter, digital compass, GPS, and PC connectivity.

The activity mode allows you see stuff like how fast you are running to overall distance covered and most other things in between. The information is garnered from the in-built GPS module and using your moving co-ordinates can ascertain how fast you are going. It's clever stuff and equal to that of the Garmin Forerunner series.

Using the GPS further is the navigation mode and this allows you to set waypoints, breadcrumbs or markers to head for. Ideal for those who like to park their car and head off into the unknown, the feature is great for making sure you don't have to remember whether you took a right or a left at the fork half an hour ago.

For the more traditional amongst us the watch also includes a digital compass that gives you direction, degrees and bearing information. Easy to read and calibrate, the compass is great for well you know, finding your way.

Finally for the climber or paraglider there is the altimeter and barometer tool. Like a wrist-mounted weather station, the Suunto Core barometer measures and records air pressure and displays graphic weather trend to help users predict changing conditions.

Taking weather awareness a step further, the Storm Alarm helps climbers and hikers avoid potentially dangerous situations. Activated by a rapid drop in air pressure over a 3-hour period, the Storm Alarm sounds and flashes, letting the user know that foul weather is fast approaching.

You also get stuff like Sea level pressure, absolute pressure, Altitude, vertical speed and an altitude alarm as well.

Connecting it to the PC is where the device becomes its most useful if you are training.

The accompanying Suunto Track Exporter software allows you to export tracks from your Suunto X9i to Google Earth.

Verdict

If you are the hardened adventurer that needs information like GPS, compass direction or barometer readings then you won't be able to go far wrong with the X9i.

There is a host of features here, and we especially like the ability to export the data into Google maps either for your own records or to share. Better still all the features are easy to use (the manual isn't that large) making this a good all round package.

Oh, and yes if you were wondering, there is a standard stopwatch as well.