Suunto Race S - top model for tiny wrists

Suunto has released new model of sports watch. If you liked the concept of latest Race model but were not happy about how bulky the watch is, here's yours solution. 

Many athletes and users have complained that the last watch model that fit their slender wrists was the Suunto 9 Peak Pro. That changes today. Previously, if someone wanted to wear the latest Suunto model, they needed to have a slightly larger wrist, as the Vertical and Race models have a diameter of 49mm, and a smaller version was not available until now.

Specifications of the new model:

  • 1.32" AMOLED display
  • 45mm case diameter
  • Again, a digital rotating crown, like the larger Race model
  • 22mm wide interchangeable straps
  • Weight: 60g for the steel version, 53g for the titanium version (titanium versions will be available later in 2024)
  • Battery life: Max precision 30 hours, endurance 40 hours, and 120 hours in "tour" mode without HR reading
  • Daily usage battery life is 5 days with always-on display or 7 days with always-on display turned off
  • Race S has upgraded optical HR sensor over the previous generation, however per DCR's test results still not "ideal" (diplomatically said)
  • Suunto Race S supports WiFi connectivity and sensors via BT
  • By default, there are no maps on the watch; you need to download them for free after configuring WiFi in the Suunto app.

A new feature introduced with the Suunto Race S, which will also be available in the larger Race model, is Climb Guidance. This is a race strategy tool where the watch tells you how fast or with what effort you should go uphill, downhill, and on flat terrain to evenly distribute your energy.

Race and Race S side by side

The Suunto Race S watches are small, making them suitable for women's wrists. Therefore, they also support menstrual cycle tracking.

Additionally, Suunto+ offers a rich database of apps that provide new functions to the watches. A notable feature is the support for the Näak app, where you can choose a nutritional strategy for a race (when, where, what, and how much to eat and drink) and sync it to the watch. The watch then reminds you, ensuring you don't forget.

Suunto has long offered "heat maps" for various sports, but the heat maps for open water swimming are particularly noteworthy. This can be really interesting – I haven't seen anything like it before.

According to Suunto, the developers focused on the performance of the watch and the comfort of use. The interface is supposed to be faster and smoother... however, from my testing of the larger Race model, it’s not quite there yet.

You could say that Suunto has finally taken the plunge and is starting to make modern watches for the current times. However, some momentum has already been lost, and hobbyists are talking more about other brands. Suunto will need to put more effort into marketing to regain a larger user base. In my opinion, they are still interesting watches, and with the Race S version, it looks like Suunto is trying to squeeze back into the sports business world.


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