Suunto 9 – Is this the new GPS Chip?

Source: via Jeremy Px

Suunto 9 ReviewWhat is the new Suunto GPS Chipset from Sony?

This is all guesswork, rumours and some crowdsourced research from facebook. I’ve asked Suunto but have no confirmation about the new chipset’s precise model name although it has been confirmed that the new GPS chip is from Sony. Sony is not one of the usual suspects for sports watches but you’ve obviously heard of SONY and they are a creditable organisation with big strategic R&D budgets. SirfStar and MediaTek are the more commonly used GPS chipset makers.

The source above suggests that the model might be the CXD5603GF chip and that is apparently already in use in the Amazfit PACE and MAYBE also in the PACE 2 (which is the Amazfit STRATOS reviewed on this site)

In my ‘First runs and rides’ with the Suunto 9 I made a pure guess at the Sony CXD5603GF chip. As some of you will know from my Fenix 6 Speculations (and previous incarnations) I’m sometimes good at guessing – although on a visit to Monaco I can assure you that special power eluded me when it mattered most 🙁 Grrrr

So What?

First up. The Sony chip uses FD SOI technology which, in a nutshell, means it requires very low power levels. As GPS is a big battery eater for sports watches then this is great news both for Suunto and the wider market.

It’s great for increasing the longevity of use of a single charge for the Suunto 9. But this sort of technology might also find its way into more mass market smartwatches like the Apple Watch and the WearOS watches all of which need every ounce of battery juice saved so that the battery can power their beautiful, battery-hungry screens.

There are probably more ‘So Whats’ that some of the tech minded amongst you might care to share below.

My sports watch usage is not usually affected by battery life – although I managed a flat 935 and a flat Wahoo ELEMNT of a long ride at the weekend…not the Suunto 9 though and surprisingly also not the Polar V650 which was also navigating. As battery is not really a concern for me then it’s accuracy I’m looking at.

Is the Sony chip accurate?

Gerald ZS comments on Facebook that GPS accuracy is being worked on in the firmware releases coming out before launch. For example my Suunto 9 was updated to firmware v2.1.42 a few hours ago. I think I shall wait a while before testing GPS accuracy properly.


Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are $599/£525/Eur599 and may well fall in 2019.

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