Suunto 9 BARO – Some Best-GPS tracks

Some of you have asked for some more ‘best quality’ GPS tracks from the Suunto 9 BARO (non BARO version also available). Please note that my understanding is that Sony+Suunto are tweaking the GPS algorithms. I’m using Firmware v2.1.42 which is likely to be superceded in the released firmware.

Suunto 9 ReviewSome of the following images may, or may not, find their way into a review at some point in the future. I’m just really adding them now for a ‘chat’ rather than to say that the Suunto 9’s GPS is wonderful…or not.

Other Reading: Breaking FusedTrack

Easy Trail Ride

Nothing of note to report on an easy trail ride. This section here is mostly representative of a good track for the Suunto 9 in relatively easy GPS conditions, with limited tree cover.

Red Suunto 9, Blue 935, Green COROS Pace

100 Mile Road Ride

Overview –

This 100+ mile ride took in many hills on an overcast-to-sunny day.

Generally the Polar V650 outshone allcomers with a solid performance helped by the handlebar-mounted postion alongside the Wahoo with the Garmin and Suunto 9 relegated to each wrist.  I’d accept the performance of any of them for cycling.

In the vast majority of sections, all were good. Here are sections of the ride where the Suunto 9 matched, or outshone, the Polar V650.

Green=Suunto, Blue=Polar, Red=Garmin, Yellow=Wahoo
Green=Suunto, Blue=Polar, Red=Garmin, Yellow=Wahoo

Here are some sections that contradict the generally good performance of the Suunto 9, often involving tree cover and you will notice that on some of the images ALL the devices had a tricky time.

Green=Suunto, Blue=Polar, Red=Garmin, Yellow=Wahoo
Green=Suunto, Blue=Polar, Red=Garmin, Yellow=Wahoo
Green=Suunto, Blue=Polar, Red=Garmin, Yellow=Wahoo
Green=Suunto, Blue=Polar, Red=Garmin, Yellow=Wahoo
Green=Suunto, Blue=Polar, Red=Garmin, Yellow=Wahoo

Open Water Swim

I swam with an earlier firmware and the OWS track was not great. However on v2.1.42 this track looks very good, except for the orange zig-zag in the top right hand corner. I can’t access the comparator track from the COROS Pace (yet) but it wasn’t as good.

Note that I DID find the OWS GPS track with the Spartans ‘not so great’ despite the Spartan Sport having awesome GPS performance when running. So this track from the Suunto 9 looks like a notable improvement in the water over the SPARTAN.

I have an IM swim coming up soon so hopefully some more interesting data will come from that with the Suunto 9. Otherwise I will just keep going round in circles in this same lake…

OK, technically it’s a pentagon!

Edit: Here is that winding 3.8km river swim where the Suunto 9 does a pretty good job on the whole. I’ve highlighted 3 slightly dodgy sections but in the grand scheme of all-things-open-water, that’s a good performance.




Best GPS performance for the Suunto 9 when running *IS* mixed.

Generally it ‘needs work’ and, as I said above, Suunto + Sony are working on it.

In a very worse case scenario, in very demanding GPS conditions, we are looking at something like this where the run is transformed into OWS. FWIW I found the Garmin Fenix 5X did a similar thing close to this same location (months ago)

Red=Suunto, Blue=935, Green=COROS Pace (nearly correct)


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

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8 thoughts on “Suunto 9 BARO – Some Best-GPS tracks

  1. With this firmware Sony’s chipset don’t convinced me. But not yet official release.

  2. For the most part, your tracks match mine. I’ve also gotta apply yesterday’s update as well.

      1. Actually, it looks like ‘yesterdays’ was really Friday’s. I just happened to notice it Monday.

    1. i did 2.1.38 and was then told by suunto that 2.1.42 had gps improvements. the results were effectively the same when i re-did the test at their request.
      v2.4.14 is current says there were gps & ohr improvements since then in 2.1.64 so i guess i should but i am very nervous about wasting my time. i never noticed ohr improvements in 2.1.64 or since. a ‘test’ takes 2 hours of running and then 1-2 hours of prep and analysis. all it does is cost me time as i dont get paid for this, it takes away time from my real job.

      I will try to add the 9 to a wrist on my next run

      1. Totally understand the hesitation. Tough to get a good read on a constantly moving target which seems to be the case for most new watches.

      2. unfortunately with brands they forget that most media coverage (including reviews) comes out for the newly released device. what is on the newly released device is persistent content on the net despite the changing reality of a product. which is one reason why a roadmap is a good idea…ideally a detailed one.

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