(Last update: 14 February 2018)
Ready or not, the Suunto Ambit4 watches are coming out in
2015! 2016! I’ve been saying this since spring 2015 and now it’s already mid-January 2018. Let’s look at when Suunto traditionally puts out new watches:
Suunto Ambit Product Release History:
- Ambit (black, silver) – 2012
- Ambit2 (black, silver, sapphire) – 2013
- Ambit2 R (black, white) – 2014
- Ambit2 S (white, red, lime, graphite) – 2013
- Ambit3 Peak (black, sapphire) – July 2014
- Ambit3 Run (black, lime, white) – March 2015
- Ambit3 Sport (blue, sapphire, black, white) – July 2014
- Ambit3 Sport (coral) – March 2015
- Ambit3 Peak Sapphire in BLUE – November 2015
- 2016-2018 – anything?
I’m totally on-board with the Suunto sport watches and I wouldn’t wear anything else. I have had some SERIOUS ISSUES with my watch just recently after only 1 year of use.
Here’s a bit about the problems YOU can AVOID by buying a FENIX watch instead:
I picked up the Ambit2 R runner’s GPS watch a couple months back and I have to say – it’s doing its job and I couldn’t be happier. IF YOU HAVEN’T tried Suunto –
get one. Research online to see how many people are having breakage problems. Mine has condensation on the inside of the glass – the watch surely won’t last more than another couple of weeks.
The Ambit3’s have been out a while and are doing well. Every pro runner and his / her kids have one.
I don’t think there is a better watch on the market, I do think there are considerable options to buying from Suunto, and I love the customization of the functions, depending on what my exercise of the day is.
There are some features I’m lusting for though in the Suunto Ambit4 (Ambit 4?) which was rumored to be coming out in Winter of 2014, but didn’t make it. Then it was rumored for Spring 2015 and didn’t make it. Just as well, I’m not QUITE ready to upgrade just yet. It will be here by the end of 2015. (Update: Nope. It never came out.)
The rumor mill over at Suunto is a well-controlled beast. I’ve heard little. It’s very hard to get any Suunto sponsored athletes to tell what they know. Nobody has heard anything? OK, Suunto sponsored athlete Kilian Jornet and a couple of others know what’s planned for the 2015 Ambit4, but us common-folk, we haven’t the foggiest. Note, I’ve been combing the news of Kilian and Emilie Forsberg to see if I can catch a glimpse of the new Ambits and I can’t find even one. Do they even have one yet? Hmm.
Which leads me to copious amounts of speculation and day-dreaming about what the next Ambit 4th edition should have. You know, like a watchband that won’t SNAP, glass that won’t PIT, waterproofing that works to keep condensation out, and a heart rate monitor that works more than a year.
I came up with a
little BIG wish-list below.
VOTE for your Top Features – Click here.
Suunto Ambit4 Must Have Features for 2016:
- Wireless Updates, syncing with my MacBook Pro, or Samsung Galaxy phone, removing the watch from my wrist is a pain and pulls the hairs on my arm. Recently the strap broke. Do you think I’m going to pay $60 for a new strap? My camera has wireless, this Ambit4 needs it.
- Built-in Heart Rate Monitor so no strap is needed. Feeling a strap around me as I inhale each time, is less than ideal. Especially because I have to keep it tight or it slides down due to my massive lats! I’d like to have an every night record of my sleep activity too, Sleeping with the strap around doesn’t work, because sleeping on your side loosens the contacts and you have an hour or more where it doesn’t record. No Strap in 2016 – figure out the technology to make it work!
- Cadence and Heart Rate Tracking while walking around all day. It would be good to know how active I am during non-workout hours. Even the iPod has this. Doesn’t that Nike band have it already too? Seems like a no-brainer to add it to the Suunto without the HRM.
- Temperature and Humidity Readings, Barometer, Altimeter, Dew Point, and anything else they can shove in there. Ideally, I’d be able to download a weather forecast for a few days at a time and take it with me in the watch.
- Play at Least 100 MP3’s. Give it 4GB of memory so we can add a bunch of music. Add wireless Bluetooth headphone capability too.
- The next Ambit 4 watch should function as my Mobile Phone too. No need to carry both. Yeah, I know, but in 2020 we’ll have this.
- Easily Interchangeable Batteries OR a battery that lasts 2-3 full days at the most accurate GPS settings – pinging every second. Come on man, the weight of the watch doesn’t matter that much, make a massive battery on the other side of the strap, the top side without the GPS unit, you can easily double or triple the current battery life with that move! This is essential in my view – drastically increasing the battery life.
- Make Each Display Row as Big as the Middle Row. And, Suunto can knock it down to just 2 rows of info for all I care. I don’t need 3, but if the watch face is going to get bigger in size, then 3 rows would be great. I’d love to see crucial information in a quick glance, not stare at it for 3 seconds before I can decipher it with the small info rows they have on there now. It’s easy to read when stopped, but while running – near impossible.
- Drastically increase the contrast so numbers can be seen under the rainforest canopy without using the backlight. Another thing, the contrast is very weak, so jacking it up will improve readability 100% without doing much at all. Forget about fashion – and just make this next watch usable. Focus on usability, please!
- Remove the Bezel and give us a Bigger Watch Face.
- Increase the Durability of the HRM. My heart rate monitor died after about 10 months. Unacceptable.
- Increase the Durability of the Watch Band. My watch band snapped before a year of use. Unacceptable.
- Increase the Strength of the Display Glass. My glass is pitting and a year hasn’t even passed. Come on man…
That’s about it. I mean, add in all the other features my Ambit2 R already has, and let’s make this happen!
WHAT DO YOU WANT IN THE NEXT ITERATION OF SUUNTO AMBIT WATCHES?
Take Our AMBIT4 SURVEY HERE!
Here’s my latest response from Suunto Customer Service regarding my question about when the Ambit4’s will be out:
Thank you for contacting Suunto Customer Support.
We are sorry for the delay in our reply.
With regard to your inquiry, we do not have information available about it.
We kindly suggest that you keep posted on our website for the latest updates and news.
Thank you for your understanding.
Should you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to reply to this email.
We would highly appreciate if you could answer to a short survey regarding the quality of our customer support. It will take only 2 minutes.
Suunto Customer Support Representative
MY RESPONSE –
Do they really want me to go to a customer service survey and tell them their response did absolutely nothing for me?
Doubt it. So apparently, they are keeping a tight lid on the Ambit4’s if there even is one. As time ticks away here I am more and more compelled to go check out what Garmin is developing.
Their response, “we do not have information available about it,” is a bit worrying. If they don’t have information on it, who does? Maybe a better response would be something about their engineers are always working on the next iteration, and blah, blah, we expect a release date before the end of 2015. I mean, if they have no information, then maybe they’re not planning a successor at all.
My honest feeling is that Suunto is not planning a completely game-changing Ambit this go-round. It will be a watch very similar to the Ambit3, and it will add something like better notifications from cell phones on the watch display. Hopefully, we’ll get vibration alerts or some token, but I’m guessing the Ambit4 will be a watch that is nearly the same as the version before it. I think the market is ripe for another company to step in and start making a watch that matches what people want. From our survey – there are numerous things people are agreeing upon as necessary for their next watch. Battery life anyone? Let’s see how much battery life increases in this next watch. I’m guessing – very minimal increase, or none.
I sound a little negative at this point, don’t I? lol…
So, I wrote them again. I said, “If you don’t have information about it, then who does?”
They wrote back:
Thank you for contacting Suunto Customer Support.
We apologize for the misunderstanding.
What we mean is that, we do not have information yet whether an Ambit 4 will be available in the market.
It means if there will be a an Ambit4, we will be the first to know about it and it will also be posted on our website.
Thank you for you understanding.
What I get from that is:
- There might not be an Ambit4 coming at all, maybe they will rename it or start a new line altogether.
- Someone’s English needs proofed before the emails go out.
My Suunto Ambit2 R is absolute JUNK. I haven’t had an electronics product over the last 15 years that has had as many FAILS as this watch. Initially – I absolutely LOVED IT. I loved the functionality, the look was fine, I thought it was tough and could last for 10 years.
NO, IT CANNOT.
Latest problems – Heart rate monitor died before 1 year was up ($70). Watch band snapped after absolutely NOTHING strenuous at all. It was like the plastic was just defective and decided to break in the middle of putting it on one time ($60!). There is PITTING IN THE GLASS. It isn’t a break, crack, or chip, it is pitting – like the glass is being eaten away by the atmosphere here. Our air is pretty clean here in KRABI THAILAND so, I’m guessing the glass is horribly defective.
LATEST PROBLEM – JUST TODAY! At the top of my usual 500 m gain climb, I looked at the watch and was sickened to see there was a layer of fog inside the glass! I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT! THIS IS THE LAST STRAW. I’ll be making a video about all the problems with this watch TODAY because I’m so disappointed. This is about 1 old. Maybe just less. That is really a sad comment on the state of these watches.
LATEST LATEST PROBLEM – the strap broke AGAIN. Now it’s sitting in my bag with condensation, strap broken in 2 places, no heart rate monitor because that broke months ago, pitted glass on the watch face, and I’m fucking done with Suunto products.
Update 11/2015 – the world has been waiting for an Ambit4 since July 2014. It is not happening this year. How do I know? Suunto just tweeted on twitter – they created a blue Ambit3 Peak Sapphire. WTF? Right, I know. But at least now I don’t care. They can keep their products, I’m buying another brand for my next $500 watch.
Update 1/7/2016 – Suunto didn’t release any new Ambit4 in 2015, and maybe not in 2016 either. What they’re doing instead is splitting up the Ambit line into different specialty watches that is each focused on one small aspect. Ambit3 Vertical. Yeah, seriously. They’re going to take all the features of the Ambit3 and break them down into separate watches! NUTS!
Update 7 September 2016 – I added a new Suunto Ambit2 R review video from DialedTech Video Reviews on YouTube.
The company couldn’t be more ridiculous at this point. It’s an absolute horrorshow. I’m looking for Garmin to absolutely TAKE OVER the entire WORLD MARKET for GPS sports watches. Heck, if Apple just makes a waterproof watch that is fairly rugged, I’ll buy that. I’m already looking at $120 Timex Ironmans. I could have bought 3 of them instead of my lame Suunto Ambit2 R!
The clock is ticking for Suunto. They don’t have enough business sense to make it past 2018. They should just go back to dive computers because they’re lost in this new world.
If you have a Suunto Ambit and you’re considering upgrading to the Ambit 4 – maybe seriously reconsider. Start reading other stories about how other athletes’ watches are falling apart – and maybe seriously reconsider!
Vern Lovic, MA
Suunto lover, turned hater… lol.