Let’s get something out of the way right up front: The Suunto 9 is the Suunto Spartan V2. Or next-gen Spartan Ultra, or whatever you want to call it. Except Suunto changed the naming system this go around – and now it’s called Suunto 9. Thus, if you’re looking for Suunto’s top-dog watch, this is the one you’re looking for.

Despite the significant shift in naming though (for the better), think of the Suunto 9 as more an evolutionary update to the Suunto Spartan series, rather than a major revolutionary change. Aside from the addition of the optical heart rate sensor (which Suunto had placed in other units anyway), the only three other major changes at present are related to battery life, new super-cool GPS tracking modes, and a new GPS chipset provider (Sony). Actually, four if you count the new universal band straps – allowing you to use any strap you find on the interwebs with it.

But that doesn’t mean Suunto isn’t doing more behind the scenes on their mobile app and website – as they certainly are. It’s just that those changes don’t fit well on the back of the box, nor into this intro section. Instead, they require a bunch of text to try and explain. Thus how you end up with a 9,774 word review. Read More