Don’t call it an entry-level watch. With 300 euros on the receipt, the Suunto 5 Peak is a nice mid-range model. With more than 80 sports to its bow and modes triathlon, trail, multisport, etc. the 5 Peak has the technological attributes to seduce a public of serious sportsmen… concerned about the look and size of their watch. Because if it is a sporty model, its great compactness, its sleek design and its 39 grams on the scale are all assets to keep it on your wrist even in town.
What you will learn
Complete, but not premium
Heart rate monitoring, altimeter, GPS displaying up to 100 hours of battery life, turn-by-turn guided navigation system, smartphone connection with music control and SMS reading (but what a horror, don’t do that you crazy people…), etc. the 5 Peak has no apparent lack of technology.
What are the differences in functionality between the 5 Peak and its big sisters? Not much. In truth, it even shares all the skills of more expensive models. What allows it to position itself at a more affordable price are the materials, less noble, less beautiful. It is also the screen, with mediocre definition. Or the chip, a little flabby, which propels it.
Which doesn’t mean it’s cheap, far from it. The plastic, which makes up the chassis, does not have the splendor of a steel body, but after several weeks of use, no scratches or shocks are to be deplored – proof that one must always be wary of the paradigm “ real quality/perceived quality”.
Advantage of lightness and universal strap
With only 39 grams on the scale, this watch is truly a featherweight. Compared to my classic watch, it is more discreet and less annoying.
With this 5 Peak, Suunto introduces a new mount for classic watch straps. Unlike some past models and other competitors with more complex (and sometimes proprietary) systems, this new watch from Suunto accepts any type of watch strap with push-fit bar attachment. Convenient for quickly changing bracelet color or for a repair in a small store in Leh, Ladakh.
The tester’s reference
It’s always good to know what you’re comparing a product to. In my case, the Suunto 5 Peak took on my benchmark: the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. With its body combining titanium, carbon-reinforced polymers and a sapphire crystal, it looks like a real “tank” next to the Sunnto. Pushing out loud cries, you want to tell me that it is not at all the same price range? You are right. But it is sometimes good to know the reference point of the tester, especially for these everyday products. Because when we run PCs, headphones or cameras in a few weeks, yours truly has been under the “yoke” of Garmin for more than two years now – a deformation of use that it is better to know.
Don’t worry: although half the price of the Fenix 5 Plus when it was launched, the Suunto was clearly not unworthy of my tank. But we had to make adjustments, changing a system forces us to go against habits, involves complaining because we didn’t take the right cable, etc. A sum of points of friction to be taken into account. But also some pleasures, such as its minimal size, its light weight and its good autonomy. All without sacrificing strength because in addition to the steel bezel, the case body is made of polyamide (a very strong plastic) and the glass is a crystal resistant to most scratches. Not sapphire, sure, but it does the trick. And with its IPX8 guarantee, it is cut out for all nautical activities except deep diving with tanks.
Battery life: hours rather than percents
If the battery is expressed in percent when you simply wear it, once an activity has started, the Suunto 5 Peak then expresses its energy endurance in hours. By adding up the measurements activated and their accuracy (GPS or not, measurement refresh rate, etc.), the Suunto 5 Peak offers a fairly precise view of its limit. Which will not be a detail for sports practitioners of very long endurance type ultra trail.
As for endurance, it’s really amazing, even with active GPS – tested largely on bike trips. One of the benefits of its screen with limited definition is that it does not consume too much energy. Ditto for the part of the chip dedicated to the display. These “limits” become strong points in terms of energy sobriety. Unless you’re Kilian Jornet or another superhero, no doubt you’ll be exhausted before his battery dies. As for the vélotaff, count one refill per week. Speaking of cycling, be aware, however, that the watch does not support activity recovery like Garmin watches. Which is a shame.
A more modern application than that of Garmin
While the interface of the Garmin Express smartphone app resembles a Belarusian submarine operating system (yes, I’m exaggerating), Suunto’s is much more pleasing to the eye. The icons are more modern, the interface (a bit inspired by Strava) is clearer.
Although rich in measurements and equipped with a cartography (and a heat map) effective, it does not have the social vocation of a Strava and connects perfectly with the latter – and with no less than 200 services (Komoot, OutdoorActive, etc.).
real Made in Europe
One of the elements that seduced me in this watch is perhaps the fact that this device, which offers complete satisfaction on the technical side, does not come from yet another Asian factory – and Asian factories produce excellent products. With several decades of activities in Finland, Suunto is not a brand that designs products in conjunction with Chinese or Thai factories, but rather a European industrial player. Who has also recovered the engineers of the former flagship of the country, Nokia.
Does that mean the products are better? No, iPhones come from China and are wonderfully finished products. But seeing a tech product developed and manufactured in Finland (and therefore in Europe) is a way to support the economy of the continent. As well as, to a lesser extent, limiting its environmental impact. Because if a number of chips are imported – such as the GPS chip, signed Sony Electronics – there is less ping-pong between factories, assembly sites, storage, etc.