“On the Wrist” navigation: Garmin Fenix vs Suunto Core


Two men with healthy egos… two watches with a point to prove… and a race across the hills to the finish.

It was time to test the latest technology in electronic navigation and see which device could help Mike or Ollie become king of the navigators.

Who will prevail?

In today’s world, navigating the hills with just map and compass is becoming increasingly over shadowed by the vast range of electronic navigation devices available. These devices are packed with features that aim to make your life that little bit easier. But are they any good?

Given the rise and growing popularity of these nifty gizmos, we thought it was time to strap them on and test them out.

Two of our favourites and both “big hitters” in the navigational watch world are the Garmin Fenix GPS and the Suunto Core ABC.

Equipped with a hi-tech watch each and a trusty map, Mike and Ollie were dropped in an unknown, remote location and left to navigate to the finish.

Who would be first?

Let see how they got on…

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6 Responses to “On the Wrist” navigation: Garmin Fenix vs Suunto Core

  1. Howard Twine says:

    Great video and a good high level view of a couple of quite complex products, well done on tackling the difference between a GPS watch and an Alt/Baro watch.
    I just hope the core you were using does not use the same barometer technology as the Suunto X10 becasue it’s shockingly unreliable. It’s ok at low levels, but when you get to alpine altitudes the errors re significant.
    One feature on the Garmin Fenix that may not have been available when you made this is UltraTrack (Garmin are pretty good at firmware updates). This changes the GPS fix frequency (how often the watch looks for satellites) to once every minute. This significantly improves the batter performance if you want to use the watch to track your course. Additionally the Fenix uses WAAS to augment the standard GPS signal which improves speed of fix and accuracy. Something other GPS watches do not have.

  2. Jim Strang says:

    Would a better comparison agaist the Fenix not have been the Suunto Ambit? Or does the Ambit with it’s programability win hands down??

  3. Andi Fairhurst says:

    A serious contradiction on battery life for the Garmin (6-9hrs) compared to that as stated on the GoOutdoors website:
    “up to 50 hours (GPS mode); 2 weeks (sensor mode); 6 weeks (watch mode)”

    I’d be really disappointed to spend that amount of money and then find such a distortion in real life value.

    • Brandon says:

      Hi Andi,

      I think the figure stated in the video is based on how long the boys were using the watch. It certainly didn’t lose battery as it was still running when we gave it away in a competition last week!

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