Replacing the aging Suunto 5, the 5 Peak is inspired by the top models in the Finnish manufacturer's range, while keeping its price affordable. Lighter and less imposing, it is intended for outdoor sports enthusiasts.
Launched in early 2019, the Suunto 5 had positioned itself as the most affordable of Suunto's GPS sports watches. In 2022, the manufacturer is replacing it with a lighter 5 Peak with a more modern design, inspired in particular by its 9 Peak released the previous spring.
The Suunto 5 Peak retains most of the features of its predecessor and is still intended primarily for athletes engaged in outdoor activities (running, walking, trail, cycling ...). It retains a relatively attractive price of $ 299 and is distinguished by a manufacture in Finland.
Suunto offers its 5 Peak in different colors. The case can be dark gray or light gray, the bezel silvered or a darker gray, while the bracelets range from light gray to dark gray through yellow ocher (a color reserved for specialty stores) and multicolor incorporating scraps of other bracelets from Suunto production. It is in this last version that we received the watch.
Ergonomics and design
While the Suunto 5 was rather imposing at 46 mm in diameter and 14.6 mm thick, and even more so with a case that extended over the wrist to integrate the GPS chip, the Suunto 5 Peak has much more reasonable measurements. Its diameter is reduced to 43 mm, which makes it easier to wear on small wrists, while its thickness is reduced to 12.9 mm.
It is considerably lighter and weighs less than 40 g, whereas the Suunto 5 weighed in at 66 g. It is quickly forgotten once its silicone strap is attached to the wrist via a steel buckle, and held in place by a clip at the end.
However, we should point out a little discomfort when the watch is well tightened because of the central island of sensors located on the bottom. Rectangular, it exceeds a good millimeter and tends to leave a mark on the wrist.
The quality of manufacture is neat, the steel bezel stuck on the polymer case bringing the elegance which could miss the Suunto 5. On the other hand, it is regrettable that the transflective LCD screen is still so small (about 2.7 cm, or 1.06 inches). The black border around it is still imposing. If the definition of 218 x 218 px remains correct for such a size of screen, the contrast seems, him, rather weak.
Nevertheless, we appreciate that the screen remains permanently lit, the backlighting is only activated when the watch is turned towards our face or when a button is pressed. Unfortunately, this backlight is a bit weak and its intensity cannot be varied due to the lack of a luminosity sensor. It is not adjustable either, which can be annoying in certain conditions, especially at night. It should be noted that a bug in our test model caused the activation of the backlight in the middle of the night, despite the activation of the Do Not Disturb mode supposed to prevent this phenomenon.
Let's admit a little disappointment about the waterproofing. The Suunto 5 Peak is indeed IPX8 certified, but it only resists to a depth of 30 m (3 ATM), compared to 50 m for the previous model. Suunto assured us that its watch was also capable of withstanding swimming sessions, but it is unfortunate that the certification did not follow, a 3 ATM watch is (in principle) not really recommended for swimming. Water sports that can subject this model to higher pressures are therefore strongly discouraged.
As a pure sports watch, the Suunto 5 Peak is controlled exclusively with its five buttons. There is no touch screen here, so you have to understand how the interface works, which is actually quite simple. On the left side, the upper button is used to toggle between the different pictograms that may be displayed at the top of the screen, while the lower button is used to return to the previous screen. On the right side, there is a validation button surrounded by two others for navigation. Small arrows displayed on the screen help us to identify which button to use.
From the main dial displaying the date and time, as well as various additional information depending on the model of dial chosen, a first press on the validation button gives access to the control of the music (played from the smartphone), a second triggering the display of a screen summarizing the upcoming activities and indicating the number of notifications received. A long press on the same button opens the shortcut screen: Do not disturb mode, alarm management, choice of dial, settings ...
Still from the main dial, you can access the different modes of the Suunto 5 Peak by pressing the upper right button. You can then start an activity, launch the navigation, consult the activity log, start a stopwatch and finally access the general settings.
The lower right button gives access to physical data: heart rate, activity level and available resources, number of steps, training program and, finally, fitness level and sleep monitoring.
So we find the essentials in a rather classic and efficient interface. It's a pity that some slowdowns are felt when opening the music control widget or when accessing the heart rate readings, in particular.
Suunto 5 Peak works in conjunction with the Suunto app (iOS, Android) and automatically synchronizes with it. The app offers a clear interface with a tabbed layout. The home screen summarizes our activities over the past few days, our performance and our progress. It also reminds us of the goals we set with our training program.
The second tab shows a calendar of all the activities we have done so that we can easily find our last runs or bike rides, for example.
The third tab goes into more detail with a log summarizing the number of hours of training completed, with an analysis by sport and an overview of the progress made - or conversely a drop in performance if you train less during a certain period. You can also observe the number of steps, calories burned, the duration and quality of sleep or your fitness level over the last 10 days.
This data is not just for statistics, because the watch takes it into account to adapt the training program that you have chosen among the three of various intensities.
This application also has a very well designed mapping tool. You can create routes in a few seconds by simply indicating the points of passage on the map, and an algorithm will calculate the route between each point according to the type of road you want to take and the activity you have selected. Suunto 5 Peak does not have direct mapping, but can provide turn-by-turn guidance based on points calculated in the app.
Very entertaining, a 3D visualization of the route taken can be shared with friends and family via social networks or a simple web link. The last tab of the application is used to access our user information and settings, as well as to connect third party services (Strava, RunKeeper, Komoot...).
Uses and accuracy
Although it is not as richly equipped as the 9 Peak in terms of sensors, the Suunto 5 Peak has the essentials, namely an optical cardio sensor, a gyroscope and an accelerometer, as well as GPS (GPS, Glonass, Galileo, QZSS, Beidou). However, it is necessary to do without a compass, content with an altimeter by GPS and not barometric, while the pulse oximeter (SpO2) is absent. This lack is manifested by a less accurate sleep tracking, Suunto does not bother to provide the chronology of our nights, just the total duration of sleep, including deep sleep. For a sports watch, this is less of a problem, but such measurements are increasingly helping to improve the estimates of fitness levels in the watches that perform them.
The Suunto 5 Peak is still able to estimate whether we have recovered enough to do the next activity in its training program, and if not, it can adjust the program.
In terms of GPS reception, the 5 Peak is very accurate and recovers the signal quickly when an interruption occurs. On the other hand, we observed some errors in the calculation of the positive altitude difference, which we put rather on the account of a not definitive software, since the curves of altitude difference displayed after the incriminated activities seem for their part rather precise.
As far as heart rate is concerned, this Suunto is quite accurate. The average deviation from the readings provided by our reference Polar H10 chest belt does not exceed 1% for a steady pace run and remains below 2% for a split run. We can observe some inaccuracies on the curve below, smoother than the one obtained with the belt, but the frequency drops are well detected.
It is possible to start split training sessions with Suunto 5 Peak. In this case, you need to create a personalized sports mode so that the watch face displays the corresponding information during the run.
More compact than the Suunto 5, the 5 Peak loses two days of autonomy on paper, Suunto claiming up to 10 days of operation in watch mode. This period varies greatly depending on the sports activities recorded, as those that use GPS consume a lot of energy. Suunto mentions 20 hours in Performance mode, 40 hours in Endurance mode and up to 100 hours in Tour mode.
In practice, we found that it took a week of use in quiet periods with little sports training, but for day and night use (sleep monitoring) with notifications displayed. The autonomy drops quite quickly if you multiply the activities with GPS, a daily use obliging then to recharge the watch more than once a week. However, this is not very restrictive for the uses planned for this model.
Recharging is done with a proprietary cable whose connector forms a clamp that limits the risks of disconnection. Count 55 min for a complete charge.
Modernized in its form, classic in its approach, the Suunto 5 Peak has all the functions that any sportsman or woman who engages in outdoor activities, but also indoors, would expect. The accuracy of its sensors is good and the performance tracking is relevant via a clear and readable smartphone application. However, we regret that the quality of the display is still modest and that the sports training programs are not very useful. The Suunto 5 Peak will nevertheless be a good ally for those looking for a GPS multisport watch that goes to the essentials to track their sports performance.