What’s up with the Suunto Ambit 2R?

Suunto has had success with their popular Ambit watch and followed it up with a second generation series with 3 different models.  The Ambit 2R is designed for athletes that want GPS functionality but don’t need all of the (many) features of the 2 or the 2S, and want a lower price to go with it.

After using the first generation Ambit, and all 3 of the 2nd series units, I can say that the 2R technically works as well as the other watches – it is usually quick to pick up satellites and external ant+ sensors.  The user interface is identical to that of the other Ambit watches which made it easy to learn for existing users, but is intuitive for new users once you understand what all of the buttons do.

In terms of features, the Ambit 2R has the basic stuff that you will need as an athlete.  You can connect it to a heartrate strap to monitor your effort, and a footpod if you want to know your stride cadence.  Of course the GPS will tell you what you pace/speed is, and everything is recorded so you can download it to see where you went, and how you performed.  You can have up to 10 sport modes with 8 data displays (each with multiple data fields) on the watch at a time.  This is all customizable using the Movescount/Moveslink software.

The 2R has a shorter battery life than the 2 or the 2S, but still claims 8hrs at the most precise GPS tracking level (recording once per second), up to 25 hrs at the least precise (recording once per minute.)  For many runners, cyclists and swimmers, 8 hours is plenty long enough! If it isn’t, and you want precise data, you may want to consider the 2S or the 2.  I haven’t tested the actual life on mine, but Suunto is generally accurate on their claims.

Suunto uses their own Movescount application for uploading and storage of user data, and has recently been better integrated into the popular Strava platform.  Both of these offer social connectivity with other users, and Strava allows you to connect with friends and athletes regardless of the type of GPS they are using.

The whole Suunto Ambit lineup is great, and if you want a solid watch but don’t need all the features of the 2 or 2S, you can save some cash with the 2R and have a great GPS heart rate monitor.

By Ontario Ambassador Kent Keeler – runbikerace.com