Suunto 5 review

Feature-packed but flawed

Suunto 5
Image Credit: TechRadar

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Battery life

  • Up to 40 hours battery life in power-saving mode
  • Various configurable battery modes
  • Will intelligently alert you ahead of workouts if it needs a charge

Another big standout selling point of the Suunto 5 is the 40-hour claimed battery life in training mode and 14 days in watch mode, along with intelligent reminders. These recommend changes to the battery modes for enhanced power-saving if the watch spots you’re low on juice and you’re about to do your usual 90-minute run.

Before you begin a session, on the Start screen you’re given a battery life estimate in hours based on your current mode. With a simple tap of the top right button you can toggle between power modes, making it easy to choose a setting that will last as long as your planned activity.

There are three predefined battery modes – Performance, Endurance and Ultra – and the Suunto 5 tweaks the watch settings and tools to give you a varying amount of juice depending on which mode you choose. We first saw this on the higher end Suunto 9 and it’s a very neat little feature.

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

In terms of those battery life claims, in watch-only mode with no workouts our Suunto 5 dropped roughly 20% battery per day, even with smart notifications switched off, and we certainly didn’t make it to 14 days.

When we added in workouts, we found it had enough juice to see us through 3-4 days before we need to charge, based on training an hour a day.

The Suunto 5 does show you the battery percentage remaining though, which is much handier than Polar’s battery graphic that leaves you guessing.

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar


The Suunto 5 is a Jekyll and Hyde watch. There are some great fitness features here, but they’re trapped inside a design that’s hard to love and a user interface that’s still perplexing.

Who's this for?

The Suunto 5 is a multi-sport watch with a set of features that will satisfy those looking to build general fitness and maybe just beyond.

The running, cycling and swimming modes offer enough data to cater for training for a sport-specific goal such as a marathon, triathlon or sportive, just not at the top or ambitious amateur level.

Should you buy it?

In a word, no. As a fitness tool the Suunto 5 is not as intuitive or easy to use as something like a Fitbit, and it’s only slightly more capable than an Apple Watch, while being much less stylish and practical.

And if you’re serious about your sport then there are more feature-rich, comfortable, capable and easy to use devices out there in this price bracket.

First reviewed: June 2019