suunto X10 review

We’ve had our awesome Suunto X10 for a while now and we’re ready to share a short review with you. See Amazon reviews also.

UPDATE 4/26/2012
Realized our review photos were not showing correctly so fixed that issue.


Suunto X10 has a nice feel to it. Even though it is quite bulky, its curves gives it a decent look (unlike some G-Shocks). It is actually quite plausible to use this as an everyday watch. The plastic which was used all around seems to be of good quality. Suunto used a few metal parts where it mattered such as the buckle on the strap and where buckle would connect on the other strap.

According to the spec sheet Suunto X10 has a 33% longer battery life than previous version. We were never able to test it to its limits which is a good sign. Reported battery life range from 5-7 hours (with heavy usage of the GPS, backlight, compass and data storage functions) to about 3 months if you only use Time and/or Alti/Baro mode. If your hiking trip is expected to be longer than 5-7 hours do not worry: You can change the GPS fix interval from 1 second to 1 min and this would get you to about 16 hours. Or even more if you change it to ‘manual’ to only mark important waypoints along your trip.

Suunto X10 is 100 meters water resistant, so no worries if you’re going to get wet. The backlight was sufficient. It is a not as nice as Timex Indiglo but it does the job.

PC Software
There isn’t much to say about the software. It does what it’s supposed to do. You can edit the existing waypoints and routes that are already on your Suunto X10 or you can just add new ones using the interface.

You export your routes so you can view them on Google Earth however you can’t plan trips on Google Earth and put them on your route. When you’re planning you have to bring your own maps which can be in .bmp, .jpg, or .gif formats or you can draw them yourself.


There are just way too many features on this wrist computer so we won’t go into detail. Here is what you can do with your Suunto X10:

::Altitude: Suunto X10 can calculate the altitude from the current barometric pressure, which is more sensitive and accurate than the altitude measurement with the GPS, and is also available when the GPS is off. However you have to watch out substantial barometric pressure changes. A general rule is that a 10 m change in altitude equals 1.2 hPa in the barometric pressure at sea level and 0.5 hPa at 8000 m. Also keep in mind the number reported on the altimeter is always with reference to another point such as -5m, +340m, etc instead of with reference to sea level. You’ll have to set this reference altitude but if you do not know the current altitude, you can go to the position display and check the altitude with the GPS.

::Barometer: When you are at the barometer screen you can see the barometric pressure at sea level in a graphical presentation of the barometric pressure development during the last 6 hours in 15-minute intervals. YOu can also read the absolute barometric pressure in your current location.

::Alarm: It is not only time alarm folks. With Suunto X10 you can also set weather alarm and altitude alarms. The barometric alaram function informs you when the barometric pressure changes more than 4 hPa (0.118 inHg) in 3 hours. This is a typically used metheorological value for rapid weather change. And if you have the GPS on the weather alarm can detect weather changes even when the altitude is changing.

::Compass: Compass first off works without the need for GPS mode to be on. This is VERY useful if you want to save battery. In this mode you have the circular north indicator, cardinal and half-cardinal point (N, SW, etc..), and also heading in degrees.

There is a nice feature in compass called bearing lock: This feature helps you follow a certain bearing. This does what you expect it to do: You pick a desired bearing then hit START/DATA. And then you can choose the bottom row to displays the degree deviation, to the left or right, from the target bearing. In compass mode you even get to choose your declination error. Or you can turn it off and have the compass point to magnetic north.

::Navigation:In this mode you can create the routes and waypoints either on your PC or just as you go. Navigation mode should only be used when you have a destination. If you are interested in your speed/location etc you should use the activity mode.Navigation mode can show you distance, direction, estimated time of arrival and other essential information for all the waypoints of the selected route, and guides you back to your starting point.

Before you use the route function in this mode you need to create a route. You can store up to 50 routes in the memory. Each route can include 50 waypoints, ten of which can be alarm points.

Suunto can display various kinds of information about your trip which they call the “navidata”. These include distance to finish (dtf) which displays the distance from the current location to the last waypoint (via each waypoint) in the unit of your choice, time to waypoint (ttw) which displays the estimated travel time to the next waypoint based on the current speed, estimated time of arrival (eta), estimated time enroute (ete) which is the the estimated travel time to the last waypoint on the route, based on the current speed, cross track Error (xte) which is the shortest distance from your current location to the straight line connecting the waypoints of the route, speed (spd), and finally heading (hea).

::Activity: Activity mode displays your
current performance. It is the mode you need when you want to measure and record your activity. It shows your basic info such as speed, distance traveled, time, time from start (tfs) or altitude.

You have to check out their campaign site for X10 if you’re considering buying this.

Bottom Line: There are really no “cons” about the Suunto X10. If we had to find something it would be the difficulty in pressing the buttons (but keep in mind we were pressing way too many times trying to figure out the functions).

As far as “pros” you’ve got everything we’ve talked about. Great battery life, good quality in materials used, lots of features. Once you learn how to use this (and you should before you go out into the wilderness) there’s almost no way you’d get lost.

Suunto X10 is already for sale on a few websites and the price is in the low $500’s.

37 Responses to “suunto X10 review”

  1. Holger Selover-Stephan Says:

    Awesome feature set, I’d like one as backup when flying. But it’s too big for my wrist and taste.

  2. fd Says:

    Can the data / track the watch records be used to geotag images after the hike/trip?

    How many location points does it let you store in activity mode? (which could be used to link to geotag certain groups of images)

  3. Das Sport & Gesundheitsblog für Verbraucher » Suunto X10: Praxistest souverän bestanden Says:

    […] Test verdanke ich aber auch den Hinweis auf eine Promotions-Seite des Suunto X10, die wirklich […]

  4. Suunto X10 review :Cogswappr Says:

    […] Navigadget has a good review of the Suunto X10. It’s bascially a GPS navigation watch. You can hook it  up to your computer via USB for analysis after a training session. Google has the prices on this unit between $536 - $600. I think this would only be a good alternative to a Garmin if you absolutley have to have GPS tracking for something off the bike and the Garmin would be too bulky to take off the bike, ie: triathlons. […]

  5. fd Says:

    Thinking some more on your review:

    ” When you’re planning you have to bring your own maps which can be in .bmp, .jpg, or .gif formats or you can draw them yourself. ”

    I guess that means it can’t import. Only export.

    But bring your own maps? That means you have to either screen grab, photograph or scan them? And then go back & forth between their program and GE (or something) to get coordinates for every point you want to set and enter that data manually into their software? As how does it otherwise deal with scale, distance, …?

    I certainly would love to see a few parts of the review covered a bit more in-depth, like planning & review of data, ease of use / learning curve. Compatibility with other applications which then can allow geotagging.

  6. Matthias Fuchs Says:

    you just have to calibrate 3 points in the map before planning a track - works fine!

  7. FG Says:

    Suunto claims the GPS fix is faster and works better even under foliage (compared to X9i).
    The main ‘con’ of the X9i was the bad GPS performance in my opinion (which has been confirmed by other people I know, who used the X9i for >1 year).
    Thus, would be great to know whether the X10 holds the promise of better GPS performance.
    The X9i, despite being slow for getting a GPS fix, always looses signal under foliage as well as in steeper mountains (mountains obviously shadowing the signal from some of the satellites) - conditions, under which my handheld Garmin (of similar age) has no issues at all and shows perfect performance (I would expect the wristop to be of worse performance compared to a handheld, but not that bad).

    Regarding ease of use: in my opinion it was not too big of a problem to familiarize with the X9i features & menu structure over a couple of day and weekend trips (except for navigate mode). I assume (and hope) that they did not change the menu structure compared to X9i.

  8. Ines L Says:

    I wil be on a long trip (21 days) without and chance to get to the grid to charge my watch. I would like to buy that solar panel charger shown in the pic, but I cannot find it anywhere. Can someone please advise where I can get it?

    thx I

  9. Naisan Says:

    I’ve been wearing this for a few days, and have a few comments to add to this - especially compared to the garmin 405 and the form factor - size. It’s an ugly watch, and has a few foibles which make me want to think twice about returning it. . more here:

  10. Adam Says:

    Would be interested to hear any comments from users/reviewers on more details of the navigation functions. I would like to use this for hiking and for geocaching. Any opinions?

  11. Chris Schulz Says:


    is the x10 capable of displaying your position (lat/lon/utm) because i DONT want that… race rules!

    i basically need it as a distance measure only. if its capable of displaying the position, it will be banned.


  12. Matthias Fuchs Says:

    yes it is able to display your current position

  13. BamaRob Says:

    You know you want it!

  14. David Owens Says:

    Yes, Chris, it can display your lat/long/utm and you can even change the way the info is presented - decimal, deg min sec, …

  15. Sam Says:

    I own the X10 for a few weeks now and i would like te metion it has a way better GPS module then the X9i. The X9i is actually a useless device, because it looses track all the time. I brought the X9i back to the store after a week and the store gave me the option to change it to the new X10. I am happy that i did that, because the X10 seems to actually work for real!

    Some specs about the GPS:
    - Fixing time is 1 to 2 mins
    - Once fixed you can wear it underneath your jacket without loosing signal
    - It keeps its fix even inside a building as long as you stay near a window
    - Not to much trouble with trees and heavy clouds (its not perfect, but it rearly looses the fix)

    The battery lifetime is still not perfect, but 6 hours at 1 sec interval is realistic.

  16. chris Says:

    can you input coordinates and in what format? Does it display location in coordinates ie MGRS (Military Grid Reference System)

  17. Robert Says:

    Chris, I just got the watch the other day. It displays MGRS (WGS-84), also has a strong lock even when I am in a vehicle. Buttons take some getting use to, they are hard to press…. the alarm won’t wake you up. It is more accurate then my hand held GPS (Garmin).

  18. Jesper Petersen Says:

    I am wondering how precise the gps speed is in Activity mode.
    I just came home from a skiing holiday and got a 129 kph max.
    I am not a pro skier and though I did think about dieing there for a moment :), I find it hard to believe I was going that fast?

  19. 10 Degrees Latitude » Suunto X10 Review Says:

    […] Navigadget […]

  20. Does anyone use a Suunto x10 gps watch? - IH8MUD Forums Says:

    […] to a military map. Does anyone have any good/bad experiences with the newer Suunto X10 model? suunto X10 review — NaviGadget Suunto X10 GPS Watch ? The amazing wristop successor to the X9i is here! Suunto - Suunto X10 […]

  21. Edward Says:

    I just posted a review of the Suunto X10. Also, if you are looking for a great deal the Suunto X10 can be found at for $400 using code 400X10.

  22. Andrew Harris Says:

    All of you people have mixed comments. My son wants this watch for christmas. We do a lot of hiking and skiing. Should i get it?

  23. Korting Says:

    Seems like a very nice watch, though I heard some bad comments about the housing of the watch? Something about carbon getting ripped off?

  24. S Hoover Says:

    I’ve had mine only for a few days, and I can say that the GPS fix goes about as quickly as my Garmin Foretrex. This watch has alot of features and is quite capable of doing them quite well. I have learned that you have to really read the manual thoroughly, and I don’t mean the one that comes in the box. Read the one on the enclosed CD ROM, or go online an download the one from Suuto’s website. Another problem with the watch is that there is just so much not covered in the manuals, and you must do some research. For instance, you need to set the way the watch tracks and stores navigation data like: position format (Degrees, Deg and min, Grid, UTM, MGRS). Then you may need to set the datum depending on the format you use. I think someone could make a website devoted to knowing how to set the watch, and use all the features.
    I found that the watch, being made in Finland, is set for use there and not in the US. So you must change all kinds of settings. Thankfully you can do this without having to wear your finger tips out pushing the buttons on the watch. Simply connect it to your PC, and use the track manager software to select your desired settings, and tell it to update the watch. NICE!! This works with everything from the temperature to the alti/barometer, to the GPS. I personally own an X10M with the reverse display, and red backlighting. It also allows you to change the compass to display mils instead of degrees.
    It is definitely and expensive watch, but can do a great deal of things particularly for the outdoor type person, you just need to learn how to make it work.

  25. S Hoover Says:

    I almost forgot, I too have heard about the plastic bezel thing coming off, and stuff pealing, but I heard that Suunto corrected this problem. I don’t know for sure, but I will let them and you all know if it does happen. Of course, they have a very nice 2 year waranty, and reportedly great customer service.

  26. C v Onselen Says:

    I have had my X10 now for a year and two months. I have sent the watch in for repairs as my bezel pealed off and the bezel kept clipping out. Suunto repaired it and after this my battery time was way down, so I sent it back again as they did something wrong in the repair process. Suunto then replaced my watch with a new one! WOW! The problem is two days later the new watch’s bezel started un-clipping again! We to say the least my new watch is now back for repairs again:-(

  27. phill Says:

    I have an X10, GEOTAG only works on the phone, you cannot export the GEOTAG data off your phone, either my copping the files directly (if you do the GEOTAG data become corrupt) and if you use the defafult Picasa that comes with the phone the GEOTAG data is not included within the data transfer.
    So if you want to mark the locations of your pictures automatically using longitude and latitude buy a different phone.

  28. Russ Says:


    The Suunto X10 is not a phone, its a GPS navigation watch? what the hell are you talking about. You sound like your talking about a sony experia X10 phone?!

  29. Russ Says:

    Ive just ordered one of these from ebay. ive been assured its well in warranty, must admit slightly weary about the problem with the bezel that seems to plague this device but i’ll see how it goes and send it to Suunto for replacement if needs be. Im going to use this to measure distance with swimming, cycling and running. anyone have any experience’s to share of this from this model?. If its no good ill sell it and get a garmin 405cx which is what id originally intended to get anyway - didnt bother researching it and just realised the x10m wont work with a heart rate monitor..

  30. Reg Says:

    Suunto say X10i is very similar to X9i. X9i was plagued with problems and was a very poor device. I suspect the X10i is similar, especially with navigation. I am told Suunto’s Trek manager cannot calibrate maps. So you cannot upload correct GPS positions from your PC to the watch. So X10i must take you off course. Any one have any experience of its use in real life?? The X9i was bad at locating your correct position on Google Earth. Is the X10i similar?

  31. Carlos Says:

    Has any one done a like for like comparison with X10I and the 405cx?
    If so where can I find the output?

  32. logan Says:

    wow great phone, love my x10. favorite unlocked mobile phones this year. processor is fast, touch screen is really responsive, battery life lasts all day and i like the keys on the bottom, and i’m pretty dang picky. much better than my old unlocked android phones. they are practical, the email and web browser are great for my business and keeping in touch with my clients. gps helps me get around. the apps are great and it’s such a nice looking phone, i get a lot of compliments. love my new unlocked gsm phones. my wife loves hers for the facebook, camera, and recorder. daughter loves hers for the games and I like it so i can keep in touch with my fantasy team. x10 is my favorite so far. practical too. got my last couple unlocked 3g phones at 2 thumbs way up

  33. Matt Says:

    X10. Much better GPS than X9. Works with cloud cover, under a tree, 10ft from the side of my house.
    The X9 would never manage that. No faceplate problems so far.

  34. adrian Says:

    hi, just wondering how long the battery will last with the gps turned off? cheers

  35. vasile Says:

    Rubbish buttons,after two months of use the central menu button fell off.For a 600$ watch it doesn’t add up.Great unit,cheap strap…not recommended!

  36. Agie Says:

    Please inform me if you have this issue with this watch: It’s simply turning off when i try to use it in some functions and a friend told me it could be the battery . On the Suunto website it says that the battery need to be replaced after 2 years so…. My qestion is , how much Suunto will charge me for a battery replacement and a new strap . i dont have the warenty no more , thanks in return. I recomend this product.

  37. Sam Says:

    This is the worse and very poor quality watch I ever had. The quality of strap is shame, it’s not a robust and tough watch for outdoor activity.

    I would strongly not recommend this product…at all!!!

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