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.
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.
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.