Smartwatch Showdown: Garmin Instinct Solar vs Suunto 9 Baro

Review

In the market for a new smartwatch but don’t want to go the Apple Watch route? Garmin Instinct Solar vs Suunto 9 Baro are two big player options, so which one is best?

Buy from Amazon (affiliate links):
Garmin Instinct Solar: https://amzn.to/33zPyY4
Suunto 9 Baro: https://amzn.to/34pye7k

Winner: The Garmin Instinct Solar!

We think the Garmin Instinct Solar is the best smartwatch you can buy if you’re into working out. Even better than the Apple Watch (which is the best OVERALL smartwatch for those not focused on exercise and battery).

With superior battery life, and no touch screen the Garmin offers accurate sensors and great functions. We noticed a lot of problems with accuracy and functionality on the Suunto. Also, the Suunto is absolutely enormous and not particularly pleasant to have on your wrist. Garmin offers plenty of customization for its watch faces allowing you to have whatever information you want at glance. The screen is always on, it’s rugged. And you can have nearly all the same features as the Apple Watch including Bluetooth control of your audio devices, and phone and text notifications. It’s less elegant than the Apple Watch but for those using it as a daily driver or a tactical watch – there are few that can rival.

Garmin Instinct Solar

Don’t Love the Suunto

Too big, inaccurate sensors, and a lack of customization left us wanting more from the Suunto. We weren’t the only ones to experience poor results from the Suunto sensors either. Plenty on the Suunto forums have had issues with accuracy as well. We would have liked to see more options for watch faces, and the fact that you need a tethered computer to update the software on the Suunto was a big drawback as well. The cherry on top is the poor performance in animations and it’s user interface. The watch feels outdated and incomplete.

Brief Summary

This video is a MUCH more in-depth look at both watches.