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  1. #1
    Member ejunge's Avatar
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    Ambit vs Fenix

    Hey Gang,

    As many of you know, I used to work in a gear shop, which is where I originally picked up my first Suunto leading to the mess that I am now.. Well, after wanting three new Suuntos in a year, I decided to go back to work at a local Gear Shop so I can continue to finance my Suunto habit (and get them at a much cheaper price). So before you ask- No, I can not get you a deal.

    Okay, that being said, the Garmin Fenix has finally hit the stores. and it is an impressive piece of gear. I got a chance to play with it, and while I am not trading my Ambit anytime soon, Garmin makes a pretty impressive argument. Be Aware, that these are initial impressions only, and I did not get the chance to play with the Fenix out in the fireld.

    Features:
    This is perhaps where the Garmin has the slight edge- it has Bluetooth, which means that you could (potentially) add a ton of functionality. Other than that, it has a very similar feature set to the ambit (once the update hits later this month). I was talking to another Shop Employee and he prefers the Garmin- simply because he already uses Garmin connect, and he told me, "I picked it up and instantly knew how to use it."

    Size:
    They are very similar in size the biggest difference is that the Garmin does not have the Antennae "lug" sticking out. this does appear to make a difference as the Suunto locked on to satellites for GPS alomst instantly, while the Fenix looked for five minutes and never did lock on. Even as I sit here inside my office (in a building) I can get GPS reception on my Ambit.
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    Display:
    This is a Hands Down Winner for Suunto.. The Suunto Display looks Crisp and Clean, and the Fenix... well take a look for yourself.

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    So that is my two cents. They are both great watches, and I am sure that if I had more time with the Fenix, I would like it more. Take it for what its worth. I have a few more pics of them side by side that I will try to post later.

    Kirby
    lynx.hahn likes this.

    10 Years of Suunto Outdoor Sports Instruments

  2. #2
    Member JoggWithoutDog's Avatar
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    Re: Ambit vs Fenix

    Quote Originally Posted by ejunge View Post
    Hey Gang,

    As many of you know, I used to work in a gear shop, which is where I originally picked up my first Suunto leading to the mess that I am now.. Well, after wanting three new Suuntos in a year, I decided to go back to work at a local Gear Shop so I can continue to finance my Suunto habit (and get them at a much cheaper price). So before you ask- No, I can not get you a deal.

    Okay, that being said, the Garmin Fenix has finally hit the stores. and it is an impressive piece of gear. I got a chance to play with it, and while I am not trading my Ambit anytime soon, Garmin makes a pretty impressive argument. Be Aware, that these are initial impressions only, and I did not get the chance to play with the Fenix out in the fireld.

    Features:
    This is perhaps where the Garmin has the slight edge- it has Bluetooth, which means that you could (potentially) add a ton of functionality. Other than that, it has a very similar feature set to the ambit (once the update hits later this month). I was talking to another Shop Employee and he prefers the Garmin- simply because he already uses Garmin connect, and he told me, "I picked it up and instantly knew how to use it."

    Size:
    They are very similar in size the biggest difference is that the Garmin does not have the Antennae "lug" sticking out. this does appear to make a difference as the Suunto locked on to satellites for GPS alomst instantly, while the Fenix looked for five minutes and never did lock on. Even as I sit here inside my office (in a building) I can get GPS reception on my Ambit.
    Name:  IMG_0812.JPG
Views: 15522
Size:  593.9 KB


    Display:
    This is a Hands Down Winner for Suunto.. The Suunto Display looks Crisp and Clean, and the Fenix... well take a look for yourself.

    Name:  IMG_0810.JPG
Views: 22837
Size:  788.9 KB


    So that is my two cents. They are both great watches, and I am sure that if I had more time with the Fenix, I would like it more. Take it for what its worth. I have a few more pics of them side by side that I will try to post later.

    Kirby
    It would be nice if you add a third photo just like the second one ... but with the Ambit direct to the camera and the Fenix with an angle ... the contrast of my Ambit is far better than yours
    JoggWithoutDog

  3. #3
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    Re: Ambit vs Fenix

    Quote Originally Posted by JoggWithoutDog View Post
    It would be nice if you add a third photo just like the second one ... but with the Ambit direct to the camera and the Fenix with an angle ... the contrast of my Ambit is far better than yours
    JoggWithoutDog
    I think he is refering to the grey shadows the fenix has, don't matter the angle
    That and the 120x120 vs 70x70 resolution (very important for the next tracks support) makes the Ambit better in my opinion

  4. #4
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    Re: Ambit vs Fenix

    Think the ambit looks classier than the fenix,don't like the orange buttons and all on the fenix.

  5. #5
    Member Mystro's Avatar
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    Re: Ambit vs Fenix

    I like that the Fenix doesn't have a external antenna but if it doesn't acquire a Sat as good then its a wash.I also thought the Fenix was smaller but it doesnt really look so.

  6. #6
    Member ejunge's Avatar
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    Re: Ambit vs Fenix

    The (orange) button on the Left side is what threw me the most. The button just feels weird in that location. Trying to reach around the watch to hit that button with your thumb- it just doesnt work. It would be good for lefties though...

    10 Years of Suunto Outdoor Sports Instruments

  7. #7
    Member ejunge's Avatar
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    Re: Ambit vs Fenix

    Here are two better pics- yes you can clearly see the difference in the screen size between the two here.

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    10 Years of Suunto Outdoor Sports Instruments

  8. #8
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    Re: Ambit vs Fenix

    Used the Ambit extensively for a couple months and loved it! I couldn't help myself though I needed to try the fenix. So now I am a few days into using the fenix with mixed feelings.

    I like the looks of the fenix more than I thought I would, but it definitely has I much "cheaper feel" than the Ambit. On the other hand, it has a more "rugged" feel
    than the Ambit and I find myself not worrying about scratching it or banging it up like I did with the Ambit.

    Love the vibrating alerts on the Fenix.

    The distance accuracy (I use it for trailrunning) seems to be ok, but like you say, it does take forever to get a satellite fix. The Ambit is much faster and the GPS bulge on the Ambit never bothered me.

    Not sure the Bluetooth is of much use yet, but theres tons of potential there. (or at least that's what I hear!)

    I disagree with your buddy who said he "just knew how to use it" because he already used Garmins.
    I've had 3 different forerunner models and use garmin connect regularly, but I've been struggling to understand many of the basic functions of the fenix. Maybe it's because the fenix was rushed to market, but the manual is absolutely awful! It is super-basic and barely scratches the surface of the devices functions. Most of what I've learned has come from the other major Fenix thread on this forum.

    I've found that the Ambit has less features, but it gets them right. (and more features are promised from Suunto!) The Fenix has more features, but it seems to be full of bugs.

    I'm going to give the Fenix a month to get past the learning curve and see if garmin updates for the bugs it has, but I'm leaning toward going back to the Ambit.

  9. #9
    Member martowl's Avatar
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    Re: Ambit vs Fenix

    [QUOTE=roots-n-rocks;5492162]Used the Ambit extensively for a couple months and loved it! I couldn't help myself though I needed to try the fenix. So now I am a few days into using the fenix with mixed feelings.

    /QUOTE]

    i have had an Ambit since it was available. Before that, I have owned a T6 then T6c for many years and tried Garmin 210, 610, 310XT and 910XT. Before the Ambit I returned all of of the Garmins and kept using the T6 watches, they always worked and gave me the data I wanted for training. I have to say I am happy with the Ambit it but have not tried the fenix. I have a Garmin handheld ( Oregon 450) and never liked the interface. I think the fenix has a lot of the Garmin handheld software without much of the forerunner software and is missing parts of both. Suunto has made the best marriage of ABC and training IMHO with R-R data and GPS, no Garmin watch does that with the battery lifetime of the Ambit. Also, I seem to be one of the minority that likes Movescount. Oh well, I am looking forward to the Ambit updates axn thanks roots-n-rocks for keeping my wallet from directly comparing the Ambit and fenix. I thought this would be the outcome I would have arrived at but I am glad it was your comparison, not mine.

    Sticking with the Ambit.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ambit vs Fenix

    I also have both and Ambit and the fenix and used them both mostly for hiking. I like almost everything about the Ambit, except for its distance measurement accuracy, which for me is definitly one of the most important features for using a GPS watch. On the same exact course, the Ambit will measure the distance 3% longer if I wear it on my wrist, compared to if carry it in my pocket (when I believe it measures very close to the real distance). This is very consistent on numerous walks of the same course. The fenix, on the other hand, measures the distance about the same (and close to the real distance), independent of how I carry it. I am not exactly sure why it is, but the track on Movescount or Google Earth, when the watch is on my wrist, is very "wiggly". I would speculate that the Ambit has a more directed antenna and the arm motion while walking may impact its GPS reception, compared to running (the antenna is mostly up) or when it is in my pocket. Suunto, may not apply the necessary filtering to correct this phenomenon. I also agree with some of the observations that the Ambit is better on initial Satellite acquisition, even though this can be the result of the automatic loading of the satellites almanac when syncing the Ambit. I am not aware that the fenix does the same.

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