Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5: In-depth Comparison

(Last Updated On: June 7, 2019)

After spending hours going through the features of both smartwatches, we choose the Fenix 5 as the best option on our Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 article.

Fenix 5 has a long battery life, and it also alerts you when the charge drops to 20%. We also love the Fenix 5 because of its multisport mode, which helps you to switch between sports easily. Finally, the Fenix 5 records and stores more landmarks on your GPS than the Traverse Alpha.

 

The Suunto Traverse Alpha and Gamin Fenix 5 are some of the devices that outdoorsman or athlete should keep handy. Both smartwatches have great features that make them rival many flagship watches in the market.

Sporting impressive designs, both devices are built with materials that can handle extreme conditions. Also, they promise support for apps that help you maintain a mobile and healthy lifestyle. They even come with the extended battery life, which keeps them running for long hours. This makes both smartwatches the best option for camping and long trips.

Since both timepieces offer great features, choosing between the two watches might be hard. However, with our Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 article, we will guide you in making the best choice. First, let’s begin with the Suunto Traverse Alpha review.

Suunto Traverse Alpha

 

Seen in some circles as the best military watch, the Suunto Traverse Alpha is a handy device for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.

It even comes as a great item to use during your camping trips. This smartwatch can withstand rugged terrain while performing various functions that will meet the needs of any outdoorsman or athletes. With such impressive specs, the watch standout on our Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 post.

Design and Battery Life

The Suunto Traverse Alpha weighs 75g while maintaining a width of 47mm. Although these figures present it as a bulky item, it is a lightweight watch that’s comfortable on the wrist.

The watch has a face covered with sapphire glass that can resist scratches. Also, a stainless steel bezel surrounds this part of the timepiece. A replaceable sturdy nylon-silicone wristband also secures the watch on any wrist size. Overall, the Traverse Alpha is highly durable which makes it an excellent smartwatch for construction workers.

The Suunto Traverse Alpha is water resistant to 100m. Having said this, you can use the watch for any aquatic activities except deep-diving underwater.

Battery life from this smartwatch depends on how the watch is used. For instance, the battery can last for 15 hours with the GPS ON or about 14 days when the GPS is set off (which is ideal for long hikes). You can charge the battery with a USB compatible charger.

Sensors

For outdoor enthusiasts, being able to monitor your health and fitness, and keep track of your location is a big plus. By using the GPS features, you can keep track of your routes while its GLONASS provides increased GPS accuracy. For Avid travelers, use the compass feature to address your route quickly if you lost direction.

The Traverse Alpha has a built-in thermometer; hence, you don’t need a separate device to check your temperature. Its heart wrist rate or belt monitor keeps your health in check throughout the day etc.

Since weather and pressure could change at any time, Traverse Alpha has a built-in barometer to help keep you informed. Unlike the Garmin Fenix 5, this smartwatch can alert you if there is a thunderstorm coming.  It offers additional features that are helpful for daily outdoor activities- this includes gyroscope and accelerometer.

Activity Tracking & Connectivity

The Transverse Alpha watch gives you details of your physical activity levels. This comes as a great feature, especially if you intend to lose some pounds or engage in outdoor activities.

For example, its GPS function prevents a hiker from getting lost by keeping track of past and current locations. This also comes in handy during fishing or hunting as it helps users mark ideal spots for chasing prey.

With the Traverse Alpha, you can measure your daily steps and estimate the calories burned throughout the day. By default, you can view your estimated daily step count in the time display. Also, the watch gives an overview of the steps taken in a week, month, or year.

Apart from steps, the outdoor smartwatch records the number of swimming strokes made within a particular period. The device gathers this data and stats by measuring your arm movements.

All smartphones are compatible with the Suunto Traverse Alpha. This means that you can send and receive information from the smartphones to the watch via Bluetooth or ANT +.

App & Display

The Traverse alpha face display is easily readable, and the watch comes with fantastic apps for sports activities.   With a screen resolution of 128 x 128 pixels, you will find it pretty easy to read and control.

As you should know, time zones change from city to city or other countries. Luckily, Traverse Alpha has a built-in sunrise and sunset alert, and world timer. These features will keep you informed on the current time and when to wake up in the morning.

As an avid Hunters and Angler, time is crucial, which is why the Alpha offers a moon phase calendar, and Moonrise and Moonset times. With this, it’s pretty easy to know when to go fishing and hunting. A big plus as it comes with an auto-shot detection that dates and mark the exact spot when you shoot a rifle or shotguns.

If you don’t want to cause a scene in the morning or at night, you can set your preferred time to wake up and work routine using its silent alarm or vibration alerts.

Did you forget to bring a flashlight for Camping? Well, you don’t have to worry. The Traverse features efficient flashlight mode that you can use to keep your vision clear in dark conditions.

What’s even better is that the smartwatch is also compatible with the Movescount app. This app allows you to share and sync your daily activities, explore new routes, and customize your watch.

The Traverse didn’t leave out some essential features. It still offers additional features which include a stopwatch, notifications, and social features, etc.

Price and Warranty

The Suunto Traverse Alpha cost over $350 and it comes with a two-year warranty. Suunto also offers one year warranty that covers accessories including bracelets, and sensors, etc. However, the company does not make any provisions for wear and tear.

Before you enjoy the warranty service, the company suggests that you register the watch on the company’s website with proof of purchase.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Traverse Alpha is a durable smartwatch for outdoor enthusiasts, but construction workers and military will also benefit from its built-in features. Compared to the Fenix 5, it is lightweight and comfortable to wear. Also, when it comes to Suunto smartwatches, it stands as one of the top models with great sensor features.

However, it also has its drawbacks when compared to Fenix 5. First, its face screen display only in two colors (Black and white). On GPS mode, the battery life is 9 hours shorter, which means you enjoy more time using the Garmin Fenix 5. Unlike the Garmin, the Traverse won’t alert you when the battery is low.

 

Garmin Fenix 5

 

The Garmin Fenix 5 stand as one of the best watches for basic training and other rigorous activities. It delivers a wide range of features while sporting an attractive design that rivals the look on any Suunto smartwatch.

Packed with fitness, health, and GPS tracking features, the Fenix 5 can keep you fit and safe on any terrain. Furthermore, it has a sturdy build that can withstand usage under extreme conditions. For these reasons, this smartwatch has a great edge in the Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 contest.

Design and Battery Life

Since Fenix 5 is ranked as one of the best outdoor smartwatches, it’s expected that it has a rugged design. However, it has an elegant look that can complement any outfit.

The Fenix 5 sports a display screen covered with sapphire glass. With this material, the watch can handle knocks and scratches encountered during outdoor activities.

The case is made from fiber-reinforced polymer while a stainless steel case back secures its engine. A replaceable elastomer bracelet fits the smartwatch on any wrist size.

The Fenix 5 promises a water resistance up to 100m, making it a good watch for most aquatic activities. However, sports such as scuba diving might damage it.

Battery life depends on the features activated on the watch, such as sensors, activity tracking, and GPS. On basic mode, it runs up to 14 days, but when in GPS mode, it takes up to 24 hours for the battery to drain. Finally, on UltraTrac GPS mode, it offers 75 hours of battery life.

Sensors

In comparison with other smartwatches on the market, the Fenix 5 offers accurate sensor features. Unlike Suunto, it features a heart rate monitor that can track your heart rate without the use of a chest strap. The tracked heart rate is not only shown on the watch but also recorded in Garmin connect. This makes it easy for you to check your progress.

You can use the watch to calculate burned calories, stress levels, and monitor your sleep pattern every day.

This Garmin smartwatch provides GPS sensors with GLONASS function for maximum accuracy.  Avid travelers and other outdoor enthusiasts will find this watch handy as it has a built-in barometer, compass, and other measurement tools.

Activity Tracking & Connectivity

Like most smartwatches, the Fenix 5 supports a healthy lifestyle by tracking various activities. It performs this task by using sensors that monitor different health stats.

A sleep tracker detects and monitors your movement during sleep hours (except naps) while the auto goal feature creates a daily step goal based on your recent activity levels. The move alert encourages you to go for a walk after prolonged sitting.

Regarding connectivity, the Fenix 5 works with WiFi, which enables firmware updates on the watch without using a smartphone. The timepiece also supports Bluetooth for connections with smartphones.

The smartwatch also works with ANT + technology that enable it to link to fitness equipment. This feature helps you track your stats when you use devices such as treadmills or spin bicycles.

App & Display

When it comes to top-tier smartwatches with cool apps and display faces the Garmin Fenix 5 is never left out. This Garmin smartwatch has a color LCD screen with 240 x 240 pixels visible in bright sunlight. Its display screen is also Transflective, enabling you to read in low lighting.

Unlike most smartwatches, these timepiece support varieties of apps which include Garmin Connect, Strava Live Segment, and LiveTrack features. The Garmin Connect offers you more leverage to download plenty of apps such as car locators, work planners, etc. Not only that, it allows you to share information and activities with other members on the Garmin Community. As for the Strava Live segment, this helps runners and cyclists perform better. Use the LiveTrack feature to allow family and friends to cheer you on every step on race day in real-time.

Pair your phone with the smartwatch to enjoy smart notifications. With this feature, you get instants alerts like text, Facebook notification, and calls from your phone to the smartwatch. This makes it easy for you to respond or decline messages when you’re running or engaging in other sports.

Add more function to your smartwatch using the Connect 1Q store packed with many apps. If you misplace your smartphone, you can quickly use its Find My Phone App on the watch to locate it.

Garmin also packs up other exciting feature you will find useful. These features include sunrise and sunset alerts, and Golf features, etc.

Price and Warranty

You can get the Garmin Fenix 5 for more than $400. After purchase, the Garmin offers a one-year limited warranty that covers issues with materials or quality.

Furthermore, before you can claim your warranty, register the watch on the company’s website. Ensure you have either the original or the copy of your receipt.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Overall, Garmin Fenix features excellent sensor, display, and connectivity that will satisfy buyers in need of sports smartwatch. The best part about is its long battery life and the accuracy of its GPs and sensor features.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that supports many apps, this is the best choice for you. However, it does not have a built-in world timer and no feature to trackback your route outdoors. Finally, those with smaller wrist might not find this watch comfortable to wear because it is pretty bulky and heavy.

Final Thought and Recommendation on Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5

From everything mentioned above, it’s certain that both smartwatches are durable and comes with great features.

However, having looked at their display faces, designs, apps, and battery life, we concluded that the Garmin won this challenge. First, the Fenix 5 can go 9 hours more on GPS mode than Suunto before needing a battery recharge. It supports varieties of apps than the Traverse alpha, and compatible with window phone.

Well, in terms of durability the Suunto traverse Alpha edges out the Garmin Fenix 5. Also, you can’t check your temperature with Fenix 5 but the Suunto can do that for you. What’s even better is that you can track back your route with the Traverse Alpha but not with Fenix 5.

Finally, with all this said, both smartwatches stand a great challenge. But I’m sorry to break your heart with my choice I still prefer the Garmin Fenix 5 due to its attractive design and color LCD screen.

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