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Hi or_watching, here are some answers for you. I have used a 910XT and owned a 310XT for a short time, I am familiar with how they handle navigation.
I think you are right about the Ambit vs X10, I have an X10 and its implementation is different than Garmin's. The good about both units is that you can download anyone's courses/waypoints. (snip)
Is the downloading of tracks working on the X10? I recently picked one up and tried it, but it doesn't seem to transfer them from movescount. When looking at the notes on movescount.com, I found a reference that X10 transfer of waypoints from the website to the device was not available. Maybe this is why it won't work on the Ambit yet as well? It seems like Nav isn't really there on the Suunto devices, from what I've tried. Have you had a downloaded route work in navigation mode?

The Ambit looks slick and I would consider one as well, but the advertised claim of navigation by route seems a little early to me.
 

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Is the downloading of tracks working on the X10? I recently picked one up and tried it, but it doesn't seem to transfer them from movescount. When looking at the notes on movescount.com, I found a reference that X10 transfer of waypoints from the website to the device was not available. Maybe this is why it won't work on the Ambit yet as well? It seems like Nav isn't really there on the Suunto devices, from what I've tried. Have you had a downloaded route work in navigation mode?

The Ambit looks slick and I would consider one as well, but the advertised claim of navigation by route seems a little early to me.
Hi cobrapa: my X10 does not upload waypoints via Movescount but using TOPO software on
Windows. It will download but not upload on Movescount.
 

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1. There is an electronic compass but it is GPS-based so maybe not what you wanted, however it works as a compass and will point toward your next "waypoint."
Hi. I'm looking for a non-GPS compass. That works when not moving. aka, like a 'regular' compass.
2. You can create courses in Garmin Connect and other websites that have waypoints. These can be uploaded to the 910XT and the watch will follow the course, show you the elevation profile and a breadcrumb map. The watch will indicate when you are off course and how far you are from the course and what direction the course is. The good about both units is that you can download anyone's courses/waypoints. Right now for Garmin there are a lot. You can download someone else's course/track or draw your own on Google Maps and send it to the device.
I didn't know you could draw your own course in Google and send it. (via kml thru GTC I suppose?) Indeed that effectively is a route.
I like MovesCount and my T6c. I would prefer to stick with Suunto and I believe they are better built.
ditto, ditto and ditto: I use MovesCount and Sportracks with my T6, and like 'em.
For distance and average pace accuracy improvements over a foot pod when training, I decided it's time to try out GPS. While waiting and puzzling over the 910xt and now Ambit I'm trying a couple relatively cheap ($50-$100) options and they are both satisfactory with a few more pros than cons over the foot pod. At this point, the big money watches aren't adding training features I need.
For hiking/climbing front though, I could just stick with the hand held Garmin and X6 and save the money. it's more about the fun, and hands-free do-it-all promise of the watch. And if it were great for training - then I'm ready to part with $500 and pare down my collection as needed.
 

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I agree that the Ambit has fairly limited training features. Download workouts would be awesome as would goals ( number of calories a month etc.). Secondarily, the damn gps better sync the time. A minor thing to some, but one of the cool things about gps is that it is good to a 100 nano-sec, much better than atomic time which is ONLY milliseconds depending on how far away you live. In any case, it's a cool thing to have.

But as long as the 910xt is not a watch, I'll choose the Ambit!
 

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Just wanted to let you all know that DCRainmaker posted that an Ambit is on his way to review in Twitter. It will probably take him a week or two to do the review but...if we pester him it might be faster. His view point is primarily triathlete, which is not mine nor most of those I have seen here. He is a fan of Garmin devices but will point out their shortcomings as well. If you don't have a link to his site it is here. He has an extensive review on the 910XT and will likely compare that to the Ambit. One of these will do it for me, but I will probably go back to my T6c for 100 mile races unless the Ambit will have enough storage capacity for these.
 

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Just one quick note about in watch time sync GPS. Recently my Garmin 610 did a trick that got me confused. When visiting the country next to mine, that is GMT +1 (we're on GMT), the 610 automatically switch to GMT+1 and back to GMT when I returned to my country. I never saw that happen before and I got impressed. What table did the watch browsed to match its current location to the time zone? What is the error margin to that? Cool feature.

Just one great feature that can be done with GPS sync time that I wouldn't imagined possible. Even so I would trade this for track following.
 

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There have been a handful of updated Q&A answers, especially on HR Belt compatibility, at Suunto.com.

of note:

  • The Suunto Ambit has been designed to work with the new Suunto ANT Belt which differs from the Dual Belt in that the Dual Belt is compatible with selected gym equipment. Ambit has now also been tested with the Dual Belt so if you already own a Dual Belt or want to use it instead of the Suunto ANT Belt you may do so.
  • The new Suunto ANT HR belt is also compatible with the t6/t6c and t6d.
  • GPS cannot be used to measure altitude in the Ambit although it is possible that this feature could be added in a future update.

Suunto AMBIT - Page 15
 

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Just one quick note about in watch time sync GPS. Recently my Garmin 610 did a trick that got me confused. When visiting the country next to mine, that is GMT +1 (we're on GMT), the 610 automatically switch to GMT+1 and back to GMT when I returned to my country. I never saw that happen before and I got impressed. What table did the watch browsed to match its current location to the time zone? What is the error margin to that? Cool feature.

Just one great feature that can be done with GPS sync time that I wouldn't imagined possible. Even so I would trade this for track following.
Yep: page 34 of the 910xt manual: Text Font Line Screenshot Technology

Here's the Seiko Astron that says the same thing. Includes the half-hour time zones. And it's solar.
http://www.seikousa.com/press/2012/Seiko Astron - The World's First GPS Solar Watch.pdf
"And only Seiko’s advanced IC circuitry expertise could make it possible for the watch to divide the world into one million ‘squares’ and allocate a time zone to each."

and even the cheapo GSI/Pyle watch makes the time zone claim... [edit] the auto setting is called "By Longitude."
Text Font Line Technology Screenshot
 

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An idea For those wanting more battery life out of the ambit. A reserve battery. I have a lithium ion battery I use for my iPad. It is an Trent IMP 1000 and charges my iPad twice. It should charge an Ambit at least 10 times I'm guessing. It weighs about one lb but may be worth it for some. Also on a long outing you could charge it every 15 hrs and use it at 1 sec resolution. This is a better solution than a solar charger in my opinion. More rugged too. I'll try it on my x10 if anyone is interested.
 

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Hi cobrapa: my X10 does not upload waypoints via Movescount but using TOPO software on
Windows. It will download but not upload on Movescount.
Is that the National Geographic TOPO and the Trek Manager from Suunto? It seems Suunto isn't supporting it anymore and it doesn't work on Win7. They don't even offer Trek Manager for download anymore.

It make me wonder what their solution will be for the Ambit as well.
 

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you could charge it every 15 hrs and use it at 1 sec resolution.
hi Bcharles,
Note that the memory capacity at 1sec resolution is 15 hrs. So one needs to plug it in (and synch) it that often if you want the tracks.
But your suggestion still is good generally for any user needing portable juice.
 

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Is that the National Geographic TOPO and the Trek Manager from Suunto? It seems Suunto isn't supporting it anymore and it doesn't work on Win7. They don't even offer Trek Manager for download anymore.

It make me wonder what their solution will be for the Ambit as well.
Yes I still have these. I sent quite a few emails to the Suunto help desk regarding X10 support. My understanding was uploading would eventually be supported but at this point I doubt it.
 

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I realize all of the data points are interesting to some, especially tracks, elevation profiles, etc but to some of us, the summary data is all we ever need. A GPS device is ingenious for exercise in that it gives us speed and distance. When I first started bike racing, a long time ago, we used a wheel rotation counter. You got distance and your watch gave you time. You calculated your ave speed!


By the way, how many summary logs does the ambit store?
 

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or_watching thanks for the tech update regarding GPS auto time zone. The watch has some internal lat/long table with the time zones and acts accordingly. In a few weeks I'm going to do a cross border trail, I'll check its behavior. Maybe we won't go as far as necessary to change the timezone or the watch has some more parameteres in the algoritm besides a simple lat/long check. A flight across several time zones with the the watch recording the track would be interesting also.

Regarding backup battery is a well know problem long ago solved by ultra people that loves outdoor. Just need two AA batteries and a 1€ Gizmo with an USB plug like these AA usb emergency charger | eBay

Most Garmins will keep recording in charge although you can't see nothing and do nothing but looking at a bar with the chrge %
Guess Suunto thought about this.

I'm concerned about 15 hours for 1 sec recording. My 610 does 50 hours for 1 sec and 200 hours for smart recording!!!
 

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Regarding backup battery is a well know problem long ago solved by ultra people that loves outdoor. Just need two AA batteries and a 1€ Gizmo with an USB
Yep. I'm no Ultra anything, but a long ways back I chopped the wire on the charger for the old forerunner 201 and stuck in 3 AAAs and a resistor because i was going to be off the grid for a while. It *kinda* worked. :)
 

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Latest news I received from Suunto is that there will be a new Firmware update version 1.5 released at the end of May with the following changes:

-Route creation and navigation based on waypoints
- Changes in how waypoints are named and listed that will make it easier
-Changes that improve how compass and navigation can be used while exercising
-Waypoints added manually directly in Ambit
-Additional local grids and datums

Also Firmware version 2.0 with more changes will come out in October 2012.

Lets hope that most if not all of the flaws will be corrected eventually. These upgrades sure is one of the great changes that Ambit brings us. Perhaps its the first Suunto watch that truly deserves the wrist top computer title rather then just a watch.





 

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Thought I'd "crowdsource" some collecting of ideas/questions....

I have an Ambit to review on its way to me, quite a few ideas already for all the things I'll want to look at (and I hope I'll remember to check and note what firmware version is on it - that's going to be quite the problem with Ambit reviews later this year: different firmwares are probably going to change the verdict of some people considerably...).

Still: What are your ideas/suggestions/questions for what I should look at in particular?
 

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To tell you the truth above all, I am more interested in the release date then anything else.

Buzz
 
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