Suunto Ambit Review
This review is still in progress and I'm updating and adding new impressions regularly as I gain more experience with the Ambit and Movescount.
Movescount.com is Suuntoís online website that goes hand-in-hand with the Ambit and really adds an enormous layer of value. While the Ambit could be used without it, youíd really be missing out on a lot. It would take a small book to cover the scope of whatís available, but Iíll try to keep it short and touch on as much as I can.
Movescount serves several functions. It allows you to personalize your Ambit with various settings, store and view Moves (your exercise logs), plan routes and training, connect with other Suunto users via an online community, and even update your Ambit's software. You connect you Ambit to Movescount by plugging it into your computer using the same cable used for charging the battery and using a piece of software called Moveslink.
Personalizing the Ambit
While some setting can be made directly on the Ambit, there are many more that you can configure via Movescount, some of the very key, which are then downloaded to the Ambit the next time you connect.
Movescount allows you to personalize your Ambit by configuring the units youíd like displayed, button tones, and backlight levels, etc.
You also enter your data like height, weight, fitness level, and heart rate to help behind the scenes so that the Ambit can provide you accurate readings for Peak Training Effect, Recovery Time and calorie consumption.
|Perhaps one of the coolest things is that Movescount allows you to modify or even add entirely new types of exercises (modes) to your Ambit. What this means is that you can have it display whichever data you want in the configuration you want for any number of different activities you might do.
In the first screenshot to the right, you can see all of the standard editable modes that come pre-programmed into the Ambit. However, Suunto may certainly add more once they find out what the user base is commonly doing.
Well, what I just said isn't entirely correct. There is a mode called "Ski Touring," but this was added by myself as a custom mode because I'm pretty fussy and none of the other existing modes was configured to show exactly what I was looking for. ;-)
So, in the second screenshot, you can see my custom Ski Touring mode that Iíve added. This shows it in Edit mode.
In the top half, you can see there are various things to configure, including the recording rates of the heart monitor and GPS if they are desired.
Using the representations of the Ambit in the lower area, Iíve configured my main screen to display total ascent, heart rate, but also have a couple of other screens. One to show me the Peak Training Effect Iíve hit, trip time, temperature, and another to show me distance, altitude, and a toggle of total ascent and total descent. Notice that Iíve only configured three screens, but could have added many more!
You can also configure it to do altitude and heart rate as full screen charts.
Some of the things I could choose to display are altitude, ascent, average heart rate, average pace, average speed, cadence, calories, descent, distance, dual time, heart rate, lap, lap distance, lap pace, lap speed, lap time, pace, peak training effect, sea level air pressure, speed, stopwatch, temperature, time, and vertical speed.
When you connect your Ambit to your computer, it uploads your new Moves (exercise logs). Keep in mind that if you are away from your computer and record several moves, all will be stored and uploaded when you do connect, despite the fact that the Ambit only allows you to view the most recent one.
Once uploaded, you can them view them in a much more visually pleasing way than on the Ambit LCD, seeing data displayed in tables and even graphs that can be manipulated instantly to show various combinations of collected data. And of course you can see your GPS tracks laid on top of Google maps terrain or satellite imagery. You can even add photos and video to each of your Moves and then share them with the online community.
At the bottom of this page, I've included a
screenshot of one of my Moves. But you can view it live by clicking here;
you'll even be able to interactively play with the graphing of the data!
If you choose, you can connect up with other users to make new friends in your area or around the world and get notifications when they post new Moves. You can also join or create groups that allow you to join up with other users who may share similar interests as you or live in your area.
Looking for other skiers near you, or perhaps to share experience with others who are interested in using the Ambit to improve their cardiovascular fitness? Join a group or start one!
You can also view or post events that are happening in your area so that other local users will find out about them.
Go ahead and check out my Movescount page here and play look around the website a bit if you really want to get a better feel for it.