Previews aren’t normally my thing, pseudo-exclusive first looks at products still in beta even less so, but Suunto’s GPS (and) training “wristop computers” have accompanied my path of getting “at home in…”

So, having just visited the OutDoor Friedrichshafen, I’ll break the usual rule for a preview of what’s coming with the Ambit3 line.

In terms of looks and basic functionality, not much seems changed.

Suunto Ambit3 lineup

There are the Ambit3 Sport models continuing the Ambit2S line, again in black or white, but also available in blue or in a Sapphire version in white with gold accents. They now run under the tagline of “The Multisport Experience.”
The Ambit3 Peak models continue the Ambit2 line as “The Adventure Experience,” in black or Sapphire.

But, while it looks as if there’s little change, there’s actually quite a change coming. The switch from the second to the third generation makes for a true generation gap, for ANT is now out, Bluetooth provides the connection.

The downside: Old accessories such as HR belts and PODs will not work with the Ambit3 line-up any longer.

Ambit3 and Movescount appThe upside(s):

  • The Ambit3 line is now “connected,” with a smartphone (for the release, only iOS) app that serves like Movescount and Moveslink in one’s pocket: changing settings, changing sports modes/screens, downloading “moves” on the go (wirelessly, no matter if online or offline) can now all be done via smartphone (right now: iPhone, iPad or iPod touch equipped with Bluetooth 4.0) and app.
  • Notifications from the phone can be shown on the watch, if so inclined.
  • Other bluetooth sensors can be used.
  • And additionally, the newly “smart” Bluetooth HR belt stores HR data also when no connection to the watch or the app is available – e.g. when swimming (and it can be used with either watch or app and has a new design which makes it easier to wash it and even more comfortable… I just wore it for 12 hours without problems).

And that’s not all, certainly not all I can tell, for I can also show a bit more…

But, there’s still time until the official release date of September 1; availability may well be very restricted at first; so expect products and sensible reviews in time for the Christmas sales. It’s shaping up to be, as Björn says in the video, a completely new tool – and another great one.

[Update, September 2014: The Ambit3 line is in stores, and my review is (coming) up: Part 1, Part 2 ]