I wasn't wearing a watch for a while. This seemed like a pretty big lost opportunity. I checked out the prime real estate on my right wrist (I'm a lefty) and decided I needed the best watch ever.
What I wanted was something reasonably good looking that packed the most function in it as possible. My friend Todd had a Casio Pathfinder which packed a lot of features. I ordered one of those and kept looking.
Then I spotted the Suunto X9i watch. It has a GPS, Stopwatch, Altimeter, Barometer, Thermometer, Compass, three alarms, dual time, and will even calculate the sunrise and sunset based on your location. WOW!
Best of all, it's actually a pretty decent looking watch. I ordered one of those too.
Then I found out that Suunto also made the X9Mi, which was the military version. The only practical difference is that the X9mi had an inverted screen (white on black) and a red backlight for better night vision. I bought one of these as well.
All three watches came, I tried them all, and returned two of them. It should come as no surprise that the winner was the X9mi, although I will say that the X9i was MUCH easier to read.
Before ordering these watches I read a bunch of reviews. Most were negative. After using the watch and rereading reviews, I can tell you one thing : most people are morons. They weren't using the watch properly, so ignore all of their reviews. On my recommendation Todd bought an X9mi as well and agrees that those reviews aren't written by smart people.
The GPS is awesome. I use it for two things mainly. When I run it keeps track of my total distance, pace, and a few other stats. I can plug the watch into the good old computer and see my actual route! I also use it when I travel to find my apartment or hotel. I just set it as soon as I get here, and then I'm never lost.
It has tons of other useful features. I used the altimeter when I went skydiving and it was accurate the whole way. It calculates the sunrise and sunset time, which we used when going to a beach in Panama. I use the compass when I'm stuck in a dense urban jungle and can't figure out which way is which.
The ONE problem with this thing is that the bezel isn't glued on very well and mine started to come off after six months. Suunto will ship you a new one with instructions to repair it though, so it's not all bad.
Battery life is good. With heavy use I get 3-4 weeks per charge which only takes a few hours.
Bottom line? If you have a wrist, you should get one of these. If you don't, you should get a hook.
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