Suunto Race S — this premium GPS smartwatch now comes in a smaller, lighter package

running stats on the Suunto Race
(Image credit: Future)

Not everyone loves a chunky smartwatch, which is why many of the best smartwatches, including the Apple Watch 9 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, come in a variety of sizes to accommodate a wide range of users. 

Suunto, the Finnish smartwatch maker, seems to be taking a page out of the competition's book with the launch of the new Suunto Race S, a more compact and lightweight version of the brand's flagship Suunto Race GPS watch

Suunto hasn't released an official case size for the device, but we do know that the AMOLED screen is a 1.32-inch affair compared to 1.43 inches on the original model, which is 49mm. This likely means that the Suunto Race S has a case size of between 40 and 42mm, which is a significant reduction. Despite the smaller footprint, the new model features all the same bells and whistles as its big brother. 

Here's everything you need to know about the Suunto Race S, including price, health features, smart features, battery life and its overall outlook. 

Suunto Race S: Price and availability

The new Suunto Race S smartwatch will come in six colors, incuding white, blue and green, orange, tan, pink and black

(Image credit: Suunto)

We don't have official U.S. pricing yet for the Suunto Race S but we do know that in the U.K. it will sell for £325 with six colors to select from. U.S. customers can likely expect an MSRP of between $400 and $450 based on that, making it a direct competitor with popular models like the Garmin Forerunner 265. There's no word yet on availability. 

Suunto Race S: Fitness and health tracking

Like the original Suunto Race, the S offers comprehensive wellness and adventure tracking tech including a heart rate sensor, onboard GPS with support for offline maps, sleep tracking with insights into sleep stages, menstrual health tracking, stress monitoring and of course, step counting. 

The Suunto Race S also provides details on user heart rate variability (HRV). Users can additionally choose from 95 sports modes, which include popular workouts like Yoga, trail running, swimming and cycling, as well as multisport activities, like triathlons. 

Suunto Race S: Battery and physical design

Battery life on the Suunto Race S should be excellent. In standard GPS tracking mode, expect up to 30 hours of juice on a single charge. In Tour mode, you can get up to five days of GPS tracking but sacrifice heart rate data. 

A 1.32-inch AMOLED screen protected by Gorilla Glass adorns the front of the Suunto Race 3. Like the larger version, it has a stainless steel case with physical buttons around the side and a rotating Digital Crown. 

Suunto says the watch weighs less than the original Race smartwatch, though we don't know by how much. The OG clocks in at 83 g which is pretty darn hefty. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 by comparison is around 61 g. 

You'll be able to choose from six sporty styles, including white, blue and green, orange, tan, pink or black. 

Suunto Race S: Smart features

Smart features have never been Suunto's strong suit and the S is no different. Unlike the best Garmin watches, the Suunto Race S doesn't have support for NFC payments or offline music listening.

You can, however, receive mirrored smartphone notifications and control music over Bluetooth. The S also provides daily weather reports, an alarm function and not much else by way of smart tech.

Suunto Race S: Outlook

We were fans of the original Suunto Race watch but had some concerns about the accuracy of its heart rate sensor and a general lack of smart features. 

Assuming Suunto has addressed the former, the Race S seems like a solid bet for folks who want a comfortable-wearing device with loads of battery life, a bright and easy-to-view screen, plenty of sports profiles and accurate GPS. Just don't expect to check your social profiles or buy a croissant with it. 

Of course, it's also up against a lot of stiff competition with similar features, including the Garmin Forerunner 265, one of the best running watches you can buy for the money, as well as the next crop of Apple Watches and Samsung Galaxy Watches

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.