With the way smart devices are advancing, one has to wonder how soon will sport watches become obsolete. The answer to that question is that it won't happen too soon, and that these watches are still the best available tool for hikers, mountain climbers, and anyone who spends lot of time outdoors. Finding the right altimeter watch is not easy. Aside from the fact that most of them offer similar features, you have to take into consideration how reliable they are, and how accurate is the information they offer. In the $500 price range, there are numerous choices whose performance is up to the challenge.
Suunto Ambit3 is the latest version of Ambit watches that brings some improvements compared to its predecessor. This watch is packed with features, and comes in three different versions geared toward specific applications. It is almost unbeatable as a tool for those who want to have the most accurate and elaborate information available while outdoors.
Garmin is quickly pushing their way into the high end category of sport watches. Fenix 3 is a completely revised and redesigned watch that has eliminated some of the problems the previous model of the Fenix family had. It comes with extensive features and supports both GPS and GLONASS navigation. One thing that remains to be solved is the size of this watch. However, in its current state, it's one of the best options you can get at this time.
If Ambit3 is too bulky and over packed with features for your taste, Suunto Traverse is a perfect alternative. It is stylish, durable, and more compact compared to Ambit3, while it offers most of the same features. This includes GPS navigation and activity tracking. However, this reduction in size comes at a price tag that is currently not optimal for what this watch offers. Other than that, it's a superb product that should definitely be considered.
Suunto Core belongs to a more basic category of Suunto products as it only offers the standard ABC features. With that said, it is the most accurate watch in its category, while also being very affordable. One of its main problems is its software that isn't always reliable. Although these problems rarely arise. For what it offers, it is an absolute bargain.
Casio Pathfinder PAG240T-7CR is Casio's version of an altimeter watch that differs from the competition with its superior battery life made possible thanks to its use of solar power. It comes in a Titanium case, and offers outstanding durability. The main downside of this watch is its sub par accuracy of data. This prevents it from being useful for serious applications, however it is more than great for casual outdoor use.
This price range allows you to acquire some of the best sport watches that are currently available. You will get the most accurate data, more advanced features, and most durable designs. Picking the best watch wasn't easy, as it's a very competitive market. However, we've decided to give the first place to Suunto Ambit3 for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it brings that almost legendary Suunto quality to the table. You can expect this watch to follow you where ever you go, without failing to perform. It's absolutely packed with features, and offers incredible versatility of use. No matter if you are an athlete who wants to log their training sessions accurately, a mountain climber who needs to know their bearings are precise, or just an avid fan of outdoors, this watch will deliver.
Very close second place belongs to Garmin Fefnix 3. While it is definitely up there with the Ambit3 when it comes to features, even surpassing it in certain aspects, this watch has some drawbacks that can prove to be problematic in every day use. For starters it is still just too large and over a $100 more expensive than the Ambit3. Garmin did shave off a good bit of size compared to the Fenix 2, but it still looks comically big. It has a great battery life, but this negatively affected the overall weight of the watch. For a device that is supposed to be used intensively outdoors, weight and size are rather important factors. Nonetheless, it's a great watch that is worth your time.
Suunto Traverse takes the third place, and is one of the most well rounded watches of this kind that you can find. It features all the crucial features found in Ambit3, but is more compact and lightweight. Only major issue it has is its price. At the moment it's more expensive than the Ambit3, which is why it's in the third place. Fourth and fifth place belong to Suunto Core and Casio Pathfinder PAG240T-7CR respectively, which represent the best affordable choices. Suunto Core is ahead of the Pathfinder primarily because it delivers more accurate information, which is the main purpose of these watches, while the Pathfinder offers incredible battery life and simple interface.
At the moment, the best sport watch you can buy is without a doubt the Suunto Ambit3. It's currently better than the Garmin Fenix 3, and significantly cheaper. If you are finding Garmin Fenix 3 to be attractive, we recommend that you wait for the next version of this watch. We believe Garmin will fix the remaining issues, and we'll be presented with an outstanding product. If you are on a tight budget, and don't need the GPS navigation, we suggest you pick either the Suunto Core or Casio Pathfinder. Both of these watches are a great choice.