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Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha: How Do They Compare?

Here is a summarized table of Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha to help you distinguish between the two brands.

Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha Comparison Table

Display1.7”, AMOLED2.0”
Resolution128 x 128 pixels128 x 128 pixels
Companion AppGarmin Connect AppSuunto App
SensorsGPS, SpO2, Barometer, Temperature Sensor, CadenceGPS, barometer, accelerometer, temperature sensor, compass, gyroscope,
Activity TrackingActivity reports, Distances, Calories Burned, sleepRoutes, distances, activity reports, pace, calories burned, sleep, goal setting, elevation, exercise tagging
Mobile PaymentYes (Garmin Pay)No
CompatibilityiOS & AndroidiOS & Android, external HR monitors
ConnectivityBluetooth v4, wireless sync, ANT+Bluetooth v4, wireless sync, ANT+
Water Resistance100 meters100 meters
Battery LifeUp to 14 days (smartwatch mode) & 16 hours (GPS mode)Up to 14 days (smartwatch mode) & 15 hours (GPS mode)

Display: Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha

Garmin Instinct comes with an AMOLED display of 1.7 inches while Suunto Traverse Alpha comes with a display of 2.0 inches.

Both smartwatches have come with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels and both displays are not touchscreens.

Suunto Traverse Alpha doesn’t come with branded damage-resistant glass but the Garmin Instinct watch comes with branded damage-resistant glass.

That means, Garmin Instincts’ screen display can withstand a drop or two but Traverse Alpha is most unlikely to withstand drops.

Also, the display on Garmin Instinct is always-on while the display on Suunto Traverse Alpha is not always-on.

Design: Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha

Garmin Instinct has replaceable bands and is said to weigh 52g while the Suunto Traverse Alpha watch also has changeable straps and weighs 75g. Though both watches feel light Instinct is lighter than Traverse Alpha.

Talking of water resistance, Garmin Instinct and Suunto Traverse Alpha are both waterproof.

The two smartwatches come with the same water-resistance rating of 10 ATM. That means, they can withstand pressures of up to 100 meters below water.

Sensors: Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha

Both Garmin Instinct and Suunto Traverse Alpha have GPS sensors that will help track your routes and paces.

Fortunately, Garmin Instinct has a built-in heart rate monitor that tracks your heart activities while Traverse Alpha doesn’t have a heart monitor and hence cannot monitor the activities of your heart.

Unfortunately, both Garmin Instinct and Suunto Traverse Alpha cannot monitor your blood oxygen level because they lack the SpO2 sensor.

Instinct and Traverse Alpha can measure the barometric air pressure and predict changes in weather thanks to the onboard barometer. In addition, they both come with accelerometers that detect their linear acceleration.

Suunto Traverse Alpha and Garmin Instinct feature built-in compasses that help in navigation software and maps.

To add, they both have temperature sensors to track temperature changes on your skin.

In case you are a cyclist who wants a watch that can monitor cycling, Garmin Instinct is the right watch for you.

And that is because Garmin Instinct comes with a cadence sensor to track the number of pedals revolutions per minute you are making.

Unluckily, the Suunto Traverse Alpha watch doesn’t come with a cadence sensor thus not the watch to look for when you want a watch that monitors your pedals.

Activity Tracking: Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha

The Garmin watch and the Suunto watch come with route trackers that will let you add your routes on maps.

Both smartwatches will provide you with activity reports. These reports can be viewed either via the website or app (Garmin Connect App & Suunto App).

Instinct and Traverse Alpha will track your distances while you walk, jog, run, or cycle. Apart from your distances, Garmin and Suunto can measure paces as you cover distances.

Talking of calories, Garmin Instinct can track the number of calories burned each day and the same implies to Suunto Traverse Alpha.

In addition, Instinct and Traverse Alpha are able to guide you to destinations and reverse them to guide you back to where you started thanks to the Trackback feature.

With both smartwatches, you can tell how long you have slept with the help of the sleep tracking feature.

Although your sleep can be tracked by the Suunto watch, you still don’t get your sleep report. Lucky are the Garmin users because unlike Suunto users they get sleep stats each morning.

Lastly, if you want a watch that has a multi-sport mode and can automatically track the activity you are in consider the Garmin watch because the watch from Suunto does not have a multi-sport mode.

Connectivity: Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha

Garmin Instinct and Suunto Traverse Alpha can connect perfectly with iOS and Android devices but unfortunately Traverse Alpha cannot connect to Windows while Garmin Instinct can connect to Windows.

Both activity watches can connect wirelessly with devices to transfer data using Bluetooth technology. Suunto comes with Bluetooth version 4.0 while Garmin comes with Bluetooth version 4.2.

Apart from Bluetooth versions what also differentiate the two fitness tracker in connectivity is, that Suunto Traverse Alpha can’t sync automatically while Garmin Instinct can sync automatically.

To add, the Garmin and Suunto watch support ANT+. The ANT+ is a connection similar to Bluetooth, is also power effective, and will also connect your fitness watch to fitness monitor devices like cadence sensors and heart rate monitors.

Lastly, on connectivity, only the Garmin Instinct watch will let you make contactless payments with the help of the NFC feature –the Traverse Alpha watch cannot make payments.

Battery Life: Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha

First, each activity tracker comes with a battery level indicator. Also, neither Garmin Instinct nor Suunto Traverse Alpha can charge wirelessly.

When both smartwatches are charged to completion they will last for 14 days in smartwatch mode.

Garmin Instinct will serve for approximately 16 hours with the GPS mode active while Suunto Traverse Alpha will last 15 hours with GPS mode. Lastly, none of these activity trackers use solar energy.

Features: Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha

The Garmin watch can locate your phone but the Suunto watch cannot locate your phone. Since Suunto Traverse Alpha cannot locate your phone, it will also not let you control calls.

On the other hand, Garmin Instinct lets you control calls. Both exercise watches will provide you with smart notifications like calls and messages.

Price: Garmin Instinct vs Suunto Traverse Alpha

Suunto Traverse Alpha comes at a higher price than Garmin Instinct. For Garmin Instinct you will spend from $175 while for Suunto Traverse Alpha you will spend up to $850.

Which Smartwatch should I Buy: Garmin Instinct or Suunto Traverse Alpha?

The smartwatch should buy from the two depending on what you are in search of in an activity watch. Fortunately, either or both smartwatches are worth investing in depending on how much you are willing to spend.

Most of the features you will find on Suunto Traverse Alpha are the same features you will find on Garmin Instinct (and vice versa).

Luckily you have this article to help you compare Garmin Instinct and Suunto Traverse Alpha.


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