GPS tracking is great for athletes and fitness freaks, but not everyone wants to be weighed down by a big, expensive watch. That seems to be the thinking behind the new GPS Track Pod from Suunto. The device strips GPS tracking down to its most basic, compact form, providing performance data without the price or complications of a fitness watch or gadget.
At just 1.2 ounces (35 g), the GPS Track Pod is about half the weight of Suunto's old GPS Pod and well smaller than your average GPS fitness-monitoring device. It is designed to be dropped in a pocket or attached to a backpack. Instead of a series of buttons and LCD menus, the Track Pod has a single red button large enough to work with gloves. Simply push it to start recording and go.
The Track Pod uses its GPS chip to measure your track, speed, distance and altitude (GPS, not altimeter based). Obviously, it can't display the information on its own, but users can upload their data to Suunto's Movescount.com website. Users can also customize settings for the device on the website.
The device can also pair wirelessly with certain Suunto heart rate monitors, providing real-time speed and distance information.
The Track Pod's rechargeable lithium-ion battery runs for 15 to 100 hours, depending upon the recording interval chosen. The device is waterproof to 100 feet (30 m). Unlike the recently updated Ambit, the Track Pod does not have ANT +. It uses Suunto's version of ANT, so it is only compatible with Suunto products. It retails for US$149.