Suunto Elementum Terra Fully Reviewed

While they may not seem as important in the modern era with the rise of the smartphone, watches and other dedicated time-telling devices still serve very useful purposes. Many environments that are commonly encountered by individuals with an exciting and active lifestyle will be much more compatible with a solid wristwatch than they would be with a common smart device. This has partially to do with the lack of power options for recharging, partially to do with environmental hazards such as water or extreme temperatures, and partially to do with secondary functions provided by watches. The Suunto Elementum Terra is a watch that can perform in situations where an ordinary smartphone can’t; its battery power can last years without needing replacement, and it can handle extreme altitudes as well as exposure to water. For runners who love the great outdoors, these are just a few of the reasons why this watch is worth their consideration.

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Pros & Cons
  • Extreme resilience to environmental hazards
  • Impressive water resistance
  • Simple and appealing design
  • Convenient additional features
  • Cons
    • Very expensive
    • Doesn’t show seconds
    • Key Features
      As a wristwatch, the Suunto Elementum Terra is compatible with a wide variety of activities, even if they are extremely physically engaging. Provided that the wearer properly fastens its wristband at an appropriate level of tightness, this watch will remain firmly attached to their wrists while jogging, running, sprinting, swimming, jumping rope, or hundreds of other potential activities that can be performed for a cross-training regimen. The Elementum Terra is also highly resistant to inclement weather and can function in high altitudes or deep underwater, making it a worthwhile companion when diving at depths about 100 meters or climbing mountains below 29,000 feet.
      Basic Features
      The most basic feature of this watch, obviously, is its ability to tell time. With a digital watch face, the Suunto Elementum Terra displays the altitude, the current time, and the date from the top to the bottom. It’s nice that all three of these measurements are prominently visible on the front of this watch, but many people will express disappointment at the fact that it is incapable of displaying seconds. The limited space used to tell time can only be used to display hours and minutes. While this may not be a dealbreaker to everyone since this watch is still fully capable of keeping track of seconds without displaying it for the wearer, some customers have expressed disappointment at this absence due to the fact that this watch is so expensive.
      Advanced Features
      The Suunto Elementum Terra has three dials on the right side of its face that allow wearers to access its advanced features. The topmost dial triggers the chronograph, a stopwatch-style timekeeper that will measure seconds and milliseconds. The middle dial triggers the backlight when pressed, but it can also be used to log altitude levels which can assist in calibration. Speaking of altitude, the Elementum Terra has a barometer that works in conjunction with its altimeter to determine pressure and predict the weather. The bottom dial is reserved for calibrating time and activating the 3D compass, which then takes the place of the barometer. All of these features are intuitively accessed and will be very convenient for individuals who enjoy trail running, hiking, or camping.
      There are a few concerns regarding the accuracy of certain measurements taken by the Suunto Elementum Terra, although they are admittedly minor. The first concern that was previously mentioned is the inability for the watch to track seconds on its timepiece. Although many digital watches eschew this feature, it feels more damning when a watch that costs this much fails to include even the option. Fortunately, a rudimentary solution can be achieved through the use of its chronograph. The second concern is more worrisome and concerns the altimeter/barometer. A few customers have remarked that this feature isn’t as accurate as they would have hoped, with changes in barometric pressure sometimes causing the Elementum Terra to become confused and display the wrong altitude. This can also be fixed by recalibrating the barometer through the top dial, although the inconvenience won’t sit well with some users.
      Despite being a digital watch, the Suunto Elementum Terra offers no connection with any form of electronic device. There is no Bluetooth support, no USB port, and no companion app. If a customer is interested in any of these features or functions, they would be better off investing in a smartwatch such as those by Apple or LG.
      It should go without saying that this watch has no compatibility with apps of any kind due to the fact that it offers no smart functionality or connectivity. It’s a stretch, but customers who are desperate for some sort of app functionality can take consistent measurements of altitude and barometric pressure measurements from the Elementum Terra and track them in some kind of note keeping app in order to study weather patterns and predict inclement conditions. However, there is no companion app that will accomplish this task for the user; it all needs to be performed manually.
      With the benefit of almost 500 years of design iteration, the modern wristwatch is one of the most comfortable ways for an individual to easily read the time from anywhere in the world. The Suunto Elementum Terra is designed in much the same way as watches have been for the past 50 or so years, with a large face fastened to the wearer’s arm via wristband. The stock option for this watch is a black leather wristband, which is very comfortable but may have an adverse reaction to being submerged in water. Alternative wristband options include rubber, which is much more water resistant while still being comfortable, and steel, which is less comfortable but much sturdier. Customers interested in achieving the maximum possible comfort while wearing this watch will want to choose the leather or rubber options, depending on their personal preference.
      This is a premium wristwatch with a design style that clearly illustrates this fact to all who observe it. The Suunto Elementum Terra has all the trappings of a high-end luxury item, causing one reviewer to refer to it as the Rolex of smartwatches. Suunto offers some customizability when ordering this watch, allowing customers to choose between a few color schemes and wristbands. The only place in which this watch doesn’t look very stylish is its face, which is very utilitarian and intended for functionality first and fashion second. Still, this is not a bad-looking product by any means.
      The Suunto Elementum Terra is a watch that was designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions. As a high-end sports watch, it makes sense that this product can take a beating, although this doesn’t mean that it won’t show visible signs of wear if things go too far. Fortunately, owners of this watch can rest easy with the knowledge that it can accompany them on outings anywhere from 29,000 feet above sea level to 300 feet below it. If prospective customers are interested in obtaining the most durable version of the Elementum Terra, the steel wristband option is a sound investment. Although the rubber and leather options are less durable than solid stainless steel, that doesn’t mean that they will fall apart at a moment’s notice; they just won’t be able to take quite the same level of punishment without sustaining noticeable visible damage.
      As a sports watch with many different functions and measurements, Suunto does the best it can to maximize the effectiveness of its face. The actual time measurement is reserved for the very center of the face, taking up roughly ⅓ of its surface area. This is enough for it to show the hours and minutes, but seconds were unfortunately kept off. The bottom portion is reserved for the date, but it also turns into the chronograph when one of the side dials is pressed. The top is where the altimeter is displayed, with a small arrow at the very top measuring wind direction. The outer circle on the very edge of the face is used to demarcate barometric pressure, but it turns into the 3D compass when the bottom dial is pressed. Essentially, all aspects of this watch’s face serve dual purposes except for the central time-telling component, which is a sound design decision in the eyes of many satisfied customers.
      The wristband to this watch isn’t as impressive as its face but will do an excellent job providing the bare essentials. Customers have the choice between leather, rubber, and steel for their wristband, and each comes with its benefits and drawbacks. The leather is the stock option and it provides the most appealing style and greatest possible comfort. Customers who are interested in using this watch underwater will likely prefer the rubber option, which isn’t as durable or comfortable but is well-equipped to handle full submergence in liquid. Finally, the steel option isn’t particularly comfortable in comparison to the other two, but it is by far the most durable and can handle both water submergence and impact with sharp rocks without falling apart.
      Sizes Available
      Currently, the Suunto Elementum Terra offers no size differences when purchasing. This means that it was designed with a one-size-fits-all mentality, and it works for just about every customer who has taken the time to leave a review on their product. Any size adjustments that need to be made in order to fit this product’s wristband to the wearer’s arm properly can be done with all three of the available band options. The steel option is the most visually pleasing way to adjust the wristband size since it is done by removing small links in a chain, preventing excessive slack from hanging off the wearer’s wrist. Something similar can be accomplished with the leather strap by piercing new belt holes and cutting off excess slack, but this is less visually appealing. The rubber strap is the least convenient option for adjusting the wristband size.
      Ease of Use
      Some might say that the Suunto Elementum Terra is less easy to use than other sports watches due to the fact that it has more than one dial for making adjustments. This was a necessity in the design of this product since it contains so many different measurement tools and features. When considering how much functionality this product offers, the manner in which it makes these features accessible and readable is impressive. A powerful backlight makes it easy to read the Elementum Terra’s face in the dark, but it isn’t so bright as to be visible in environments with a great deal of light, whether natural or artificial. The only other way in which this watch could be seen as lacking in terms of ease of use is that it doesn’t offer any sort of smart device compatibility. However, this watch was designed to handle conditions that an ordinary smart device couldn’t, making this a justifiable design decision.
      Power Source
      This wristwatch has a digital face, meaning that it requires an electrical charge to function properly. The Suunto Elementum Terra comes with a replaceable CR2032 watch battery inside it, and the manufacturer claims that this will allow it to function for roughly 12 months before needing to be replaced. However, some customers who have purchased this product from different retailers have mentioned that it came with a greatly diminished charge. This isn’t necessarily the fault of Suunto or an indication that they were inaccurate regarding their watch’s battery life, but it is something worth considering if shoppers are interested in purchasing the Elementum Terra from a third-party retailer. Some elements of its display are adjustable in order to prolong the watch’s battery life, but this shouldn’t be necessary for the vast majority of customers.
      With something referred to as the Rolex of sports watches, it should come as no surprise that it carries a high price tag. Depending on what options are chosen at the time of purchase, the Suunto Elementum Terra had an initial asking price of anywhere between $800 to $1100. This cost is fairly typical for high-end luxury timepieces, but the accuracy of some measuring tools and the overall design of this product make it tough to justify this substantial cost. Fortunately, the passing of time has seen this price go down to a significant degree. Now, shrewd shoppers can easily find this product in particular versions somewhere around the $300 range, which is a much better price for its features.
      This product comes with no accessories whatsoever and is not compatible with any additional accessories such as a smartphone or tablet. The closest thing offered in terms of accessories is the different wristbands between which customers are free to choose. Individuals interested in a watch with accessories or functionality with accessories should look into a smartwatch instead of the Suunto Elementum Terra.
      Key Features

      • Digital 12-hour clock display

      • Three dials on the right side

      • Water resistant to 100 meters

      • Compatible with altitudes up to 29,500 feet

      • 3D compass

      • Altimeter/barometer

      • Rudimentary chronograph

      Bottom Line
      Suunto is a name that many individuals with an active lifestyle have grown to love. It evokes images of highly functional and useful watches to which people are willing to entrust their lives. However, this positive image has mostly to do with their dive computers, as they offer much more valuable information in a much deadlier setting. This isn’t to say that the Elementum Terra is a poorly made watch; it is still very much capable of providing valuable and potentially life-saving information in a pinch. However, it isn’t without its share of drawbacks, and customers should have reasonable expectations when it comes to this timepiece.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
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      Moosejaw Link
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      By Mike Valverde
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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