Found myself getting questions about Suunto Ambit(3) and Traverse functions I never thought to answer, then answered on video (on my Youtube channel) – and figured I should also mention here.
Number 1: Why are the temperature and altitude readings getting wrong?
This same “issue” has applied to all the Suunto devices giving temperature and/or altitude and barometric pressure readings:
Temperature is not (maybe cannot) compensate for body heat, so if you want a correct temperature reading, hang the watch on your backpack or running vest (if you’re moving) or set it down somewhere, off your wrist.
On your wrist, let alone also under a jacket sleeve, it will give you a reading of the temperature it got, influenced by outside temperature as well as your own temperature…
Altitude is measured by way of barometric pressure, so if the watch misinterprets a pressure (weather) change as an altitude change or an altitude change as a pressure (weather) change, it will give a wrong result.
The “auto” profile for alti-baro helps with that quite a bit; “FusedAlti” also helps, especially while doing a ‘move’ (recording an outdoors exercise with GPS), but errors are still quite likely to occur.
Set the altitude to a reference altitude at a place where you know the correct altitude before going out for a ‘move’.
Repeat the next time. (Weather / air pressure will have changed by then, the watch will have ‘believed’ that you moved or didn’t move when you actually didn’t or did, and so the altitude or pressure displayed will be somewhat wrong again.)
Even if you don’t, though, the ascent and descent you get should be quite okay; just the highest and lowest point measures should be off.
Frankly, that’s a reason I did not give the highest/lowest measurements in the comparison data with the Ambit3 Vertical – because I had forgot to set them all to the same reference altitude, and therefore had some pretty different numbers there (while ascent/descent was as it should be).
(The exception being if you are out somewhere and the weather changes rapidly. Then it’s likely you’ll get wrong readings anyways.)
Just remember, when choosing a Suunto watch, to pick one with the alti-baro sensor if that’s really important to you.
Getting altitude readings via GPS alone, like on the “Run” or “Sport” models, generally works alright, but isn’t nearly as good – sensitive, especially – as via barometric pressure.
Also, on the new Ambit3 Vertical, there is an air pressure sensor, but it is only used to measure elevation and changes in the same. So, air pressure changes are more likely to get interpreted as elevation changes, and if you want to track likely changes in weather (get a storm alarm), you’re out of luck, too.
Any and all ways, remember that these are devices meant to work wherever you go on this planet. So, they have to take the measure of your environment, not some data from a map – and that measure will change with conditions, using the technology it does.