In this article, we dive into the ins and outs of the Shearwater Teric, a high-end dive computer that’s made quite the splash in the diving community.
Whether you’re looking for your first dive computer or you’re a seasoned tech diver, the Teric is an excellent option.
Shearwater is renowned for its powerful, sturdy, and intuitive machines – but does the Teric live up to expectations?
Let’s find out.
Sitting at the top of the pile of dive computers in 2022 is the Shearwater Teric. Nominated as the 2019 Product of the Year by Narked at 90, it has certainly made a big impact in the worlds of both technical and recreational diving.
A well-renowned company for technical diving, this is Shearwater’s first real foray into the world of recreational diving computers.
It combines the power, ruggedness, and simplicity of the Shearwater Perdix, all packaged up into a smartwatch design that doesn’t look out of place at 200m below or in the office. It’s easy to see why the Teric has garnered such excitement.
Though it’s at the upper end of the price range for dive computers (around $1000), the extraordinary capabilities, which include five dive modes, versatile usage, and stylish design, make this an excellent investment for more experienced divers.
Why Get Your Own Dive Computer
Long gone are the days when you needed to spend hours consulting dive tables – the modern world has gone technology mad and diving is no exception. The dive computers of old were big, ugly, and expensive, but there are many extremely affordable options on the market these days, including the Mares Puck Pro.
A dive computer is not just essential for looking like you know what you’re doing – it is the most important bit of kit you can own in terms of safety.
With real-time data showing you how deep you are and how long you can spend there, as well as built-in fast ascent alarms and safety stops, it keeps you far away from dangerous levels of nitrogen that can lead to decompression illness.
A dive computer also allows you to store dives in its memory log function, as well as giving you access to other information like dive profiles, water temperature, and dive times.
Once you have dived with a computer, it’s impossible to go back – so make sure you’re buying the right one!
Are you looking for a dive computer but don’t know where to start?
We’ve compiled this handy list of the best dive computers to help you out!
Features and Functionality
The Shearwater Teric is incredible when it comes to functionality. It has all the standard specs of a dive computer with a rugged, 200m proof exterior.
It’s easy to navigate, the four-button design is ideal for use in thick dive gloves and it has a built-in tilt-compensated compass that is constantly visible when you need it.
As far as we can tell, the only downside of the Shearwater Teric is the price, sitting just above $1000. Though on the more expensive side, the quality, functionality, and support you receive with a Shearwater make it a worthwhile investment.
The Shearwater Teric features five different dive modes, making it adaptable to your needs. It features:
- Recreational – which includes nitrox up to 99%
- Technical – which is trimix enabled
- Rebreather – which has fixed ppO2
- Sidemount – including SAC, GTR & RTR
- Gauge – which can be used above the water as a stopwatch, timer, and alarm, or below the water as a simple bottom-timer.
Unlike many other dive computers, the freediving options feel well thought through and fit for purpose, with considerate additions like configurable tonal and haptic (vibrating) alarms for freediving without a mask.
Like all Shearwater dive computers, it uses the Buhlmann ZHL-16C algorithm and is fully enabled for any configuration of tanks or rebreathers you wish to throw at it, doing so simply and effectively. This model has an additional ability to customize gradient factors and safety stops.
The display of the Teric is genuinely excellent and the best dive computer displays on the market right now. The stylish 1.39” face features a full-color AMOLED display – giving you full-color, high resolution, sharp definition, and deep blacks.
The screen you see while diving can be customized depending on what you deem to be most important, though all the other information is also easily available at a click. The usability is great with a simple four-button design with big buttons, designed to be easy to use in thick gloves.
The Teric is the first Shearwater computer to feature a wearable watch design and they’ve done a fantastic job.
The sapphire crystal display (which is basically unscratchable) and stainless bezel combine into a sleek and understated package that will follow you from the ocean to the boardroom with ease.
The display has 15 colors to choose from and 3 different watch faces – analog, digital, and orbits – to suit your day-to-day style.
Combine this with over 15 different strap designs and colors, this is a truly customizable model. An additional bonus is the model colors including this snazzy limited edition model for Chinese New Year 2020.
Gas integration is becoming more and more common and the Shearwater Teric does it very well. You can pair up to four transmitters of various diluents with the display showing pressure, gas time remaining, and SAC rate.
You also have the choice to permanently pair the transmitters to your computer by short wave radio, which means no more messing about on the boat waiting for it to sync up.
Shearwater recommends the use of their Swift transmitter when more than 2 transmitters are used to avoid communications channel conflicts.
Shearwaters are known as some of the safest and most reliable dive computers on the market. Safety is a massive factor when purchasing scuba diving equipment as it could literally save your life.
The Shearwater Teric has a number of safety features. One of these is configurable tonal (noisy) and haptic alarms to alert you to low air, fast ascent maximum depth, and any number of other things. This alarm can conveniently be turned off too, helpful for divers who don’t wish to make any noise i.e. spearfishers.
The screen will also show easy-to-understand green, yellow, and red alerts if any of the vital information (like ppO2, no decompression time, CNS toxicity, or maximum operating depth (MOD) is getting close to dangerous.
The technical diving capabilities add to the safety precautions. You can see the gradient factors of the different compartments using the Buhlmann ZHL-16C algorithm. It also has customizable safety stops for experienced decompression divers and doesn’t lock you out for violating a safety stop.
You can dive deeper into these technical specs by looking at the Teric’s manual.
This feature allows divers to see detailed dive specifications including depth, time, temperature, air consumption, dive profile, and more.
Conveniently, the Teric is enabled with Bluetooth Smart technology, so it will automatically upload to your phone, tablet, or laptop once initially paired, where you can look at your dive more closely.
It also has over 500 hours of dive log time available, so you can dive to your heart’s content!
Shearwater’s After Sales and Support
Shearwater is well known for its excellent customer service and worldwide centers which can provide quick support, wherever you are. The firmware is also regularly updated for free via Bluetooth from either the desktop or mobile app.
The Shearwater Teric comes with a wireless charging port. This has upsides and downsides. With no pins or charging ports to corrode, it should last longer. It can also be charged with a Samsung wireless charger. The only problem is that it’s another bit of equipment to carry, break, or lose.
It has a 30-hour battery life in dive mode and 50 hours on watch mode so remember to charge it overnight and you’re good to go.
What are you getting?
The Shearwater Teric comes in a stylish and rugged travel case, great for if you don’t wear it daily as a timepiece. The wireless charging dock means that there are no wires to get tangled or lost.
The straps that come with the Teric are rubber and black, though if you buy a color – that’s what you’ll get! If, after your purchase, you want to jazz up the look a little, there are over 15 brightly colored straps to choose from.
It also comes with a long strap, ideal for diving with thick wetsuits and drysuits.
Some packages of the Teric include the transmitters for air integration though it is also possible to purchase the Teric without the transmitters.
Background on Shearwater
Aimed at and built by technical divers, Shearwater is the market leader in technical dive computers with products that are powerful, uncomplicated, and reliable.
Shearwater is a Canadian company which was founded in 2004 by Bruce Partridge. Coming from a background of advanced technical diving, integrated systems design, and computer programming, Partridge was the ideal person to carve a niche in the technical dive computer market.
There is heavy emphasis with this company on scientific developments relating to diving and decompression theory, ensuring that their computers are always using the most modern algorithms.
They were one of the first computers to cater to technical divers, with computers focusing on multigas mixes and rebreather control systems.
Their computers are famously intuitive to use and, after wide success in the technical diving world, are slowly being adopted by recreational divers.
The Shearwater Teric operates at the very highest level of recreational diving and technical diving. There are a limited number of dive computers that offer these advanced capabilities and therefore, few true competitors.
The Shearwater Perdix is an established technical diving computer,
with a deep operating depth of 260m and reliable nitrox, trimix, and rebreather capabilities. The downside of this model is the design, which is distinctly less stylish than the Teric.
At the other end of the style scale is the sleek Garmin Descent MK1.
Garmin is a manufacturer with very little dive computer experience which has put off some more technical divers – though it is undeniably a fantastic machine that incorporates a fitness tracker and smartwatch capabilities. Read more about the Descent MK1 in this handy review.
The Garmin Descent Mk1 was incredibly successful, despite it being Garmin’s first dive computer. They listened to the feedback from expert divers and released the Descent Mk2 and Mk2i in November of 2020.
The new model features a bunch of upgrades, including a 1/3 larger screen, more responsive buttons and brand-new, Garmin Pay technology which allows divers to pay with their dive computer.
They also introduced air integration with the Mk2i. Garmin has created cutting-edge sonar-based technology which allows for more tank connections and a larger range than any other dive computer. You can read more about the Garmin Descent Mk2i in this handy review.
Finally, we have the Suunto D5. Another stylish wristwatch style design, this model is the cheapest of the four. However, for that drop in price, you do lose features such as rebreather and trimix capabilities and the dive mode battery life is noticeably slower than the others.
The best choice for you ultimately comes down to what you wish to do with it.
If you’re looking for a sleek smart and sports watch that can also function as a dive computer, then the Garmin Descent MK1 is the best option.
For the hardcore, technical diving junkies, the Perdix is a tried and tested model with excellent battery life and the deepest MOD. The Suunto D5 is aimed more at recreational divers who have no plans to dive with trimix or a rebreather.
As an all-rounder for experienced recreational divers who dabble in technical diving, or wish to do so in the future, the Shearwater Teric comes out on top, effortlessly combining style and functionality.
Is it scratch-proof?
More or less. The Sapphire Crystal display is as indestructible as glass gets, though big, sharp impacts might still scratch it.
Can I customize it?
The bezel is bonded to the AMOLED display but there is a choice of 15 display colors as well as a rainbow of straps to choose from!
Can I use the gas integration on more than one tank?
Yes! The Teric is able to support four wireless transmitters simultaneously. Shearwater recommends the use of the Swift transmitter when more than 2 transmitters are used to avoid communications channel conflicts.
How do I calibrate the compass?
Using a compass, not your phone, find magnetic north. Go into the Teric’s compass
(Menu>Settings>Compass>Calibration>Confirm) and rotate on all three axes (forward, sideways, and on edge) towards magnetic north. Continue to rotate the Teric in random directions for the rest of the calibration time.
Check it against the compass.
What is the battery life?
In dive mode, you will get up to 30 hours of battery life (on maximum brightness) and 50 hours in watch mode. The battery life is estimated at 5 years and replacement is $100 plus shipping. However, if the battery (or anything else) malfunctions during the two-year warranty, replacement is free.
I’m not a technical diver, should I still buy the Teric?
The short answer is yes! The Teric is ideal for recreational diving as well as technical. It is a high-end model that is perfect for those with a bit more experience and who are willing to spend a bit more money for their
perfect dive computer. That being said, there is nothing wrong with buying it as a first dive computer.
My transmitter doesn’t seem to be working properly?
Take the battery out and leave it for 5 minutes so the communications can reset. If this doesn’t solve the problem, contact Shearwater customer service.
Do I have to pay for firmware updates?
No! Shearwater is known for its excellent customer services and updates will be applied via the smartphone app or laptop software.
Is it suitable for cold water?
All Shearwaters are developed in Canada and are built with cold water (and drysuits and gloves) in mind.
Does it support other languages?
Yes! It supports multiple languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese.
Does it have a dive planner?
Yes, it can calculate no-decompression limits for gas mixes as well as their MODs. You can also plan a dive on your phone or laptop using the Shearwater software which many find to be slightly easier than fiddling with the dive watch.
Does it operate at altitude?
Yes, it is reliable up to 3000m above sea level.
Can I use it every day?
Yup, it is designed to be fully functional as a stylish digital watch as well as a dive computer.
How do I care for it?
While it has no charging port to get corroded, it is important to rinse it thoroughly in fresh water after each dive to prevent the build-up of seawater, sunscreen, and sweat.
How do I use my Shearwater Teric with my phone or computer?
You will need to download the Shearwater Cloud Desktop or Shearwater Cloud Mobile from the app store. On your watch, select Bluetooth from the main menu. Select “Connect” and find your Teric in the list of
scanned devices. You now have the option to download your dives or update the firmware.
Are there any problems with the Teric?
To be blunt, no! It is an extremely user-friendly model that has all the capabilities one could wish for from a recreational or technical diving computer.
Shearwater is an established brand that really knows what they’re doing with dive computers and as such, their products have a reputation for reliability. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong, their support team is excellent.
The Shearwater Teric is one of the best dive computers around – it is widely lauded as one of the most perfect dive computers ever designed.
Whether you’re a technical diver looking for a capable computer that isn’t clunky or oversized, a freediver looking for a reliable device, or an experienced recreational diver who might consider technical or CCR diving in the future, this is the ideal computer choice for you.