Best Dive Computer: Reviews and Buying Guide For 2018
As a professional or recreational diver, you are always looking for the best dive computer watch that does what it’s designed to do, every time. The last thing you need is to be in deep waters somewhere and your computer fails. That’s certain disaster! In our dive computer reviews, we provide a selection of the top products from leading suppliers who have consistently satisfied customers.Before we begin, here is a reminder of a few things you must consider in choosing a dive computer.
Top 3 Best Dive Computer Picks:
Things to Consider Before buying a Dive Computer
A quality dive computer is accurate and precise. No guessing about the conditions during and after a dive. Vital information that allows you to dive safely is crucial. Check for evidence of precise remaining time calculations, air or gas mixes, depth, decompression, count downs, and automatic dive data log capabilities.
2. Underwater Safety:
The best wrist dive computer on the market are known for safety. Before buying, check for alarms – can you hear under water? Deep Stop settings – are they present? Decompression settings and Depth settings – how deep is too deep? Satisfy yourself on these and other questions then go ahead.
Does your dive watch computer die shortly after purchase? It’s a good idea to research your brand for any history of failures before putting your money on the table. Things to check for include display integrity, breakable parts, water damage, and pressure resistance.
Dive Computer Comparison Table - Choose The Best One
Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer
Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer
Cressi Leonardo Wrist Watch
Suunto Zoop Scuba Diving Wrist
Suunto Zoop Novo Wrist
Suunto D4i Novo Watch
Oceanic Geo 2.0 Nitrox Computer
Oceanic ATOM 3.1 Wristwatch
Oceanic OCi Dive Computer
Mares Puck Wrist Dive Computer
Mares Matrix Dive Computer
Mares Puck Pro Dive Computer
Shearwater Research Computer
Top 13 Best Dive Computer Review:
Would you go for a Reduced Gradient Bubble Model computer that is reliable and capable of giving you important information clearly and quickly? Well, here comes the Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer Wrist Watch! A sleek reminder of why it’s a favorite among professional and recreational divers. One thing you can expect from Leonardo is a display you can easily read underwater.
At a glance, you see everything – the Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer Wrist Watch is a big plus. Your Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer Wrist Watch also keeps you alert underwater, with its loud and clear alarm – no mistaking when it’s time to head back up! You will like the well designed before and after dive screens which show everything clearly. It’s very easy to use, even a novice diver can learn and understand its simple displays.
If all you need is a basic computer for fun dives using either Air or Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer Wrist Watch, then this is the computer for you. For more sophisticated gear, try another of the offers available here at Amazon. The Cressi Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer Wrist Watch is a really great computer except that some users quickly experienced a discolored watch face. If that happens to you and you have Warranty, ask your provider for a replacement.
- Compact design, great for travelling
- Large print display for easy reading
- Multiple gas options – Nitrox, Air
- Single button control
- Count down for safety stop automatically at 15 ft/ 3 minutes
- Not for free diving, only scuba diving
- Watch face may get discolored
Another great option from Cressi is the Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer, an easy to use computer with a three button control. See vital information like maximum depth, no decompression time, and bottom time at a glance while submerged, and expect safety and peace of mind every time. Your dive computer watch also displays saturation time, surface intervals, and the no flying signal after your dive.
Every dive you do with Air or Nitrox is fully processed by this reliable computer – calculation for safe decompression, dive data history which can also be stored. It’s easy to plan your dive with its accurate and automatic calculations and you can fully reset the device after each use (good if you are in the rental business). See and hear your alarm clearly underwater – vital for keeping you safe and avoiding diving distress. Your Cressi Giotto comes with 70 hours of log time to keep track of all your dives. This scuba dive computer is highly recommended by users but it’s a good idea to spend time learning before you dive with it.
- Travel friendly and lightweight
- Backlit, high definition display
- Built-in clock and calendar
- Switch between measurement units – Metric and Imperial
- Clear graphics – such as for oxygen toxicity
- Batteries can be replaced by user
- Protective display screens can be replaced
- PC interface is not included
- Large wrist strap – however this can be easily trimmed.
With the Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer Wrist Watch, you won’t go astray. You can clearly and easily read what it has to say on display, and you don’t have to wonder when it’s safe to return to surface – the alarms are loud and clear! You are free to use both Air and Nitrox for dives and you will have no problem with its single button operation. This dive computer can be set for no decompression stop dives.
A look on your main screen shows the time you have to dive, how much time is left, how deep you are and what no decompression deep stops you need. This dive computer is reasonably priced if you are on a budget and the recommendation is to go with this as a starter unit until you are ready to upgrade. You might find it a little difficult to calibrate the compass but with a little effort, you’ll get the hang of it. It is also a bit challenging to add the wireless air integrator when you decide later to use it.
- One button operation – very easy to use
- Choose between Air and Nitrox
- Displays the temperature of the water during a dive and in dive logs
- Keeps your Nitrox settings
- Begins a new dive when you go down
- You can replace batteries
- Reasonably priced
- Not easy to see display in dark water - you will need a flashlight
- Cannot integrate air
Suunto provides easy to use scuba dive computer options that any diver can appreciate. The Suunto Zoop Wrist Unit Scuba Diving Computer is capable of using both Nitrox up to 50% and Air. If you are into diving for fun, this wrist dive computer may be the right fit. It features strong safety options such as the automatic 3-minute countdown as you climb to 20 feet, an alarm you hear if you climb too fast or if you failed to take the required safe stop. The Suunto Zoop also comes with visible alarms that help to keep you alert while you dive.
The LCD displays allow clear reading underwater and crucial information like the remaining no-decompression time and the rate of ascent are shown using colored graphs. Freedivers can also use the Suunto by changing the setting from Scuba. Keep track of all your dives with the built-in planner and choose the option of detailed log graphs and analysis of dive data. Some users find the alarms a bit too low. You may notice also that switching to scuba from snorkeling is not possible before 24 hours after your last snorkel.
- Large, readable display.
- Very easy to use.
- Able to use Nitrox
- Alarms can be heard underwater – user can also adjust sounds
- Provides for setting altitudes
- User can adjust computer for conservation settings
- Manual recording of dive data allowed
- Battery replaceable by user
- Allows choice of display – metric or imperial units.
- Too big for wrist watch
- Display goes off once inactive for five minutes
- No backlight on displays
- Manuals are poorly written - but it can be used
- Wristband is too long for wrist – can be trimmed
Here’s another one to consider – the Suunto Zoop Novo Wrist Scuba Computer. Why this dive computer? It’s easy to use and great for the diver who does so for fun and for pros too. The display is segmented into a matrix and is backlit – for easy reading. The information on screen is larger and clearer. Four buttons are all it takes to control this scuba dive computer. Once under water, you can see how well the Suunto Zoop Novo works for you. You might find it a little difficult to use it in low light and during night dives because of its weak backlight.
The alarms work well however and you won’t have trouble knowing when to ascend and to take the safety stops. You can recharge the battery for longer use so no need to replace it. The icon showing whether it’s safe to fly is not so easy to see without glasses, at least according to one user.
- This is a well known computer among Dive Masters
- Clear displays for easy reading
- Easily used for Nitrox (Enhanced Air)
- User replaceable battery
- Not as expensive as other computers
- Backlighting not strong enough for dark water or cave diving
- The Owner’s Manual is poorly written.
Let’s say you are only interested in a scuba dive computer that even a beginner can use. Then the Suunto D4i may be all that you need. This updated computer comes in refreshing colors but you can still find the same reliable features. Expect an easy to read display, strong safety features like the audible alarm, a countdown timer for ascent, and decompression that is continuous.
Suunto also caters to your comfort with a slim and light design complete with a soft silicone wristband to fit perfectly. With four metal buttons you can navigate the wrist dive computer with ease. Set up your Nitrox percent or Air – you also have the option to go free diving instead of scuba – it’s that versatile. Did I mention that the D4i is great for those long diving trips?
You can depend on its reliability when you choose to take an extended diving vacation. It is also a Reduced Gradient Bubble Model that is a popular choice among divers. You might have to contend with frequent battery charging so travel with a reliable portable charger. You can also update the firmware and the D4i comes with the wireless air integration option.
- Lightweight and great for everyday wear
- Can be used with a wireless transmitter
- Possible to use Nitrox and for freediving
- Not provided with a digital compass for navigation
- Small display
- More expensive than alternative computers
- Battery life short – requires frequent recharging
Fun dives are possible with the Oceanic Geo 2.0 Air / Nitrox Computer Watch. Its sleek design also makes it suitable for everyday wear as a wrist watch. You’ll love the simple interface, and the four button operation.
It’s easy to switch between two gas tanks for your Nitrox and Air mixes without limits. The good news is you can switch gases underwater! Safety is a big feature with this wrist dive computer. Count on these safety features – countdown timer, timer for safety stops at 15 ft or 5 m – which you can also adjust to other depths, alarm for a too fast ascent, a visual tissue loading bar graph showing how far along you are to decompression, and even a time setting for safe flying. Unlike other computers on the market, the Geo 2.0 will not shut you out when it reaches the decompression point.
Even if your dive happens within 24 hours of a previous dive! Logging dives is also easy with the on board logbook. Free divers, you can choose the free diving mode offered by Geo 2.0! Your firmware updates automatically so don’t worry about this
- Allows users to choose between at least two Nitrox mixes or air
- Allows for deep stopping
- 4 button operations
- Very user friendly
- Visual alarm (blinking red LED)
- Comes with a carry case
- Menus titles contain single letters (although using menu is very simple)
- Difficult to hear alarms underwater
- Manual that comes with the Geo 2.0 is too short and not adequate
- No compass
- It does not have a wireless pressure gauge
- Computer interface sold separately.
If you’re searching for a versatile dive computer that delivers, take a look at the Oceanic ATOM 3.1 Wristwatch Dive Computer. Everything inside this powerful computer represents reliability and stability. It can take high pressure well and is equal to the task of functioning underwater and above the surface. You won’t have trouble reading the clear display of the ATOM 3.1 that shows everything needed for a great dive.
All functions are automated for easy use so once you set your parameters simply let the dive computer watch do its work. As you hit the water, your ATOM 3.1 goes into dive mode and all vital information are displayed for you – air cylinder pressure, depth, remaining air time, no decompression time, and dive time that have elapsed. Whatever your diving needs, you can find this ATOM 3.1 a perfect fit and a trusty companion. You will find a clear rubber screen protector along with the other items in the box.
This helps to preserve the watch face from scratches, cracks or other damage. What are the not so hot things users have to say about the ATOM 3.1? Maybe the missing water temperature display – something you might be interested in.
- Easy to read
- Works also as a wrist watch
- Intuitive user interface
- Automatic functions
- Warning light - Red LED
- Flexible rubber wristband
- USB connection and interface cables, and transmitter
- Comes with dive log software
- Instruction CDs and laminated reference guide.
- The free version of the "ocean log" software does not contain all features. The complete version that includes user alarm settings must be purchased separately
- User documents such as manuals are not clear and not helpful to users.
Oceanic has provided the OCi Wrist Wireless Air-Integrated Dive Computer for the professional and recreational diver. If you are into innovative technology, check out the OCi that PADI Master Diving Instructors are also happy with. The fact that this unit comes with a complete warranty from the manufacturer shows how confident the makers are that you will be totally satisfied.
Does this oceanic dive computer measure up? Let’s see – Automatic altitude adjustment capabilities (Check!), user customized digital compass and alarms (Check!), flexibility in sea or river / lake conditions (Check!), nitrogen calculations in freedives (Check!). This seems pretty good for a computer that also doubles as an ordinary wrist watch. Some users are a little disappointed with the unreliable battery, which requires frequent recharging. Communication between the computer and transmitter is also sometimes weak. If you don’t mind these glitches, you can go ahead with the Oceanic OCi and enjoy its main features.
- Complete Manufacturer’s Warranty provided
- Handles up to four gases
- Can be used for free dives
- User can choose between fresh and salt water
- Automatic altitude adjustment
- Users can customize their digital compass and alarms
- Displays and how well they read are a little confusing
- Computer shuts down underwater - water flooded inside screen and the battery space causing a short circuit (This may be a defective unit!)
- Communication between the computer and transmitter sometimes weak.
Talk about a Reduced Gradient Bubble Model Dive Computer that can work at a depth of 492 feet, and you are talking about the Mares Puck Wrist Dive Computer. It’s a fully functional Nitrox / Air dive computer that does not compromise on features. You have the ability to set your Nitrox mix between 21 and 50% as well as set your safety details easily.
This Puck is appropriate for recreational divers although pros can use it too. Displayed information is so easy to read underwater and navigation is a snap with its single button – simply scroll through! Logging more hours of dive time is possible with its extended memory. Track your dates, dive times, rate of ascent and temperature, and many more details in this powerful logbook.
Underwater safety is ensured with alarms you can actually hear, and deep stops are a must for safe ascents. Ignore the countdown timer to your peril – You won’t be allowed to miss the safety depth as the timer will stop and you must return to the safe depth to start again. If however, technical diving is your preference, consider a dive computer with at least two buttons or more.
- Allows for dives using Enriched Air Nitrox (EAN)
- You can also do altitude dives.
- Suitable for both salt and fresh water
- Battery is easily changeable
- Has strong backlight for dark water viewing
- The plastic glass face is easily scratched
- There is no stopwatch
- You cannot measure your time on the surface between dives as it has no chronograph
- You will need to purchase USB cables to update your firmware
- You cannot download information with this computer
Here’s another scuba dive computer that makes diving fun and safe! The Mares Matrix Dive Computer with PC Download Kit that looks like a watch but functions like a powerful underwater guide. See your dive information on a sharp display. In fact, reading the information and dive graphs is ridiculously simple, thanks to a large display screen.
You can easily set your Nitrox mix anywhere between 21 to 99% or choose to use only Air. Seriously though, you won’t lose your way underwater with the tilt correcting, embedded compass, which is quite accurate. The stopwatch is precise, which is great for managing your dive time.
Automatically keep track of all your dives with the Mares Matrix 35-hour logbook, and save hours trying to do it yourself. Your battery can be charged again and again – meaning no need to change your batteries unless you want to. You can even use the charging cradle as a connection with your PC or Mac to download your dive data. You might find the menu a little daunting but once you learn how to navigate it, using the Mares Matrix Dive Computer should be a breeze.
- Learning to use it is simple
- Clear display – easily read
- Automatic dive data logging
- Compact and lightweight design
- Allows three diving modes
- You can recharge your battery
- You can upgrade the software
- Need to charge battery frequently (every seven to ten days)
- Some users have had the computer die unexpectedly while underwater
Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer is a great choice if you want a full featured companion. It’s so easy to use. You shouldn’t have trouble underwater with its single red button. Its huge display allows you to see everything clearly, even with poor eyesight! Expect loads of features from your handy Mares Puck Pro – accurate depth recording, 35 hours of dive memory for logs, bottom timer after four feet, powerful planner that tells how long to dive without decompression, bar graph display of your descent, alarm if you go too far too fast (exceeding 30 ft. per minute), warning beeps for deep stopping during ascent, it even tells you when it’s safe to fly commercially over 30,000 ft.
Although it’s easy to use, it’s a good idea to take time to learn how to properly use your wrist dive computer. If you snorkel between dives, prepare for the annoyance of your re-submerging being treated as a new dive! Also check your battery compartment and dust caps for any defects – read your seller’s return policy before ordering or purchase from local dive shops and closely examine dust caps, battery compartment and areas that may pose problems later.
- Sleek and slim design
- User friendly interface
- Easy to set up and use
- Multiple modes – bottom timer, Nitrox, Air
- Reasonable price• Firmware can be upgraded
- Easy to replace batteries
- No stopwatch – not good for when you need to meet up with your dive master later
- No depth alarm.
- Need fresh “O” rings for battery changes
- USB Cables not included
You might want to consider the Shearwater Research Petrel Dive Computer. If you are a recreational diver, this computer is also right for you. What makes this a wise choice is the much smaller and slimmer design for both diving and everyday wear. You can still enjoy the big display which is an outstanding feature of the Shearwater scuba dive computer. See information in full color, and at high resolution.
A welcome change to this computer is the ability you have to replace the batteries with any AA type or even the ones you can recharge. Remember that if you use any inferior battery, your dive time will fall. Although the straps are elastic and easy to adjust under water, they along with the buckles, are a little annoying to deal with. You may have to trim the strap for a better fit, or find an alternative material like Velcro to keep your computer secure on your wrist.
- Easy to use
- Several modes and displays
- Supports Nitrox and mixed gasses
- Stop watch and bottom timer
- Software that comes with the computer works well
- It is easy to download information from the computer after a dive
- Straps too long and buckles difficult to snap on
No doubt there are tons of options for the best wrist dive computer for professional and amateur divers. Top names in the dive computer business include Cressi, Mares, Oceanic, Suunto and Shearwater. As you can see, each has its strengths and weaknesses but you can expect top quality scuba dive computer options that divers across the globe have known and trusted. Our thoughtful scuba dive computer reviews have presented a guide that will inform your choice for the next purchase. Whatever you choose should fit the kind of diving you intend to do, and your budget. Go for safe diving!
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Dive Computer Maintenance Tips
The main maintenance that your computer will need is the periodic change of the battery . Some models allow you to change it for yourself, while others require you to take it to the technical service.
Personally, I prefer computers that allow you to change the battery at home, since you avoid having to send it to the technical service, as long as it implies and, in addition, you usually save money.
In addition, whether it is to change the battery or any other problem that could arise with the computer (no matter how much you buy a very good brand, it is still an electronic device, so something could fail at some point), it is important That the brand has a good technical service .
Large brands such as Mares, Suunto or Cressi usually have a fast and efficient service . You sure do not want to stay 2 months without a computer in the middle of the diving season!
On the other hand, after each dive, remember to clean your computer (like the rest of the equipment) with fresh water to remove salt and possible sand scraps. Do not keep your computer wet: let it air dry, but avoid direct sunlight.
If you have the possibility before you finish deciding, when you go diving ask your diving partners if they are happy with their computers .
Although many will say yes and try to convince you that the computer they carry is the best on the market, there are always some who will give you useful information, such as the facilities to change the battery, if you miss something, anecdotes of other models / Computer brands that they had before and why changed them, etc.
It can also be helpful when looking to the buying guides , especially if they are instructors with years of experience, since they have often tried many different models and brands, so they can give you a broader and more consistent view.
How to make the final decision
In summary, when choosing the computer , I recommend that you keep in mind the following points:
1. Decide what your budget is : this will help narrow the possibilities.
2. Think about the use you are going to give : Will it be a few dives per year or do you plan to dedicate yourself professionally to diving? Would you like to try other types of scuba, like apnea or nitrox? Be realistic and buy a computer that meets your needs, but you do not need to take the best of the market. However, you do not want to go for the cheaper option. You do not want a computer that gets you thrown after 50 dives, or that you are short in the medium term.
3. Choose a computer that is easy for you to manage : include all the relevant parameters on the main screen during the dive and make it easy for you to read and interpret .