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Best Dive Computer Reviews and Comparison 2016

The questions that should guide your choice based on your needs today, what you plan to do in the near future, and diving methods that you practice or are planning to practice. It is important to distinguish between a dive watch and dive computer. The watch is used to give the time and has relatively limited functionality, it is perfect for beginners or somewhat regular divers.

The dive computer is the ultimate accessory that every diver must possess.

The dive computer is much more comprehensive and offers features designed to accompany you in all your dives – water temperature, dive time, decompression need, maximum depth live and depth diving. Here is the comparison of the best models to help you make the right choice!

Dive Computers Comparison Chart 2016

Model Features Rating
Mares Puck Pro
  • Dive Log: 36 hours/50 dives
  • Nitrox Programmable (21-50%)
  • Full Function Air/Nitrox Dive Computer
  • Ascent rate indicator
  • Diver-replaceable batteries
Suunto Zoop Novo
  • Suuntos incredible entry level computer
  • Air and nitrox up to 50%
  • Easy to use diver interface, easy to read screen
  • User changeable battery, audible alarms, built in dive planner
  • Suuntos RGBM algorithm
Cressi Leonardo
  • Complete RGBM dive computer
  • Air and nitrox modes
  • Single easy button
  • Audible Alarm
  • Larger digits for easy reading
Suunto ZOOP
  • Suuntos incredible entry level computer
  • Air and nitrox up to 50%
  • Easy to use diver interface, easy to read screen
  • User changeable battery, audible alarms, built in dive planner
  • Suuntos RGBM algorithm
Cressi Giotto
  • Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer, Gauge Guard, Owner's Manual, Digital Online Class
  • First Mixed Gas Dive Computer
  • 3-Button Interface: Effortless to Program Air, Nitrox and Gauge Modes
  • High-Definition Screen
  • Large Numerical Displays
Oceanic Geo 2.0
  • Powered by Oceanic's Exclusive Dual Algorithm
  • 4 Operating Modes
  • User-Friendly Interface with "Step Back"
  • Stop times 3 minutes
  • Single button access to "Last Dive" display
Mares Smart Wrist Dive Computer
  • Super Sharp and Clear Display
  • Perfect Ergonomics and User-friendliness and Gas switching
  • Mineral Glass Display
  • Segment Display
  • Software Upgrade Ability
Cressi Newton Wrist Computer
  • Cressi Newton Wrist Computer
  • Small Compact Design
  • Case Diameter: 2.07" (52.6mm)
  • Truly Compact Dive Watch Computer
  • Ideal Tool Out of the Water
ScubaPro Mantis (M1)
  • Complex algorithms to calculate parameters
  • Adaptive algorithm to adjust for each diver's experience level, age and physical conditioning.
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Can be a valuable aid when exercising or lap swimming in shallow water.
Shearwater Research Stand Alone Dive Computer
  • Air/Nitrox/Trimix capable
  • 5 open-circuit gas switch presets
  • Operational to at least { 853 ft | 260 m }
  • Bluetooth Smart wireless upload/download
  • Three-axis tilt-compensated digital compass
Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer Review

Mares Puck Pro Dive Watch Computer for Scuba Diving (White)

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$239.95
8 new from $239.95
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

This dive computer is simple to navigate, the huge single button makes operation simple (especially when wearing sporting gloves). It’s intuitive to function and quite  straightforward.

The ascent rate indication is simple to use, and sensitive: in shallow water it would register varying depths and issues warnings using just surface depth of 4 to 5 feet. If you want console mounted dive computer, get another model.

Quality
70 %
Practicability
70 %
Value for Money
90 %

Suunto Zoop Novo Gauge Scuba Diving Console Review

Suunto Zoop Air/Nitrox Wrist Computer SS015964000

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$199.99 325.00
3 new from $194.95
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

This is an excellent basic dive computer if you’re low on budet. It does many good things by default. It turns on whenever you enter the water and provide you a myriad of warnings about when to ascend and when to stop without significant fuss.

It does lack internal illumination. Even though the item glows for a while after it is exposed to light it seems to lose that quickly making this a bad choice for night scuba dving or low light conditions.

The benefit for this is that the battery has lasted several years for me already.

Quality
70 %
Practicability
75 %
Value for Money
90 %

Cressi Leonardo Scuba Wrist Dive Computer Review

Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer - Wrist (Black/Gray)

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$199.95 399.99
17 new from $199.95 2 used from $180.00
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

I need to a wearable dive computer under $300, and this was a great choice. Performed great in my first dive vacation to Belize. Great effectiveness, easy to adapt and set, easy to read underwater, and has each of the basic features I needed. Using any dive computer significantly enhanced your dives, without having to hurt your wallet. I would recommend to anyone seeking something simple, reliable, and inexpensive.

Another plus was the alarm of this Leonardo is higher and clearer.

Quality
85 %
Practicability
90 %
Value for Money
95 %

Suunto ZOOP Wrist Unit Scuba Diving Computer Review

Suunto ZOOP Wrist Unit Scuba Diving Computer (Orange)

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$199.95 340.00
8 new from $194.98 1 used from $190.00
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

It is a solid little computer –

  • Conservative algorithm
  • Ability to download to a laptop computer (which Gekko didn’t have)
  • User-replaceable electric battery
  • Great battery life
  • Large, durable strap
  • Durable protective cover
  • Nice large display
  • Instinctive interface
  • Programmable nitrox

It has excellent default features similar to turning on whenever you enter the water and reminding you to generate a safety stop. Arm band is great and comfortable and comes really extra long, so you possibly can trim it for your liking.

The other main contenders in this particular price bracket include the Mares Puck as well as the Leonardo Cressi.

Quality
90 %
Practicability
90 %
Value for Money
95 %

Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer Review

Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer, Black/Blue

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$299.95 349.95
10 new from $299.95
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

Giotto is just about the most efficient, easy to use dive computer I’ve used. It has measured the time and depths associated with my dives accurately and the display screen is easy and clear enough to see that one glance was enough.

I used to offer the ScubaPro Meridian but after using this one I prefer it regarding flawless programming as well as calculations and for being ideal for multiple dives the whole day.

It’s lightweight and compact makes it ideal for travel. It simple to use and setup pertaining to either Nitrox, frequent air or altitude diving.

Overall, a great computer for the price.

Quality
95 %
Practicability
90 %
Value for Money
85 %

Oceanic Geo 2.0 Air/Nitrox Computer Watch Review

Oceanic GEO 2.0 Computer, Slate Blue

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$399.95 399.95
23 new from $399.95 1 used from $350.00
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

It sounds the alarm quickly if you raise your arm to hold on to the anchor line which is a bit annoying. The alarm doesn’t seem to be loud enough when you are ascending too fast. The size of this dive computer is not as big as it looks. It looks very good on my arm when I have the neoprene suit. Its somewhat larger than the Suunto D4.

Apart from those things I do believe this computer has an excellent quality for this price point, I like using it. I think its a fantastic computer to buy  without spending a freaking lot of cash. It has other features you need besides a compass.

This computer has lots of features that are merely found on computers twice this cost. It is a fantastic value purchase, and you may wear it as a regular watch on top of that.

Quality
90 %
Practicability
80 %
Value for Money
75 %

Mares Smart Wrist Dive Computer Review

Mares Scuba Smart Dive Computer - Black/Grey

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$399.95 450.00
21 new from $399.49
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

The 2 button operation can be quite intuitive and the display is easily readable. Reasonably good watch functionality plus it looks decent and is not overly large for my arm.

The watch alarm just isn’t very loud. I wouldn’t desire to rely on it in making the dive boat the next day. The manual is very straightforward and easy to understand too.

Here’s the bad part – there is warning statement inside manual that says “Do not free dive within twenty four hours of having performed a scuba dive.”

Quality
85 %
Practicability
85 %
Value for Money
70 %

Cressi Newton Wrist Computer Review

Cressi Newton Wrist Computer, All Black

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$499.95 699.95
3 new from $499.95
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

With a diameter of only 48 mm, the Cressi Newton, is a real compact dive computer. It ‘also the ideal tool out of the water, and with the ability to disable the “Immersion Program” to avoid unnecessary alarms or consumption, while doing snorkeling, swimming, or just for everyday use. The face is made ​​of mineral glass. The watch has a heavy reinforced case, to resist water up to -150 meters.

The display is easy to read, numbers are big and in the right place during my dives. Good watch functionality – you’ll be able to set the alarm clock, dual time function. Alarm and light are loud and bright. The strap is rubber with stainless steel buckle. Also on this dive computer we find the new CRESSI RGBM algorithm.

Quality
95 %
Practicability
85 %
Value for Money
95 %

ScubaPro Mantis (M1) Scuba Diving Computer Review

Scubapro Mantis (M1) Dive Watch/Computer

$565.00
16 new from $565.00
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

Dive computers, are gaining ground in the daily life of every diver. Scubapro, has seen fit to create a dive computer, that would fit the everyday needs of every diver. The Mantis M1, has a case made ​​of marine grade 316L stainless steel of the highest quality, finished with a two-tone brushing.

Consisting of four magnetic buttons to control all of its functions. Data are presented in alphanumeric characters that are easy to read on a LCD display well-ordered and mounted under a mineral glass that provides protection.

The main characteristics of Scubapro Mantis M1 are –

  • Four scuba-Deco mode, Gauge, Apnea and CCR-plus a swimming modes offer functions of clock and data processing on the ground, on the surface and under water.
  • Maximum operating depth is 120m.
  • The Predictive Multi Gas UWATEC ZHL-8 algorithm allows the use of high concentration mixtures of oxygen (21-100%) in addition to the main gas
  • The algorithm enables fixed PPO2 use with closed-circuit rebreather.
  • Offers full watch functions for use in the surface
  • A stopwatch with split times for racing
Quality
100 %
Practicability
95 %
Value for Money
90 %

Shearwater Research Stand Alone Dive Computer Review

Shearwater Research Scuba Dive Computer Stand Alone (Perdix)

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$779.00
6 new from $779.00
Last update was in: August 17, 2017 2:17 am GMT

Incredibly intuitive and convenient to use. Has recreational settings but can take care of the TEC diving requirements likewise. About double the expense of a basic dive computer but performs three or four times as much as a basic computer.

If you think you might dive Nitrox or even Trimix, you should look into this computer. More conservative than my own previous one but does make up for it in repetitive dives.

I highly recommend this diving computer in case you are a pastime diver considering bridging over into serious diving.

Quality
100 %
Practicability
100 %
Value for Money
85 %

What to look for when buying a Scuba Dive Computer

1. Gas

  • Compressed air – 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen.
  • Nitrox mixture enriched with oxygen – The most widely used for exploration mixtures are 32% (32% oxygen and 68% nitrogen), the 36% and 40% in all cases lower than 50%.
  • Trimix – Mixture comprising helium, oxygen and nitrogen (mainly used for deep dives greater than 50 m)

Nitrox diving is increasingly popular, it is essential to choose a model that can handle both gas (Air and Nitrox).

Trimix is ​​being democratized since the early 2000s, manufacturers have then integrated helium into computer management in recreational diving. However choosing a computer for this type of diving is difficult because the user must also take into account the binomial and decompression diving protocols. And depending on the choices there are great variation possibility of diving and decompression.

2. Data tranfer

More and more computers are equipped with computer interface. The interface technology is also varied, often there is a USB cable that connects to the computer, but some models use the infrared interface. Manufacturers also offer dedicated software that replaces the famous “logbook”. They can also connect to social networks and share them with the world.

3. Console or Wrist mounted

The two mounting possibilities of a computer are – console and wrist. Each version has advantages and disadvantages.

Console mounted

console mounted dive computer

Advantages –

The computer is attached to a regulator hose so it becomes difficult to forget or lose. Some models connect directly to high pressure hose and indicate the cylinder pressure.

Disadvantages –

Playback can be difficult if the diver’s hands are taken by a camera or during an operation on his teammate. The control of the various parameters becomes difficult. If you use your equipment also in the pool, the batteries may take less time and maintenance will be more expensive.

Wrist mounted

dive computer buying guide

Advantages –

  • There are a plethora of models available in the market.
  • Operation is hands free so you can even wear it everyday.

Disadvantages –

The first risk is to forget and lose it as it is small in size. Be careful to check it before immersion and make a scuba gear checklist for your dive bag.

4. Operation of a dive computer

The computer measures the depth and duration of immersion and calculates decompression. For that the human body has been divided into different sized compartments in the way they react to the nitrogen saturation and desaturation during the dive.

The decompression process is a complex phenomena that is very simplified. It is therefore essential to get dive training and read the operating instructions for the computer.

Before the advent of dive computers, a diver measured its maximum depth with his depth gauge, length of immersion with his watch and calculated its decompression with a simple double entry table (depth and time).

Although this simple system has been proven, it was none the less restrictive, not to calculate multiple dives, dips in multiple depths, or inhaling different gases (Air, Oxygen, Helium). Synthetically, we can say that the computer optimizes all the parameters of a safe dive.

Other parameters may be taken into account as the temperature of the water, ventilation, heart rate, etc. A corresponding adjustment to the altitude immersion (for mountain lakes) may also be addressed manually or automatically.

5. Air management

The dive computer can also give indications on the tank pressure during immersion. This information is transmitted to the computer through a high pressure hose replacing the gauge and is therefore limited to the console to computers or radio wave with a probe connected to the high pressure port of the first stage regulator.

6. Digital compass

In recent years some computers are equipped with a digital compass. This can be useful depending on the area and and diving habits, knowing that classic compass costs about $50.

7. Size, Screen display and Ergonomics

There are also big differences between the display models, some have opted for compactness (computer clock) and are therefore less legible than the large screen computers some of which are configurable. There are also models with a very readable colored screen but this comes at the cost of battery life.

8. Battery Life

On most modern computers the batteries are replaceable by users. Please note this is a very important parameter to consider because battery of some model might be difficult to access or is available in a particular format only .

It should also ensure the separation of the battery compartment because otherwise, if the seal is bad, the computer can be irreparably damaged. In this case, it is best to replace the battery in a specialized workshop. There are also some models rechargeable via USB, including the energy intensive color screen models.

If you have any confusion regarding any of the models, please comment below.

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