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Reviewed by our experts:

The best Dive Computers in 2019

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our two dive computer geeks one job:
Test 32 different dive computers
and write reviews of the best.

The result is 16 of the best dive computers on the marked today.

Torben Lonne

Dive computer geek and editor

Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for dive gear and especially dive computers.

Simon Stutwick

Dive computer expert

Simon is a dive computer geek. Loves the tech and algoritmes.

Buying a dive computer is a jungle of seaweed - no matter if it's your first dive computer or if you're an advanced tech diver looking for yet another dive computer - you want to find the right one.

We've put our divers to work and they've compiled a thorough list of the best dive computer available in 2019.

To make it easy for you, we've made it possible to compare prices and features across all the different top dive computers. This way, you'll get the best computer for your needs (at the best price too).

Think about your needs for a dive computer!

Listen here:

It's easy to buy a computer that's much to advanced for you needs, or one that will quickly become insufficient.

What's your level? Are you new to diving or long past the first 100 dives? Or somewhere inbetween?

Below you can find a selection based on your needs, pick the one that fits you:

Best beginner dive computer

Best Entry Level Dive Computer

We've gathered a selection of the best entry level & beginner computers. All stable a reliable, but at a low cost.

Best Advanced Dive computer

Best Advanced Dive computer

You're diving alot and you want a dive computer that meets your needs. Here's the best dive computers that covers an experienced diver.

Best technical Dive computer

Best Technical Dive computer

Technical dive computers needs to be durable, realiable and easy to read. Here's the best choices in the tech dive computer selections:

Best entry level dive computer

Even though you're new to diving you still need a good computer. As a beginner diver you need to focus on a few things for your first dive computer:

  • Easy to use - you got plenty of things to learn, no reason to spend time on a lot of features you don't need yet.
  • Price - You're still new and have a lot of gear to buy, so it's worth considering a lover price computer.
  • Durability - Considering the above points, you still need a dive computer that lasts for many years.

Here we've found the best computers for you when you're new to diving:

Suunto ZOOP Dive computer Review

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto Zoop:

Our recommendations:

I wanted an easy and inexpensive dive computer to kick off my diving adventures. I wanted something simple and easy to read. The Zoop does the job very well. The only problem I had was learning to use the computer to access my dives, but once I got the system down it was easy.

Pro's and Con's of the SUUNTO ZOOP dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level 
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Bright phosphorescent display, learning mode, downloadable dive logs, wrist or console mountable
  • Pros: Very simple to learn and use, easy to ready even in low visibility, multiple mounting options make the computer more versatile
  • Cons: Larger face makes it less comfortable to wear on wrist, a little confusing to access logged dives, overly conservative dive table algorithms.

Cressi leonardo Dive computer Review

I picked up this dive computer to give to students and dive tourists. For my students it is easier to keep track of their dive times, ascent rates, and helps them understand how their time effects how long they can stay underwater with multi-level diving. The ability to reset the computer was the deciding factor to buy this for my classes. The oversized case is a little annoying, but not terrible.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Cressi Leonardo:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Cressi Leonardo

Pro's and Con's of the Cressi Leonardo dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level 
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: Oxygen toxicity indicator, user adjustable conservatism levels, easy to program single button interface

What We Like:

  • It’s the perfect first dive computer
  • Very clear easy-to-read display
  • The giant menu button is easy to press, even if you have gloves on
  • Color options
  • The uber attractive price point
  • The included strap is good quality

What We Don't Like:

  • The alarms are almost disturbingly loud
  • Even though this computer isn’t Puck Pro level huge, it’s still not really suitable for use as a daily watch
  • The strap is far too long and will need to be trimmed

Suunto Vyper Dive computer Review

The price is good and it's a dive computer that will fit you at entry level but still work once you get more advanced. It's really easy to understand, and use on any recreational dive.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto Vyper Novo:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Suunto Vyper Novo

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto Vyper dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level and advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox to 50%
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: 3 dive modes; built-in dive simulator, display shield and protective rubber boot

What We Like:

  • We love that this computer can grow with you as your diving develops
  • Well designed compass leaving less to strap on your wrist
  • Three gas mixes which can be combined with three transmitters
  • Clearly laid out display using dot matrix technology
  • Suunto provides a bungy as an alternative to the standard strap, making it easier to get around bulky drysuits
  • Great functionality for the money
  • You can really thrash a Vyper and it’ll keep going

What We Don't Like:

  • It doesn’t have the depth capabilities as other gas switching computers but is absolutely perfect for recreational diving and up to extended range. To go deeper you would have to be looking at Trimix compatible computers
  • It doesn’t have the sleek watch-like design of some of its competitors. Although Suunto does produce models that you can wear to the bar, we happen to like a computer that is functional and large and perfectly made for the time spent under the waves

Suunto ZOOP NOVO Dive computer Review

The Zoop Novo was a great purchase for my wife; she hasn’t been diving for long, so I wanted an easy to read computer to help her monitor her no dc time and ascent rate. The only down sides are that it is not comfortable for her to wear during surface intervals, and the lack of integrated air means she has to monitor two separate gauges.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto Zoop Novo:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Suunto Zoop Novo

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto Zoop Novo dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level 
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Easy four button navigation, gauge mode, altitude and personal conservatism adjustments

What We Like:

  • Big, clear display
  • Simple and easy to use so ideal for divers of all levels
  • You can change the length of time the backlight stays on
  • The price point makes it an ideal back-up computer
  • Personal dive profiles allow you to change the algorithm to be more conservative
  • Off mode means you can have a swim during your surface interval without it affecting your next dive
  • Very robust and can take some manhandling
  • Changeable audible alarms
  • Freediving mode
  • The battery lasts forever. One recreational instructor we spoke to said her Zoop Novo did more than a full year of dive work before needing a new battery
  • Comes in a range of bright colors to complement the rest of your dive gear
 

What We Don’t Like:

  • Although the screen is large and easy to read, the Zoop Novo can’t be worn as a wristwatch, unless you’re OK with its chunky size!
  • The USB cable has to be purchased separately.
  • No in-built compass.
  • Many customers complain about the lack of information provided in the user manual. However, a simple internet search and you’ll find the info that’s missing.

 Aqualung i300c Dive computer Review

This is a simple and easy to use computer. You get good value of money, a realiable computer, that is perfect for a brand new diver, but will meet your needs for many dives.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Aqualung i300c:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Aqualung i300c

Pro's and Con's of the Aqualung i300 dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: Backlight, switch between scuba and free diving on same day, Gauge mode when using it for timer,

What We Like:

  • Bluetooth access to data and settings
  • The battery is easy to change
  • Multiple diving modes
  • Gas switching is possible
  • Automatic altitude adjustments

What We Don't Like:

  • The screen is on the small side
  • Both of the i300c’s two buttons can be difficult to push with gloves on underwater

Oceanic Geo 2.0 Dive computer Review

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Oceanic Geo 2.0:

Our recommendations:

The Geo 2.0 is a nearly seamless integration between watch and dive computer. I have to sneak in dives where I can, so being able to see the current time underwater allows me to make sure I don’t enjoy myself for too long. The menus are a little confusing, but they are easier enough to learn and navigate. Overall this is a great dive computer watch for any diver.

Pro's and Con's of the Oceanic Geo 2.0 dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level & Advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: 4 modes including watch mode, audible alarm with flashin led light, Dual dc algorithim
  • Pros: Great for scuba and free diving with easy navigation through menus.
  • Cons: Light color display can be difficult to read in low vis.

Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive computer Review

I love the simple interface of the Puck Pro. Sure it made be a little big, but that translates to being easy to read in almost any situation. I dive as often as I can, and the battery definitely gets a work out. So, the user changeable battery is an amazing feature.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Mares Puck Pro:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Mares Puck Pro

Pro's and Con's of the Mares Puck Pro dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level 
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: Stopwatch, fresh and saltwater settings, altitiude adjustment, calendar

What We Like:

  • Huge, clear display
  • Simple computer perfect for new divers
  • Can adjust the algorithm to become more conservative
  • The attractive price point
  • Excellent first dive computer
  • Altitude adjustments up to 3,700m/12,100ft
  • Good quality strap included with the computer
  • Multiple color options, easy to match the Puck Pro with your favorite retro wetsuit!

What We Don't Like:

  • For some, the one-button menu is the best thing about this computer. We found it a little annoying
  • Too large to wear as a watch on a daily basis, unless you’re into that kind of thing
  • No air integration function
  • No depth alarm function, not ideal for divers who use a medical device and must stick above certain depths. Of course, divers should watch their depths carefully throughout the dive and not rely on an alarm
  • No in-built compass
  • We didn’t test this, but some reviewers note that it’s a little painful trying to connect the computer to Mares’ Dive Organizer software

Suunto d4i Dive computer

I have been diving with Suunto computer more than a decade, and upgraded to the D4i to get rid of an additional hose when diving in cold water with a dry suit. The D4i feels more like a watch than a dive computer, which is nice, because I can comfortably keep it on my wrist during surface intervals. I love the free dive mode, as it helps me in my free dive depth and bottom time training.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto D4i:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Suunto D4i

Pro's and Con's of the SUUNTO D4i dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level and advanced dive computer
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Wireless air integrated, Downloadable dive logs, built in dive planner, freedive mode

What We Like:

  • Great size, it’s an elegantly put together computer. We’re happy to wear it as a watch
  • Freediving mode offers versatility, well suited to those who scuba dive and freedive
  • Easy to read display and intuitive buttons and controls
  • Very reasonably priced for what it can do
  • An optional USB cable, if you don’t want it, don’t buy it. Save some cash for more dives!

What We Don't Like:

  • The elastomer strap may become weak, more so than other material.
  • The tank pressure transmitter had problems linking if the tank was turned on too rapidly. But this is true for many transmitters
  • Only available in black
  • No built-in compass, however, this is a mid-range computer so we can’t complain

Best advanced dive computer

An advanced dive computer needs a few things:

  • Nitrox - You might not be using it now or on every dive, but diving long enough and you'll end up doing it at some point.
  • Features - You love diving and this is one of the most important pieces of gear. Choose with care.
  • Durability - This dive computer should last for many years!

Here we've found the Advanced best computers for you:

 Suunto D4i NOVO Dive computer Review

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto D4i Novo:

Our recommendations:

For a multi-sport diver, scuba and free diver, this watch works very well in all situations. The small form and low profile don’t cause additional drag. For scuba, I love that it is air integrated so I have one less hose, and I don’t have to worry about a gauge dragging. It is great for traveling because I can easily put it on rental regs and don’t have to carry as much with me while on international trips.

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto D4i Novo dive computer:

  • Best for: Beginner and advanced recreational divers
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox to 50%
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Apnea timer, 4 modes - air, nitrox, free, and off, multiple color options, Wireless air integrated
  • Pros: Perfect sized watch for underwater and on surface, ability to use with wireless transmitter, multi-sport usability for snorkeliers or free-divers
  • Cons: Small display can be difficult to read, price is high (But still god value for money)

 Shearwater Teric Dive computer Review

The Shearwater Teric is Shearwater’s first foray into a watch-sized dive computer. It has all the modes you want, including recreational and even freediving. Unlike some computers, the freediving mode hasn't been added in as an after-thought, instead, it’s designed to meet the needs of even high-level competitive freedivers.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Shearwater Teric:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Shearwater Teric

Pro's and Con's of the Shearwater Teric dive computer:

  • Best for: Beginner and advanced recreational divers
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Bluetooth LE, 5 modes, Switchable audible & vibration alerts, Wireless air integrated

What We Like:

  • Incredibly customizable
  • Looks fantastic
  • Very easy to use
  • Clear to read
  • Excellent for many types of diving
  • Configurable algorithm

What We Don't Like:

  • This isn’t the cheapest computer on the market, but you get what you pay for
  • No heart rate monitor
  • Not quite as rugged as a larger model
  • Not as much data shown on the screen at any one time compared to other computers with bigger screens

Cosmiq+ Dive computer Review

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Cosmiq+:

Our recommendations:

 

Overall, I was very pleased with the performance of the Cosmiq+. The screen has its drawbacks, but they are easy to overcome. The computer is light and comfortable. The battery only lasts about 6-7 hours but is rechargeable and easy to hook up with the magnetic charger.

In the end, you won’t find very many dive computers out there with the features and connectivity that the Cosmiq+ includes.

Pro's and Con's of the Cosmiq Plus dive computer:

  • Best for: All-diver
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes, via magnetic charger 
  • Features: Bluetooth connectivity links to DeepBlu app for sharing and digital dive log, Nitrox and air NDL algorithms, Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Pros: Watch is a near-perfect size, Battery charges with included magnetic charger,
    6-hour active diving battery life, Social media and digital dive log Bluetooth connectivity with the app
  • Cons: The screen is difficult to read in bright light

Oceanic VTX Dive computer Review

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Oceanic VTX:

Our recommendations:

I really enjoy the Oceanic VTX. The led display and Bluetooth integration make this computer feel futuristic and high class. The menus and setting are very easy to learn and modify, and the bright screen is very clear while diving. The only downside is that the screen dims automatically making it harder to read, and in bright sunlight the display gets a little washed out.

Pro's and Con's of the Oceanic VTX dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level & Advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: Digital Compass, Full Color OLED display, Bluetooth connectivity, 30-40 hour dive time battery
  • Pros: Bluetooth allows user to modify settings from phone or tablet
  • Cons: Short divelog memory does not have option for metric units.

Suunto D5 Dive computer Review

This is an excellent dive computer more than capable of taking you from your Open Water course all the way through your entire recreational diving journey. After taking a closer look at the D5, we’re impressed. It looks fantastic and it’s jam-packed with all the features even the most demanding recreational diver could need.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto D5:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Suunto D5

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto D5 dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level & Advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Vibration Larm, Digital Compass, Interchangeable Straps, Wireless Mobile Connection, 100m Water Resistant

What We Like:

  • It’s sleek and professional looking
  • Great for new divers and divers with more experience under their weight belt
  • Can adjust the algorithm to become more conservative or more aggressive
  • Gas-switch compatible
  • Colored display
  • Ascent rate controls
  • Good quality strap changes/options
  • In-built compass

What We Don't Like:

  • You have to recalibrate the compass after recharging the battery
  • Breaking a decompression ceiling for more than three minutes will result in the algorithm locking and no decompression information will be displayed. If a tech dive wanted to use The D5 as a backup, and the dive plan deviated from Suunto’s algorithm, an algorithm lock is not very helpful. That said, the D5 was designed to be a recreational computer.

Suunto D6i watch sized Dive computer Review

There is something to be said about a dive computer that is as beautiful out of the water as it is in the water. Plus, the D6i has all the features I need for my recreational diving. The display is still easy to read and manipulate even though it is watch sized. The Suunto algorithms are more conservative than other computers, but I’m ok with that because it keeps me further away from dcs.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto D6i Novo:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Suunto D6i Novo

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto D6i Novo dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level and advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox to 99%/3 Mixes
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Steel casing, 3D digital compass, free dive mode, anti-reflective coated glass face

What We Like:

  • Ease of use – the same simple and intuitive menu design that can be found across all Suunto computers
  • Variety of modes
  • Tilt-compensated compass
  • Ability to switch between three gas mixes
  • Look and feel – a classic design that can be displayed in any setting

What We Don't Like:

  • Slightly conservative interpretation of Dalton’s formula. This could be frustrating for certain divers
  • The anti-reflective coating on the screen is not great. On shallow dives and under bright sunlight glare is still a factor in reading the screen
  • The silicone strap can get a bit sweaty in hot weather

 Mares Mares Quad Wrist Dive computer Review

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Mares Quad Air:

Our recommendations:

The Mares Quad was a great purchase for many divers. t's a full feature wrist-mount computer that is affordable. While the computer is big, and not easy to carry around on the surface, it is perfect when underwater. The display is the easiest to read that I have dived with. Perfect for the diver who wants it all.

Pro's and Con's of the Mares Quad dive computer:

  • Best for: Advanced divers
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox, Multigas capable
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: Wireless air integrated, lcd screen, altitude adjustment, fresh and sea water settings, 4 button interface
  • Pros: Features and underwater menu to allow setting changes underwater, in depth graphs show estimated tissue saturation, long battery life and user friendly
  • Cons: Large size, lcd display can be tough to read in direct sunlight.

Mares Matrix Dive computer Review

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Mares Matrix:

Our recommendations:

The Matrix is almost the perfect size for a watch dive computer, and the weight is great. Diving with the Matrix is as easy and it's very reliable.  The digital compass is fool proof. The only down side is that I still have to have an analog pressure gauge.

Pro's and Con's of the Mares Matrix dive computer:

  • Best for: Advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No, but  rechargeable
  • Features: Digital Compass, full watch capability including daily alarm, dive profile visable during dive, PC and MAC interface
  • Pros: Very easy to use and the size is just about perfect
  • Cons: Rubber wrist strap is cheap for the cost of the computer

Best technical dive computer

Garmin Descent MK1 Dive computer Review

If you’re looking for a new innovation in dive computers and a device that can take you from mountain to track to an underwater cavern, then Garmin Descent MK1 is the best. You can even check your emails and monitor your heart rate along the way!

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Garmin Descent MK1:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Garmin Descent MK1

Pro's and Con's of the Garmin Descent MK1 dive computer:

  • Best for: Advanced and Technical
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox, Trimix - Gas Swithching up to 10 gases
  • User Changeable Battery: No, but  rechargeable
  • Features:3-axis Compass, In-built heart-rate monitor, Smartwatch capabilities, battery lasts up to 19 days in watch mode and 40 hours in dive modes

What We Like:

  • Smartwatch capabilities
  • The accompanying app is excellent and very user-friendly
  • Suitable for freediving, recreational and technical diving
  • The compass works very well and the computer tracks entry and exit points
  • GPS compatible
  • Customizable gradient factors
  • The heart-rate monitor works underwater
  • Sleek and swish looking, a perfect daily timepiece
  • Vibration alerts
  • The quick-fit bands allow divers to easily change between having the computer on their wrist directly or over the top of a wetsuit or drysuit
  • The battery lasts up to 19 days in watch mode and 40 hours in dive modes, given the features, this is commendable

What We Don't Like:

  • No air-integration feature
  • CCR compatible only with the recent software update
  • Experienced tech divers may be limited by the 100m/328ft depth rating
  • Technical divers have to turn off the deco violation lockout

Shearwater Perdix Dive computer Review

All I need to say about this computer is wow. At its price point it seems a little high to be not air integrated, but once I got the computer I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. The large size isn’t comfortable out of the water, but is perfect in the water. I love that it is comfortable on either wrist which allows me more flexibility with the tools I take with while working underwater. The abundant information available makes me feel safe and more at ease on my deeper and gas-mix dives.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Shearwater Perdix:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Shearwater Perdix

 

Pro's and Con's of the Shearwater Perdix dive computer:

  • Best for: Advanced divers, Technical & Reabreather
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox, Trimex
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: 5 open-circuit gas switch presets, full color screen, 850 ft operating depth, bluetooth connecivity with iOS devices.

What We Like:

  • Massive, massive user configurability. You can choose which elements are the most important to you. You can essentially make it the most useful computer, no matter if you dive a rebreather, dive open circuit technical diving, or just a recreational diver who perhaps dives nitrox now and then, but never aspire to dive into the tec side of diving.
  • Bright display and ruggedness
  • Innovative features and stellar customer service

What We Don't Like:

  • Communicating with shearwater computers via Bluetooth (to download logs or update the welcome screen to a custom "Reward Given If Found - Call Joe Diver 1234-1234-1234") can occasionally pose issues on Mac, with multiple attempts needed.
  • Cost (yes, you knew this one was coming)

Suunto EON STEEL Dive computer Review

The EON steel is everything a diver could possibly want in a dive computer. The large color display is easy to read and decipher the different information for the diver. I loved that I can custom the data I see. The price is high, but is worth paying for. I have never felt better protected when diving with a computer, and the durable construction dissolves fears of dropping or damage from falling tanks.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto Eon Steel:

Our recommendations:

Or read the full review of the Suunto Eon Steel

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto Eon Steel dive computer:

  • Best for: Advanced and Technical
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox, Trimix - Gas Swithching up to 10 gases
  • User Changeable Battery: No, but  rechargeable
  • Features: Digital Compass, wireless air integrated, color screen, rechargeable battery, 150 m depth

What We Like:

  • Battery time remaining indicator
  • Custom dive modes
  • Timer
  • Comes with a strap or bungee

What We Don't Like:

  • Algorithm lock: If you spend more than 3 minutes above the decompression ceiling the algorithm will lock you out (and you will need to finish your deco based on tables). We want our computer to help us surface safely, not give up on us if there’s a problem!
  • No option for a one button press bailout on CCR
  • Can’t switch off deep stops when using trimix
  • CNS calculations give very conservative maximum depths
  • Heavy at 347g/12.2oz

Shearwater Petrel Dive computer Review

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Shearwater Petrel:

Our recommendations:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping

Two huge features stood out to me when I picked up the Petrel. 1) The AA battery option makes my save-a-dive kit much easier to maintain. I use rechargeable AA’s which further decreases my cost of having to replace. 2) The 1000 hour memory is amazing. I use this computer for work and play, but being able to record every dive makes sure I am covered and backed up if there are ever any questions or issues with work. Diving with the computer is beautiful and easy. The large and bright screen never leaves me guessing on my air or dc times.

Pro's and Con's of the Oceanic Geo 2.0 dive computer:

  • Best for: Technical & Advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox, Trimix
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: The battery is standard AA, large 2.4" display, bluetooth integration, Digital Compass
  • Pros: 35 hour battery life with a standard AA battery, and a full color led/lcd display.
  • Cons: Case is little bulky and has a definite industrial look

Here are a few Common Features you’ll like about your dive computer:

It’s on my wrist

Actually my first computer was built into my console, but that’s not so common these days. It is a lot easier to look at my wrist to get information about my depth and bottom time than to have to bend down and check my gauges all the time.

Heck, some computers even replace all your gauges and console entirely.

Having mine on my wrist means I tend to look at it a lot more often too. Some computers are even built into masks, giving you a heads-up display so you don’t even have to look at your wrist. Another win for streamlining!

Dive computer worn on the wrist

Checking information on the wrist is easier than to bend down on a guage console - Credit: Stubblefield

Constant recalculation

Tables assume that you go straight down and stay at that level (or series of levels) for the time you planned exactly. But what if you spend a lot of time looking at a turtle at 18 metres (60fsw) and spend half the time at 24 meters (80fsw)?

It seems like a small thing but your computer will tell you how much more (or less) bottom time you will get and change your dive plan as you go.

Nitrogen Exposure

Your computer does not simply let you know the bottom remaining time for the current dive. It will also let you calculate your surface interval and plan your next dives.

A table does this great when doing only a few dives, but when you are doing a lot of repetitive diving every day you have to remember you still might have nitrogen in your body the next morning.

I never seriously thought about the 10 hour ‘surface interval’ I did overnight until my (then new) computer told me I was starting my first dive in pressure group ‘C’.

Checking dive computer at a safety stop

A dive computer check on a safety stop - Credit: Chris Dag

Logging

Your computer will remember details about your last dives just like a logbook.

This is great for people like me who don’t like to get their logbooks wet and prefer to write it all down with a beer at the end of the day.

Some will even connect to your computer, automatically filling in an e-logbook and giving you detailed graphs and statistics.

Alarms

There are various alarms that you can set on some computers to let you know when stuff happens.

I never want to hear the 5 minutes of bottom time remaining alarm, but it has been helpful sometimes when I was distracted. I use my safety stop one a lot, which I have set to let me know when I get to 5 meters (16fsw) and then counts down 3 minutes.

I also find the rate of ascent alarm useful, which lets me know when I am going up too quickly. This is especially good when I am teaching students to do a controlled emergency swimming ascent “if you start to hear beeping, slow down”.

It tells the time

Yep, whether I’m timing a student breathing from a free flowing regulator or trying to figure out when the bar will close I know my dive computer is there.

Not all watches work very well when regularly exposed to pressure at depth and not all computers can be worn around town. Is it useful to you having one device that does both?

A dive computer and a watch

A dive computer doubles as a time piece - Credit: Nart

Other Features

Air Consumption

Some computers wirelessly connect to a transmitter in your first stage and can give you information about remaining air pressure.

They will also tell you how quickly you are consuming your air and will calculate how much time it will take you at your current depth before you use it up.

Gas mixes/Oxygen Exposure

Another great feature available on some computers is keeping track of different gas blends and oxygen exposure when diving with enriched air and Nitrox. Some will even manage multiple blends and allow you to switch between them during a dive.

Compass

Some computers have an electronic compass.  They are supposed to be a little less sensitive to having to be perfectly level and can remember headings for you. I have heard mixed opinions about how useful and accurate they are.

Some computers have built in GPS allowing you to tag a specific coordinate to navigate towards – such as your dive boat.

User replaceable battery

Does your computer have to be sent in to a dealer to have the battery changed? These computers will cost you a bit more in the long term as you will have to pay each time.

If you’re not near a service shop when the battery goes be prepared to live without it for a little while whilst you wait.

Choosing your computer

Computers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, have different features and big cost differences.

In some parts of the world they can be a status symbol (like the sexy Suunto titanium range) and in other places they almost never see them.

I always read reviews and talk to people about their equipment before buying anything. Think about whether looks are important, what features you need, how often you will use it and how much you want to spend.

Safety advice

Remember that your computer is only accurate about your own dive. Your buddy might go a little deeper or enter the water sooner than you. Always use the most conservative computer and have a backup plan just in case.

Which Dive Computer do you use? Do you have any personal advice to share with others? Leave a comment below!

62 Comments

  1. David

    A few months after I started diving regularly I bought the Galileo Luna with air integration and I absolutely love it.

    The constant RBT (Remaining Bottom Time) is all I really need and it’s the first thing I check when looking at the computer underwater. Bar is nice to know, but RBT is constantly calculated and takes into account the amount of air I prefer to have when surfacing (50 bar) and the time I am supposed to spend surfacing from the depth I’m at right now. It might be a very relaxed take on my air reserve but since I’m not doing deco dives or multiple gasses (yet) I prefer this way of diving. I dive for fun and this gives me time to experience the world underwater instead of focusing on “boring” stuff.

    Like you I love the ascent alarm and quick access to a 3 minute timer. The compass, however, I find to be too slow – I prefer a non-digital.

    Reply
    • Michael Christie

      I bought the oceanic VTX two years ago. Works fine unless your in light! You can’t read anything above water. Did your test screen the computers for above water readability?

      Reply
    • Raj

      Hi, I’m a beginner in diving world and I’m looking forward to find a good watch-sized dive computer that is sufficient for a beginner diver. Can you suggest any?

      Reply
      • Torben Lonne

        Hi Raj,

        All of the watch-sized dive computers in this guide will work great for any beginner. Do you have any special needs, other than it needs to be a beginner computer?

        Reply
        • Syahri azda putra

          I bought cressi neon and it works really great, i can read it under water and i can uset it daily

          Reply
      • DaviD Lee

        d4i or d4i novo.

        Reply
  2. Arun

    I just bought a dive computer and will be using it for the first time next week in the Philippines.

    I have used a dive computer while doing the dives for my certification. At the time, having the computer was re-assuring. After that I never used a computer and always felt a bit uncomfortable.

    Now, I hope that I can dive without the worry about fast ascents, bottom time and safety stops!

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      It really does give some pease of mind, but it’s always good to be aware and able to finish the dive without a computer. Just incase of a male function – although I’ve never seen one, it does happen.

      Reply
    • Tim

      Hi, looking to upgrade my computer. Want to be able to switch gasses (air to nitrox) during a dive. Potentially going for tri-mix at some point. Best recommendation for this?

      Reply
      • Torben Lonne

        Hi Tim,

        Unless you’re doing technical diving I don’t really see a reason the switch between gasses while diving. Nitrox on a safety stop will of cause let you off-gas quicker, but why not just use nitrox on the whole dive?

        If you’d like to go deeper that Nitrox allows, and you’ll then bring one air and once nitrox, you’ll be diving with a tank of unbreathable gas as some point of the dive. And you’re therefore no longer doing recreational diving.

        please note, that getting a switch wrong and going onto the wrong gas is still one of the leading causes of death for tech divers.

        Let’s get back to the computer. If you’re looking for a tech computer that will allow you to do in water switches, look at the Shearwater Perdix AI Dive Computer.

        Reply
  3. Andrea

    I still don’t own a dive computer, after 6 years of diving. Of course, I have used one before, and I would definitely want one. It helps a lot and makes your dive more stress-free. But I do not see a rush in buying one. I still manage to cope without one, and will make thorough research before purchasing one.

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Wow 6years and no computer, impressive. Do you follow dive tables or buddy/guides computer?

      Reply
      • Altan

        Hi Torben,

        I will be starting my rescue diving in a few months. I have never bought a dive computer.
        Always used dive centre’s computers.
        What would you recommend for me please? Also what do you think about dive computers that have digital compass in ? Are they reliable ?
        Thanks,
        Altan

        Reply
        • Torben Lonne

          Hi Altan,

          Nice, it’s the best course of them all. It’s so fun, and you’ll really see your skills develop afterward.

          As for a computer, I’m guessing you’re into scuba diving for some time and planning on sticking to it. Therefore, skip all the beginner once. You need quality and comfort: A new one is the Cosmiq+, it’s nice and the cost is fair.
          that said, I’ve always been a fan of the Suunto D4-6 models. Good quality lasts for years(I still have my old Suunto with some 10+ years on it).

          Reply
          • Altan

            Hi Torben,

            Many thanks indeed.

            Regards,

            Altan

      • alessandro

        well, I belive that most depends on where you dive.
        I’ve not used it for long time, following the D .Master, 2m shallower. With just a waterproof clock to counting down the safety stop looking to the console if needed to split the group. This is very common in some very turistic, areas and yes, somehow it works. Here probably only 20/30% of divers has his own computer, or rent it. But max 5 dives in 2 days. then back home.
        I bought one just because I found a good offer. Some friend told me it was useless. well, I finally knew exactly what I was doing, how conservative was the master. I got a feeling on what was happening.
        And finally, I’ve been in a dive cruise, 4/5 dives per day, 4 days, where dives were alone just with your buddy. In this case, no way I would do it without the computer.
        You may you tables, but the freedom and safety you got with it really makes the difference. here just one counterpart. Someone, sometime, may trust too much on it and give less importance to dive plan.

        Reply
      • Sheryn

        Hi, thus nnay sound odd but i have tiny wrists and would need a smaller ladies size computer, any suggestions please

        Reply
        • Torben Lonne

          HI Sheryn,

          Not odd at all, we’re all build different 🙂 Go for one of the watch size computers, and on all, it’s possible to change the wrist band to one that fits.

          Reply
  4. Perry Forsberg

    I believe that a dive computer must be the first you buy of dive equipment. It is critical to be able to dive safe and you have every opportunity to calmly log your dives with the correct information after the dive

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      I agree! Completely agree!

      Besides my mask and fins(which I bought before I was certified) the computer was my first, and it have saved my life. In a ripping downwards current the computer was a lifesaver.

      Reply
      • helmi

        I agree

        Reply
      • Venus

        Hi Torben,
        can you send me details/recommendation of the DIve computer that I can buy?
        I just got my advance license and want to get the good computer this time.
        I need a good one, which is user’s friendly for a woman.

        what about the Underwater Camera? any recommendations ?

        Reply
        • Torben Lonne

          Hi Venus,

          Look at the top recommendations in the guide. All will do great when looking for a good dive computer. All of the above dive computers will fit a woman as well as a man. As far as I know, there’s no difference between how a man and a woman dives.

          Reply
  5. James

    I have learned to live with the changes that have made a C card a ticket for a resort dive. One of the things i do not disagree with is the dive computer. With so little time in the water a new diver needs something to think for him/her.

    Maybe an advanced class or a very good buddy will help that person learn to use tables.

    Why? Go on a $5000 dive vacation to somewhere off the tourist trail and have your dive computer/battery fail. How can that diver be independent and responsible? How can he/she continue diving?

    Computers are ubiquitous and will help the new generation of divers stay involved. So I am for them.

    James Edwards
    Ex-instructor and a diver for 49 years.

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi James,

      I agree, and as one that have tried the running out of battery on a small holiday island, I can say it’s a bummer. Still I was able to keep diving, once I got a holed of a dive table, and the holiday was saved.

      -Torben

      Reply
  6. John Jerrehian

    I understand what you are saying about a dive computer, (I spend a lot of money on two Atomic Cobalts).

    However, I still feel new divers should learn from their existing SPG’s and understand the basics of planning a dive and diving the plan. Too many just rely on an electronic piece of equipment, (that may need a new battery at the wrong time or they forgot how to use it). Looking at your console to see one’s depth, direction, air is all predicated to ones’ training. If one begins to rely on a “beep” because they are too deep or low on air I see problems.

    As much as I love my dive computer, I still feel the basic understanding and training of learning to look at one’s console at specific times and understand the diving dynamics of dive tables.

    It reminds me a little of GPS’s. It tells you where to turn, etc. but is one really paying attention to where you are going? You didn’t have to get the map out and plan your trip. You don’t have to pay attention to certain land marks or street names as they are told to you. Go ahead and watch what happens when it stops working during a trip…

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      A agree with you for a great part, but I don’t understand why people can’t do both. And this is where training comes in. If you had good and thoroughly training, this won’t be a problem. Know your consuls, check depth, air, and your surroundings as often as you can.

      Regarding tables, I really hear what you’re saying and see the issue. Knowing the basic is good, but how often have you used it? I have never had the use of tables on a fun dive(without guests).

      A Bigger issue here, a lot of times divers go in a group lead by a dive guide/divemaster. And in the planning, the guide will say: “since I’m the only one with a dive computer we’ll just follow that, and you just stay above me at all times” – First off, at no time, will guests stay above the dive guide at all time. Second, what if someone gets the bend. This is where a dive plan comes in handy. The dive guide should do the plan following a table, maybe a multilevel table, and follow that or rent them a dive computer if they’re looking for more time/depth.

      Thanks for starting an interesting discussion.

      Reply
  7. Eric

    Just like John Jerrehian pointed out. You build from the ground up!

    It’s like learning to drive a car, any muppet can put “D” into dummy, very few (unless out of Europe) can actually *drive a car.

    Reply
    • kw

      Yeah, but that analogy is like trying to say only good engineers use slide rulers.
      Or good drivers use a standard transmission vs automatic.

      Can you do up to the minute calculations while underwater?
      A dive computer can and it’s more accurate.
      Especially if a diver becomes distracted by events/people/environment outside our dive plan.

      Reply
  8. Thomas

    Computers fail on a pretty regular basis it seems —- at least get a second computer so that you dive two. Know how to use them if issues. Love computers, but just a piece of equipment. I have been diving 50 years now .

    Reply
  9. edmond dantes

    Hello from Guam! I appreciate the effort you guys made to come up with this list. But I am still confused as to what is the best option for myself. I am in the market for my first dive computer, looking for something best for someone between beginner to intermediate (ie with Nitrox capable) functions – In the event I continue my scuba education I don’t have to look for another computer.

    Maybe a list of all the required or recommended functions and features to look for in a Beginner’s (ie PADI OWD certification) computer, functions for an Intermediate diver (ie PADI AOWD, Rescue) and Professional (ie Master Scuba upwards) level diver. I would like to see some sort of order and comparison chart for the functions and features with “o” and “x” denoting with and without.

    The “Best for”, “Gases”, “User Changeable Battery” are all consistent, but the “Features”, “Pros” and “Cons” are confusing because if you mention for example, “easy to read even in low visibility”, do I assume all the other computers are difficult to read in low visibility? Or similarly, “The battery is standard AA”, does that mean the other computers use “AAA” batteries or some other battery size “C” or “D”?

    So the pros and cons are not consistent to be able to compare. After your review of each computer, if you had it summarized in a chart/table with “o” and “x” for each function/capability and features, I think it would be easier to compare each computer with its pros and cons being obvious for each individual diver.

    However, I like your “Best for”, “Gases”, “User Changeable Battery”. Very easy to compare between the computers and narrows down the choices.

    All the reviews and comparable lists I found on the internet also do not make it easy to compare and decide what is best for myself. Just my two cents (or maybe a dollars worth? 🙂 … Thanks again for helping me narrow it some, but still confused which functions and features are recommended for my diving level and which computer has those functions and features. I will still be scouring the internet…

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Edmond,

      Thank you for your feedback to our list and way of reviewing. We’ll definitely take this into consideration for next time we review the guide and update with more reviews.

      I still hope you were able to find a computer that suited your needs. If not, shoot me a message here and I’d love to help you out!

      All the best
      Torben

      Reply
  10. Michael Christie

    Take the computer outside the dive shop into the sun. If you have trouble reading it don’t buy it, I spent a lot on the Oceanic VTX. It’s useless if the sun is out. Trying to give your information on board a boat is very difficult. Also, when you’re at your safety stop it’s hard to read on sunny days. I spoke to a representative at Beneath the Sea Expo. He agreed that it was a problem and should upgrade. No thanks!

    Reply
  11. Craig

    23 years without a computer, I always had a waterproof watch and used the physics of diving just like my dad.

    But now it’s the worlds laziest hobby and commercial divers are out-numbered by the all the gear and no idea brigade.

    Been using the Suunto zoop, it’s cheap, cheerful, easy to use and read, too big to wear outside the water but you can read it in any condition.

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Craig,

      Welcome to the dark side of diving. From here on out, it’ll only go downhill 🙂 Joke aside. I agree it’s a great computer that’s reliable and easy to use.

      Reply
  12. fred

    i have Mares Mares Quad Wrist Dive computer. new to diving but would like to know the best air integrated console dive computer the more i dive the more i like not having nothing on my wrist. any feed back would be great.

    Reply
  13. France

    I have been diving 10 years, average 10 to 20 dives a year. I ‘ve been using the Suunto ZOOP and was looking to upgrade because it was offered to me as a gift. I just want a dive computer that can continue “growing ” with me although I can’t say I feel limited with my zoop. I do recreational diving and don’t expect to ever do technical diving. I was looking for a computer with a compass, good visibility under water and easy to navigate . One of my dive master recommended the Shearwater teric. It seems like a nice computer, lots of bells and whistle . Biggest disadvantage is that you have to send it in to change the battery. Is it too complex for a recreational diver? Any other suggestions?

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi France,

      Well the ZOOP is great, and make good sense that it has served you well for many years.

      The Shearwater Teric is a great dive computer with plenty of features to meet your recreational dive needs for many years to come. The only minus is the price tag for now. It’s almost the double of the Suunto D6i which can do much of the same as the Teric.

      Reply
      • France

        Good morning
        My budget for the dive computer is up to 1200$ (it’s a gift so it’s nice that I can choose). I will never do tech diving. I dive about 20-30 times a year. I really liked the Shearwater Teric but after contacting the company, they said when you change the battery (roughly every 5 years) it cost about 75 to 100$ + shipping. That’s annoying. Obviously there are many functions in the teric I would never use but it seems to meet my needs. The Suunto D4i novo and D6i seem very good as well but neither of them we can change the battery. The suunto vyper novo and aqua lung i450 seem to both meet my criteria.. Should I get over the fact that the computer will need to be sent in for battery change? Or go with my two last choice? Suggestions?
        I like a watch size computer or wrist computer but dont want the bigger one like the Shearwater Perdix.
        Any input would help!

        Thanks
        France

        Reply
        • Torben Lonne

          Hi again France,

          Yes, booth the suunto vyper novo and aqua lung i450 will meet your needs of 20-30 dives a year and no-tech diving. All well-established dive computer brands will work here. As for watch size and being able to change yourself, or recharge. Here are your options: Oceanic Geo 2.0, Cosmiq+(rechargeable), Oceanic VTX Dive, or the Mares Matrix.

          That said, if you’d like one of the other models you’ve been looking at, it’s not that big a deal to send it in for a battery change.

          Reply
  14. Lilly

    Hi there. So this might sound a little crazy, but in 3 weeks I’ll be traveling to Utila to go from open water through dive master. I’ve spent a couple of years working as a kayak guide and free diver on Maui, but never got around to getting into scuba. That being said, I’m really not sure what I should spend on a computer since I don’t really know what I’ll prefer. Any advice? Is it better to buy something mid range or just spring for the more expensive computer since I’ll be spending so much time diving?

    Reply
  15. MoNique Gaines-Harris

    Please help. I am attempting to purchase a Dive Computer Wrist Watch for my husband but I do not know where to begin. I am not a diver and need a solid recommendation on a good product. He is Advanced Open Water, completes about 25 dives per year w/ my teenage son, dives w/ Nitrox, has a main computer which he will continue to use, NEVER logs his dives in a timely manner so definitely needs something that will store a digital logbook that is easily accessible via an app or computer. I would also like it to have a compass and be upgradable. My budget is around $600. What is the recommendation?

    Reply
    • Motoman

      I have and really like the Oceanic Atomic 3.1, with AI. it is not expensive, and does it all, and when I go on a dive vacation, it doubles as a great wristwatch when I’m not diving. I think that you can get the watch and transmitter for around $600. On the other hand, I just purchased a Shearwater Teric for my with and when it came, it was so cool that I had to buy one for myself. Those are $1,095 but the coolness factor, with the color AMOLED display is worth the extra money! We use a dive computer for a long time, so the extra money is worth it to me, especially considering how critical a dive computer is to safe diving, especially when I dive 5 tanks a day for 7-12 days when on vacation!

      Reply
  16. Dave

    I am a new diver interested in finding a wrist dive computer with air integration, with out spending an arm and leg?

    Reply
  17. Steve Burkett

    Can someone recommend a medium cost dive computer that is good for those hard of hearing? (for me, it’s hard to hear the warning beeps that DCs emit underwater). I would like to see a DC that has bright LED rings around the outside of the watch that light up (yellow or red) for underwater warnings instead of beeps. OR even better, the watch vibrates once for a warning, or multiple times for a serious error. Anything?

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Steve,

      I’ve never heard of any dive computer with a loud beep or big flashing screen. So I did some research and can see that there’s plenty of divers with this issue. Even because of hearing loss or wearing hoods and they aren’t able to hear the alarms.

      The new Suunto D5 has a vibrator, so this might solve your issue.

      Reply
  18. Dave

    I’m a bit deaf and need a dive computer that either has a volume control for its warnings or is very loud, what would you recommend please?

    Reply
  19. Liam Coyle

    Hi
    gday mate!
    Down in NZ where we live it is bright sun in summer. dived heaps using my zoop but would like to ditch the console with Compass and contents (pressure gauge . We chase a lot of crayfish in amongst underwater boulders so want to go down to 1 reg and wristmount computer with built in pressure gauge and compass to be nice and streamlined .
    Need a good quick and easy compass.. Any suggestions please?
    Cheers
    Liam

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Liam,

      What’s your budget? The Oceanic VTX has a compass, or the Suunto D6i has a compass and the possibility to show tank pressure with a transmitter.

      Reply
  20. WILLIAM C MCADORY

    I want a backup computer for my Atomic Aquatics Cobalt air integrated. I know I must use the same algorithm. What do you recommend. I don’t need to spend a lot of money.

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi William,

      We haven’t tested the Atomic Aquatics Cobalt, so I really don’t know much about it or the algorithm it runs. Sorry, but can’t be of much help here.

      Reply
  21. David Amon

    I am looking for an entry level dive computer watch that has blue tooth connectivity. Could you please make a recommendation?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  22. George

    does cressi leonardo watch counts seconds in a dive? Or only minutes ?

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      As I remember it only counts minutes. Why would you use seconds?

      Reply
      • George

        Seconds would be useful to me as I am new to free style diving, helping me with my development (to get better).

        Reply
  23. Ahmed Shdid

    hi , Iam choosing between the mares puck pro & Suunto zoop novo !
    Could i use some help ?

    Reply
  24. Alli W

    I think I am looking for an advanced (but not tech) dive computer but I can’t find anything with all the features I want.
    Battery: rechargeable or user changeable
    Bluetooth
    watch sized, prefer if it can also work as a watch!
    Nitrox capable – wireless
    Integrated digital compass

    Does this elusive dive computer exist? 🙂 I cannot find one with all of these features!
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  25. Blanka

    I have Oceanic Geo 2, it always showed 2*C less than anyone else’s computers, and got rusty on the inside after about 230 dives in 3,5-4 years (difference between last dive and noticing). Very stylish and great for not needing two watches on vacations, but this was very disappointing.

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Blanka,

      That doesn’t seem right. Did you try contacting Oceanic?

      Reply
  26. Dee

    Hi Torben. I have around 80 dives and am advanced diver. I was using a Mares Puck Pro but the buckle broke during a dive and I was lucky to save the computer. It was within 12 months warranty so am getting a refund as the watch was too big on my wrist anyway. I loved the simplicity of this computer but need something that won’t break so quickly, is small around a little wrist and is easy to use.. any recommendations? Cheers, Dee

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Dee,

      That a bit too fast to break, but great to hear that you got a refund. In my opinion, that might also make the Mares Puck Pro worth a second try – I’m thinking that this could happen to any computer, and since they are replacing it, there’s no real risk.

      That said, you could also go for Oceanic Geo 2.0, Aqualung i300c or the Suunto D4.

      Reply
      • Dee

        Thanks! I was looking at the sunto d4, fits a small wrist nicely.

        Reply

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