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Torben Lonne, Dive Instructor

PRODUCT REVIEW

Aqua Lung i470 TC Dive Computer

Popular scuba manufacturer Aqualung has done a great job on its brand spanking new i470TC dive computer. Superseding the i450T, the i470 TC is sleeker, lighter, and more eminently more stylish than its predecessor. Aqualung has clearly listened to a few complaints about the clunkiness of some of its computers and has addressed those in the i470 TC.

The dive computer’s screen is easy to read and navigating the settings and menus is a breeze. Plus, with the ability to pair with three separate transmitters and change between three gasses, this dive computer has enough features to make it a hit.

Already know the i470 TC is the dive computer for you? Hit the link below for the latest prices, or read on for our full review.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

5

Reasons to buy

  • The computer can pair with three transmitters
  • Three different gas mixes possible
  • Aqualung’s DiverLog+ app and the computer’s Bluetooth functionality work well and pair easily
  • Sleeker than the i450 T it is superseding
  • Intuitive menu design makes settings easy to navigate
  • Pre-dive planning mode
  • Watch functions make this computer suitable for other sports

Reasons NOT to buy

  • An in-built compass would be nice given the price point
  • The strap is not as wide as many dive computers, could feel less secure on the wrist
  • There were some issues with the i450 T battery, hopefully, Aqualung has addressed these with the i470 TC, but this remains to be seen

Which is Better, the Aqualung i470 TC or the Suunto D4i?

Although priced similarly, you should expect to pay around $100 less for the Aqualung i470. In terms of features, the two computers are similar: both have four modes; timers in freedive modes; similar depth ratings; and optional air integration.

On that latter point though, the i470 may have the technical edge over the Suunto as it is capable of pairing with three different transmitters. That said, we are not entirely sure who will use this feature (more on that below). Both computers look sleek enough for daily use and won’t look too out of place in the office. Given a choice though, we’d prefer to wear the D4i to work as the i470 still looks very diver-like.

The devices are running different algorithms, the Suunto features an RGBM model while the Aqualung runs a version of Buhlmann’s ZHL-16C model. For recreational divers, there is little practical difference, but for techies after a back-up device, this is certainly worth considering.

Overall, this diver would choose the Suunto. That’s not to say that the i470 TC is a bad computer, because it isn’t. Rather, it’s not quite advanced enough when compared to previous Aqualung computers to make it worth the spend.

See the complete list of the best Dive Computers here!

Aqua Lung i470 TC Dive Computer: Key Specifications

  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • Four dive modes: Air, Nitrox, Gauge (with timer), and Freedive
  • Tracks data in Freedive mode, switch between Freedive and Scuba modes without lockouts
  • User replaceable battery
  • Compatible with 100 percent O2
  • Three gas switches possible
  • Pairs with three separate transmitters
  • Single-button access to last dive’s data
  • Deep-stop function
  • Rated to 328 feet/100 meters depth
  • History Mode stores last 24 dives
  • Lens protector included
  • Control computer settings via smartphone app
  • Pre-dive planning mode
  • Watch functions include lap timer, daily alarm, and countdown timer
  • Salt and fresh water settings
  • Backlit display for low light conditions
  • Automatic altitude adjustments
  • High visibility LED warning light

Where to Buy:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping

What You Need to Know About the Aqualung i470 TC

Below is a round-up of the i470 TC dive computer’s key features.

IoT Device

Thanks to its Bluetooth 4.0 functionality, the i470 TC dive computer is a true Internet of Things (IoT) device. And like any good IoT device, you can manage it from your smartphone. When paired with the DiverLog+ app, you can change your computer’s setting in-app as opposed to on the computer itself.

We think this is the i470 TC’s biggest selling point and it’s a feature we value. It’s also simple and easy to pair the computer with the app and share dive data, photos, and more..

Compatible With Three Gas Switches and Three Transmitters

The i470 TC can perform gas switches, and up to three different gasses are supported. Additionally, the computer is capable of factoring in up to 100 percent O2. You can also use your i470 TC with three different transmitters, meaning you could pair a transmitter on each gas you’ll use during your dive.

Seems good in theory, but we’re not really sure who is meant to be using these features. For one thing, technical divers who are switching gasses and using up to 100 percent O2 generally prefer to use analog SPGs, not transmitters because of the latter’s potential for error. Like other Aqualung computers we’ve reviewed, this one is designed for recreational diving but has features that are surplus to a recreational diver’s needs.

Intuitive Menu Navigation

Aqualung has improved upon its menu systems and navigation with the i470 and it’s a lot easier to find the information you want than with the i300, for example. Testers found the computer’s settings clearly marked and easy to manage both on land and underwater.

A backlit screen makes using the computer in low-light conditions much easier, too.

No Lockout When Switching Between Freedive and Scuba Modes

The i470 TC allows divers to switch between freediving and scuba diving modes without any lockouts. Many dive computers make a diver wait 24 hours before the device will switch from one mode to the other. However, with the i470, the computer calculates theoretical on-gassing in freedive mode and allows instant switches.

Again, a slight head-scratcher here as we’re not sure who is diving and freediving on the same day. Granted, shallow and low-intensity freediving before a scuba dive is of minimal concern, but freediving after scuba is generally a bad idea for two key reasons. Firstly, freediving after diving has an impact on the diver’s existing inert gas load. And secondly, we do not have enough available data to know the extent of the risk.

While the i470 TC does track depth, time, and theoretical gas load in both freediving and scuba modes, it shouldn’t be taken as a license to freedive after scuba.

The Aqualung i470 TC’s Decompression Model

Like all Aqualung computers, the new i470 TC runs the company’s version of Buhlmann’s ZHL-16C decompression model.

In the 60s, the Swiss physicist Dr. AA Buhlmann developed John Haldane’s decompression theories further and designed a theoretical model that involved 16 tissue compartments that on and off-gas nitrogen at different rates. These rates help to explain and mitigate the risk of decompression sickness to divers. Each compartment in Buhlmann’s model has a half time ranging from four to 640 minutes.

The ZHL-16C algorithm is widely used today by several leading dive computer manufacturers.

What Does This Mean for the Diver?

Buhlmann’s decompression model is arguably one of the most respected and is frequently used by technical divers when planning dives outside recreational limits. When used safely and within its limits, the i470 TC dive computer will keep you as safe as possible. The flexible algorithm will effectively calculate a safe dive for any repetitive dives you make and factor in mandatory safety stops.

The i470’s algorithm is conservative, as noted by other reviewers, but for most divers, this is a plus point, not a problem.

Aqualung’s After Sales and Servicing Support

Aqualung has a good reputation for both after-sales and servicing support. A large company, it has dedicated retailers and service centers around the globe, so it’s easy to find an Aqualung representative in your home country — an important consideration if you don’t want to send your computer on a trip halfway across the world.

To find a service center near you, head to Aqualung’s website here.

Ongoing Maintenance?

Like any precision piece of equipment, you should treat your new Aqualung i470 TC with care. Rinse it in fresh water after every dive and allow it to dry before storage.

Battery changes can be completed by the diver, but be aware that making an error could lead to your warranty being voided.

Summary

If you’re after a highly specced recreational dive computer, you can’t go wrong with the i470 TC. Plus with a price point just under $500, it’s an affordable choice compared to many others.

What We Like

  • The computer can pair with three transmitters
  • Three different gas mixes possible
  • Aqualung’s DiverLog+ app and the computer’s Bluetooth functionality work well and pair easily
  • Sleeker than the i450 T it is superseding
  • Intuitive menu design makes settings easy to navigate
  • Pre-dive planning mode
  • Watch functions make this computer suitable for other sports
  • No lockout when switching between freediving and scuba modes, computer tracks your dives in both modes
  • You can control your computer via the smartphone app

What We Don’t Like

  • An in-built compass would be nice given the price point
  • The strap is not as wide as many dive computers, could feel less secure on the wrist
  • There were some issues with the i450 T battery, hopefully, Aqualung has addressed these with the i470 TC, but this remains to be seen

Buy This Dive Computer If:

You’d like a dive computer that can join the internet of things revolution and pair effortlessly with a smartphone application. We love that it’s easy to change the computer’s settings via an app, and think it’s this computer’s primary selling point.

See the complete list of the best Dive Computers here!

Where to Buy:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping

Where to Buy:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping

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