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summer worsley
Summer Worsley, Dive Instructor
PRODUCT REVIEW

The Cressi Neon

The Cressi Neon is a plucky little computer perfectly suited to the needs of recreational scuba divers and freedivers. While it might not boast all the bells and whistles more expensive models do, the Neon is a solid, entry-level computer at a very wallet-friendly price.

Our Overall Review

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

4.8
A great watch for entry level divers

Reasons to buy

  • Great value for money
  • Comes in many colors (make it yours)
  • Easy to use, even though it only has 2 buttons
  • Great quality, not likely to break from normal wear and tear
  • Good strap with a slightly above average lenght
  • Works with freediving and Nitrox

Reasons NOT to buy

  • No air-integration feature
  • No compass
  • Bluetooth not automatically part of the computer

Other Top Dive Computers we reviewed at DIVEIN.com:

After reviewing the Neon, we found there’s a lot to like. Already know the Cressi Neon is for you? Follow the link above for prices and more details. Need more info? Read our full review below.

See the complete list of the best Dive Computers here!

Cressi Neon
 

Cressi Neon Dive Computer: Key Specifications

  • Numerous diving modes including Free/Apnea and Gauge
  • Air and Nitrox (up to 99%) compatible
  • Turn deep stops on or off
  • Gas switch: two gas mixes
  • Off mode
  • Water-resistant to 120m/393ft
  • Easy to read, high-contrast display
  • Simple menu navigation
  • Adjustable conservatism settings (SF1 and SF2)
  • 12 or 24-hour time formats including a calendar and second timer
  • Stopwatch
  • Alarm clock
  • Backlit for lowlight conditions
  • Up to 50 dives per category in the logbook
  • The optional interface offers a visualization of dive profiles
  • Graphical displays updated every five seconds show pressure and temperature
  • Ability to upload all the computer’s data to DAN (Divers Alert Network)
  • 48mm/1.9” wide
  • Mineral glass face
  • Optional Bluetooth functionality
  • User-replaceable battery
  • PTU rubber wristband and stainless steel buckle
  • Metric/imperial measurements

Where to Buy:

Our recommendations: 

Store locator: 

Other Dive Computers we reviewed at DIVEIN.com:

Suunto Vyper Novo

Where to Buy:

Our recommendations: 

Store locator: 

Which is Better, the Cressi Neon or the Suunto Zoop Novo?

We’ve chosen to compare the Neon to the Zoop Novo because both arguably target the same markets: entry-level purchasers and dive centers.

There’s really not much of a price difference between the two. Depending on which retailer you choose, you’re looking at an additional US$30-50 for the Zoop Novo, so cost shouldn’t steer your decision.

In terms of looks, there are some obvious points to be made. While the Neon looks smart enough to wear to the office, the Zoop Novo’s large face and chunky case make it undeniably a dive computer.

When it comes to features, the Neon has the edge of the Zoop Novo. It can switch gasses and supports up to 99% O2. It must be said though, this percentage of O2 is not much use to beginners and recreational divers. And Cressi notes the computer should not be used as a decompression device.

Zoop Novos offer a greater memory and scuba dive logbook capacity, so if this is important to you, you might prefer the Suunto. We also think the Novos are pretty indestructible; bar putting a tank on top of one, there’s little you can do to destroy it.

For more info on the Zoop Novo, check our full review here.

Overall, the Cressi Neon caters better to freedivers and spearfishers and in scuba diving mode, it’s more advanced than the Novo. For the cost, you’re hard-pressed to find a better computer and the Neon wins our vote.

 
Cressi Neon

Where to Buy:

Our recommendations: 

Store locator: 

Other Dive Computers we reviewed at DIVEIN.com:

Suunto Zoop Novo

What You Need to Know About the Cressi Neon

Here’s a round-up of some of the Cressi Neon’s key features.

Dive Mode Deactivation

The Cressi Neon is not just a scuba diving computer, it’s a watch suited to a wide range of watersports and activities. We’ve all been there: swimming, snorkeling, and duck diving when suddenly we realize our computers are engaged.

Here, you have the option to turn the dive mode off completely and it won’t be triggered as you splash about.

Nitrox Mode and Gas Switch

Surprisingly, given its entry-level price point, the Neon is capable of an air or Nitrox gas switch between two tanks. Preprogram your gases and upon ascent, the Neon will flash to let you know you can change gas at that depth or shallower.

The computer supports 21-50% O2 on gas one and 21-99% O2 on gas two.

It’s a nice addition to have, but we’re not sure who will use this functionality as the Cressi Neon is a recreational computer. Drop us a comment if you have a Neon and you’re using this feature!

Two-Button Navigation

Cressi has avoided the pitfall of difficult menu navigation (which many computers fall into) by designing the interface around a two-button system. It must be said, the interface is intuitive and simple to use. Anyone could pick up this computer and be comfortable with its operation.

It’s features like this that make the Cressi ideal for dive students and freediving students alike. On that note, the computer can be fully reset so any data and residual nitrogen from previous students is cleared. Look for the T.ERASE (tissue erase) setting.

Four Diving Modes

We’ve already covered the Neon’s Nitrox functionality and its off mode, but it also boasts apnea and gauge modes. We like that the Neon offers a lot of the same data in these modes, along with graphs representing the dives—something a lot of manufacturers leave out.

In this respect, it’s a great little computer for beginner to expert freedivers and spearfishers.

Small Enough for Daily Wear

The Neon is a far cry from the Puck Pros of the world. It’s small enough that you will happily wear it day in and day out as a watch. We also like the range of colors available — some are reminiscent of those 90s favorites, Baby G watches — and most are pretty snazzy looking.

Or, stick with plain back and be confident in the knowledge it goes with everything you own, including your wetsuit.

No Air/Nitrox Lockout!

We’re excited about this so we’ve saved it for last. The Cressi Neon WILL NOT stop you from changing your mode from air to Nitrox or vice versa even during desaturation.

This is important because many entry-level computers (it’s not entirely your fault, Suunto, but you have to take some of the blame here) prevent users from switching modes. For years dive instructors have reminded their students to always keep their computers in Nitrox mode then set it to 21% when diving air.

Finally, a beginner’s computer has addressed this annoyance. Hats off to you, Cressi.

 
Cressi Neon

The Cressi Neon’s Decompression Model

The Neon runs Cressi’s iteration of the Wienke Reduced Gradient Bubble Model or RGBM for short. This decompression algorithm is based on Haldane’s and utilizes RGBM factors for safe, multi-day diving.

Cressi’s version is based on a nine-tissue compartment model with saturation half times between 2.5 and 480 minutes. The algorithm accounts for silent micro-bubbles and is conservative when it comes to repetitive dives and multi-day diving.

What Does This Mean for the Diver?

Like the Leonardo, which we reviewed previously, the Neon is conservative dive computers on the market. You might find yourself hitting your no-decompression limit (NDL) quicker than buddies wearing other brands.

That said, you can adjust the level of conservatism based on your personal preference. On the Neon, conservatism factors are labeled as ‘Safety Factor’ (SF) and there are three values: SF0, SF1, and SF2. The factory setting is SF0.

This function enables you to make dives safer based on personal risk factors (fitness level, general health, injuries) which increase the risk of decompression sickness.

The Neon is based on safe decompression calculations which enable you to do multiple dives spread out over multiple days. Note that if you’re moving from a more forgiving algorithm, you may find the Neon a little pedantic, particularly after several dives over several days.

Cressi’s After Sales and Servicing Support

Cressi has a good reputation for after-sales support and servicing. While they might not be at Suunto’s level of reliability, you’re not going to struggle when you try to contact the company.

The Neon’s two-year limited warranty covers you for any glitches or errors that aren’t caused by you. Check the user manual here for more info.

 

Where to Buy:

Our recommendations: 

Store locator: 

Other Dive Computers we reviewed at DIVEIN.com:

Shearwater Teric

Any Ongoing Maintenance?

Like any high-tech device, don’t keep your Cressi Neon in extreme temperatures and avoid the use of harsh chemicals. Simply rinse the computer in fresh water after each dive and that’s all it needs.

Software updates may be required from time to time and are available from Cressi’s website.

If anything goes wrong with your Neon, don’t try to fix it yourself as doing so may void your warranty. Take the computer to a registered Cressi service center instead.

Summary

The Cressi Neon is a great computer at a very tempting price point. It includes everything the recreational scuba diver or freediver needs. We also think it’s an excellent rental computer option. Looking for just the takeaways from our review? You’ll find those below.

Manufacturer’s Specs and Features

  • Numerous diving modes including Free/Apnea and Gauge
  • Air and Nitrox (up to 99%) compatible
  • Deep stops possible
  • Gas switch: two gas mixes
  • Off mode
  • Water-resistant to 120m/394ft
  • Easy to read, high-contrast display
  • Simple menu navigation
  • 12 or 24-hour time formats including a calendar and second timer
  • Stopwatch
  • Alarm clock
  • Backlit for lowlight conditions
  • Up to 50 dives per category in the logbook
  • The optional interface offers a visualization of dive profiles
  • Graphical displays updated every five seconds show pressure and temperature
  • Ability to upload all the computer’s data to DAN (Divers Alert Network)
  • 48mm/1.9” wide
  • Mineral glass face
  • Optional Bluetooth
  • User-replaceable battery
  • PTU rubber wristband and stainless steel buckle
  • Metric/imperial measurements

What We Like

  • Excellent price
  • Small and sleek with a good range of color options
  • Gas switch compatible
  • EANx compatible
  • Plenty of features in gauge and free/apnea modes
  • Can switch between air and Nitrox even immediately after a dive
  • Very intuitive menu navigation
  • Can deactivate dive mode when swimming or doing other watersports
  • User-rechargeable battery
  • Optional deep stop function
  • Can set an O2 partial pressure of 1.6 (avoid if you’re not sure what this means or when/why it’s useful)
  • All the alarms and warnings you’d expect, many of which can be adjusted or silenced
  • Perfect all-round entry-level computer

What We Don’t Like

  • No air-integration feature
  • No compass
  • Bluetooth not automatically part of the computer

Buy This Computer If:

You’re looking for a no-nonsense dive computer that is easy to use, suitable for recreational diving or freediving, and looks decent enough to have on your wrist all day every day. We think it’s an excellent computer for the price and had everything a demanding beginner or advanced diver needs.

If you’re a dive center looking for an affordable model and you want to reset the computer’s nitrogen load after each diver, you can’t go wrong here.

Cressi Neon
The Cressi Neon on the go!

Where to Buy:

Our recommendations: 

Store locator: 

Other Dive Computers we reviewed at DIVEIN.com:

Oceanic Geo 4.0

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about dive computers

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    🏆 What is the best dive computer?

    It’s never easy to pick one specific best dive computer and you really should use this guide to dive deeper into the dive computers that fit your need.

    However, at this very moment, these are our own favorites:

    (read full reviews of each on DIVEIN.com – click the links above)

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    🔍 How do DIVEIN.com test the dive computers?

    We test products the same way we live and work with them, evaluating them on performance, tech, craftsmanship, value, and other factors.

    1. We get our hands on each dive computer and use it as intended. This gives us first-hand experience.
    2. We also spend hours reading reviews from others, so we can know every good and bad thing about each product and each little part
    3. We write each review unbiased and honest!
  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    ⚡ What is a dive computer?

    A dive computer often looks very similar to a watch!

    It automatically tracks the diver’s time and depth on each dive. The real-time information helps to ensure you don’t dive too long – or go any deeper than will be safe, based on the diving you’ve previously done that day.

    Jump the the full guide here

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    ❓ What is the best dive computer for a beginner?

    Even for beginners, it’s important to know that there’s a huge difference in dive computers and each divers personal need. You should use our guide to dive deeper into the dive computers that fit your need.

    However, since you asked; these are the best beginner dive computers of 2020:

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    🥇 What are the best dive computers for Advanced divers?

    When you’re diving a lot and you want a dive computer that meets your needs.

    Here are the best dive computers that cover an experienced diver:

Do you use a Cressi Neon dive computer or have questions about it? We’d love to hear what you think, so please drop us a comment below!

7 Comments

  1. Larry Rooals

    Love the variation in colors. Very nice when you’re a family of divers and gear like watches n stuff always get mixed up.
    Hope I get to try this one soon 🙂 🙂

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Yes, that’s a good reason, to keep different colors for each family member. Really nice with a family of divers

      Reply
  2. Binne

    Where can I buy this in Germany with warranty from Cressi?

    Reply
    • Larry Rooals

      Any info on what kind of warranty Cressi provides on the Neon dive computer?

      Reply
  3. Luca Jones

    I stopped diving a few years ago because of ear problems but I’m still a passionate snorkler.
    Was wondering if you’d recommend this computer for snorkeling activities or if there’s some better alternative?

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Luca,
      For snorkeling, this won’t give you much value, but if you’re free/skin diving, you can use the Cressi Neon for on the Apnea mode.

      Reply
  4. Mike Norr

    Is it possible to change batteries in this yourself (through my local watch shop) or must it go into Cressi for official repair and replace?

    Reply
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Where to Buy:

Our recommendations: 

Store locator: 

Top Dive Computers we reviewed at DIVEIN.com:

Suunto Vyper Novo

Suunto Zoop Novo

Shearwater Teric

Cressi Leonardo

Oceanic Geo 4.0