Top 21 Best Dive Computers in 2023 [Tested by Divers]

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 to upgrade to a better one with more features – you want to find the right model at a price you can manage.

We’ve put our divers to work and they’ve tested the best dive computers available:

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!
What’s your level? Are you new to diving or long past the first 100 dives? Or somewhere in between?

The Top 10 Dive Computers in 2023

All the Dive Computers We've tested

While there’s plenty to be said about the Apple Watch Ultra as a Smartwatch, we’ll leave that to others and stick to describing how the Apple Ultra works as a dive computer.

The crux of the Apple Ultra is that it has the hardware–waterproofing–to dive down to a max depth of 328 feet (100m). But the onboard sensors only have gauges that measure depths down to a maximum of 131 feet (40 meters).

So, the Ultra is only intended for recreational divers that aren’t going to exceed the limits of an Advanced Open Water dive certification, which is 100 feet (30 meters).

Our Overall Review

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

4.8

Things we like:

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    Clear and bright display is easy to see even in strong sunlight
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    Info is simple and easy to see
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    Controls can be used with dive gloves
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    Has a good compass
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    Optional Nitrox integration into planning

Things we don't like:

  • check-markSubscription will prevent some from buying this exclusively as a dive computer
  • check-markBattery life: After a full day of use & two dives we were at 52% battery life
Read full review

Where to buy:

apple-watch-ultra-dive-computer

Apple Watch Ultra Dive Computer: Oceanic+

Cressi is the oldest scuba equipment manufacturer in the world and deserves its standing as an industry leader. In the dive computer market, the company already has a solid range of products from the entry-level Giotto to its most popular model, the Leonardo.

Building on the success of the Leonardo, Cressi introduces its successor, the Donatello. Here we take a look at what’s changed and whether Cressi has created another success with its new computer geared towards beginner divers.

Our Overall Review

4.7

Things we like:

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    User-replaceable battery
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    Long battery time
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    Comfortable to wear over any thickness of wetsuit
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    Durable
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    User-friendly interface that’s ideal for beginners

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNo integrated Bluetooth and you have to buy the PC/Mac/Android interface connection separately
  • check-markNo built-in compass
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Cressi Donatello Dive computer

For combined Diving and Sport

The G1 Solar represents a big step forward in both longevity and daily wearability compared to their previous Mk2 models- though this comes at the expense of some significant features. With a more compact build and extended battery life complements of an integrated solar charging feature, the G1 Solar adds a new element of elegance to the Garmin Descent series.

Our Overall Review

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

4.9

Things we like:

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    Still a fully realized smart watch and dive computer hybrid
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    Comparably massive smartwatch battery life
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    Significantly less expensive than the Descent Mk2
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    Geared towards lifestyles that include diving rather than something dive-specific
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    Crystal clear display-particularly in dive mode

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNo air integration
  • check-markSmaller interface buttons are more difficult to operate with neoprene gloves
Read full review

Where to buy:

Garmin Descent G1 Solar Product Image

Garmin Descent G1 Solar

Compact Technical Dive Computer

The Shearwater Teric is Shearwater’s first foray into a watch-sized dive computer. Don’t be fooled by its small size, the Teric is a full spec, no-nonsense technical dive computer that’s suitable for the most serious tech diver thanks to its many added extras.

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.

It also looks good out of the water as a very stylish watch that wouldn’t be out of place in the boardroom.

Our Overall Review

4.9

Things we like:

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

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThis isn’t the cheapest computer on the market, but you get what you pay for
  • check-markNo heart rate monitor
  • check-markNot quite as rugged as a larger model
  • check-markNot as much data shown on the screen at any one time compared to other computers with bigger screens
Read full review

Where to buy this:

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Shearwater Teric

We went diving with the new Garmin Descent Mk2i. This is a cool dive computer with a user experience that was clear to see and use before, during and after the scuba dive. The amazing multi-sport functionality is truly impressive – both for the amount of activities and the depth of info.

Our Overall Review

4.9

Things we like:

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    An amazing dive computer
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    Usability/functionality is great
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    Subwave sonar technology on Mk2i integrates tanks 30 feet away
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    GPS
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    Battery life is impressive

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe Mk2 doesn’t have integrated air
  • check-markConsidering no transmitters are included it is expensive
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Garmin Descent Mk2 & MK2i

Good & Simple

Our Overall Review

4.3

Things we like:

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    Automatic altitude adjustment so you don’t need to manually make changes
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    The dual algorithm means you can switch as needed and to better match your buddy’s computer
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    Good freediving computer
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    Up to three gas switches possible
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    A good computer for divers who dive a lot

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNo compass

Great Easy of Use

In 2010 Suunto released the Zoop, which went on to become one of the world’s best-selling entry-level dive computers. The Suunto Zoop Novo is the successor to the popular model. Similar to the original but with added capabilities, the Zoop Novo is sure to keep Suunto at the forefront of the market.

Already know the Suunto Zoop Novo is for you? If so, click on the link above for the latest prices and all the details. If not, read on to find out if the Zoop Novo lives up to the standards set by its predecessor.

Our Overall Review

4.7

Things we like:

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    Big, clear display
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    Simple and easy to use so ideal for divers of all levels
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    You can change the length of time the backlight stays on
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    The price point makes it an ideal back-up computer
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    Personal dive profiles allow you to change the algorithm to be more conservative

Things we don't like:

  • check-markAlthough 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!
  • check-markThe USB cable has to be purchased separately.
  • check-markNo in-built compass.
  • check-markMany 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.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Suunto Zoop Novo

Top Tech Computer

If you follow any scuba forums or diving groups on Facebook, you have no doubt noticed that the same questions keep being asked and answered.

Backplate or wing vs. jacket style BCD, longhose or not, for or against snorkels and so on.

With similar regularity divers will be asking about which dive computer they should purchase next, and almost instantly someone will chime in with a suggestion for a Shearwater Perdix.

It’s so prevalent in fact that memes have started appearing about it in diver’s groups.

Already know the Perdix is for you? Click on the link above for the latest prices and all the details. For more info, read our in-depth review of the Shearwater Perdix.

Our Overall Review

4.9

Things we like:

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    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.
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    Bright display and ruggedness
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    Innovative features and stellar customer service

Things we don't like:

  • check-markCommunicating 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.
  • check-markCost (yes, you knew this one was coming)
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Shearwater Perdix

Easy to Use Budget Computer

Described by Aqua Lung as having an uncomplicated, intuitive, and rugged design, the i300c is a great computer for anyone looking for an option that’s more versatile than an entry-level computer. With a great price point for the features it offers, the i300c has something for all divers. Offering gas switching, multiple dive modes, a user changeable battery, and Bluetooth connectivity, this computer certainly packs a punch in terms of features.

Want to get your hands on the Aqua Lung i300c? Click on the link above for the latest prices and details or read on for our full review.

Our Overall Review

4.4

Things we like:

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

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe screen is on the small side
  • check-markBoth of the i300c’s two buttons can be difficult to push with gloves on underwater
Read full review

Where to buy:

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AquaLung i300c

Shearwater has quickly earned a reputation for producing reliable and user-friendly dive computers of the highest quality. The company’s initial focus was on gadgets for technical divers, such as trimix computers and electronic boards for rebreathers,

But Shearwater has definitely turned its attention to the recreational dive community. The Peregrine computer demonstrates this focus.

Shearwater’s aim was to utilize many of the excellent features of its industry-leading Teric and Perdix models, but make a product that was less complex, easier-to-use, and would be appreciated by beginners and experienced recreational divers.

Our Overall Review

4.9

Things we like:

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    Excellent battery life
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    Very easy to use
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    Two-button navigation
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    Easy-to-read color display
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    Display colors can be changed depending on your preferences

Things we don't like:

  • check-markWould be useful to have audible alarms as well as vibration alerts
  • check-markNo integrated compass
  • check-markLack of air integration
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Shearwater Peregrine

Affordable beginner dive computer

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.

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.

Our Overall Review

4.6

Things we like:

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    Excellent price
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    Small and sleek with a good range of color options
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    Gas switch compatible
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    EANx compatible
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    Plenty of features in gauge and free/apnea modes

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNo air-integration feature
  • check-markNo compass
  • check-markBluetooth not automatically part of the computer
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Cressi Neon

The Cressi Leonardo is a recreational dive computer with a simple design. Designed, developed, and produced 100% in Italy, the Leonardo is one of the leading entry-level computers on the market today.

This user-friendly computer contains all the features a recreational diver needs with a focus on safety, efficiency, and reliability. Its single-button interface makes it very easy to navigate and is perfect for the beginner diver and for those who just want to get in the water without worrying about extra bells and whistles.

The Leonardo is available as a compact wrist-watch or as a console computer. The latter is a good choice if you prefer having all your info in one console. It’s also available in tons of colors which adds to the fun of buying your first computer.

Think the Cressi Leonardo is for you? If so, click on the link above for the latest prices or read on for the full review.

Our Overall Review

4.3

Things we like:

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

Things we don't like:

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

Where to buy:

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Cressi Leonardo

The Puck Pro is Mares’ second generation Puck computer. First introduced back in 2008, the Puck impressed divers with its easy-to-use and intuitive interface. The Pro version builds upon this foundation while still maintaining a highly competitive price point.

Already know the Puck Pro is for you? If so, click on the link above for the latest prices and all the details. Otherwise, read on for our in-depth review of the Mares Puck Pro.

Our Overall Review

4.6

Things we like:

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    Huge, clear display
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    Simple computer perfect for new divers
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    Can adjust the algorithm to become more conservative
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    The attractive price point
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    Excellent first dive computer

Things we don't like:

  • check-markFor some, the one-button menu is the best thing about this computer. We found it a little annoying
  • check-markToo large to wear as a watch on a daily basis, unless you’re into that kind of thing
  • check-markNo air integration function
  • check-markNo 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
  • check-markNo in-built compass
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Mares Puck Pro

Popular scuba manufacturer Aqualung has done a great job with the 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

4.8

Things we like:

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    The computer can pair with three transmitters
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    Three different gas mixes possible
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    Aqualung’s DiverLog+ app and the computer’s Bluetooth functionality work well and pair easily
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    Sleeker than the i450 T it is superseding
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    Intuitive menu design makes settings easy to navigate

Things we don't like:

  • check-markMissing a built-in compass
  • check-markThe strap is not as wide as many dive computers, could feel less secure on the wrist
Read full review

Where to buy:

aqua-lung-i470-tc-display.jpg

AquaLung i470 TC

Suunto’s D series range of computers uses the same trusted Suunto algorithms. But these computers look more like watches than the bulky bits of kit you might have previously worn. Sleek and stylish, the D series is favored by dive professionals around the world. The D6i Novo is the mid-range version, offering more features for advanced divers while still retaining usability at an affordable price.

Already know the D6i Novo is for you? If so, click on the link above for the latest prices and all the details.

Our Overall Review

4.1

Things we like:

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

Things we don't like:

  • check-markSlightly conservative interpretation of Dalton’s formula. This could be frustrating for certain divers
  • check-markThe 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
  • check-markThe silicone strap can get a bit sweaty in hot weather
Read full review

Where to buy:

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SUUNTO D6I Novo

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.

Our Overall Review

4

Things we like:

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    35 hour battery life with a standard AA battery, and a full color led/lcd display.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markCase is little bulky and has a definite industrial look
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Shearwater Petrel

Good all-round

The Suunto D4i is a great all-rounder offering air, nitrox, and now an innovative ‘freediving’ (FREE) mode. Whether you’re a scuba junkie, a freediving fanatic or both, this stylish and easy-to-use dive watch will appeal to you.

The popular Suunto D-series doesn’t disappoint with the D4i. Its many features include the option of wireless tank pressure and remaining air time readouts; a great feature for those looking for that technological edge.

The D4i looks robust and comes with an elastomer strap, ensuring maximum comfort and fit. As its lightweight and compact design make it perfect to wear as a watch, there’s no excuse for forgetting your dive computer! Wherever your underwater adventures take you, the D4i is sure to be a reliable buddy.

If you’ve already got your heart set on the D4i, click on the link above for the latest prices and full details.

Our Overall Review

3.9

Things we like:

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

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe elastomer strap may become weak, more so than other material.
  • check-markThe tank pressure transmitter had problems linking if the tank was turned on too rapidly. But this is true for many transmitters
  • check-markOnly available in black
  • check-markNo built-in compass, however, this is a mid-range computer so we can’t complain
Read full review

Where to buy:

suunto-d4i-dive-computer-display-photo.jpg

Suunto D4i NOVO

Dive computers have revolutionized the way we dive. Gone are the curious days of seeing struggling dive guides attempting to use the PADI Wheel at depth!

Combining depth sensors, timers, detailed decompression status, ascent rate alarms, and even more features, dive computers take away the complicated calculations, allowing you to get on with looking at the fishes, wrecks, and reefs.

One dive computer that has stood the test of time is the ever-popular Suunto Vyper. Suunto’s newer issue is the Vyper Novo, a hardy computer that can take a few knocks and still be reliable dive after dive.

Want to get your hands on the Suunto Vyper Novo? If so, click on the link above for the latest prices or read on for our full review of this quality dive tool.

Our Overall Review

4.3

Things we like:

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    We love that this computer can grow with you as your diving develops
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    Well designed compass leaving less to strap on your wrist
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    Three gas mixes which can be combined with three transmitters
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    Clearly laid out display using dot matrix technology
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    Suunto provides a bungy as an alternative to the standard strap, making it easier to get around bulky drysuits

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIt 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
  • check-markIt 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
Read full review

Where to buy:

suunto-vyper-novo-product-photo.jpg

Suunto Vyper Novo

ScubaPro is one of the most recognized brands in the diving industry. From masks and wetsuits to regulators and BCDs, the company is renowned for quality products that divers around the world rely on.

Its range of dive computers is no different, with the Aladin, Mantis, and Galileo ranges all featuring reliable, easy-to-use, durable, high-performing computers. The next-gen Galileo is the G2, which incorporates everything ScubaPro customers love about the Galileo and taking it to the next level.

It’s available as a wrist-mount or console. Here we’ll be taking a look at the wrist-mounted G2 that comes with a transmitter and heart rate monitor.

Already know the ScubaPro G2 is for you? If so, click on the link below for the latest prices and all the details. If not, read on to find out whether the G2 is ScubaPro’s best offering yet.

Our Overall Review

4.5

Things we like:

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    Big, easy-to-read display
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    4 layout templates mean you can customize the information displayed
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    Ability to change text colors
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    Intuitive menu
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    Full-tilt digital compass

Things we don't like:

  • check-markSlightly bulky when compared to other offerings on the market
  • check-markLCD screen not as bright as LED screens, but still readable in low lighting
  • check-markLots of features that the majority of recreational divers will never use
  • check-markSome customers have experienced the strap breaking after a few months of use
  • check-markThe price!
Read full review

Where to buy:

scuba-pro-g2-display.jpg

ScubaPro G2

The Suunto Eon steel is a multi-gas technical dive computer designed for the serious tech diver. It’s suitable for use on air, Nitrox or Trimix dives whether recreational no-decompression or technical decompression dives on open or closed circuit (CCR).

Suunto is a Finnish company that has built up a solid reputation over more than three decades designing and building dive computers. They started making mixed gas computers over ten years ago and are now on their second dedicated technical algorithm the ‘Fused™ RGBM’ (more about that later).

Our Overall Review

3.6

Things we like:

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

Things we don't like:

  • check-markAlgorithm 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!
  • check-markNo option for a one button press bailout on CCR
  • check-markCan’t switch off deep stops when using trimix
  • check-markCNS calculations give very conservative maximum depths
  • check-markHeavy at 347g/12.2oz
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Suunto Eon Steel

The Mares Quad was a great purchase for many divers. It’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.

Our Overall Review

3.5

Things we like:

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    Features and underwater menu to allow setting changes underwater, in depth graphs show estimated tissue saturation, long battery life and user friendly

Things we don't like:

  • check-markLarge size, lcd display can be tough to read in direct sunlight.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Mares Quad

Last fall Garmin made waves in the dive world with the much-anticipated release of their Descent Mk2 – a crossover smartwatch and dive computer that could stand on equal footing with full feature dive computers and multisport smart watches alike. Their freshly announced Descent Mk2S brings all of the features we loved about the Mk2 translated into a smaller interface for women and people with smaller wrists. The Mk2S is all about giving divers more options. With an expansive color palette, several band options, and features built specifically for women- you’re getting far more than most other dive computers could ever offer you.

Our Overall Review

4.7

Things we like:

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    True middleground between a dive computer and a smart watch- no compromise on either end
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    Features like menstrual and pregnancy tracking coupled with sleep and activity tracking gives you all the biometric information you need
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    Expanded sports tracking now includes activities like indoor climbing, surfing, and mountain biking
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    Can be paired with a garmin inReach communicator for quick emergency communication upon surfacing

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIt’s already quite the expensive piece of gear, and in order to have it function at 100% of its usability you need a couple of additional subscriptions
  • check-markBattery life is significantly reduced when you use the GPS feature
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Garmin Descent Mk2S

Scuba diving is an incredible and life-changing adventure. We push the limits of technology to let us go deeper and stay longer. As a lifelong diver, I like to geek out on new diving tech that will take my diving lifestyle to new depths.

Recently, Deepblu’s new Cosmiq+ dive computer caught my attention, and I just had to give this computer a test run. The Cosmiq+ has a sweet line-up of features and features Bluetooth connectivity that lets me take my dives into the social sphere.

Our Overall Review

3.9

Things we like:

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    Watch is a near-perfect size
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    Battery charges with included magnetic charger
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    6-hour active diving battery life
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    Social media and digital dive log Bluetooth connectivity with the app

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNo high-altitude diving mode
  • check-markThe screen is difficult to read in bright light
Read full review

Where to buy:

deepblue-cosmiq-dive-computer-display-photo.jpg

Deepblu Cosmiq+

The Descent MK1 has made a splash in the dive industry. Garmin, a company dedicated to precision outdoor and marine technical equipment, released the MK1, its first dive computer, at DEMA to rave reviews.

The computer is designed to look like an everyday watch but packs a punch in terms of features and functionality. Suitable for freediving and both recreational and technical scuba diving, the Descent MK1 may not be the cheapest dive computer on the market but it does perform.

Garmin has taken its knowledge of environmental measuring tools and combined that with an all-in-one, full-featured dive computer. The company has even included elements of wearable tech by including a heart-rate monitor.

Our Overall Review

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Smartwatch capabilities
  • check-mark
    The accompanying app is excellent and very user-friendly
  • check-mark
    Suitable for freediving, recreational and technical diving
  • check-mark
    The compass works very well and the computer tracks entry and exit points
  • check-mark
    GPS compatible

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNo air-integration feature
  • check-markCCR compatible only with the recent software update
  • check-markExperienced tech divers may be limited by the 100m/328ft depth rating
  • check-markTechnical divers have to turn off the deco violation lockout
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garmin-descent-mk1-display-photo.jpg

Garmin Descent MK1

Related Reviews

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!

Checking information on the wrist is easier than to bend down on a guage console
Checking information on the wrist is easier than to bend down on a guage console
Photo by: 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’.

A dive computer check on a safety stop
A dive computer check on a safety stop
Photo by: 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 doubles as a time piece.
A dive computer doubles as a time piece.
Photo by: 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.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

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 favorites:

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!
What is a dive computer?

A dive computer often looks very similar to a dive 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.

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 2023:

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:

  • Oceanic Geo 4.0
  • Suunto D6i
  • Garmin Descent MK2i
  • Shearwater Teric

Related Reviews

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Torben Lonnee
Member
Torben Lonnee
Reply to  Rocio

Hi Rocio,

I’d recommend you go with the Garmin Descent G1 – they are both good underwater, but the Descent G1 has a lot of features you can use above water as well.

Rocio
Rocio

Hi!
I am about to buy my first dive computer. Will be doing my divemaster in Cozumel next month. Cannot really decide between Suunto D5 and Garmin Descent G1.
Which one would you recommend?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

If you’re looking for smaller options it’ll be watch size. perhaps the Oceanic Geo or Cressi NEON would fit both budget and needs.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

HI Max,

Thanks for your comments. Did they solve the issue yet?

Mine does signal and shows bottom time and Safety stops, so it’s not an issue I can replicate.

Tony
Tony
Reply to 

Hi,

Any advice on a wrist worn dive computer for an 11 year old girl?
The Cressi Donatello looks good but I think it is way too big.

Max
Max
Reply to 

I bought MK2i computer. Unfortunately, as a diving gear it is completely useless. It does not signal the safety stop, bottom time, decompression stops. I reported it to GARMIN, and they thought it might be defective. The new one unfortunately did not show those functions either. I think it’s a bug in the software. I do not recommend it – you can get yourself in trouble diving with this device and relying on its indications. Eventually I returned it to the seller and I am waiting for a refund. I will never trust GARMIN again.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Jamie,

No, we don’t, sorry.

Jaime Rueda
Jaime Rueda
Reply to 

Do you have a listing si militar to this but console? Not wrist mount? Pls?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Karen,

As I remember the Sea and sea Dive computer 1000 is from the start of 2000? If this is correct, I don’t think it has that much value as a dive computer. It might have value from people that gather old dive gear, but I don’t know.

Karen
Karen
Reply to 

I am in possession of a Sea & Sea Diving Computer Profile 1000.
Item is new in box. Can anyone tell me the dollar value?

Sombre
Sombre
Reply to 

The button of the Zoop are way too hard to push. They have some at the club. No thanks.

For the moment, i’m waiting to see the Aqualung i330R. And also, i will try to print a grid with a 3D printer to break the sunlight reflection.

Nothing really new since 2018. I know it’s covid19 era. But … scubapro & suunto have a lot to fix on their actual merchandise. It’s weird to see than we didn’t have a new dive computer from them since 2018.

The last dive computer is Peregrine from Shearwater. And the Aqualung i330R not yet release.

Spencer
Spencer
Reply to 

Am looking to give this to my daughter as a gift, likely will never exceed 120′. Possible Nitrox in the future. Features interested in: Wireless transmitter, compass, larger vs smaller display, RBT, rechargeable, comp access via cable or BT. Please advise your opinions as to which unit Thank you

Shane Barnes
Shane Barnes
Reply to 

I love the Guide I have been looking at the Oceanic OCI to track both my sons and my air. How does this one rate compare to the others on the list?

Naz
Naz
Reply to 

Hi, I’m looking for my first dive computer. Currently looking at Mares Smart and Seac Action. Both are similarly priced and offer similar features. Any advise?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Sam,

Yes, the Oceanic Pro Plus 4.0 is a great computer.

Sam
Sam
Reply to 

I am currently looking to get the Oceanic Pro Plus 4.0. Simply because it is a gauge, dive computer and compass all-in-one. Is this something you would recommend?

omar
omar
Reply to 

Hello im buying a diving computer and im comparing 3 models aqualung i450t suunto d4i novo and mares matrix.. need ro know which better and why and if there is any problems with any.. no matter the money difference.. im a recrtional diver and dive more than once per day .. thank you

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Georgios,

We haven’t tested the Cressi Goa at the moment, so I’m not completely sure how they differ, but from what I can see on the Specs it’s very much the same. The NEON is never and has some better specs, but booth computers will be a great purchase. I can recommend the Cressi NEON, that one we have tested, and it’s a great option. Small in size, but still good for reading underwater.

Georgios
Georgios
Reply to 

Hi ! I am looking for my 1st diving computer and my dilemma is Cressi Goa or Cressi Neon?
I would be grateful for any tips, because it looks like both of them are sharing almost the same pros.
Thanks

Roger Healey
Roger Healey
Reply to 

Bought a sheerwater petrel 4 years ago. It leaked sent it to sheerwater in the UK they wanted £350 to repair. I sold it for scrap on eBay

Scott Alden Sanford
Scott Alden Sanford
Reply to 

I am an infrequent diver (every couple of years), I have a hose mounted US Diver computer only from 1995 and a Citizen Promaster Hyper Graph. Love the watch, but looking to upgrade the computer to allow for the full features available today (logging and better dive mgmt). My local Dive Shop carries the Aqua Lung I770r with Air integration and a few Cressi and Suunto models. But in most reviews I do not see the i770r listed. What is your take on that particular Dive watch/computer?

Chris
Chris
Reply to 

Bought my Puck Pro about 1.5 years ago and have twenty dives on it. It’s my first computer, so I have nothing to compare it with. For me, the large size readout is a major plus. While dealing with the single button can be a pain (relearning the menu sequence prior to each trip), that’s the only negative for my current style of diving. Good value and features for the $$.

A major plus is the “Dive Organizer” software Mares provides free (provided you buy the optional computer interface device). It was easy to download, and it’s easy to upload my dives from the computer. Two nits with the “Dive Organizer” program. First, I couldn’t find a decent manual to get the most out of it; after a year, I’m still discovering capabilities I didn’t know it had. Second, I can’t figure out how to log dives made w/o the computer. The graphic presentation has let me critique my dives; I discovered I really needed work on my hover skills. That’s important to me as my plans include moving beyond NDL in the future. I like the 150 M max depth rating, although I’ll never go that deep. It tells me it’s well-made.

Your full review was spot-on. Thanks.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Kim,

I think the one you’re referring to is the Oceanic BUD – It’s currently not part of our test, but it’s a good back up dive computer.

Kim
Kim
Reply to 

Greetings,

I’m a Master diver with close to 300 dives (so actually.. still a baby in the sport 🙂 )

I have a great dive computer that I love (Sunto.. now 13 years old.. but still going strong) .. On one of my last trips, the battery failed on me with two dives left to go.. our location was not conducive to getting a new battery.. thankfully a friend had a backup computer and so I was able to complete the trip without issue.. (I have tables too, obviously.. but prefer the computers as I am able to dive with my buddies more easily who are also on computer.. )

That experience solidified my desire to carry a second/backup computer.. so I’m on a hunt for a good/ easy to use/small profile computer .. (my friends was actually attached to her BC.. so not even watch type..Im open to either type as my main computer is only gauges ) I do dive nitrox occasionally.. so would like that flexibility too. I’m also not especially tech savvy (the TV remote control is confusing 🙂 ) so would prefer a computer that is very intuitive/user friendly.

Do you have any particular suggestions?

Thanks for your help!

wassertanz
wassertanz
Reply to 

Hi Torben, thanks for your guide. What do you think about the Cressi Neon? I am a recreational diver who will be doing more liveaboard diving in the near future, so lots of dives over short spans of time. I am not sure how much I care about wireless capability – am on the fence about that. Was considering the Oceanic Geo2 (no air integration) and Geo4 (possibly poorly made with leak problems), Cressi Geo, AquaLungi300c (not air integrated and its wireless function seems to be a pain in the butt), but am thinking I may go with the Neon. Thanks!

Dee
Dee
Reply to 

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

DaviD Lee
DaviD Lee
Reply to 

d4i or d4i novo.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

Dee
Dee
Reply to 

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

Syahri azda putra
Syahri azda putra
Reply to 

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

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Blanka,

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

Blanka
Blanka
Reply to 

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.

Alli W
Alli W
Reply to 

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!

Ahmed Shdid
Ahmed Shdid
Reply to 

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

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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?

Raj
Raj
Reply to 

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?

George
George
Reply to 

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

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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

George
George
Reply to 

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

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

David Amon
David Amon
Reply to 

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

Thank you.

Sheryn
Sheryn
Reply to 

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

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

WILLIAM C MCADORY
WILLIAM C MCADORY
Reply to 

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.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

Liam Coyle
Liam Coyle
Reply to 

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

Motoman
Motoman
Reply to 

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!

Dave
Dave
Reply to 

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?

Michael Christie
Michael Christie
Reply to 

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?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

Venus
Venus
Reply to 

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 ?

Tim
Tim
Reply to 

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?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

Steve Burkett
Steve Burkett
Reply to 

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?

Dave
Dave
Reply to 

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

MoNique Gaines-Harris
MoNique Gaines-Harris
Reply to 

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?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

Lilly
Lilly
Reply to 

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?

France
France
Reply to 

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

alessandro
alessandro
Reply to 

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.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

France
France
Reply to 

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?

fred
fred
Reply to 

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.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

Craig
Craig
Reply to 

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.

Altan
Altan
Reply to 

Hi Torben,

Many thanks indeed.

Regards,

Altan

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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).

Altan
Altan
Reply to 

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

Michael Christie
Michael Christie
Reply to 

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!

edmond dantes
edmond dantes
Reply to 

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…

Thomas
Thomas
Reply to 

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 .

kw
kw
Reply to 

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.

Eric
Eric
Reply to 

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.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

John Jerrehian
John Jerrehian
Reply to 

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…

helmi
helmi
Reply to 

I agree

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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

James
James
Reply to 

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.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

Perry Forsberg
Perry Forsberg
Reply to 

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

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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

Andrea
Andrea
Reply to 

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.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

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.

Arun
Arun
Reply to 

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!

David
David
Reply to 

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.

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