Cressi Leonardo vs. Suunto Zoop Novo
Comparing the Suunto Zoop Novo with the Cressi Leonardo
When we talk about ‘limited’ functionality then please be aware that many divers will never need more capabilities as any of these two dive computers offer. Will there be things you might be missing if you have dived more than 100 dives? Yes, possibly but even then it won’t be essential to have those capabilities in most cases
At first glance both dive computers are not that different. They both come with large screens which makes either one too large to use and wear as a day-to-day watch.
The first difference you will see is that the navigation on the Cressi Leonardo is done with a single button. The Suunto Zoop Novo features four buttons to navigate through the functions.
Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. The upside of a single button navigation is that it’s super-easy to use and that you can’t confuse any buttons when you dive with gloves. The downside is that you have to step through all menu items in order to get to where you want to get.
The multiple button approach allows you to navigate to certain menu selections faster as you don’t have to step through all of them. However, you have to memorize which button does what and if the buttons are too close together you can easily confuse them or not be able to touch the right one if you wear thicker gloves. The Suunto Zoop Novo features a good compromise in this area as the buttons are spaced very far apart so you won’t accidentally press the wrong button.
While the navigation does have differences by how many buttons you have to use, the overall functionality of both dive computers is not that different. Both offer the basic features you will need to dive safely.
They both are capable of handling Air, Nitrox and Gauge modes. The Suunto Zoop additionally can handle free diving and has an off mode. This can be quite helpful if you hit the water but don’t want it to measure any time or depth which would impact your next dive.
One feature that the Leonardo has which is helpful for dive shops is that you can completely reset the dive computer. This allows dive shops and dive schools to have the dive computer start fresh for every new diver.
The Suunto Zoop Novo only comes as a wrist dive computer. The Leonardo is available as a personal wrist dive computer as well as a console. It comes in two different console setups. One with a pressure gauge and the other with a compass.
The logbook on the Suunto Zoop is larger which means you can keep more dive data on the device itself. Both scuba computers are capable to be connected to a PC or Mac to transfer the data off of the device. The data can then be analyzed and stored on the PC. You can also plan future dives based on those historic records.
If you dive a lot and want to share your dive data with your friends and family then the Suunto offers the better features for that. You can upload the data from your dives to the Suunto Movescount portal where you can add pictures, video and geo-location. This allows you to create a multi-media scrapbook of your dives and share it with the world!
Nitrox Handling and Sophisticated Functions
Both dive computers can handle Nitrox up to 50%. They are, as is to be expected with an entry-level model, not capable to switch gases during a dive. These more sophisticated capabilities can be found on higher end devices.
Both dive computers use an RGBM model for their calculations. The Zoop Novo uses the Suunto own RGBM while the Leonardo is using the Cressi RGBM. Overall, the Cressi algorithm is a little more liberal while the Suunto is more on the conservative side. It’s hard to say what is better. The one thing you want to keep in mind is that if you for example use a Leonardo and your dive buddy uses a Zoop Novo then the Suunto algorithm might require a deco stop while the Leonardo does not (yet).
As already mentioned, the Cressi Leonardo offers the ability to do a complete reset. This makes it a great device for dive schools and dive shops that rent out equipment. The reset will erase all data from previous dives and all calculations will start with no consideration of the past.
Other than being an advantage for this specific use case, there’s no advantage if you own the dive computer and use it as your personal scuba watch. In that case it actually can be problematic if you decide to reset the device in order to have it ignore previous dives. You can endanger yourself and your buddy/buddies if you do that!
Neither of them has air integration capabilities or a digital compass built-in. That is usually not a problem for beginners and divers that don’t dive too often.
The lack of more sophisticated features doesn’t allow either of these devices to grow with your experience. This doesn’t mean though that you will need more features anytime soon if you just start diving. Typically, you should easily be able to dive for a few hundred hours before you reach the point that you would require more functionalities. Even then you can simply use either of these dive computers as a backup to a higher end model.
Leonardo Console with Compass
Leonardo Console with Pressure Gauge
Either of these dive computers is a great choice for an entry-level diver or if you simply recreationally dive only a few times a year. There’s no need to think of a device with more features that costs more.
If you are beginning to dive and you think you might end up diving a lot then it still would make sense to start with an entry-level device such as the Suunto Zoop Novo or the Leonardo Cressi. Most divers that do not live close to the water will need quite a while before they gain the experience to outgrow the capabilities of either of these two devices.
At that time the next level of dive computers will possibly have additional features that today’s models don’t have. Get the latest model of these more sophisticated scuba computers when you need it and keep your entry-level device as a backup.