Mares Smart Dive Computer Review

Mares has designed and ideal introductory dive computer with their Smart dive watch. This dive computer has a lot of safety features built into it that are aimed at new divers which makes it a fun introductory dive watch. One of the best safety features that the Mares Smart dive watch has is the ascent rate lock out. This feature locks the dive computer for 24 hours if excessive Ascent rate has been maintained for more than two-thirds of the depth of the dive. This is set up to reduce the risk of expansion and nitrogen injuries.

Mares Smart in Black and Red

There are also alarms designed to keep you at your decompression stop as well as to make sure you don’t exceed your safe oxygen saturation. In addition to safety features, the Mares Smart dive computer has plenty of other features that will have divers easily navigating the waters. With a maximum depth of 492 feet or 150 m, this introductory dive computer is going to be good for a long time. You probably won’t outgrow this computer for many dives to come.


Review Summary

Experience Level

Has everything a beginner needs and doesn’t over complicate the diving computer system.

STYLE

It's sleek and has a slim profile compared to other wrist mounted dive computers. This could actually pass as a sports watch because of its slim profile.

Ease of Use

It can take a while to get where you want to go on the menus with only two buttons. What it lacks in navigation, it makes up for in display.

Price Level

It is a very low price point and perfect for beginners who aren’t sure whether or not they are going to keep this style of dive computer.

We Like

  • Lots of Safety Features
  • Audio and Visual Alarms That
  • Three Distinct Display Windows
  • Low Price Point
  • 150 M Maximum Depth

We Don't Like

  • Small Onboard Dive Log
  • No Air Integration
  • No Compass
  • Small Display

Summary:

Being an ideal beginners watch with plenty of safety features and a good maximum depth the Mares Smart wrist mounted dive computer has plenty of good points. The lack of air integration and compass can be overlooked when considering the small price point of the Mares Smart dive computer. You can easily get additional equipment that is more customized to the job because you didn’t spend it on a high-priced dive computer. This really is the perfect beginners diving computer

Mares Smart in Black and Grey

The Mares Smart features some sleek looks and has a slim profile compared to many other wrist mounted scuba diving computers. This could actually pass as a sports watch because of its slim profile. It’s available in multiple color options and has a nice design.

While the navigation with two buttons can be a little cumbersome at times, the display totally makes up for it. There are three distinct display windows dedicated to depth, safety stop, and miscellaneous information.

The Smart comes in a variety of color combinations:

  • Black
  • Black/White
  • Black/Red
  • Black/Grey
  • White/Lime
  • White/Lilac



Capabilities

The Smart is cleary designed as a beginner model. It's handling all the immediate needs of a beginner and mid-level diver and is useful as a daily watch.

It offers four different dive modes:

  • Watch
  • Air and Nitrox
  • Gauge
  • Free Diving
Mares Smart in White and Lime

The Mares Smart scuba computer has a lot of capabilities for a basic dive computer. To begin with, the maximum depth is 150 m or 492 feet making it ideal for those who would like to extend their diving knowledge to deeper dives. The Mares Smart is capable of nitrox mixes between 21% and 99% oxygen. You can have up to two gas mixes when using this dive computer.

If you are traveling a lot when you dive, altitude and decompression will be nothing that you need to worry about because the Mares has automatic altitude correction and decompression timing. Operating altitude with decompression is sea level to approximately 3700m/12100ft. The Operating Altitude without Decompression (gauge mode) is at any altitude.

One of the key features in the Mares Smart is the ascent rate exceeded lockout. There is an alarm that will go off that says to slow your ascent if you exceed the 10 m/minute ascent rate. However, if you reach 12 m/minute your Mares Smart will tell you both audio and visual to stop your ascent. Then if you exceeded the ascent rate of 12 m/m for over one-third the depth of your dive the computer locks for 24 hours to prevent dive injuries. It’s a pretty neat feature that not many others have.

In addition to the ascent rate alarm there are other audio and visual alarms available on the Mares safe dive computer including:

  • exceeding a safe ppO2
  • CNS =75%
  • missed decompression stop
  • low battery during the dive.

​All of these alarms help you stay safe when diving and are perfect for beginner divers.

Unfortunately, there is no air integration on the Mares Smart dive computer, so you will need an additional air gauge when diving with this computer. However, the low price point of this introductory dive computer makes buying an air gauge less of an inconvenience.

There is a wide temperature measurement range available on the Mares Smart dive computer. The temperature ranges from -10°C to 50°C (14°F to 122°F.) Anything outside of that range will compromise other readings given by the dive computer about depth and pressure. But considering that you will probably never dive in waters outside of that temperature range, you are safe to use the Mares Smart dive computer in any water.

The backlight is bright and easily seen on the Mares Smart dive computer, and it is also user adjustable. Adjusting the timing on the backlight allows you to save the battery life on the dive computer. The battery life has a range of 2 to 3 years. One of the major contributing factors in the battery life of the computer is the backlight. Limiting the time that the backlight displays is a great way to change how long your battery lasts. Once the battery does run out, you do have the ability to change the battery yourself without sending it in for pressure testing at the manufacturer or at a dive shop. This is a very useful feature, and many other dive computers do not feature at home battery changes.

Technical Capabilities

Mares doesn’t say which algorithms they use to calculate their altitude or decompression. Well, besides it being the Mares RGBM algorithm which is with regards to conservatism middle-of-the-road.

They have three settings they identify as the standard setting, intermediate setting, and conservative setting. These settings apply to both decompression and altitude.

Dive Log and Connectivity

Conflicting information is given by Mares on the on-board dive log for the Mares Smart dive computer. The User Manual states that the watch has 35 hours of dive profile at the 5-second sampling rate.

The Mares website says that the Smart’s on-board log is 20 hours, and a promotional video on the website says it is 25 dives. You should probably play it safe and download on to your computer log at 20-25 dives.

Missing Functionality

There are few features that we really wish were available on the Mares Smart diving  computer. The number one missing feature is air integration. Air integration would be a big selling point for this dive computer.

In addition to air integration, a compass would allow for easier navigation and one last piece of equipment to take on a dive. Integrating these two features would make this dive computer one of the best available on the market. Even without these two features, it is still a wonderful beginning level dive computer.

Features/Specifications

  • Free Diving
  • Nitrox Capable
  • Two Gases
  • Upgradable Firmware
  • User Replaceable Battery
  • 25 Hour Dive Log
  • Audio and Visual Alarms
  • 150 m Maximum Depth
  • Battery Power Indicator
  • Dive Plan Mode
  • Gas Switching
  • Altitude Adjustments
  • Daily Alarm
  • Segmented Display
  • Bottom Timer
  • Automatic Safety Stop

Pros and Cons

The best part about this watch is the price point. You can’t get a better-priced diving watch that has the same amount of features as the Mares Smart scuba computer. Also, it is easily used and navigated by beginners and not overly complicated. The segmented display allows you to easily see the information you need without having to navigate through menus to find what you’re looking for.

Not having air integration or a compass can be a big drawback for some divers. More experienced divers may find that this watch lacks simple things that they’re used to having like bar graph displays. The display is rather small so if you need large prints or have visual impairments this dive computer by Mares may not be the best option for you.

Pros

  • Price
  • Segmented Display
  • Maximum Depth
  • Easy to Use
  • Audiovisual Alarms

Cons

  • No Air Integration
  • No Compass
  • Only two gas mixes
  • Limited Display information
  • Small Display

Where to Buy?

The lowest price and the largest selection on colors can usually be found on Amazon. You can check the current pricing as well as reviews of customers that bought the Mares Smart when you click on the button below!

Customer Feedback

This is one of the higher rated introductory dive computers for beginners. The Mares Smart diving computer has wonderful reviews that you can see here.

Mares Smart in Black

Comparisons

Have a look at the comparison table below. It highlights some key features between this scuba computer, the Cressi Giotto and the Aqua Lung i300.

Cressi Giotto

Mares Smart

Aqua Lung i300

Cressi Giotto Dive Computer Black-Red
Mares Smart in Black and White
Aqua Lung i300 Scuba Diving Computer

Max. Depth

120 m / 394 ft

150 m / 492 ft

Unpublished

Nitrox Capable

Free Dive Mode

Gas Mixes

  2 gases

(Oxygen 21 - 50%)

  2 gases

(Oxygen 21 - 99%)

  1 gas

(Oxygen 21 - 50%)

Connectivity

USB

USB

USB

Compass

Bezel

Composite

Steel and Glass

Composite

Case

Composite

Titanium

Composite

Log Size

~ 70 hrs

~ 25 hrs

24 dives

Visual Alarms

Audible Alarms

Battery Life (Avg)

1.5 years avg

2 - 3 years

150 Dive Hours

Please also have a look at our detailed review of the Cressi Giotto to get more information on this device.

Conclusion

While the Mares Smart computer is not going to please everyone, it is definitely the perfect introductory dive computer. Beginning divers are not going to be overwhelmed by tons of information that they don’t need or don’t know how to use. The three-segmented display on the computer as well as the two buttons allow new divers to get a good sense of the information that they need to have each dive.

The dive plan mode is simple to use, and the automatic sensor for dives and timers will automatically track dives even if you forget to start or plan a dive. The audio and visual alarms will allow new divers to easily track and see their bottom time ascent rate and safety stop information. It is a wonderful computer for getting all the essential diving information to the diver without cluttering up the screen with non-essential graphs and displays.

Who wouldn't like it?

If you’ve been diving for a long time and our technical diver you probably want more information from a dive computer than this has the ability to offer. Things like air integration GPS and compass navigation are all unavailable in the Mares Smart basic diving computer, so you probably will be unsatisfied purchasing this basic dive computer.

In addition to technical divers, people with visual problems who need larger displays or color displays may have a problem seeing the small screen on the Mares Smart diving computer. This is not recommended for people who are used to larger displays on the computer style or touch screen style dive computers.

If you’re a data junkie and just want to know everything about what’s going on with every piece of equipment and you want it all to filter through your computer, don’t get a Mares Smart. This device is designed to give basic diving information that is necessary for you to know your bottom time, your ascent rate, and your overall diving stats. It’s a great dive watch and computer but not for someone looking for something with a lot of bells and whistles.

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