Aqua Lung is a legendary name in underwater equipment, having produced the first diving regulator to reach worldwide popularity after it was developed by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Émile Gagnan in 1943. The company continues to represent a standard of quality in scuba equipment.
Dive computers are one of the most helpful advances in the field, and it’s no surprise that Aqualung has a diverse selection of highly regarded models. In this article, we’ll review a selection of their dive computers, including a new unit just coming to market.
Dive computers have become popular in scuba diving for their ability to make the experience safer and more convenient. These high-tech devices monitor and centralize data such as dive total time and time remaining, depth, mixture status—and handle the calculations that experienced divers have been doing for decades.
Considering the volume of metrics and ongoing computations necessary for a safe trip, dive computers represent an almost revolutionary advance for both recreational and technical users.
There are a few critical factors that go into the decision. You will want to evaluate price and aesthetics, but these are personal preferences. The most important qualities to consider for a recreational dive computer are reliability and convenience. It’s not necessary to acquire every feature to gain a lot of benefit from these handy devices.
Safe diving is the utmost priority in scuba gear. You need to be able to rely on your equipment. This is why brand manufacturers are so important in diving: you want the experience and quality that come with a well-regarded name.
Recreational diving should be as safe as possible, but the motivation is enjoyment and discovery. Regardless of your experience level, you want a dive computer that is straightforward to setup, intuitive to learn, and easy to operate. No diver at any level wants to fight with their equipment.
Finding the right dive computer begins by answering some questions about your needs.
It may seem that high-end automation is the way to go for beginning divers, but that’s not always the case. A good dive computer helps monitor your equipment and perform the calculations needed for a safe dive: but it is not necessarily a beginner’s tool. Too many options and information streams can cause overload and, ideally, newcomers should learn about sound diving practices before automating them away.
The dive you’re making determines the equipment you need. You want appropriate complexity and useful scope–not blinking, beeping overload.
If you intend to make long, technical, deep dives, you will require precision and sufficient monitoring to handle decompression times and other limits. Even the most occasional recreational user benefits from automated tracking and alarm signals. It’s good to have a pocket buddy—though it doesn’t replace a real one.
Your equipment dictates the computer you need. Wireless air integration is a convenience, for example, but some divers still swear by their console gauges. If you use a rebreather, your computer should be able to track your gas mix and offer a reliable bailout system.
On the other hand, if you’re only interested in shallow recreational diving, you don’t need—or want—to have enough computational power for the space program on your arm.
While many features of dive computers are widely useful, some are reserved for specific diving practices … and some are mere preferences.
Dive computers can be console-mounted, but recent technology allows for miniaturized systems contained in a wrist-mounted unit. Such wonders come at a cost, but it’s hard to beat the convenience. Also, the coolness factor is definitely in play with watch-sized units.
The operating mode is set according to the dive you plan. The 4 basic modes used by Aqua Lung are Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Free Dive. Some specialized units offer other gas mixes such as Trimix.
The Air setting is based on the natural profile of air (21% oxygen), and is the main mode for recreational diving. Nitrox mode allows you to choose the gas mix, for which the computer will adjust its algorithm.
Free dive mode provides more frequent sampling. You can swim up and down as much as you’d like, as the computer keeps you within table limits. The Gauge Mode turns off the fancy computations and just gives basic information about your depth and submerged time.
Many dive computers have a basic two color display, but there are an increasing number of full color models coming to market. Thin Film Transistor (TIF) technology makes a vivid color display, but be aware all that beauty eats batteries and can be hard to see in sunlight. An intuitive layout is important, and you want a coherent menu system with nice-sized buttons. Buttons can get very small when wearing gloves.
Dive computers are battery powered, and some models require the user to mail their camera off to have its battery replaced. This is rather a pain, especially when there are user-replaceable models that take rechargeables.
If keeping dive logs is important to you, make sure you get a unit that automates downloading onto your preferred device. It saves you a lot of manual entry work, plus it makes it easy to stay current with software updates. You can get integration with Bluetooth too.
Various dive computers offer an assortment of features, so it’s best to have answered the above questions and have an idea of what you want. You don’t end up too deep in extraneous gadgets.
This is a big one. Wireless gas integration via transmitter is a popular and convenient addon. The best units quickly restore a lost connection.
This is basic equipment, so if you need this feature its best to check out reviews before deciding. Some dive computer compasses are far better than others.
If you dive using a gas mix, you can have the settings programmed for fast switching. There are different mixes and computer capabilities to match your diving profile.
Check out this video for a discussion of the history and other information about dive computers.
The i100 is Aqua Lung’s most basic dive computer. This wrist-mounted unit is a stripped-down model designed for light recreational use, and it establishes a performance standard for the rest of the line.
The i100 is lightweight at just over 8 ounces, and carries a buckled strap long enough to fit dry suits. The interface includes a large high-visibility LED display with big letters, and audio for safety alerts. Screens show your status, including no-fly and full desaturation times, and a record of your last dive time made within 24 hours. Measurements can be imperial or metric.
The single button menu system is easy to read as it cycles through each set of options. You can choose between 4 operating modes: Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Free Dive. You can program 2 Nitrox gases, which are changeable underwater, and choose between salt or fresh water.
The i100 offers automatic altitude detection, and allows switching between Dive and Free Modes without waiting for a stop period—a convenient feature, though caution should be exercised.
The lithium ion battery can be conveniently changed by the user, and offers data retention so you can keep your settings during a switch.
It’s a great basic unit with just a few downsides. You can purchase an add-on cable for networking, though options are minimal. The LED display lacks backlighting, so the display can be hard to see without another light source. Bummer.
If you’re looking for a wrist-mounted dive computer without a lot of extras, the i100 handles the basic computations that make these devices so valuable. It’s a good basic unit from a premier name.
The i200 wrist-mounted dive computer has all the features of the i100 with a beefier performance profile. It can also do double duty as a land wristwatch and receive only complements.
The display is smaller than the i100, but it does come with a backlight. The i200 ships out at 9.6 ounces, and has a high visibility LED alarm light. Status information such as depth, dive time, ascent rate and safety stops are easily checked.
The straps are an attractive black and have a velvety feel. An extender section is included that lengthens over a wetsuit.
The multi-button menu is intuitive—though the manual is not. The graphics-oriented manual has proven unintelligible to some. On the plus side, the battery is user-replaceable and keeps your data alive during a switch. There are 4 operating modes—Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Free Dive.
Downloading can be done with the separately-purchased cable. You can also purchase the DiverLog software to view Logs and profile information, and use it to manage your dive computer settings and add photos and other trip details.
This is a great entry level dive computer that can handle most recreational needs. It’s nice looking, has reliable performance and is easy to operate.
The Aqua Lung i200 and Mares Smart are pretty similar in looks and capabilities. Both are designed to be worn at the wrist. They are not too large so some people can use them as their regular wrist watch too.
Both of these dive watches are for recreational divers. They do not offer air integration or other advanced features but instead are easy to use.
The feature set on both is very similar with gauge, free diving, air, and gas mixture modes. A slight difference is in the way the devices are navigated. The i200 has four buttons vs the two on the Smart. It’s neither a big advantage nor disadvantage to have more or less buttons as you get used to both. Usually, on a small device like this it can be a little more tricky to use four buttons when you have thick gloves underwater. But in the end it comes down to what you’re used to.
They both are affordable dive computers that will keep you safe underwater. With features lining up that closely and pricing being around the same, it’s hard to give a straight recommendation. The Smart is probably a little better established and more commonly found. It’s also available in a number of color combinations while the i200 only comes in black.
In the end you can’t go wrong with either of these dive computers if you look for a device for beginner or occasional divers. Both of them can also be used as reliable backup devices should you outgrow their offered capabilities.
The newest model on the list, the i300 is great all around dive computer with a few extra features that won’t overpower a newcomer. It takes a step forward in connectivity too.
The screen is sharp and clear high-def LED. Backlighting has a whole button dedicated to its use, a radical upgrade of function since the i100. The menu system is straightforward to navigate, with prominent stainless steel buttons. The LED screen is a bit smaller than some competitors, and is slightly less legible than sharper dot-matrix displays.
The computer itself is reliable and capable. A Pre-Dive planning feature gives you a safety preview of your dive, and there’s a water activation feature so you can jump in without worry about missing a start.
The i300 supports the standard 4 operating modes for Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Free diving, and handles up to 3 gas mixes. You can switch immediately between Free and Dive modes. The battery is conveniently user-replaceable.
Where this model should shine is the advertised enhanced connectivity that includes Bluetooth. The DiverLog+ app is free, but you have to pay for the software … and you still have to buy the proprietary overpriced cable for downloading. It’s hard to say this major marketing point is much in evidence.
There are other reasons to choose the i300 though. It outperforms many dive computers on the market despite with its recreationally-focused features. It’s the new kid on the block, but with the Aqua Lung name behind it you have a very complete piece of equipment. The i300 may be all you ever need if you’re just starting out and have recreational or light technical goals.
It’s clear that both the i200 and the i300C are excellent wrist-mounted dive computers. They both target the recreational diver.
The i300C, as indicated by the higher model number, is clearly geared towards a more experienced diver and the needs that come with that experience. It offers better connectivity as well as planning capabilities that the i200 does not have.
That does not make the i200 a bad device in any way. It is probably better suited for the occasional diver or as a backup computer. The higher end model on the other hand is a great companion for a diver that regularly is underwater and has more demanding requirements.
Take a hard look at your diving needs before you decide between either one. If you’re torn then go for the i300C as it won’t run out of features and options anytime soon while it still can be used by an inexperienced diver. The i200 is a good model but you might ask for more capabilities if you dive a lot.
There’s a competent look of solid gear to the i450’s boxy exterior. The attractive metallic housing has a 4-button operation, each placed within raised molding. The little things matter. It wears comfortably due to a specially conditioned inner strap that reduces slipping, chafing and heat spots.
Up to 3 Nitrox mixes can be managed with 3 unique transmitters. There’s an easy-to-read, sectioned screen with a crisp dot matrix display in the center area. It is water-activated, and Auto Altitude adjustment is included too.
You can add a transmitter for wireless air integration, and the i450 will pair up with a transmitter for life. There’s a visual ascent warning for safety, a built-in compass, and a download cable and strap extender. Pre-Dive planning feature allows a preview of a planned trip.
There are potential issues and some quirks. Interestingly, the i450t in black has a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) finish and is priced higher than the other colors of blue and white. Also the compass is accurate but a bit small, and a little practice on the surface is advised before relying on it. Some i450 users resort to an analog compass for serious navigation.
There’s not much against this model, but some owners have had issues with losing charge quickly. The good news is that the problem appears immediately upon use if it exists, and Aqua Lung is known for taking care of customers. Just pay attention to the warranty period. To ease the odds, the battery is user-replaceable and your data is retained.
Since you must know, their DiverLog software is widely panned. It seems the light free version is actually better. If you are interested in download and electronic log book functions, you should probably test this out before committing.
Overall this is a reliable machine for experienced divers who want high performance and a great-looking design … or serious new divers who want room to grow. This solid unit also makes a backup able to stand in for a more sophisticated computer if needed.
The i550 is a console design that offers the underlying functionality of the standard line. It includes Gas integration and has a notably easy-to-read display. The bold display letters and clean layouts make it easy to check the screen with a glance—but be warned some of the acronyms require the instruction book to understand.
There is a simple two-button interface and a straightforward menu. It can handle 3 gas mixes and 3 modes: Air, Nitrox, and Gauge. The battery is user-replaceable and has data retention. The inner workings have the normal safety alarms and an exterior LED for a visual signal.
The i550 has a few extra options, including an analog Compass and a quick-disconnect system. You can also purchase their download cable to automate your log entries.
The i550 is great if you’re looking for a crisp, legible display. Along with the line’s many safety and performance features, if you’re looking for a console computer, this is one to consider carefully.
Aqua Lung’s top of the line dive computer model has all the integral components together with a full-color screen, a replaceable battery, and wireless air integration. It’s a lot for an inexperienced diver to manage, but enough of the settings are optional to make it one to grow on.
The wrist mounted unit is basically a small color screen secured with wide comfortable straps: it’s workmanlike and feels great, but it is not made for a night on the town like Aqua Lung’s wristwatch designs. This computer keeps its focus on diving.
The screen is a bright, high-visibility (TFT) full color screen, well laid out with a 3-button interface that is easy to learn and navigate. You can easily monitor your information. The LED light signal and low-intrusion audio alarms help you keep things within limits without too much distraction.
Aqua Lung’s 4 operating modes are available—Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Free Dive—and can be programmed for up to 3 gas mixes. Hoseless gas integration comes standard on the i770R, and you have the ability to monitor 3 different transmitters. The settings are maintained, so you only have to pair your transmitter once.
A download cable is included with the unit without separate purchase. You can also use Bluetooth to transfer data, and can purchase the DiverLog+ app to manage your logs. It all comes professionally wadded into a hard carrying case. There’s a bungee and a trendy NATO wristband too.
The two main negatives of the i770R are lack of display visibility in sunshine, and issues with poor battery life. The color screens are great when out of the sun, but there is some washout in direct light. This isn’t an issue with the unit so much as with the technology, and simply shielding the display is annoying but it works.
Color screens are a power drain, but concern about battery-life is moderated by the fact the CR batteries used by the i770R are common, cheap and user-replaceable. Rechargeable CR’s are also available.
Aqua lung is a famous name, and they have fulfilled expectations with their comprehensive line of dive computers. The company acquired know-how from the foremost maker of quality consumer dive computers, Oceanic, and have put their safety-first recreational stamp on the underlying designs with positive results.
The target audience of Aqua Lung’s dive computers is serious recreational divers, and their line meets the requirements of reliability and convenience. Whether you are a newcomer or a more experienced user that doesn’t use decompression, there are a lot of choices in the Aqua Lung line up.
All Aqua Lung i-series dive computers employ the same conservative algorithm, which makes it easy to buddy up with, or to use as a backup. You might even find yourself using an i-series unit as a backup computer for more technical trips.
Computer technology has brought significant developments in diving safety, performance, and convenience–advancements symbolized by the sleek, Bond-like multi-purpose computer wristwatch. The future is here, and it’s under warranty.
As an experienced diver, you are prepared to invest in your equipment and knowledge to do the research necessary to sort through available options and features. In this article, we’ll review Shearwater Research’s Teric wrist-mounted dive computer and see how it compares with the competition.
Even experienced divers vary their locations and technical demands—and we all seek flexibility and the convenience of automation. A quality dive computer requires solid performance and monitoring capacity, preferably in a unit that adjusts to the conditions of your dive.
Reliability is non-negotiable for diving equipment. You want a well-designed model with a solid warranty from a reputable manufacturer: preferably one with experience in the advanced diving market. A dive computer should be well-designed and constructed to resist corrosion and degradation from routine wear.
Only you can decide upon the versatility you need, so match those needs against your final selection. You will enjoy the ability to customize features, but without sacrificing technical precision or craftsmanship. Some wrist-mounted dive computers with broad applicability lack the specialization you need, so you’ll have to decide what matters most.
Don’t forget the day-to-day experience either! Consider the intuitiveness and usability of the menu system and display, and the level of automation you desire. Ideally, you’ll find the right balance between the precision and control you need, and the automation and convenience you want.
The Shearwater Research Teric is a high-performance technical dive computer housed in a distinctive and attractive wristwatch. It is made with recreational divers in mind but includes high-end technical capabilities for versatility and range.
The Teric is simple to operate, but its complexity is over-the-top for beginners. If you’re experienced and know what you need, however, this unit puts style into cutting-edge performance. The unit’s five dive modes cover depth conditions of up to 656 ft (200m) and automate everything from turning itself on to tracking your dive parameters and uploading your log when done.
Since the Teric provides performance and versatility in a great-looking wrist-mounted computer–along with its loyal customer base and early adopter interest–it is unsurprisingly priced at a premium. There are cheaper computers you can find. As a quality instrument, however, it makes sense to consider the Shearwater Teric more closely.
As an added consideration, the Teric can quickly change its face to double as a land wristwatch—it’s a downright bargain when viewed as part of the market for high-end timepieces.
• Premium pricing
• Recent to market
• Some supply issues reported
The Shearwater Teric comes with five different diving mode settings for versatile performance, so you can quickly change the configuration according to your intended dive.
You can configure specific sampling rates for different kinds of diving, and monitor time-to-surface numbers for pre-planned gas switches. The Teric allows you to program unique mixes for each mode, with multiple gas definition presets for any combination of nitrogen and oxygen, and also helium for use in other than the recreational mode.
For use during no-decompression diving activities. This mode can monitor three gas mixes and uses nitrogen and oxygen only (no helium). The setting includes an adaptive safety stop and No Decompression Limit (NDL) Bar Graph so you can see how much time you have before a mandatory decompression stop. Enhanced warnings keep you informed about your limits during a casual dive.
For use on technical dives, including planned decompression. 5 OC gases with full Trimix enabled by default. There are no safety stops, and Time-to-Surface (TTS) is prominently displayed throughout the dive.
Designed for monitoring a closed-circuit rebreather, with Bail-out (BO) operation and quick switchover to Open Circuit use. Constant PO2 is maintained to minimize decompression restrictions, and you can program up to 5 OC/5 CC gases.
Simple monitoring of dive time and depth, with resettable stopwatch and timer functions. No tissue tracking or decompression monitoring.
This mode shares most features of the other dive modes, with the addition of special monitoring that applies to free diving. The large layout format is enabled by default and displays the Last Dive Time and Max Depth. Ascent and Descent indicators can be set in 1-second intervals.
The Teric inherits and advances the innovative screen functions of its predecessor, the Shearwater Perdix, a unit well-regarded for its readable and intuitive display.
Another handy feature is the ability to change the watch face for use as a regular wristwatch. There are three faces–Digital, Analog, and Orbits—and you can set over 100 possible configurations using the three information levels and different faces and color combinations.
The Dive Mode automatically switches to Watch Mode after 15 minutes on the surface. It will remain powered, but the dive computer turns off its main functions after 20 minutes if no motion is detected.
The Stopwatch setting operates across all dive modes and runs up to 24 hours even if turned off. There is a Timer function too, and a Flashlight setting that brightens the display—it won’t illuminate the ocean deeps but may be useful at close quarters in low-light conditions.
The Teric is powered by a lithium-ion battery rated for 5+ years of use. It is wirelessly recharged in about 1.5 hours when using the docking station, and can also be charged with most Qi-compliant pads. Depending upon the settings, a single charge lasts from 30 to 60 hours.
One inconvenience is that the battery requires a dealer to change. No swapping out spares, so you need to remain aware of the battery status.
The Teric is equipped with Bluetooth Smart technology so that you can upload your dive logs automatically to your preferred device. It’s compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, making it easy to update your system and manage your information.
The Teric comes with a 2-year warranty, and Shearwater Research has a positive customer service record. Each Teric has a unique serial number that doesn’t require registration and can be transferred if sold.
The Teric can connect wirelessly with up to 2 transmitters, but you must purchase this equipment separately. The feature can be added at any time, however, if you aren’t sure about making the outlay quite yet.
The wristband comes in several optional dual-color schemes you can purchase additionally: Pink, Blue, Green, White, and Yellow. The straps are interchangeable with any 22 mm watch band type.
Hearing directly from users about their experience is essential to any objective evaluation, and the Teric is already attracting favorable attention. Here are a few samples of user feedback found online:
The Aqua Lung i450T is a wrist-mounted dive computer introduced in 2016 and remains one of the excellent competitors to Shearwater’s Teric. The 1450T was stylish for its time and shares the theme of flexibility and convenience the Teric has developed further.
The i450T features four diving modes, lacking the CC/BO rebreather mode and higher automation of the Teric’s recreational settings. The display is intuitive and easy to read, though it lacks the color and highly customizable interface that makes the Teric stand out visually.
The i450T excels at air integration, offering control of up to 3 transmitters instead of Teric’s dual capacity. Its battery is replaceable by users too, so you’ll be saved a trip to the dealers when its time to change.
Overall, Aqua Lung’s unit today represents a pared-down feature set when compared to the Teric, but it’s a reliable tool at a slightly lower cost.
The Suunto D6i Novo is an established wrist-mounted dive computer that is a close competitor to the Teric and comes with a similar price tag too. As an older model, it has a bit less under the hood than Shearwater’s latest effort, but it is well-tested and reliable.
The D6i is excellent for free diving, and the longtime market presence of Suunto makes it easy to find assistance across the world. It doesn’t have a mode for CC/BO rebreather tech, but it has similar automation to the Teric—including an optional transmitter and the need to have its battery replaced by a dealer. The D6i has a duller, black LED face, and small buttons that have been known to stick without extra care.
The D6i is well-regarded by professionals, and it’s in the same price range as the newer Teric. It doesn’t have quite the same level of digital integration or automation, but it’s still a solid choice if you have the budget.
The Oceanic Oci is an older model that combined the technical advancement of the OC1 with the stylish and popular OCS model. It is in the same price range as the Shearwater model, and looks great and performs well.
Though it lacks full-color display or the Teric’s versatility and range, the Oci is established and offers all most recreational diver’s need. You get four wireless transmitter capacity, and user-replaceable battery power, and an established customer base.
The Oci package includes the transmitter, which makes it more affordable than the Teric if you need air integration. It’s an older model that compares favorably concerning reliability, and its slightly smaller feature set present a less complicated tool for less experienced divers.
It’s hard to keep up with the latest innovations: you want the best of essential advances while avoiding the gimmicks. An advanced diver can’t sacrifice precision and reliability, but versatility and ease of use are critical for day-to-day convenience.
Good looks don’t hurt, and the Shearwater Teric offers it—along with the solid performance demanded by experienced divers. The Teric represents the next generation of dive computers and gives the flexibility to meet most diving techniques and occasions. It’s a diving computer with style.
Check the Teric out for yourself! Leave your thoughts in the comments below! We love to hear from you and see you share your experiences below!
Experienced divers find that a modern dive computer is a great tool. Instead of the old Navy tables for making the careful calculations that go into a safe dive—today’s computers can monitor and calculate your dive’s parameters, making the experience more reliable, more comfortable and more fun.
The Oceanic VTX dive computer offers a new design that is stylish and convenient. The unit includes innovative features along with the precision of a quality instrument. In this article, we’ll take a look at this popular model and how it might—or might not—work for you.
The Oceanic VTX is a technical diver’s tool that meets the needs of the recreational user. This is an important step forward for scuba diving because the profile of a recreational dive is difficult to calculate—instead of descending to perform a task and then resurfacing, a recreational diver tends to alternate depths frequently, going up and down several times during an excursion. A dive computer automates the necessary calculations for you.
If you like the idea of a single display with your dive information, the wrist-mounted VTX deserves your attention. Not only will the unit keep your gear streamlined and conveniently accessible, but it’s also contained in a stylish modern design.
A quality dive computer can be expensive, and a beginning diver will want to gain experience before making the outlay. New divers usually start out with rental equipment and necessary tools. The Oceanic VTX is best used by more advanced divers who already have a base of knowledge and experience, who are looking for a stable and reliable tool to augment their dive.
The Oceanic VTX is an air-integrated, wrist-mounted dive computer made by one of the most respected scuba gear manufacturers in North America. It offers a combination of competitive technical features in a fashionable design.
The VTX’s sleek design offers a wireless transmitter for air-integration and a patented air time remaining algorithm.
One of the premium features of the VTX dive computer is its high contrast OLED color screen. The clean, intuitive push-button menu system shows up to 4 Nitrox mixes along with your dive parameters. It is powered by 2 CR123A batteries that can be easily changed by the user.
The VTX isn’t a beginner’s device, but it provides a sleek interface and reliable performance for experienced divers. It’s great for streamlining your dive—and it looks great in and out of the water.
One of the most popular convenient features of modern dive computers is integration with your air tank, with a wireless transmitter instead of a hose. The Oceanic VTX offers this form of air-integration, so you have a remote control and can monitor your gauges with just a glance.
The system tracks up to 4 Nitrox mixes, with individual PO2 set points for each. Connectivity is an issue with any transmitter, and the VTX restores lost connections automatically within reasonable proximity.
The wrist-mounted display is a primary feature of the Oceanic VTX. The ultra-bright OLED screen is full-color … it presents as nicely as any watch. Critical data is color-coded for instant identification.
The OLED display departs from older LCD screens with black letters on a lighter screen. This new color option lacks the backlighting of LCDs, so it can be difficult to see in direct sunlight. You can shield the screen for viewing, but this two-handed operation somewhat defeats the convenience purpose.
You can quickly adjust the brightness intensity, but the battery power will also drain more rapidly. The screen is beautiful and works perfectly at night or in deeper water … be aware that some users have found this issue to be a drawback.
The VTX excels at display functions. Used together with the tank transmitter, your full dive stats are instantly visible at the turn of your wrist. You can view and control your computer settings remotely too.
The menu system is intuitive and easy to learn and has an uncluttered, attractive push button design. Your current dive information is color-coded for quick visual identification, and it’s simple to switch between from statistics to compass mode.
The VTX is powered by 2 CR123A high-performance lithium batteries, rated between 30 and 40 hours of dive time. The device has many functions that add up to significant power drain, especially at higher brightness settings. Take note that the batteries included may have undergone testing, so be prepared with an extra set when first starting out.
Your usage time will depend upon everything from ambient conditions to the age of the cells, though it is most profoundly affected by the brightness setting. The batteries are easily changed, however, so you can keep a spare for switching out anytime. The VTX has data retention capacity, so your settings and calculations are preserved during changes.
The Oceanic VTX was the first dive computer to integrate with the Bluetooth 4.0 system fully. The device easily syncs with your digital applications, operating with the DiverLog for iOS App or eDiverlog software for wireless transfer. You can update and store your dive details to your smartphone or tablet and retain your records indefinitely.
Dive computers are generally reliable, and the VTX is no exception. You can count on the unit for accurate reporting and safety alerts. The VTX is well-engineered to deliver functions you can rely on.
In 2015, Oceanic identified a defect that could cause flooding in the computer housing. No incidents or injuries were reported, but the company announced a recall: the housing was repaired for new issues that began with serial number 5000. (https://www.oceanicworldwide.com/us/news/cat/notices/post/vtx-quality-alert/)
Though negative reviews have been posted about the display readability and limited battery life, it is difficult to isolate a verified claim of failure. The company’s vigilance and follow-through during the recall process provides users with additional assurance. The VTX has a 2-year warranty, so check your vendor’s guarantee and maintain the unit as directed.
The attractive look of the VTX represents the newest phase of dive computer design: lightweight integration on a personal scale. Its polished chrome frame holds a sleek and clean modern screen in full color.
Unlike more awkward strap-on wrist computers, Oceanic has crafted the VTX as a wearable device with a slim profile. Despite its full set of tools, this is one of the few dive computers that can double as a watch … and get compliments.
Oceanic is a top name in dive equipment and this premier personal dive computer benefits from quality engineering and design experience. The VTX is loaded with features to make your dive experience better, safer and less complicated. Here are some of its extras:
The VTX has many positive user reviews online, with many 5-star reviews and recommendations.
Sometimes the most helpful reviews have honest critiques. Most issues that are mentioned when you research this model are that the screen is hard to read in bright daylight. OLED displays unfortunately are hard to read in sunlight. Yet, underwater they show all the brilliance of that technology and allow you to read everything clearly.
Shearwater is a respected scuba brand, and their Perdix model is specifically targeted to technical divers. The flat unit has a compelling design and includes many of the features found in Oceanic’s VTX.
The main difference is that the VTX meets the needs of technical divers, but also appeals to recreational users. Consumers often make their technical gear a part of their lifestyle, and the sleek design and colorful screen are fashionable statements too. Also, the VTX is a mature product that is very competitively priced.
The Suunto EON is another attractive wrist-watch design with a slim profile and menu controls. It has a higher battery life than the Oceanic model, and the batteries are rechargeable for economy.
The big difference between the EON and VTX dive computers is cost. Air integration is standard on the VTX, but the pricier EON requires an add-on purchase for this functionality.
Check our in-depth review of the Suunto out for yourself at http://www.deepbluediving.org/suunto-eon-steel-dive-computer-review/.
The ScubaPro is another similar dive computer and is also made by a reputable brand. The style is appealing and adds a few metrics to displayed dive information. The G2 is missing some features of the VTX, however.
The G2 has an attractive, crisp and readable display with well-thought-out menus. It offers air integration too … at a higher cost.
The Oceanic VTX includes Bluetooth integration and connectivity options, along with dive logging and a built-in compass. The VTX is less expensive than the ScubaPro, so if your pocketbook is not a factor, the decision between these dive computers may come down to your design preference.
Modern diving technology seeks to solve the problem of complicated calculations and equipment overload while introducing new functions like dive logging and automatic syncing.
The Oceanic VTX provides both enhancements, offering a technological precision tool in a great-looking functional design. Air integration eliminates hoses and flopping gauges, giving you the ability to monitor your dive easily. Add in logging and connectivity enhancements, electronic compass and simple menu display, and you have a tool that looks as modern as the technology inside.
This review is not a complete review as we have done it for the Mares Puck Pro. We opted instead to highlight the new features and commonalities between the Puck Pro and its successor, the Plus model
With most of the technical capabilities having stayed the same, we invite you to check out the in-depth review of the Mares Puck Pro to get detailed information on both diving computers.
Mares Puck Pro Plus in black
Mares introduced the Puck Pro Plus at the end of June. It slowly made its way into the online stores and can be ordered through Amazon and other online retailers by now.
Many divers asked what the differences between the Puck Pro and the Puck Pro Plus are. There are not enough (or many at all) that would make you dump your Puck Pro for the Plus model.
The first difference that is obvious is the slightly redesigned device itself. The bezel looks a little different. The bars for the N2 meter look different and the display segments have a clear labeling on the frame around the glass. Other than that, most of the colors are gone (for now) and you can get the Plus in black or black and white.
Navigation on the Puck Pro Plus and the Pro are handled through an intuitive single button. There’s no difference in the handling of both models besides the color change on the button itself. Both scuba diving computers are ready to have their firmware/software updated whenever Mares provides such an update.
The few optical changes mentioned above would not have justified Mares to change the naming and to introduce the Pro Plus as an evolution of the Pro. Let’s dive a little deeper to see what else has changed.
The technical specifications stayed the same. And that is a good thing. The Puck Pro offered the features you would want from an entry-level dive computer. The same is certainly to be said for the Puck Pro +.
The major news for the Pro Plus are that it can manage to connect to your smart phone or computer through a Bluetooth clip connector. There’s no more cables needed to download dive data to your phone, tablet or computer.
The Plus has seen more upgrades with regards to the connectivity and adaptability. The firmware can easily be updated, data exchange even with your smart phone is easy and straightforward.
Even the maintenance aspect has seen a positive change. The battery can easily be changed by you which saves a ton of money and time compared to having to send it in to an authorized dealer or service center.
The Mares Puck Pro Plus offers a sectioned, super-clear display. It’s segmented into three lines to display all require information on the oversized watch.
It can handle three dive modes:
It is capable to dealing with different gas mixes that you can switch between as needed. The Plus model can handle the switching of gas mixes during a dive with oxygen levels up to 99%.
Alarms can be set for the usual safety violations:
There have been really no changes between the Pro+ and the Pro. The specifications stayed the same and are shown below:
The Mares Puck Pro Plus in the beginning was not that easy to be found. Many online retailers specifically mentioned that it could not be shipped outside the EU. If you’re in the US then your best bet on price and availability is Amazon. Click the button below to find the lowest price for the Mares Puck Pro Plus!
Mares will most likely slowly fade out the Puck Pro and replace it with the Puck Pro +. It’s nice to see this dive computer make its way into the modern era of ultimate connectivity.
Being able to transfer your dive data wirelessly to your smart phone is a big deal if you are on a dive vacation. There’s no need any longer to drag your computer along so that you can download the dive log before it gets overwritten. You can do that now through the Bluetooth interface and send the data to your phone.
That alone in our opinion justifies buying the Plus model. However, if you have the Pro now then there’s no reason to list it on eBay as long as you can live without the Bluetooth connectivity. If you purchase a new scuba computer and have your eye on the Puck Pro then go for the Puck Pro Plus instead if you can.
The updated design makes the diving computer overall look a little more grown up. The lack of colors will most likely be remedies by Mares over time but should also not be a reason why not to go for the Puck Pro Plus!
Finding the best dive computer under $500 should not be a challenge. That is if you are looking for a DC for recreational diving. Don’t expect to get a device that has features that you’ll need for technical diving.
We cover what you can expect from a device at that price point and what you won’t get. Lastly, we showcase five dive computers that stay under the $500 mark.
At this price point you’ll get the basics. You can expect a reliable device that will keep you safe during a dive.
Regarding specific features you can expect the following:
A safe RGBM algorithm that continuously calculates your dive data to keep your dive within healthy limits. Pretty much each dive computer manufacturer has their own variation of a RGBM algorithm.
Some are more conservative than others. If you dive with a buddy that has a DC from a different brand then you have to expect your dive limit calculations to be different!
Most algorithms also offer the ability to change the conservatism of the calculations. The settings allow to change the limits within the algorithm to be more conservative which ultimately means they end up providing you a larger safety margin.
Most dive computers in this price range will provide the ability to have one nitrox mix. Usually they support oxygen levels up to 50%.
For most beginners and recreational divers being able to manage one gas mix is good enough. If you’re relatively new to the sport then diving with a single gas mix will cover you for usually the first few years if not even for a lifetime.
You find more and more dive computers that can handle up to two gas mixes. Most newer models are capable to do that. Depending on your dive needs this might or might not be an important feature for you. For recreational diving it often is of less importance to have this feature.
All dive computers in this price range offer various audible and visual alarms. Typically, you can expect the following types of alarms to be setup for a dive:
These are the alarms that are most important for a recreational diver and they are usually all covered by a DC at this price point.
You should expect the DC to have a solid dive log with enough memory to store dive data for at least 20 dives. Some models even provide enough capacity for over 100 hours of dive data to be collected.
Usually, the dive data will be collected at a fixed rate. Some models will allow to adjust the collection rate.
Dive computers offering a dive log will also offer the (optional) ability to connect the DC to your computer. All brands have their own software to install on your PC and in most cases you can get the software for Windows or for the Mac.
Usually you will not find a built-in dive planner in this price category. However, you should be able to offload the data to your computer and perform dive plans on the PC.
Air integration is nothing you will find in this price category. You might get lucky and find a DC on sale that is capable of air integration but you most certainly will not get a device that has an air transmitter included.
Integrated digital compasses are something you will have to look at the next price level. Usually, these devices will be more in the $800 to $1,000 range where you can see digital compasses being part of the feature set of the DC.
Let’s have a quick look at the 5 best dive computers under $500 below. These are not ranked in a specific order but do show our picks for the best wrist scuba computers in that price category.
The Mares Smart is a wrist watch sized dive computer that packs a lot of features. It’s one of the few dive computers in this category that actually can handle two gas mixes.
It checks off all the required features you’d expect in this class. The dive log on the Smart can hold around 36 hours of dive data that you can then transfer to your PC or Mac for further analysis or to plan future dives.
The Oceanic Geo 2.0 is a feature rich dive computer in this price category. It offers Oceanic’s unique dual algorithm. This allows you to switch between two different algorithms allowing you to pick the one you feel more comfortable with.
This feature also is great if you dive with a buddy that has a different dive computer. Chances are that one of your algorithms will match that of your buddies DC and as such you won’t get conflicting data and alarms.
The Geo 2.0 is also capable of handling two gas mixes. It can even go up to 100% oxygen on the mixes which is quite unique at this price point. The dive log is capable of keeping the data of up to 24 dives.
The Zoop Novo is the updated model of the very successful Zoop. It is a huge upgrade in capabilities and it definitely is one of the best entry-level dive computers you can find.
It can handle one gas mix up to 50% oxygen. The dive log can keep an astonishing 140 hours of dive data. Connected to your PC you can also upload the data to Suunto’s Movescount portal where you can enrich the dive data with pictures and video and share it with friends and family.
The i200 is the entry level dive computer from Aqua Lung. It offers all the features you expect and quite a little more. Similar as the Mares Smart, it’s roughly the size of a wrist watch.
It handles up to two gas mixes with up to 100% oxygen. The dive log is capable of handling the data for up to 24 dives. The optional connection to your computer enables you to download the dive data from the device to your computer.
The Cressi Giotto is one of the entry-level dive computers by Cressi. The level underneath it is the Giotto which is probably the most complete beginner and entry-level dive computer available.
The Giotto is capable of handling two gas mixes with oxygen levels up to 99%. That’s more than sufficient for recreational diving. The dive log is generously sized at up to 70 hours of data to be stored. Connecting the Giotto to your computer allows you to download the dive data for further analysis and to plan future dives.
There’s a good selection of highly capable dive computers in the category under $500. Looking at any of the five devices shown above as well as the many other scuba computers in this price range will provide you with a solid dive computer that’ll last you for years to come.
Which device you eventually pick depends somewhat on your personal preferences. Ask yourself whether you want an oversized device like the Suunto Zoop Novo or the Cressi Giotto. Or do you prefer a watch sized model like any of the other three? Larger displays often allow for better reading of the information on the screen under water. It also often means that it’s easy for you to switch the battery. Watch sized dive computers often have to be sent to a service center or to a dive shop to have the battery changed.
Let us know what dive computer you like best under $500 in the comments below. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.
When we check this best of list for dive computers under $500 for the year 2018 we didn't change our picks. Why? They still are overall the best you can get. Now, having said that, we did discuss for a long time whether we should replace the Mares Smart with the new Mares Puck Pro Plus. They offer somewhat similar features yet the Puck Pro Plus is larger in size.
This has advantages when it comes to readability as the screen simply is larger. The downside is that you can only it for diving. The Smart can be worn as an everyday watch and as we did want to have a balance in our picks we decided to keep the Smart in the list due to it's potential everyday use.
We had a similar discussion about whether to keep the Cressi Giotto in the list or replace it with the Cressi Leonardo. Why you wonder? Well, the Leonardo is a little cheaper due to not having all the features and is probably the most bought scuba computer available. Yet, again due to giving you a few more different choices we decided to stick with the Giotto. It offers more features for a slightly higher price and we feel that in the long run you might get more out of it than of the Leonardo!
Cressi introduced the new Goa dive computer earlier this year. It’s a wrist watch sized device that comes packed with functionality.
It’s not available yet in the US so we evaluated the technical specs as they are available at this time. Based on that information it seems like you’re looking at similar features as in a Cressi Leonardo that is sized as a watch that you can wear every day.
For the beginner and recreational diver.
Wrist watch sized to be worn every day.
Ease of Use
Simple two button navigation allowing quick menu access.
Reasonably priced for the features it offers.
We Don't Like
The Cressi Goa is a very compact scuba wrist computer where most of the features match the Leonardo. You’re looking at a great dive computer for beginners and recreational divers. Many divers never require the missing features like air integration or a compass and as such this might just end up being the only one you ever get.
The Cressi Goa is available in a number of color combinations: black, black/grey, black/blue, white/pink and white/grey. You'll be able to find a stylish color combo that you can wear every day.
The Cressi Goa supports the following dive modes:
The Cressi Goa has a diameter of only 48 mm making it a great size to use and wear as an everyday watch. It features a high contrast display with large numbers to make it easy to read under any circumstance.
As you would expect, the display is backlit for dark environments. The time can display in 12/24 time format and it has a calendar function.
Navigation on the Goa is managed through two buttons on the side. The navigation is easy and straightforward.
The Goa offers a number of alarms that are both visual as also audible:
A great feature included in the Goa, similar to the Leonardo, is that the computer can be completely reset. This makes it a perfect device for dive shops as they are able to perform the reset between different divers. At that moment no dive history is in the memory anymore and the calculations for decompression, etc. start from zero.
The Cressi Goa can handle Air and Nitrox diving. You can switch between nitrox and air during desaturation.
The operational max. depth is 120 meters/393 feet. Additionally, the Goa provides altitude adjustments. It also includes no fly time calculations as well as a surf time and a desaturation calculator.
The algorithm used is Cressi’s RGBM. It can be adjusted for different conservatism settings. Cressi’s algorithm has a long history and is proven to be safe and sound.
The dive log is reasonably large. You can keep dive data for the last 50 dives for each category. So, you can save 50 air dives, 50 nitrox dives, etc. That’s plenty of capacity to store data on the dive computer itself.
If you are a beginner or a recreational diver without the need for multiple gases then this could very well be the dive computer for you. If you are already considering switching to technical diving then this will not be the right device for you.
It’s not to be expected to have air integration for a dive computer in this category. It is also not necessary to have it. It’s pushing the price point up a lot to have wireless air integration and it quickly becomes uneconomical for most divers.
A built-in compass is also a nice-to-have feature that is missing. However, assuming you have a console with a compass and a pressure gauge does already take care of both of the missing features for the Cressi Goa.
The Goa does have the features you’d expect from a recreational dive computer. Judging the features based on the Leonardo, you’ll be able to get a great dive computer for the money. In the case of the Goa you even get more features in a smaller package for some more money.
The features match at least the functionality that the Leonardo provides. This alone ensures that you get a great dive computer. The couple of missing features are nothing you'll be missing in a scuba computer in that price range.
The Goa is available for purchase online. As with any purchases you will usually find that Amazon is one of the best places to get any of your dive gear including the Cressi Goa. In addition to the best pricing you also typically have the widest selection of different colors on there.
Another advantage of Amazon is that you can get free two-day shipping if you are a Prime member. It’s also easy to return or exchange products if they’re not what you expected or if they’re not working.
Suunto Zoop Novo
80 m / 262 ft
120 m / 394 ft
120 m / 394 ft
Free Dive Mode
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
~ 140 hrs
~ 50 dives
~ 70 hrs
Battery Life (Avg)
1.5 years avg
2 years avg
1.5 years avg
The Cressi Goa is a dive computer with more features than the Leonardo yet all packed into a smaller package makes us believe that it’s a great device to have. Based on the technical data you can expect a lot of functionality in a small device for a great price.
If you are into technical diving then you will need features that the Goa doesn't offer. You might want to consider looking at the Suunto Vyper Novo in that case as a great choice.
The Oceanic ProPlus X is a console style dive computer. It is a full-featured scuba computer that pretty much has any possible feature a diver with any experience level could ask for.
The screen is simply brilliant and navigation is easy with four buttons. The large display is very clean and shows all important information without confusing you. The display is one of the largest you can get on any scuba diving computer to date.
Air integration is through the high pressure hose. The Oceanic Pro Plus X can deal with up to 4 air and Nitrox mixes leaving no desires unfulfilled for an experienced diver.
Designed for intermediate and experienced divers. However, beginners should have no problems with it.
Gauge style scuba computer with quick disconnect from hose.
Ease of Use
Four button design making it easy to use. No touchscreen.
Pretty high in price. Offers all features needed for most divers and as such not overpriced!
We Don't Like
The Oceanic ProPlus X pretty much has everything you want and need. From a clear and colorful display to 4 gas mixes to automatic altitude adjustments and built-in compass. You get it all.
On top of that you also get Oceanic’s dual algorithm. The battery is rechargeable and as such it’s pretty easy to make sure you always have enough battery. The memory on board is enough for 99 dives. Last but not least, the connectivity to your computer, tablet or phone is through Bluetooth allowing you to download dive data even while you’re still on the boat going back to shore.
There’s really not much you wouldn’t like. The only improvement we would wish for is to have a touchscreen display. That would propel the ease of use to the next level. Having said that, the four button navigation is simple enough yet you will need to get used to the use of the buttons and pressing them short or long for different features!
The highlight of the Oceanic ProPlus X is clearly the display. It’s clear and shows all information with crisp fonts and graphics.
It’s also a plus to have a rechargeable battery so you won’t depend on having batteries available when you are on a dive boat and realize that your battery gets low.
The Pro Plus X supports three dive modes:
The Oceanic ProPlus X offers nearly any feature you could ever want. The price reflects that but is overall reasonable considering that you get everything in one single device and won’t have to buy a cheaper scuba computer together with a pressure gauge and compass. The Pro Plus X combines all that into one device and in the end might even end up saving you money!The display is nothing short of brilliant. While the VTX is using an OLED display, the ProPlus X uses the TFT technology. This reduces glare and makes it overall easier to read. The colors and contrast are a little lower but it’s in no way noticeable.
The diving computer supports up to 4 gas mixes. These can range from 21% to 100% O2. Gas switching can be performed under water during a dive.
Air integration on the Oceanic ProPlus X is handled through a high-pressure hose that connects to your regulator. While you do end up having a hose that can get in the way, there's no need for additional equipment like a pressure gauge. With wireless air integration a sensor can easily fail or run out of battery which is not a concern to have when you get the tank pressure through a hose.
The device features a compass that is easy to use. It also measures the temperature and shows it on the screen. Other displayed information shows the remaining tank pressure and air time remaining, dive time remaining as well as elapsed dive time, depth, battery level and no decompression time remaining. Bar graphs represent the nitrogen tissue loading, air time remaining, oxygen loading and ascent rate.
The temperature is displayed on the screen and constantly updated.
The display comes with a solid backlight. It is using the OceanicGlo technology that is activated through a button as well as the SmartGlo backlight which is sensor activated. This helps to produce a consistent intensity depending on your surroundings. You can adjust the time that the backlight is on to increase battery life.
All data can be viewed in imperial or metric units. You can easily switch between those through the settings. The time can also either be displayed in 12 or 24 hour format. Additionally, you have a built-in calendar and a 12/24 hour time to fly countdown. You also get a calculated desaturation countdown timer.
The ProPlus X uses a rechargeable battery. The air integration is handled through a high-pressure hose and as such doesn’t need a battery to measure the pressure in the tank. Battery life on the device is between 35 and 60 hours depending on the use and features used. For example using the backlight a lot will reduce battery life significantly.
Alarms and warning are clearly displayed on the screen. They are also available in audible form and you have to acknowledge them through pressing a button.
You can set alarms and warning levels for
Similar to all other Oceanic dive computers, the ProPlus X also features the dual algorithm technology. This allows you to switch between a Pelagic Z+ (Buhlmann ZHL-16C basis) or the Pelagic DSAT (Spencer/Powell model). You can also add a conservatism factor to each of the algorithms.
The ProPlus X can handle up to four different gas mixes. Each mix can be set to have O2 levels between 21 and 100 percent. You can manually switch between the gas mixes through a menu selection. The O2 levels can be preset on land.Another handy feature is that the Pro plus X automatically adjusts the altitude settings. The algorithm is based on NOAA. The altitude is automatically adjusted between 2,000 and 14,000 ft (610 to 4,200 m).
The on-board dive log has a capacity to hold data for up to 99 dives. You can then connect through Bluetooth with your computer, tablet or even phone to offload the data. You won’t need any more cables to connect which in the end will save you money as you usually have to pay for the optional connectivity cabling.
There are really no main features and functions that are missing. For technical diving it would be great to have a Trimix capability but for 95% or more of the divers this is not needed anyway.
There’s seriously not much you wouldn’t like about this dive computer. It feels like splitting hair trying to find negatives about it.The pros clearly outweigh the negatives in this case. Using four buttons for navigation instead of a touchscreen is somewhat personal preference and after going through the manual once and playing with the Pro Plus X for a little while you will not feel like you’re missing anything compared to other devices.
As with most gear you will typically find the best selection and lowest prices on Amazon. Check the current pricing by clicking on the button below!
This device has been introduced not too long ago. There’s not much customer feedback available but the feedback that can be found it overwhelmingly positive!
The Oceanic ProPlus X is a full-featured dive computer that will satisfy the needs of nearly ever diver. Nearly any feature you can imagine is available with the exception of dealing with Trimix.
Pricing is on the higher side. However, you save a bunch of cash by not having to purchase additional wireless air transmitters or optional connectivity kits and cables. You also won’t need an additional pressure gauge and compass as it’s all built-in.
The Pro Plus X is easy to use and as such even beginners won’t have problems using it. Overall, it’s designed for intermediate to experienced divers that love to dig through the data and display all pertinent information on the screen.The screen is large and allows to display a lot of data. It even features a number of bar graphs that are easy to read.
If you prefer to have a wrist dive computer and not a console mounted device then this is clearly not the right gadget for you. Also, if you insist on having a touchscreen display then this will not be the right scuba computer for you. Navigation is performed through four buttons and is easily mastered.
Data oriented divers will be happy with the Pro Plus X. It offers a large number of data points and you have a strong dive planning capability. The on-board log is large and allows to store and review the last 99 dives.
Overall, this is one of the most capable scuba diving computer you can get. It’s pricy but the features justify the price. The display is simply gorgeous and easy to read. The navigation is easy enough to even allow beginner divers not to be overwhelmed!
The Suunto Cobra 3 is designed for new recreational divers who would like to combine their pressure gauge and their dive computer into one piece of equipment. This is not a typical wrist mounted computer and can be great for those looking for a gauge design dive computer.
This diving computer is not designed for professional divers and does not have many of the technical features that would be needed on more advanced dives. This basic diving computer is ideal for new divers who want something that is simple to use but still offers some room to grow.The Suunto Cobra 3 does offer room to grow with things like nitrox and dual gas mixtures. So, even if it is the first dive computer you purchase, you should have it for quite some time.
The Suunto Cobra 3 is an easy to use dive computer with two navigation buttons.
For divers looking for a gauge style dive computer, the Suunto Cobra 3 is going to be a great purchase.
Ease of Use
The two-button navigation for the Suunto Cobra 3 is fairly simple once you get used to the short and long press navigation.
The Suunto Cobra 3 gets a lower price point score simply because it is a gauge style computer.
We Don't Like
The Suunto Cobra 3 is a great beginner dive computer because of the integrated features. The audio and visual alarms allow new divers to be aware of vital diving data without overwhelming them with too much technical data. Air integration means that you do not need an additional air gauge to monitor your air pressure, leaving you with fewer hoses to get tangled in or drag across the coral.
The two-button navigation is good in theory, but the long and short hold design of navigation leaves a little to be desired. It is easy to get frustrated when navigating to the screen or programming features that you want for the computer.
The compass design on the computer isn’t the best. You do not get a full compass mode and are only able to see your locked bearing through a series of small graphics on the computer. It can be easy to forget what the graphics mean, making it even easier to lose your bearing.
Finally, while there are adjustable gas mixes and great altitude adjustments available in the Suunto Cobra 3, there is no automatic altitude adjustment. This could be dangerous for newer divers who may not fully understand the impact altitude has on their diving capabilities.
The Suunto Cobra 3 is an easy to use scuba computer console with two navigation buttons. The three line display makes for easy reading, even though it may be a little bit crowded.
It attaches through hoses and is not worn on your wrist. You can have air integration through a high-pressure hose on your regulator.
The navigation happens through two buttons. Each button has two functions that are accessed through either a short press or a long press. This can be a little frustrating if you’re not used to this style of navigation on the computer.
The price for a wrist computer and a pressure gauge together would be equal to or even less than this computer. There are other options at this price point that have better design features.
The Suunto Cobra 3 targets the beginner and intermediate diver. If you are an experienced or technical diver and you want all the bells and whistles then this is not the best choice for you!
It offers three different dive modes:
There are two gas mixes allowed with the Suunto Cobra 3, and the oxygen rates can be from 21%-99%. Nitrox works well with the Cobra 3 and divers with their nitrox certification will not be disappointed when they have this computer to dive with.
The Suunto Cobra 3 has a slightly different air integration than other dive computers. It integrates through a high-pressure hose connection onto your regulator. Many other diving computers will use a wireless node to send data to the computer to integrate air pressure data. This unique feature allows divers to avoid having redundant equipment like a pressure gauge in case the sensor node fails.
The water temperature is displayed in either centigrade or Fahrenheit on the Suunto Cobra 3. There is also a temperature compensated pressure sensor that is calibrated complying with EN 13319.
It also offers an integrated 3D tiltable compass. Unfortunately, you do not get a full compass view but instead you'll only see your locked bearing.It needs some time to remember what the graphic represents and it can easily be confused. It might be best to have a scuba diving compass in addition to what is offered through the console.
The display is divided into three lines. That's similar to the setup known from the Vyper Novo and Zoop Novo. It's easy to read yet can become a little cluttered with all the data being displayed.
The backlight has several timeout options. This is a great feature on the Suunto Cobra 3 because it allows you to preserve the life of your dive battery. The timeout of the backlight ranges from 2 seconds through 60 seconds, giving you plenty of options to suit your needs.
The Suunto Cobra 3 has a battery life of 1.5 years. Suunto does not recommend that users replace the battery themselves because of the risk of water leaking into the battery compartment. Keep in mind that the data is not retained when the battery is swapped out because this is not a hot swap featured dive computer.
The alarm system consists of both audio and visual alarms. Many low-level alarms are only audio and may consist of short beeps, or interval beeps to alert you to an issue that needs attention. More serious alerts combine audible beeps with activation of the backlight. For life-threatening alerts, you will hear continuous beeps, and the backlight will be activated. These life-threatening alerts can be when the maximum ascent rate of 10 m per second is violated or if the decompression ceiling depth is exceeded.Maximum depth or dive time exceeded, an alarm time reached all get both audio and visual alarms. Nitrox has its own set of alarms to alert you of your maximum safe partial pressure of oxygen levels.
The algorithms used on the Suunto Cobra 3 is based on a reduced gradient bubble model. The RGBM predicts gas build-up in the blood and tissues of divers. It is an advancement on the how they used to model gases which did not predict free gas. To optimize the safety in the RGBM algorithm, you must adjust your altitude settings.
The Cobra 3 connects to your PC through a USB dongle and is compatible with Movescount, Suunto’s mobile application that functions as a dive log. Movescount functions with the DM4 software allowing you to download your dive data to the mobile app anywhere you are.
The biggest missing feature from this dive computer is the functionality of the compass. The very basic waypoint setting and minimal graphic display of 90° or 180° off of your waypoint can be difficult to navigate. Using the compass settings in this dive computer may not be useful for new divers or inexperienced navigators.
It would also be nice if there were an option to use this computer as a wrist mount. While having it look like a traditional pressure gauge and function similarly allows you to eliminate an additional piece of equipment; not having your data on your wrist can be a hindrance when diving.
There’s a lot to like about the Suunto Cobra 3. The battery is user replaceable. Although the manufacturer recommends you take it to a service station. You still can replace the battery yourself. There are instructions for how to do this in the owners manual.
The multiple setting backlight display is one of the best features. Many people like to have a long backlight for looking at their diving computer while others prefer a short backlight for quick glimpses of information. Whether you’re trying to preserve your battery life or take a long look at dive information, the Suunto Cobra 3 will have a setting right for you.
The three line display makes it easy to read all of the relevant dive information. Some of the information is attempted to be crammed into a fourth line, but it is not that often. The big block view letters are easy to read even for people with slight visual impairments.
Unfortunately, the navigation buttons on the Suunto Cobra 3 itself leave a little to be desired. The long and short press navigation options can leave users frustrated when attempting to get to the right screen especially if they're underwater.
The lack of an actual compass display is annoying. You do have the ability to set a waypoint marker. The tiny graphics to represent where you need to go are frustrating to read and could leave inexperienced navigators lost.Finally, some people may find that only having a three line display leaves it cluttered. Especially when you’re at your safety stop, and the additional line of information is popped onto that display. Having a fourth line crammed in between your second and third rows is ugly. It can be hard to look at and harder to read.
You will usually get the best and lowest price and the best available service through Amazon. Click the button below to find the current pricing and check further customer reviews.
The Suunto Cobra 3 has some fantastic reviews on Amazon. Some have called it the best diving computer that they have ever owned. You can read the reviews for yourself by clicking here.
Altogether this is a great dive computer. While you pay a little bit more for the design of the Suunto Cobra 3, it is designed like a gauge instead of a wristwatch. It does have all of the features you’ve come to expect from an introductory dive computer.
There are plenty of features on this dive computer that will leave everyone satisfied. It looks sleek, and the backlight brightly illuminates all of the data that you need to see. The vital alarms are easily noticed when the backlight begins to flash because of the bright display.
Divers who have been diving for a long time may find that this dive computer is a bit rudimentary. Suunto, the Cobra 3 manufacturer, even says that this computer is for a recreational beginner diver and should not be used by professionals or technical divers.
It simply does not have enough information to be useful in a technical or professional diving situation. This is especially true considering that the maximum depth is 100 m and the operating temperature is fairly limited.
Divers who don’t like having a lot of wires hanging from their BC or their tank are not going to enjoy this computer. Because it is connected to a high-pressure hose on the regulator, you will have additional wires to manage during your dive. Having lots of hoses can lead to an exhausting dive if you’re not used to managing that type of equipment.
The technical diving computer by Suunto is a well-priced diving computer. EON Steel offers divers many safety features, alarms, and customized settings; while allowing you to keep your display clean and simple. The unique ability to recharge the battery on the Suunto EON Steel dive computer makes this computer stand out from others available in its class.
EON Steel by Suunto is not something a beginner diver is going to enjoy.
The sleek style of the Suunto EON Steel dive computer is attractive and provides easy visibility to all information on a brilliant screen.
Ease of Use
The touchscreen and navigation of the Suunto dive computer are fairly easy to use.
As far as high-end dive computers go this one is right where you want to be for the price.
We Don't Like
The Suunto EON Steel dive computer has a rechargeable battery setting it apart from the competition. There are plenty of audio and visual alarms, but the three levels of alarm can make it a little complicated to tell what’s important and what’s not. This is a technical diving computer and may be overwhelming for new divers. The automatic start and large onboard dive log can make this a great dive computer for beginners because they will not have to remember to dump their dive log repeatedly.
The Suunto EON Steel is an amazing technical scuba computer. This high-end diving computer has more features than a beginner will ever need or use. A beginning diver may find that this dive computer is intimidating and that they have a hard time finding the information they need.
The display is condensed in a way that gives you all of the information you need without overwhelming you. All of the alarms and alerts flash brightly on the screen giving it a unique look.
The navigation is performed through three buttons in addition to the touch display. It may take some practice before you are fully confident in your ability to navigate this technical diving computer.
There are many add-ons that you can get including air integration and attachments. The device itself is rechargeable which is a rare feature in dive computers making it worth its weight in gold.
There is no doubt that the EON Steel targets the technical and very experienced diver.
It offers five different dive modes:
There are many different functions housed inside the Suunto EON Steel dive computer. On the main display screen, you can see your present depth, active gas, dive time, tank pressure, safety stop, and battery time. Additional displays include:
The Suunto EON Steel dive computer allows divers to choose from air, Nitrox or Trimix. The three options will have their own displays on the screen allowing divers to see their ppO2 maxes. In nitrox, only the oxygen percentage is displayed, and in Trimix; oxygen and helium percentage are displayed.
There is an option for air integration when using the Suunto EON steel dive computer. Air integration is available through a separate attachment. This attachment is available for purchase at an additional cost.
Both temperature and compass features are integrated on the Suunto EON Steel dive computer. To have the temperature displayed on the main screen, you have to customize your display. The compass includes tilt compensation. The compass does need to be calibrated and a calibration icon will appear when you enter compass mode. There are YouTube videos available to show you how to calibrate your compass properly.
There is no backlight option because this is a digital display. You can adjust the brightness of the display which will affect the overall battery life of the Suunto EON Steel dive computer. Because the battery is rechargeable having a bright display should not be a huge worry. You can recharge your batteries in between dives without worrying about having to send it off to a dive store or the manufacturer.
Suunto has three levels of alarm built-in to the EON Steel dive computer. Having so many alarms can make it difficult for the user to understand whether or not the audible or visual alarm is something that is life-threatening. According to Suunto the different levels alarm, warning, and notifications; are designed to be scrollable pop-up messages that will display on the screen until conditions return to normal.
Alarms are considered a critical event and will always require immediate action. When an alarm situation is resolved (for instance, you ascend back to your safety stop depth after violating your safety stop), the alarm will stop automatically. Here are the following alarms found on the Suunto dive computer:
Warnings are events that can impact your health and safety if you do not take action but do not require immediate attention. Acknowledging a warning can be done on the Suunto EON steel dive computer by pressing any button. The following are warnings available on the Suunto dive computer:
Notifications are events that require preventative action. These will display in audio and visual alarms under Suunto EON Steel dive computer and can be acknowledged by pressing any button. The following are the notifications available on the EON Steel dive computer:
With all the alarms and notifications available on the Suunto EON Steel dive computer it’s easy to see how this could be overwhelming for a new diver. All this information is great for the technical diver who may be diving repeatedly or using Trimix. However, for a new diver, this information is going to make them feel overwhelmed and unsafe. These alarms can be configured, but there are only four configurable alarms: depth, dive time, tank pressure, and gas time alarm. Each of those has their own limit and can be turned on or off.
Suunto EON Steel uses the Suunto Fused RGBM algorithm. This algorithm does lock if you fail to complete a decompression stop longer than three minutes. This safety feature locks the algorithm if you ascend above the decompression ceiling by more than 2 ft. There are both an audible alarm and a visual alarm that will alert you to go back down below the decompression ceiling for you to complete your decompression stop.
Two different gas mixtures Nitrox and Trimix are compatible with the Suunto EON Steel dive computer. The compatible gases can be displayed in the following percentages: Helium %: 0–95 and Oxygen %: 5–99. When in Nitrox mode only the Oxygen percentage will be displayed.
Suunto has created their own mobile application that is available on both iOS and Android devices. The Movescount mobile app allows you to easily transfer your dives to the online log without the need for wires. The Bluetooth integration on the EON Steel is a great feature and one you would come to expect from a high-end dive computer like this.
There is no freediving mode on the Suunto EON Steel. The lack of a freediving feature is surprising considering how in depth Suunto’s programming is on this dive computer. The ability to turn off notifications would also be nice. The sheer abundance of alarms on this dive computer is a little cumbersome. Turning some of them off would be a great feature.
There’s a lot to like about the Suunto EON Steel dive computer. To begin with, the rechargeable battery is as good as gold. Having a rechargeable battery on a dive computer is pretty rare, so this feature stands out as one of the best. In addition to the awesome rechargeable battery, Bluetooth connectivity of the dive log makes syncing your dives to your mobile device easy and convenient. Finally, the large onboard dive log means that if you forget your mobile device or are on a long dive trip with no technology other than your dive computer you will not have to worry about losing dives.
Though there are a few things that aren’t that great about the EON Steel dive computer. It really is a very technical dive computer. This could be confusing for beginner divers and may be overwhelming. There are far too many alarms alerts and warnings that you cannot shut off. Not being able to customize all the different alarms alerts is really a low point for this dive computer. Finally, the Suunto EON Steel lacks a free diving mode. For all the bells and whistles that this computer has, you would think they would have included a free dive mode. Overlooking the simple feature that many low-end dive computers have seems to be a mistake on Suunto’s part.
Usually the best (meaning lowest) price and selection are found on Amazon.com. Click the button below to look at the current price and read through some of the custumer reviews.
The reviews on Amazon have been overwhelmingly positive. Any negative reviews were due to sizing options but not the functioning of the dive computer. You can find and read the reviews for yourself by clicking here.
Suunto EON Steel
Shearwater Research Petrel 2
120 m / 394 ft
150 m / 492 ft
Crush depth 30 bar
Free Dive Mode
(Oxygen 21 - 100%)
Nitrox and Trimix
Air, Nitrox and Trimix
~ 1000 hrs
Battery Life (Avg)
30 - 40 hours
Overall the Suunto EON Steel is an excellent dive computer. For the price that you can find this dive computer for, it really does have a lot of great features. If you can get past the fact that this dive computer is going to alert you to everything that you might ever want or need to know about your dive, then this computer has a ton of great features.
All of the display items conveniently fit on one screen meaning that you don’t have to flip through screens to get all of your information. For those who want easy access to all their information, this dive computer is going to give you that and so much more. Suunto really packs a whole lot of information on to one screen with the EON Steel.
People who prefer basic dive computers are not going to enjoy the Suunto EON Steel dive computer. Those who only want to be alerted to very vital information are going to dislike the mandatory alarms built-in to the Suunto EON Steel dive computer. The mandatory alarms that you can’t turn off along with the alerts and notifications can really be overwhelming to those who just want basic information.
Divers who are not very technical and don’t need tons of technical information are not going to enjoy this computer. It is designed for people who enjoy having all of the technical information at their fingertips during their dive. New divers especially are going to find that this dive computer by Suunto is voluminous and has entirely too much information for them to use.
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.
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.
Has everything a beginner needs and doesn’t over complicate the diving computer system.
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.
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 Don't Like
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
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Aqua Lung i300
120 m / 394 ft
150 m / 492 ft
Free Dive Mode
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
(Oxygen 21 - 99%)
(Oxygen 21 - 50%)
Steel and Glass
~ 70 hrs
~ 25 hrs
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.
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.
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.