Hollis DG03 Dive Computer Review
When Hollis introduced the DG03 to the market, it was a remarkable dive computer. Packed with features and compact in size.
Why was the Hollis DG03 recalled?
Then, on July 11, 2013, Hollis issued a recall due to drowning hazard. The issue wasn’t with the dive computer itself but instead with the wireless transmitter.
The transmitter was optional and was supposed to measure the air pressure in the tank and submit the remaining air to the dive computer. Unfortunately, the transmitter could report wrong data which could then have the diver deplete their air underwater without realizing it. This could result in the diver drowning.
So, the dive computer itself was not the issue, it was the transmitter. Hollis stopped the DG03 dive computer but did bring out a new update of the software.
Hollis DG03 Computer Review Summary
The Hollis DG03 was designed for recreational divers with experience. It is a wrist style diving computer.
The navigation is managed through three buttons. Menu choices are not that easy to master and the navigation is pretty cumbersome. There are not many DG03’s that you can find today for sale.
What we liked
- Large and easy-to-read display
- Good backlight
- Full set of functionality
- Three gas mixes
What we don’t like
- Navigation is cumbersome
- Safety concerns after recall
The Hollis DG03 is a full-featured dive computer. When it was introduced it was top of the line. The issues with the transmitter have resulted in the dive computer no longer being produced. The ones that are still available for sale are safe and very affordable for what they offer.
Overview and Review of the Hollis DG03
The DG03 was a great wristwatch based scuba diving computer. Unfortunately, due to the technical problems we mentioned above, it’s no longer available.
Even today, years later, it would still be a good choice for a diver that has outgrown the entry-level devices and needs a few more features.
Were/Are Oceanic and Aeris affected by the Issues?
Many divers asked themselves whether the Aeris Elite T3 or Oceanic VT3 had the same or similar issues as they are the same dive computers. The same company owns all three brands, and the dive computers were/are simply rebranded.
It was/is good to know though that both the Oceanic and the Aeris had different software, which means they weren’t affected by the issue. Today Hollis has a minimal amount of product offerings in the dive computer segment. Aeris has been wholly absorbed into the Oceanic line of dive computers.
However, you can still find a Hollis DG03 being sold. They are safe after the software update and they are overall a great dive computer to have.
It is a personal wrist dive computer with a range of features. When Hollis introduced it, they packed a lot of features into it to mark a step up from the more basic models they had until then.
The DG03 supports the following dive modes:
- Free Dive
The DG03 features a reasonably large and clearly separated display. It has a backlight that allows reading the displayed data in darkness.
Navigation on the DG03 is handled with three buttons. They allow you to get and use the different menus and choices that the software offers. Several divers mentioned that they found the navigation cumbersome and not very intuitive. The reality is that it takes a while to get used to the navigation, but it’s not like one couldn’t master it.
The DG03 comes with all the audible and visual alarms you would expect from a modern dive computer:
The Hollis DG03 can handle up to three different gas mixes. Each mix can range from 21% to 100% Oxygen. You can even adjust the Nitrox percentages during a dive if that was ever needed.
You can switch between gases during a dive. Overall, the computer has a lot of sophisticated features that you would typically expect of a more expensive device.
Lastly, as already mentioned in the recall section above, you also have the ability to use air integration with this dive computer. The transmitter is optional and since the software update on the dive computer makes it safe to use.
The computer allows connecting to up to 3 transmitters. One for each tank if you dive with three gas mixes.
The underlying RGBM algorithm is moderate to conservative. If you want it more conservative then you have the option to adjust the safety factors.
Dive Log and Connectivity
The dive log capacity is less than on most other dive computers. It can store the data for the last 24 dives. If you need to keep more data then you have to get the optional USB cable to connect the DG03 to your computer to off-load the data.
The DG03 has a rather complete set of functions. The only thing missing might be the lack of a digital compass. Otherwise, there’s not much you might not have and certainly more than what you’d expect to get at this price.
- Navigation managed with three buttons
- Both audible and visual alarms
- Large display with good display of data
- Four dive mode settings for Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Free Dive
- Three Gas mix settings between 21% and 100%
- Adjustable RGBM algorithm
- Max. operating depth 120 meters/393 feet
- Seven altitude settings up to 14,000 ft (4,270 meters)
- Display either imperial or metric data
- Dive log up to 24 dives
Pros and Cons
The Hollis DG03 is a full-featured dive computer for the experienced recreational diver. It is no longer produced yet you can still purchase it.
The pricing is great on the units you can find for purchase.
- Three-button navigation
- Adjustable RGBM algorithm
- Four different dive modes (Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Free Dive)
- Three Gas mixes
- Gas switching while diving
- Air integration with up to three transmitters
- No compass
- Safety concerns after recall
The DG03 is an excellent choice of dive computer if it’s updated with the software that removes the issues that lead to the recall. You can get it at an attractive price for the functionality it provides. The downside is that Hollis won’t produce any more updates.
Where to Buy?
There are not many DG03’s available anymore. The few that you can still find can usually be found online.
Customer reviews all over the internet speak positively with the exception of the navigation/software. It’s not too intuitive and as such you need to get used to how it works. Once you master it, the dive computer is as easy to use as any other on the market.
For the price, you get one of the most capable dive computers around. You can add optional air integration to measure the levels of gas in up to three tanks.
The screen is set up nicely and can be read easily. The backlight is strong and makes it easy to read the display in the dark.
You can use up to three gas mixes. The gas mixes can be switched during a dive and you can also change the percentages of Oxygen in the gas mixes during a dive.
A recreational diver will not miss any functionality with the Hollis DC03. The only thing you might want for convenience is a compass. Otherwise, pretty much any functionality you could ask for is part of this scuba computer.