Mares Smart Dive Computer Review
Mares has designed and ideal introductory dive computer with its Smart dive watch. This dive computer has a lot of safety features built into it that match the needs of 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 lockout. This feature locks the dive computer for 24 hours if an excessive Ascent rate occurs for more than two-thirds of the depth of the dive. This feature reduces 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, it has plenty of other features that will have divers quickly navigating the waters.
With a maximum depth of 492 feet or 150 m, this introductory dive computer is going to be suitable for any recreational diver. You probably won’t outgrow this computer for many dives to come.
Mares Smart Wrist Scuba Computer Review Summary
The Mares Smart provides all the features that 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. It could pass as a sports watch because of its slim profile.
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 has a very low price point and perfect for beginners who aren’t sure whether or not they are going to keep this style of the dive computer.
What we liked
- Lots of Safety Features
- Audio and Visual Alarms That
- Three Distinct Display Windows
- Low Price Point
- 150 M Maximum Depth
What we don’t like
- Small Onboard Dive Log
- No Air Integration
- No Compass
- Small Display
It is an ideal beginner watch with plenty of safety features and easy navigation. The Mares Smart wrist-mounted dive computer has plenty of good points. You can overlook the lack of air integration and compass when considering the low 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. It is close to the perfect beginner’s diving computer.
Overview and Review of the Mares Smart
The Mares Smart features some sleek looks and has a slim profile when you compare to many other wrist-mounted scuba diving computers (like for example the Suunto EON Steel). It could pass as a sports watch because of its slim profile. It’s available in multiple color options and has a pleasing design.
While the navigation with two buttons can be a little cumbersome at times, the display 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’s design and features match what a beginner diver requires. 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:
- Air and Nitrox
- Free Diving
The Smart scuba computer has a lot of capabilities for a basic dive computer. The maximum depth is 150 m or 492 feet, making sure you can count on it for all recreational diving depths. It 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 it 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.
Ascent Rate Exceeded Lockout
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 unit will tell you both audio and visual to stop your ascent. Then if you exceeded the ascent rate of 12 m/m for over one-third the depth of your dive, the computer locks for 24 hours to prevent dive injuries. It’s a pretty neat feature that not many others have.
In addition to the ascent rate alarm, there are other audio and visual alarms available on the Mares safe dive computer including:
- exceeding a safe ppO2
- CNS =75%
- missed decompression stop
- low battery during the dive.
All of these alarms help you stay safe when diving and are perfect for beginner divers.
Unfortunately, there is no air integration on the Mares Smart dive computer, so you will need an additional air gauge when diving with this computer. However, the low price point of this introductory dive computer makes buying an air gauge less of an inconvenience.
There is a wide temperature measurement range available on the Mares Smart dive computer. The temperature ranges from -10°C to 50°C (14°F to 122°F.)
Anything outside of that range will compromise other readings given by the dive computer about depth and pressure. But considering that you will 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, intermediate, and conservative setting. These settings apply to both decompression and altitude.
Dive Log and Connectivity
The Mares website says that the Smart’s onboard 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 a few features that we 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.
- Free Diving
- Nitrox Capable
- Two Gases
- Upgradable Firmware
- User-Replaceable Battery
- 25 Hour Dive Log
- Audio and Visual Alarms
- 150 m Maximum Depth
- Battery Power Indicator
- Dive Plan Mode
- Gas Switching
- Altitude Adjustments
- Daily Alarm
- Segmented Display
- Bottom Timer
- Automatic Safety Stop
Pros and Cons of the Mares Smart Dive Watch
The best part about this watch is the price point. You will have a hard time finding a better-priced diving watch that has the same amount of features as the Mares Smart scuba diving 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.
- Segmented Display
- Maximum Depth
- Easy to Use
- Audiovisual Alarms
- No Air Integration
- No Compass
- Only two gas mixes
- Limited Display information
- Small Display
Where to Buy?
You most likely get the largest selection of colors online. You can certainly also find the Mares Smart diving watch at many local dive shops.
Check out the different color options through one of the Amazon links throughout this review. If you found the right color that you like then verify pricing. Make sure to buy from a reputable online retailer so you know you get the customer service you deserve and expect.
The Smart is one of the higher-rated first dive computers for beginners. The Mares Smart diving computer has wonderful reviews that you can see here.
While the Mares Smart computer is not going to please everyone, it is definitely a great 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 audible and visual alarms will allow new divers to easily track and see their bottom time ascent rate and safety stop information.
It is a wonderful computer for getting all the essential diving information to the diver without cluttering up the screen with non-essential graphs and displays.
Who wouldn’t like it?
If you’ve been diving for a long time and our technical diver, you probably want more information and data from a dive computer. 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. It is not a great choice if you prefer larger displays or devices with a touch screen.
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.