Best Dive Computers

Are you at all interested in the sport of diving? If you have stumbled across this guide today, you either are or are looking for more comprehensive information on this so-called “dive computer”. In short dive computers, sometimes referred to as personal decompression computers are devices that are used to keep divers safe so they can avoid decompression sickness. The man was only meant to traverse so deep underwater, after all. However, with the amount of technology that is incorporated into higher-end models, or even entry-level models for that matter, they are so much more than that.

Shearwater
  • Shearwater
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Large LCD screen
  • Great design
  • Price: See Here
Aqua Lung 1750T
  • Aqua Lung 1750T
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Impressive OLED display
  • three-axis compass
  • Price: See Here
ScubaPro G2
  • ScubaPro G2
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Three-button control
  • Intuitive control
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Dive Computer

 

 

Shearwater Petrel

What makes the Petrel Diving Computer so good? Wow, that is a loaded question. The mere fact it integrates everything anyone would ever need a diving computer into an easy-to-navigate two-button interface is a good start.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
While compared to the other dive computers out there that aim for a far less conservative approach, the Petrel is a bit more conservative with its decompression model.

The Display
As compared to their Predator, Shearwater’s Petrel is around 40 percent smaller but it does not sacrifice its display. Instead, it sports an impressive 2.4-inch LCD display with a high-resolution.

Ease of Navigating
A two-button design has been incorporated into this computer and the decision by Shearwater to do this should be commended. Because of this, everything is kept simple and the well-labeled and logical menus top it off.

Data Transfer
One bonus of this dive computer is it integrates Bluetooth technology which allows it to communicate wirelessly with your Bluetooth-enabled devices. In addition, a built-in 1000-hour drive log is almost incomprehensible.

Extra Software Features
Several extra features are included here and just a few are an adaptive safety stop, NDL bar graph that shows depth and time (among other metrics), and a digital three-axis compass for navigation.

Overall
While there may not be such a thing as a perfect device, the Petrel Dive Computer sure comes close to staking that claim. With a little more appeal for a watch, though, this could have easily done so.
Pros
  • Complete with a digital three-axis compass
  • Features a large 2.4-inch LCD screen
  • You can choose the AA battery
Cons
  • Not an ideal option for an everyday wrist watch

Aqua ling 1750T

First off, one can’t help but marvel at the fact that an OLED display is featured on a diving computer. In addition to this, Aqua Lung implements hoseless gas integration to provide up-to-date calculations in real-time for your convenience.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
Aqua Lung has designed their i750T with their patented gas time remaining algorithm and not only does this deliver accurate gas management, it also provides calculations in real-time for the best results.

The Display
Indeed, this dive computer sports an OLED display and that alone makes it worthwhile. Additionally, you can adjust the intensity of the brightness to adapt to sunlight or darker environments.

Ease of Navigating
Thanks to the three-button navigation system, operating this dive computer is very intuitive. Plus, the manner in which the menus are structured helps you to monitor all the key information you need while diving.

Data Transfer
In conjunction with the DriverLog app, which can be downloaded on both iOS and Android platforms, you can transfer your data from this device to your Bluetooth-enabled device. Also, once you pair the transmitter to your computer once you will never need to again.

Extra Software Features
Despite the audible alarms and color-changing segments that provide additional cautions for enhanced safety, the true noteworthy extra of this computer is the three-axis compass with a bearing lock and reciprocal heading.

Overall
Novice divers will be fearful of this dive computer due to the price alone and as such, this is probably better suited for serious divers. If diving is something you may do once or twice a year, you may deem this too expensive for your time.
Pros
  • You only have to pair the transmitter to your computer once
  • Integrates a three-axis compass
  • Features an impressive OLED display
Cons
  • A few users have mentioned it can be difficult to see in sunlight

ScubaPro G2

While there is so much to love about this next diving computer, it all begins with its advanced algorithm that can program up to eight different nitrox and trimix mixes. As a bonus, the G2 computer is also Bluetooth compatible for wireless syncing.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
As just mentioned, Scubapro uses an advanced Uwatec algorithm that programs up to eight different mixes to handle all sorts of diving scenarios. In addition to this, this does possess hoseless air integration.

The Display
It may not be quite as impressive as an OLED display, but the full-color Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) dot matrix display still produces vibrant colors and ensures maximum readability in most situations.

Ease of Navigating
Operating the G2 is made simple because of the three-button control system. Overall, it is intuitive enough for both experienced and beginner divers to wrap their heads around it.

Data Transfer
Just like the previous two dive computers, this is another that is Bluetooth compatible. Because of this, you can easily sync this to your smartphone or tablet for data transfer. Plus, this system can hold an impressive 1000 hours of profiles.

Extra Software Features
All the bells and whistles are included with this design and that not only includes a digital compass, but also an integrated heart-rate monitor that will measure your heartbeat and skin temperature.

Overall
One could easily consider this an all-in-one device given its advanced decompression algorithm, digital compass and integrated heart-rate monitor. It also helps that the TFT screen uses less energy as compared to other screens to enhance the battery life.
Pros
  • The TFT screen uses less energy than other screens
  • You can customize the menu listings
  • Integrates an intuitive three-button control
Cons
  • The included user manual is decent at best
  • Some reviews have pointed at the issue of the screen scratching easily

Aqua Lung 1450T

Aqua Lung 1450T
As compared to their i750T Dive Computer that has already been documented, Aqua Lung’s i450T feels more like a traditional wristwatch. However, it has all the implemented technology that makes it one of the best dive computers out there.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
Once again, Aqua Lung engineered their i450T with their patented gas time remaining algorithm that works much like it does for their i750T. As with the i750T, it also can manage up to three Nitrox mixes.

The Display
An average individual would think you are wearing a traditional wristwatch given the display and interface of this computer. Overall, its backlighting, size, and structure make it easy-to-read in most situations.

Ease of Navigating
Much like most dive computers, this was specifically designed to deliver an intuitive and easy experience to the user. It is safe to say that Aqua Lung accomplished just that with this design.

Data Transfer
This time, in order to transfer data from the i450T to your computer you must utilize the DriverLog software on either PC or Mac platforms. Unfortunately, this software must be purchased to be used.

Extra Software Features
There is an integrated free dive mode that allows you to see the depth, bottom and surface times of your diving. Also, there is a digital compass with a return bearing, declination adjustment, and north reference.

Overall
Despite the fact that Aqua Lung’s own i750T is a bit more advanced than this model, their i450T is still compelling and competent in its own right. In fact, per its placement, it is still one of the best in the world which says something about Aqua Lung.
Pros
  • Features a free dive mode
  • The display is crisp and clean
  • Made with a durable PVD finish that resists wear
Cons
  • Some people have reported that the battery has died within a week
  • There is no permanent battery level indicator

Suunto D4I

Suunto D4I
Truth be told, one of the few aspects missing from this dive computer to make it on par with some of the higher-end models is a digital compass. With that said, though, if the main complaint of a device is one feature it does not have, that is not too bad.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
One of the better features of this dive computer is that it can be connected with a wireless air transmitter. But, at its core, it is run by a full-continuous decompression algorithm.

The Display
The display gets the job done with its dot-matrix design and strong backlight. However, it is not going to blow you away but it does provide all the information you need at a quick glance.

Ease of Navigating
According to one user, they were able to function this computer with relative ease without the need of directions. While you still need to be comfortable with a technology device, it is not too tricky to navigate.

Data Transfer
Included with your purchase is a USB cable extension that allows you to transfer your log files from this device to your desired USB-enabled device. The 80-hour internal log time is not the best but will suffice, though.

Extra Software Features
This is the first dive computer on this list that does not have a digital compass but it does have a free diving mode and four different modes for air, free, nitrox, and an off apnea timer.

Overall
Few dive computers can compete with the D4i. Now, it does lack a digital compass but for those of you who could care less about this, you could be looking at your next dive computer.
Pros
  • It has been re-designed with a broad range of colors
  • Comes with the ability to connect to a wireless air transmitter
  • The display gets the job done efficiently
Cons
  • Does not have a digital compass

Suunto Zoop Novo

Suunto Zoop Novo
This is yet another dive computer from Suunto and this just might be the best entry-level diving computer on the market right now. However, some of the top-end features are missing that professional divers may desire too much.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
Suunto implements their own algorithm into their Zoop Novo and it follows the Reduced Gradient Bubble Model (RGBM). Of course, arguably its most notable feature is you can adjust how conservative the algorithm is.

The Display
The size of the display is what makes this computer so easy-to-read. When you are immersed in water and diving downwards, the ability to easily see critical information at a glance is convenient.

Ease of Navigating
This is one of the few dive computers to engineer a four-button operation and it is optimized to be as simple as possible for beginner divers. Not only this but the buttons are ergonomically mapped that allow them to easily be operated with thicker gloves.

Data Transfer
On the dive computer itself, you can hold up to 140 hours of log data. When you want to transfer this data over to your other devices, though, you will need the separately-sold USB cable and specific software.

Extra Software Features
The Zoop Novo is not overflowing with extra software features and truth be told, it is one of the reasons this is tailored more for beginner divers than experienced divers.

Overall
There really is a huge difference between people who dive for recreation and those that do so for a living. Due to this hypothetical line, some dive computers are better suited for recreational use and this is one of them.
Pros
  • The navigation is made as simple as possible
  • It can work with five different diving modes
  • You can adjust the conservatism of the algorithm
Cons
  • There is no compass
  • Does not have the option for air integration

Cressi Giotto

Cressi Giotto
If you take away the fact that the wrist strap is enormous, which could be an issue for some people, the Giotto Dive Computer is going to be perfect for a wide range of divers.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
Giotto features sophisticated software and it takes into account the quantity of inert gas that is contained in the different mixtures that are being used. Also, is can make saturation calculations for both air and Nitrox.

The Display
Cressi utilizes a Priority Compartment Digit Display and it allows you to see all the information on the interface quite easily. It may not be the best display out there but it is far from an issue.

Ease of Navigating
One reviewer raved about the simplicity of this design because of the three-button navigation but also criticized how hard it was to create a dive plan. With this, they had to reference the instruction manual as it was not self-explanatory.

Data Transfer
When the time comes when you need or want to transfer any data from this computer to your personal devices, it can be connected to a personal computer.

Extra Software Features
Besides its main functionality as a decompression computer, it also provides you with a calendar, clock, and chronograph.

Overall
What the Giotto Dive Computer provides to users is an easy-to-use interface combined with a stylish design and decompression algorithm. Sure, it misses some top-end technology that others possess but that is okay.
Pros
  • All critical information is displayed to you while diving
  • Includes a clock, calendar and chronograph
  • Supports multiple gas mixtures
Cons
  • The wrist strap is too large
  • The option for wireless air integration would be nice

Oceanic Geo 2.0

Oceanic Geo 2.0
There is something to be said about Oceanic’s ability to combine the style of an everyday wristwatch with the functionality of a diving computer. Plus, to keep their Geo 2.0 Watch up-to-date, you can download updates for the firmware.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
You have the ability to switch between up to two Nitrox mixes to 100 percent O2 and past this, the Geo 2.0 Watch is powered by Oceanic’s exclusive dual algorithm.

The Display
The design of the display is very sleek and the user interface has been re-designed as a whole. A nice integration, though, would have been a more intuitive naming system for the menus as they are merely labeled with their starting letter.

Ease of Navigating
Besides the four buttons that are used for navigation, most notable here is the Step Back feature. What this allows you to do is go forward and backward through menus while you are navigating.

Data Transfer
With the optional cable, you can actually receive firmware updates for this system. This keeps it up-to-date and functioning properly over time.

Extra Software Features
Outside of its functionality as a dive computer, this can also be used as a watch (with a daily alarm and countdown timer), and a gauge with a run timer.

Overall
Yeah, let’s just say that the Geo 2.0 certainly looks the part. It has a completely upgraded look and it shows when you see it. Thankfully, though, its performance also holds its own.
Pros
  • Has an upgraded look with a stainless steel accent ring
  • Features a dual algorithm
  • Can switch between two Nitrox modes
Cons
  • The menu names on the display should be more intuitive
  • Can’t hear the audible alarms underwater

Mares Puck Pro

Mares Puck Pro
If simplicity is the main attribute that you are looking for, the Puck Pro Dive Computer from Mares may be what you have been looking for all along. No, this does not sport the bells and whistles that professional-caliber dive computers possess but it gets the job done.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
The Puck Pro Dive Computer utilizes Mares-Wienke RGBM algorithm and this incorporates the idea of preventing micro-bubbles from forming.

The Display
For such a cheap dive computer, in terms of the physical price, the display is very, very impressive. Due to the mineral glass makeup and intense backlighting, in conjunction with the oversized digits, the readability is through the roof.

Ease of Navigating
Let’s just say this; navigating through this software is not going to require a Master’s degree in computer engineering. It is very simple and can even be operated in all conditions.

Data Transfer
If you want to transfer your logged dives from this system to a computer, you will need to invest in the optional USB cable.

Extra Software Features
While this is an entry-level dive computer, it actually does sport several extra features including uses as a stopwatch, regular watch, date and temperature functions, audible alarms, and an ascent rate indicator.

Overall
To be honest, everyday divers would probably throw this in the trash. That is not indicative of the computer’s quality but more so its lack of features. But, this might just be the best starter dive computer in the world today.
Pros
  • There are three modes of air, bottom time and nitrox
  • Designed with a wide mineral glass display
  • Comes with a durable rubber wrist strap
Cons
  • This is an entry-level computer and lacks extra features

Cressi Leonardo

Cressi Leonardo
Outside of a few minor issues, Cressi delivers yet another dive computer that is worthy of praise. Outside of its software features, one of the most impressive features is its rugged exterior capped off by its UFDS display.
Expand to see more
Primary Software Features
You can program gauge, Nitrox and air modes with ease and the algorithm incorporates both RGBM and Deep Stop.

The Display
Despite the fact that this is a travel-friendly and compact design, the wide UFDS display is very sufficient and provides you with a high-resolution. All in all, it is easy-to-view in most scenarios.

Ease of Navigating
Much like other diving computers that Cressi has manufactured, their Leonardo is fairly easy to program and operate.

Data Transfer
While it is not included in your investment, you can invest in the optional USB cable to connect this device to your PC. It is worth noting, though, that the software is also compatible with Mac computers.

Extra Software Features
A few features that can be taken for granted in dive computers are audible alarms and a battery life indicator and both are present in this model. Also, it has a reset option and complete Nitrox management.

Overall
Once again, this is a limited dive computer but if you understand what you are getting here, anyone can get serious use out of this device. It also helps that the visual design is quite compelling.
Pros
  • The algorithm incorporates Deep Stop and RGBM
  • Has a power-saving processor and replaceable battery
  • Designed with a high-definition screen
Cons
  • The band is quite large
  • Does not log time past the recent dive without buying the PC link

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

Its Main Software Features

The primary component of a dive computer is undoubtedly the algorithm that powers it. Basically, in a dive computer, an algorithm is a formula that is used to determine the level of nitrogen in the diver at any given time. This is the key to the device as the last thing you want to do is suffer from decompression sickness. However, there are actually a limited amount of algorithms out there and that is why you will see some dive computers utilize the same version. In terms of which algorithms are the best, it is tough to say but some are more conservative than others.

Additionally, some computers will combine algorithms in their dive computer and some will even allow you to alter the conservative nature of them. Past this, though, you also want to pay attention to see if the dive computer you are looking into has the air integration. Basically, this is will show how much air you have left in your tank while diving but not all dive computers have this function. In addition, some will be designed to receive this information via a transmitter while others via the high-pressure port.

The Display Design

It is not so much important for the design of the display to be stunning to your peers, but more so for your convenience. After all, when you are diving underwater it is nice when all you need to do is take a quick glance at the interface to see the critical information you need. One way to ensure this is possible is by analyzing the physical makeup of the screen. In other words, is it designed with an LCD display, OLED display, or even a dot-matrix display? As far as which type of screen is superior, the iPhone X was the first iPhone to use an OLED display if that says anything.

Also, the backlighting and overall readability are critical. Not all situations will call for an intense backlight so having the ability to adjust the brightness is ideal and having it bright enough, to begin with, is also crucial. Plus, you want the fonts and the configuration of them to be easily readable and seen with your eyes.

How Intuitive the Operation Is

One may believe that this section contradicts one of the later sections, referring to extra features, as would not an abundance of features create a complex and dysfunctional mess? Not necessarily and it all depends on how the dive computer is designed. A computer with 20 functions could be easier to operate than one with eight functions if it is designed well. The entire key to making the experience as simple as possible is to make the operation as intuitive as possible. Okay, so how do you do this, you may be thinking?

A strong way to start is with the button design. Some dive computers will have two, three, or even four and the key is for them to be logical and easily understood. The manner in which they are configured and mapped is important as it should allow you to use common sense. If you find yourself needing a tutorial every two seconds the design is probably not very good. However, it goes without saying that some experience with other technology devices is not going to hurt.

Its Data Transfer Capabilities

Most dive computers will come pre-built with a certain amount of log hours and once this limit has been reached, it must be cleared to add more data. This is another important aspect to consider, not only the number of log hours you are provided, to begin with, as some dive computers will be designed with Bluetooth technology. With Bluetooth built-in, the computer can wirelessly communicate with other compatible Bluetooth devices so you can transfer the data. Some manufacturers may even have a dedicated app for this purpose which allows you to use your smart devices.

But, cheaper models will probably not have Bluetooth and might not even include the USB cable that is needed to transfer the data. If this is the case, consider buying the necessary cable as freeing up your device for more log data and seeing your data at any given time on your personal device are very convenient.

The Extra Software Features

This section is quite important and will cover a lot of details; just a forewarning. You need to know real fast if you want a basic dive computer or advanced dive computer. The choice really depends on how often you dive and if you want an advanced model, there are certain features you need to look out for. One is if it has air integration; which was just covered. But, adding on to that is if you want a mix of Nitrox and this is only important if you actually dive using Nitrox. If not, then you may not find it necessary. But, one astronomical feature that oftentimes is the deciding factor when buying a dive computer is the compass.

It can be a scary thought when you are deep underwater and have no idea where you are going. Your field of vision is compromised a bit and a digital compass can be a lifesaver. But, most lower-end models will not sport a compass and you will need to bring one along which can be an inconvenience. Of course, other simple features such as a stopwatch, having audible alarms, an ascent rate indicator, or even an integrated heart-rate monitor can influence your choice one way or another.

FAQs

Q:   Are Dive Computers Really Necessary?

For those of you who had no idea what a dive computer was until you came here today, you may be asking yourself if all the hype and hoopla of them is all that it is cracked up to be. Well, here is the reality of the situation, whether or not you feel they deserve the praise that so many divers give them they really are necessary if you go diving. Imagine a scenario where you are diving and have a set plan of how far you want to go. Then, something catches your eye down below and you want to go document it. Well, how do you know it is safe for you to do so? The answer is you do not but your dive computer will notify you of such.

With a dive computer on your wrist, you will know how long you are safe to traverse in the current depths of water that you are in. Of course, it sports other bells and whistles that can come in handy, but this is the primary reason why they are necessary.

Q:   Do Settings and Dive Logs Erase After a Battery Change?

Here is something that you already know, the battery or batteries of your dive computer are not going to last forever. If you do get a model with replaceable batteries that you can manually replace, this leads to an interesting question of whether or not the dive logs and your settings are erased. As long as the dive computer has internal memory and everything is saved to that, you have nothing to worry about. Even still, memory is not saved on the battery and that is only used to power the device.

But, speaking of this, most dive computers should give you the option to reset your settings if you desired. Also, you can always delete your dive logs when you want but no, changing the battery will not delete the memory on a dive computer.

Q:   Are Dive Computers Safer than Compression Tables?

If you have done research on dive computers or have been an experienced diver for several years, you have probably come across compression tables. The thing is, when you are comparing them to dive computers there is really not much of a comparison and possibly the main reason is that of the safety. Here is the deal, compression tables require manual algorithms and mathematics which means you have to account for human error. However, this is simply not the case with dive computers as they are constantly delivering updated information in real-time to create a much safer diving experience.

Because of this, you can know in an instance notice all you need to know about your tank pressure, the depth of the water, and other critical information.

Q:   How Do You Clean a Dive Computer?

It is easy to assume that you would never need to clean a dive computer given that they spend most of their life underwater. Yet, it is quite amazing to think of the inhumane amount of ways that a technology device can get dirty and dive computers are certainly no exception. One of the most important things you need to avoid is to allow salt to build up anywhere on your computer. This could almost be considered a disease to dive computers and when they do succumb to salt, thoroughly wash them with fresh water. But, make sure to avoid using cleaning chemicals or detergents as this can damage the computer.

Also, avoid high-pressure washing as this can damage the depth sensor. Finally, you could also choose to clean the metal contacts with a soft brush and fresh water.

Q:   A Dive Computer is not Working, Do You Need a New Battery?

Nine times out of ten, when your dive computer is not turning on and you are questioning why it is probably because the battery needs to be replaced. However, you need to remember that there are various other internal components that can go bad and a new battery is not going to fix the issue every single time. For example, the pressure transducer that is used to gauge the depth and barometric pressure of the water could be going bad. But, the device will still turn on in this case; it is just you may be receiving error messages.

If the dive computer is completely unresponsive even after you put a new battery inside, chances are something else is damaged and you may have to see a professional.

Q:   How Do You Properly Store a Diving Computer?

After you are done using your dive computer and are sure it is free of salt and other deteriorating materials (just make sure you clean it with fresh water), you need to store it away until the next time you use it. Guess what? You should be paying attention to this and not just merely chucking it around at your own leisure. Higher-end dive computers can cost in excess of $1,000 so do you really want to mistreat such expensive devices? Probably not and as long as you follow these easy tips, any damage should be avoided.

First off, always store it in a clean, dry, and cool environment. This means avoid storing it in direct sunlight in a 90-degree vehicle. In addition, when you are traveling, store it safely and ensure it is not vigorously moving around as internal components could become damaged. Finally, you should also not leave the batteries inside for long periods as they can discharge and leak.

Final Thoughts

Who knew something as simple as a dive computer could have so many features that could make or break it? It is quite astonishing and it is okay if you are a bit overwhelmed as that is how you should feel. Selecting your next dive computer should not be as easy as scanning through it for 10 seconds, after all.

Rockay Socks + Medal Hanger
Next Giveaway draw
1 Winner Picked!
Your email is safe with us. Pinky swear
Share:
Enter the giveaway