12 Best Dive Computers Review & Guide

Nothing beats the thrill of exploring the vast blue waters, and what better way to do that than dive right into the endless blue world?

But, unfortunately, my love for diving isn’t enough to ensure my safety and enjoyment. In fact, when you’re in there, even the slightest miscalculation can cause fatal accidents. So, I always ensure that I carry the right diving equipment and encourage others to do the same.

As such, I can never do without my dive computer that offers the functionality of both dive tables and depth gauges. So, today, I’m here with an extensive guide on the best dive computers. I’ll be talking about some of my favorites and discussing the pros and cons of each.

For further reference, I also talk about things you must consider in a dive computer and even answered some frequently asked questions.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Best Scuba Diving Computer – Top 12 Picks

1. SHEARWATER Research Teric Wrist Dive Computer

Advanced divers swear by this air-integrated dive computer, and I, too, believe that nothing can beat this timeless device. Although it has separate modes for technical and recreational diving, this wrist dive computer was made by divers for divers. Hence, you’ll be getting a lot of settings to play around with.

What I like about it

For starters, its full-color AMOLED dive display and bold font size allow one to view the settings clearly underwater. So, despite being a smaller version of the Perdix, another popular model from the same brand, readability is never an issue with this chunky device.

Plus, features like a rechargeable battery, adjustable timers, vibration alarms, wireless air integration, and more make this one all the more convenient and functional. And even with all that jazz, it looks stylish enough to be worn daily as a stylish watch when you aren’t diving.

What’s more, this durable and waterproof dive computer watch offers great control over the settings and layouts. However, the cherry on the cake has to be the top-notch customer service provided by the brand.

What could be better?

Honestly, this device did not leave any scope for complaints. I’m a big fan of this product, from its functionality to style – everything about the Teric is commendable.

However, since it is an advanced dive computer boasting a sapphire crystal window, the display could be a bit difficult to read in bright sunlightit. And it is quite steeply-priced. So, if budget is an issue, you might want to check out other options.

PROS
  • Lightweight and stylish
  • Suitable for both hobbyists and tech divers
  • Cloud storage
  • Durable construction with advanced waterproofing
  • Host of convenient features
CONS
  • Clouding and dimness may impact screen brightness
  • Expensive

 

2. CRESSI Leonardo Single Button Diving Computer

If you’re looking for a convenient diving computer that costs a fraction of the previous product, this model by Cressi fits the bill! Available in attractive colors, this entry level dive computer is suitable for beginners with its single-button interface.

What I like about it

Back when I had started scuba diving, I was looking for a device that was easy to operate and read underwater. At the same time, I didn’t want to spend a whole lot, considering how I only indulged in recreational diving back then.

That’s when this single-button device became my diving companion! Thanks to its user-friendly settings and large numerical displays, readability was never a problem, even at night.

Additionally, you can adjust the FO2 between 21-50%, and the PO2 is adjustable between 1.2-1.6 bar. I also like the graphic toxicity indicator on the interface and the clear visual alarms.

Another point of convenience is the user-changeable battery. So, once the battery life of the device depletes, you can easily get it replaced or even change it yourself.

What could be better?

Considering the price, I couldn’t point a finger at any major drawbacks. However, I believe the sharp, audible alarms may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The wristband may be unnecessarily long for some users, making it inappropriate for daily use. Also it only keeps log of the time and depth of the most recent dive.

PROS
  • Cheap, but good value for money
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows
  • Easy-to-read, beginner-friendly interface
  • Audible alarms
  • Easily replaceable battery
CONS
  • May be too loud for some
  • Log of only the most recent dive
  • Lot of scrolling – due to single button

 

3. SUUNTO Zoop Novo Scuba Diving Computer

SUUNTO is a renowned name among diving enthusiasts, so there’s no way I could have excluded it from this list. Being one of my go-to picks back when I started, the Zoop Novo packs quite a punch in its stylish and user-friendly build.

What I like about it

Right off the bat, I am a huge fan of any device that offers the best of both worlds, i.e., functionality and fashion. And this dive computer does not disappoint. While the all-black matte finish looked classy and easy to pair with my everyday outfits, the other two neon options made quite a statement, so I often gifted these variants to my fellow novice divers.

Moreover, the large matrix screen, backlit display, and bold numbering are easy to read underwater and in low light conditions. You can even customize the settings between imperial and metric systems.

Another point to note is the user-friendliness with four buttons. Although it may look overwhelming for most beginner divers, you’ll have to scroll a lot less compared to a single-button unit.

What could be better?

Despite being a popular pick, this dive computer could be a hit or a miss for some.

Although it offers great connectivity, it lacks a digital compass and wireless air integration. The fact that the package does not include a USB cable is another bummer. Additionally, the design may be too chunky to be worn as an everyday watch.

PROS
  • Affordable
  • Clear display
  • Durable body
  • Various dive modes to choose from
  • Customizable algorithms, backlight timing, etc.
CONS
  • No in-build compass, air integration, and USB cable
  • Not suitable for everyday wear

 

4. MARES Quad Computer

Available in four cool colorways, this is another user-friendly pick for recreational divers. In fact, many intermediate and advanced divers also rely on this one due to its long battery life, multi-gas capability, and intuitive interface.

What I like about it

The first thing to catch my eye was definitely the gigantic display with jumbo-sized numbers on the screen. The watch-style dive computer also boasts three modes – air, nitrox, and bottom timer – all of which are easy to set up. Personally, I feel that the bottom timer mode is more suitable for technical divers.

On the other hand, a recreational diver can also take advantage of the four-button interface, which allows easy navigation and customization.

I was further amazed by the massive battery life that lasts for up to 300 diving sessions. As such, it does not require frequent charging, making it a great dive computer for traveling. And if the battery runs out after years of use, you can easily find a new one and replace it by yourself.

What could be better?

Thanks to the host of features offered at an affordable price, this scuba dive computer by Mares will not disappoint you in any aspect. However, novice divers might find the multiple buttons difficult to figure out initially. I also think that the screen could have done better with a more durable material.

PROS
  • Convenient scrolling and easy to navigate
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater conditions
  • Impressive battery life with user-changeable batteries
  • Clear and distinct display
CONS
  • Screen material is not very durable
  • May be difficult to figure out for beginners

 

5. GARMIN Descent Mk1

This elegant watch-sized dive computer boasts a gray sapphire crystal window (varies with the color you choose) and makes a stylish statement while offering top-notch functionality underwater. Although it is a bit expensive, I believe the premium look and feel make up for it.

What I like about it

One of the high-end dive computers, I recommend Garmin Descent Mk1 for advanced divers who will be using the device often and require something more professional.

Getting into the deets, I was impressed by the built-in sensors that consisted of a gyroscope, a 3-axis compass, GPS, and GLONASS capability. The latter allows you to note your dive entry and exit points. Plus, dive logs enable you to store data for up to 1000 hours, which you can share online with fellow scuba enthusiasts.

You can choose between single and multi-gas dives (trimix and nitrox), closed-circuit rebreather (CCR) and apnea, gauge, and more. As such, planning your dives becomes a breeze with this smartwatch.

What could be better?

Considering the expensive tag, I couldn’t help but expect it to include air integration in the system. Unfortunately, it did not offer that, and the maximum depth rating also fell short. Also, the surface can get scratched quite easily.

Other than that, I don’t have any complaints about the overall performance and build of Garmin Descent Mk1.

PROS
  • Convenient planning, storage, and sharing via dive logs
  • Monitors heart rate
  • Doesn’t require frequent charging on watch mode
  • Ideal for various types of diving
  • Highly customizable
CONS
  • Limited max depth rating; not suitable for technical divers
  • No air integration
  • Easy to scratch
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6. SHEARWATER Research Perdix Dive Computer

The Perdix offers excellent merits on a timeless design, making it ideal for technical diving. Despite offering a slew of functions, it is rather easy to navigate and customize. Other than that, you get excellent battery life and Bluetooth connectivity, so you really cannot go wrong with this smart gadget.

What I like about it

First off, I was drawn to the simple and sleek design of the Perdix. On top of that, you get an easy-to-navigate interface with a high-resolution screen that promises optimum visibility underwater.

Another impressive feature is the updated battery which ensures long operational hours. Plus, it uses the standard AA batteries, which can be replaced easily.

I was also taken aback by the 1000 hours of storage capacity offered by this device. And of course, the Smart Bluetooth allowed wireless mobile connection, making it all the more convenient for me to back up my diving logs. This actually might be the best dive computer with bluetooth connectivity.

Lastly, the integrated bungee mounts take the overall design of this unit a notch higher as it provides more versatility than one with just the regular strap mounts.

What could be better?

In all honesty, I was definitely expecting the Perdix to be air integrated. Thankfully, the digital compass is quite accurate and makes up for the lack of air integration.

However, the absence of a USB cable in the package is a major bummer, considering it is not exactly cheap.

PROS
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Equipped with a bungee mount
  • Generous memory and Bluetooth
  • Vivid screen
  • Beginner-friendly interface
CONS
  • No wireless transmitter
  • No USB cable included

 

7. MARES Puck Pro Plus

Boasting a simple one-button display and three dive modes – air, nitrox, and Mountain Lake, this mid-range dive computer will offer quite the bang for your buck. With different colors to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect pick for yourself.

What I like about it

When I’m trying to find the best value scuba dive computer, I either find something too expensive or too cheap. While the latter does not always mean low quality, I wanted something that works well as a gift for advanced divers and won’t pinch my budget at the same time.

As such, Mares Puck Pro Plus is a good choice for divers of any level, with its intuitive one-button setup and improved screen. The upgradeable firmware also makes it a versatile pick as you can customize the device as you become more experienced.

I believe the three sections of the dive display on this device are all that one really needs, namely, depth, time, and deco, and that is exactly what it shows. However, you can always change your settings to Nitrox tanks, which is an effortless process on this watch.

What could be better?

Although I like how this product is a no-nonsense device, it could have done better with air integration. Plus, there is no freediving mode and the 36-hour logbook memory also left me quite disappointed.

PROS
  • Versatile, upgradable firmware
  • Easy-to-read screen
  • Beginner-friendly settings
  • Customizable average depth
  • Audible battery power indicator
CONS
  • No wireless transmitter
  • Insufficient logbook memory

 

8. SUUNTO D5 Scuba Wrist Computer

With some of the previous dive computers not offering air integration, here’s one that finally does! In fact, SUUNTO D5 is often deemed as one of the best air integrated dive computers, and I can’t help but agree. Let’s see what else it has to offer.

What I like about it

Not all scuba computers look as stylish as daily-wear sports watches, but Suunto D5 is quite an eye-catcher. Accompanied with a changeable wristband, this stylish dive gear is sure to match all of your outfits.

The watch sports a massive display with vibration alarms to keep you alert throughout your dive trip without being too intrusive. You can even adjust the algorithm to make the device more conservative or aggressive, unlike most recreational diving computers by SUUNTO.

While this device does not offer the best battery life, I like how one can use the idle and deep sleep modes to save power. Moreover, it is the first dive computer by SUUNTO for recreational diving that boasts a user-rechargeable battery.

What could be better?

This dive watch may not be suitable for technical diving due to the algorithm lock, which occurs on breaking a decompression ceiling for more than three minutes. Other than that, the compass needs recalibration every time after recharging the battery, which can get quite inconvenient.

PROS
  • Suitable for recreational diving
  • Stylish look with changeable wristbands
  • Adjustable algorithm
  • Gas switching option available
  • Vibrant display with alarms
CONS
  • Frequent recalibration required
  • Algorithm locking

 

9. AQUA LUNG i300C

This entry-level computer by Aqua Lung is a simple, user-friendly, and rugged device, available at a great price point. It offers a pletora of beneficial features like multiple diving modes, Bluetooth connectivity, user-replaceable battery, gas switching, and more. Let’s check out what else the i300c has in store for advanced divers.

What I like about it

The first feature that intrigued me was the convenience and connectivity offered.

As such, the brand offers an app named DiverLog+ (compatible with Android and iOS) that helps you transfer and store dive data on your devices. The app also lets you manage settings on any other device instead of the dive computer itself. Moreover, it allows you to share your stats on social media sites, inviting the envy of fellow diving mates.

When it comes to diving modes, the i300C offers four – air, nitrox, gauge, and freedive modes. An interesting feature of the gauge mode is the to-the-second information provided for dives within the time period of 1 hour.

What could be better?

One of the few downsides of the i300C is the smaller screen size, which may make visibility an issue underwater. The other drawback would be the two buttons which often get difficult to push while wearing gloves. However, I would still recommend this one for a techy diving enthusiast who wishes to store a lot of dive data.

PROS
  • Impressive Bluetooth connectivity
  • Highly functional app
  • User-replaceable battery
  • Automatic altitude adjustments
  • Four diving modes with gas changing
CONS
  • Small screen
  • Buttons may be difficult to push

 

10. CRESSI Giotto

My second recommendation from Cressi is one of the best freediving computers I have ever come across. Available in seven stylish colorways, the large and vibrant screen is compact enough for traveling, making it my companion in most of my diving trips.

What I like about it

A wrist-mounted scuba diving computer with two console versions, Cressi Giotto is a reliable budget buy. Although the large screen does not make it suitable for everyday wear, I still reach out to it when I need a backup dive computer with a clear and distinct display.

I also like how the screen shows all the important information on one display, and you’ll not have to scroll through different menus unnecessarily. This further makes it a safe option for divers with any level of expertise.

As you may have noticed, most of the dive computers mentioned previously either had a single button or four buttons. However, Cressi Giotto sports three, making it quite easy to navigate and set up for beginners.

What could be better?

With just 70 hours of logbook memory, I was always in a hurry to transfer my dive data from this equipment to my phone or laptop. This made it inconvenient at times when I forgot to backup my dive logs.

Another drawback is the lack of a digital compass and air integration, both of which are available with the console (separately purchased).

PROS
  • Easy to use three-button interface
  • Visual and audible alarms
  • Long battery span
  • Supports gas switching
  • Large display
CONS
  • No digital compass and air integration
  • Less memory storage

 

11. OCEANIC Pro Plus 4.0 Console Computer

One of the best console dive computers, that is Oceanic Pro Plus 4.0 with the Datamaster (first air integrated dive computer by Oceanic) concept. While it may not be the best-looking device out there, it has a lot to offer in that chunky body at a reasonable price.

What I like about it

Compared to its predecessor, the Pro Plus 3.0, it sports wider digits, thereby allowing better visibility. In fact, I haven’t had any issues reading my diving stats under very low light conditions, too.

I also like the customizable algorithm feature that allows me to connect my Pro Plus 4.0 with any computing device. This flexibility further makes this product an ideal option for someone who is transitioning from recreational to technical diving.

Even with the multitude of features like Bluetooth connectivity, air integration, dual algorithm, and more, the computer is fairly easy to use. Equipped with just two buttons, I quickly got the hang of using it, and so will you.

What could be better?

Being one of the few dive consoles that offer high functionality and easy reading, this device can be quite bulky for some. However, once you clip it to a BC with a retractor, the weight does not feel bothersome at all.

PROS
  • Excellent wireless connectivity
  • Easy-to-read display with backlight
  • Supports digital compass and air integration
  • Boasts dual algorithm for more versatility
CONS
  • Bulky

 

12. SCUBAPRO G2 Wrist Diving Computer with Transmitter

Closing the list with yet another well-known brand in the diving industry, the Scubapro G2 is a powerful and durable dive computer. Available in wrist-mount and console, I’m an avid fan of the former, equipped with a heart rate monitor.

What I like about it

First and foremost, the simple display makes it a hit among beginners, although the price may be a tad bit too much for them. It sports an LCD display with three colors highlighting the safety status of the diver.

Further, the G2 offers multiple dive modes like air, freediving, and gauge, and is fully mixed-gas compatible. On top of that, you can switch up to eight gas mixes, including trimix and nitrox. Basically, whatever dive mode you opt for, G2 has got you covered!

Another highly impressive feature is the Human Factor Diving technology with the heart rate monitor. Both of these settings control the different aspects that affect the nitrogen absorption of your body.

What could be better?

In hindsight, you must note that most of the features on this dive computer may not be useful for recreational diving. I also felt that the device was a lot bulkier than other products on the market.

Moreover, some users have complained about the strap coming off after a few uses, though that was not the case with me.

PROS
  • Customizable display with multiple layouts
  • Rechargeable battery
  • 1000-hour dive logs
  • Impressive HRM and air integration
CONS
  • Bulky
  • May be too complicated for a recreational diver

 

Buyer’s Guide

Despite my extensive research and experience behind curating this list of the best dive computers, one can never guarantee if a particular product is ideal for you. This is because what I would want in the most suitable computer for diving may not align with your personal preferences. Similarly, the requirements of a pro diver vary greatly from that of a novice diver.

Hence, the concept of “one size fits all” does not hold true here. After going through my recommendations, you must check out each of the products and its specifications to determine whether it will be the right one for you. As such, these are the factors you must keep in mind while looking for the best dive computer.

diver underwater with computer

1. Design

No, I’m not asking you to judge a book by its cover! But when choosing dive computers, I tend to go for designs that can double up as a daily-wear watch. This consideration becomes all the more important if the device is as expensive as $1,000 or more. After all, who would want to pay all that money to buy something they can wear underwater only?

Hence, if you’re looking for a stylish piece, I suggest Shearwater Research Teric orand Garmin Descent Mk1. Moreover, check if the watch is lightweight enough to ensure comfort in all of your adventures.

2. Readability

Visibility becomes a major issue underwater, so a bright, vivid screen should be the priority. Hence, I personally prefer a colored LED display as that promises better readability in low light conditions.

Additionally, even the most advanced technical divers can agree that a simple screen display is any day better than a screen full of statistics you don’t even need. As such, I highly recommend the Shearwater Teric or the Mares Puck Pro Plus.

3. Battery Life

A long-lasting battery is another essential factor in a good dive computer, especially if you travel a lot for recreational or tech diving. In this regard, the Mares Quad and the Cressi Giotto scuba diving computer are my picks.

However, keep in mind that most wrist computers with a vivid screen and exceptional features may not offer long-lasting batteries. This is because additional features require more power, thereby depleting the battery life sooner than a simpler device.

Moreover, if you do opt for advanced dive computers, ensure that they are equipped with user-replaceable batteries. This way, you will be able to get more uses out of the product without rushing to the service center every now and then.

4. Bluetooth Connectivity

While this may seem like a secondary feature, it allows seamless transfer of data from your device to your phone, PC, laptop, etc. Many dive computers allow firmware updates and customization from other devices with the help of Bluetooth. Thus, this feature is beneficial for beginners who are unable to figure out the interface of their dive equipment.

Consequently, if wireless connectivity is a major requirement, I recommend Shearwater Research Perdix for its Smart Bluetooth feature and generous storage.

5. Usability

Not all dive computers out there will be easy to use and navigate. So, if you are a beginner diver, it is best to opt for something with a simple interface and easily customizable features.

Considering the user-friendliness of all the products on the list, I recommend the Shearwater Research Teric, the Cressi Leonardo, and the SUUNTO Zoop Novo. Note that this factor is highly subjective since some may prefer a single-button watch while others may find a four-button interface easier to navigate.

6. Air Integration

An air-integrated device provides all the dive data at once, allowing a seamless and safe diving session. Honestly, a few years ago, I had never imagined air integration would become such an important factor for me. While it is not a necessity, the feature is definitely nice to have.

For instance, whenever you end up breathing faster (like, while taking pictures underwater), a dive computer with air integration shows your breathing rate. Consequently, you can control your breathing for efficient diving.

As you opt for higher-end diving computers with multiple transmitters, you’ll be able to supervise the breathing rate of a fellow diver as well.

7. Time of Release

Dive computers are quite expensive, so when you buy one, think of it as an investment. Because of this, it is best to opt for the latest model equipped with advanced features like a heart rate monitor, GPS, Bluetooth, etc.

Although older models are relatively cheaper, I believe it is best to stay in tune with technological advancements with newly released dive computers or any other device for that matter.

8. Scope of Customization

Variety is the spice of life, but unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury to sport different dive computers on different occasions. That’s when a device with changeable straps can modify the overall look and may even offer more wears out of the product.

Other customizable features like layouts, alarm beeps, and more are also useful if you want a product that can adjust according to your exact preferences.

9. Customer Reviews

This factor holds a lot of importance, especially if you are shopping for dive computers online. Check for verified customer reviews on the official website of the brand as well as third-party shopping sites. I recommend paying extra attention to reviews accompanied with pictures, unboxing videos, and more.

10. Price

While I don’t recommend keeping the price as a major influential point for your purchase, I’d like to add that the best computers are not always expensive. As you may have noticed, many of my recommendations above are easy on the budget, like the Cressi Leonardo, the SUUNTO Zoop Novo, and the Mares Puck Pro Plus.

Hence, if budget is a constraint, do not hesitate from checking cheaper, entry-level dive computers. But ensure that the product offers durability and the features you would like before making your pick.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Dive Computer Worth It?

The answer to this depends on the frequency of your dive trips and your level of expertise. If you’re just starting off, you can always rent diving equipment. However, a dive computer and a mask are essentials, which most divers carry even while traveling.

So, once qualified, I would highly recommend getting your own dive computer watch to enjoy your underwater expedition while staying safe.

What is The Easiest Dive Computer to Use?

In my opinion, Cressi Leonardo is the easiest to use, making it ideal for beginners. Although my first pick, the Shearwater Research Teric, is also fairly easy to navigate, it consists of a lot of technical features too, which may confuse first-time divers.

How Long Do Dive Computers Last?

The longevity of a dive computer depends on the frequency of use, number of advanced features, screen brightness, and many other factors. However, if you want a rough estimate, any mid-range dive computer used for 50 dives a year may require a new battery in the second year.

To avoid unexpected battery issues, I suggest opting for wrist or console dive computers with a battery indicator.

Does Every Diver Need a Dive Computer?

Safety comes first, and even a slight error can become fatal when you’re underwater. Hence, I highly recommend using a dive computer as it will help you plan and calculate various factors of your dive. As such, a device with a dive planner is an even better option.

Some stats that can be checked on a dive computer are the amount of gas left in the tank, your ascent speed, the depth you’re at, and so on.

Additionally, some of the best dive computers allow you to record your dives and transfer them on other devices. Some are also accompanied by an app that enables you to share your dive logs on social media.

Which Dive Computer is The Best?

Well, my all-time favorite has to be the Shearwater Teric, as it offers easy nitrox programming, dive recording, wireless connection, and everything that I require in a dive computer. Another one of my top picks is the Garmin Descent Mk1 with its smartwatch features.

However, if you’re looking for a more beginner-friendly device, I’d recommend the Cressi Leonardo in a heartbeat!

How Much Should You Spend on a Dive Computer?

Generally, dive computers cost between $150-1500, so the answer to this question is, again, highly subjective.

For instance, if you’re into recreational diving, I recommend opting for a cheaper unit, anywhere below $500. However, advanced divers may need something more high-end with features like air integration, dive mode customization, user-replaceable battery, and so on.

Note that expensive dive computers will allow more versatility and customization with algorithms, navigation settings, layouts, gas switching, etc. While a higher price tag may not always guarantee durability, you can expect to get more advanced features.

Conclusion

With that, I finally come to the end of this review-based guide. Hope I was able to help you learn a thing or two about the many great dive computers out there. While buying the right dive computer might seem like a colossal task, with some important factors in mind, I’m sure you’ll be able to make the right choice.

Before I leave, I’d like to reiterate some of my favorites. It’s no surprise that Shearwater Research Teric wrist dive computer is my top pick for any type of diver.

However, it is quite a pricey device, so the Cressi Leonardo is a close second with its value for money. Last but not least, I would recommend the SUUNTO Zoop Novo for beginners looking for a simple watch-style computer with minimal unnecessary features.

On that note, your friendly diving instructor will be signing off now. Take care and stay safe!