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Best Dive Computers: Tested & Reviewed | Start Scuba Diving
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Best Dive Computers: Tested & Reviewed

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“Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool, or you go out in the ocean.”

This Christopher Reeves quote stuck with me from when I learned swimming, and I am reminded of it every time before diving into the ocean.

The marine world has become an integral part of my life, and I try to go for a dive multiple times a week. It is a liberating feeling indeed. But over time, I have realized how important it is to have proper scuba gear to enjoy the depths of the deep blue sea.

When diving became a part of my life, I wanted to keep track of my adventures underwater, and that is when I looked up the best dive computers. These devices help in keeping a check on the underwater activities and will provide accurate measurements of the depth and time.

 

But before purchasing one, you need to have a clear knowledge about their functions and specifications. To make it easier for you, I have discussed it in detail in this guide. 

If you’re also in the market for other scuba diving gear, be sure to check out our other buying guides!

Now, let’s dive into the details without further delay.

Best Dive Computers

Dive Computer Best For Shop Now

Cressi Leonardo Underwater Dive Computer
All Divers

Shearwater Research Perdix Dive Computer
Advanced Divers

Shearwater Research Teric Dive Computer
Advanced Divers

Mares Puck Pro Dive Computer
Budget

Oceanic Geo 4 Dive Computer
Beginners

Factors To Consider When Buying Dive Computers

Before I begin with the top 5 products, I would like to discuss some factors that you should keep in mind while making a decision. These will help you determine if the product is good enough to use and ensure that you pick the ideal one for your own needs.

Display Screen

Let’s face it! A dive computer might have an incredible mechanism, but it will not matter if the display screen is not bright enough. Hence, make sure that the display screen is large, and the digits are clear. Every letter and alphabet has to be big enough for you to be able to see underwater.

Also, check if the screen will remain lit when diving. You might not have the liberty to click the illumination button every time, especially if you are diving very deep. These low-visibility situations are especially where a well-lit screen will come in handy.

Fit

Another vital factor is how the device fits. The computer has to fit on your wrist snugly, and the straps should be well protected. You can get the strap cut short from a local store if it is too long. More holes can also be made on the strap in case of thin wrists. But at the end of the day, it has to provide you with a comfortable fit.

Alarm

Not every computer will come with an alarm, and beginners, or those who do not dive deep, will also not need it. But if you are a professional and love diving below 40 feet or so, you must have an alarm.

This will warn you anytime you go beyond the set limit. It is also important for all those who have a medical device that might not take the water pressure beyond a point.

While looking for a dive computer, user-friendliness is one of the key factors you need to keep in mind. It has to work well underwater and provide you with all the necessary information as clearly as possible. I have ranked the following products keeping this factor in mind.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Top Pick

Cressi Leonardo Underwater Dive Computer

After testing all of the top products extensively, I felt that the Cressi Leonardo Underwater Diving Computer is the best of the lot. It ranks high on style, functionality, and user-friendliness. While it is designed for beginners, professionals will also not think twice before using it.

I loved how it is jam-packed with the best features and comes with everything you may require. With a loud alarm, HD screen, lines separating the information, and many more attributes, this beats many computers which cost double the price of this one.



Top 5 Scuba Dive Computers

Cressi Leonardo

To begin with, I found the Cressi Leonardo Underwater Diving Computer to be an ideal option for beginners and advanced divers alike. It is rugged and durable with a UFDS display. This display will make it easy for you to navigate underwater, even in low visibility areas.

Moving on, it has a complete Nitrox management depth gauge mode. This, along with a reset option, will help in configuration and navigation through the enormous amount of information that can be provided by the device.

But what truly sets it apart is the user-friendly design that it offers. There is a single button that helped me set the Gauge, Nitrox, and Air modes. The high definition screen was an add-on and facilitated easy viewing.  With it, you can view the numerics without bringing your arm close to the face.

Also, the computer provides a user-selectable deep-stop function. You can choose the unit of measure you want between metric and imperial. There is a battery life indicator along with it, which will help you keep track of the battery level.

What was further impressive was the loud alarms and a CNS oxygen toxicity graphic indicator. Now you can explore and experiment with new locations, while the device helps in keeping check of the oxygen level.

Pros
  • A large high-definition screen
  • FO2 adjustable between 21% and 50%
  • Loud audible alarms
  • PO2 can be adjusted between 1.2 bar and 1.6 bar
Cons
  • Watchband could be shorter

My Experience

When my diving instructor initially suggested this to me, I had not fully understood its qualities. On using it, I realized that this brand has paid attention to the minor details. There are light lines that separate every piece of information on the screen. Being a beginner at the time, the device helped me understand the data better, especially during stressful or emergency situations.

I was impressed with the fact that the entire thing can be reset after every dive. This allowed me to give it to my mate, who was going to dive next. According to me, the user-friendly back-lit display system paired with high contrasts, big numbers, and alphabets is everything that a beginner needs.

I was also initially skeptical about how the button would work with gloved hands, but it turned out to be a pleasant experience. The only downside to this is the watch strap, which could have been shorter. The grabber would release my band from time to time, and I feared losing it in the waters.

Verdict

Based on the excellent features, single-button interface, and user-friendly design, I highly recommend the Cressi Leonardo as the best dive computer for beginners. If you are new to diving, this will help keep a tab of all the important details that you need to know. With that said, it’s still a sound choice for advanced divers, too!


Shearwater Research Perdix

Up next, I have selected the Shearwater Research Perdix Dive Computer, which is highly recommended by divers all around the world. It offers some of the best features and ensures that you can read it carefully, whatever the situation might be.

To start off, this has a completely customizable display where you can not only decide what information you want to see but can also set the level of brightness. I was even able to change the language for a friend who did not understand English. Moreover, the 2.2” display will help you see better, while the 2-button interface enables simple navigation.

This product also has an integrated compass in case you are not able to figure out the direction. The compass works well, and you can fully trust it. What’s more, you will not need a USB to transfer logs and data to your PC. This saves you from spending on a USB cable, and you will be able to transfer via Bluetooth easily. This advanced wireless technology takes this product a notch higher.

Overall I loved the sleek contoured low profile design that it has. It is lightweight and very cost-efficient, making it the perfect choice for those looking for value for money.

Pros
  • 2″ display with vibrant colors
  • 2-button interface
  • Customizable display
  • User-replaceable AA battery
Cons
  • Lacks a good hard case

My Experience

I came across this computer when I met a fellow diver on one of my diving journeys. And needless to say, this brand impressed me from the beginning itself with the way it was packaged. It felt like someone meticulously checked everything and then rechecked again before keeping the items in place. The extras were all arranged neatly, and nothing was missing.

Moving on, in one of my sessions, the surf turned out to 6 feet high, and visibility was very low. While I could not see anything in my surroundings, this product was clearly visible. It made me feel safe even in deep waters.

The only downside is that it does not come with a hard case, and I had to buy one separately. This cost me extra, but I felt it was needed to ensure that the product remained safe.

But overall, it was very impressive and worked flawlessly for me. Whatever the weather may be, this ensured I could read the screen perfectly well.

Verdict

I would recommend this product to beginners and professionals both, although given the price range it may be more suited to advanced divers, because of its range of features and excellent workmanship. It has a bright display and customizable features that every user will love. You will need 10 minutes to figure out how it works, and then you are ready to use it.



Shearwater Research Teric

Continuing with another incredible product, the Shearwater Research Teric Wrist Computer will impress you with its high-resolution display and rugged construction. It has 316 stainless bezel & buttons and a Sapphire crystal window, which is impressive.

A 1.39” display will enable you to see perfectly, and the vivid colors further enhance visibility. It is a fully colored AMOLED display with a deep black screen background. The black helps the alphabets and numerics stand out, and they are visible even in broad daylight.

I loved the level of customization that the product allowed. You can change and toggle between a collection of watch faces and settle for the one that matches the occasion. Along with it, you can set the alarm, turn on the stopwatch, and program timers. The alarm can beep loudly or can be set to vibrate.

Further, you can transfer data with the help of Bluetooth smart technology. It helps to log in quickly and transfer all the data. You can also export the information to Diverlog and keep a watch on your diving time and patterns.

And yes, Shearwater is known for its outstanding product support and customer service. In case you face any issues with it, call them up directly for help.

Pros
  • 39″ display with a bright display
  • 316 stainless bezel & buttons
  • Can connect with 2 transmitters
  • Cloud control and Bluetooth smart technology
Cons
  • Tad bit expensive

My Experience

I first saw the Shearwater Teric on a fellow diver’s wrist underwater where I caught sight of its screen and could see the numeric clearly. That left me very impressed, and I went forward to buy it. This indeed has a large display screen, and the colors can be changed whenever you wish to.

Operating it underwater was no problem at all, and you can toggle between the options easily, even with very little visibility. The brightness can be adjusted based on the amount of light around, and you can set it to high, medium, or low.

Adding on, it has a safety stop feature like most of its peers, and the entire data on the screen becomes green if you go below 23 feet. The color remains until you have come above this level and then it changes to blue.

While it offers so many features, the computer is expensive, and I had to shell out a few extra bucks for it.

Verdict

This is a perfect product for those who have a problem with their eyesight. The display will ensure that you are able to see the screen clearly. You can choose to keep the data in big fonts if needed. I will suggest it for beginners and professionals both when it comes to experience.



Mares Puck Pro

Up next is a great device that will stay relevant for a long time as it keeps getting updated constantly. The Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer is an incredible product that is known for its simplified operation and one-touch functionality. It sports a full-features RGBM nitrox computer, which will help you dive while giving you every detail of it.

Moving on, the device boasts of a large display and features a sleek design. I was very happy to see that it was not bulky at all. The display is bright when switched on and will go dark if not used for a minute. But when you are underwater, it will always remain lit. This will enable you to see the depth, time, and temperature at any time very easily.

Coming to the modes, there are 3 of them, which include Air, Bottom Time, and EAN. EAN is a mode that works for professionals who do nitrox dives, while you can also settle for an easier algorithm if you are a beginner.

Also, if you are someone who wants to keep a record of their dives, this will allow you to keep the data of 35 hours of diving. The computer provides 5-second sampling, and you can view more when connected to the PC.

Pros
  • Big display and sleek design
  • Firmware can be upgraded
  • Residual nitrogen gauge
  • One-button functionality
Cons
  • No depth alarm

My Experience

First of all, it was very easy to use. There is one red button that controls everything. Once you are under 4 feet of water, this will automatically go into dive mode. This mode will now calculate and show you the depth, and you can also keep a watch on the temperature.

Adding on, I found the setup process to be simple. You have to click the red button repeatedly, and it will show you all the options. Toggle between them to set your device up.

The only issue is that there is no depth alarm. Now, my friend, who was using my computer, had a medical device that cannot take water pressure under 40 feet. If I could set a depth alarm that would warn him on reaching this depth, it would have been easier. He had to constantly check to see if he was going too far down.

Verdict

I will recommend this product to those on a budget who want to keep a record of their dives and stay updated. With an upgradeable firmware, you will not have to worry about constant updates with time. Definitely one of the best budget dive computers on the market.



Oceanic Geo 4

It is time to introduce the most stylish option on this list- the Oceanic Geo 4. It has a large display and features a sporty look. If you want to set a style statement while diving, this could be a great option. I especially liked the 5 colors that are provided, and you can choose among them. The blue one is my favorite, but you can settle from among white, blue, black, yellow and sea-blue.

Secondly, it is equipped with a safety stop timer. This will let you know if you go beyond a certain depth. People with medical devices will find this to be very beneficial in getting timely alerts.

The next praiseworthy feature is the easy connectivity to a computer or any of your electronic devices via Bluetooth. This allows you to transfer data to Diverlog+ without any USB cable, and hence you save some money in the process.

I also loved the fit of the watch. It has a large display but fits very snugly on the wrist. There were no marks on it, and you will not feel any form of pressure while wearing it, even under deep dive situations.

Pros
  • Adjustable safety stop with timer
  • Straps have 5 color options
  • Bluetooth connection to Diverlog+
  • Large display
Cons
  • Light does not stay on underwater

My Experience

I had heard a lot about this product from my friends who liked to keep things stylish. And needless to say, I was not disappointed after purchasing the watch myself. You can purchase the straps separately and keep changing them with time and mood.

In fact, I was surprised to see such a stylish gadget being sold at a very affordable rate. The brand hadn’t compromised on the quality and ensured it was a top-notch product.

Also, it comes with a 2-year warranty. The computer that I got initially malfunctioned within the first couple of months. But the customer service was great, and I got a replacement within days. This was essential for me, as I had a diving expedition just after.

The only downside is that the light on its screen does not stay on underwater. This means that you will have to click the button every time you want to see the time or depth.

Verdict

Honestly, I will suggest this one to first-timers or those who do not dive very often. Yes, it looks very stylish but may not be as accurate as its peers. Long story short, it will work well for those who are not diving very deep.



Final Words on the Best Dive Computers

And finally, I am at the end of my detailed guide on the best dive computers. Did you find the right fit for your needs? If you are still confused, let me help you out with some tips.

While purchasing a dive computer, check how the strap fits. It has to fit comfortably on your wrist so that you are not worried about it falling off in the middle of the ocean. If you love the watch dial but do not like how the strap fits, use a rubber band to keep it in place.

Secondly, ensure that you can easily see the display underwater. This involves paying attention to the brightness levels and also the font size. Further, to be sure if it is the right fit for you, wear it and play around with all its functions. If you can understand them clearly and the digits are visible, then you know that is the one.

Be sure to check out our other buyer’s guides if you’re looking for more scuba gear!

With this, I will be signing off. I hope you have a pleasant experience. Happy diving!