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The end of 2019 is fast approaching and this year we have continued to see the rise in technology. A once sought-after frivolous accessory has become part of the vital kit for all divers new, experienced and learning. Tables were the way our dives were planned and prepared and this is still very much taught in courses today. However, our fast pace living and need for data, to check our safety, to view pictorial evidence and to eliminate the need to find a pen and write in a half soggy book after a dive is much more appealing.
There is a range of functions you can now get on a simple little wrist computer that far outweighs what was once available back in the simpler times of the Suunto Mosquito. Having that back up and expertise on your wrist telling you to slow down or to make a stop, or reminding you of the temperature (lovely and. ….warm?) is the reassurance every diver needs. The platforms that are now available even allow us to amend, view and share our dive profiles before we’ve even left the dive site, bringing diving back into the limelight of adventure sport.
Alongside the fancy tech, connectivity and amazing range in aesthetics there is a much more definitive answer as to why we want a computer. The tables are dated with inflexible profiles – the computer algorithms are more fluid and allow us divers a little more flexibility.
At Mike’s we have selected our top computers for 2019 (in no particular order) and have taken everything into consideration from how good it looks on land and in the water to the details and the data given.
Suunto are well known for their dive computers and have been around for decades so it’s not a surprise they are still going strong. The Vyper Novo is a great entry into recreational use. Boasting a bigger screen than the watch style equivalent makes it really easy to use and navigate. The functions do no stop there it also has optional wireless air integration, 3D digital compass, five modes and 3 gases. What also makes this a great buy is the Vyper Novo comes with the boot, a metre-long bungee, display shield to protect the light acrylic screen and the cable so you can connect to Suunto’s own dive software.
Suunto have entered the rechargeable colour screen dive watch into the mix - which is a great accessory for every day and easy to charge with the magnetic USB charger. The D5 is available in a sleek coated Blackor Stainless Steel - you get a rainbow of colour choice for straps in silicone, leather and textile giving this watch the ability to change its look in an instant. The glass material is a mineral crystal, which helps it remain light and a screen protector is also included. The D5’s functions are nonstop with Bluetooth wireless connectivity, watch memory of up to 400 logged dives and use of the DM5 software to customise dive data. One feature that is loved by many is the vibration alarm that can be felt through a wetsuit!
An entry level computer that can be worn effortlessly as an everyday watch, also comes in an array of colours that would suit any diver. The Mares Smart has two buttons to navigate which are intuitive and easy to cycle through the information when diving. Being a smaller screen there are dedicated sections for the information you are after – this makes locating what you need simple. The battery is easily replaceable, and the firmware can be upgraded making sure you are up to date as well as giving you an option also to later connect to your PC or Mac.
The D4i Novo looks great on any wrist in or out of the water and is available in a variety of colours that would suit all divers and dive gear colour schemes! It’s a really light, compact and easy to use watch style computer with soft silicone straps that can be worn daily. What we like about the D4i Novo is that you can add on to the usability giving the watch a little more function for its price. With the Suunto free DM5 Software and cable you can easily check your logs and analyse your data, which makes it a good tool to compare your dives with each other. As well as the option to add a wireless air transmitter. When using the watch there are the four metal buttons that are clearly labelled and with a few quick button taps you can easily navigate your way around making this a great out of the box and into the water option computer.
The Shearwater Teric looks like a watch but the functions pack a punch. Showing off the bright full colour screen and ability to change the colour/style of the screen the Teric’s dive features are just as good as the rugged appearance. A memory of 500 hours logged dives will keep you busy when uploading them via Bluetooth to the cloud for checking out your dive data. You can continue to enhance the unit with various strap colours or adding a wireless transmitter that will inform you of any of the five dive modes. This computer is without a doubt the higher end of the tech specification which the cost definitely reflects.
The Suunto Eon Core is not an everyday watch but an everydive computer that has a lot of scope to make the computer work for you how you like it. Due to the bigger colour LED back lit screen it is easy to read from a glance and has all the information you want on view, great for murky or night dives. A simple 3 button approach makes the computer efficient to navigate between data literally having your info at your finger tips. With the USB charger you can conveniently charge wherever you may be making sure you are always ready to dive. The added Bluetooth connectivity is not only great for gas/air info, you can also easily view your dives on your phone to add your photos and share your adventures.