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The Suunto D4i Novo is a fantastic compact and lightweight dive computer that builds upon the original D4i to make it more stylish and more comfortable to use.
The D4i Novo is aimed at the travelling diver that wants a computer that can be worn all day, regardless of whether they are diving or not. It needs to be sleek and comfortable on the wrist. The D4i was a very popular model for Suunto and much of it lives on in the D4i Novo which is essentially a cosmetic overhaul rather than a hardware upgrade.
The D4i Novo receives a new silicone strap that is a lot more flexible, softer and conforms to the wrist better than the original elastomer strap ever did. The display surround gets a more simple and stylish design that offers a much more modern look and finally the colours options have been overhauled with matching housing and strap colours rather than the basic strap inset colour options.
The D4i Novo continues to use a split LCD display. The top and bottom thirds a fixed segment sections for information like depth, dive time, cylinder pressure but the middle section is made up of matrix dots that allows the Suunto to show much more understandable and complex information such as text, stop information and dive profiles.
It features all the typical dive modes you would expect for a computer for the travelling recreational diver. It allows you to switch between AIR, NITROX, FREEDIVE and GAUGE modes. It supports a single gas of up to 50% oxygen for nitrox divers and the freediving mode ramps up the sampling rate from the standard dive mode rate of every 20 seconds to every 1, 2 or 5 seconds to better capture the fast changing depth data.
The D4i Novo can be optionally connected to a single wireless transmitter that allows the computer to display your live cylinder pressure on screen for your convenience. It also uses the data to calculate your air time remaining based on your current depth.
The D4i Novo is fitted with enough memory to store up to approximately 140 hours of dive profile data (at the standard 20 second sample rate), allowing the diver to scroll through previous dives and their profiles on the screen thanks to the dot matrix section of the display. It also provides a summary of your accumulated dive information such as the total number of dives which it will store for life.
The unit is supplied with a data transfer cable that allows you to download your dive profile data to a PC or Mac using the free Suunto Dive Manager software. This means you can store your dive data indefinitely as well as print dives off for your dive log and analyse the dives in minute detail.
The battery in the D4i Novo, like the original, isn't user changeable. It has been designed this way to prevent accidental flooding of the expensive electronics inside the housing. Divers are seriously advised to have their battery replacement carried out by trained and authorised Suunto Service Centres such as Mike's Dive Store who will carry out a full inspection to identify any potential issues, perform the battery change and carry out a pressure test to ensure the unit remains watertight after the service.
In our opinion the Suunto D4i Novo is one of the best watch style dive computers ever - a high quality, mid range computer that is great for the travelling diving enthusiasts and offers the optional wireless transmitter upgrade for improved functionality.
It has a compact size and profile but still delivers a easy to read display thanks to the dot matrix configuration, all wrapped up in a wide choice of matching housing and strap colours.
The only downside is that it doesn't feature an integrated digital compass like the other Suunto Dive Computers but in order to meet the price point certain functions, features and hardware have to be sacrificed.