It ain’t easy picking the best dive computer! There’s dozens of models to choose from and they all vary a helluva lot.
Which model is gonna be best for you will depend on how much scuba diving experience you have, your spending budget and your own personal preferences.
The cheapest dive computers are often rather chunky, featuring colourless dot-matrix displays that only provide you with the most essential dive profile data.
However as the price bar slides up, dive computers look increasingly sleek with high-definition, full-colour displays that provide all kinds of extra info and ever more features until they’re the same size as smartwatches and can even function as such.
On this page, we review the 15 best dive computers of 2023 with stat breakdowns, pros, cons and more.
How did we create these reviews you ask?! Through countless hours of real-life and online research!
We at Diving Squad have written personal reviews of our favourite dive computers that we own – we’ve even tried to keep you entertained with fun and original photos of them!
(We’ve also included reviews for a few dive computers that we don’t currently have but which are high on our wishlists!).
We start with the cheapest dive computer and present the rest in order of ascending price:
By far the cheapest dive computer on our list is the Cressi Leonardo which provides all the essential dive computer functions a recreational scuba diver needs including air, nitrox and gauge modes.
Following a chunky, old school dive computer design, is is also the biggest dive computer model with a bezel diameter of 2.6 inches / 66mm.
Its chunkiness makes the Cressi Leonardo tough and durable – it also means its dot-matrix display is extra large and easy to read.
You operate it with just one button which makes the user interface extremely simple to use – albeit not quite as fast as dive computers with more buttons!
The lithium battery lasts for 150 dives before it has to be changed (which can easily be done by sending it to a Cressi service centre!). Also, the logbook which records dive profile data has a pretty decent capacity of 70 hours!
It’s maximum depth is 132 feet – recreational diving limits are 130 feet and in truth are usually shallower – so the Cressi Leonardo will have recreational divers covered!
This is a great first time dive computer for beginners – its super affordable, easy to use and reliable.
For overall value for money and quality we give it a solid 4 / 5.
“Ahhh the Suunto Zoop Novo – I remember it well! This guy was my first ever dive computer and served me most awesomely”! – Alex Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad.
The Suunto Zoop Novo is another chunky dive computer that follows an old-school design.
Rugged and durable, it’s not quite as cheap as the Cressi Leonardo but features a logbook that’s twice as long with a capacity of 140 dives!
You can take it twice as deep as the Leonardo – all the way to 262 feet which is also twice the limit for recreational scuba diving!
It’s a smidge smaller with a bezel diameter of 2.4 inches meaning it’s dot-matrix display is still larger than that of most pricier, watch-sized dive computers and thus super easy to read.
You can quickly navigate through the simple user interface via the four buttons – admittedly these buttons are a little stiffer compared to those of some other dive computers… but don’t worry – you’ll still be able to make them work: we believe in you!
The Suunto Zoop Novo operates in air, nitrox, gauge – and also free dive mode which is a handy bonus if as well as scuba diving you want to try free diving.
Running on the Suunto RGBM algorithm, it allows you to adjust the safe diving limits that it provides to be more conservative – in case you have pre-existing medical conditions. You still can’t make it less conservative though as you can with some pricier dive computers.
It runs on a lithium battery that has to be changed after 150 dives which you can do yourself if you’ve got some knowhow or get someone else to by simply sending it off to your nearest Suunto service centre.
We’re big fans of the Suunto Zoop Novo – it’s only a shame that online stocks for them are relatively limited these days! However, there’s still a few out there.
Next up on the price ladder (but not by much), is the Mares Puck Pro, which is noticeably smaller than the Suunto Zoop Novo and Cressi Leonardo.
All the same, with a bezel diameter of 2.2 inches, its still bigger than a smartwatch-sized dive computer.
Now, there’s some parts of the Mares Puck Pro we’re huge fans of – and others not so much!
For starters, we like that it has a massive battery life of 400 hours which is way bigger than that of other cheap dive computers.
It’s also pretty neat that it has a freshwater calibration as well as a residual nitrogen memory reset and multi-gas capacity. And that comes comes in a huge range of colours!
What we don’t like about the Puck Pro is the feeble logbook capacity of just 36 hours – which is much smaller than that of almost all other dive computers.
We also have mixed feelings on the single button which makes it simple to navigate through the user interface but take a little longer to apply those special features like the freshwater setting.
All things considered, there are some nice stand out points for the Mares Puck Pro but a couple of areas that that it falls short.
Ultimately, it is still a nice and affordable dive computer that will make a good first time purchase for a beginner or early-intermediate scuba diver.
The Deepblu Cosmiq is the cheapest dive computer on our list to feature an LCD display!
This is a marked step-up from a pixelated dot-matrix display (as so far seen in dive computers #1, #2 and #3) as an LCD display offers higher contrast making it extra easy to read in any light!
At 2.2 inches across, the display is just so effortless to read – even on a night dive you can clearly see it without having to shine your torch on it!
It’s fairly intuitive user-interface is operated via 2 buttons and the maximum depth rating is 328 feet – same as max recreational scuba diving limits.
We like that the information is colour coded in blue and white – as well as making it a few nanoseconds quicker to mentally process, it makes the whole thing look pretty futuristic and swish.
Whereas most cheap dive computers alarms are audible, in the case of the Deepblu Cosmiq: in addition to an audible alarm it also flashes and vibrates when issuing warnings (e.g. rapid ascent).
It charges via a USB magnetic charging device and lasts for 12 hours in dive mode.
At 160 hours long, its logbook has a pretty decent capacity and it’s an absolute breeze adding details to or saving data from it using the Deepblu App.
The Oceanic Geo 4.0 is an affordable, no-frills attached dive computer that has the added bonus an extra long battery life of up to 300 hours – which is bigger than that of most other dive computers.
What’s strange then, is that its dive log capacity is smaller than of any other dive computer – with a truly feeble capacity of just 24 dives!
At least the Oceanic Geo 4.0 features bluetooth connectivity allowing you to quickly and easily save older dives via the Oceanic+ App before they get overwritten.
It operates in air, nitrox, gauge and free dive modes and with an impressive maximum depth rating of 330 feet, is more than suitable for all forms of recreational diving.
Because theres no unnecessary features, the Geo 4.0 is an exceptionally straightforward to use dive computer with a simple user-interface thats operated via 4 buttons – which are easy to press even with thick gloves.
In our opinion, this is a nice and simple dive computer; durable, simple to use and providing everything a recreational diver needs at a reasonable price with no extra fluff.
The Suunto D4i / Novo is the cheapest watch-sized dive computer on our list! That means it will look just at home on your wrist at a formal event such like a business meeting as it will on a dive!
In fact; with a diameter of 1.91 inches / 48.6 mm, it’s a little smaller than some watches even are. This definitely gives it a sleek, minimalist appearance.
Its also the first / cheapest dive computer on our list that features air integration tech. When paired with a wireless Suunto Tank Pod, the D4i Novo provides tank pressure readings – aka how much air you’ve got left.
Just bear in mind that you do have to buy the Tank Pod separately and it costs a few hundred bucks.
The Suunto D4i Novo is available in several colours and has a lithium battery that lasts for 150 dives and a 140 hour dive log.
It would be great if you could bluetooth pair it to a smartphone or computer to download these dives super easily rather than having to use the USB cable to do so – but thats no big deal!
The Suunto D4I NOVO can go to 328 feet deep and is operated via four buttons which makes it incredibly quick to switch through the settings – once you know you’re way around the layout that is!
The display is a dot-matrix one with an adjustable backlight; it would be nice to see a LCD or LED colour screen for some colour instead of pixels considering we’re now in lower mid-priced dive computer territory…
….but hey, it’s a watch-sized, high quality and durable piece with freedive mode. Its also the cheapest air integrated dive computer as well!
Which means that when paired with a wireless transmitter it will tell you how much air remains in your tank, your air consumption rate and even provide an estimate of your air time remaining.
By the way, the Suunto D4i Novo is a mild update of its predecessor – the Suunto D4i. Literally the only difference between these 2 dive computers is that the D4i has plastic buttons whereas the D4i Novo has metal ones!
Shearwater are a legendary name; renowned for making extremely durable and high performing dive computers that are crammed with features. The downside is that they’re often quite expensive.
But in the case of the Shearwater Peregrine: it’s actually the cheapest dive computer of the Shearwater range and is very reasonably priced indeed, sitting at the lower end of the mid-price spectrum.
Its most visually defining feature is the huge, full colour 5.59 inch LED screen which has a vivid colour range and saturation display. It’s incredibly easy to see, in literally any light (even at night, with no torch!).
Having such a big screen means the Peregrine has space for both more and larger readings, making it super easy to read the dive info; you also have the option to customise which dive data is displayed!
Despite how customisable this dive computer is, it’s actually very easy to use: you navigate through the setup via the simple 2-button user-interface.
Operating in air, nitrox, mix-gas and gauge modes, the Shearwater Peregrine is battery rechargeable and has a huge charge of 30 hours in dive mode and a very impressive dive log capacity of 200 hours.
This is a seriously nice and cool looking dive computer; one that’s dedicated entirely for the function of scuba diving, which it exceeds at. It’s super affordable and offers awesome value for money.
One thing we will say however, is that the Peregrine doesn’t have an air integration option – nor does it feature an inbuilt custom – it would be so much more epic if it did have these two things!
However, Shearwater have addressed this; their next dive computer up: the similar looking but higher-quality Shearwater Perdix has both air integration and an inbuilt compass (as well as a bigger dive log!).
The Garmin Descent G1 is the cheapest dive computer with smartwatch functionalities!
By monitoring the wearers heart-rate, body energy and sleep patterns, it provides health and fitness insights and lets you know when to slow down!
You can track your activities with 30 + built-in sports apps that use advanced training features and let you know how your body is adapting.
There’s also the option to pair the G1 with your smartphone via the Garmin connect app to send text and call notifications as well as make contactless payments with Garmin Pay.
This is a beautiful looking watch-sized dive computer with a high-contrast LCD display behind a scratch-resistant sapphire lens and worn with a comfortable silicone strap.
It operates in Air, Nitrox, Freedive, Tech, Spearfishing and Closed-Circuit Rebreather modes – awesome!
Its maximum depth rating is 328 ft / 100m – which will suit most tech divers – although hard core techies will probably want something that goes deeper.
There’s an inbuilt compass which nicely syncs up with the GPS support feature, allowing you to mark your surface entry and exit points at the start and end of each dive.
With a rechargeable battery that lasts for 25 hours in dive mode and a whopping 200 hour dive log, the Descent G1 has some formidable stats.
It would be nice if it also featured air integration tech – but that’s a small(ish) price to pay for a dive computer with smartwatch capabilities being so affordable.
If you do want something like that but also with air integration (and able to go deeper), you’ll have to splash out a little more.
“Stylish, durable and easy to use; the Suunto D5 is my favourite dive computer of all time – it’s so cool looking and the full-colour screen is awesome”! Alex: Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad
The D5 is an extremely sleek-looking, watch-sized dive computer with a stylish, semi-nautical looking metallic bezel…it’s also the cheapest dive computer to feature a beautiful full-colour LED screen with high-contrast!
You can even adjust the brightness of the backlight to make it bright enough to see on a night-dive without shining a torch on it!
It operates in air, nitrox, freedive and gauge mode and uses Suuntos fused RGBM2 algorithm; with 5 levels of adjustment to make it more – or less conservative than the standard setting.
The 3 button user-interface is extremely intuitive and easy to navigate; despite the variety of settings and data layouts you can choose from.
We love the compass although you do have to recalibrate it after recharging the Suunto D5, which has a (shortish) battery life of 12 hours in dive mode before needing to be recharged with the included USB cable.
This is an air integrated dive computer – you can buy a Suunto air integration pod for a few hundred bucks extra and pair it up with the D5 to get tank pressure / remaining air readings.
Whats extra cool about the D5 is that it also calculates how much remaining time you have before running out of air based on your breathing rate!
There’s just so many awesome things about the Suunto D5 – it’s a hugely popular dive computer within the recreational scuba diving community and offers fantastic value for money.
The Garmin Descent MK1 is a step-up from the Descent G1 (#8). It’s a little pricier; but features a full-colour LED screen with super high contrast!
Its incredibly smart; a little more streamlined and easily doubling up as the sort of subtly flashy watch you could wear to a formal event like a business meeting.
In terms of functionality and performance the Garmin Descent MK1 is fairly similar to the G1.
It features smartwatch functionality with heart rate, energy and sleep monitoring tech, smartphone sync compatibility and multiple sports-training apps, stats and smart notifications.
Modes of operation include Air, Nitrox, Freedive, Spearfishing, Gauge diving but in the place of a Tec Mode theres a a Trimix mode.
The rechargeable battery life lasts up to a whopping 40 hours in dive mode: although at 200 hours long, the dive log capacity is the same – as is max-depth at 328 feet.
We love the 3-axis compass which syncs up flawlessly with the GPS feature and automatically marks your entry and exit points on dives with onscreen mapping and location reference.
There’s no air integration tech; Garmin finally address this in their next dive computer up, the more expensive Garmin Descent MK2.
Still, the Descent MK1 is a dive computer that offers awesome value for money with its beautiful LCD colour display, smartwatch functions, compass, GPS and multiple modes.
Whereas a normal / wrist dive computer is worn like a watch, a console dive computer is attached directly to your tank via a regulator hose in place of (or combined with) the pressure gauge.
That’s exactly what the Oceanic Pro Plus X does – and its the absolute best console dive computer for recreational scuba diving out there!
The display is a (huge) low energy consumption thin-film LED transmitter.
Data is displayed via an intuitive colour-coded system in huge, high-definition figures. You can adjust the brightness to sunlight or night dive conditions.
The display specially shines through when you use the 3D compass, which is massive and looks truly superb.
The Oceanic Pro Plus X operates in air, nitrox and gauge modes and can be taken to a maximum depth of 330 feet; nearly three times the limit for recreational scuba diving.
Because it attaches to your tank, air integration readings i.e. tank pressure / remaining air are automatically provided – no need to pay extra for a transmitter!
The dive log which has a capacity of 99 dives which is about 65 hours.
This is actually not much space for a logbook – but at least it’s a breeze to save data from the dive log as you can effortlessly connect the Oceanic Pro Plus X to a computer or tablet using bluetooth.
Tec diving involves going much deeper than recreational diving limits allow, using multiple tanks and gas blends. It’s a truly hardcore sport and one that requires great skill and training.
If you are a tec diver, you’ll know that you need a dive computer that can operate in TEC mode – this is a pretty specialised function that only dive computers designed for tec diving tend to have.
In the case of the Shearwater Teric – it was very much designed for tec diving but is also great for recreational diving; it can go to 660 feet / 201 meters deep and operates in Air, Nitrox, Mixed Gas, Trimix, Gauge, Freedive, Tec and Open-Circuit modes!
We really love the fact that it won’t lockout after a missed stop or ascent rate violation (whereas the vast majority of other dive computers do rendering them useless for 24 hours!).
It follows an old-school wristwatch design and looks rugged yet sophisticated with black, silver and blue bezel colour options.
Users will quickly realise that so many settings and custom configuration do mean the Shearwater Teric takes a little getting used to. However once you know your way around it, there’s so much you can do.
For example, you can set a button to give you single press access to its many tools – which include a 3-axis inbuilt compass, stopwatch and countdown timer.
There is also the option for air integration tech – with separately purchased transmitters you can pair it with up to two tanks to the Teric dive computer!
It may be expensive, but the Shearwater Teric is a seriously capable dive computer with a beautiful design and all the capabilities and modes required for intermediate-level tec diving.
The Shearwater Perdix lets you get even more hardcore with your tec diving – it can go to an insane 853 feet / 260 meters and also operates in Air, Nitrox, Mixed Gas, Trimix, Gauge, Tec and Open-Circuit modes!
It is insanely rugged; sporting a titanium bezel and a toughened aluminosilicate glass screen for next level durability.
The huge rectangular display measures 5.1 x 4.1 inches on a backlit screen with adjustable brightness and high-definition colour.
Having such a huge screen makes dive data extra easy to read and mentally process – it does mean that the Perdix is too massive and chunky to double up as an everyday wristwatch though!
Users can choose which data they see and the order in which it is displayed. However, despite how many settings and options there are, the 2 button user-interface is really easy and straightforward to get used to.
Theres also an inbuilt compass, optional air integration and a truly colossal logbook with a 1000 hour capacity – the longest of any dive computer on our list!
The fact that its pretty damn expensive, means buyers may be wise to only get the Shearwater Perdix if they plan on using it for its primary function: tec diving.
But there’s no denying that it one highly sophisticated and insanely durable piece of kit that does its job very well.
A marked step-up from it’s predecessor: the MK1 – both in price and quality, the Garmin Descent MK2i is a watch-sized dive computer with smartwatch functionalities and tons of great features for divers.
It features a truly beautiful, full-colour display; which at 1.6 inches in diameter is 36% bigger than that of the MK1.
The MK2i also has the longest rechargeable battery life of any dive computer on our list – at a mammoth 80 hours in dive mode!
Its absolutely crammed with smartwatch functions: wrist-based heart monitoring, pulse ox, training features like animated workouts and sports apps, smartphone syncing, Garmin Pay, music storage and more!
There’s so many settings and features that we’re glad the MK2i has 5 buttons which makes it super quick to navigate through the user-interface – which is actually pretty intuitive once you get used to it.
Operating in single or multi-gas modes as well as in freedive, spearfish and gauge; it’s suitable for recreational and tech scuba divers on air, nitrox or mixed gas / with rebreathers – as well as for spearfishing and freediving!
We’re also huge fans of the internal compass which uses GPS syncing to mark your dive entry and exit marking points.
Also, Garmin have finally included air integration tech in the MK2i (none of the cheaper Garmin dive computers have this option).
What’s more, using wireless transmitters you can pair the Garmin Descent MK2i with up to 5 other tanks with data on remaining air time, air consumption rate and more.
The dive log has a good amount of space, being able to store up to 200 dives and you can easily view and save this dive profile data by syncing the Descent MK2i up with your smartphone.
If you can afford it, the Garmin Descent MK2i is, in our humble opinions, the absaloute best dive computer with smartwatch functions currently on the market!
The Shearwater Nerd 2 is unique for being the only dive computer with a design thats neither wristwatch nor console: instead is is the only near-eye remote dive computer!
You secure the Nerd 2 onto your primary first stage regulator (the first bit of the regulator hose coming away from the reg in your mouth!) so that the display is just a few inches away from your eye.
The result is that the micro-LED display, with it’s magnifying lens; makes data appear as if you’re looking at it from a 25 inch TV thats directly in front of you four meters away – awesome!
Such a setup is extra handy for underwater photographers because it means being able to see dive data without moving your body – as you would when glancing down at a dive computer on your wrist or console.
This is super handy when using an underwater camera, because it means you wont loose your subject from the frame.
Operating in air, closed-circuit, gauge and tech mode and with an insane depth rating of 985ft the Shearwater Nerd 2 is suitable for both recreational and tec scuba divers.
The 2 buttons on either side of it are easy to locate and operate even with thick dive gloves and the user interface is both intuitive and well laid out.
It has a colossal 1000 hour dive log – the biggest of any dive computer on our list as well as air integration tech and an inbuilt compass.
The Nerd 2 is an awesome and unique concept for a dive computer; with special advantages for underwater photographers and great all-round functionality for scuba divers.
We’ve painstakingly compiled all the most vital specs and stats to consider when buying a dive computer, into one handy table! As with the reviews, the first dive computer is the cheapest and the rest are presented in order of increasing price.
Check it out below! Or dive down further to read our handy Terminology Guide on all of the stats and specs that the table refers to.
|MODEL||Display||Battery||Dive Log (hours)||Air Integration||Compass||SmartWatch||Dive Modes||Max Depth (feet)||Buttons||MORE DETAILS|
|#1 Cressi Leonardo||Dot-matrix||150 dives||70||NO||NO||NO||3||132||1||Click Here|
|#2 Suunto Zoop Novo||Dot-matrix||150 dives||140||NO||NO||NO||4||262||4||Click Here|
|#3 Mares Puck Pro||Dot-matrix||400 dives||36||NO||NO||NO||3||492||1||Click Here|
|#4 Deepblu Cosmiq||LCD||12 hour recharge||160||NO||NO||NO||4||328||2||Click Here|
|#5 Oceanic GEO 4.0||Dot-matrix||300 dives||24||NO||NO||NO||4||330||4||Click Here|
|#6 Suunto D4i Novo||Dot-matrix||150 dives||140||YES||NO||NO||3||328||4||Click Here|
|#7 Shearwater Peregrine||LCD||30 hour recharge||200||NO||NO||NO||4||390||2||Click Here|
|#8 Garmin Descent G1||LCD||36 hour recharge||200||NO||YES||YES||6||328||5||Click Here|
|#9 Suunto D5||LED colour||12 hour recharge||200||YES||YES||NO||3||328||3||Click Here|
|#10 Garmin Descent MK1||LED colour||40 hour recharge||200||NO||YES||YES||6||328||4||Click Here|
|#11 Oceanic Pro Plus||LED colour||35 - 40 hours (max brightness)||65||YES||YES||NO||3||330||4||Click Here|
|#12 Shearwater Teric||LED colour||30 hour recharge||500||YES||YES||NO||5||656||4||Click Here|
|#13 Shearwater Perdix||LED colour||40 - 60 hours (depends on AA battery type)||1000||YES||YES||NO||7||853||Click Here|
|#14 Garmin Descent MK2i||LED colour||80 hour recharge||200||YES||YES||YES||6||328||5||Click Here|
|#15 Shearwater Nerd 2||LED colour||500 dives||1000||YES||YES||NO||5||985||2||Click Here|
^ CLICK NEXT for stats on dive computers #11 – #15! ^
A few other considerations:
Size: Cheaper dive computers are follow an old school design in that they’re big and chunky. They’re so large that they’d stand out quite a lot on you wrist at a non- diving event and certainly are too loud to be suitable for a formal setting.
However, most modern (and all watch shaped) dive computers decrease in size as they increase in price until they’re the same size as smartwatches (and can often function as such). What this means is that you can wear them all the time and they’d look just as good on your wrist at say a business meeting as on a dive.
There are a few exception to this rule. The Shearwater Peregrine and Shearwater Perdix feature large rectangular screens which is part of their appeal for people wanting a larger display whilst the Oceanic Pro Plus X is a console dive computer and the Shearwater Nerd 2 is a near-eye remote dive computer.
Dive Computer Algorithm: A dive computer algorithm is a set of mathematical formulas that are used to calculate safe diving limits – i.e. maximum depth, bottom time, ascension rate, when to end a dive and safety stop. This is the most fundamental function of any dive computer!
The dive computer algorithm can calculate diving limits under several modes. Air is the standard mode and is for when you’re diving with a normal tank of air. Nitrox is for nitrox diving. These are the two most important modes and for people are scuba diving recreationally, they’re the only two modes you will ever need your dive computer to have.
Some dive computers also feature freediving, spearfishing and tech modes which are necessary only if you’re doing these specific activities.
What’s semi-important to understand is that different manufacturers of dive computers – e.g. Suunto, Shearwater and Oceanic sometimes programme their dive computers with slightly different algorithms that follow marginally different formulas.
Essentially, the guidelines that they provide are very similar and serve to provide safe diving limits.
Also, some algorithms even within different models of dive computers from the same manufacturers have differing levels of how much they can be adjusted. Some can be adjusted to be even more conservative which is useful if you have a pre-existing medical condition that makes you more susceptible to decompression sickness.
Other dive computers (usually more expensive models) can be set to be less conservative which is useful for experienced divers who want slightly more bottom time and longer dives.
Bada-bing-bada-splash. Heeeeey I’m swimming here! Sorry – welcome to the Diving Squad debriefing for our main page on the best dive computers! And by welcome – we mean goodbye. Because the articles over. Now go – swim forth and purchase your dream dive computer.
Or you know – don’t. Instead maybe check out some of our other articles on dive computers:
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