Diving Squad Rating:
8.2 / 10
We love the Suunto dive computers of which there’s a huge selection of different models for all tastes and budgets.
In this review, we’ll take a look at the Suunto D4i Novo: a stylish, four button dive computer with a simple user interface that’s available in a wide range of colours.
With air, nitrox and freedive modes, it’s a lower mid-price dive computer that is cheaper than most models whilst still a little more expensive than the all-time cheapest dive computers.
The Suunto D4i Novo is the updated version of the Suunto D4i – which it’s virtually identical to.
The only difference between these two models is that the D4i Novo has metal buttons and a silicone strap whereas the D4i has plastic buttons and an elastomer strap.
In terms of usability, features and information however, both the D4i Novo and D4i are exactly the same.
We’re huge fans of the Suunto D4i Novo; it’s a great looking, watch-sized piece that’s now more comfortable than ever thanks to it’s new silicone strap.
The screen comes with an adjustable backlight so it’s easy to read even in poor visibility and information is displayed in a clear, easy to understand way.
Depth rating: 328ft / 100m
Battery life: About 150 dives
Weight: 92 g / 3.25 oz
User updatable firmware
Optional wireless integration
Most recreational scuba diving is with standard air. The D4i Novo’s default mode “air” provides no decompression information on the assumption that this is what you’re using.
However, if you’ve taken the sufficient training you may wish to dive with Nitrox. Because the Suunto D4i Novo is EANx compatible, it has a Nitrox mode; you can adjust oxygen percentage between 21% and 50% and ppo2 limit between 1.2 and 1.6 bar. No-decompression data is then adjusted accordingly.
There’s also a free-diving mode and finally there’s an off mode which when applied means that the D4i Novo is not tracking water exposure or depth; instead it simply operates as a watch showing time and date.
The D4i Novo RGBM decompression model uses a depth sensor and timer to calculate approximately how much gas is being absorbed and released in your blood during the dive and then uses this data to produce your no decompression limit.
What’s more, it actually learns from your unique diving behaviour and makes adjustments based on your dive profile!
It also takes into account repetitive diving, continuous multi-day diving, ascent rate violations and reverse profiles. There are mandatory safety stops at 10 – 20ft (3 – 6m) depth on all dives that exceed 33ft (10m). The maximum ascent rate is 33ft / 10m per minute.
Suunto’s RGBM decompression model is designed for recreational divers and therefore leans towards the slightly more conservative side; perfect for staying safe.
The Suunto D4i Novo is extremely straightforward and easy to operate – even if you’ve never used a dive computer before.
With a simple user interface that’s controlled via four metal buttons that are easy to push even with dive gloves; you can quickly navigate through the various settings.
It’s easy to adjust altitude, conservatism level and to switch between the four dive modes: air, nitrox, freedive and off as well as set parameters for when alarms trigger and so forth.
The settings adjustability of strikes the perfect balance between flexibility without overwhelming you with too many features.
The dot-matrix display of the D4i Novo is both bright and easy to see whether you’re at the surface or deep underwater.
Personally I prefer a colour display as it can colour-code data making it slightly easier to quickly recognise, but for a dive computer to have a colour display – such as the Suunto D5, it’s significantly more expensive.
All the same, data is presented in a way that’s clear and easy to register on the D4i’s display which is a big enough to easily see but still watch sized. There is also an electroluminescent backlight that’s insanely handy when water visibility is low.
Data that can be displayed includes depth, ascent rate, no decompression limit, 3 minute safety stop, data, time, temperature and when using a wireless transmitter air consumption.
Up to 140 hours of dive data can be stored on the D4i Novo’s internal logbook providing you with useful info including depth, time, heading, water temperature and if you have a wireless transmitter also tank pressure (this reduces logbook capacity to 35 hours though) .
It’s easy to transfer this data to a Mac or PC using a USB cable, freeing up more space for new dive data on the Suunto D4i Novo.
Using the Suunto Movescount portal on a Mac or PC, you can view your dive logs in great detail and even set bookmarks at specific moments in your dive data as well as add photographs and videos.
The portal also lets you plan for future dives: dive activity can be displayed from charts to help you analyse and use the information to better adjust settings on your dive computer.
The Suunto D4i features audible and visual alarms to warn you when you are too deep for your no-decompression limit or if you are surfacing too fast. When using a wireless transmitter, there are additional warnings that indicate low air.
If you’re willing to fork out a few extra hundred dollars you can buy the Suunto airpod transmitter which connects to your cylinder and measures air pressure, thereby showing how much air remains on your dive computer’s display.
This is an extremely handy bonus although not essential as you get the same information from your pressure gauge. If you do decide to buy the Suunto wireless transmitter; what’s really cool is that it’s compatible with any type of Suunto dive computer.
Stylish, reliable, simple and compact; the Suunto D4i Novo offers exceptionally good value for money and is a highly popular choice among beginner and intermediate scuba divers.
It’s got all the features a recreational diver will ever need without feeling overwhelmed by unnecessary gimmicks and also doubles up very nicely as a regular wrist watch.
The metal buttons mean it feels like a high quality piece of dive gear to use whilst the silicone strap makes it exceptionally comfortable on your wrist.
There’s a huge range of colours available and you can also switch up different colour straps with the body to find your perfect style.
We’re huge fans of the Suunto D4i Novo at Diving Squad; it’s the dive computer of choice for both Laura and Aish!
The easiest way to buy it is on amazon with worldwide shipping – click on the affiliate link button below to check availability!
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