Review: Mares Smart Dive Computer

a scuba driver making cool hand gesture

One of the most critical components of any divers' assortment of gear, hobbyist or professional, is a dive computer. These versatile and intricate tools contribute both to the safety of a dive as well as its potential to be used later as a reference for training. Going without a great device like the Mares Smart Dive Computer means going without immediate access to a wealth of information pertinent to the dive session. Plenty of models are available on the market, with features and design specification that vary based on price bracket. To make the process of choosing the best dive watch for your budget, we took a look at the pros and cons of models available at a variety of different prices for the sake of comparison, with a specific focus on the Mares Smart Dive Computer.  

What Is the Mares Smart Dive Computer?


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The Mares Smart Dive Computer is a wrist wear implement designed to complement a diver's preexisting arsenal of gear. It boasts the ability to easily and accurately manage gasses, track timing during free dives, and plan for decompression. All the while, it records such statistics as dive depth and surfacing intervals. This information is both immediately useful, and an excellent tool for skill tracking and training. Each of these statistics is logged throughout each dive and can be reviewed for analysis or compared to statistics gathered on subsequent dives. Alongside its underwater functionality, the Mares Smart Dive Computer also sports the full range of traditional digital watch features for on-land usage.

Product Specs

The Mares Smart Dive Computer is a fully featured nitrox dive computer with the capability to manage up to two gasses at once. Also, it can switch gasses mid-dive for shorter decompression times. It sports a mineral glass display, which is scratch resistant and offers a clearer and more easily readable interface in all diving conditions and viewing angles. The information on the screen is legible and precise as a result of the unit's segment LCD. The Mares Smart Dive Computer is capable of logging more than 40 hours worth of dive statistics at a 5-second sampling rate. The battery is user replaceable. The Mares Smart Dive Computer features a max dive display depth of 492ft. Stopwatch, watch, dual time, and daily alarm functionality rounds it out as a fully featured digital watch as well as a dive computer. The unit also allows for the creation of customized diving plans, fresh and seawater settings, and altitude adjustment settings for diving above or below sea level.

The unit itself features two ergonomically placed buttons for menu navigation, a stylish two-color strap, and is upgrade-compatible for any future firmware updates. The Mares Smart Dive Computer is compatible with external devices, allowing logged information to be reviewed and archived via a PC or Mac.

Pricing

The dive computers on this list vary in price from $300-$1400, with an increase or decrease in price coinciding with increased or decreased functionality, memory capacity, as well as the number of gasses to be manageable at once.

How It Compares

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We picked a few similar dive computers available on the market to see how they compare to the Mares Smart Dive Computer in both price and functionality on offer.

  • Aqua Lung i750T OLED Hoseless Dive Computer
  • Shearwater Research Petrel 2 SA Dive Computer
  • Cressi Giotto Wrist Dive Computer

Mares Smart Dive Computer


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Price

The Mares Smart Dive Computer is available wherever diving supplies are sold, as well as from the manufacturer's website and other online retailers such as Amazon.

Ease of Use

With an easy-to-read screen, the ability to switch tanks midway through a dive, and an ergonomic two-button design, the Mares Smart Dive Computer offers plenty of convenience and adaptability at an accessible price.

Performance

With the ability to manage up to two gasses at once, as well as a maximum depth measurement of 492ft, the Mares Smart Dive Computer unit isn't hampered by its decreased price.

Design Quality

The Mares Smart Dive Computer is fashionable and functional enough to work both on land and underwater effectively. The mineral glass display is durable and crystal clear, and with an eye to upgradeability, you can be sure the unit is always up to date.

Warranty

The Mares Smart Dive Computer is covered under warranty by the manufacturer for a period of up to 2 years immediately following the original date of purchase. The warranty covers defects or damages resulting from a failure in materials or workmanship.

Pros

  • Large maximum dive depth
  • Affordably priced model
  • Gas switching capabilities

Cons

  • Limited gas management with only two gas capability
  • Limited maximum memory with 40 hours of log time

Aqua Lung i750T OLED Hoseless Dive Computer


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This high end and feature rich model packs the maximum amount of punch possible into a single dive computer. With its drastically increased price comes specialized and technologically advanced design elements, as well as an expended functionality that allows for the maximum possible amount of control over a dive.

It features a highly visible OLED screen, which displays in full color, as well as a 3-button navigation system. Transfer to external devices as well as control via external device is handled via blue tooth, with apps for both Android and iOS. This allows for remote management of logged data, as well as the addition of notes and storage of photos and videos attributed to each dive.

A three-axis compass is on board with easy-to-read graphics, compass bearing lock, and reciprocal heading to keep you from getting disoriented underwater. One of the primary expansions over other available models is the ability to hopelessly integrate up to 3 gas mixes with the dive computer via wireless transmitters. Audio and visual alarms ensure safety for all divers, along with pre-dive planning to get the details straight before going under.

Four operating modes are constantly on call: air, nitrox, gauge, and free dive, making it extremely versatile. This model also automatically adjusts for altitude as well as automatically calculating a safety stop countdown. It runs on a user replaceable battery, is upgrade compatible, and features salt and freshwater functionality.

Price

This model is available wherever diving supplies are sold, as well as from the manufacturer's website and other online retailers such as Amazon.

Ease of Use

Bluetooth connectivity for remote control and log review is great - if you have an iOS or Android compatible device. The screen is brightly lit and easily readable. However, the three-button control scheme isn't terribly wieldy. Nonetheless, wireless gas management is straightforward and easy to set up.

Performance

The ability to manage three gasses is a boon, and extensive logging options allow for detailed dive records. Many settings are automatically self-adjusting.

Design Quality

The model itself is made of highly durable materials, and the full-color OLED screen is attractive and keeps all the information you need available at a glance. The inclusion of a 3-axis compass is smart and incredibly useful.

Warranty

This model is covered under warranty by the manufacturer for a period of up to 2 years immediately following the original date of purchase. The warranty covers defects or damages resulting from a failure in materials or workmanship.

Pros

  • Onboard 3-axis compass
  • Simultaneous management of up to 3 gas mixes
  • Full-color OLED screen

Cons

  • Most expensive model
  • To view logged information on an external device an iOS and Android specific app must be used

Shearwater Research Petrel 2 SA Dive Computer


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This model doesn't take the form of a wristwatch and is instead a significantly bulkier, no-nonsense block that straps onto the forearm. Although it isn't necessarily an attractive model, visually, it offers a wide number of extremely specified and technical features, making it perfect for the pro looking to get the most detailed reports possible on their dives. The unit features four main modes, OC Rec for a 3 gas recreational computer, OC Tec for a multi-gas decompression computer, CC INT for a closed circuit fixed PPO2, and Gauge for a bottom timer with a stopwatch and dive logging. As a larger unit, it runs on replaceable AA batteries, which makes it easier than most models to keep charged. It also features a 3 axis digital compass, with fully upgradeable firmware and a smart device ready Bluetooth interface. The interface is large, with a 320x240 QVGA full color LED LCD screen, and complete size of 83mm in width, 74mm in height, and 39mm in depth. The maximum depth display is 950ft, and the dive log capacity is up to 1000 hours.

Price

This model is available wherever diving supplies are sold, as well as from the manufacturer's website and other online retailers such as Amazon.

Ease of Use

As this unit is technically oriented, it offers a huge variety of modes and information readouts, making it perhaps difficult to use or parse at a glance for beginners. It is also quite large, so it won't be as convenient to wear. 

Performance

This unit stands as one of the most detailed and precise dive computers available, and with 1000 hours of log memory and a maximum dive display depth of 950ft a diver can be sure of its performance under any circumstances.

Design Quality

Although this model is bulky, its increased size allows for even more information to be displayed on its screen. However, it's hardly something you could wear around comfortably on land.

Warranty

This model is covered under warranty by the manufacturer for a period of up to 2 years immediately following the original date of purchase. The warranty covers defects or damages resulting from a failure in materials or workmanship.

Pros

  • A wide variety of modes and potential statistical readouts
  • A large amount of memory for dive logging
  • Runs on AA batteries

Cons

  • Bulky size
  • Potentially confusing interface

Cressi Giotto Wrist Dive Computer


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As the least expensive model on this list, this unit is easily recommendable to those looking to get started with dive computers altogether. It features a 3-button design for menu navigation, with a back-lit LCD. It is capable of handling two gas mixtures and processes dive data, including decompression, where applicable for each dive. It features visual as well as auditory alerts. For dive logging, up to 70 hours of information storage is available, and an external interface such as a PC or Mac can be used to review the information.

Price

This model is available wherever diving supplies are sold, as well as from the manufacturer's website and other online retailers such as Amazon.

Ease of Use

A three-button control scheme and somewhat cluttered and small interface make this model somewhat difficult to manage on the fly. However, visual and auditory alerts increase accessibility.

Performance

With up to 70 hours of dive memory for logging, this model offers a high amount of usage potential for its price.

Design Quality

This model's attractive enough as a wristwatch, however its interface, while good looking, isn't as easily readable as the other models of this list.

Warranty

This model is covered under warranty by the manufacturer for a period of up to 2 years immediately following the original date of purchase. The warranty covers defects or damages resulting from a failure in materials or workmanship.

Pros

  • Least expensive
  • Visual and auditory alerts
  • 70 hours of dive log memory

Cons

  • The interface is somewhat difficult to read at a glance

Conclusion

When looking at dive computers, more features isn't always best. Some models on this list offer a wealth of information and control options, but for a beginner or hobbyist, much of this is unnecessary. Thrifty pros may get a good amount of use out of lower-priced models, but with more expensive models will always come increased control and more detailed information. We hope that, by outlining the pros and cons of each of these competing models and comparing them to the Mares Smart Dive Computer, we've made it clear what you'll potentially be getting (or not getting) out of your purchase regardless of the model you choose.

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