Suunto D4I Review: A Great All-Around Watch Sized Dive Computer
|Display||Partial Dot Metrix|
|User Changeable Battery||No|
|Nitrox Compatible||Yes/ 21-50%|
|PC Interface||Yes (Not Included)|
|Integrated Digital Compass||NO|
The main difference between the two versions is the option for wireless air integration (which the “i” signifies), a feature that was lacking in the original D4. It also had a few other improvements inducing a faster sampling rate for improved accuracy and the ability to now use the stopwatch underwater.
It is basically a trim down version of the Suunto D6i with all the great features you would expect but without the digital compass and gas switching capabilities.
Still, features like optional wireless air integration, and the ability to use it for air diving, nitrox mixes, free diving, or as a casual sports watch makes the Suunto D4i a great all-around dive computer.
It also has a host of other great features, and in this Suunto D4i review we are going to look at what makes it stand out from other dive computer watches, as well as what other scuba divers are saying about this great little dive computer.
Suunto D4i Review Video
Below is a video overview of the computer done by the guys over at SimplyScuba.com. In the video, you can get a closer look at some of the features and functions of the dive computer.
Intuitive User-Friendly Interface
The Suunto D4i has four control buttons which make programming and retrieving data from the dive computer very easy and intuitive. These are the MODE, SELECT, UP, and DOWN buttons, which utilizes a combination of sort press and holds to select and activate certain features of the dive computer.
It also has 4 basic operation mode (TIME, DIVE, PLAN, MEMORY) which can be toggled by pressing the mode button and the UP/DOWN buttons to select between sub-modes. Other features such as back-lighting can be activated by pressing and holding the MODE button for longer.
Thanks to its user-friendly interface you can pretty much operate the computer without reading the user manual. But, you will still find the manual very comprehensive and easy to understand with detailed graphics and charts on how to program and access all its features and functions if you ever get in a jam.
The center of the D4i screen features a full dot-matrix display allowing all your vital diving information to be read clearly at a glance. The other digits above and below are segmented but also very easy to comprehend.
The display layout is also separated into 3 section which makes for easy digesting of all your diving data.
- Top – Here you will find your current depth, daily alarm icon, no-fly icon, etc.
- Middle – The middle is used to show mode selection, current time, no decompression time, total ascent time, ceiling depth, remaining air time, safety/deep stop, Surface Interval time, no-fly time, and tissue saturation.
- Bottom – Here you will find other important information like wireless transmitter indicator, cylinder pressure, max depth, temperature, Nitrox Information ( when in Nitrox Mode), etc.
It also has two bar graphs on either side of the displays.
- Tank Pressure – Located on the left of the screen it shows you a graphical display of your current air pressure when paired correctly with a wireless transmitter.
- Ascent Rate – Located on the right of the screen shows a bar graph of your current accent rate.
In low light conditions, the screen can also be lit by an elector-luminescent backlight. The backlight can also be programmed for a duration of 5, 10, 20, 30, 60s. Giving you enough time to read the screen before it turns off.
Four Operation Modes Including Free Diving
Despite its small size the Suunto D4i dive computer watch also features four different operation modes. These include Watch, Nitrox, Air, and Free Diving. Below is a brief description of each mode:
- Watch – This computer functions great as a watch and timer when not diving. It also has the ability to set daily alarms, dual times, date, and even a stopwatch that measure elapsed and split times.
- Air – This mode is used when diving with standard air and will calculate no-decompression limits on your dive.
- Nitrox – This mode is used when diving with oxygen enriched dive mixtures between 21% and 50% and PO2 limit between 0.5 and 1.6 bars.
- Free Dive – This mode is perfect if you are serious about breath-holding diving. It samples your depth 3 times per second, giving you highly accurate data on the true depth reached on you dive.
Optional Air Integration For Hassle Free Pressure Monitoring
No more chasing hoses and consoles to find out your cylinder pressure. The optional wireless air integration on the D4i allows you to easily track current tank pressure and remaining air time with a quick glance at your wrist, along with other critical information, giving you more time to truly enjoy your dive.
Great Tool For Planning and Debriefing Dives
The Suunto D4i is also a great tool for planning and debriefing after your dive.
The built-in dive planner gives you the ability to test upcoming dives and view no-decompression data before even putting a foot into the water.
It also has a very sophisticated logbook and profile memory to review you recent dives. Depending on the sample rate it will record all your important dive data as well as graphical representation of dive profile for about 140 hrs of dive time. However, you can also transfer all your dive data to your computer using the optional Suunto DM4 software, which also includes a graphical representation of all your dives. You can also upload you dive to movescount.com where you can share your dives with friends.
What Diver’s Are Saying About the Suunto D4i
The overall feedback from divers was great. The majority of divers found the computer very easy to read, intuitive, and don’t require training to operate. They were also a few mentions of it being the best choice for people who both scuba dive and free dive.
Below is a few snippet of what they’re saying.
Rodrigo – Says the Sunnto D4i is a great computer. He found it easy to use when free diving and scuba diving, and that you can use it as a daily watch as well.
Backdraft710 – Used the computer on 7 dives and says it works well, easy to read, and overall is very please with his selection.
The Bottom Line
The Suunto D4i is a great alternative to the Suunto D6i, especially for budget-minded divers. However, features like optional wireless air integration, free dive mode, and nitrox capabilities, it is still a great all-around dive computer for recreational divers of all experience levels.