Suunto D6i Review: Stylish and Feature Packed
|Air Integration||Wireless (not Included)|
|User Changeable Battery||No|
|Nitrox Compatible||Yes/ 21-99%|
|PC Interface||Yes (Not Included)|
|Gas Switching||Yes/3 Gases|
|Integrated Digital Compass||Yes|
Also, if you often find yourself in situations where other divers rely on your scuba diving skills, features like Wireless Air Integration and the newly redesign tilt compensated digital 3D compass are invaluable.
The Suunto D6I is the newly upgraded version of the popular D6 model. Although it does not look much different cosmetically there are a few new features added to make an already great dive computer even better. Like, a greater tilt-compensated 3D compass, which gives you full confidence in the accuracy of the bearing, regardless of the angle of your wrist, a feature that the first D6 was lacking. It also has a sapphire-glass display which is more scratch resistant than the one used on the previous model.
It also now has the ability to easily sync with the Movescount.com online community, where you can store and share your dive data, images, and more.
As well as being a full-featured dive computer, Suunto D6i is also a stylishly designed timepiece that looks as good in the office as does on the live-aboard.
This small but powerful dive computer is jam-packed with features and in this Suunto D6i Review we are going to look at some of its most important features, As well as what other divers across the internet are saying.
Suunto D6i Review Video
Below is a quick video review of the Suunto D6i. In the video, you can get a closer look and feel for the dive computer, as well as a closer look at some of its features, the digital compass, and how easy it is to operate.
Easy To Learn Menu Based User Interface
The Suunto D6I has four basic control buttons, these are the SELECT, UP, DOWN and MODE Buttons. The user interface is very intuitive and the menus are structured logically making the dive computer very easy to navigate and setup. Accessing, programming, repatriating data can be made by pressing or holding down the control buttons.
The menu system itself consist of 4 basic operation modes, Time, Dive, Plan, and Memory. The compass functions is a sub-mode and can be accessed in both Time and Dive modes.
Easy to Read and Interpret Display
Although this dive computer is watched-sized, the screen and digits are quite easy to read and interpret, that is if you are not visually imperiled.
The center of the screen is full dot matrix allowing the most important information, like decompression detail, dive alters, current and previous dive information, to be read clearly and at a glance. The digital compass is also, display in the center as well, making it easy to read heading, bearing markers, and cardinal directions. The other digits above and below the center are in segmented dot matrix but this also very easy to read.
It also has two gar graphs on either side of the screen:
- Tank Pressure – This graph is located on the left side of the screen and shows you how much air you have remaining in your dive tank. However, this information will only display when paired with the wireless transmitter.
- Ascent Rate – This is located on the right side of the screen and will show you your current accent rate.
Ability to Switch Between 4 Dive Modes
Unlike many normal size dive computer, the Suunto D6i has 4 different dive modes. There is Air mode, Nitrox Mode, Gauge mode, and Free diving mode.
- Air Mode – This mode is used when diving with standard air.
- Nitrox Mode – The D6i has the ability to switch between two Nitrox mixes. This can accelerate your decompression by allowing you to switch your air to one with a higher oxygen percentage. You can also preset two different Nitrox mixes and set P02 values for each cylinder. The Suunto D6i also makes it very easy to switch between gas mixes during your dive.
- Gauge Mode – In this mode the dive computer makes an excellent bottom timer with accurate profile sampling and bookmarking functions. It will also display your dive time in minutes and seconds. In this mode, the dive computer will not make calculations for decompression. More experience and technical divers would use this function to get accurate bottom times and decompression stops as they would normally outside the decompression limits set by the dive computer.
- Free Diving Mode – This mode is great for serious free divers. It will sample your depth 3 times every second, and give you very accurate information on the true depth you reached.
Wireless Air Integration
The D6i is compatible with an optional wireless air transmitter will help you streamline your diving equipment by eliminating the need for a dangling high-pressure hose, saving you valuable energy and giving you a more efficient diving adventure.
The wireless transmitter easily installs into your HP port on your scuba regulator and will transmit air pressure directly to the computer on your wrist. Not only that, It will also allow the D6i to tell you your air time remaining at current depth and air consumption. It will also alert you when you’ve reached 500psi by displaying zero airtime remaining.
Audio and Visual Alarms and Warning
The Suunto D6i also has both visual and audio alarms to an alert you when important limits are reached. It can also prompt you to acknowledge when presets limits are reached, like when you reach a preset air pressure, depth, dive time, or surface time.
More Reliable Compass and Navigation
The digital compass can be accessed either in Dive mode or Time mode and is easy to read as it is displayed in the center of the display as a graphical representation of a compass rose. It will also display your current heading numerically.
One of the main complaints about the previous version (Suunto D6), is the inability for the compass to work properly when tilted. Now, navigations have been made much easier than before thanks to a better tilt-compensated compass.
The Suunto D6i does not have a user-changeable battery. You will need to take the computer to an authorized Suunto service center to get the battery replaced. This is to ensure that the battery is changed in the proper matter to prevent and leakage that would ruin the dive computer.
No need to worry about losing your data after the battery replacement, the D6i will retain all you profile data and alarm setting, all you will need to do is to reset the date and time.
Dive Log and PC Interface
The Suunto D6i is not limited to the size of the computer, it still has plenty of memory to store all you dive. Depending on sample rate and without transmitter data you can log approximately 140 hours of dive time, with the transmitter data you will be able to log no less than 35 hours.
In the event you reach your memory capability, the oldest dive will be deleted to make room for the new ones. However, it does come with the optional Suunto DM4 software that will allow you to download your diving data to your PC (optional, USB cable required). This feature further enhances the functionality of the computer by allowing you to better organize your dive data, planning up coming dives, print copies of you dive profile, and even upload your dive logs to share on Movescount for all to see. The DM4 software can easily be downloaded from suunto.com.
What are other divers saying about the D6i?
The overall reviews of the Suunto D6i are very good, divers really enjoyed how easy the D6i was to program and navigate once they got used to the buttons and functions, and they really enjoyed the full tilt 3D compass as well as it’s ability to connect to PC. Some divers recommend buying wire transmitter and USB cord to get the most out of the Suunto D6I.
However, many divers comment that the computer is quite conservative compared to other dive computers and that band can sometimes break.
Below are a few snippets of what other divers were saying:
Anonymous – Says that he really like all the features packed into this dive computer watch. He goes on to say that the ability to see surface internal on the display is great, and would highly recommend this DC to anybody. However, he was critical of the all metal strap that does not have metal links. reviews.suunto.com
Tahern65 – Says that the display was very easy to read under water and that all the information you need is displayed even in compass mode. He goes on to say that the buttons were very easy to manipulate even while wearing heavy gloves, and with almost 100 dives on the dive computer, it has been flawless. reviews.suunto.com
Sameer – Say he is a Divemaster an did an extensive research before buying this dive computer. He had 2 other Suunto dive computer prior to this one and states that Suunto maintains the greatest quality in making the best dive computers. He goes on to say that he made the choice between the Suunto and Oceanic and choose the D6i because it had a 3D digital compass. However, the only issue he has with the dive computer is that it is conservative and that there is no setting to make it less conservative like the previous version of the D6. Leisurepro.com
What’s the bottom line?
The bottom line is the updated D6i is quite a stylish dive computer watch that packs quite a punch feature wise. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to use even for beginner divers and it features would rival any full-size dive computer. Because it is a watch-sized dive computer it also makes an excellent backup dive computer.