You’re here because you want to know if the Suunto Zoop Novo is the entry-level dive computer for you.
Here’s the deal:
It has all the essential features to keep you safe while diving and comes at a great value considering the price tag.
Keep reading, and learn how it compares with other entry-level computers.
The Suunto Zoop Novo is known as one of the simplest dive computers out there.
It has basic functionalities and not too much more – you can’t expect all the bells and whistles when you’re buying in this price bracket!
It has an oversized watch look and comes in a few bright colors. It’s hardy, strong and long-lasting which makes it great for beginners and recreational divers alike. The strap is long enough to compensate for reaching around wetsuits and drysuits.
It has full decompression ability, so it’ll last you for your scuba diving career!
It’s also possible to use the dive computer for freediving – in case you decide to start exploring the underwater world on a single breath.
If you decide to move onto a more advanced dive computer, the Suunto Zoop Novo makes for a great backup.
Why Get Your Own Dive Computer?
Chances are, if you’ve been scuba diving before, you’ll have done it with a dive computer.
Sure, it’s important to know and understand how it all works, but there are computers that can do all the tricky maths now.
Let’s jump into the top reasons for owning a diving computer is a smart idea.
It’s arguably the first piece of equipment you should buy as a scuba diver.
If you have your own computer, it can calculate your limits for multiple dives in a day and days in a row. Computers are safer. Trust them!
In addition, dive computers allow you to have a dive log that stores all your information on your wrist, making reviewing and documenting your dives simple.
Most can be connected to a computer allowing you to save your dive data straight to your laptop. With fancy modern models, Bluetooth will send the data straight to your phone.
Features And Functionality
What’s hot and what’s not?
As it’s an entry-level computer, the Zoop Novo doesn’t come with all the extra add-ons. It does have some distinguishing features from other comparable models, though. Here are the good and bad features of the Suunto Zoop Novo.
- Like other beginner dive computers, it’s
simple and easy to use
- Its large size means it has a big display and is easy to read
- Big logbook (60 hours)
- Visual and audible alarms
- Depth alarm
- Five dive modes: Gauge, Air, Nitrox, Free, and Off
- You don’t want to wear it as a watch – it’s too big
- No air integration
- No built-in compass
- No depth alarm
- Not many advanced features
Here’s more about the important features and functionality of the Suunto Zoop Novo.
Nice and Easy
The Zoop Novo is not a small dive computer. It’s big and bold which means it has great functionality and is durable as hell.
It’s got a big screen made from long-lasting acrylic, so it can withstand being knocked around on the boat and in your dive gear bag! It’s about 2.4 inches (61mm) in diameter and is just over an inch (28mm) thick. Its display is around 1 ⅓ inches (40mm) across so it’s easy to read even for those with less than 20/20 vision.
It weighs in at 120 grams. It’s designed to be worn for scuba diving, and not as a wristwatch.
The Zoop Novo was designed with some well-considered functionalities. It has a four-button menu with nice big buttons. The menus are easy to navigate and the display is large and clear. Even those who are new to the world of dive computers find it easy.
The Suunto Zoop Novo is easy on the eye. It comes in a few different bright, cool colors and even though it’s big, it looks good. It has a long rubber strap that reaches over your wetsuit or drysuit. The display can be set to imperial or metric.
Dive Mode, Surface Interval And No-Fly Times
The Zoop Novo’s default setting is dive mode. It’s automatically activated when it’s 1½ feet (0.5 meters) underwater, turning from surface mode to dive mode at 4 feet (1.2 meters). It’s worth turning it on to dive mode during your pre-dive safety check though – just in case!
When you enter dive mode, all graphical display elements come on and the backlight and beep activate. Then it shows your altitude and personal settings plus your maximum operating depth, gas content, and PO2 values.
The Suunto Zoop Novo comes set with standard alarms which are adjustable. It has audible and visual alarms to alert you when you’re about to hit important limits or presets.
There are different alerts for high and low priority alarms which makes it super easy for you to understand while you’re diving. It has a great range of alarms that are comprehensively detailed in the manual.
By default, the dive computer will alert you to make a safety stop. You can set alarms for maximum depths and dive times too which is a great feature that some other entry-level models don’t have. The depth alarm is important for scuba divers with depth restrictions due to medical reasons.
If the no-decompression limit is exceeded, the dive computer will provide you with decompression information in order to make a safe ascent. The surface interval and repeat dive information will be displayed once you’re dry again.
In dive mode, the current battery level is shown. After three minutes of no use, the dive computer switches to Idle mode where it shows the time, day and date.
You can easily change the settings to imperial or metric (feet or meters, ºF or ºC) depending on your preferences.
A Big Ol’ Logbook
The logbook for the Suunto Zoop Novo is one of the larger ones at 60 hours. It has a sampling rate of 20 seconds in air and Nitrox modes, and 2 seconds in Freedive mode. You can change the sampling rate if you prefer.
If the memory becomes full, the oldest dives are deleted automatically as new dives are added. If you want to download the dive data to your laptop or computer, you can get a USB cable.
Getting Nerdy With the Algorithm
The Suunto Zoop Novo uses the Suunto RGBM algorithm. It predicts dissolved and free gas in divers’ blood and tissues. It provides the highest level of safety due to its adaptability to various situations and profiles.
The algorithm monitors continuous multi-day diving, and closely spaced repetitive diving. It’s also set to react to dives that are deeper than previous dives, and to rapid ascents which produce microbubble accumulation.
More About Suunto
Suunto makes dive computers, sports watches, and other instruments for adventurers all over the world! They don’t make all types of diving gear – rather they specialize in the design and innovation of precision instruments.
The company originally spawned out of a Finnish orienteer creating a new compass. They’ve since expanded to other gadgets for adventurers. They’re a Finnish company that is reflected in their slick Nordic aesthetic.
Mares Puck Pro Versus Competitors
Before we go more in-depth in reviewing the Suunto Zoop Novo, let’s take a quick glance at some other dive computers in a similar price range. There are a few popular dive computers for beginners and recreational divers – and they all have pretty similar features. They’re all great quality, with some minor differences.
There are four dive computers which are considered entry-level:
- Suunto Zoop Novo
- Mares Puck Pro
- AquaLung i200
- Cressi Leonardo
They’re all similar standards in terms of functionality, reliability, and longevity. They’re great quality and value with just a few small differences!
They all have Nitrox and USB connectivity capabilities, although the USB cable isn’t included with any of the computers. They’re an optional add on which you buy separately. None of them have an integrated compass either. Check out the table for more comparisons.
Note that there’s a modified version of the Mares Puck Pro – the Mares Puck Pro Plus. It’s only slightly different. Firstly, it’s in block colors rather than two-tone, and it comes in a few funky shades.
It also has Bluetooth capabilities through a clip connector, without the need for a cable. It’s worth noting that the functionality isn’t operationally perfect yet. Perhaps the technology needs improving before it’s worth recommending the Plus version. Unless it’s because you prefer the color range which is a perfectly understandable reason!
When choosing a dive computer, first decide what features
you would like, then check out all the reviews. We’ve done the hard work for you so you don’t have to!
Check out the model-specific review for the Mares Puck Pro here.
Can I Use It For Nitrox Diving?
Yes – the dive computer can operate Nitrox settings between 21-50%. pO2 levels can be adjusted between 0.2-3.0 bar.
The default setting for oxygen percentage (O2%) is 21% (air) and oxygen partial pressure (PO2) is 1.4 bar (20 psi). Want to learn more about BAR and PSI? Check out our guide!
How Deep Can I Dive With It?
The maximum operating depth is 393 feet (120 meters).
Can I Use The Computer At Altitude?
Traveling to a higher elevation will change the equilibrium of dissolved nitrogen in your body. It’s generally recommended that you wait at least 3 hours before making a dive at a new altitude.
As with most dive computers, the Zoop Novo comes with an Altitude setting. This is not automatic, you will need to adjust it yourself each time you change altitudes.
When you adjust the Altitude setting, the Zoop Novo adjusts its mathematical model according to which altitude mode is selected. It will calculate shorter no-decompression times at higher altitudes. There are three altitude settings for up to 3000m (9800ft).
No Fly Time
The no-fly icon isn’t displayed on standby mode – you must activate it to check the airplane icon is not displayed before flying. Then, if you need to wait until flying after a drive, the no-fly time airplane icon appears in all modes.
No-fly time is always at least 12 hours and is equal to desaturation time when it’s more than 12 hours. If a decompression stop is missed during a dive, the no-fly time defaults to 48 hours. It’s also 48 hours when the dive
is done in Gauge mode (bottom timer).
Can I Plan My Dives Using The Mares Puck Pro?
What’s The Battery Life Like?
The battery life on this model is pretty good. If you’re a real mermaid (or merman!) and getting underwater for 300 scuba dives a year, then that battery should last between eight to twelve months.
It may last up to 18 months if you’re averaging around 100 dives a year. Any less than that and it could extend nearer to two years.
If the battery needs changing, you can DIY! The Battery Replacement Kit is easy to buy online. It includes the standard 3 volt CR2450 and O-ring, all for sub $20. All you need is a T-6 Torx screwdriver! Suunto has been really cool and made a video to show you how.
They start off by telling you that by doing it yourself or with an unauthorized dealer may void the warranty. If you get past that bit, it’s pretty straightforward. If that puts you off, battery replacements are included as part of the regular service every two years (with an authorized dealer).
Is It Missing Any Functions?
The Zoop Novo doesn’t have air integration, a compass, or trimix.
You can get these more advanced functionalities by investing in a mid-level diving computer. These kinds of extras do equate to a higher price tag – but if you need them, it’s worth paying up. If you don’t need them, don’t bother – it will end up costing you in time and ease-of-use!
Some more advanced models are:
How Do I Look After It?
It’s always a good idea to take care of your dive equipment so it lasts as long as possible. The same goes for your dive computer! It’s important to keep you safe and in the long term, if you preserve your gear, it helps you save the pennies too!
An accumulation of sea salt, sweat, and sunscreen can affect the different parts of your dive computer. Regularly check the condition of the separate pieces – including the metal components, the band, and clasp. Remember to double-check these before your dive – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Does It Come With A Warranty?
You get a two-year limited warranty from the day of purchase.
The Perfect Allrounder – from Beginners to Freedivers and Beyond
The Suunto Zoop Novo has all the functions that scuba divers and freedivers need. It’s an ideal dive computer for beginners through to more advanced. It’s also great as a backup if you decide to move onto something more technical.
Its big display makes it easy to use above and below the water. And it looks good and keeps you safe – all you could ask for!
Our review of the Suunto Zoop Novo puts it in the runnings as an awesome affordable option with great functionalities. Remember to do your homework too and shop around as you can get some great deals!