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Suunto D6i Novo Stone review – dive computer for real divers

Suunto D6i Novo Stone on white background

Let me guess - you have just started with the adventurous life of an amateur diver. You've gone through the drill and had your first few dives. Probably you have noticed one interesting thing on the wrists of other divers - it seems that Suunto is well respected brand in divers' world and now you've decided to buy your first dive watch (or dive computer). This is why you are here - you want to know if Suunto D6i Novo is a purchase worth making.

Read on...

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How good is Suunto D6i Novo dive computer?

I wanted to share as clearly as possible everything I've learned with Suunto D6i Novo before you decide to buy it or not.

Pros

  • Great dive computer that looks good also outside of the water
  • Display readability
  • Sapphire glass makes the screen more durable
  • 3D Digital Compass
  • Anti-fingerprint features on the glass will help you not to freak out

Cons

  • Batteries cannot be changed on your own without breaking the warranty
  • Firmware upgrade only by the service centers of Suunto.
  • Costly for complete beginners in diving
  • Screen is hard to break, but easy to scratch

Suunto D6i is the watch-sized dive computer of choice for those who take their diving seriously. With a new tilt-compensated 3D digital compass and enabled wireless air integration, its a great tool when other people rely on your diving skills.

Trusted by professional divers, its good looks make it a great addition to your more civilian wardrobe too. D6i White, D6i Elastomer and D6i All Black now come with a comfortable silicone strap

This device is loaded not only with great features that make diving fun and simple but also an attractive case of watch-style. This is a unique technology, and fashion-forward dive computer.

Suunto D6i Novo Stone front view

The incredible silicone strap, stainless steel bezel, and steel shell make this dive device durable and long lasting. 

When you are diving, you should have no problems in reading the watch screen underwater, Suunto D6i Novo features a sapphire crystal glass display with an anti-reflective coating. To increase readability even more, electro-luminescent backlit with the UX design is easy to read, providing the knowledge for divers of all skill levels to stay safe while underwater.

The user interface hasn't changed; it's almost the same as with other Suunto D dive computers. So, if you're used to D series, you will not have any issues in using Suunto D6i Novo. By default, you're going to see the time and date mode on the screen of your device.

Suunto D6i Novo Stone shown on hand

Switching between 3 different gases and being water resistant up to 150m (ISO 6425 certified -read about ISO certification here) below the water surface is made easy for divers. 

My feeling is that the watch is especially useful for freediving thanks to these features. They will feel and dive assured with the information it provides.

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The built-in diver planner makes dive profiles and surface intervals easy to measure, which is perfect for divers who like to have a schedule before hitting the water. The computer's face is filled with all the knowledge that a diver wants to stay safe when used in dive mode.

The face will view ascending rate, remaining no-deco time, current distance, and even air information using an optional wireless transmitter.

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And touching a button displays more details, including elapsed dive time, maximum depth, and temperature of the water.

Suunto d6i Novo is, as expected, loaded with alarms and a logbook to monitor up to 80 dives, and it is also designed to keep track of past information and make sure users are safe while underwater. This device can be easily configured and is incredibly conservative, helping to mitigate the risk of DCS.

What's in the box?

  • Device with black strap with silicone as well as the extension strap
  • USB cable
  • Safety Manual and Quick Start Guide (and User manual CD, if you know what to do with a CD...)
  • Legal dive brochure
  • Warranty document (hint: warranty duration is 2 years)
Suunto D6i Novo Stone box

General features of Suunto D6i Novo

Here are the highlighted some of Suunto D6i Novo's key elements that are important:

  • Steel Case
  • Sapphire Crystal Glass
  • Suunto RGBM–decompression algorithm
  • Can be switched between 3 gases
  • 5 modes: Water, Nitrox, Gauge, Free and Off
  • Apnea timer
  • Digital 3D Compass
  • Dive planner is built-in
  • You can use Suunto's program to display the details of your logs.

Suunto d6i Novo features

Deco Mode

When you surpass your NDL, you can activate this mode. It sets up a series of necessary deco stops and if you skip any of them, it will eventually return to an error mode and will only work for the next 48 hours as a timer.

By showing your next necessary 'ceiling' depth and stop time, the machine guides you through the deco stops. Even if you make all of your enquired pauses, it shows your complete estimate of' ascending time to surface.

Compass

Before use, the digital compass must be adjusted. This should be done if you step through different magnetic fields just in order to be sure it is accurate. You can reach any time before or during a dive in the compass mode. The practical thing about the Suunto compass is it's a tilted compass, so it doesn't matter your wrist location. You will get accurate readings whether you keep it flat or turn it in a more natural position to view it.

Suunto D6i Novo Stone 9 compass calibration

Dive-Mode Display

While using air in dive mode, the face of the device shows the current depth, the remaining no-deco time, the rate of ascent and the air information when using the wireless transmitter. You can get details of the water temperature, time, max depth, and cumulative dive time with just the touch of a button. You can also change the contrast and brightness of the monitor.

Logbook

This unique device has 80 hours' diving history storage to keep all your activities intact. You can set the sampling rate to 10 to 60 seconds, which ensures your depth is reported as often as possible. You can also use the bookmark feature to remind you at a specific time or depth of something interesting that you saw.

Air Mixes

The Suunto D6i can work up to 99 percent with air or nitrox. Up to two nitrox mixes can be registered and the two can be inter-change during dives. PO2. Can be set range from 5 - 1.6.

Alarms

There are few alarms on the screen. It is possible to set the depth alarm pre-dive and warn you when you reach that depth. If you use wireless air activation, you will be alerted by the tank pressure warning when your tank pressure exceeds a specified amount. The diving alarm is range from 1 - 999 minutes anywhere. There are also two warnings for freediving, warning of depth and interval of water. It is possible to customize both.

Strap design

This efficient dive tool is designed with Zulu bands, and due to its double-sling closing mechanism it has become favorite of divers around the world. It has adapters and thick, rounded rings of stainless steel that make it easy to change when wearing a wetsuit. It means that even if anything unexpected happens during a dive, it remains on your hand.

Final verdict

Do you already have a dive plan for next 12 months and you are looking for a dive computer? Yes? Then the verdict is - Buy. If no - think twice, because software could be too annoying...

The best way for a diver to feel safe when underwater is to have a high-quality dive computer that is robust, capable of providing plenty of details, and will sound an alarm in case of an emergency. Such fantastic machines for scuba diving are sure to make diving even more fun.

If there is a reason to think twice about buying this watch / dive computer then it would be it's software and handling some basic maintainance. You cannot replace the battery on your own (it should last for around 150 dives, but in some cases you will need to replace it after 90-100 dives) and firmware upgrades have to be done by Suunto service center. 3rd thing is connectivity in which Suunto d6i with DM5  is behind for eg. Garmin's solution.

Suunto D6i Novo Stone on a box

in the end, diver must take responsibility for their protection by selecting dive gear that is not only reliable but also easy to use. This will ensure that when in the water, they have the knowledge they need to be safe.

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Suunto logo

Suunto D6i Novo

Our Rating:

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About the Author Costanza

Author, contributor and marketer with interest in various topics. My first big interest are watches, especially vintage looking dive watches. Second pet project of mine is career consultancy for introverts (check it out at: costanza-rules.com). Reach out on Twitter or Facebook, let's have a chat!

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