2017 Suunto D4i and D4i Novo – What are the differences?

Suunto D4i Novo Sun Dive Computer

Suunto re-designed the D4i dive computer and released the Suunto D4i Novo. There are 3 notable differences between these two dive computers which are mostly cosmetic and minor.  

More...

Suunto D4i Novo Ocean

Suunto D4i Novo Ocean

If you already know that the Suunto D4i Novo is for you, click on the button below to see the current price and any discounts that may apply on Amazon.

If you have a pressing question, make sure you click the item in the table below to skip to the answer, or continue to scroll to read the entire review.

D4i and D4i Novo Dive Computer Comparison Chart

Suunto D4i and D4i Novo are very similar dive computers. The comparison table below highlights their differences.

  • Choose yourdive computer

  • WeightWeight
  • USB IncludedUSB Included
  • Band TypeBand Type
  • Wireless Air IntegrationWireless Air Integration
  • Color ChoicesColor Choices
  • CompassCompass
  • PricePrice
  • Suunto

  • D4i

  • Weight85 g / 3 oz
  • USB Included
  • Band TypeElastomer
  • Wireless Air IntegrationOptional Extra
  • Color Choices
  • Compass
  • Price$685 MSRP*
  • Suunto

  • D4i Novo

  • Weight92 g / 3.25 oz
  • USB Included
  • Band TypeSilicone
  • Wireless Air IntegrationOptional Extra
  • Color Choices
  • Compass
  • Price$825 MSRP*

*MSRP = Is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. There are big savings available on the recommended retail price online.  


Why the difference in price?

The difference in price between the Suunto D4i and the D4i Novo is partly due to the Novo coming complete with the USB cable.

The USB cable gives you the ability to download the dive log to a laptop. This can also be done with the D4i but the cable is not included in the price. It remains an accessory at an additional cost.

Suunto D4i and D4i Novo Comparison on Watch Yourselves


What are the main differences between the two Models?

The internals and functions of the Suunto D4i and D4i Novo remain the same.

The case of the D4i Novo is .25 oz heavier (7 grams) than the Suunto D4i.  Both are compact and lightweight.

Cosmetically, the screen face and buttons are slightly different. The D4i has plastic buttons which have been changed to metal buttons on the D4i Novo. Suunto released the Novo with a silicone band. Silicone is noticeably smoother than the elastomer band and wraps around the wrist easier. 

As mentioned above, the USB cable needed to download the dive log is included when you buy the Novo.  This remains an accessory at an extra cost when buying the D4i.  Apart from these minor differences, the Suunto D4i and the D4i Novo share the same features and functionality. The Novo is available in more color choices.


What’s the difference between the D4i and the D6i Novo?

Wondering what the differences are between the D4i, the D4i Novo and the D6i Novo? 

The Suunto D6i Novo has a built in compass, can handle up to 3 gases and has a maximum depth of 150 meters. It also has a sapphire crystal display.

  • Choose yourdive computer

  • WeightWeight
  • USB IncludedUSB Included
  • Band TypeBand Type
  • ButtonsButtons
  • Color ChoicesColor Choices
  • DisplayDisplay
  • CasingCasing
  • CompassCompass
  • Maximum DepthMaximum Depth
  • GasGas
  • Price ApproxPrice Approx
  • Suunto

  • D4i

  • Weight3 oz / 85 g
  • USB Included
  • Band TypeElastomer
  • ButtonsPlastic
  • Color Choices
  • DisplayMineral Crystal
  • CasingComposite
  • Compass
  • Maximum Depth100 meters
  • Gas1 Gas
  • Price ApproxUnder $700
  • Suunto

  • D4i Novo

  • Weight3.25 oz / 92 g
  • USB Included
  • Band TypeSilicone
  • ButtonsMetal
  • Color Choices
  • DisplayMineral Crystal
  • CasingComposite
  • Compass
  • Maximum Depth100 meters
  • Gas1 Gas
  • Price ApproxUnder $800
  • Suunto

  • D6i Novo

  • Weight3.98 oz / 113 g
  • USB Included
  • Band TypeChoices
  • ButtonsMetal
  • Color Choices
  • DisplaySapphire Crystal
  • CasingSteel
  • Compass
  • Maximum Depth150 meters
  • Gas3 Gases
  • Price Approx$820 - $ 1300

Does the Suunto D4i come with the USB cable?

The Suunto D4i Novo comes complete with the USB cable. This cable lets you to download the dive log to a laptop and also update the firmware. 

The Suunto D4i does NOT come with the cable.  This is an optional extra. The USB cable retails for around $85 which helps explain the some of the price difference between the D4i and the D4i Novo.

There are package deals available from time to time where you can buy the D4i complete with the USB cable. These bring the price between the two models closer to each other.


Suunto D4i Novo – How Big is Compact?

The Suunto D4i and D4i Novo is a large watch sized dive computer.  Many people will wear it as their every day watch, especially when on vacation.

These measure 1.91″ x 1.72″ (48.6 mm x 43.8 mm) across the face, and .63″ thick (16 mm). The D4i weighs in at 3 oz (85 grams) and the D4i Novo weighs 3.25 oz (92 grams).

The bezel is stainless steel with a mineral crystal display. The dot matrix screen is large enough to display all the essential diving data.

Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer Pink

What about Diving Modes and other settings?

The D4i and D4i Novo have 4 operating modes, Nitrox/Air, Free Diving, Gauge and Off. The Off option stops the dive computer from going into dive mode if you’re snorkelling. 

The Suunto D4i and D4i Novo have an electro-luminescent backlight. The duration of the display can be adjusted between 5, 10, 20, 30, and 60 seconds, or turned off altogether. The brightness of the backlight and the Display contrast can be adjusted.

It’s easy to set it to display either metric or imperial settings depending on your personal preference. The time settings can formatted to either 12 or 24-hour display.

The Altitude setting is adjustable to 3,000 metres. 

There's a Stopwatch, Apnea timer and Alarm clock. It also has a dual time function which allows you to keep track of the time in a second time zone. The Dive mode will activate automatically when you dive deeper than 4 feet (1.2 metres), unless it’s previously been switched to OFF mode.

Diving in Nitrox mode increases your bottom times. The Suunto D4i and D4i Novo adjust their dive calculations to keep you within safe limits and reduce the risk of decompression sickness. After entering the percentage of oxygen in your tank and the oxygen partial pressure limit into the dive computer, the safe maximum operating depth (MOD) is calculated.

One advantage Suunto has over it's competitors is its intuitive menu. The short video below shows how easy it is to change basic settings on the D4i, D6i and DX range of Suunto dive computers. 


Dedicated Freediving Apnea Computer – Suunto D4F

The Suunto dive computer models that have a dedicated Free Dive mode are the D4i and D4i Novo, and the D6i Novo.

At the end of February 2017, Suunto released a dedicated D4F dive computer for Freediving. Click the link here to read in more detail about the features of the new dedicated Suunto D4F Free Diving Dive computer.


Does the D4i Novo have Wireless Air Integration?

In the world of diving computers, wireless Air Integration (AI) is increasing in popularity. AI technology and reliability has improved greatly in recent years.

Can you dive without wireless air integration? Yes. Will wireless air integration make your dives easier, more accurate, safer, and more enjoyable? Yes.

You’ll appreciate that your dive computer has wireless Air Integration when you’re penetrating a long and narrow passage in a wreck. With the quick flick of the wrist, you’ll see all the vital info you need with very minimal movement.

The Suunto D4i and D4i Novo both have the capacity to upgrade to wireless AI with the purchase of a transmitter. The Suunto wireless Air Integration transmitter is an accessory for both the D4i and the D4i Novo.

Having this capability is a great option for mid level divers who want to upgrade their gear or training later on. There are packages available that’ll save you money if you buy the transmitter at the same time as the dive computer.

The air integration feature reads your current cylinder pressure. It then calculates and displays your remaining pressure and breathing time. This is based on the current depth and air consumption rate.

The transmitter pairs with the diver computer to display your tank information on your wrist. It retails for between $430 – $450. 

Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer Black

Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer Black


Suunto Air Integration Transmitter Recall

In mid 2017 Suunto issued a Recall on its wireless air transmitters. A possible pressure issue with the casing had been flagged so all transmitters were recalled and tested as a precaution. 

All new transmitters sold are tested and safe. Suunto were very quick to act on this. They tested and returned or replaced older transmitters with new, very quickly.  

Suunto Wireless Air Transmitter

All dive computer manufacturers are serious when it comes to diver safety. This recall was issued and acted upon quickly. 

Suunto D4i Novo White

Suunto D4i Novo White

Is the battery of the D4i Novo user-changeable?

Well, that depends on who you ask!

Suunto state on their website and in the user manuals for the D4i and D4i Novo, that the battery must be replaced at an authorised center. It says that the battery change is not something you can do yourself. Having said that, there are Suunto D4i battery replacement kits for sale on the internet.

It really comes down to you, and whether you’re comfortable doing this yourself. The Suunto battery replacement kits include the battery, o-ring and a small tube of silicone grease.

One option is to buy the battery replacement kit yourself and take it and the dive computer to your local dive shop for replacing. This way you won’t be voiding the warranty, and you will save yourself a few dollars at the same time. Make sure you check with your local dive shop beforehand. 

The life expectancy of the battery depends a lot on how you use it. Based on around 100 dives a year, the battery life will be around 1-1/2. If its used in time mode only, the battery life will be extended to around 2 years. The life expectancy will decrease if you’re diving in very cold water.

Suunto D4i Dive Computer - battery replacement kit

What about Automatic Safety Checks?

The Suunto D4i automatically goes through a series of checks each time you enter Dive mode.

When entering DIVE Mode, the backlight and beep activate. This is followed by the graphical display elements turning on. The Altitude and personal settings are displayed along with Maximum Operating Depth (MOD), gas content, and PO² values. The battery level is also checked.

If you’re between consecutive dives, your current tissue saturation is also included as part of these checks. The PLAN Mode shows your desaturation times based on your previous dives.

 When in DIVE mode the current Depth, Surface Interval time, No Fly times, dive time and temperature are shown. AIR settings will show tank pressure pairing and the tank pressure alarm when paired with the wireless air transmitter.


What about Alarms, Warnings, Safety Stops and Deep Stops?

Safety stops are part of good diving practice and are a critical part of most diving plans.

The Suunto D4i and D4i Novo display two different types of safety stops – recommended and mandatory. There are audible and visual alarms that will alert you to important limits or when presets are being reached. 

With every dive over 30 feet (10 meters), there’s a 3-minute countdown for the recommended safety stop. This stop is taken in the 10-20 feet (3-6 meter) range. A STOP icon and a 3 minute countdown is displayed.

The default setting of the depth alarm is set 100 feet (30 meters). This can be adjusted or switched off.

Suunto D4i Novo Sakura Diving Computer

Suunto D4i Novo Sakura (Pink) Diving Computer

High and Low Priority Alarms

  • Alarms
  • High Priority
  • Low Priority

High Priority alarms will appear when:

  • The PO2 value is greater than the adjusted value. This means your current depth is too deep for the gas in use. You need to either ascend immediately or change to a lower O² % gas.
  • The decompression ceiling depth is exceeded, advising you will need to descend to, or below the ceiling.
  • Maximum ascent rate of 33 ft/min (10 m/min) has been exceeded. You need to immediately slow down your ascent rate.
Suunto D4i Novo Lime

Suunto D4i Novo Lime

What if you want to plan a No Decompression dive?

The mode PLAN NoDeco is used to plan dives that don’t need deco stops. Simply enter the depth of your next dive into the dive computer.

The Suunto D4i Novo will then calculate the maximum time you can stay at that depth without requiring any decompression stops. All dives taken over the previous 4 days will be taken into account when making it’s calculations.


What about the Logbook Memory, Bookmarks and Dive History?

The Suunto D4i and D4i Novo have a detailed logbook and dive history available in MEMORY mode.

  • Logbook
  • Bookmarks
  • dive history

The SCUBA Dive History records a maximum of 999 dives and 999 diving hours. The counters reset themselves to zero when these limits are reached. Scuba Dive History shows:

  • a summary of the dive hours.
  • the total number of dives.
  • maximum depths.

The FREE DIVE History records a maximum of 999 dives and 99:59 diving hours.  The counters are reset when these limits are reached. Free Dive History shows:

  • deepest and the longest dives of all free dives.
  • cumulative dive time in hours and minutes.
  • the total number of dives.

What about Warranty and General Maintenance?

All Suunto dive computers are covered by a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty. This does not cover normal wear and tear. The Wireless Air Transmitter comes with a 12 month warranty. 

To keep your dive computers performing as it should, it needs to be serviced at an authorized Suunto service center every 2 years, or after 200 dives. A standard service includes a general operational check, replacing the battery and a water resistant check.

Although they can withstand the rigors of diving, dive computers need to be treated with the proper care and respect. Protect the it from shock, extreme heat, direct sunlight and chemicals. It should go without saying, but take extra care not to knock or drop it.

After using in salt water, always rinse in fresh water and a mild soap. Carefully clean the housing with a moist soft cloth or chamois.

Clean the water contact and depth sensors on the side of the computer using fresh water and a soft toothbrush. The water contact is what detects when the unit is submerged and switches it into Dive mode. After washing and drying, store in a dry place.

Take it to a Suunto service center as soon as possible if moisture appears inside the case or battery compartment, and never try to open the case of the dive computer.

Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer - Sun

Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer - Sun


The Conclusion?

Time To Select! Suunto made adjustments to the D4i, and released the D4i Novo. The D4i is still readily available for sale. The Suunto D4i and D4i Novo are both are great quality dive computers packed with features.

Air Integration is a nice touch but the transmitter can always be added later on if your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far at the moment. Those who’ve made the switch to wireless air integration, say they’d never go back. (Scubaboard.com)

A question to ask yourself is whether you want to download your dive logs to your computer. If yes, then buy the Suunto D4i Novo. If this isn’t as important to you, then you may want to consider saving yourself some money and buy the Suunto D4i.

Suunto phased out manufacture of the Zoop and the D6i earlier this year, leaving only the Novo versions of these two dive computers in their range. My guess is that it won’t be long before the Suunto D4i is also discontinued, leaving the Suunto D4i Novo. There could be some great bargains coming up for the D4i before this happens.

Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer

Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer - Black

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Terry M Reply

This is a great computer, I use it mostly when I free dive. I have all the information I need right there on my wrist to analyze my dive performance.

Dawn Reply

I’m really leaning towards the Novo now. Better options for not much extra in price. Also, even if it appears somewhat superficial, I like that it comes in extra colors!

Henk Reply

The D4i watch has a battery holder that fits CR2450N battery only , and not regular sold CR2450. CR2450N are also 5 mm high but the + pole is 2.5 mm and not 4.25 mm thick.
You can buy these CR2450N on Internet and they will fit.
Replacement is easy and safe as long as done slow and with attention.

Leave a Comment: