Suunto D5 Review [A PADI Instructor’s Test]

The famous Suunto D5 is recognised by scuba divers worldwide but is it really worth it?

I spent over a year wearing this putting this computer to the test on a daily basis. This trusty companion is easy to use and perfect for divers of all levels.

But before purchasing, read up on the details of the backlight, pod connectivity and how it ranks alongside the top dive computers.

Best for dive compass
Suunto D5 Steel Dive Computer
  • Easy to set up​
  • Suitable for all levels of divers from beginner to advanced​
  • Powered USB port to re-charge battery​
  • The colour screen is easily one of the most impressive on the market for its price
  • No replaceable battery, any battery issue requires their service
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You could be in the right place, as I delve deep into all of the features and hidden gems of the latest Suunto D5 Dive Computer.

Right off the bat, I want to express exactly how I feel about this introduction. This is one of my favourite dive computers on the market, but it is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. It’s the dive computer that I use and it took a few lessons before I found the right computer for myself. I have worn this whilst travelling to various dive spots around the world.

If you’re a fan of activity trackers and fitness watches, and looking for a new dive computer too, check out my Garmin Mk2S Review for the low down on another top of the market computer.

Perfect For: The Suunto D5 is perfect for those that are serious about diving. Instructors, Divemasters and regular divers.

Unboxing the Suunto D5

Firstly, we want a reputable processor that can accompany us during dives, sure to keep us safe.

Once that box is checked, we want to reveal a true beauty that our fellow dive enthusiasts will appreciate. The Suunto is exactly that, with its beautifully rounded display, colour screen, LCD, stainless steel bezel and a sleek strap made from silicone (with the option of an additional quickrelease strap).

It comes with a USB cable for easy connection and has the capability of air integration of you opt to buy the pod. You can also find other air-integrated scuba computers with my full guide. 

This beauty showcases a colourful screen that makes it easy to distinguish between the monitor’s information. You’ll be able to stick to your ‘rule of thirds’ and ensure you have plenty of air in the cylinder, thanks to the vibrant colours remaining visible, even at depth. Just a glance at your wrist will reveal how much air you have with the tank pod, as it’s been made simple to process.

It’s an excellent choice and is not only a computer I’ve tested but is one that I own and use on a daily basis. I love this piece of gear and I’m proud to give feedback. The wrist computer is precise, with clear and user friendly features that countdown at the depth you need to be, it’s very handy for your safety stop.

This small, watch size computer is one for travelling divers that prefer to avoid the bulky additions like consoles do.

There’s a lot more to the computer than pure aesthetics, read on to see how it performed during our tests.

Suunto D5 clock face


Deep Diving

After taking the dive computer as deep as 40-metres, we were thoroughly impressed with the design of this innovative technology. It feels like it’s a computer that’s been created for divers, by divers. It has little tweaks that make all the difference.

POD Transmitter

Before diving into the specifications and its performance under the sea, we connected the D5 to a Tank POD Transmitter with ease. This then accurately reads air that you have remaining along with your breathing rate. Enjoy wireless and hose-less tank pressure readings whilst you’re underwater. 

LCD Display

Once we immersed into the deep-blue, we were delighted to see that the colours of the LCD work a treat and there’s a crisp display resolution. They make it easy to stay on track with that vital dive data, thanks to the colour.


The durable computer comes with chunky buttons that make it comfortable to utilise with gloves on and it has a great overall feel.


It’s ideal to travel the world with, as it has all the info you need and it’s simple to customise it to suit your needs. If you want the nitrox, battery life and tank pressure on one screen then you can set it to your preference. 

What’s in the Box

  • Suunto D5 Dive Computer
  • 1 x Silicone Strap Material
  • How to Guide Booklet
  • Manual Booklet
  • USB Charger Cable (Magnetic)

Suunto D5 Review

Let’s take a look at the overall specifications and what I think of this particular dive computer. As already discussed, I own the D5 computer to this day. That wasn’t a commitment that I took lightly, I researched the battery life, design, back-light, algorithm and it’s overall safety features. 

Ensuring the best scuba diving equipment is super-important and makes all the difference for scuba diving enthusiasts, regardless of level.

The Look

Say what you like, but we’re all guilty of checking out the look of a dive computer before delving into other functions. A shallow way to look at it (excuse the pun) but if you’re spending 100’s on a computer, it is important to have one that is also aesthetically pleasing.

It comes with a silicone strap that can be replaced in a variety of colours, a sleek steel bezel and visually pleasing LCD display.

Dive modes

The Suunto D5 has three different dive modes Air & Nitrox, Free diving and gauge. For full details you can head over to their official guide otherwise let me tell you what I have discovered about this innovative functions.

Air/Nitrox Mode

When it comes to the air nitrox mode you are able to use air mode for diving at 21%. You can then change it to nitrox for oxygen enriched air (remember, only dive on Nitrox after completing an Enriched Air dive course such as the PADI Enriched Air diver specialty). As you learn in your Nitrox course, both the percentage of oxygen in your tank and the oxygen partial pressure limit (pO2) must be entered into your dive computer.  It’s easy to do on the D5 and literally takes seconds.

It’s also a good choice for tech divers as you can make use of the multi-gas mode that makes you aware of a suitable gas to use whilst ascending if there is one.

Free Diving

The freediving mode can be easily activated. 

If you are freediving then it will show you these views by default:

  • Time

  • Depth

  • Digital Compass

  • Timer 


Gauge mode is simple to utilise on the D5 Suunto and will offer you a bottom timer.Once you use this mode, you will not be able to calculate decompression for 48 hours.

Scuba diver underwater in blue water next to plane wreck


Scuba diver in green water with white mask

Suunto pay attention to detail on all their products, especially scuba diving tools.

That’s how you can tell that these computers go through vigorous testing before release.

This back-light is second to none, something that seems so obvious yet it really lights up clear at depth.

It’s been designed to make it easy to track your dive. Read all your dive information in one glance, no worry about glare or small text in relation to your NDL. Plus, you can rearrange the display to suit you using the Suunto app.  


Suunto went all out on the creation of this computer and it now boasts RGBM. 

It means that it is a reduced gradient bubble model algorithm. Decompression expert Bruce Wienke is behind the mastermind of much of this. It enables divers to proceed safely and ensure the correct safety stop.

Gone are the days of manually calculating and although it is vital to be able to formulate these stats, we now have super-technology able to make our lives easier.

It can lengthen no deco times depending on how you adjust this element to suit the user.


Worried about losing track of time?

Something that shouldn’t be done, but as you enter the flow state in the beautiful world of the sea, you may forget that you are due to ascend. 

For this reason, alarms play a pivotal role.

Set it to beep at set time or depth. After testing it, I feel it is very useful. It is clear if you have your hood on, but it isn’t too loud. Yet the alarm does show as a strapline on your display and doesn’t move until you acknowledge it. A great function that could really assist you in taking extra precaution.

Watch this video review below as Simply Scuba also give their feedback.

Modern Features

Aside from the life-saving abilities, it’s also great to have the added extras such as wireless connectivity. 

Connect it to your mobile phone and keep track of dive through the app. It is simple to use and that’s not always the case with some of the others on the market. 

Other great features includes the easy-to-use POD transmitter, far easier than others I have experienced setting up. As well as having wireless tank pressure capabilities, you can also capitalise on the suunto app from your phone. This way you can stay up to date with all your dive logs, dive details and share any details to a friend or onto social media.


I don’t mean to harp on about the display but…

It is awesome. It’s clear, well-lit but most of all you can put the details you want on the main display. Rearrange it to suit your preferences.

You can use:


  • Dive details
  • Suunto Tank/ Suunto POD
  • Digital Compass
  • Depth
  • Temperature
  • Gauge Mode
  • Wireless Tank Pressure
  • Direction Indicator


It’s not all about the beautiful display or advanced technicalities.

Buttons are important too. Whilst holding the reel, a torch or assisting a student, you can’t always scroll through your computer. It can be quite a task getting the right angle. Throw some 5mm gloves into the mix and you have yourself a small challenge.

But these buttons are designed to make it easily accessible not just by providing a sturdy button that can be pressed even with gloves, but by also ensuring a simple navigation within the computer.

About Suunto

Don’t settle on quality, find the best brands when it comes to Scuba diving.

I found out the hard way when it comes to trying to budget on dive gear, but I’ve already got my worth out of this Suunto Dive Computer.

Suunto are a Finnish company that boast bespoke quality. They put all of their equipment through tests. They are a great example of an outdoor company, all their watches, computers and GPS devices undergo serious detail.

The reputable company first entered the dive market in 1987 and haven’t looked back since. This model can handle recreational and advanced diving, this company ensure dive computers made by divers.

Best for dive compass
Suunto D5 Steel Dive Computer
  • Easy to set up​
  • Suitable for all levels of divers from beginner to advanced​
  • Powered USB port to re-charge battery​
  • The colour screen is easily one of the most impressive on the market for its price
  • No replaceable battery, any battery issue requires their service
Check Price on MDS Check Price on
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


It’s the dive computer I use on a daily basis. That is for good reason, I trust Suunto and believe this to be the best one on the market for the price range.

It has a large interface but it is a beautifully designed computer with advanced features. Suitable for divers of all levels and showcases all of the top dive features.

Reasons to Buy

  • Easy to install
  • Steel bezel version is elegant
  • Connects to phone via Bluetooth (can be turned off)
  • Battery life is displayed by hours remaining
  • Comes with digital compass
  • Easily customise what information your main screen displays
  • Log your dives with ease
  • Share your dives and pictures together via your computer
  • Has a Suunto App
  • Flexi, durable silicone strap
  • Colour Screen LCD display
  • Long lasting and designed by well-known brand

Reasons to Avoid

  • Doesn’t come with extension straps for dry suit (you can buy separate)
  • If you like big and bulky computers, then this isn’t for you
  • It isn’t the cheapest on the market
Written by Katy

Thank you for reading. I started to share my passion for diving. I am an environmental educator, scientist and now an MSDT diver.

This platform has been made to create, connect and share my knowledge in the world of diving.

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2 thoughts on “Suunto D5 Review [A PADI Instructor’s Test]”

  1. Great review, thank you Katy :).. I love my Suunto D5, I read this before committing. Could you do a review on the best BCDs?


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