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Scuba Knights | Singapore and Tioman's top Scuba Diving School

Dive Gear Review: Crest Cr4

Dive computers… usually associated with high costs and it being complicated and with a heap of different kinds out there in the market.

In today’s installment of our Dive Gear blogposts, we’re going to be looking in depth at Crest’s new and first dive computer the CR-4.

Before we start with the review, we always get the question: “Which dive computer should I choose? What are the differences?”

In a quick summary, there are few things you should be looking at:

  • Budget
    Dive computers can range from slightly under $300 up to a thousand dollars. You will want to know what your budget is before choosing a computer. It should have what you need, and your budget will decide what kind of wants it can get you. The more you spend, the more customizations and functions you can get on your computer.
  • Algorithm
    Your computer is able to let you know your No Decompression Limit (for those who do not know what this is, please do take some time to read up on it) via data like depth, dive time, pressure.
    There are lots of algorithms available and that will decide either longer stops or fewer stops. It also decides your no-flight time and total dive time allowance.
  • Functions
    Dive computers comes with tones of functions and you should also be looking at the functions of the dive computer. What mode it has, how cool it looks, can it be used as a watch, air system integration, backlight, nitrox compatibility, alarm, sounds.

Now back to the Crest CR-4, Made in Taiwan. At a glance, it looks just like another smart watch. But it’s a dive computer. For just under $300 Singapore dollars, with a Bluetooth function nonetheless it seems like a steal! Let’s look at some of the features that it comes with.

Crest CR-4 is available in 3 different color options

With 3 different modes; Scuba, Guage, Apnea, for diving and a watch mode.
Scuba – acts as a standard dive computer and calculates your NDL, lets you know the stops you should make.
Gauge – Keeps track of your depth and dive time but doesn’t calculate your NDL nor tell you your stops.
Apnea – free-diving mode for diving and a watch mode.

This dive computer fits the bill for many divers of different interests and diving experience. Along with it, Nitrox comes standard up to 56% and allows for configuration for the safety factor – conservative, normal and aggressive, very similar to that of Suunto’s function on the D5.
The interface is clear and easily read when underwater (honestly the interface looks exactly like a Teric without colour), and it comes with back light which turns on when you hold it up.

Sporting a very respectable 25 dives with back-light turned-on on, a full charge and 3 months on standby mode. In our last 8 days Bali trip (18 dives), we have only full charged it once when we landed. The computer uses rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a 300+ charge cycles. The battery life is exceptional even in comparison to dive computers 2-3 times its price. It also comes with fast charging (up to 85% in 1hr).

Bottom time and depth can be easily set through the menu and the diver’s residual nitrogen time, dive settings and logs are easily resettable.

Hardware wise, the computer has a screen resolution of 110×110 pixels along with 316 stainless steel bazel and K1 tempered glass, its sure able to take a good beating. And did i say it was almost half the size of a Zoop ?

Size comparison with the Suunto Zoop (left), Mares Smart (middle), Crest Cr-4 (right)

Technical Specifications:
Operating Depth Limit –                               100meters / 330 feet
Multiple Modes –                            Scuba, Gauge, Apnea mode
Air and Nitrox –                                Oxygen 21% to 56%
Algorithm –                                       Buehlmann ZH-16C
Safety Factor –                                 Conservative, Normal, Aggressive
Battery Type –                                  Rechargeable lithium ion battery (300+ charge cycle)
Battery Life (Dive Mode) –            25 dives with backlight on
Battery Life (Standby Mode) –     up to 3 months
Dive Log Storage –                          200
Screen Resulution –                        110 x 110 pixel
Display Size –                                    2.9cm / 1.14”
Weight –                                            95g +/- 5g
Bazel and Button –                          316 stainless steel
Lens –                                                 K1 tempered glass
Straps –                                              22MM anti-allergic silicone
Temperature Displayed –              0oC to 40oC
Operating Temperature  –            -5oC to 40oC

Easily passing off as a smart watch

What we like:

  • Long battery life
  • It has a sleek and slim profile like a normal watch unlike other dive computers in this similar price range
  • Easy to use and understand interface which is beneficial for divers of all levels
  • 4-button interface allows for ease of access to the menu
  • Battery life is great at 25 dives with back-light and 3 months on standby as a watch.
  • A very affordable price point that is perfect for all skills levels
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • App can be used to sync your dive logs and to setup the settings to your needs and preferences
  • Small Clip-like charger that uses micro-USB makes it perfect for travelling.
  • The computer can be powered off when not in use to save battery.
  • Doesn’t require the user to toggle between nitrox and air mode, just a setting to the Oxygen % and the computer will do the rest of the calculations.

What we Don’t Like:

  • Nice backlight, however, the screen is not coloured.
  • Would be great if there were more colour options.
  • App is only available in mandarin and is in 繁体字(Traditional Chinese)
  • No air integration
  • Lack of Compass (we don’t use this function usually but its useful to have on a dive computer when needed.)
  • Small display

In Summary, the CR-4 is ideal for beginners and experienced divers alike with plenty of features and a nice small wrist mounted dive computer and a very affordable price tag to boot.
The small amount of on-board dive log can be rectified with their app and uploading dives to their app for memory.
The affordable price point makes up for the lack of compass and air integration can be easily solved with the purchase of additional more specialized equipment separately.