I purchased an Oceanic Pro Plus 3 dive computer recently and I have used it on ten dives. I like my new computer but I found the set up a little confusing and it took a long time to sort things out. I wrote this review for scuba divers who are having issues with the computer and for those contemplating a new purchase. I found a great discount from the manufacturer, which is available to previous Oceanic customers.
I purchased the computer from a local retailer for $704 (USD). The MSRP on the unit is $829. I negotiated a 155 discount because I was purchasing a lot of gear at the same time. I’ve looked around the Internet and see that the price I paid is about comparable to most of the online retailers. I recommend that the buyer have the opportunity to look at the unit and see if it is right for them in a store, prior to purchase. As with most gear, retail shops will come close to price matching with their Internet competitors. It does not come with the USB cable that you need to import dive data into software, which will keep logs on your computer. I recommend getting one at the retailer because Oceanic charges $85 plus shipping if you wish to buy one from them. They will ship for free to an authorized dealer but the wait time can be more than a few weeks.
I purchased it for the following reasons: newest computer on the market, reasonable price for the features, large display, attached compass and lifetime warranty.
I noticed that other divers admired it as I wore it on my BCD. I heard from a number of people who owed Pro Plus 2 computers who were happy with that model and it made me feel like I made the right choice. I am new to scuba diving and I used it in all of my PADI open Water certification classes. It was easy enough to use and the display is quite large. It worked just fine and I was advised to never disconnect it with the tank pressure still on because it would destroy the computer.
I used it in my PADI Advanced Underwater certification courses at depths of 15-75 feet. I liked the back light features and it was easy to read in the dark with 3-foot visibility. It is hard to learn all the functions for all of my new equipment and I wanted to learn more before I did dives 5-10. It came with a software disk that wasn’t compatible to my Mac. It came with something that looked like an instruction book that wasn’t. It came with an extra O-ring seal. I took the instruction manual (what I thought was) to the dive site in its plastic bag. I figured I would read up prior to the dive but was disappointed.
As a first time user and a new scuba diver, it was impossible to understand the features by just using the computer. I was able to track PSI pressure; depth, ascent rate, dive stop warning and dive stop time easily. I wasn’t able to set the time, date or dive planning features without consulting the manual. I wasn’t able to determine my remaining bottom time or make heads or tails of the dives I completed. I kept track of those manually for my log.
I came home to sort out the details of this device and found that I had to spend about 25 minutes finding everything I needed for the device. I will provide a list of all of that here with links for ease of use.
Product Registration with Oceanic- The booklet I received with the device said the warranty was 2 years. The registration confirmed my understanding that it was lifetime warranty as long as the purchaser (1) registered it after purchase, (2) has it serviced by an authorized dealer every 12 months and (3) doesn’t abuse the computer. Apparently, battery replacement is free but the owner has to pay for the cost of the labor. I was told the battery might last for more than a year but I am using it a rate that will require replacement of batteries at about 6 months or so. I don’t think replacing your own batteries will void the warranty.
Diver Log software This is software that enables the owner to transfer logged dives front the computer to a device that will further record data and additional information for the diver’s use. The basic software is free and it seems pretty robust for most people’s use. There is an additional purchase option for $25 (USD) that will enable the diver to record pictures and share with social media. The software will track past dives on Google Maps, which is a pretty cool feature. You can’t add a new device and start the software unless you first own a USB cable.
User Manual– I had to download a separate 40 page user manual. I linked it here for PDF download for ease of my reader’s use. It is a hassle to have to navigate different sources to get basic information that you need. I found the manual to be very concise and easy to use. I feel confident with my device now that I have this reference. I don’t understand why it wasn’t included with the computer.
I found the Oceanic website a little wanting in the area of instructional videos. It is always good to have some hands on experience in operating a complicated device. I searched YouTube for a good video and linked it below. I recommend that the owner first reviews the user manual and has the device in front of them prior to watching the video because it goes pretty fast. It should be noted that there were many that were not good, in my opinion.
All in all, I feel pretty good about this purchase and I think this computer will be of good use in the coming years. One note of caution for people who choose to update their software from previous versions: I have read that all dive log data that is not backed up will be lost!