As a professional spearo, I use freediving and spearfishing gear almost daily. In consequence, I have become familiar with numerous products from multiple brands.
I hunt up to about 100 ft. (30 meters) and train up to 180 ft. (55 meters).
And while I don’t freedive for competition, I always use a freedive watch while spearfishing.
I am never sponsored nor do I receive any money for writing my reviews.
At the same time, I’m also not a professional reviewer.
If I don’t like something, I say so.
However, if there is a product that I like I don’t hesitate to say, “We have a winner.”
When I test a product such as the Suunto D4f free diving computer, I take it to the max and abuse it.
Here are my thoughts.
As someone who uses and pays money to use a freediving computer watch, I am picky for a reason.
I find it’s increasingly common to see manufacturers misusing their brand name to mislead consumers.
As consumers, we often trust the quality of a certain line of products just because we may have had a good experience with a brand on a previous occasion. However, in reality, we are being sold an inferior product.
In the world of spearfishing and freediving, this is a bad development; the use of low quality, unreliable gear can be extremely dangerous. Plain and simple.
Over the past ten years, I have tried and test the following free diving watches:
Actually, until testing out the Suunto D4f I had been using the Omer UPX1.
Why did I switch?
Because I was never completely satisfied with the Omer UPX1. Moreover, I like to see and experience what´s out there.
Plus, I had great memories of the Suunto D4i so when the Suunto D4F hit the market I had to buy it.
In a way, it was not a logical step to change from the Omer to the new Suunto.
The battery of the new Suunto D4F is not rechargeable; you can charge the Omer UPX1 on your computer.
With the Suunto D4f you can’t download (analyze) the information of your dives on your computer. Omer, on the other hand, has simple, comprehensive software to do so that works. Up until now, Suunto’s software doesn’t connect with the D4f.
Design. Whereas the Omer UPX1 looked very different than any other freedive watch, the Suunto D4f doesn’t look new. In fact, it looks like a regular Suunto model. I remember when I bought the Suunto D4i in white. Wow! Now that was great.
No heart rate monitor. It is interesting to be able to keep track of your heart rate while snorkeling, freediving, and spearfishing. It’s also a great instrument to help train your control.
My Suunto D4f Review
In order to review the new Suunto freediving watch I simply started using it.
What I immediately liked: it’s a lightweight watch. Impressive.
Not so good: I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t properly show off my new watch due to the “old Suunto design.”
That feeling did subside, however, when spearfishing guide and PADi freediving instructor Pamela Castellanos noticed I wasn’t wearing the Omer watch anymore.
Upon seeing the word “Freedive” on the Suunto D4f watch she immediately said, “Oh, wow! How is it?”
Yes, Suunto does know how to create a hype in the freediving scene.
Once in the water, it dawned on me.
I hadn’t even looked at the user manual.
Apparently, that’s just how my brain works.
I remember from the D4i that the Suunto was so easy to use. No user manual needed. And wow, that did not change!
The new Suunto D4F is so simple to use in the water and get the information you need.
Touching my watch was a delight, and the buttons make you feel like you are using a trustworthy freediving computer.
As a spearfishing guide, one of the things I really missed with the Omer UPX1 was the ability to keep track of time. That might sound a bit crazy to some.
After all, why would you want to know what time it is in the water?
But I do.
It’s simple really. In part, my job is to ensure that we make it back to port at the agreed upon time.
Suunto Df4 Features
During my dives, I found everything I needed on my screen. Depth and dive time? Check.
Once you make it back up to the surface, the Df4 also shows interval time and the length of the last dive.
With just a push of the button you can also pull up the water temperature; two pushes and you see the number of dives you’ve made that day.
I loved it!
Moreover, the screen of the Suunto Df4 is sharp. Very sharp.
While in the water, I could read it at different angles and in different circumstances: dark, green, blue, deep, and shallow water.
Simply put, the screen is amazing. It’s not pixelated and the font is both pleasant and readable.
Another fantastic feature that I truly missed when I gave up the D4i is the day history.
See, Suunto has this great feature that with one push of the button and you can visualize the day history on your screen for a couple of seconds.
Personally, I love this feature. It shows your deepest dive and its dive time as well as your longest dive with its depth. It’s something I really like to see after freediving and spearfishing.
For instance, it might explain why I am tired — or why I am not tired. Likewise, I can see progress. Plus, it’s just fun to watch numbers.
Finally, I don’t use audible alarms when I go spearfishing.
After all, I don’t want to blame Suunto for not being able to spear a fish (“it got scared by the depth alarm and got away…”).
I do, however, like to use it when I am just freediving. The good thing is that it is extremely easy to turn the settings on and off again.
I strongly recommend the Suunto D4f freedive watch to any serious freediver or spearo.
The new Suunto D4f is truly a delight to use in the water.
The freedive watch is both easy to operate and logically designed.
Did I mention that it has a sharp screen?
You can tell just by pushing the buttons that this is a solid product. Nice, stainless steel. No plastic.
However, on the down side you can’t download the information to your computer, the Suunto D4f doesn’t come with a heart rate monitor, and the battery is non-rechargable.
But, in reality, how important are these point as a recreational or a pro spearo?
There are two groups of people who this freedive watch would not be appropriate for: those who compete in freediving competitions and scuba divers.
That’s because, if you participate in freediving competitions, you will likely want to both measure your heart beat and be able to download the data to your computer.
Scuba divers, on the other hand, would do well to stick with a dive computer such as the Suunto D4i which also comes equipped with a scuba mode.
Final Thoughts on the Suunto D4f Freediving Watch
Over the course of the last few days, as I tested the freedive watch and thought about my review, I wondered why the setbacks I mentioned at the beginning didn’t bother me as much as I thought they would.
I decided that, while design, being able to download the information and monitoring my heart beat would both be great features to have, they don’t by any means outweigh what I do like about the Suunto D4f.
Most importantly, its ease of use and accessibility definitely won the day.
Then there’s the question of the price.
Currently, the Suunto Df4 freediving watch is going for about $400 USD. I find that a great value for my money.
Well done, Suunto!
You have a happy customer here in Mexico who is glad to be back.
Folks, we’ve got a winner.
Feel free to leave me a comment, send me an enquiry via our contact page or contact me via our social media channels!
>> Leo <<
Suunto D4f Review: A Great New Freediving Watch with a Familiar Look was last modified: August 9th, 2017 by Leo | Founder & Guide
Leo is the founder of Spearfishing Today and also the official representative of the Mexican Spearfishing Association for the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. He is FII certified, speaks English and Spanish and hunts comfortable up to 100ft. Leo is guiding spearfishing trips only on request in all Spearfishing Today locations in Mexico. He only hunts with a polespear and has a very inspiring opinion about freediving and spearfishing. Nickname: Chanoc. Most memorable catch: 27.99 kilo Cubera Snapper with polespear.
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