Aqua Lung is really becoming quite a force in the world of dive computers
The arrival of the full-colour, wrist-mounted Aqua Lung i770 means they are now taking on the big guns from established manufacturers like Suunto, Scubapro and Mares.
First of all, let’s talk about that screen. It is extremely bright and vivid, which makes it easy to see underwater even when it is decidedly murky – one test dive, at 32m, the vis was a grotty 50cm or so with lots of detritus in the water, and yet the screen was still easily legible. The secret to the screen is in the cutting-edge TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD technology, which delivers sharper images than a more-traditional LCD screen.
The navigation around the menus is controlled by three buttons – two on the bottom, and one on the top right corner. All three are a decent size and can easily be depressed even when wearing 5mm neoprene gloves. Markers on the bottom of the casing show that the lower buttons scroll up and down, and then the right-hand button is for entering – or leaving – a particular area.
In set parts of the menu – setting your gases, for example – it even shows you on screen what the buttons do as well. Everything is very simple and easy to use. One of my tests of every dive computer I get is to attempt to navigate the menus without referring to the instructions, and the Aqua Lung i770 passed this with aplomb.
As with all computers of this ilk, it is capable of handling multiple gases (and multiple transmitters for hoseless air-integration), so perfect for the entry-level techie, and for those venturing beyond this it has a gauge mode, and for those shunning all that complex kit, it has a freediving mode as well.
The ‘dive’ screens are uncluttered and well laid out, so you can instantly see the important information, and regularly utilised features are clearly visible, such as the all-important three-minute safety stop, which counts down in minutes and seconds.
The three-axis full-tilt compass is very clear and easy to read, and proved simple enough to follow around in the gloom of a chilly British quarry or the warmer, clearer waters of Grenada.
The webbing NATO-style strap is a welcome change from the usual rubber, and can be securely fastened around a drysuit- or wetsuit-covered forearm. An optional bungie version is also included for those that want that style.
It is equipped with a lithium battery, which is easily recharged via a USB cable. I found that even with the computer set to full brightness, it was still giving me several days of use before needing recharging, but it was also useful being able to drop down the intensity when it wasn’t needed – for example, in the Caribbean, I didn’t need it as bright as I did in the depths of Vivian. And unlike the old i750, that TFT LCD screen is still clear to read even in the shallows in direct sunlight.
It comes in a neat zippered storage case, which can house the charging cable in the top and securely holds the Aqua Lung i770 in the lower half.
However, one of the i770’s greatest attributes is down to how well it works with the DiverLog+ app (which is available for iOS and Android). The Aqua Lung i770 seamlessly interacts wirelessly via Bluetooth Smart technology, and you can control all aspects of the computer from your phone or computer.
I found it easy to jump into DiverLog+ and adjust all the settings – gas mix, salt or fresh water, alarms, etc – and then it is a simple matter to just fire that over to the Aqua Lung i770 and, you are ready to dive. Far quicker and easier than doing it all manually on the computer itself.
On completing your dive, you can then throw over all your dive data from the Aqua Lung i770 into your DiverLog+ app logbook. Your dive profile, time and date, water temperature, etc, are all brought over from the Aqua Lung i770, and you can then add additional information, such as what gear you were using, your location, buddy’s name, any photographs or videos you took, and so on. You can even get your buddy to digital ‘sign’ your logbook. Once complete, you just hit the ‘share’ button and can send it out via all the usual channels – email, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, etc.
The DiverLog+ app has many features beyond those described above – you can build up a file of buddies, locations, ‘gear bags’ for different conditions, and much more. Like the Aqua Lung i770 itself, it is very intuitive and easy to use.
With all of its capabilities, it represents excellent value for money and is a nice user-friendly piece of kit, especially as it works so well with the DiverLog+ app.
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