Hot! Uwatec Galileo Sol Review

Recently, I have been trialling the new Uwatec Galileo Sol hose-less dive computer. The Galileo boasts a whole lot of features which make it, without a doubt, the most advanced recreational dive computer on the market. The Uwatec promotional text reads: Heart rate monitor for additional physiological tailored- decompression – Digital compass with bearing memory & navigational aid – Dot matrix display with full flexibility – Huge memory & graphic logbook for over 100 hours of stored diving an images – Picture, map and message viewing function Graphic dive profile with graphic decompression & tissue saturation representation – Interference-Free hose-less gas integration for up to 4 transmitters, including buddy’s tank and many more amazing features…

So, what does all this mean? Well, let’s look at a few items on the list

Previous Uwatec integrated models monitored your breathing rate and adjusted the nitrogen absorption algorithms to allow for extra nitrogen being absorbed when you were breathing hard. This model goes a step further. If you want, you can strap a heart monitor around your chest (the same as those worn by joggers) which talks to your computer so now the algorithm can also adjust for the extra nitrogen absorbed while your heart is beating at elevated levels and pumping that N2 rich blood around your body and reduced off-gassing when you’re sitting still at the deco stop. You can have the breathing monitor running in conjunction with the heart monitor, or use one or the other.

There is a digital compass inbuilt which is accessed simply by pressing one of the large, easy to find and manipulate buttons at the top of the unit. The dot matrix display makes the compass easy to read under adverse conditions and the compass will work at nearly any angle; there is no card to stick if the compass is not kept horizontal.

As with the Smart range of Uwatec computers, there is an in-built infra red port on the dive computer that allows it to interface with any PC or laptop computer that has an infra-red port. There is no extra device needed that on other brands can cost hundreds of dollars. With the free software, you can upload dive data, add details, photos, parameters and keep your complete dive log book on your PC. You can also adjust computer settings and customise it to suit your preferences. Now, you can also create pictures and maps which can be downloaded to the dive computer so you can reference dive site maps, checklists or instructors can load there skill slates onto the computer all of which can be accessed during the dive.

The Galileo can be paired with up to four transmitters. This allows you to switch between three different tanks which may have different EAN mixes. The algorithms allow for the different rates of absorption and off-gassing as you switch from one mix to another, adjusting decompression limits and times during the dive. The fourth transmitter allows you to monitor your buddy’s air data. I haven’t tested this feature yet. I don’t know how close you have to be to your buddy to get a reading but it may be useful if you can’t attract their attention when you want to check their air.

Note: The computer comes in the box with one transmitter so if you want to use the multi-gas or buddy check capabilities you may need to buy extra transmitters. I also recommend buying the small high pressure hoses to mount your transmittesr to discourage others from trying to pick up your tank etc using the transmitter as a handle!

The new dot matrix display presents information clearly with essential items in large bold figures. There are three basic display modes from which the user can select depending on what information they feel they want to see during the dive. I used the full display and was surprised by how ‘un-cluttered’ the screen was. I like as much information as I can get when I dive but others may just want the basics and this is easy to change.

This brings me to the menu system on the Galileo. Rather than having to learn a complicated series of button selections and combinations, one button on the Galileo gives you immediate access to a more familiar and intuitive scroll and select menu list. Couldn’t be easier!

The buttons on the computer are big and easy to manipulate, even with thick gloves and at depth which is a real plus in colder water and your fingers start to lose some of their dexterity and feeling.

Uwatec for many years resisted the trend towards user replaceable batteries in their computers. The justification was that, when you sent the computer back to Uwatec for battery replacement, they also serviced the computers and updated the software. The Aladdin Prime and Tech saw Uwatec listening to market demands and incorporating user replaceable batteries for the first time.

So, while a user could replace their own batteries, the software doesn’t get updated. However, Galileo Sol has a programmable processor which will allow users to update the software as new versions are released so now we have the best of both worlds!

It is going to be a while before I am using all the features on this computer. However, one of the great things about the Galileo Sol is that all you really need to do to get started is pair it with a transmitter (about two minutes) and you can just jump into the water with it as is and the default settings will take care of the basics for you. So, you can expand your use of the capabilities over time and you don’t need a PhD to start.

All in all, this is a fantastic dive computer and I recommend it to anyone who is serious about their diving and the equipment they use.


  1. Lewis C. Wiggins II

    Your article was both informative and interesting, however I have just one question about the electronic compass. When you set a heading and dive it, upon returning, does it return you to the same heading/location that you entered the water? Using a standard compass, from time to time I find myself well off my return course due to drifting. Sometimes I’ve been as far off as 2 blocks,which makes for a long walk on the beach…:(

  2. Hello,

    I have been diving for about 10 years (400+ dives) and for about the same amount of time I have been diving with an Uwatec wrist mount computer (don’t remember what model). I just changed my computer to the new Terra (that’s the same as you are reviewing but without the transmitter) and I went diving for a week in Cozume.

    I have to admit, I am a little bit dissapointed with the new computer. I disagree with you, I think the screen is hard to read. The dot matrix display they are using doesn’t have enough resolution and whoever is th eintern that created the UI should go diving a little bit first. True, I like their menu sytem and I like the buttons.

    It is usualy easy to say “I don’t like it” without giving any reasons so here are a few things I didn’t like (I have to add I write firmware in my day job so I am pretty familiar what could be inside of one those):
    - dot matrix display: not enough resolution especially compared with the nice bold starburst characters of the previous models
    - configurable screen: nice I guess but … for what? You said you like to full screen display… Can you see anything? Again when they use the small character sets for the small display compartments I have a really hard time reading
    - ascent rate: wow, that’s really bad!!! The ascent rate uses the smallest characters on the bottom middle of the screen and when you exceed the 130% it flashes an inverse video message on the whole middle of the screen but the letters are still waaaay small
    - size: bigger is better right? … well, not in my opinion. I dare anybody to measure the characters on this HUGE screen and on the previous model screen.
    - position on the hand: the human hand can’t twist like that to square off the LCD screen with your eyes. The older model – being smaller – could be positioned a little bit offsetted on your wrist/forearm, this new one being so big has to be flat on your wrist

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a nice computer and probably the decompression algorythm (I do a lot of decompression diving) is better but I really think they could have done better considering it is double – or more the money you would pay for the previous model.

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