During the last years, the interest in a healthy way of life has grown and this a very good thing. Since people have started to be more careful with what they eat, when they eat and most importantly how they exercise, technology had to keep up and bring gadgets that will not only help people achieve their milestones but also to make the road more interactive.
I actually know people who have started to practice a sport only because they needed a reason to buy an expensive gadget such as a smartwatch.
Actually, smartwatches are the most popular devices you can find for sports purposes. Most of them are recommended for multiple sports, but you can also find models that are dedicated to just some of them.
Today, I will talk about one of my favorite kinds of sports, swimming, and the watches that can help you create a better experience.
Unfortunately, at this moment, there aren’t many swimming watches in existence, but there are some that do more than a decent job. After testing many models, I finally made a list of 10 that I think you should take into consideration.
This being said, let’s take a look at the best swimming watches available on the market. After this presentation, I will also help you choose the one that is actually good for your everyday life and workout routine. So, let’s start!
- 1 Best Swimming Watches – Comparison Chart
- 2 Top 10 Best Swimming Watches with Full Reviews
- 3 Best Swimming Watch Buyer’s Guide
- 3.1 What is a Smartwatch?
- 3.2 Smartwatch – A Short History
- 3.3 What Can a Smartwatch Do?
- 3.4 Should I Stop Using a Phone and Use only a Smartwatch?
- 3.5 How Waterproof Is Your Waterproof Swimming Watch
- 3.6 How to Pick the Best Fitness Watch for Swimming
- 3.7 Water Resistance
- 3.8 Where do you want to swim?
- 3.9 What Are The Reasons You Want A Smartwatch
- 3.10 1. Swimming Only
- 3.11 2. Swimming Plus Other Sports
- 3.12 3. Swimming And Daily Activities
- 3.13 Battery Life
- 3.14 Connectivity
- 3.15 Heart rate features
- 3.16 Data transfer
- 3.17 Brand
- 3.18 Price
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 In Conclusion To
Best Swimming Watches – Comparison Chart
Let’s take a minute to look at this chart. It will help you to see the resemblances and the differences between products, and therefore when the time comes, it will let you make a decision in an easier manner.
Top 10 Best Swimming Watches with Full Reviews
You are now going to start reading the most important parts of the article – the reviews. I must tell you that if I could afford it, I would probably buy all of these watches. This is how much I enjoyed testing each and every one.
I am telling you this not because I think you should do so, but to advise you to read carefully so you can understand what makes one good and the other one even better.
The first watch that I want to start this presentation is manufactured by Willful, and it comes at a more than reasonable price for an exercise watch.
However, this is so much more than a simple watch meant to track your swimming technique or burnt calories.
This gadget is a smartwatch that can also be used for a casual wardrobe. It has a full HD touch screen that has adjustable brightness. This means that you will be able to use it regardless of the light around you.
Its battery usually can go for 7-10 days without charging. This watch is compatible with probably any kind of smartphone, Android (4.4 or above), or iPhone (iOS 8 or above). You can use it to read a text, to initiate or receive phone calls, use your email, and receive any kind of notifications.
What makes it a great sports watch is that it has the capacity of tracking your steps, the consumed calories and also the distances that you walk. That is to say, it is also a calorie tracker, a distance tracker, and a steps tracker. It can work as a HRM (heart rate monitor) to track the heart’s activity and it can also track the user’s sleep quality. As I’ve said. It is an incredible fitness watch that has 14 modes:
- dance routines;
However, this is not why I’ve added this watch to the list. I’ve done it because it is an ip68 waterproof smartwatch, therefore you can use it for swimming without destroying its mechanism.
This next watch is the Garmin Forerunner produced by Garmin and is the first model of the list. You will actually find several watches made by this manufacturer today. I am not trying to imply that you should choose one of them, but it is a really good brand.
Even though its main purpose is not swimming, I still think that you should know about its existence.
It is absolutely wonderful for running for multiple reasons; one of them is that it can also act as a GPS tracker.
However, you should know that it will track your heart rate. Therefore, you can run and swim without worrying about this aspect. It has great dynamics such as time balance, vertical radio, or stride length. You can even get more if you pair it to an HRM-Run, a Running Dynamics Pod PR, an HRM-Tri Monitor.
Other aspects that I think are work mentioning are its capability to offer a lactate threshold and a VO2 max estimate if it is used in combination with a strap for monitoring the heart rate. Also, you should know that it has a race predictor and offers a recovery advisor.
You can customize it with free watch faces or apps that are available in the Connect IQ store.
Probably one of the most popular models of smartwatches on the market comes from Apple. Not only that, these models have an amazing design, but they are also packed with incredible features, including its waterproof capacity.
Let’s see what series 5 has to offer and why I think that for many people, it could be the best Apple Watch for swimming.
First of all, it has a built-in compass that will make your whole experience a very good one. Also, you should know that it has a great set of tools that are suited to put a diagnostic on your heart’s health.
This probably should go without mentioning since it is an Apple product, but it has an amazing display. This model doesn’t only show the time. For example, when it is inactive, it shows a darker version of the info on the watch. It has an ambient light sensor that can detect how bright the environment is and adjust itself according to it. This means that the display will never be too dark or too bright.
Another aspect that you should be aware of is its great mapping system that will help you a lot if you are hiking or simply lost in a city that you don’t know very well.
As you can imagine, it is a great watch to swim with or else it would not be on my list, so I will move on and let you know that this watch will even call 911 if it detects any heart issues.
Let’s talk about another Garmin model, specifically the Garmin Vívoactive 3. Before I move on to other aspects, let me tell you that this watch is so cool that it even has something called “Garmin Pay” that lets you do pay contactless for any purchase that permits this.
You can personalize your watch and pick a face for it from thousands of models, apps, or widgets that are available in the Connect IQ store.
Also, it has a great number of sports apps, including indoor sports and preloaded GPS.
It can be used for Yoga or fitness, but also for swimming due to its waterproof capacities. Speaking of fitness, you can monitor the fitness level with the help of VO2 max and make fitness estimates. Also, it monitors the way you handle stress.
You can receive even more features when you pair it up with a smartphone.
You can use it without charging it for 7 days only on the smartwatch mode. However, if you switch on the GPS mode, it will need a recharge after 13 hours.
Another great watch that I recommend to use as a swim lap watch is manufactured by the guys from FITVII. So, first thing first, this model is IP68 waterproof-resistant. This means that it can be used for swimming and any other kind of water activity.
It has an HD touch screen that will provide a great visual experience. This watch will track your heart rate and also your blood pressure at any moment of your day. As a bonus, it is capable of tracking and analyzing your sleep quality
You must understand that even though this gadget is absolutely great for swimming, you can also use it for other activities because it comes with multiple features. For example, it has the capacity to track your GPC map while running, but also can work as a stopwatch or as a timer.
When you connect it with your phone, it will vibrate to notify you of any incoming calls, messages, or social media notifications. You can use it with any kind of phone operating system as long as it is not a very old generation one. It is compatible with Android 4.4 or a newer one and iOS 9.0 or a newer one.
It is fully charged after 2 hours and can work for almost 7 days. This depends on how you use it.
Let’s take a look at another Garmin watch, more precisely at the Garmin Fenix 6 model.
It has a very wide and high-quality display. With its 1.3″ size, you can read anything on it even when the sunlight is very powerful. On the sides, you will find elegant buttons and stainless steel bezel that was tested at U.S. military standards for shock, thermal, and also water resistance. This means that it is great for swimming purposes.
Moving on to its features, the Garmin Fenix 6 watch is capable of reading your heart rate to monitor your sleep quality. Also, it can be used at high elevations for altitude acclimation. However, you should keep in mind that this isn’t a medical device and should not be considered one.
It has a very powerful 3-axis compass, a gyroscope, and also a barometric altimeter. But this is not all. It actually supports various global navigation satellite systems such as GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS. This means that you don’t have to rely only on GPS.
While connected to a smartphone, you can receive multiple notifications and also use it for contactless payments due to its Garmin Pay app.
The last thing you should know about it is that it can work for 36 hours with charging when in GPS mode and for an amazing 48 days if you put it in the battery saver watch mode.
Another model from FITVII that has every reason to be among the best Waterproof Fitness Trackers is this one that is up for discussion here.
Not only that, it has an IP68 and also a 5 ATM high-level waterproof rate that allows you to use it for swimming or any other water activity, but it also can be used for 17 other sports.
However, let’s return to its water capacities because you need to know what makes it different from other waterproof smartwatches. It can also be used for scuba diving, or if you want, you can take it with you inside a hot spring or any hot tub. Let me tell you another thing regarding this aspect, and you will understand why it is so good. It actually has 7 types of swimming data record:
- average pace;
However, if you will decide this is the best watch for you and your needs, you should know that you can also use it for other activities other than the water-related ones.
For example, it has a great GPS system that will help you if you will go out running or hiking. Also, it is capable of monitoring your heart rate for 24 hours. Therefore you can adjust the intensity you workout accordingly.
As the last feature, I want to talk about is its capacity to monitor sleep quality and is always connected to your smartphone (it is compatible with both Android and iOS).
Its battery is a very good one allowing you to use the watch for almost 7 days after a 2.5 hours charge.
This next watch is something different than everything else I have presented so far. The first thing that you need to understand about it is that this is not a smartwatch per se, but more of a personal coach.
So, the MOOV NOW doesn’t have a display but has a real-time audio coaching program for cycling, running, cardio boxing, and more.
When it comes to swimming, it is considered one of the most advanced trackers available. It can monitor your stroke count or your stroke type. It can do a lap analysis and indicate ways to improve your technique.
You can use it to track your day and night activities. You can monitor your every move and receive recommendations to improve and achieve fitness goals.
Its battery can hold on for 6 months without charging, which is absolutely amazing.
Another thing that makes it stand out is its versatile capacity. For example, it is recommended to wear it on a wrist when swimming, on an ankle on running or riding a bike and to use two for cardio boxing.
We are reaching the end of the list with the best waterproof fitness trackers, and I want to present one last model from Garmin – the Garmin Forerunner 35.
It has a great built-in GPS system that will be able to track where you run and also how far and how fast you are doing it. What makes it special in this aspect is that it doesn’t require any phone to do it.
It is able to monitor your heart rate 24/7 without any additional straps. Its display is also a very high-quality one that will let you read it in extreme sunlight.
As you can probably imagine, this model is a waterproof one and therefore is recommended for swimming.
When you receive notifications, the watch will also vibrate. Speaking of notifications, it will let you know when you achieve a milestone or of any running prompts.
You can connect it to your phone and to live tracking or even control your music when listening to it.
10. Fitbit Versa 2
Last, but most definitely not least, here is the final model that I want to suggest for you. It is manufactured by Fitbit and has a tone of features.
First of all, I want to tell you that it can be controlled with the help of Alexa because it has an Amazon Alexa built-in feature. This means that you can set timers and put on alarms, you can check the weather and even control any smart home devices you might have with the help of your watch and Alexa.
This watch will monitor your heart rate regardless of the moment of the day. Therefore it will be able to calculate a sleep score that will represent your sleep quality.
If you enjoy listening to music, you can control what you are listening to and how loud you are doing it with the help of your watch. It is compatible with apps such as Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer.
It can be used for water sports such as swimming, but if you want to be 100% sure that nothing will harm your gadget, you can buy an extra waterproof case and use it.
Its operating system can be active at extreme temperatures (-10° to 60° C). Also, you can use it for 6 days before it will need to be charged.
Lastly, if you use the Fitbit Versa 2 with an Android phone, you can send quick replies and also voice replies with its help.
Notable mentions include Garmin Vivosmart HR, the Garmin Vivofit line, among other Garmin swimming watches. Also, check out the water-resistant watches manufactured for use with Samsung Galaxy model smartphones, the TomTom Spark watches, and other TomTom swim watches, Speedo swim watches, Swimmo watches and Suunto swim watches.
Best Swimming Watch Buyer’s Guide
What is a Smartwatch?
Before moving forward to the buyer’s guide, I think that it is really important for you to understand what a smartwatch is and how does it function. Only when you have all the necessary knowledge, you will be able to make the right decision.
So, as its name implies, a smartwatch is a watch worn on the wrist that also has computerized features such as embedded apps, touch screens, and that usually is also used as a tracking watch for monitoring health parameters.
This means that a smartwatch will not only let you know the time but will also be able to connect with your smartphone using a Bluetooth connection. By doing so, most of them will let you perform daily tasks such as answering calls, reading messages and emails, reading weather reports, or listening to music.
Also, there are many GPS smartwatches that not only help you in your work tasks but are also there to monitor your health or to help you find your way while hiking due to GPS capacities. All this is possible because these gadgets can download and install apps that are capable of tracking and gathering data about you and your health. After having all the needed information, the computer will interpret the data and will offer personalized conclusions.
Today, there are many companies that support and manufacture these devices. Even Nike, which is one of the biggest sports clothing brands in the world, is promoting this kind of technology, but there are many other famous brands that are also doing it. So let’s check out a very short history of these devices.
Smartwatch – A Short History
Digital watches are not a new thing. They have actually been around for many years. But it was not until 2010 when companies started to increase their interest in this niche and to release watches that show smart abilities, similar to the ones phones have.
Even though today even the two biggest smartphone manufacturers, Apple and Samsung, are developing smartwatches, neither of them is to thank for thinking about how to transform a watch into a computer.
The credit should go to a startup names Pebble that announced their product on Kickstarter and managed to raise funds by selling more than 1 million watches.
Soon after, other companies such as Garmin or Fenix noticed a very big opportunity and started to create smartwatches recommended for people that are practicing sports. However, the first watch that was designed to work for water activities was manufactured by the guys from Suunto, who managed to offer a smartwatch for scuba diving purposes that could work even at great depths for extended periods of time.
What Can a Smartwatch Do?
Usually, most smartwatches, regardless of their purpose, come with some specific features that are being performed at their best or not so good.
However, beyond these basics, smartwatches offer a diversity of peculiarities and abilities. Some of them have training and health features, including the measurement of heart rates, number of steps, or sleep patterns.
Let’s see what the most popular characteristics are:
- GPS. This is actually a very popular feature that is found in almost every watch out there. They use this GPS tracking for either trail your location or to send you a specific alert based on where you are.
- If you live in this century, you couldn’t have missed the notifications sent by different apps to your phone. So, just as your smartphone, so can a smartwatch receives notifications. Some of them are just mirroring what happens on your phone, but there are some that are meant only for your watch to receive. For example, a text message will be a mirrored notification, while a notification telling you that your heart rate is too high can be designated only to your watch.
- Media management. Since we have talked about mirroring on the point above, it is time to talk about how these watches are being paired with your smartphone and can give you a media playback. This means that if you are listening to music from your phone, you can use your watch to change songs or to increase/decrease the volume.
- We have talked about mirroring notification and its own notifications. However, a smartwatch cannot provide the second kind of notifications without the proper apps. These apps vary from manufacturer to the other one. For example, all the apps available for iWatch are available in the App store, for Samsung watches in Google Play and for Garmin watches in the Connect IQ store. This being said, smartwatches offer native apps for many purposes, such as swimming, hiking, or sleeping.
- Fitness tracking. If you are very much into the workout, you will find that there are many models specially created for this purpose. They include a heart rate monitor and also a pedometer that will help you to track your workouts.
- Voice answering. This sounds very out of SciFi movies such as Star Trek, but it is actually a feature very often seen.
Should I Stop Using a Phone and Use only a Smartwatch?
After all these discussions, you might get the idea that you don’t need a phone anymore, and you can just as easily perform your everyday tasks with a smartwatch.
I know that it would definitely be more comfortable just to wear a very fashionable item around your wrist rather than always thinking about where to put your phone when going out. Not only that, it would be easier to carry around, but it will also diminish the risk of losing it or breaking it.
Unfortunately, the moment when all that you could need would be integrated into your watch still has to wait because, as you could see, most of the features that a smartwatch has are inherited from the connection with a smartphone.
This is actually one of the biggest disadvantages that smartwatches have. They are rather expensive and can’t do too much on their own.
Speaking of issues, I would add here the battery. A normal watch that works on batteries can work for years without needing assistance. These smart ones, just as smartphones, need frequent charging.
So, if you are using it only for sports purposes such as a swim lap watch, this will not be a problem. However, if you want to track also the sleep quality of your heart rate during sleep hours, putting it in the chargers during night hours won’t come very helpful.
Also, even if a smartwatch could do everything a smartphone can, their displays are less smaller than the ones of the phones, and they can never be as big. Because of this, it is not very easy to stare to a display so tiny for absolutely everything.
Just think about how it would be to browse the internet for a piece of information or check out your Instagram page.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you cannot replace your phone with a smartwatch, especially not now. For the time being, you still need both.
How Waterproof Is Your Waterproof Swimming Watch
Since this is an article about waterproof fitness trackers for swimming, you should also learn a thing or two about what waterproof means in this scenario and to how much depth you can go with your watch.
Many people don’t know anything about this subject, so when they see a watch that is labeled as water-resistant to 100m, think that they can use it in depths of 100m.
Unfortunately, this is not true because the watches are tested using static pressure, without taking into consideration fast changes that occur in water, transformations that are happening, and are influencing both pressures and temperature. So let’s find a little bit more about this subject and learn what each label actually means.
A watch that cannot be put in contact with water will say “no water resistance.” In this case, it is recommended to take it off even when you wash your hands.
But since you are looking into waterproofs models, it is very unlikely you will buy a model that specifically says no water. Therefore we should move and see the other classifications.
a. 3 BAR / 30m / 3 ATM / 100ft
In this case, the watch will work fine if you splash it with water. You can even take it with you in the shadow, and it should be fine. However, if the watch has a crack or something, then you should keep it as far away from water as possible.
b. 5 BAR / 50m / 5 ATM / 165ft
In this case, not only can you shower with your watch attached to your hand, but you can also use it while doing some light swimming.
However, it is not suited for more extreme water sports or any kind of diving. It cannot support too much pressure.
c. BAR / 100m / 10 ATM / 330ft
If your watch has one of these codifications, you can most definitely use it for any kind of swimming. You can even practice snorkeling while wearing it. However, diving with it is not a good idea because it will not handle the pressure.
d. BAR / 200m / 20 ATM / 660ft
These watches can be used for more hard-core activities such as water sports with high impact or even light scuba. Your watch is suitable for swimming, high-impact water sports, and even scuba diving.
e. More than 30 BAR / 300m / 30 ATM / 990ft
This is the top class of waterproof watches. It can be used for any kind of purpose, even saturation diving. They are the best underwater watches around.
How to Pick the Best Fitness Watch for Swimming
I think that at this point, you have all the needed information regarding waterproof swimming trackers. This means that now is the time for you to pick a model that will make your swimming better.
So let’s see what are the aspects you should take into consideration when picking the best smartwatch for you.
The first thing that you should look at is the water resistance level. Not all watches that say they are resistant to water are the same. So, be sure that you pick the right one for you and not just a model that is waterproof only when in contact with accidental splashes.
Where do you want to swim?
The next thing you have to decide is where do you want to swim. This is very important not only for a budget point of view but also for the capacities of the watch. You should understand that there is no shortage of watches you can swim with, nor is there one of the watches that track swimming, but they are not all intended for the same type of swimming purposes. As such, the exact underwater watch that you buy should be one that supports the exact activity you intend to engage in.
a. Just in the Pool
If what you are looking for is a pool tracker/watch, you will not need a watch that has the best depth capabilities and should look for models that have an internal accelerometer rather than a GPS to define your stroke type, but also your lengths or laps.
Keep in mind that if you are going to use the watch in swim mode, you will have to define the pool’s length. Ensure that the watch comes with a lap counter, though, so that you can keep track of how much work you have done.
b. Also Open Waters
If you are going to use the watch for both swimmings in the pool and in open waters, you most certainly will want an open water swimming GPS watch. These kinds of watches use GPS technology to establish your pace, but also your distance and location when you are swimming in open waters such as rivers, lakes, or oceans.
These kinds of watches are recommended for people that compete in competitions such as triathlons.
What Are The Reasons You Want A Smartwatch
When you pick a model, you need to decide also if you are going to use it for purposes other than swimming. For instance, you will find several wristbands for several additional purposes. A large majority of them come with activity monitors and can, therefore, act as activity trackers for the activities you engage in, such as walking, swimming, and running. Some activity tracker watches take things a step further and can also act as calorie counter watches, which means that they can track the number of calories you burn during your workout.
1. Swimming Only
Unfortunately, at this moment, there are practically no watches that are designed solely for swimming purposes and for swimmers use. However, there are models such as MOOV NOW that cannot also be used for daily activities but work great as a swimming helper.
2. Swimming Plus Other Sports
If you want a watch that is just for sports purposes, the offer is very generous. You just have to pick one that suits other of your needs. Think about what other kinds of sports you are interested in, such as cycling, hiking or running. There are some features that work better for some sports rather than others.
3. Swimming And Daily Activities
If you want a watch that goes very well with your daily clothes and routines but is also good for multiple sports, including swimming, you should look at what big phone companies such as Apple or Samsung have to offer.
Another very important factor is battery life. It is very frustrating to realize you are out of battery even when you go to a swimming pool, but think about how bad it would be to participate in a triathlon and be left without a GPS.
Some watches need to be connected with other devices for a full package of features. So if the connectivity is not at its best, you will miss out on a lot and will not be able to use all the watch has to offer.
Heart rate features
Knowing what your heart is doing while swimming is extremely important and can save you from many accidents.
There are plenty of watches that come with a heart rate monitor, but if you want one that goes on the extra mile, you should look into what Apple has to offer.
Usually, all the information that a watch is gathering is then transferred to your phone. This includes important metrics such as heart rate or burnt calories. But if the data transfer is not great and you realize that all your work was not delivered to your phone, then the frustration will be at very high rates.
Therefore, shifting your swim data from your watch to your phone should be fast and simple. This process can be done in multiple ways, such as USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi. The transfer technique will depend on the type of watch you buy, whether it is a budget waterproof fitness tracker or otherwise.
If you have a special brand or want to have the full compatibility between your phone and your watch, you should start your search there. If you don’t find anything you like, then you can look somewhere else.
However, if you want a trustworthy watch, you should look at popular brands. They are popular for a reason.
It is unfortunate, but in the end, everything has to do with money. It is even more unfortunate, but these watches usually don’t come cheap – at least good watches don’t. This is especially true of GPS swim watches, which are even more expensive than your average fitness tracker watch. So, before you decide on all the features, start to establish a budget and try to search for models that are in that price range.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I have a watch that I use for swimming in the pool, can I also use it for swimming in the sea?
Does my watch needs a sim card?
Can I answer my phone calls using my watch?
Do I receive a warranty for my watch?
Are these waterproof fitness trackers expensive?
In Conclusion To
I am a gadget fanatic. This means that I could probably go for hours talking about devices, and when these devices are watches for which I had a fascination since I was very young, the discussion becomes longer.
However, I know that you just want to understand how these watches function, to read about the best models available in 2020, and to buy one that will help you with your swimming. Because of this, I will stop my monologue and say only this – choose with your heart and according to your budget and needs. Don’t let anyone tell you what to buy and why to buy it.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my article and if you did, you could always share it with your friends. Until next time, I hope you will make the right decision.