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Doesn’t matter if you are an avid swimmer or a beginner who wants to record your sessions. If you want to improve your performance in the pool, a swim watch or fitness tracker is essential!
Besides being swim-proof, the smartwatches and trackers we’ve ranked in this list come with advanced features like automatic stroke detection, accurate lap distances, heart rate monitoring, distance tracking, etc. in the pool, you can rest assured that your swimming session is recorded promptly.
Don’t want to read about technological advancements, You can Jump to the list!
The last few years have seen massive technological advancements when it comes to fitness gear. Whether it is for tracking your running, cycling, or even games like soccer or golf – companies have introduced a variety of fitness trackers and smartwatches that can track your movements. For instance, there’s a wide variety of smartwatches for golfers.
Land-based sports activities have always taken precedence over pool-based workouts. But all this is changing now. Known brands like Garmin, Apple, and Samsung are introducing products that are not just water-friendly but are also exclusively designed for people who love swimming. More and more waterproof smartwatches and fitness trackers are being introduced.
- The Best Smartwatches & Fitness Trackers for Swimming
The Best Smartwatches & Fitness Trackers for Swimming
We know that you are in a hurry, just like 72% of other readers, that’s why we’ve made a table that includes the top 10 models, their features. You can scroll down below if you’re interested in learning about the watches in detail. But as the table is quite informative, so you won’t have to!
|Garmin Vivoactive 3|
|Fitbit Flex 2|
|Garmin Forerunner 935|
|SUUNTO Spartan Trainer|
|Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro|
While we try to keep our table descriptive, but we can’t do everything in such a short space. That’s why we’ve added detailed reviews of the models that have been mentioned in the table, it includes the salient features, a short review, pros, and cons of the above-mentioned watches.
1. Best Overall: Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Watch
- Garmin Pay contact less payment solution lets you pay for purchases with your watch (available for supported cards from participating banks)
- Personalize your watch with thousands of free watch faces, apps and widgets from our Connect IQ store.; Memory/History: 7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data
- More than 15 pre-loaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running, swimming and more; Lens material: Chemically strengthened glass, bezel material: Stainless steel, case material: Fiber reinforced polymer with stainless steel rear cover
- Monitor your fitness level with VO2 max and fitness made estimates, plus keep an eye on how you handle stress; Fits wrists with a circumference of 127 to 204 millimeter
- Get connected features such as smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, Live Track and more when paired with a compatible smartphone
- Measures swim laps, distance, calories burned, VO2 max, etc
- Has a heart rate sensor and tracks sleep schedule
- The Battery lasts up to 7 days
- Weighs around 4.8 ounces
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a superb fitness tracker, and it has all the features for a professional swim watch. It is lightweight and has great battery life.
The moment you wear it on your wrist, it starts examining your heart rate, the oxygen capacity of your body according to your age and physique. It also comprises of stress measuring feature that tracks your stress level throughout the day. Apart from these, it also examines the number of laps, distance covered.
This swim watch is not just exclusive to water sports; it comes preloaded with fourteen different training apps like cycling, yoga, running. You can easily trade your workouts while measuring your fitness. When doing these activities, the watch ensures you do not miss out on any important notifications as it displays them all.
The smartwatch’s activity tracking is excellent; it keeps tabs on your steps, calories and floors climbed. Also, it has a rare feature called the lactate threshold. This estimates the exercise zones which make the most of your heart. Most of these features are customizable. You can choose what you want to see on display during exercise. You can set alerts based on laps, time, calories and distance traveled.
The auto pause quirk makes sure your average pace does drop when you’re crossing the road or stopped at a red light. Isn’t it the type of accuracy you’ve been looking for? Because this shows how accurate the hardware is!
When it comes to the looks, Garmin Vivoactive is not very convincing. Its stainless steel frame looks fine, but then the black screen that encloses it is dull and the rubber wristband is also mediocre. This is not a lifestyle product. The auto pause quirk makes sure your average pace does drop when you’re crossing the road or stopped at a red light.
When it comes to looks, it is not very convincing. The stainless steel frame looks fine, but then the black screen that encloses it is DULL and the rubber wristband is also MEDIOCRE. After all, this is not a lifestyle product, but if looks are important to you, then you should consider the Fitbit (which is ranked #4.)
The Vivoactive 3 is a very special fitness watch by Garmin. It pretty much ticks all the boxes. The navigation system, heart rate sensors, and altimeter all are very precise. It keeps track of your swims and other fitness activities. It might not be the best-looking smartwatch, but it has everything you’d want from a fitness watch.
- Long term battery life
- The build quality is excellent
- Multi-sport tracking
- GPS tracking is very accurate
- A bit expensive
- Not a lifestyle product
- Looks mediocre
2. Best Fitbit For Swimming: Fitbit Flex 2
- Tracks distance, speed, steps, and calories
- No GPS and heart rate monitoring
- Three to four days of battery life
- Weighs around 0.64 ounces
It tracks steps, distance covered, burned calories, and active minutes. You can set your daily goal and the five LEDs will let you know your progress. It can track your laps when swimming. You can wear it even in the ocean. Thus, it is living proof for a shower, pool, and the sea. However, there is no GPS, Altimeter, or heart rate sensor in this model. If you wish to have these features, there are other models, but they are way more expensive.
The LEDs can be color-coded for particular notifications. It gives unique vibration patterns for calls and text messages. With sleep tracking, you can know the quality of your sleep. You can set a silent alarm on your Fitbit, that will wake you up with a small vibration.
The band is compatible with both iOS and Android and the integration is nearly perfect. It displays data on the Fitbit app, which can be easily downloaded from the App Store or play store. It informs you about calories and distance, but these are never 100% true, so take them as light measurements. The app reminds you to move if you haven’t taken at least 250 steps every hour. There are several challenges with achievements to keep you hooked. There are single-player challenges in which you compete with yourself and there are faceoffs in which you compete with your friends.
The low price of Fitbit makes it ideal for people who are new to fitness tech. It gives you motivation and some feedback. It comes with two black wristbands of different sizes, but you can always buy different colors. It comes with a warranty of one year from the date of purchase.
- Comfortable to wear
- It comes with swim tracking
- Simple user interface
- Available at a reasonable price
- The battery life is average
- It can be annoying to charge it
- No inbuilt GPS or heart rate monitor
3. Best for Professional Swimmers: Garmin Forerunner 935
- Offers a bunch of biomechanical measurements
- Comes equipped with a heart rate monitor
- Up to 24 hours of battery life with GPS mode
- Weighs 1.72 ounces
The watch looks good enough, so you can wear it even when you’re not training. Given that the watch is made of plastic, it is lightweight and sits comfortably on your wrist. The display is bright enough to read notifications in the sun and the watch is swim-proof too.
The Garmin 935 covers several sports, but it is the running mode that is loaded with tonnes of features. The GPS locks in less than ten seconds and you are ready to go. You can set your own running routes on the Garmin website, once you sync them to your watch, it will guide you throughout the run. Once you have completed your run, the watch will calculate the number of hours you need for recovery. This is a triathlon watch, so it focuses more on running, swimming, and cycling. All the stats are impressive and they can help you peak.
Like all other fitness smartwatches, the Garmin 935 also delivers notifications to your wrist. The watch lets you control music, and shows notifications from apps such as WhatsApp, Uber, etc. Also, the battery life is phenomenal. It can go up to seven days and drops only 10-15% on a 20-mile run.
Garmin Forerunner 935 has everything, but the issue is its price. Not everyone can afford a five hundred dollar smartwatch. This is a product for athletes only and not for casual runners.
- Unreal battery life
- In-depth details of workouts
- Comfortable and lightweight design
- Way too expensive
- Can’t make payments via the watch
4. Best Value for Money: Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR
- Performs tracking of speed, pace and distance with the help of GPS
- Comes with a heart rate monitor sensor
- Battery backup of ten hours
- Weighs 56 grams
The Suunto Spartan is a powerful sports tracking device. It can track common sports like running, swimming, and cycling. It’s a slim and light device that sits nicely on your wrist. The dial is not too chunky so that women and men can use it. The company Suunto has been in the business of activity tracking for over 80 years. Therefore you got a decent performance.
The watch is relatively cheaper than its competitors, yet the heart rate sensor gives far more accurate results than them. However, GPS is not as good as the heart rate sensor. It takes its time to connect to the mobile. The touch display on this watch is a small one, only a 218 x 218 resolution. The watch does not allow you to customize it from the watch itself; rather, you have to do it from the app. The user interface of the watch is just mediocre, it is slow and takes around a second or two each time you press a button. Despite that, it is not a big deal as it can be fixed with a software update.
The watch weighs 56 grams, and its flat design ensures you don’t have unnecessary drag when swimming. It will count laps, duration, speed, burned calories automatically. All you need to do is focus on your skill so that you can leave the rest of the stuff to the watch. It also comes with a tonne of pre-installed sports modes, so you never get bored doing the same workout regime.
With GPS on, the watch will give you a battery backup of only five hours. This slim design has taken its toll on the battery life as it can’t get you through a day without a charge. A standard run with GPS on will engulf around fifteen to twenty percent of the battery.
The watch is available in seven vibrant colors- Amber, Black, Blue, Sandstone, Ocean, Gold, and Steel. The warranty ranges from three to five years, depending on the fault.
- Relatively low price
- Compact size is fit for swimming and daily wear
- Available in a whole range of colors
- The long warranty offered by the company
- Battery life is very poor
- Slow operating system
- Wristbands are not made of good material
5. Best Advanced Fitness Tracker: MOOV NOW
- Advanced tracking of swimming, running, cycling
- No heart rate monitor sensor
- The non-rechargeable battery lasts up to six months
- Weighs merely 0.32 ounces
The band really comes to life once you take it for swimming. It has stroke recognition, flip turn duration, stroke rate, lap counting. You’ve to set the length of the pool before you start for lap counting. Apart from stroke recognition, it also tells you the duration of your single stroke. It sits silently on your wrist, doing all the work, so you can focus on what’s more important.
For cycling and running the band needs to be tied around your ankle. It gives you real-time audio coaching. It lets you know how close you are to your target. Learn to lighten your impact, start improving your stride, speed, and cadence. Once you start following the instructions, you feel the difference in your technique as it gets better. Apart from triathlon sports, the band also helps you to learn boxing. Pre-installed workouts and tutorials are designed to enhance your power and precision.
If you wish to lose your body weight, there is a 7 Minute+ Workout. It’ll give you audio and visual coaching of the whole exercise, and count your reps while you’re at it.
Moov is an incredible fitness device that offers in-depth data analysis for running, cycling, boxing, swimming, and CrossFit. Due to its low price, there are no GPS and heart rate monitoring sensors. However, there is sleep tracking, and the user interface of the app is also clutter-free. I believe it is fit for both new and experienced people.
It is available in seven different vibrant colors and comes with a warranty of one year from the date of purchase.
- Great deal for such a low price
- Battery life is perfect
- Brilliant range of fitness tracking options
- The audio coaching helps to push even harder
- The design is not very fashionable
- There is no screen, keeping the phone around when training is tough
- No heart rate monitor sensor and GPS
6. Best Samsung Swim Watch: Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro
- Capable of counting every mile, the average speed and nutrition with the help of apps
- Comes equipped with a heart rate monitor and a GPS sensor
- The battery lasts for two days only
- Weighs 1.12 ounces
After connecting the watch to your smartphone, you’ll receive all the notifications and texts from your mobile on your wrist. You can accept or deny calls, control your music, and much more. The watch can be paired with any Bluetooth device, and you can stream Spotify on them. You can also stream the music offline as the watch has four gigs of internal storage.
Continuous heart rate tracking gives you a more accurate view of your calorie burn throughout the day. There are other apps provided by Under Armour that help you train, such as MapMyRun for measuring distance, MyFitnessPalm for nutrition and much more. With the built-in GPS, you can leave your smartphone at home and still capture every turn during the run. The only downside to these apps is that some of them may require a premium subscription for complete use.
The watch is water-resistant up to 50 meters, but Samsung asks you to avoid any sudden temperature changes. Make sure that it is dry before you charge it. If you use the watch only through Bluetooth and keep the GPS and wifi off, the battery will last two to three days. It takes an hour to go from 5% to 100%.
The main aim of this gear watch is to make the workout fun, and it does it flawlessly. Seeing you run details in a graph like fashion is utterly satisfying — this a good value product with a slick interface. The display and touch are of the highest quality. It is available in two sizes- Small and large, and two colors Diamond Red and Liquid Black.
- Touch is super responsive
- Full notification support for both Android and iPhones
- The heart rate and GPS sensor are very precise
- It can be used as both a lifestyle or a fitness product
- The battery life is average
- Samsung’s customer care service is poor
- Installs too much fitness related bloat on your device
Whether it is Fitbit, Garmin, or Samsung – wearable brands are making more and more improvements and adding devices that have features marketed towards people who like swimming. Although the choices are not endless, there are certainly options that you can look for in all budgets and all styles.
Therefore, with the variety of fitness trackers available in the market, it can be challenging to find one that suits your needs. That is why we have created this buyer’s guide with our best recommendations. We put the products through rigorous testing methods to find the best options.
Make sure you go through this list before deciding on something. It will help you determine what will work for you and falls within your budget. Happy shopping!