You may be an avid swimmer or a beginner who wants to record the sessions and improve your performance, a swim watch or fitness tracker is a must-have! That’s why we got in touch with the swimming enthusiasts and experts, to help you find the 9 best smartwatches for swimming.
Besides being swim-proof, the smartwatches and trackers we’ve ranked in this guide 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 be recorded promptly.
The last few years have seen massive technological advancements when it comes to fitness gear. Whether it is 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 Golf GPS watches for Golfers.
For people who love working out, this has been a boon. However, the same cannot be said for those of us who love swimming. People who love to spend their time in the pool haven’t received a lot of attention from tech companies for a while. Land-based sports activities have always taken precedence over pool-based workouts.
But all this is changing now. 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 smartwatches and fitness bands are being introduced with a waterproof.
Don’t worry, if you have a limited budget, as the smartwatches and trackers listed in this guide are available in all budget ranges.
1. 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
Gear Fit 2 is the ultimate fitness partner; it is durable and swim-ready and keeps you on top of your stats. It keeps you connected to your world. The watch has a 1.5-inch AMOLED display capable of showing all the colors with sharpness. The watch is super responsive and can work with the slightest of touches. The watch may be a Samsung product, but it is compatible with iOS.
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.
The 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 which 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 these 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
2. 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
Moov now is not an ordinary fitness tracker. It comes with a real-time Audio coach. It’s a wearable fitness coach, that guides you through your motion, keeps tabs on your reps and encourages you to achieve your desired goals. In terms of appearance, it looks odd. There is no display on the band, so you have to keep checking your smartphone when working out.
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 gadget 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 cumbersome
- No heart rate monitor sensor and GPS
3. 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 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
4. 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
Garmin 935 is one of the most advanced watches in the world. The watch appeals to every sportsperson. It offers an in-depth analysis of swimming, running, cycling and other sports. It is equipped with the latest technology. It has GPS, a heart rate sensor, an altimeter and a thermometer. Thanks to all these sensors, the watch offers an incredible insight into your training regime. Moreover, the watch lets you know whether you’re undertraining or overtraining. All these features let you know how effective is your current training plan.
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 which 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 cum 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
5. Best Fitbit Tracker with Heart Rate for Water Sports: The Fitbit Ionic
- There is a built-in GPS, that can track distance, steps, and calories
- It comes with PurePulse heart rate
- Four plus days of battery life
- Weighs 10.4 ounces
This is the first-ever smartwatch made by Fitbit. It’s a fitness watch at its heart. It has an aluminum chassis which makes it lighter and robust. The bands are made of plastic and leather. You can choose either one of these. The watch is particularly light, ensuring it is comfortable to wear. It is swim-proof so that you can take it to your shower.
The Fitbit Ionic has three gigs of internal storage so that you can store almost three hundred songs on it. Once you have music on your watch, you can pair it with any Bluetooth headset and head to the gym without your mobile. There is also an NFC chip on the watch, allowing you to make payments on it.
The watch looks mediocre. It has thick bezels on all sides. The LCD display is relatively small. It becomes difficult to operate the watch with such a small screen. The aluminum frame is very thick, and it leaves significant gaps between the wrist and the watch. It can even be uncomfortable for some people. This is a major flaw in an overall pretty impressive watch
This fitness-based smartwatch is suitable for cycling, running, swimming, weights, etc. The heart rate tracker is more accurate than all other devices from Fitbit. The inbuilt GPS system works like a charm. You’ll never lose the connection even when you’re on long runs. The automatic pause system will detect when you’ve stopped and started again when you start running. There are pre-installed workouts as well, which will show you what you need to do. The difficulty of exercise increases when you do them regularly.
The watch works with iOS, windows and androids. You’ll have to download their app from the store. The watch has its App gallery that has a limited number of apps. The watch is an excellent upgrade for Fitbit users, but I personally think that it is an unfinished product.
It is available in four different colors- Silver, Blue, charcoal and burnt orange. It comes with twelve months of warranty.
- A perfect fitness companion
- Excellent battery backup of 3-4 days
- Build quality is solid
- May not fit properly on your wrist
- The price is a bit higher
- LCD display is small and unresponsive at times
- Lack of customization in the operating system
6. 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
Fitbit Flex 2 is a simple yet robust device. It is a slim and swim-proof fitness band that is always ready to go. It automatically tracks your activity all day and shows how you slept last night. When working out, SmartTrack figures out the exercise and displays the records for you. It is available in a wide range of colors and straps. The tracker needs to be popped out of the wrist band for charging. A single charge will last for 2-3 days on average.
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 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 wrist bands 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
7. Round Fitness Tracker for Swimming (No Heart Rate Monitor): The Misfit Shine 2
- Tracks sleep and steps
- No sensor to measure heart rate and floors climbed
- The battery is not rechargeable so that it will last around six months
- Feather like a weight of 0.16 ounces
The Misfit Shine 2 is a swimmer’s edition band designed by Misfit and Speedo, the world’s leading swimwear giant. The device was made partially by Speedo at its high-performance research facility, Aqualab. The same lab where they test their leading tech suits. The band is super slim and lightweight that ensures the minimum drag and resistance for the user. You can literally forget that it’s on your wrist.
Shine 2 is equipped with the latest technology. It has three accelerometers and magnetometer, piezoelectric vibration, capacitive touch screen, to give you accurate stats. It will keep you motivated and encourage you to achieve your fitness goals. Also, it is water-resistant up to fifty meters and tracks your physical fitness with health apps like Lost, Runkeeper, MyFitnesspal and others. Apart from these, it also works with the Speedo Fit app that will give you a detailed overview of your workout.
This is a simple fitness tracker and has limited functionalities. It will track the number of steps you take, calories burned, but it does not have an altimeter, so it is unable to track the stairs climbed. Also, there is no heart rate sensor. However, there are several other great features like it allows you to take a selfie, you can control your music, it is compatible with Spotify, Nest, Logitech Harmony and many more.
Misfit connects to your mobile via a Bluetooth connection. When connected, the tracker gives you vibration alerts if you get phone calls or texts. It gives you an alert when you’ve been sitting for a while and asks you to take a walk. The only issue with connectivity is that you have to keep your mobile data and location services on when it is connected. This can drain the battery life of the smartphone quickly.
Misfit 2 sits comfortably on your wrist. It will not get in your way of life and is compatible with all mobile devices after 2012. It is crafted from airplane grade aluminum and is available in two elegant finishes- Carbon Black and Rose Gold.
- The design is stylish and straightforward
- The apps are friendly and it’s easy to sync
- Inexpensive price tag
- Super lightweight
- No tracking of stairs
- No display and the heart rate sensor
- Tends to fall out of hand
8. Best Runner Up: Vigorun Fitness Tracker for Swimming
- Measures distance, steps, and calories
- Comes equipped with a heart rate sensor and does monitor sleep
- The Battery lasts up to ten days
- Weighs 2.4 ounces
The Vigorun is a budget watch/fitness tracker. It keeps track of your health all day and helps you to accomplish your goals. It is available in seven bright colors: black, blue, green, purple and others. It will record your day to day activities like steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, quality of sleep, etc. Besides this, the watch will link to your smartphone and give you notifications from your social media, calls and messages. Never miss a moment when you’re not around your device.
The band allows you to set weight goals to keep you moving towards a healthier lifestyle. It does not come with a GPS tracker of its own, so you have to connect it to your cellphone. When running, it will show you stats like steps taken, average speed and the map of your run. It comes equipped with Vigorun’s latest sensor that will track your heart rate and study your sleep schedule. It will divide your sleep hours into three sections, namely deep sleep, light sleep, awake sleep. You can check for a weekly curve on the app.
It is an IP68 swim-proof band, so you can go for a swim or shower without taking it off, make sure you avoid hot water. There are other tonnes of features like adjustable screen brightness, weather display, wrist sense, call number displays, message reminders, remote camera shooting, GPS tracking, Multi-language shift, silent alarm, heart rate monitor, multi-sport mode.
With remote camera control of this smart band, you can take selfies effortlessly. For this to work, tap the touch key and capture the moment. Moreover, it has a sedentary alarm system that will encourage you to take a walk, when you’re sitting too long.
The wristband has a built-in USB plug, so you don’t need to carry any cable. Just plug it in any USB port or computer. The battery life is excellent as a single charge will give you up to seven to ten days of working time.
It is compatible with all the smartphones having iOS 7.1 or above and Android 4.4 or above. It has 12 months of free guarantee.
- Low price
- Long battery life
- Great activity tracker
- Available in a variety of colors
- None that I could find
9. Best Overall: Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Watch
- 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
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 throw 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 indulged in 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.
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 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.
Vivoactive 3 is a very special fitness watch by Garmin. It pretty much ticks all the boxes. The navigation system, heart rate sensors, and the 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
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!