As you might know, swimming is one of the easiest and effective ways to workout. If you swim regularly, you can lose the right amount of weight in just a matter of a few months. Thanks to the advancements in wearable technology, we now have swimming watches that can help us track our workouts and analyze the swimming patterns.
Well, if you have been searching for some good smartwatches and fitness trackers to track your pool or open water swimming workouts, then you have landed on the right page. In this article, we have shared the best smartwatch for swimming.
You must also know that buying a waterproof fitness tracker does not mean that it can be used to track your swimming activities.
For example, Fitbit Ace is a waterproof wearable device, but you cannot swim with Fitbit Ace as it is not designed for swimming.
What Fitness Trackers Measures While you swim?
Five metrics assess the quality of swim. If you are looking for a smartwatch that measures all these five metrics, then you have to get an advanced smartwatch. But unless you are not a professional swimmer, then you do not need such an advanced swim tracking smartwatch.
Before you jump into the list of swim watch, let us have a look into these five crucial swim metrics.
- Speed: It is an essential metric that is tracked by every swim-proof smartwatches and fitness trackers. It uses a sensor called an accelerometer to measure the pace in the pool or open water.
- Distance: Distance is another vital swim metrics measured by a swim watch. Most of the fitness trackers and smartwatches are calibrated for 25M and 50M pools. On the other hand, some models of Fitbit Trackers allow us to enter pool length manually. These Fitness trackers are suitable for closed water or pool swimming only.
If you want to track open water or sea swimming, then you must go for an advanced smartwatch for swimming with an in-built GPS. Obviously, it will cost you more money. Make sure you enter the distance correctly to avoid any error in tracking lap and speed.
- Stoke Count: As the name suggests, stroke count is the number of strokes that you take to cover a particular distance. It is an important metric to measure your performance in the water.
- Type of Stroke: It is an advanced feature available only in premium swimming watches. It measures the type of stroke that you have taken in the water. You should not bother about this if you are not preparing for a swimming competition.
Freestyle stroke, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly stroke, and Sidestroke are the different types of strokes for swimming.
- SWOLF: It is a calculated metric measured by calculating the stroke count per distance. It is also called as Swim Golf.
A SWOLF score of 35-45 in a 25m distance is considered as excellent, and any score above 50 means that you need more improvement.
It is also an advanced feature and does not need to measure this if you are not a professional swimmer.
Best Smartwatches for Swimming in 2020
Now let us discuss some of the best fitness trackers and smartwatches for any budget for swimming. A few of then are for regular swimmers, and others are for professional swimmers with advanced features.
Whether you are thinking about going on open-water swimming or restricting yourself to a pool – the Garmin Swim 2 can be perfect for each of these aspects. The model is pretty durable and comes with a 5-ATM waterproof rating. Hence, no matter how long you are swimming, the watch will keep providing you with accurate data.
Widely admired as the best Garmin watch for swimming, the device can precisely track down your pace, swimming distance, SWOLF, etc. Moreover, once you have completed your daily dose of exercising, you can also check the numbers that you have made during the process.
Besides, it also provides several features for logging drills, staying on pace, and many more for offering more convenience.
Also, Garmin Swim 2 can track your heart-rate even when you are swimming underwater. Besides, the model contains several online analyses, which can help you to improve your swimming style and breathing techniques more proficiently. You can create custom workout settings and share them on the online community as well.
Lastly, like most other Garmin swimming watches, this one, too, comes with a decent battery backup, which lasts up to 7 days in smartwatch mode. However, if you activate the optical heart-rate mode, then it would lose its charge within 13 hours.
Features of Garmin Swim 2
- Best Smartwatch for swimmers.
- Wrist-based heart rate monitor underwater.
- Tracks all swim metrics.
- Compatible with external heart rate monitors.
In essence, the Garmin Vivoactive 4S is one of the latest models of the popular Vivoactive series of the same brand. Hence, as you can expect, the device does come with a lot of features that the previous ones did not have.
For starters, it features an intuitive touch-screen, which is easily operable. Hence, with it, you can customize your swimming workouts and watch the results a lot more easily and efficiently.
Secondly, unlike the previous models, the Vivoactive 4S comes with a waterproof depth rating of 50m. There is also a heart-rate monitor available in the device, which can enable you to calculate an appropriate intensity level for swimming.
Like the previous model, it can track your heart-rate even when you are swimming underwater. However, you can do so only in the swimming pool. The watch isn’t viable for going for a dip in the open waters.
Anyways, like most of the smartwatch models, this one can track the distance, speed, and number of strokes while you are swimming in a pool. It can detect the stroke type that you are using as well.
Are you considering buying a flagship Samsung watch to fulfill your swimming endeavors? Then, the new version Galaxy Active 2 from the brand should be ideal for you. Firstly, the device has been designed while keeping the requirements of the swimming lovers in mind.
Therefore, with it, you can keep a tack of your swimming distance, lap time, strokes, and many more. Further, as the device comes with Samsung’s coveted super-AMOLED display, you can watch each of the stats clearly even underwater.
Considered by many as the best smartwatch for swimmers, the Active 2, can be viable for both open-water and pool swimming. Moreover, you also won’t have to manually jot down the pool size, as it can measure the same on its own.
The model has a waterproof rating of 5 ATM, which is pretty decent as well. However, unfortunately, it cannot detect the types of strokes that you are using while exercising. Nonetheless, if you are not really perfectionist, then it would not matter anyway.
Do you wish to buy the best waterproof smartwatch under $250? Then, you can opt for the one-of-a-kind Garmin Instinct. But why are we asking you to choose it over others? Well, for starters, the device comes with both pool and open-water swimming mode.
Hence, you can practice your diving skills almost anywhere you want to. Secondly, it has an efficient indoor distance tracking feature, which can help you know about how many meters you have swum till now.
Furthermore, the stroke count, pace, and SWOLF can be counted here as well. However, like a few other models in our list of the best smartwatch for swimmers, this one, too, cannot track heart-rate while swimming underwater.
Last yet not least, the Garmin Instinct has a waterproof rating of 100 meters. Hence, with it tied up on your wrists, you can definitely go underwater and explore it in your own way.
The Apple Watch 5, as one of the latest models of the Watch Series, comes with all the decent features from the previous apps and adds a few of its own as well. Hence, if you are willing to splash a bit of cash, then we would recommend you to go for it.
With it, you will get served with a lot of decent metrics, such as swimming length, pace, and SWOLF rating.
However, that’s not all. Unlike most other swimming watches with heart rate monitors, this one can detect your stroking style as well. While you are swimming, the touch-screen facility will stay deactivated. However, the display will always stay active. So, to check out your stats, you will only have to raise your arms from the water.
In essence, the product has a standard 5 ATM waterproof rating. So, you can go quite deep into the water without worrying about anything. Moreover, it is viable for both swimming in the pool as well as open-water surfaces. So, you can go anywhere you want to quench your thirst for underwater swimming. However, it cannot measure your heart-rate while underwater.
Features of Apple Watch 5
- Waterproof up to 50 meters.
- Suitable for pool swimming and open water swimming.
- It can track the number of strokes, distance, pace, and interruption time.
- Always open retina display.
- ECG Tracking.
- Compatible with MySwimPro and Swim App, which can give more insights into your swim activities.
Unlike the first model in our list of the best smartwatch for swimming, this one was not solely designed for swimming purposes. However, it still works a lot more efficiently in this aspect than many other similar devices.
For example, with it, you can select the length of your swimming pool, so that it can track the swimming distance appropriately.
However, while you are moving underwater, the heart-rate checker and touch-screen facility get disabled. Hence, you won’t be able to know about your heart condition while doing the exercises. Nonetheless, you will be able to monitor two statistics of your choice.
That’s not the end of it.
After you have completed your task, you will get some detailed information regarding it as well. For instance, the watch will provide you with the data of your average speed, SWOLF, stroke rate, and total distance. However, it will not be able to identify the type of stroke that you had used during your exercise.
Also, it is quite important to mention that the Vivoactive Music 3 does not feature the coveted outdoor swimming mode. Thus, if you are more of dipping in an open-water surface kind of individual, then we would suggest you stay away from it.
Features of Garmin Vivoactive 3 Smartwatch
- Waterproof up to 50 meters under the water.
- Best swim watch for pool swims tracking.
- Garmin Pay.
- Stress tracking.
- Get notifications from your phone on the wrist.
Like the other best fitness smartwatches for swimming, the Forerunner 935 from Garmin, too, features both the pool and open-water swimming modes. In the former aspect, you will have to manually enter the size of the swimming pool before going in. It, sequentially, will help the watch to use the accelerometer properly to detect your speed.
Moreover, it also similarly determines your swimming distance. Further, it will also provide you with a SWOLF rating after you have finished your session! Nonetheless, it cannot distinguish the stroke type, which you have used during the course of time. Also, the touch-screen of the device does not really work underwater to unnecessary screen touch by water.
Hence, you will have to set everything up well before you start with your exercising schedule.
Furthermore, neither the pool mode nor the open-water feature can capture your heart rate while swimming underwater. So, if you want to use the feature, then you may have to opt for some other model.
However, the model has an excellent water-resistant rating of 5 ATM. Therefore, if you want to, then you can enjoy underwater swimming with it as well.
Features of Garmin Forerunner 935
- Best Swim Smartwatch for open water and pool swimming.
- Track important swimming metrics, such as type of stroke, length, intervals, and SWOLF.
- Offer 24 Hours battery life when GPS is ON. It can go up to 50 hours when battery saver mode is on.
- Compatible with watch faces from NUUN( Free).
- Compatible with the Swim.com app.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Unit is a premium level swimming smartwatch for tracking both closed and open water adventure.
The accelerometer helps the Garmin Forerunner 735 to monitor the pool swimming, and GPS helps it to track the open water swimming. But for closed pool swimming, you need to set the length of the pool in Garmin Forerunner 735XT manually.
In addition to that, it can also track essential swimming metrics such as distance, speed, lap, stroke counts, stroke style, and SWOLF.
Other activity tracking includes running, cycling, heart rate monitoring, calorie tracking, etc. Let us dive into the features more.
Features of Garmin Forerunner 735XT
- Track both open water swimming and closed water swimming.
- Track other activities such as race, running, cycling, hiking, and cardio.
- Tracks biking.
First things first – the SUUNTO Spartan Trainer comes with both the swimming pool and open-water modes. When you are using the former function, then the watch cum tracker would solely rely upon the pool length to distinguish your speed, distance covered, and SWOLF rating.
On the other hand, the in-built GPS takes care of open-water swimming. However, to make the GPS work correctly, you will have to pick the watch out of the water from time-to-time. One of the notable things about this watch is that it can determine your stroke types quite efficiently. So, you can use it to prepare for your upcoming swimming tournaments.
Widely considered as the best watch for swimming, this device can also track your heart-rate underwater.
Hence, with it, you will not have to rely upon your instincts to understand your body’s limit. But, there is an issue. You cannot really add anymore dedicated sessions in the app.
Hence, you will either have to stick with whatever you have or, you will have to practice everything else manually. Also, the model is a little bit pricey. So, some people might not be able to afford it in any way.
Features of SUUNTO Spartan Trainer
- Herat Rate record while swimming.
- Waterproof up to 100M
- Track swimming pace and distance.
- Wide Range of Sports mods.
- It has a built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass.
Just like Vivoactive Music 3, Garmin did not really want to create a dedicated swimming watch out of Venu. However, with its plethora of features and unparalleled efficiency, it can easily cater to all of your swimming purposes.
For starters, with this swimming watch, you can track all the standard swim metrics, such as stroke counts, speed, and SWOLF in a proper manner. However, the device is unable to distinguish the stroking types efficiently.
Moreover, it also does not track the heart-rate while you are swimming underwater. Nevertheless, you will still be able to watch everything through its bright OLED screen and manage its settings if you want to.
However, Garmin Venu only works perfectly in the swimming pools. Therefore, it will be better for you not to use it while venturing in the rivers. Anyways, as it has a waterproof rating of 5-ATM, you can definitely go on swimming on deeper pools.
Mi Band 4 is the cheapest Fitness Tracker for swimming on this list. It can not only swim but also other fitness activities such as steps, heart rate, exercise, calories burned, etc.
When it comes to swimming, it tracks swim metrics such as pace, distance, stroke type, stroke count, SWOLF, and calorie burned.
If you paired the fitness tracker with Mi App, then it will display the data insights neatly on your smartphone as well.
Mi Band 4 is suitable for pool swimming only. Also, remember to turn on swimming mode after entering pool distance as it does not automatically recognize swimming activity like other premium fitness trackers for swimmers.
Features of Mi Band 4
- Waterproof up to 50 meters.
- Tracks swimming distance, pace, stroke count, and stroke type.
- Heart rate monitoring.
- Tracks workout such as treadmill workout, count steps, cycling, calorie burn, etc.
- Heart rate monitoring.
- 7 Days battery life.
Fitbit Ionic is the best fitness tracker for swimming under a $200 price mark. It is a multi-purpose watch that can track not only swimming but also other activities such as walking, running, biking, Yoga, etc.
The design is light-weight, and it got an adjustable display brightness. So you can easily see the display even in underwater and bright sunlight. Lastly, the display on Fitbit Ionic is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, so you do not need to worry much about screen damage and scratches.
Fitbit Ionic has enhanced swim-tracking capabilities, which make it one of the best and cheap fitness trackers for swimming. The dedicated swim mode on this Smartwatch can help you record your laps, length, speed, stroke count, and calories burned.
As it got in-built GPS, it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor swimming activities. If you accidentally forget to record your data, then Fitbit Ionic’s SmartTrack will have your back, and it will automatically track swims for you.
The next noteworthy feature of Fitbit Ionic is dynamic personal coaching. This unique coaching feature offers personalized workouts, and it even guides you while you are working out.
Luckily, you can store and playback 300 plus songs on this Smartwatch. The ability to store songs on this Smartwatch eliminates the need for carrying a smartphone while working out.
Features of Fitbit Ionic
- Waterproof up to 50 meters.
- Track various activities, such as calorie, Cycling, Run, Sleep Tracking, and continuous heart rate monitoring.
- Dynamic Personnel Workout videos from Fitbit Coach.
- It offers phone-free music during your workout sections. It can store over 300+ music on the wrist.
- Supports third-party apps from Fitbit Store.
- Get notifications from your smartphone on the wrist.
- GPS enabled Fitness Tracker for Swimming.
- Fitbit Ionic offers four days of battery life.
- Fitbit Pay.
Fitbit Versa 2 is the next Fitness Tracker in the list of swim trackers. It is one of the best selling fitness trackers from Fitbit family.
Fitbit Versa 2 is suitable for pool swimming, and it can track various swim metrics such as length, lap, speed, and stroke count. But it does not track other swim metrics such as stroke style and SWOLF. As I said earlier, these two metrics are not necessary if you are not a professional swimmer.
Unfortunately, Fitbit Versa 2 is not suitable for open water swimming as it does not have an in-built GPS. So make sure you set the pool length before jump into a closed pool.
Fitbit Versa 2 has a larger display, which makes this smartwatch ideal for checking stats and heart rate while swimming. Additionally, the always-on display comes in handy to quickly glance at the notifications.
Other features include Alexa Built-in, using which you can get news, weather, set alarms, music playback control, and you can even operate your smart home devices.
Overall, Fitbit Versa 2 is a great tracker for swimmers and also a feature-rich smartwatch for regular day to day usage.
Features of Fitbit Versa 2
- Goal-based exercise modes that consist of running, biking, yoga.
- Waterproof up to 50 meters.
- Continuous heart rate monitoring.
- It keeps you motivated by showing real-time actionable insights.
- Supports Amazon Alexa.
Moov Now is the next best fitness tracker for swimming in this list. This ultra-lightweight tracker only weighs 15.1 grams, and it offers real-time coaching for swimming coupled with seven different workout mods.
Moov claims that you can become a better swimmer with its Moov Now Fitness Tracker. It can recognize your swimming style and automatically track your laps, time, distance, pace, stroke count, and stroke style. Once you complete your swimming workout, you can analyze the full breakdown of your swimming data in the companion app.
As it does not have an in-built GPS, it is suitable for pool swimming only. Apart from swimming, you can use this tracker for tracking circuit training, running, cycling, cardio boxing, treadmill run, indoor cycling, and open tracking.
As for downsides, Moov Now is not a standalone device, and to use it to its full potential; you should always keep your smartphone connected to this tracker. Furthermore, Moov Now fitness tracker for swimming lacks a display.
Consequently, apart from tracking your workouts, you can’t use this device like a smartwatch. However, there is no doubt that Moov Now is one of the cheapest fitness trackers that you can purchase for tracking swimming and running workouts
Features of Moov Now
- Best budget fitness tracker for swimmers.
- Track heart rate more accurately.
- Track swim, running, cycling, cardio boxing, sleep tracking, etc.
- Six months of battery life.
- You can wear it on the ankle.
Misfit Shine 2 is the next best budget-oriented fitness tracker for swimming under $100. This swim-proof tracker featured by a minimalistic design and light-weight.It is durable as it is made using Aircraft grade aluminum. Similar to Moov Now, Misfit Shine 2 also lacks a dedicated display.
That said, features like water resistance to 50 meters. In the pool, it can measure various swim metrics such as laps, pace, distance, stroke style, and stroke counts. And this makes the Misfit Shine 2 ideal for beginning swimmers.
Apart from swimming, it can also track activities like running and cycling based workout sessions.
The Misfit app helps you to effortlessly store and analyze the workout data that is tracked by the Misfit Shine 2.
Features of Misfit Shine 2
- Minimalistic and Simple design.
- Longer battery life. (Six Months)
- Vibration alert.
- Sedentary reminder
- Most accurate fitness tracker.
Swimming Watch Buying Guide
So we have already discussed the best fitness tracker and smartwatches for swimming. If you are still confused, then please refer to this fitness tracker buying guide to choose one of the best smartwatches for swimming.
First of all, I want to ask you a question. It is nothing but important. Here is my question.
Why do you want to buy a fitness tracker for swimming? Is it just for fun, or are you a professional swimmer or preparing for a swimming competition?
If your answer is just for fun, then you do not need to invest more money into an advanced smartwatch. For you, basic features such as lap, speed, distance, and stroke count are enough. And obviously, calorie tracking is essential for you too, and all smartwatches have this feature.
Moov Now, Fitbit Versa 2, etc. would be a better choice for you. If you have a little more budget, then you can go for multi-tasking watches such as Apple Watch or Garmin Series. You can go for the Garmin Forerunner series if you are a professional runner and also like water-based activities.
Now, if you are a professional swimmer and need to track every activity in the water, then you must need an advanced Smartwatch like Garmin Swim 2 or Apple Watch 5 Series.
Make sure you choose an advanced swim watch that tracks lap count, distance, pace, stroke count, stroke style, SWOLF, and also calorie tracking.
You can become a better swimmer by improving these metrics for sure. After you swim, go to the companion app to get more detailed data about your swim and discuss it with your swimming coach to identify the area of improvement.
Advanced swim watches also have the features to set new goals based on the previous data and help you to keep motivated and break new records in the pool.
Now let us other features that you should take care of while choosing a fitness tracker for swimming.
Always go for a smartwatch with a sleek design and light-weight. Because it will be more comfortable while swimming rather than using a bulky smartwatch during the swim.
You should also take care of display while selecting a smartwatch. If you are looking for a smartwatch for water-based sports, then make sure that it has a brighter screen so that you can see your metrics even underwater.
Some advanced smartwatch like Apple Series 5 watch offers a screen lock feature, which helps to avoid any unnecessary tap on the screen when it comes in contact with water. In Apple Watch Series 5, this feature automatically turns on when you activate the swimming mode.
Make sure that the Smartwatch which you are going to buy is compatible with the smartphone that you are using. Also, make sure that the companion app is compatible with your smartphone. You possibly do not face an issue of you are using an advanced latest fitness tracker.
However, these app and device compatibility checks help you to save your hard-earned money.
Heart Rate Monitoring
Even advanced smartwatches do not track heart rate accurately underwater. Most of the watch automatically turns off the heart rate monitor at the moment you turn on the swimming mode.
If you want heart rate monitoring while swimming, previously, it was expensive. Thank you, Garmin, for crafting Garmin Swim 2! It is the only watch that tracks heart rate underwater by using its advanced heart rate sensors.
Before that, you had to use HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim heart rate monitor along with your compatible Garmin Smartwatch.
Battery life is vital for any electronic gadget. I prefer a smartwatch with longer battery life rather than choosing a smartwatch with a lot of features and less battery back-up.
By keeping this in mind, I created this list with devices with good battery life.
I think this Fitness Tracker review has helped you to choose the best Smartwatch for swimming. Also, Because of this reason I have included a list of best fitness trackers and smartwatches for swimming for any budget.
All the fitness trackers and fitness trackers listed here can track not only the swimming activity but also can track many activities such as running, heart rate monitoring, calorie tracking, etc.
If you have any queries or if you feel to add more smartwatches into the list, then feel free to comment below. You can also contact us through our social media channels for an instant replay.