7 Best Smartwatches for Swimming for Pool and Open Water Swimming

best smartwatches for swimming
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We’ve curated a list of the best swimming watches for all budgets and ability levels, so you can find the perfect workout partner. Almost all modern exercise trackers are water-resistant to at least 50 metres, but not all are designed for more than a quick dip in the pool or shower.

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That is why we have assembled a list of the best swimming watches, which will not only measure your heart rate underwater, but will also track your speed and distance, anticipate your stroke automatically, log drills, and many more.

If you like swimming in a pool or in open water, this list contains the best smartwatches for swimming.

7 Best Smartwatches for Swimming

Garmin Swim 2

Garmin Swim 2

The Garmin Swim 2 is intended for swimmers looking for a smart and dependable way to track their workouts.

This GPS-enabled tracker is perfect for tracking pool and open water swimming. Other relevant metrics that can be tracked include stroke count, heart rate, pace, distance travelled, and distance per stroke. It also has options for timed sets and drill tracking.

With this in mind, it’s obvious that Garmin designed Swim 2 to track workouts for swimmers at all skill levels. This is the swim watch for you, whether you are a competitive swimmer or a recreational swimmer looking to keep fit. Even the most seasoned and professional swimmers will be impressed by the versatility of this watch. Throughout the day, it will track a number of key health indices.

The Swim 2 was, of course, designed with swimming in mind, and it works admirably in the pool. It can detect the kind of stroke you’re doing and calculate your SWOLF (the metric which tracks your swim efficiency). When practising, you can even download customised drills and set up alerts to keep you on track.

Garmin Swim 2, GPS Swimming Smartwatch for Pool and Open Water, Underwater Heart Rate, Records...
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Garmin Swim 2, GPS Swimming Smartwatch for Pool and Open Water, Underwater Heart Rate, Records...
  • GPS swimming smartwatch for the pool and open...
  • Monitors underwater estimated wrist-based heart...
  • Pool swim mode: records distance, pace, stroke...

Apple Watch Series 6

Image of Apple Watch Series 6 with GPS and LTE

If you want a more traditional smartwatch rather than anything sporty, this is the device for you, with 50m water resistance for pool and open water swimming.

The Apple Watch Series 6 integrates more of the advanced swimming abilities of previous Apple Watch models into a larger design, allowing for more room to view your swim data in the pool or in open water.

You’ll be shown metrics such as distance travelled, average speed, and stroke form.

During the swim, the screen is off, but the Always-On display encourages you to raise your arm to see real-time progress.

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In terms of accuracy, the Series 6 performs admirably as compared to a high-end Garmin sports watch.

The primary metrics (distance, lap counts, and average pace) are pretty accurate, and it’s a very comfortable watch to wear in the water. Data is saved in the Health app, under Activity, but you can also review it with a third-party app of your choice.

It’s certainly up there along with any Garmin as one of the best swimming smartwatches, plus it’s chic enough to wear beyond the pool.

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New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) - Blue Aluminum Case with Deep Navy Sport Band
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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 

Image of Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 with GPS and cellular

If you want a larger screen and the feel of a real rotating bezel, we suggest the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3; water resistant to 50 metres.

It’s ideal for both pool and open water swimming and comes in 45mm and 41mm sizes, which are comparable to the Active 2. You’ll still have one of the coolest, biggest smartwatch screens available, but you’ll need to upgrade to a sportier band because this comes with a leather style that isn’t water-resistant.

In terms of metrics, you can expect more of the same. Time, laps, overall speed and rate, calories consumed, SWOLF, and even lengths done with the fewest strokes. When you complete a lap in the pool, it can vibrate and clean itself using a method similar to the Apple Watch’s water ejection mechanism.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 

Garmin Vivoactive 4S

Garmin is famous for waterproof watches. Succeeding the Garmin Vivoactive 3, the Vivoactive 4 is not purely a swimming watch. Though, it does have outstanding functionality and is an appropriate device for swimming in a pool at 5 ATM. It calculates your SWOLF ranking, much like the other Garmin devices on this list.

The build and display have remained largely unchanged since the Vivoactive 3. The Vivoactive 4 is available in two sizes: 45mm (1.3-inch display) and 40mm (1.1-inch display). The two sizes allow it to fit various wrist sizes. The screen is legible under all lighting conditions and is covered by Gorilla Glass.

This is a multisport watch that comes with over 20 preloaded events, including walking, tennis, sailing, and swimming. You can also use the Garmin Connect software to create and share your own personalised workouts.

With a growing focus on self-monitoring, the Vivoactive 4 provides tracking for stress, hydration, and respiration, as well as menstrual tracking. There seem to be a variety of useful applications, such as alarms, audio, and Garmin Pay.

Garmin Fenix 6 Series

Garmin Fenix 6

All Garmin Fenix 6 GPS devices have an open water mode that can run an open water swimming algorithm, making them arguably the best open water swimming GPS watches.

A satellite signal is lost while your arm is immersed in water; this algorithm smoothes this out and provides you with all of the navigational data gathering from your swim that you need.

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When the GPS records your open water swim, you get all the stats you’d expect and some swimming-specific ones including average stroke rate, temperature, and heart rate, which when paired with other statistics provide you with a more complete picture of your open water swim.

The Garmin Fenix 6 series is water-resistant to 100 metres, making it one of the better smartwatches for swimming available today.

If you’re interested in the Garmin Fenix 7, check out our other article, here.

Garmin Forerunner 945 

Garmin Forerunner 945

The Garmin Forerunner 935 (or the newer 945) is a mission tracker that can be used for a variety of activities. Although it is not specifically built for swimming, many people prefer it to the Garmin Swim 2 because it has so many more features. It can track events such as hiking, walking, hiking, and swimming, to name a few.

If you like floating in open water, you’ll love this watch because it has a GPS and compass for navigation.

It, like many other swimming watches, struggles to record the heart rate when swimming. You can, however, purchase a Garmin accessory that can accurately measure your heart rate when swimming. It can also compute your SWOLF ranking.

It’s essentially a multisport activity tracker that’s waterproof to 50 metres but not ideal for scuba diving or snorkelling.

It provides specialised results details for swimming, running, and cycling, making it an excellent option for triathletes!

Amazfit T-Rex Pro

Amazfit T-Rex Pro

The T-Rex Pro from Amazfit is the T-replacement Rex’s and a less pricey Garmin replacement.

Related Post: Amazfit T-Rex Pro Watch: A Cheap Alternative to Garmin Fenix 6

Zepp replaced Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 with tempered glass, which is both crack and scratch-resistant, increasing lifespan dramatically.

It is now a better fit for aquatic sports, with a water resistance rating of 10ATM allowing it to dive to a depth of 100 metres.

When you begin swimming, the dashboard displays real-time data such as workout time, pace, runs, average speed, SWOLF, and stroke rate. While we would have preferred larger data fields, screen visibility in the water was sufficient.

In terms of accuracy, it fell a few lengths short and the average pace tracked a little higher, but it produced similar calorie burn figures. Overall, even if the accuracy is a little off, it’s a nice swimming tracking experience.

If you enjoyed reading out swimming watches, you might be interested to learn more about solar watches. Check out our article, here.

Can you swim with a Fitbit? Here everything you should know about Fitbit swimming watches.

Maygen is an expert content writer with exceptional knowledge of the smartwatch and fitness tracker market.

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