If you’re a runner or an athlete, it’s easy to find a fitness tracker tailored to the activity of your choice – but that’s not the case for swimmers, whose options are limited due to the annoying fact that the electronics don’t work . I don’t get on well with water.
However, there are still good options for every swimmer – from those who just want to keep an eye on calorie consumption to people who want to improve their efficiency with focused metrics like the SWOLF Score. Here are the devices that are worth considering.
The best waterproof fitness trackers under £ 100
You may not know Moov as well as brands like Fitbit or Garmin, but you should be. The Moov Now is an amazing part of the kit that offers unrivaled swimming statistics for a budget device and goes beyond the usual lap count and stroke detection to calculate distance per stroke and turn time. Even smartwatches that cost four times as much are fighting for it.
Buy from Moov | $ 49.99 (~ GBP 40)
Huawei Band 3 Pro
In terms of hardware, the Huawei Band 3 Pro offers more than any other tracker under 100 euros with integrated GPS, an AMOLED touchscreen and a waterproof design of up to 50 m. It can track both swimming in the pool and in open water, offers advanced statistics like SWOLF and can even automatically detect your stroke.
Buy from Amazon £ 47.99
The best waterproof mid-range fitness trackers (£ 100- £ 200)
Any Fitbit device that runs the smartwatch operating system and that has an altimeter is ideal for swimming. So this is the original Ionic Versa and the just released Versa 2 (but not the Versa Lite). These three will all do the same thing – count lengths and calculate pace, identify strokes, and estimate calories burned. The three buttons on the Versa and Ionic make it easier to operate in the water, but the Versa receives our recommendation because you can find it regularly. The Versa 2 is discounted (and the Versa is no longer sold by Fitbit, but should still be supported) . If you see it for £ 120 or less, grab it.
Fitbit Versa review
Do you remember Google Glass, the augmented reality glasses with a transparent digital screen on a lens? It is, but in swimming goggles and combined with motion sensors. Fortunately, you are much less noticeable – so your fellow swimmers are unlikely to call you a “glass hole” or equivalent – and it is really useful so you can track your progress without taking a break to check the screen on your wrist. You can configure which metrics are displayed during swimming and after each lap, e.g. B. Frequency, number of strokes, distance per stroke or pace per 100. You can categorize your sessions as lap swimming, interval sessions or exercises. with detailed breakdowns, which are then displayed in the Slick app. Unique and very impressive.
Buy from Form | $ 199 shipping plus $ 26 shipping
Huawei Watch GT 2e
This reasonably priced smartwatch lacks a bit of smarts as it contains practically no apps and no NFC payments. However, this is made up for by a long battery life (up to two weeks) and excellent sports tracking – swimming is only one of 100 sport mode options. Your distance, pace and SWOLF are recorded in the water, and the GT 2e also records your heart rate while swimming. However, expect the results to be mixed on this front. Although we didn’t manage to swim with the GT 2e (the pools are still closed at the time of writing), we swam with Honors MagicWatch 2 as far as we can tell, and were impressed by the accuracy of its ability to measure lengths to count – once it even surpassed the shape of smart glasses above.
Buy from Huawei | £ 159.99 | Huawei Watch GT 2e review
The Ignite is a GPS watch that records both swimming in the pool and in open water. However, what sets them apart from other general fitness trackers is measuring your recovery and total exercise load. She recommends workouts based on the information gathered. Every day you will receive an assessment of how well you have recovered overnight and then a recommendation for guided workouts based on your willingness to train. These workouts fall into three categories: cardio (including swimming), strength and support, including mobility and core work.
Buy from Polar | £ 174.50 – £ 199.50
The best waterproof high-end fitness trackers (from £ 200)
Garmin Swim 2
You may have noticed that swimming is not that purpose for many devices. If you have no idea about fewer activities on land, buckle up Garmin’s special swim tracker. You can assume that every type of statistic mentioned so far is included for both swimming in the pool and in open water. However, Garmin has added useful features to help you keep to a pre-set pace, log exercises, and set rest periods. Garmin also offers statistics that estimate your anaerobic threshold speed so you can determine if your workout is having the desired effect. A serious watch for competitive swimmers.
Buy from Garmin | £ 219.99
Samsung Galaxy Active 2
When it comes to swimming and other sports, we prefer the slim design (and the cheaper price) of the Galaxy Active 2 to the bulky flagship Galaxy watch. The Active 2 has a nominal output of 5 ATM and can track swimming in the pool as well as in open water. It records all important swimming statistics such as laps, pace, distance and SWOLF. It also has physical buttons to start and stop your workout – very useful in the water where touch screens can have problems. Beyond swimming, it’s a reasonable smartwatch with offline Spotify playback and NFC payments, but without any useful or interesting apps.
Buy from Samsung | 40mm from £ 269, 44mm from £ 289 | Samsung Galaxy Active 2 review
The Apex is available in two sizes – 42mm and 46mm – the latter cost £ 30 more, but thanks to its larger size, it offers ten hours more GPS battery life (35 hours versus 25 hours). Both sizes have the same sport tracking features and these features are impressive – the Apex is a triathlon watch with open water and pool swimming modes. During your session you will receive important live data such as distance, average pace, lap time and pace. You can then view analyzes such as stroke detection and rate, and a SWOLF score.
Buy from Amazon £ 269.99- £ 299.99 | Coros Apex Review
Apple Watch Series 3 or 5
The swim tracking features of the Apple Watch were significantly improved with the release of watchOS 4 in 2017 and have remained largely the same since. Not only does the watch record distance, length, and time, it also automatically detects your type of stroke (and increases the distance for each stroke at the end of swimming), record sets, and pauses without having to touch a key.
You can also use the Apple Watch to track swimming in the open water using the device’s built-in GPS and then provide a map of your route. The Apple Watch locks the screen while swimming of any kind. Once you unlock it by turning the digital crown on its side, water will spurt out of the speaker – a good trick that means the watch can have a speaker while it’s still waterproof.
The best Apple Watch available is the Series 5, which has a constantly active screen and an excellent heart rate monitor. However, it costs £ 399 compared to £ 199 for the Series 3 – which isn’t just less accurate when it comes to measuring heart rate, just as good a swim tracker. If swimming is your only sport, it may be worth saving the $ 200 and buying a heart rate monitor with a chest strap that works in the water.
Buy from Apple | £ 199 (Series 3), £ 399 (Series 5)
Garmin Forerunner 945
The best sports watch on the market, packed with detailed training analyzes and intelligent functions such as maps and music. The lightweight, slim design of the Forerunner 945 makes it preferable to the bulky Garmin Fenix watches for triathletes and swimmers. It records swimming in the open water and in the pool in detail, with all important statistics as well as the possibility to create and track structured water workouts.
Buy from Garmin | £ 519.99 | Garmin Forerunner 945 review