Best waterproof smartwatch to buy 2019

Top swim-friendly watches to take for a dip

What is the best smartwatch for swimming? The good news is that the likes of Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and Google have all started making waterproofing a priority for its watches to ensure they're fit for the swimming.

An added bonus is that along with designs that can better fend off water, they'll also track your activity in the water, too, letting you view data in real-time on the watch and when you get out of the pool.

Essential reading: Best waterproof fitness tracker to buy

We've picked our fave waterproof smartwatches we've tested, including details on waterproofing and whether you can take it in the pool and the sea.

Got any questions about the smartwatches we've included in the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Hot sports watch deals

Garmin Forerunner 35 - save $60
Garmin Forerunner 35 - save $60
Amazon
$132
Polar M430 - $20 off
Polar M430 - $20 off
Amazon
$176.51
Fitbit Versa - $30 off
Fitbit Versa - $30 off
Amazon
$169.95
Garmin Vivoactive 3 - save $46
Garmin Vivoactive 3 - save $46
Amazon
$253.91

Wareable may get a commission

Best waterproof smartwatch: Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

Best waterproof smartwatch to buy 2018

Pretty much any Garmin you pick up is well primed for the pool. The Fenix 5 and the Forerunner 935 are just two sports watches that we know deliver the goods. If you want something that's more smartwatch/sports watch hybrid, then the Vivoactive 3 Music is the one.

Like the Garmin Vivoactive HR and Vivoactive 3, the Vivoactive 3 Music delivers more of the same in the swim tracking department, helping to make it one of the best all-purpose trackers for swimming out there.

Essential reading: Waterproof versus water resistance explained

The sporty smartwatch has a 5 ATM waterproof rating, is resistant to pressure at a depth of 50 metres and has a dedicated swimming screen in Garmin Connect, which collects data on distance, time, stroke, SWOLF, temperature, pace, speed and more.

The Chroma Display ensures you can view your real-time swim data under the water. There's no open water swim tracking support, though, like you'll find with more expensive Garmin devices. But if you spend most of your time in the pool, then it's a strong option to go for.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m) | Pool and open water swim tracking: Pool only

Wareable verdict: Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music review

From $299.99, Amazon | garmin.com

Highly commended: Apple Watch Series 4

Best waterproof smartwatch to buy 2019

Apple's Series 4 takes all the good swimming abilities from the Series 3 and puts into a larger design, and that means there's more room to view your swim data in the pool or the open water.

Read this: Swimming with heart rate monitoring wearables

You'll get served up with a host of metrics, including distance covered, lengths, average pace, and it can distinguish stroke style, as well. During the swim the touchscreen is inactive, but you can raise your arm to check in on real-time progress.

Data is synced to the Apple Activity app, but there is a handful of third party swimming apps that support the added swim tracking features for more advanced insights.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m) | Pool and open water swim tracking: Yes

Wareable verdict: Apple Watch Series 4 review

From $329, Amazon | apple.com

Samsung Gear Sport

Best waterproof smartwatch to buy 2018

While the swim-friendly Samsung Galaxy Watch is now on the scene, we felt like the Gear Sport's slimmer, smaller design was a better fit for the pool.

It also has dedicated swim tracking features too that means you can view metrics like distance, strokes, lap time and SWOLF to measure swimming efficiency from the 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display. Samsung has tied up Speedo and its On to power its swimming features too, but this is another smartwatch that's built for the pool and doesn't offer open water tracking.

Other smart features include Samsung Pay, 4G of memory a 300mAh battery to give you a few days of play time and offline Spotify support. There's still that great rotating bezel and Tizen continues to run the software show too.

We should mention that the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is tipped to land soon. It's seen as the successor to the Gear Sport, but is likely to have similar swim tracking abilities.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m) | Pool and open water swim tracking: Pool only

Wareable verdict: Samsung Gear Sport review

Price:$249.99 Amazon | samsung.com


Fitbit Ionic

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

The Fitbit Flex 2 was for a while the only swim-proof wearable in the company's lineup, but it's recently been joined by the Ionic and Versa smartwatches. While both watches are built for the pool, we'd be inclined to opt for the more sportier looking Ionic when it's time for some swim action. It takes everything we loved about the Flex 2's swim tracking and ups the ante with a very nice display, letting you to look at your statistics in real time.

Essential reading: Swimming metrics on wearables explained

It's got five days of battery life, plus tactile buttons so that you can start and stop workouts while in water, so you don't have to worry about messing with a wet touchscreen. You're not going to get the most in-depth metrics possible with the Ionic, but it'll do the right job for the most people.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m) | Pool and open water swim tracking: Pool only

Wareable verdict: Fitbit Ionic review

$249.95, Amazon | fitbit.com

Fitbit Versa

Best waterproof smartwatch to buy 2018

If the idea of swimming with the big Ionic on your wrist doesn't appeal, then you do have another Fitbit smartwatch option in the shape of the Versa.

Along with a slimmer, smaller design, it offers all of the same swim tracking features as the Ionic so you'll be able to view lengths, distance covered and workout duration on the touchscreen display. It doesn't display the type of strokes and there's no SWOLF data available, so data-hungry swimmers might find the experience a little underwhelming, but on the whole it's solid swimming smartwatch.

It's fit for the pool, but doesn't include support for open water swimming. There's four-days worth of battery life and all the same smart features included on the Ionic like Fitbit Pay, notification support and access to Fitbit Coach.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m) | Pool and open water swim tracking: Pool only

Wareable verdict: Fitbit Versa review

$199.95, Amazon | fitbit.com

Fossil Sport

Best waterproof smartwatch to buy 2019

All of Fossil's Gen 4 smartwatches (like the Michael Kors Access Runway and Skagen Falster 2) have been built with swim-proof designs. The problem, though, is that a lot of these new fashionable Wear watches don't look the like the kind you'd want to go swimming with.

It's likely to be a different case with the Fossil Sport. It's the sportiest looking of all of Fossil's new smartwatches, offering swim tracking via native and third party apps. You'll be served up a decent array of metrics and the touchscreen is nice and vibrant to ensure there's no visibility issues in the water.

The Sport is unique (for now) because it's the only Fossil smartwatch to run on Qualcomm's new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor offering performance improvements across the board. Most notably, though, you should see an improvement in battery life.

If you're all about Wear OS and like swimming, this is the smartwatch for you.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m) | Pool and open water swim tracking: Pool only

Wareable verdict: Fossil Sport review

$199.95, fossil.com

TomTom Spark 3

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

The Spark 3 is a running watch first with fitness tracking features included in as well. It also has a dedicated swim mode that we regularly use to test against other swim trackers so we think highly of its sport tracking skills.

Read this: How to use SWOLF to improve efficiency in the pool

There's a surprising amount of data on board here including miles, speed, lengths and SWOLF scores. You can choose pool sizes to ensure lap counting is accurate, record split times and pick from a bunch of training modes including intervals. There's also a Goal mode which offers an excellent in-pool view of how far your session you are along with extra buzzes should you surpass your expectations.

Post-swim analysis is not great, but elsewhere this is a solid tracker to go swimming with. With TomTom is leaving the wearable game, this looks to be its final entry on the list, which also means you should be able to pick it up on the cheap too.

Waterproof rating: 4 ATM (40m) | Pool and open water swim tracking: Pool only

Wareable verdict: TomTom Spark 3 review

Price start from: $129.99, Amazon | tomtom.com


Withings Steel HR

Best waterproof smartwatch to buy 2019

The Withings Steel HR is a hybrid smartwatch, so it doesn't pack a full touchscreen display, but it does offer swim tracking. It's just not as advanced as the options above.

The fitness tracker packed into a smart analogue watch body is waterproof to 50m and while you can't take advantage of the optical heart rate monitor in the pool, the automatic tracking software knows when you've jumped into the water and will put the exercise towards your daily activity goal.

Data is synced to the Withings Health Mate app and the 25-day battery life means you can get in a fair few swims before it needs to be powered up again.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m) | Pool and open water swim tracking: Pool only

Wareable verdict: Withings Steel HR review

$199.95, Amazon | withings.com




What do you think?

Reply to
Your comment

3 comments

  • tonyshixd·

    What about the fossil Gen 4 smart watches?

  • jwfii·

    Funny, I've been wearing a Nixon Mission for years now and it has most of the described features. I worn it swimming in both pools and ocean with no issue. Never seen it on any lists though...

  • Giampi·

    I honestly think that the Polar m600 would be a better choice than the Nokia.