The best smartwatches for swimming: Garmin and many more

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 displays a turtle swimming as the face of a user's watch.

Caitlin Simino / Android Authority

Whether you’re cloaking hundreds of yards or just wetting your feet, there are plenty of devices you can wear while working out. Don’t just count the laps; Count that pussy. These are the best smartwatches for swimming.

See also: The best smartwatch you can buy

Buy the right smartwatch for your swimming needs

When looking for a smartwatch for swimming, the most obvious feature you will need is water resistance. Did you hit the pool deck speed or open water? Not all devices are water-resistant for both, so check the glasses before buying. Beyond that, it’s all about how much information you need or which ecosystem you prefer. Below is a wide range of our picks on both of these fronts

The best smartwatch for swimming

  • Garmin Venue 2 Plus: Garmin’s best round smartwatch, Venu 2 Plus is a pool mate full of details.
  • Apple Watch Series 7: For iPhone users, the Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch and a great choice for swimming.
  • Garmin Apex 2: For higher water resistance rating than Venu 2 Plus, this Garmin option is suitable for pool or open water and is full to the brim with features.
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: The only device still powered by Wear OS 3, the Galaxy Watch 4 offers the best smartwatch and hard swim tracking for Android users.
  • Fitbit Versa 3: Fitbit’s best alternative to swimming, Versa 3 will not offer advanced tracking like other choices. But for fans of the Fitbit companion app, this is a good water-resistant smartwatch.

Garmin Venue 2 Plus: Garmin’s best round smartwatch

A Garmin Venue 2 Plus rests in a yellow chair that represents Garmin's best smartwatch with plenty of equipment for swimming.

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the company’s best smartwatch. It packs the same features as the Garmin Venue 2, which includes Garmin’s impressive fitness tracking suite, Garmin Pay, and music storage for about 650 songs. However, it adds the ability to make and receive phone calls from your wrist and can access your phone’s voice assistant. For swimmers, its bright touchscreen display is perfect for checking your real-time statistics.

The swimming metrics available on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus include distance, speed, number of strokes, calories and Swolf, a measure of your swimming skills. Other tools include stroke detection, underwater heart rate monitoring, and further analysis in the Garmin Connect app. Of course, if you want to save a little cash, the previous generation offered the same swim-specific highlights. You just have to give up a few smartwatch features.

Garmin Venue 2 Plus Family Shot

Garmin Venue 2 Plus

Phone calls and a voice assistant on your wrist

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus captures all the fitness- and health-tracking features of the original Venu 2 and adds the ability to receive phone calls and access your phone’s voice assistant.

Professional

  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Quick charging helps to solve battery problems
  • Clean the faucet quality on the wrist
  • Slow but useful voice assistant support
  • Proper fitness and health tracking

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Battery life is shorter than Garmin claims
  • There are still problems with the heart rate sensor

Check out our full review to learn more about the Garmin Venue 2 Plus.

Apple Watch Series 7: The best smartwatch for iOS users

The best smartwatch for iOS users to swim in, an Apple Watch Series 7 rests on a table and displays screens of all apps.

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Apple Watch Series 7 offers the same swimming features as the older Apple Watch models, which is pretty cool. Now though, you can see your stats on a bigger, more durable screen. With an always-on-display display, you can check your progress on the Apple Watch while in the pool, and like any other device on this list, it can determine which stroke you’re swimming.

Once the touchscreen is reactivated on the ground, you can go through a variety of metrics, including distance, speed, and lap length. With Apple’s rich third-party app library, you can download additional tools for in-depth analysis. The Apple Watch will automatically lock your screen with water whenever you start a swim workout. As you close the towel, you can turn on the digital crown to unlock your device and remove potentially harmful drips that can be long lasting.

Professional

  • Large retina display
  • Durable, premium design
  • Accurate GPS tracking
  • Great software and app support

Cons

  • Battery life is not very good
  • There is no third party clock face
  • Slip tracking still seems like a concern
  • Glamorous heart rate tracking

Check out our full review to learn more about the Apple Watch Series 7.

Garmin Epix (Gen 2): A featured Garmin ready for open water

The Garmin Epix (Gen 2) is a high-end alternative for swimmers looking for lots of features.

Garmin’s Epix (Gen 2) is a true high-end device. Most simply, it’s a Phoenix 7 with a touchscreen AMOLED display instead of a MIP display. It has all the latest and greatest features available on the Fenix ​​7 line, including the Friend Connect IQ on the device, as well as more activity modes than you can possibly dig into. If you can afford it, Garmin offers the best smartwatch for swimming.

In a pool (or lake or ocean), Epix Gen 2 will track a variety of advanced metrics, including length, interval, stroke count, sulf score, and more. It will also calculate the speed of your critical swimming or the speed you can maintain without burning yourself. Also, you can record underwater heart rate data directly on the device, or attach it to a chest strap for more accurate data.

Garmin Apex

Garmin Apex

Fenix ​​7, but with a touchscreen AMOLED display

Garmin usually saves its AMOLED-touting watch for mid-range, but not anymore. The Garmin Apex is a full-fledged outdoor and fitness watch with a bright AMOLED touchscreen and 16 days of battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Best Wear OS Smartwatch for Swimming

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 on a leather surface displays the beautiful character of the watch face.

Caitlin Simino / Android Authority

Another good-to-go option for pool or open water is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. Currently the only device powered by Wear OS 3, it remains the best smartwatch for Android users. It is a powerful fitness companion with helpful health tracking tools and many smartwatch features. It also comes in multiple sizes, so has a perfect fit for most wrists.

When you tick off laps, the device’s AMOLED display in the Samsung Health app shows metrics including distance, stroke, lap time, and sulf. Like the Apple Watch, you can also download third-party swimming-centric apps if you want more insight.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm, LTE)

Professional

  • Exquisite, durable design
  • Multiple size options
  • Wear OS 3 is good everywhere
  • Larger models have decent battery life
  • Advanced heart rate sensor
  • Useful body composition matrix

Cons

  • No hard software update promise from Google
  • Google Assistant does not support
  • Slow, slow charging
  • Poor GPS performance
  • Sleep tracking requires tweaking
  • Smaller models have a shorter battery life

Check out our full review to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

Fitbit Versa 3: The best Fitbit smartwatch for swimming

A Fitbit Versa 3 rests on a gray fabric background.

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Fitbit Versa 3

Versa 3 will not provide the most detailed experience of swimmers, but if you are committed to the Fitbit brand, this is our top pick. Once you start swimming, you can directly see the length of the lap, the total distance, and the duration of the workout on your device. If you’re still breaking your first swimming cap, this is probably the way you’ll be interested. Outside of the pool, you can tap on features like voice assistant and phone call support.

As always, the Fitbit Sense is technically the best smartwatch the Fitbit offers, but we don’t think its extra health sensors are worth the extra cash. More importantly, tracking will be the same for both smartwatches when it comes to swimming.

Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatch

Fitbit Versa 3

One of the best smartwatches for most Android users

If you are looking for the best smartwatch at a pretty good price, you are probably looking for Fitbit Versa 3. Fitbit’s cheap flagship smartwatch sports standalone GPS, an accurate heart rate sensor and lots of nice smartwatch features.

Professional

  • Pretty accurate health tracking
  • Built-in GPS
  • Google Assistant and Alexa support
  • Speaker with phone call support
  • Good price

Cons

  • Very small app library
  • Onboard music is limited to two services
  • The capacitive button is not ideal
  • Proprietary charging cable

Check out our full review to learn more about the Fitbit Versa 3.

Honorable mention

You can buy it for our list of the best smartwatches for swimming, but it is only a fraction of what is there. We would like to make a respectable mention of the following products:

  • Apple Watch SE: The Apple Watch SE lacks some of the advanced health sensors of the Series 7, but it’s another great option for budget iOS users.
  • Amazfit GTR 3 Pro: Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is another budget pick from the same manufacturers as the Xiaomi Mi Band 6. It offers a large, bright display and long battery life.

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