Many smartwatches double as fitness trackers. If you swim as a part of your fitness program or are a competitive swimmer, the best smartwatch for swimming will help you track and improve your performance. Here is what you need to know about choosing a smartwatch for swimming.

Comparison Table

How We Chose Our Ratings

We selected some of the best swim-proof smartwatches and put together some product recommendations and ratings while looking at these features:

  • Water-resistance rating. We looked for smartwatches with a rating of 5 ATM or above so you can safely use them in a swimming pool.
  • Track your swimming performance. We gave higher ratings to the wearables that deliver precise metrics that will help you improve your performance as a swimmer.
  • Controls. Touchscreens aren’t ideal in the water, which is why we gave higher ratings to the wearables that use buttons or bezel controls.
  • Range of features. Some smartwatches are more versatile than others. We selected a few smartwatches suitable for daily use besides swimming.
  • Durability. We chose wearables with a sturdy design, good reviews, and no known issues when using the product while swimming.

Top Seven Best Smartwatches For Swimming

Here are a few wearables to consider if you are looking for a swimming tracker.

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS, 40mm) - Space Gray Aluminium Case with...
  • GPS
  • Over 30% larger display
  • Electrical and optical heart sensors

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is a versatile wearable that tracks basic swimming metrics. The watch is interesting because of the range of features available once you sync it with an iPhone.

There is a good selection of models and customization features. You can choose between two sizes for the display of the watch.

The large and colorful display makes it easy to keep an eye on your metrics during a workout. There is a built-in heart sensor and the accelerometer of the smartwatch is more performing compared to previous models.

The smartwatch has a water-resistant rating of 5ATM. You can choose from different fitness modes, including swimming.

You will have to manually enter the distance of the lengths you are swimming so the watch can track laps, distance, and calories burned. 

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series

Garmin fēnix 5 Plus, Premium Multisport GPS Smartwatch, Features...
  • Premium multi sport GPS smartwatch that estimates heart rate at the wrist and includes color TOPO maps featuring trend...
  • Fit for adventure with rugged design that features stainless steel or diamond like carbon (DLC) Titanium bezel, buttons...
  • Easily store and play up to 500 songs on your watch, and connect with Bluetooth headphones (sold separately) for phone...

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

This smartwatch is probably the best smartwatch for swimming and an overall great fitness tracker. It features a rugged design and a battery that can last for up to 12 days.

We like the heart rate monitor function, the training history, and the detailed running dynamics. You can sync the watch with a phone to listen to music and access more features, but there are enough built-in features to make the watch interesting as a standalone fitness tracker.

The watch has a 10ATM water-resistant rating. You can choose between different swim profiles, including pool swimming, open water swimming, and a swimming/running mode.

The watch will display your SWOLF number along with metrics for your distance, pace, stroke count, and more. It can also detect your stroke type.

You can customize your activity profile, set goals, and program a race to challenge yourself.

Samsung Gear Sport

Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch (Bluetooth), Black, SM-R600NZKAXAR –...
  • Gear Sport is swim ready and water resistant up to 50 meters/5ATM
  • Get accurate, all day fitness tracking, easy calorie entry and personal coaching
  • With Samsung Pay NFC compatibility, easily make a payment from your wrist

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Samsung Gear Sport is a swimming tracker with a rating of 5ATM. The buttons make it easy to navigate the different menus of the watch when you are in the water.

The offline Spotify playback feature makes this watch stands out. You can download your favorite tracks into the watch and listen to them when you aren’t connected.

You can choose between three apps to track your swimming sessions. The Samsung Health app delivers basic swimming metrics and allows you to track other activities.

If you will use the watch for swimming only, it’s best to download the Speedo or apps which will give you access to more metrics. The app is a great way to track progress and find challenges.

Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic GPS Smart Watch, Charcoal/Smoke Gray, One Size (S & L...
  • Start dynamic personalized workouts on your wrist with step by step coaching. Syncing range: Up to 30 feet. Certain...
  • Store and play 300 plus songs, plus download playlists from Pandora. If the band sizes are small,it fits wrist of...
  • Use built in GPS/GLONASS to track pace, distance & routes and get Pure Pulse continuous heart rate tracking & real time...

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Fitbit Ionic is a great multi-sport tracker with a 5ATM rating. You can receive push notifications from your phone or calendar to make sure you don’t miss anything important during your workouts.

The wearable can track all-day activity and sync this data with a computer, iPhone, Android device, or Windows phone.

The Fitbit app is a nice touch. This app gives you the possibility to record your workouts, keep track of what you eat, and share your progress with friends and family.

The swim tracking feature requires you to set the pool length manually. The wearable will capture swim lengths, distance, pace, and duration.

There is an interesting selection of wristbands for the Fitbit ionic, and the music streaming features are a plus.

Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 Smart Outdoor Watch

Casio Men's "Pro Trek" Outdoor GPS Resin Sports Watch, Color: Black &...
  • Wear OS by Google, GPS, 5 Bar WR, Mil-Standard 810 G Durability, 50M Water Resistant
  • Digital compass, Altimeter, Barometer, Activity Tracker, Dual Layer LCD Structure, Original Watch Face, Casio Moment...
  • Quartz Movement

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

The Casio Pro Tek is a rugged outdoor smartwatch. It is compatible with Android devices and iPhones and stands out thanks to its built-in GPS, compass, and map display features.

You can use this smartwatch as a swimming tracker thanks to the MySwimPro app. This app will record your strokes, lap time, and distance.

The smartwatch will keep track of your records, and you can use it to track fitness metrics for a wide range of activities.

The great thing about the Casio Pro Tek is that you can access all these fitness tracking features without syncing it with a phone.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

Garmin Vívoactive 3 Music, GPS Smartwatch with Music Storage and...
  • GPS smartwatch with music storage and playback
  • Easily download up to 500 songs on your watch, and connect with headphones enabled with Bluetooth technology (sold...
  • Garmin Pay contactless payment solution (available for supported cards from participating banks) lets you make...

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music can store up to 500 songs. This watch is a performing fitness tracker that will also monitor your stress levels throughout the day.

There are 15 different sports app with some preloaded workouts. The pool swim mode will track swim intervals, lengths, and display different metrics about your stroke, including your SWOLF score.

We recommend this smartwatch if you want a versatile fitness tracker with advanced swimming metrics. The seven-day battery life is a plus.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 

Samsung Galaxy Watch (46mm) Silver (Bluetooth), SM-R800 –...
  • Live a stronger, smarter life with Galaxy Watch at your wrist. Rest well and stay active with built-in health tracking...
  • Go nonstop for days on a single charge. The wireless charger lets you power up without slowing down. (Average expected...
  • Available in two sizes and three colors, the Galaxy Watch offers stylish watch faces so realistic they hardly look...

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch allows you to track your workouts via the Samsung Health App. The watch features different exercise modes.

Once you select an exercise mode, you can set some goals and customize your workout screen. The smartwatch has a water-resistant rating of 5ATM and will display metrics such as intervals, lengths, and pace when you activate the swim mode.

The touch-screen display is easy to navigate and you can turn on the water lock mode to avoid accidentally tapping on the touch screen when you swim. The watch is compatible with iOS and Android, and comes with a wireless charging station.

How To Find A Great Smartwatch For Swimming

Here is what you need to know about water-resistance ratings and the features you should look for when choosing a smartwatch.

Water-Resistance Ratings

Smart watch under water

Image source: Amazon

The water-resistance of a smartwatch is the most important feature to look at if you want to wear it while swimming. Even though most wearables are waterproof, most smartwatches are designed to withstand brief exposure to water.

The ATM rating of a smartwatch indicates how well it resists exposure to water. A rating of 3 ATM indicates that the wearable can be exposed to water for a few seconds, for instance, if you accidentally drop the device in a puddle.

A rating of 5ATM means the device can withstand exposure to water and the equivalent of pressure at 50 meters underwater. This is the minimum rating you should look for if you will wear the smartwatch while swimming.

You can find smartwatches with a higher ATM rating. These wearables are an interesting option if you plan on diving while using the smartwatch.

Some manufacturers use another set of standards to indicate that their products are waterproof. The IP68 standard indicates that a wearable can be safely submerged in 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes at a time.

The IP68 standard isn’t sufficient for a swimming tracker, but keep in mind that some manufacturers will use this rating even though their products exceeds the IP68 standards.

You should review specs for different products to find out if you can safely use the smartwatch when swimming. Look for a product that has been designed as a swimming tracker and find out which wearables swimmers recommend.

You should also look for the warranty of the smartwatch you are interested in. If the warranty excludes damage caused by water, this indicates that the manufacturer isn’t confident about the water resistance of their product.

Compatibility With Your Phone

Man with smart watch and mobile phone

Image source: Unsplash

Most smartwatches can connect to an iPhone or Android phone. However, the range of features available will vary in function of the phone you sync with the watch.

The Apple Watch will have a lot more features when synced with an iPhone while some products give you access to more apps when paired with a recent Android device.

You can typically use swimming and fitness tracking features without syncing your smartwatch with a phone, but syncing your data to a fitness tracking app you use on your phone could be useful.

Being able to sync your watch with your phone also means you should be able to stream music to your watch. Music streaming is an interesting feature since you can find waterproof headphones to listen to music while you swim.

Swimming Metrics


Image source: Unsplash

Smartwatches with a swimming tracking mode typically track these different metrics. Keep in mind that some wearables are more advanced than others.

You need to determine which metrics will be useful to improve your swimming. If you have recently started swimming to be more active, tracking time, pace, and stroke count might be sufficient.

If you are training for competitions, look for these different metrics:

  • Your SWOLF number is calculated based on your time and your number of strokes. It indicates how effective your stroke is.
  • Most trackers will show your pace, including your best and average pace.
  • Wearables typically have a built-in timer function. Make sure there is an easy way to pause it.
  • Some swimming trackers are more advanced and will show your moving time, and how much time you spent on each length.
  • Look for a tracker that includes intervals. Programming intervals is a convenient feature, but some smartwatches will also measure time for specific lengths.
  • Your stroke count gives you an idea of how much effort you put into your swimming session. Look for metrics such as total stroke count, stroke rate per minute, average stroke per length, and your maximum stroke rate.
  • The number of calories burned can be interesting but isn’t necessary.

Look for a tracker that can differentiate between different stroke types if you swim competitively. You will be able to see metrics for your front crawl, breaststroke, butterfly, and backstroke without having to keep track of your intervals.

Other Features To Look For

Man showing a smart watch

Image source: Unsplash

Pay attention to the battery life of the smartwatch you are interested in. Most wearables have a battery that can last for days.

Being able to set some goals and program your workouts can be an interesting feature if you want to do more than just track your swimming metrics.

Compare fitness tracking features if you work out besides swimming practices. A built-GPS and heart rate monitor can be useful if you enjoy running.

Pay attention to the display size and brightness. A large and colorful display will come in handy to check your progress when you swim.

Even though you can find a wide range of customizable wristbands for fitness trackers, it might be best to choose a product with a silicone band since you will use it at the pool on a regular basis.

You should also look for a smartwatch that will display notifications and alerts when you receive calls or texts. This feature is a convenient way to stay connected when you’re in the water.

The best smartwatch for swimming depends on whether or not you train to swim competitively. Make sure you choose a wearable with a rating of 5 ATM or more and take the time to compare tracking features and metrics.

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