The best swim watches 2020: what you should wear to the pool

Fitness trackers and smartwatches may now be everyday items, but there are very few dedicated swim trackers on the market. That said, tracking your swim is alive and well in wearables in 2020 — you just need to know where to look for it.

While there aren't many trackers that only record swim activities, swim tracking is built into activity feeds and smartwatches are one of its many features. In fact, this is the case for all products from this list.

Everyone will record their bathing data, but different designs, and prices down, how much more you can make products and what material it is made of. A MOOB now very cheap, it doesn't even have a screen, but once you add one the price creeps up.

Which swim tracker is best for you depends on your budget and needs. IN Apple Watch 5 is our current favorite, but swim tracking is just one of the few things it does very well - hence the price.

If you have an Android phone, then nothing but Apple Watch will do for you. Prices range from £50 / $60 / AU$79 to £450 / $500 / AU$700, so there is a swim tracker that suits everyone.

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Best swim watch: Apple Watch 5

With each generation, Apple Watch will become a more serious fitness device. Along with updated heart rate skills, the combination of Apple Watch 5 and watchOS 6 has improved SMARTS swimming.

Built for pool and open water swimming like the Apple Watch 4, the Watch 5 has automatic stroke detection, automatic dialing, and a detailed split that you can filter by 25m, 50m, and 100m in the workout app.

You can also use third party swim tracking apps if you feel like you're not getting enough from Apple. We love the fact that it has a handy little feature for getting water out of the speakers, just turn on the digital crown and deliver a blast of sound.

In addition, always on the display, too, pleases. It's a big swim, all-rounder, but we think there are better options for the more serious swimmers who hit the pool on a daily basis.

Read completely Apple watch 5 comment.

Samsung Galaxy Watch

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is the perfect all-round fitness tracker and swimming is one of the activities it can track thanks to the fact that it is water sealed and has a 5 ATM rating.

You can customize the information on the swim tracking screen, including your goals, what data you want to display, how you swim, pool length (25m by default) and manual frequency.

Like many similar smartwatches, it disables touch sensitivity, so you have to use the buttons on the side to control it like your swim. And like the Apple Watch 4, you can press a button to activate the touchscreen and a bit of sound to clear the speaker.

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Once you've completed your swim data in sufficient detail, you can see your fastest length, duration, calories, pace, heart rate and more, all assuming you've already set your pool length right.

This may not be as significant as some trackers built solely for swim tracking, but for casual swimmers this is a good option.

Read the full samsung galaxy watch review.

Like many of the devices on this list, MOOB now does a lot more than just keep track of your workout pool.

The small, super lightweight tracker fits into a comfortable soft, silicone strap that you wear on your wrist and uses built-in sensors to track laps, distance, time, speed, swim style and count stroke.

We really liked that MOOB breaks the data session down to individual segments, where you can see how many strokes you pulled, how long it took, the time to turn, the breaks or pauses you took, and what kind of swimming style.

With attention to detail like this, MOVE will now come close to being one of the most powerful products on the list, however there are some significant drawbacks.

First, you must start a session from your phone. In most cases, this means doing it in locker rooms, where you can leave your smartphone safe and dry back in your locker.

Often we were left wondering if it was actually tracking at all, but that aside the results are amazing for the price.

Read full MOOB now comment

Best swim watch: Fitbit Versa 2

Producer Versa 2 is full of fitness features and allows you to track them in a very intuitive and easy way.

Thanks to its 5ATM waterproofing, the Versa 2 can track your swim and displays the length and meters you have swum together.

It accurately tracks pool laps, recognizing in real time when you reach the other side and kick off to start your next lap.

What really came as a surprise to us was that the Versa 2 was able to offer clear and concise information on the screen from the brightly lit display underwater.

While the data collected from our swims wasn't very detailed, it provided more than enough data for regular swimmers, and you can dig even deeper by opening the Fitbit app. Just be aware there is no GPS, so you may not be able to track your route if out on the open water for swimming.

Read full bracelet vice versa 2 comment.

This triathlon watch combines a dedicated pool of smarts with overall training and performance features that make it the best choice for competitive swim-bike-run athletes.

The watch comes with built-in activity profiles for pool and open water swimming, and you can also create your own workouts or download sessions via Garmin Connect - plus check your SWOLF score - AKA swim efficiency.

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In water, Forerunner 935 automatically detects stroke type as well as length, distance, pace, and counting progress. There are also time and distance alerts, handy countdown, start, extended rest timers and open water swim metrics.

One thing we really liked, mostly because other trackers don't offer, was the ability to manually enter the drill. This means that you can also store all the hard work that you do is not based only on impact, such as impact and single-handle drills.

Once your sessions are done, the training state characterization will help you determine if you're underloading or overdoing it with an assessment of your recent exercise history and performance metrics, making this a fantastic tool for monitoring training, performance and recovery.

No wrist-based heart rate in the water, but you can pair the Forerunner 935 with an HRM-three heart rate monitor or an in-swim heart rate monitor for findings.

Reading hands on Garmin Old Testament 935 comment

If you're only using swimming as part of a general fitness regimen by knocking out a few lengths each visit, then the Ionis bracelet has a simple, easy to use interface and the length, distance and pace tracking might be more than enough for your tracking needs.

Like many well-rounded fitness trackers there is no way to input the drill – so barrel length doesn't register, for example – and since there is no stroke detection, changing the stroke in the middle of the length can cause data to be logged incorrectly.

The swim tracking feature is self-explanatory; select exercises from the app, swipe to swim (yes, swiping worked surprisingly well in the water) and go.

There is a settings button where you can enter the length of the pool to track, and what the screen stays off if you set an alarm - shows you the distance, number of laps and time every 100m for example - this is beneficial as the screen flashes by entering your eye line when you're doing your best Phelps impression can be distracting.

You can also set the tracker to automatically recognize various exercises, including swimming, so if you remember to hit go you've got it right. Tracking itself, however, is where Ionic got into trouble. Despite inputting a pool length of 25m, we received readings from 8 100m long and 22 450m long instead of 550m.

Fitbit say some inaccuracies can come from short swims, stopping to rest in the middle of the pool and stopping for more than 60 seconds at the end in length, so they recommend you should be able to swim between 6-12 lengths without stopping to track your swims – so it's probably not suitable for those just starting out.

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