Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

The best smartwatches for swimming from Samsung, Garmin, and more (May 2023)

Dip into deeper stats with these pool-friendly devices.

Published onMay 3, 2023

Garmin Venu 2 Plus
MSRP: $449.99
Check price
Excellent design and build quality
Features rapid charging technology
Accurate fitness and health tracking
Excellent phone call support
High price tag
Battery life is a bit below average
Inconsistent heart rate sensor
Apple Watch Ultra
MSRP: $799.00
Check price
Bigger, brighter (yet still comfortable) display
Added Action button with tons of potential
Durable build and increased water resistance
Only available in one (very large) size
Underbaked navigation/mapping features
Fitness metrics still not as comprehensive as competitors
Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)
MSRP: $399.00
Check price
Excellent Retina display
Premium design and build
Crash detection
Improved sleep tracking
Plenty of watchOS 9 upgrades
Battery life still has not improved
No third-party watch faces
Garmin Epix (Gen 2)
MSRP: $999.99
Check price
Touchscreen AMOLED display
Connect IQ on device
42-hour battery life in GPS mode
No integrated mic
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
MSRP: $449.99
Check price
Long-lasting battery
New adventures features
Reliable heart rate monitoring
No skin temperature monitoring at launch
GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
No more rotating bezel
Fitbit Versa 3
MSRP: $229.95
Check price

Whether you’re clocking hundreds of yards or just getting your feet wet, there are plenty of devices you can wear while you work. Don’t just count laps; make those laps count with one of the best smartwatches for swimming.

Buying the right smartwatch for swimming your needs

When looking for a smartwatch for swimming, the most obvious trait you’ll need is water resistance. Are you pacing the pool deck or hitting the open water? Not all devices are water-resistant to both, so look at the specs before buying. Beyond that, it’s all about how much information you need or which ecosystem you prefer. Below are our picks spanning a range on both of those fronts.

The best smartwatches for swimming

  • Garmin Venu 2 Plus: Garmin’s most well-rounded smartwatch, the Venu 2 Plus is a pool companion full of details.
  • Apple Watch Series Ultra: For iPhone users, the Apple Watch Ultra is the best smartwatch overall and the company’s best device for swimming.
  • Apple Watch Series 8: If the Ultra is a bit too bulky (or too pricey), the Apple Watch Series 8 is also a great option for iPhone users.
  • Garmin Epix 2: For an even higher water resistance rating than the Venu 2 Plus, this Garmin option is fit for the pool or open water and is packed to the brim with features.
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the best smartwatch for Android users and offers solid swim tracking.
  • Fitbit Versa 3: Fitbit’s best option for swimming, the Versa 3 won’t offer as advanced tracking as other picks. But for fans of the Fitbit companion app, it’s a good water-resistant smartwatch.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus: Garmin’s most well-rounded smartwatch for swimming

A Garmin Venu 2 Plus rests a yellow chair representing Garmin's best smartwatch with plenty of tools for swimming.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the company’s best smartwatch. It packs all the same features as the Garmin Venu 2, including Garmin’s impressive fitness tracking suite, Garmin Pay, and music storage for roughly 650 songs. However, it also adds the ability to make and receive phone calls from your wrist and can access your phone’s voice assistant. During our Venu 2 Plus review, we found its health and fitness tracking suite accurate and useful, especially the Health Snapshot feature.

For swimmers, the device’s bright touchscreen display is perfect for checking in on your real-time stats. Available swim metrics include distance, pace, stroke count, calories, and Swolf, a measurement of your swimming efficiency. 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 offers the same swimming-specific highlights, but you’ll just have to forego a few smartwatch features.

Garmin Venu 2 PlusGarmin Venu 2 Plus
AA Editors Choice
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Excellent display • Fast charging battery • Phone calls
MSRP: $449.99
Phone calls and a voice assistant on your wrist.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus takes all of 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.


  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Rapid charging helps make up for battery woes
  • Clear call quality on the wrist
  • Slow but useful voice assistant support
  • Accurate fitness and health tracking


  • High price tag
  • Battery life shorter than Garmin’s claims
  • The heart rate sensor still has issues

Apple Watch Ultra: The best smartwatch for swimming for iOS users

An Apple Watch Ultra on a user's wrist displays the device's app library.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Apple Watch Ultra offers the same swimming features as older Apple Watch models, which are pretty great. They even include kickboard detection added via watchOS 9. Apple Watches also offer efficiency stats for swimmers with a SWOLF score, and can automatically determine which stroke you’re swimming.

Where the Ultra sets itself apart is its MIL-STD-810H spec titanium body that’s certified with a WR100 water resistance rating and an EN13319 rating for diving. In the Depth app, users will find full use of the device’s depth gauge, capable of reading water pressure up to 40 meters below the surface, plus water temperature readouts. We took the device on multiple free dives during our Apple Watch Ultra review and were not disappoited. Apple even rolled out the Oceanic Plus app which offers even more dive data.

Furthermore, the Ultra is a massive device with plenty of real estate for viewing your stats underwater. The touchscreen reactivates once on land, where you can wade through various metrics, including distance, pace, and lap length. With Apple’s rich third-party app library, you can also download additional tools for deeper analysis. All Apple Watches will also automatically water lock your screen whenever you start a swim workout. As you towel off, you can turn the Digital Crown to unlock your device and expel any potentially damaging drips.

Apple Watch UltraApple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch Ultra
Louder speaker • Large battery • Extensive features
MSRP: $799.00
The rugged smartwatch for the iOS crowd
The Apple Watch Ultra has a large sapphire glass display, with an additional programmable Action button on the side. It also includes a larger and louder speaker for emergencies, LTE connectivity, and a large battery. The Ultra comes with a host of features for athletes, too. Rock climbers, scuba divers, hikers, and other folks who are looking for a smartwatch that can help them track intense workouts and also keep them safe will find a lot to love about the Ultra.


  • Bigger, brighter (yet still comfortable) display
  • Added Action button with tons of potential
  • Durable build and increased water resistance
  • Longest lasting battery on an Apple Watch
  • Advanced health tracking sensors and accurate GPS
  • Showcases full suite of watchOS 9 upgrades


  • Only available in one (very large) size
  • Underbaked navigation/mapping features
  • Fitness metrics still not as comprehensive as competitors

Apple Watch Series 8: A more affordable option from Apple

An Apple Watch Series 8 rests on a rock, displaying the lunar face.
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Lunar Face

If the Apple Watch Ultra is a bit out of the budget, the Apple Watch Series 8 is a fantastic alternative. You won’t find the same durability specs or dive capabilities mentioned above, but you will find the same robust feature set for swim workouts. The lineup also offers a multisport mode for triathlon training sessions.

Outside of the pool, the Series 8 is one of the best smartwatches available, with unmatched app support and seamless iPhone integration. The latest model features a new temperature sensor for deeper insights into sleep tracking as well as more advanced cycle tracking tools. Throughout our Apple Watch Series 8 review, we were impressed by the improvements the company has made to its overnight tracking. It kept up with travel schedules and restless nights, pushing out data that aligned well with other reliable trackers. The Series 8 also adds Crash Detection, an invaluable safety feature.

If you are an iPhone user looking for a capable fitness tracker and a well-rounded smartwatch experience, the Apple Watch Series 8 is it. Battery life on the device remains a sore spot in this generation, however, with a new Low Power Mode, users can stretch use between charges.

Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)
AA Editors Choice
Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)
Excellent Retina display • Premium design and build • Advanced health tracking sensors
MSRP: $399.00
A very powerful device for anyone inside Apple's walled garden
The Apple Watch Series 8 with Wi-Fi connectivity features advanced fitness and health tracking tools, including a temperature sensor to monitor body variations and better insights into women's cycles. The device also features a thick front crystal over its display for improved durability. Additional highlights include Crash Detection, Low Power Mode, and extensive third-party app support.
See price at Amazon
Save $470.00
Apple Watch Series 8 (LTE 45mm)


  • Excellent Retina display
  • Premium design and build
  • Advanced health-tracking sensors
  • Crash detection
  • Improved sleep tracking
  • Plenty of watchOS 9 upgrades


  • Battery life still hasn’t improved
  • No third-party watch faces

Garmin Epix (Gen 2): A feature-packed Garmin ready for open water

Garmin’s Epix (Gen 2) is a truly high-end device. Most simply, it’s a Fenix 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 Connect IQ On Device, plus more activity modes than you can possibly dig into thoroughly. If you can afford it, it’s the best smartwatch for swimming Garmin offers.

In the pool (or lake or sea), the Epix Gen 2 will track various advanced metrics, including length, interval, stroke count, Swolf score, and more. It will also calculate your critical swim speed, or the speed you can maintain without burning yourself out. Plus, you can record underwater heart rate data straight on the device, or pair it to a chest strap for more accurate data.

Compared the Venu 2 Plus, above, the Epix 2 doesn’t offer many smartwatch features like voice calling. However, if you’re after the best fitness data you can get, Garmin watches are most often the right answer.

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)Garmin Epix (Gen 2)
Garmin Epix (Gen 2)
Touchscreen AMOLED display • Connect IQ on device • 42-hour battery life in GPS mode
MSRP: $999.99
A high-end Garmin watch with an AMOLED display
The Garmin Epix 2 features all the best of Garmin's ecosystem, including multi-band GPS, detailed health and fitness tracking, real-time stamina, visual race predictor, Up Ahead, and Connect IQ compatibility. It also adds a responsive, 1.3-inch AMOLED panel. The Epix comes in two models: a stainless steel edition and a titanium model with a durable, Sapphire display.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: The best Wear OS smartwatch for swimming

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro displays a user's basic stats including step count, sleep data, heart rate, and stress.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Another good-to-go option for the pool or open water is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. As one of the top watches currently running Wear OS 3, it’s also our pick for the best smartwatch for Android users. We were impressed by the line’s improved battery life and heart rate tracking during our Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review, and genuinely love the look of the device on wrist as well.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro offers a premium build including IP68 and 5ATM ratings for water and pressure resistance, as well as a MIL-STD-810G durability rating. It also features a classy D-buckle clasp for an elevated look. Below the hood, users will find accurate health and fitness tracking, built-in GPS, access to the Google Play Store, and much more.

While you tick off laps, the device’s AMOLED display will show metrics including distance, strokes, lap time, and Swolf in the Samsung Health app. Like the Apple Watch, you can also download swim-centric third-party apps if you want even deeper insights. Out of the pool, you’ll find one of the most well-rounded smartwatch feature sets for Wear OS users available.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 ProSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
AA Editors Choice
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Up to 2 days battery life • Advanced sleep tracker • Fast Charging
MSRP: $449.99
Samsung's first adventure watch is a winner
Building on the Galaxy Watch 5's base with a much hardier body, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also features multiple health and fitness tracking tools, a bigger battery, and a better navigation system. All these improvements make for a great all-round smartwatch whether you're in the boardroom or out on the trail.


  • Durable, premium build, and D-buckle clasp
  • Improved battery life and faster charging
  • New hiking and navigation features
  • Reliable heart rate monitoring
  • Solid GPS accuracy
  • Rich software and app support


  • No skin temperature monitoring at launch
  • No more rotating bezel
  • GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
  • Some features exclusive to Samsung ecosystem
  • Expensive

Fitbit Versa 3: The best Fitbit smartwatch for swimming

A Fitbit Versa 3 rests on a gray fabric background.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

The Versa 3 won’t offer swimmers the most detailed experience, but it’s our top pick if you’re committed to the Fitbit brand. While a newer Versa 4 is now available, the latest generation drops a number of features that we feel make the line well-rounded. For example, you won’t find third-party app support on the new model. With that in mind, we recommend sticking with the Versa 3 for now. Fitbit also continues to remove features from its smartwatch lineup (probably to redirect shoppers towards the Google Pixel Watch), so we don’t necessarily highly recommend a Versa 3 either. It’s simply the best option if you specificaally want a Fitbit smartwatch.

All that said, we found plenty to like during our Fitbit Versa 3 review. The watch is attractive and comfortable with a decent display, and key smartwatch features. Assistant support and phone call support are two major strengths of the watch, as well as built-in GPS for workout tracking. If that workout happens to be swimming, you can view lap lengths, total distance, and workout duration right on your device. If you’re still breaking in your first swim cap, that’s probably all you’ll be interested in anyway. For dedicated swimmers looking for deeper insights, we recommend looking elsewhere on this list.

As always, the Sense line is technically the best Fitbit has to offer, but we don’t think its extra health sensors are worth the extra cash. More importantly, tracking will be the same on both smartwatches as far as swimming is concerned. If you opt for a more expensive device, we recommend the Fitbit Sense over the newer Sense 2. Like the Versa 4, the newest sense doesn’t offer as much value as its predecessor.

Fitbit Versa 3Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3
Decent battery life • Accurate health tracking • Built-in GPS
MSRP: $229.95
The best value Fitbit smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 3 carries all the smart features you could want on a mid-range smartwatch, including Google Assistant support, voice replies, and reliable health tracking. It's effectively a Fitbit Sense without the pricier specialized sensors.


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


  • Very small app library
  • Onboard music limited to two services
  • The capacitive button isn’t ideal
  • Proprietary charging cable


If you own a water resistant device with workout tracking for swimming, then absolutely. Swimming is great exercise with significant activity stats that are worth recording.

The Apple Watch is the better smartwatch, but Garmin offers dedicated fitness trackers with more focused tools if you want a watch specifically for swimming.

In our experience, Fitbit trackers will record certain workout stats fairly accurately, such as calories and heart rate. However, Fitbit’s recorded distances and lap counts do not always align with our totals on other devices.