Check out our list of the 5 leading waterproof smartwatches that money can buy in 2020. Find out which one we recommend over all others.
So you are increasing your seriousness levels in terms of your fitness and you now want a waterproof smartwatch that can help you to track your performance, heart rate, and numerous other things such as your speed, distance, and calories burned – so what are your options?
Well, you have plenty and this is what will make your final decision so difficult to reach.
In the market today you will find offerings from Apple, Samsung, Garmin, TomTom, Fitbit, and many others but which of them will be the best fit for you?
Many of them are great while others are not quite as good as what you might expect, so fortunately for you, we have done our own extensive testing to bring you the five that we feel you should look at over any others right now.
With one of the following water-resistant smartwatches, you will be able to run, cycle, swim, and workout with some great tracking apps that will let you keep an eye on how well you are doing.
SO what are you waiting for? Jump in and read all about the waterproof smartwatches that we recommend over all the others.
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|1. Garmin Vívoactive 3
|2. Fitbit Versa Smart Watch
|3. TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music
|4. Samsung Galaxy Watch
|5. Garmin Forerunner 235
1. Garmin Vívoactive 3 – Waterproof to 50 meters * Our Top Pick *
The Garmin vívoactive 3 is the first of the water resistant smartwatches that we will be reviewing and if you are a fitness fanatic, we probably couldn’t have chosen a better one to kick things off with.
Garmin is a leading brand of fitness trackers and while they usually aim each of their products at particular purposes, this particular model is more of a versatile all-rounder.
The Vívoactive 3 comes with all of the fitness-related features that you would come to expect from Garmin who in most peoples eyes are the developers of some of the best fitness trackers out there.
It has built-in GPS and will monitor your heart rate, stress levels, mileage covered, pace, and various other statistics dependent on which of the many pre-set workouts you have chosen to track.
You can even create your own custom workouts using the Garmin Connect app which is also a great little feature. Furthermore, yet another cool feature is the fact that the vívoactive 3 will compare your data with that of other users that have used the preset workouts. You can literally compare your times against other runners your age who took the same route as you.
Out of the box, you will notice how stylish the watch looks and it is always good to have a first impression. It uses an analog-style face as default which we think looks great but you can, of course, change the face if you like by going to the Garmin Connect app and downloading others.
As for ease of use, we found the smartwatch to be fairly easy to operate but it will take a little getting used to just like any other smartwatch on the market.
One of the key selling points of the vívoactive is definitely the contactless payment feature that it has. With this, you can connect it to your credit and debit cards and make payments at stores or restaurants (anywhere that accepts mobile payments) by simply holding your watch next to a payment terminal.
These types of payments are not too widespread at the moment but they are certainly growing in popularity and this feature really makes paying so much faster and more convenient.
As for the apps that can be downloaded, there are more than 1,600 of them on their app store but we do have to warn you that these are pretty much all related to fitness and not much for anything else. For that reason, this is the kind of smartwatch that you should be aiming to get if fitness is your core interest.
If we had to pick out a downside, it would certainly be that there is no internal storage space for you to put any music. This is quite disappointing and will mean that you will have to continue using your smartphone when working out if you do want some tunes in your ears.
If the waterproof aspect is a major reason for purchasing, the vívoactive 3 does have an ATM rating of 5 which means it is absolutely fine for swimming at a depth of 50 meters.
There’s also a preloaded swimming app to track your swimming statistics. This makes this model one of the very best smartwatches for swimming.
- Advanced workout tracking
- Contactless payments
- 5 ATM waterproof (50 meters)
- No onboard storage for music
The Final Verdict
If you are after a waterproof smart watch that has accurate and extensive fitness tracking features and apps, then you are not going to get much better than the Vívoactive 3.
On the other hand, if you wanted something that offers up a bit more variety in terms of the apps that it has and wanted to use it for other things aside from just fitness, you might find something a bit more suited to you among our other reviews.
2. Fitbit Versa Smart Watch – Waterproof to 50 meters
Next up in our reviews is the Fitbit Versa Smart Watch, another that can be considered right near the top when considering which is the best waterproof smart watch. As the cheapest on our list, this is also going to be a popular choice for those of you that are looking for something that offers the best value for money.
To put it bluntly, for the money you are paying, you are getting a great smartwatch. The Fitbit Versa smartwatch is waterproof up to a depth of 50-meters, it has 15 different exercise presets, it can track your activity and sleep on a 24/7 basis, and you can also store up to 300 songs to listen to and download from a catalog of more than 500 useful apps.
When you look and wear the Fitbit Versa for the first time, you will notice how slim and light it is compared to many of its competitors. We actually like this and the design of the watch as well is something that will appeal to many. Its 38.6mm display is up there with most other smartwatches and is a great compromise between being big enough to improve functionality but not too big to look ugly.
A little disappointing is the fact that there is no inbuilt GPS and thus it has to be connected to a smartphone for many of the fitness tracking features to work. Many people prefer to bring just one device with them when jogging or swimming, so this seems a little counterproductive. This waterproof smartwatch for Android and iOS smartphones, once, connected, will then be able to give you excellent fitness tracking features.
While that is the main downside to the FitBit Versa, there are so many other good sides. You can store up to 300 songs on the water-resistant smartwatch, something that you cannot do on the more expensive Garmin vívoactive 3 we reviewed previously.
Additionally, another good little touch is the female health tracking features it has. Women can track their period cycles, symptoms, and learn at which times they are going to be at their most fertile.
As for the app store, you might not have as vast a range of apps to choose from compared to most other smartwatches but you still do get a decent 500 or so to choose from. The good part about these apps is that they are not all fitness-related so you can enjoy apps that have been designed for other purposes.
- More than 15 exercise modes
- Waterproof up to 50 meters
- Female-health tracking
- No-inbuilt GPS
The Final Verdict
All in all the FitBit Versa is a great waterproof wrist piece for the price. You can enjoy up to four days of battery life when being used, an ATM rating of 5 which means you can go swimming with it, store music, and of course, take advantage of the great fitness tracking features that it has.
3. TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music – Waterproof to 40 meters
Most people that like to work out regularly will be quick to tell you that music is the perfect companion when putting in some hard yards. This is why so many water-resistant smart watches now give you the ability to listen to music as well as the GPS fitness tracking and features they are famed for.
The TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music is another that offers up this combination and thus you can enjoy 3GB storage space for your favorite tunes, a built-in GPS, fitness tracking features such as a running watch, activity tracker, inbuilt heart monitor, and 50 preset workouts to choose from.
Another nice little touch is the Bluetooth headphones that come with the device as standard while it is also waterproof up to a rating of 5 ATM which makes this one of the best smartwatches for swimming.
It will even track your laps and strokes as you swim in the same way that it will track your activity when performing other exercises or workouts. Those headphones are actually pretty good too and not some that look cheaply made. They wrap around the back of your head and have impressive sound quality. Pairing them only takes 10-seconds as well.
As for how it looks, we found it to be a little bulky compared to the others on our list but looks for many of you will not be a big priority as long as it offers the performance and functionality that you expect. And it really does, as it will help you to improve your fitness age, allow you to create personalized workouts, will last up to 3-weeks on its battery when not in GPS mode, and will make sure you never get lost with its route exploration feature.
Activity tracking is one of the major reasons for buying a smartwatch and this will track your activity on a 24/7 basis. The distances you have traveled, the calories you have burned, the pace you are moving at, and everything you will need is included. Anything you will do will be recorded so that you can aim for more on your next day!
- Built-in heart rate monitor
- Comes with Bluetooth headphones
- Stores up to 500 songs
- A little bulky compared to competitors
The Final Verdict
We really like the TomTom Sparks 3 Cardio + Music simply because out of the three water-resistant smartwatches we have reviewed so far, it is the only one that will allow you to use both GPS and listen to music without bringing your smartphone with you.
You now have everything you need in one place and can enjoy your workouts without the need of bringing another device with you.
4. Samsung Galaxy Watch – Waterproof to 50 meters
One of the more expensive watches on our list is the Samsung Galaxy Watch, another excellent option if you are looking to track your activity and sleep on a daily basis. This watch is waterproof enough to allow you to swim at depths up to 50 meters, has 4GB internal storage and can be paired with any iOS or Android smartphone.
We definitely think that the Samsung Watch is the best looking on our list as it has gone for that classic analog-style that we love. The color scheme is black and silver on the frame and band and while we think most of you will agree with us and stick with the analog design, this can, of course, be changed from within too many other different designs.
As for the fitness features, this smartwatch will allow you to track all of your activity, workouts, and exercise via its GPS-backed apps. You can go running, swimming, or lift some weights and have stats such as your pace, calories burned, speed, and everything else tracked. A heart rate monitor will also allow you to make sure you are really pushing your body to the extremes required to get your fitness levels up. A sleep-tracker will also monitor how long and well you sleep each night too.
Another feature that makes this smartwatch stand out is the fact that it can be charged wirelessly while you’re wearing it and that it will last for days without even needing a charge in the first place.
Being Samsung you can expect top-quality from anything you buy from them but usually at a fairly premium price. The Galaxy Watch is no different in either regard so if you want only the best and are willing to pay for it, this is definitely a smartwatch that you should consider buying. You are even able to choose from two different sizes and three different colors for the ultimate in customization!
- Wireless charging
- Accurate activity and sleep-tracking
- 4GB internal storage for music
- A little expensive
The Final Verdict
Anything from Samsung will automatically come with a cutting-edge image and this is exactly what you get from the Galaxy watch.
Specs-wise this outperforms most other smartwatches and the quality of build in terms of being both scratch and water-resistant make this an excellent choice if you are after a top of the watch.
It may be a little on the expensive side for most and if you fall into that category, you might want to take a closer look at some of the other options we have on our list of recommendations.
Recommended Reading: Don’t miss our massive guide to the leading women’s smartwatches next!
5. Garmin Forerunner 235 – Waterproof to 50 meters
Last but certainly not least is the Garmin Forerunner 235, our second recommendation from the leading smartwatch manufacturer. This is one of the older models on our list but we still think that it has enough to stand up and be counted against some of the newer models on the market. This is primarily because it is available for a lot less than it was previously which makes it excellent value for money.
Aimed primarily at runners, the Forerunner 235 is known to offer some of the most accurate and informative fitness tracking available. In times gone by a running watch would track your distance and pace but on the 235 you can expect it to track heart rate analysis, stress levels, calories burned and many other important factors. It will also coach you rather than just give you your stats.
There are four presets; run, run indoor, cycle, and ‘other’ which will all track the various things required for each activity. Anything outdoors uses the Forerunners inbuilt GPS which is known for quickly locking onto your location. Automatic syncing with your smartphone is a really handy feature to have too as it seems to be far more reliable than most others.
Due to its age, you will not be able to enjoy touchscreen unfortunately but this is not a major gripe. You control everything through the use of five side buttons and the controls are easy to master once you have used them a few times. Garmin does also provide you with plenty of apps to choose from and the battery life is great as it will last the best part of a week when not using GPS. When GPS is active this is dramatically cut to just 11 hours of usage which is understandable.
- Smart lightweight design
- Excellent health, sleep, and fitness tracking
- Great value for money
- Heavily geared towards fitness
The Final Verdict
The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a great choice for runners of all experience levels and at its current price is definitely one to consider. That said, it does lack due to its age with no WiFi connectivity being something to watch out for. You will have to pair it to a smartphone to be able to access the internet and while this is not ideal, most of you will be bringing your smartphone with you as you run anyway due to wanting to listen to tunes as you workout.
Any of those five waterproof smartwatches will be a good choice in our opinion with each of them all having their strengths and weaknesses. Some will offer better value for money while others will offer better functionality, more accurate health, and fitness tracking, or the ability to listen to music and therefore replace the need for your smartphone.
Choosing between them will come down to what you personally want from your smartwatch and the budget that you have. If we ourselves had to pick out a favorite, it would be the Garmin Vivoactive 3 simply because it is a great all-rounder. It was incredibly close with many of the others though as the TomTom Sparks 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch are also very good smartwatches for swimming.
As for what we would go for it terms of value for money, however, that would have to be the FitBit Versa Smartwatch as it has some excellent features for the low price that it is available for. Its only competition in terms of value is the Garmin Forerunner 235 which is also a great option for runners.
Before you go buying a smartwatch that is safe to use underwater, you will first want to understand the different considerations you will have to think about.
There are some great options out there as our list of recommendations shows but your decision will come down to more than just price, brand and how they look.
Take a look through our buyers guide where we will show you each and every factor you will have to consider before choosing your new waterproof wrist piece.
- Understand the Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant
It might surprise you but there are so many people out there that believe that both waterproof and water-resistant means exactly the same thing. Well, we are here to tell you that this is simply not the case. A water-resistant smartwatch or any other device or product that claims to be water-resistant will be able to handle getting a little bit wet from time to time but it will not be able to handle being submerged underwater or drenched in the stuff.
Water-resistant basically just means that measures have been put into place that will help to prevent water from getting into the electrical components and parts.
That said, even the term ‘waterproof’ is sometimes overused as well. This is because there is a scale of just how waterproof anything is. Some products will be more waterproof when compared to others. This is why it is important to read more about the particular products to see their rating on just how waterproof they actually are. At what depth can they be used safely without being damaged?
- For What Purposes Will You Be Using it?
Touching again on the above, if you want a smartwatch that you can use when swimming, you are going to need one that is guaranteed to be okay at low depths. If you want one when diving, you will then want one that is capable of performing at even deeper depths. Should you just want something to wear when jogging in the rain – then here you will be able to look at something far more basic in terms of its waterproofness.
Even looking past the waterproof aspect, you will find that some smartwatches are aimed at specific types of people. Some will focus on runners, others will be a more ideal choice for those that like listening to music when running for example.
As well as just how waterproof a smartwatch is, you are also going to have to consider many of the other aspects before making a decision. The features, specs, cost, and design are just some of the other areas of a smartwatch that could sway your ultimate decision and we will take a look at those and the many others below.
- Tracking Features
These will be one of the more important considerations for those of you that are very serious about your fitness. While most smartwatches will do very well in terms of recording your speed, distance, and calories burned, others will offer advanced features such as a heart-monitor, GPS-based tracking, and will even record your stress levels and give you coaching advice.
As these are smartwatches, you will be able to download and use various apps on them. Some will be very fitness-orientated while others will be able to provide some uses in everyday life. You will need to know just how many apps your smartwatch will have in its store for you to use and anything less than 500 is a little disappointing.
Does the smartwatch you are looking at have inbuilt GPS? This is important if you want to enjoy location-based tracking when out running or cycling. A smartwatch with this built-in will not require you to bring your cell phone with you – a big plus. GPS will be able to follow your exact route and even help you to get home in any case that you get lost.
- Internal Storage
This is another big considerations, especially if you want to play music from your watch when running. If you do, this could be a key factor because without internal storage, once again you will have to bring your cell phone. You will want a smartwatch that can hold at least a few hundred songs so that you can run along to your favorite heart-pumping tunes.
As with anything in life, the cost will always be a major decision breaker. Some smartwatches can be expensive and while many will warrant this expense, you could find something far cheaper that is a better compromise. We showed you a couple of examples above of smartwatches that are great value for money but we should warn you that other cheaper models may not offer that same value.
While a smartwatch is primarily meant to serve a purpose rather than be great looking, we know that many of you would at least prefer to wear something that is good on the eye. Some will be built from quality materials, others will have better-designed faces, and others will be lightweight and not so clunky. Comfort is also something that is important as it can be annoying if a watch has great functionality but is irritating to wear.
When you go and buy a new cellphone, the specs of each device will rightly be checked out. This is no different for a smartwatch as they use similar technology. Battery life, storage, memory, processor speed and the operating systems they use should all be considered. Does the smartwatch have Bluetooth or Wifi connectivity? Can it be paired with your smartphone? How long will it take to charge and how long will it last on a full battery?
Once you are able to take in all of the above and apply it to each of the smartwatches that you are considering, you will be in a much better place to make an informed decision on which to buy.
There is nothing worse than buying something without doing your own homework and then finding out that it does not offer something that you deemed to be quite important. Take the time to look as closely as possible at any smartwatch before making a purchase and you should avoid that happening.