Check out our list of the 5 leading waterproof smartwatches that money can buy in 2021. 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 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 work out 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.
See Related Topic: Best Smartwatches for Nurses in 2020
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Table of Contents
Waterproof Smart Watch Comparison Table
|1. Fitbit Versa Smart Watch||Check Price|
|2. Amazfit T-Rex Pro Smartwatch||Check Price|
|3. Willful Smart Watch for Android Phones and iOS||Check Price|
|4. Garmin Forerunner 235||Check Price|
|5. Apple Watch Series 6||Check Price|
1. Fitbit Versa Smart Watch – Waterproof to 50 meters * Our Top Pick *
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.
2. Amazfit T-Rex Pro Smartwatch
Featuring a design like the rugged Timex watches of yesteryear, the T-Rex comes with over 100 “sports modes” designed to gather health data no matter what you physically engage in.
Better yet, it has a battery designed to last 18 days with a 1.3” AMOLED display. Data is retrieved on the Zepp app and, unfortunately, that’s where the T-Rex begins to lose some of its lusters.
- Waterproof: This watch was made for divers with a waterproof design for up to 100 meters.
- Battery: The T-Rex can go a jaw-dropping 18 days without needing a recharge.
- Display: 1.3” AMOLED, always-on display.
- Fitness: Heart Rate monitor, sp02, sleep monitor, travel speed, accelerometer, GPS, calories-burned, and personalized health evaluations.
- Build/Design: The T-Rex was built tough and can withstand freezing temperatures, extreme heat, and is resistant to sea spray, shock, humidity, and freezing rain.
Everything about the Amazfit T-Rex is pretty incredible, including its vast array of health and data features. Its design factor isn’t likely to impress anyone except for those who prefer rugged, military-type designs.
The Zepp app is useful and integrates nicely with the T-Rex. The problem is, that’s where it ends. The Zepp app has no integrations outside of itself. No other apps are supported aside from the social media sharing capability.
- 18-hour battery life
- A wealth of data recording information and capabilities
- 100 meter waterproof build
- Sturdy design with a toughened resistance to the elements along with tempered glass, AMOLED display
- Not much in the way of app integration
- Rugged design doesn’t appeal many
3. Willful Smart Watch for Android Phones and iOS
Where the Willful falls short, however, is its outdated operating system and the glitchy, half-accurate step counter. It’s not exactly genius-level software when it comes to distance travel either.
It does have a unique feature called, “Breath Guide/Relax Mode,” which is a simple tool that walks you through breathing exercises to calm down, or you need to destress.
- Battery: Five to Seven days—depending on usage—is right up there with the best smartwatches.
- Waterproof: Up to a meter with an IP68 rating. Showers, baths, and brief stints in the swimming pool are covered.
- Aesthetics: Apple-type design with replaceable bands.
- Software: Basic health data and a solid app that will work great for first-time smartwatch owners.
- Smartphone integration: Receives notifications and alerts.
- Display: 1.3” TFT LCD with 240 x 240 resolution.
The Willful is certainly not going to blow anyone’s socks off in terms of features, design, software, or visual appeal. It has the look of an Apple Watch until a close observation is possible.
However, it does cover the basics for someone taking the first step into the fitness tracking, smartwatch arena. It also has an outstanding battery life, which some of the most feature-rich and high-end phones can’t claim.
- Very budget-friendly
- Replaceable bands
- Great sleep monitor features
- Buggy when it comes to distance or step counts
- Shallow waterproof build at IP68
- Outdated LCD screen and outdated software
- Uninspiring overall design
Recommended Reading: Don’t miss our massive guide to the leading women’s smartwatches next!
4. 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.
5. Apple Watch Series 6
Apple smartwatches are exceedingly well made and what they may lack in matching the competitions’ features, they make up for with solid, high-tech design and impeccable software.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is no exception, and it’s not simply a Series 5 with a facelift.
- Swimproof: The Apple Watch Series 6 is locked down whether it comes with an aluminum casing, stainless steel, or aluminum for up to 10.4 meters in water depth.
- Faster Processor: The S6, dual-core processor with a W3 chip is 20% faster than its predecessor, the Series 5.
- Fitness: Fitness enthusiasts will get an sp02 (blood oxygen saturation app), GPS, heart-rate monitor, ECG, altimeter, accelerometer, and sleep cycle.
- Battery: The Serie 6 has an 18-hour battery under moderate use.
- Display: OLED display with 1,000 nits brightness when the wrist is up and 250-500 nits when the wrist is down.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is an improvement over the Series 5 in almost every way. Unfortunately, “almost” is the key word, as the battery lifespan isn’t much of an improvement at all.
The Series 6 has all of the apps and entertainment features of its predecessors wrapped up in the watchOS operating system and comes in several color options, including Navy Blue and Red.
- Faster Processor
- Waterproof to 10.4 meters
- Brighter Display
- Addition of the sp02 and ECG
- Additional color strap options
- 32GB capacity
- Battery life leaves a bit to be desired
- Sleep readings are substandard compared to the competition.
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 in 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.