Best Waterproof Smartwatches 2020 - Top Picks

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The OD Team

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Staying fit is one of the most important aspects of life. That’s where the idea of fitness trackers and hybrid smartwatches was born.

In our digital era, we want to stay connected while we’re at the gym. Simultaneously, we want to know precisely what we’re doing, keep track of our vitals, and have a summary of what we’ve lost and gained during your workout.

Since the beginning of the 2000s, fitness trackers have become so popular. The market has become chock-full of various fitness trackers/smartwatches; it’s incredibly overwhelming to choose from between those great models.

That’s exactly why we’re here, as we present you with the best waterproof smartwatches available on the market. This list will make it a lot easier for you to make your choice, and we’ve added a buying guide to help you understand what you need to consider when making the purchase.

7 Best Waterproof Smartwatches in 2020

We’ll start this list of waterproof smartwatches with the Garmin Fenix 5, a superb watch that’s sure to impress. Firstly, let’s speak about the build of the watch. On the inside, it’s made out of fiber-reinforced polymer, while the outside is rugged stainless steel. Robust much?

Additionally, the lens itself is scratch-resistant in order to cover and protect the LED backlight that allows you to see the watch clearly at any time. As for the battery life, you get 20 hours of constant tracking even if you’re 100 m underwater.

Moreover, the smartwatch has an incredibly advanced heart rate monitor, both GPS and GLONASS satellite reception, a gyroscope, and a three-axis compass. Consequently, location services are on point with the Garmin Fenix 5.

As for connectivity, the smartwatch doesn’t disappoint as it supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Also, through the Connect IQ store, you can find hundreds of digital faces for your watch. One more thing is that it comes in four different sizes.

Nevertheless, one disadvantage remains: occasional software bugs that can be related to pausing the workout accidentally every now and then.

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Now, we’ve come to our premium pick, which will be Apple’s Watch Series 6. The watch is very sleek and attractive, just like all of Apple’s products. Yet, the workings of the watch are spectacular, as it comes with the S6 chip processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage, which all work to support the flawless watchOS7.

This OS took voice recognition and Siri to an entirely new level. Additionally, the watch comes in two varieties: the GPS and the cellular.

Moreover, the Always-On feature is regulated and implemented to a screen that’s 2.5x brighter, so it doesn’t kill your battery. As for trackers, they include ECG, blood oxygen saturation level, gyroscope, heart rate sensor, altimeter, and, of course, a compass.

Furthermore, the Apple Watch Series 6 is environmentally-friendly, made of recycled aluminum, and a clean source of energy, and it’s capable of going 50 m underwater.

The cons of the Series 6 are the cons of all Apple watches; it only works with Apple products and has only 36 hours of battery life.

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If you’re looking for a budget pick, the YAMAY SmartWatch is the one. Moreover, it has a battery life of 7 to 10 days, making it incredibly practical.

The YAMAY SmartWatch tracks all of your vitals and sleep through its various trackers; pedometer for steps, calorie counter, and sleep analysis, in addition to blood pressure and heart rate.

Furthermore, it comes with GPS for location services and tracks 14 different sport modes. Those installed trackers work 24/7, and they’ll give you an accurate assessment of your daily activities at the end of the day.

This unique watch weighs 5.3 ounces, which is the heaviest on our list. That might be a little bit annoying to some people, but it’s due to its body being made out of anodized aluminum for maximum strength and durability.

Besides, the YAMAY SmartWatch is versatile, so it’s compatible with all operating systems. It also comes with a replaceable band, becoming a part of every outfit quickly, and boasts a 2.5 HD large screen for you to see your data easily.

Unfortunately, it can only go 1.5m under the water. Any more than that, and you’ll be risking the internal mechanisms of the watch.

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The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the smaller and slimmer version of the Galaxy SmartWatch. It comes with specially designed metrics that help you stay on track underwater, including SWOLF, distance, and strokes.

Since this watch can go 50m underwater and can be used while swimming in open water, it has to be made of rigid materials. That’s why it comes in two different varieties: stainless steel and aluminum.

It’s also quite flexible with its options, colors, and sizes. It comes in two sizes, five different colors, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Golf, and LTE versions. That’s plus, of course, a ton of different watch faces, so you find something that you like.

Memory-wise, the watch comes with four GBs of memory that can be used to utilize Spotify offline. Furthermore, the AMOLED display makes everything more vivid and easier to see.

Additionally, its five-day long battery can be boosted by charging the watch wirelessly from your phone, which comes in quite handy. On the other hand, though, unfortunately, this watch comes without either ECG or fall detection. Plus, Bixby remains to be subpar with its service.

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The Fitbit Versa 3 is designed to be an entertainment center as it has Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer built-in right next to Amazon Alexa.

Furthermore, this watch comes with Active-Zone Minutes, which tracks your heartbeat during its active and resting states. It even gives you an alarm or notification when you should step up your game and be more active.

Besides, it tracks your heart rate using its advanced PurePulse 2.0 system, calories, steps, distance, and sleep. Moreover, it comes with a rugged battery that’ll stay with you for six days straight, even if you put it underwater, as it can go 50m deep.

One more thing is that it has NFC, Near Field Communication, and built-in GPS for location services. Unfortunately, though, it comes without fall detection, which has proven to be incredibly useful with several other watches.

Also, it has no internal storage, so you can’t really put your own music onto it, which leads us to the next problem: the number of subscriptions needed to listen to music from your watch. This can be overwhelming for some people and out of budget.

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The Samsung Galaxy Watch comes with a MIL-STD Gorilla Glass D + touchscreen that can take a lot of the elements without trouble.

Not to mention, the battery can last for a range of 43 hours if you have the 41 mm size and 56 hours if you have the 45 mm size. So, be aware of that spec when you’re choosing which size you want.

What’s even more impressive is its ability to charge while you’re wearing it wirelessly through the Wireless Power Share option. Theoretically, it never runs out of battery.

Additionally, it has 4 GB of internal storage, plus a GPS for location services and NFC. Moreover, it tracks your sleep and exercise thoroughly by counting your steps, measuring your heart rate, and metering your calories.

We love that the smartwatch measures your stress levels and, accordingly, helps you to regulate your breathing to help you relax. You can also communicate with your doctor and keep track of all your health records through the Samsung Health Monitor app.

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The Garmin Forerunner 235 is designed to be as comfortable and lightweight as possible with a 44% larger screen than the previous model while still maintaining the same physical size.

It’s just as impressive on the inside, coming with different metrics for stress, VO2 Max, cadence, and, of course, heart rate. However, the previous ones will allow it to form a better image regarding your fitness state.

According to that, you’ll find that the watch is coaching you towards better routines for yourself. That can happen through the smart notifications that are received through your mail and calls from your smartphone.

Moreover, the LCD is sunlight-visible, so you don’t have to worry about suffering to see what your watch says in broad daylight. It also comes with Connect IQ access, the Garmin Connect App, and three different colors to suit your taste.

On the other hand, it can’t play music, and connection to your smartphone has been known to be a little bit unstable. The biggest problem with this watch is that according to your workout’s intensity, the heart rate monitors may falter a little bit.

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Waterproof Smartwatch Buying Guide & FAQ

Now, it’s time for a few guidelines which sum up some of the most important options featured in any smartwatch/fitness tracker, along with some frequently asked questions.

Features to Look for in a Waterproof Smartwatch

Waterproof vs. Water-resistant 

This is a dilemma that has been causing trouble since water-resistant or waterproof smartwatches appeared. There’s a grave difference between the two terms, and each has a sea of different levels within itself. 

Water-resistant means that it can handle a little bit of water; some rain, sweat, a splash of water here and there if you’re going fishing or rowing, but submerging it underwater isn’t an option. Hence, you can’t go diving or swim with a water-resistant watch.

On the other hand, a waterproof watch means that it can go underwater. Nevertheless, you have to be careful about the watch’s capabilities; some can go 5m underwater, some could go 10, 50,100, and even 300m underwater.

It all depends on how the watch is manufactured and whether or not its build will be able to repel water as pressure goes up and the temperature goes down.

Smartphone Compatibility 

Smartwatches are typically designed to be connected to other devices, be it a tablet, laptop, or smartphone. You have to know the limits of compatibility between your future smartwatch and your already existing device.

The most famous two operating systems will be the iOS and Android systems. That’s why most smartwatches are compatible with them; however, a minority is designed to be used with specific devices/systems only.

Features

What do you want your smartwatch to do?

GPS

GPS is one of the most useful technologies worldwide, and having it in a smartwatch will give you a lot of advantages plus a sense of safety. If you’re running or trying to work out in a remote place, GPS will allow you to know exactly where you are, send your location, and get back home safely.

Furthermore, some GPS systems allow you to map new routes. If you’re fishing or swimming and you want to remember a particular place to come back to, GPS will be incredibly useful.

Tracking 

Tracking is a very general term. Day by day, you’ll find that smartwatches are tracking more and more of your habits. At first, they used only to track your exercise; now, they track your calorie intake/deficit, sleep, heartbeat, blood pressure, blood oxygenation levels, and so much more.

Some are even designed to send an automatic alarm to 911 or your emergency contact if they detect any sudden severe changes in your vitals. That has proven to be pretty helpful, as we’ve seen a lot of cases where smartwatches have practically saved their owners by reaching out to emergency services.

Cellular 

Cellular is a handy feature, especially to runners and swimmers and people who don’t want to be carrying their smartphone or have a device limiting their movement. 

A lot of smartwatches come with a slot for a SIM card, and that’s how they become a mini version of your smartphone. You can take calls, receive messages, and the list goes on.

Build and Design

Just think about how many times you bumped your watch against the wall or any other inanimate object. Also, think about how many times you’ve dropped it on the floor or even slept on it.

If you’re wearing your smartwatch daily, it’ll suffer the same fate. That’s why one should always go for a sturdy, durable watch that’ll take a beating without a care in the world.

Moreover, the watch’s design and weight are critical; you wouldn’t want anything scratchy, too tight, too loose, or too heavy that it’ll weigh your hand down and cause you fatigue all day long.

Battery Life

Don’t forget that batteries degrade over time; today’s charge won’t last. So, it’s better to start strong to extend your watch’s lifespan as much as possible. Different watches’ battery life can extend from a few hours to a few days, depending on your usage.

P.S: Wireless charging is always a superior option. If you can acquire it, go for it instantly. 

FAQs:

Do Waterproof Smartwatches Need SIM Cards?

Having a SIM card in your smartwatch means that it can function as a mini phone. You can receive calls and texts on it without the need to carry your phone. This is especially helpful for runners and people who don’t want to be carrying their bulky phones around.

Can You Set Alarms on Your Smartwatch?

Yes. Most of the time, you can set alarms on your smartwatch. These alarms will rely mostly on vibration rather than sound, but they still do provide some sound.

What Is IP Rating?

IP ratings are split into two numbers; the first number relates to its ability to withstand solid objects, while the second number relates to its water resistance.

What Are the Different IP Ratings, and What Do They Mean?

You’ll find that most smartwatches have solid object resistance of six, which means that they won’t allow any dust, sand, or anything else to get inside its mechanism. The water resistance rating can vary between five and eight. 

  • Five means that it’s protected against only splashes of water. 
  • Six means that it can handle a little bit more moisture without entering the watch. 
  • Seven is watertight, so it can be immersed in water for about 30 minutes at a distance of 15 cm. 
  • Eight is the highest IP rating, and it means that the watch can survive long periods of immersion.

Final Thoughts

This is a wrap for the best waterproof smartwatches. Don’t forget the importance of creating your very own checklist of what you especially need. This way, you can reach your ultimate waterproof smartwatch. 

Our first recommendation would be our top choice, the Garmin Fenix 5, as it comes with a scratch-resistant lens above LED backlighting, 20 hours of battery live, GPS, and GLONASS satellite reception, plus,  it can go 100 m under the surface of the water. It’s also incredibly tough as it’s constructed out of fiber-reinforced polymer and stainless steel.

Next, we have our runner-up, the Fitbit Versa 3, for the best training programs. It brings the ultimate training specs and programs to the table tonight! It comes with built-in Amazon Alexa, Spotify, and Pandora, and it can go 50m underwater. Plus, It tracks your heart rate and sleep thoroughly.

Our last recommendation will be our budget pick, the YAMAY smartwatch. This device comes with a ton of different trackers that work 24/7 nonstop to give you an accurate summary of your health. All of that is relatively pennies when compared with the other watches.

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