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Why Buy Garmin Swim 2 Smartwatch? Honest Review

Why Buy Garmin Swim 2 Smartwatch? Honest Review

Are you looking for a watch that can easily cover your pool session? Well! Garmin Swim 2 Smartwatch is best for you, believe me. It is evident that the renowned brands such as Fitbit, Apple, and others focus on all-in-one fitness watches. But Garmin is doing its best to make an excellent portfolio in the wearable category.


The Garmin Swim 2 smartwatch is an excellent swimming watch. It is not demanding to choose this product over others because there are a lot of features associated with it. 

In 2004, the first Garmin Swim watch was released, and the impression of making it a unique watch was always an addition to the products of the company. We thought that they would not be going to release any more swimming watches until Garmin Swim 2 was released. 

Key Features of Garmin Swim 2 Smartwatch

  • Works with iOS and Android
  • Tracks cycling and running
  • Connect IQ support
  • Galileo/ Glonass/ GPS
  • 13 hours battery (GPS mode) or 7-day (smartwatch mode)
  • Underwater monitoring of heart rate
  • 42 mm case
  • Tracks open water and pool swimming

Characteristics of Garmin Swim 2 Smartwatch

Why Buy Garmin Swim 2 Smartwatch -
Why Buy Garmin Swim 2 Smartwatch –

This product is about monitoring you in the pool, and it can be either open water or pool swimming; it is a high-quality GPS swimming smartwatch offering a lot of data. 

However, the Garmin Swim gives different company’s swim-particular metrics for open water and pool sessions, but for the very least price. You can check the price here, this price is around USD 150 more as compared to the first Swim – and this price is almost in between the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 45 running watches. 

It also means that it is a bit pricy as compared to the cheapest smartwatch of Apple Watch Series 3, and it also offers open water and pool swim monitoring for less than USD 300.  The Apple Watch Series 3 is – by the way – still an excellent value for money with an overall five-star rating from over 24’000 reviews on Amazon.

Comfort and Design

If you remind about the appearance of the original Swim, it included different swim tracking characteristics into a 44 mm case with buttons dotted around the central display. 

It will be fair enough to state that the Garmin products have progressed a bit more regarding the design front since the beginning. When it comes to talking about Swim 2, you will get a small size (42 mm) watch, and that’s very much lighter and slimmer as compared to its predecessors. 

Well! It is basically a similar design at the budget running watch, Forerunner 45, which we loved for its light and slim build. It has the same transflective display of 1.4-inch that delivers a resolution of 208 x 208 pixels, the same 5 ATM waterproof rating, five buttons, and a silicone watch band. This watch is sporty-looking, and it cannot be wrong for something deluxe. 

You have got your picks of slate (black) and whitestone (white) models. Hence there is nothing too surprising trendy on the colorway front. I tried the white one to examine, and the radiantly hued appearance usually stands out; however, not in a tacky of garish way. 

When it comes to talking about the back, you will see a charging port having four pins; it means Garmin Swim 2 uses a similar cable for charging as the other pricy Garmin watches. It is where you will see its exclusive Elevate that monitors the heart rate, which is best to measure your heart rate when you are in the pool. 

In the pool, it is quite easy wearing the watch. The strap is beautiful, and it definitely does not weigh more on your wrist in the water as well as outside it. 

Here, you rely on the buttons to check the features because there is no touchscreen. And yes, the buttons are more comfortable to use in water. The visibility in the pool is usually exceptional, although, and you should not have an issue soaking up the data. 

Fitness and Sports Tracking

Swim monitoring is the foremost reason you can be concerned about this watch. Before going into it, I am going to let you know that it can correctly track cycling and running too. Also, there is a cardio mode that covers a lot of things instead of a workout built that does not need donning a swimsuit or a pair of trunks. 

Also, it doubles as a fitness tracker providing different feature staples such as all-day stress tracking, automatic monitoring of sleep, and step counting. You will observe the same features on all the other watches of Garmin. 

The step monitoring is reliable though sleep tracking can be excellent, usually on the precision front; however, a small hit and miss sometimes with the reporting. It is essential to know that there is no pulse oximeter sensor, and it has begun to crop up on Garmin’s products. Hence you do miss an opportunity of the additional deposit of sleep data.

There is a Gallileo, Glonass, and GPS satellite backing, and the accelerometer motion sensor covers the indoor run tracking. There is snappy and best GPS signal pick-up and gives you the same practice to the Forerunner 45, directing at the fundamental metrics. 

Swim Tracking

Now, let’s talk more about swimming. The Garmin Swim 2 product can track different metrics, including SWOLF, stroke count, pace, distance, and length, in terms of features. Also, it can sense the type of stroke, offer pace alarms, critical insights of swim speed, and the best auto rest characteristic. 

You can view a significant portion of the data in the real-time; however, you can get the best indication of the Garmin Connect application. Similar to most of the Garmin watches, it will also play good with Strava. 

Some features are small, like the countdown to begin and auto rest; however, welcome add-ons as long as factoring where you fiddle around with the goggles at the beginning of a swim or require taking a breather between the two sets. 

With the pool swimming, it can effectively serve up the same metrics; however, features such as pace alters and drill loggings are expectedly built only for the water. 

For putting these items into the outlook of the realms of Garmin’s other products, Forerunner 245 is similar to it when it comes to talking about pool swimming, while it cannot track open water swimming. You need to accelerate to something such as Fenix 6 or Forerunner 945 to get the pool and open water swimming support. 

If you are going to compare Garmin Swim two to whatever is available out there, the Watch Series 3, an Apple product, for example, offers different metrics such as distance, lap counts, can also sense the type of stroke and can reveal more metrics with the third-party applications. 

Since, Garmin has added numerous characteristics that were formerly exclusive to the Swim 2, such as advanced pacing alerts and Swim workouts, to the 245 and 945 watches. However, Swim 2 is one of the inexpensive choices to include them all to the best use.  

So, to note down the tracking, it is as easy as using the top right button, choosing the swim method, and touching the button again to check the monitoring. 

Some settings are accessible to toy with the pre-swim if you like. You can choose the size of the pool, toggle the detection of the stroke off or on, activate the auto rests, turn on a countdown jump, set up the alerts, and pick the data screens. 

There is a feature of workout, which is an excellent count if you like to mix different items up in your settings. When you check the Garmin Connect application, you will try to pinpoint the Training menu. Here, you can make custom workouts that can be synchronized to the watch. 

Additionally, you can sync over the Training calendar, and it can be accessed by pushing the central button on the watch’s left side. 

Accuracy of Heart Rate Monitoring

Now, the Garmin promises that anyone can track the heart rate in the water from the onboard sensor. Well! If you do not trust it, try pairing up the external chest strap as a substitute. 

Now, there is some debate, while a heart rate as a metric is beneficial to swimming as it is to different activities such as cycling or running. 

Also, there is a query of data precision and how the light-built HR sensor can affect the reading accuracy. 

Garmin explains this product can offer a real-time rate of heart, although it also recommends utilizing one of the Tri chest strap displays or HRM-Swim to get excellent accuracy. 

The data from this item appeared to align with the effort, and the rate of the heart is basically a representative of your increased effort in the water. Also, it produces consistent data, avoid outages, and evident anomalies. 

So, what you got from here is HR tracking under the water is still challenging, and if you are interested in getting a spot on the precise data from the water, you just need to go for prosumer devices. 

Smartwatch Features

Garmin Swim 2 works best as a smartwatch. However, you do not get the full balance of Garmin features. It works best with Android phones and iPhones, offering the chance to view essential notifications, music playing, and weather reports on the phone. There are no significant features, such as built-in music or payment support. 

Possibly a shocking omission is entire support for the Connect IQ platform of Garmin. You can easily access the storefront for downloading the watch faces, similar to the Forerunner 45; however, you cannot add the data fields, widgets, or apps. 

Though many add-ons are not as plentiful as they are for several sports, it will be helpful to open the things up to creators to note while having a steadfast swim watch out there can alter that.

As mentioned above, the small-sized screen can make looking at notification sometimes tricky. It is easier to check thein on the weather; however, it is the necessary experience of a smartwatch that’s fine; however, it could be the best if those characteristics were present. 

Battery Life

Garmin recommends you must get almost a battery life of one week while using it in a mode of smartwatch, and it means when you are not indulging in those features of sports tracking. 

While putting the GPS to use, you can get more than 12 hours of GPS battery timings when utilizing the heart rate in the water tops out at three days. 

The battery life assured by Garmin’s inexpensive running watch, Forerunner 45 and similar to this, the Swim 2 can quickly fulfill those battery timings in a lot of people’s experience. 

If you are mainly working out in the water possible 3-5 times in a week, you will have no issue getting a long battery life it guarantees. 

Pros of Garmin Swim 2

Let’s talk about some of the advantages of Garmin Swim 2:

  • Long Battery Life
  • Auto-rest functionality
  • Real-time monitoring of heart rate, even underwater
  • Best for use for both pool and open water swimming
  • The function of sleep tracking
  • Receive notifications from your cell phone directly to the watch
  • Tracks swimming as well as other sports
  • Includes GPS for more accuracy

Cons of Garmin Swim 2

Some of the downsides of Swim 2 are:

  • Only tracks three sports in addition to swimming
  • Only two colors are available

Should I Buy the Garmin Swim 2 Smartwatch?

If you are a fitness enthusiast who likes keeping fit in the water, you can go for Garmin Swim 2. This brand, Garmin, is well-renowned for the quality of its smartwatches and fitness trackers, and it would never disappoint you. It offers the best features and functionality as compared to the original Swim watch, and it is suitable for both beginner and professional competitive swimmers. 

If you are searching for a sports watch that provides tracking functionality for a diversity of activities, Swim 2 is not for you as it can just track three sports in addition to swimming. But if you are involved in keeping an eye on the swimming metrics, it is among the best swim-focused sports watches available in the market from a famous and reliable brand.

Click this link to buy the Garmin Swim 2 Smartwatch.

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Kathleen Metcalf says:

Very disappointed with my Garmin 2 swim watch. It
Is only a year old and the GPS no longer works.

Thanks a lot for your appreciated comment. I am sorry to read that. Hopefully, you get a repair or a new one under warranty. This should not happen. However, I am very content with mine that I use for my swimming. All the best, Blake

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