Swimmo Watch review of the watch tracker that every swimmer should own
Swimmo watch is made specifically for swimming, that’s it. If you are looking for a swim tracker, there is no way to look further.
Swimmo tracks your swim workout, motivates and communicates with you under water. It is like a friendly personal trainer.
With Swimmo you swim smarter and you are focused on the goal. There’s no better way to get in shape and improve your strength while swimming.
- Display: 1.3-inch full color OLED display with Rotate&Tap patent pending technology
- Size & Weight: Wrist (150-210 mm), Screen (1.3 inch.), Weight (55 grams / 1.94 oz)
- Available colours: Black, Black and White, White
Tracks your swim results:
- Swim metrics: Laps (auto count), Distance (yards, meters), Pace/Speed, Duration, time
- Biometrics: Heart rate (swimming/resting/other activities), Calories you’ve burned
- Advanced metrics: Lap-by-lap times, Kick & drill tracking mode
- Upcomings: Set-by-set times, Rest times, Stroke count, Swim Golf (SWOLF)
In the box:
- Swimmo smart swimming watch
- Charger with USB cable
- Mobile apps for iOS Apple iPhone / Android
- Quick start manual & warranty
My Conclusion: Let me tell you my journey that lead to me buy a Swimmo Watch, and why I am very happy with it right now.
I started my journey of weight loss back at the beginning of June 2019 and by then I already owned a Samsung Galaxy Watch (since December 2018) and I was very happy that I could use it to track my workouts in the pool. Unfortunately I completely forgot (or was not completely aware of) that the resistance of these watches in water is quite limited. Samsung Galaxy watches are not waterproof but only “water resistant”. What that means is that they can used in water, but for a limited amount of time: they can stay under a maximum of 5 feet for 30 minutes. After that, there is no guarantee that the watch could still function properly.
I began using the swim tracking feature installed by default in the Galaxy Watch and after a while I eventually discovered the Swim.com app, which I installed on my smartwatch. During the first month of swimming, I was able to swim for a maximum of 40/50 laps and I was in the pool for less than 30 minutes. My Galaxy Watch worked just fine.
But, in July 2019, as my condition improved, I started to push myself toward the 100 laps mark, which would eventually take me over 40 minutes. At some point, I realized that my Samsung Galaxy Watch was only tracking the heart rate and the time, but not my strockes nor distance (0 meters and Calories obviously not accurate, see the picture below).
I was very sad about it and I started to research if anybody else experienced a similar issue. I reset few times the watch, reinstalled the apps and eventually I managed to get the swim tracker to work again. But it lasted only 2 sessions. After that 0 tracking again. Last attempt to reset the watch and still no tracking. I went to the Samsung store, booked an appointment and after speaking with the assistant, I got the confirmation that my watch was not built to last more than 30 minutes. Anyway, my Galaxy Watch does still track running and cycling, the rest of functionalities are in perfect condition as well. At the end of the day, not a bad outcome.
I personally believe that tracking my workouts is definitely a good way to keep the motivation up and since I am only swimming for now, I started doing some research about swimming watches and I found these brands: Swimmo, Garmin, Suunto and Polar. Although I always wanted to get a nice Garmin, from a price point I was clearly not able to afford it (over 300£), also because I already own the Samsung Galaxy Watch that can track other sports. So I quickly parked that possibility.
I just concentrated my attention on Swimmo because the price point, 179£, was eventually in line with my possibilities. Firstly, reading all the specs, it guarantees that is 100% waterproof as its main statement is “the watch for swimmers”. And regarding the main functionalities, I convince myself it was the last essential tool that I was missing. I had a few email conversation with the Swimmo team and they were very kind answering properly and clear my doubts.
To be fair, I was happy enough to see that the Swimmo, beside being 100% waterproof, can be synchronized with an app on my smartphone, can track laps, calories, and time (among all , and those were the functionalities I was looking for. To be fair, I am not swimming to improve my performances but to just losing weight, and what Swimmo can do for me is just perfectly enough. Swimmo was in fact the last tool I bought (out of the 18 presented here).
Swimmo can only be purchased on their site, so I completed the purchase, nice that they offer free delivery worldwide, and I got it after 7 working days approximately (via Polish Post), not a big deal. When I received it, I powered it on with the USB cable and the immediate reaction was to compare it with the Samsung Galaxy. I noticed there were no function buttons on the side, which lately I discovered to be a very good thing (the water cannot leak inside the watch like on the Galaxy).
To activate the functions, you basically double tap on the screen, which is quite strong, and by rotating your wrist you navigate the options: start swimming, chose a goal, end the swim tracking, etc). To pause the activity, you double tap the screen and tap on Pause icon; to restart, just a double tap on “Continue” option, very simple.
The screen is quite basic. Don’t expect the same quality resolution of Samsung Galaxy Watch or other smartwatches. It features a 1.3-inch full color OLED display, which looks a bit old fashion, but it is effective and remains always on in the water, which makes Swimmo the perfect trainer companion while I am swimming (i.e. Galaxy Watch screen dims after 5 minutes without any chances to extend it further, otherwise the battery will drain really faster).
I can say that it’s quite reliable on the lap counting. My goal is to reach 100 laps on my 20m pool, and it does the job quite accurately.
I like the fact that it vibrates every 25%, 50%, 75% and when you reach your goal so I can be sure to focus on my swim and at the same time be aware of my progress without distraction or having to stop to check (you can customize the vibration as you like using the Swimmo app).
I have set via app the pool length to 20m and I think it track few laps less, not a big deal. It’s quite comfortable to wear too and the battery life is decent. It should last at least 4 hours, so I am charging it twice a week, as I am swimming daily for about 40 50 minutes. Swimmo can be fully charged within 1.5 hour via USB dock cable provided.
There are more functionalities that you can use, but regarding myself, I am just happy with the lap counting so far. I didn’t have a chances so far to test the rest of them.
Regarding the synchronization with a smartphone. I received the phone at the beginning of September 2019, It works perfectly on iPhone.
Just download the app and follow the instruction to sync it. The first step would be to update Swimmo to the latest firmware, which is quite easy. Once you have completed a swim an option “Sync my Results” will popup on the watch, asking you to open the app and within few seconds, your workout will be showing into the app. I am lucky that my partner has an iPhone8, because as I am an Android user, I had some difficulties to sync it with my Samsung Galaxy 6 and my Google Pixel 3 XL. Apparently the main issues are related to the Low Energy Bluetooth. If you try paring it via Bluetooth, the pairing will be rejected. The Swimmo customer service suggested me to install the following app: LightBlue or nRF Connect, which basically can allow pairing using Low Energy Bluetooth. It seemed to be working. Anyway, as I don’t like having headaches, I am very happy to come back home and sync with my girlfriend’s iPhone, at the end of the day, my workout is pretty similar everyday.
The Swimmo App works well. The first time you open it will request to create an account (email and password). After that the app will ask you to update the firmware (the first time) and then will try pairing the watch. Once the two are paired, you will notice a dedicated icon on the watch screen.
The app features 5 main tabs: on the first tab you can set your goals, like distance, calorie, time etc. The second tab will show your daily achievements, and clicking each of them you will see your performances: date, number of laps, total distance, calories, time, avg heart rate, avg pace. Also you can see your workout in a more detailed fashion: for each lap you can see the time, total time, min HR, avg HR, max HR, calories. The third tab shows a summary of your achievements (n. of workouts, distance in lap, calories, time, avg HR, avg page, my best time overall and my records in a single swim.
The forth tab, requires your phone to be online, and will show your achievements in points in the past weeks and months and will compare it with people that are “supposedly” nearby. in the past 6 weeks, i am n.1 by far with over 3000 points (the 2nd has 941 points). The final tab has all settings: About me (my details, name etc), Watch (where you can select the pool length and when you want the watch to vibrates (25, 50% of your goal, etc).
I would say that it’s got it all. You can also share your achievements on third-party apps, like Facebook, Twitter, Google Fit, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, Strava. You can finally choose, if you are intending to wear the watch for daily use. I actually disabled that feature to save battery, as well I am still using my Galaxy Watch for that 😉
Regarding the colors, there are three color versions: full black, black body and white band on the top, and full white. I chose the Black version.
To give you my benchmark, by swimming with the Edge Fins by Finis and Powerbreather on freestyle, I am averaging 22 sec for 20 meter lap, with a min HR of 82 (warm-up) to a max of 112 (swimming faster), so let’s say an average of 92/98 bpm. This way, I am working out the whole body, but I don’t get really tired at the end of my session of 40/50 min.
In summary, I believe Swimmo is the perfect solution for the any swimmers that want to visualize and keep track of their achievements (smartwatches are not suitable for tracking swimming regularly). From a price point perspective, I believe it’s perfectly affordable if we compare it to a swim watch from Garmin, to probably get the same features. Now Garmin clearly it’s the watch for those who are more competitive and triathletes. But if you are like me, not competitive and want a swim companion, this is the perfect gadget to have. I am looking forward to see the new features that will come up, and I hope my Swimmo will last long enough (I received mine on 30th August 2019) to support my mission to achieve my ideal weight of 72 kg.
Finally, Swimmo team told me they don’t have any plans to release a new model in the nearest future (September 2019). However, they told me that they continue developing the current version and adding new functions as free updates, like (SWOLF, etc).
That’s why I decided to put my faith in Swimmo. So far, I am very pleased and motivated to continue. At this point I have swam with Swimmo for 27 sessions.