Best waterproof smartwatches 2023

The best waterproof smartwatches might not be entirely waterproof such that you can go deep-sea diving with them or spend all day in the pool, lounging underwater. But they do boast at least a 5ATM water-resistant rating that makes it safe to swim with them. Some even include swimming as a specific activity that you can track.

Naturally, you still need to use caution when exposing these smartwatches to open water, as is the case with any electronic device. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a smartwatch that you can confidently swim with, these are all great options.

Here are our picks for the best waterproof smartwatches

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What to note with a waterproof smartwatch

Keep in mind that even water-resistant or swim-proof smartwatches that meet the 5ATM rating require proper care. Review the specific details of the waterproof rating in the manual and on the manufacturer's website, which will indicate what specific conditions the watch has been tested for, if any, beyond the usual 50-meter depth.

Ideally, a 5ATM smartwatch would cite an IPX8 rating as well (or any number in place of the “X,” which relates to the dustproof rating) to ensure both water depth and pressure. The Galaxy Watch 6 is one such watch; the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is another. But most smartwatches, with the exception of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 on this list, can’t be used for extreme water sports where high pressures of water are coming at you. No matter the specs, always dry the watch off once you come out to ensure there’s no damage.

With any waterproof electronic device, including smartwatches, the water-resistant ratings relate to freshwater sources. If you’re swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool or saltwater ocean, this can impact the watch’s functionality and cause potential damage. You should also steer clear of hot tubs. If there are waterproof casings for your smartwatch, consider investing in one of these before you head out on vacation to enjoy the fresh saltwater ocean.

It’s also worth noting that, as with any electronic device, the waterproof status will degrade over time as the watch ages and is exposed more and more to water. If you drop the smartwatch, this can also impact its waterproof rating and result in a lower level of water resistance. So, your smartwatch won’t have the same ability to withstand moisture a year or two down the line as it did when you first got it.

Finally, not all waterproof smartwatches come with waterproof bands. Make sure you have a band with a material that is also waterproof, and switch to this one before you go for a swim if you normally wear something like metal or leather. Usually, a standard silicone band is fine. You can see some of the best Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 bands if you choose to go with this model or the best Fitbit Charge 6 bands if you prefer that device.

No smartwatch is entirely waterproof such that you can swim in any type of water, at any pressure, for any duration of time. But with the right research, following the instructions from the manufacturer, and proper care after emerging from the water, your water-resistant smartwatch will be able to keep up with all your swimming and water-related needs.

Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.