Is the Pixel Watch swimproof/waterproof?

Google Pixel Watch review
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Is the Pixel Watch swimproof/waterproof?

Best answer: Yes, the Pixel Watch is waterproof, though this typically means water “resistant.” It has a 5ATM rating, meaning you can safely wear it while swimming, washing dishes, in the shower, or walking in the rain or snow. But it should not be submerged in great depths or for any significant length of time, and you should also be mindful of drying it off to keep it working in tip-top shape.

What is a 5ATM rating and what does it mean?

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You'll notice that, like with many other smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other portable devices, including smartphones, the Pixel Watch sports something called a 5ATM rating in its specifications. The "ATM" stands for atmospheres, or effectively, the amount of pressure the watch can withstand. 

The "5" references about 50 meters or 164 feet, but it relates to pressure, not depth. So, you should not plan to go deep-sea diving with the watch, even down to a depth of 50 meters. However, if you are swimming in a pool or at the beach, soaking in the bathtub, enjoying an extra-long shower, or going for a brisk run in the rain, you need not worry that the moisture will damage the watch. 

Remember that, as with any waterproof or water-resistant electronic gadget, you still need to try and keep it dry. Extensive exposure to moisture will impact the waterproof rating over time and the barriers that are inside to protect the delicate circuitry. So, while you can get the Pixel Watch wet, if you can avoid wearing it (for example, if you're not actively tracking a swim exercise but just dunking in the pool), you might want to take it off. 

If you're doing a water-based activity where high-pressure streams of water are involved, like jet skiing, diving, or even getting blasted by the kids with a sprinkler, you might want to remove it as well. The high pressure of water hitting the watch could be too much. 

Keep in mind that waterproof ratings are for freshwater sources: for a chlorinated pool or salt water, especially, you should take extra care and remove the watch if you don't really have to have it on. Most people, however, wear smartwatches like the Pixel Watch in swimming pools without issue. But in a saltwater ocean, removing it before diving in is best.

With good care and the occasional exposure to water, however, the Pixel Watch, like all other smartwatches with a 5ATM rating, can indeed handle the moisture. So go ahead and swim, soak, or wash to your heart's content. If you want to go the extra mile when it comes to protection, consider grabbing one of the best Google Pixel Watch screen protectors to use both in the water and out. 

Christine Persaud is a freelance writer for Android Central who has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's probably working on her latest fitness program, binging a new (or old) TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets, or spending time with her school-aged son. 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.