Most people grew up hearing warnings to never get electronics wet. Just a few years ago, smartphone makers would insert dampness indicators behind the batteries of many kinds of phones. That’s because any sign of liquid inside the case would void the warranty. Liquid damage still remains one of the most common sources of electronic failures.
Still, electronics manufacturers figured out that consumers wanted phones that could withstand exposure to moisture and even submersion in water. Today, IP ratings indicate the level of protection against water and other liquids. These ratings ensure a third-party laboratory tested the device.
The second digit in the IP rating indicates the level of moisture protection and ranges in value from 0 to 8. As an example, an IPX8 rating means the device can withstand submersion. This ability to withstand water can vary quite a bit. For instance:
- According to CNET, the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Galaxy S21 Ultra both have IP68 ratings.
- Samsung says that the S21 Ultra can tolerate submission in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
- In contrast, Apple says the iPhone 12 Pro Max will still work fine after submersion in six meters of water.
In other words, consumers need to find out exactly what the manufacturer guarantees before they start swimming or diving with their electronics. Mostly, Apple and Samsung want to assure their customers that these watches can withstand getting wet or even a drop in the pool. They don’t intend to imply that anybody should take their phone swimming with them without the protection of a special swim bag.
Top Waterproof Smartwatches for Swimming
The same advice applies to smartwatches, just like it applies to smartphones. The IP rating may indicate that the lab certified an electronic device as waterproof, but the manufacturer must define that statement. Just buying a waterproof watch won’t guarantee that it can hold up to the demands of watersports.
Look at these top-rated, reliable, and waterproof smartwatches for swimming and other watersports:
Garmin Forerunner 945
the Garmin Forerunner 945
as its top choice for swimming watches. Garmin rated the watch for depths of up to 50 meters, and sensors even work underwater. It also comes with plenty of swim-focused features, like stroke detection, specialized workouts, and drill tracking.
Find the watch discounted for about $550. Really, the only downsides that reviewers found with the watch included the relatively high price and the rather unfashionable design.
Casual swimmers might prefer the $130 Stratos
. It also can survive depths of up to 50 meters and offers such premium features as a triathlon mode and a dedicated music player. The watch’s battery offers a relatively short time between recharges, but Amazfit should launch the T-Rex Pro soon, so it may offer some improvements.
Garmin Descent Mk2i
The two watches listed above can withstand deep dives, but divers can take the Descent Mk2i
down to 100 meters. In addition to typical swimming features, it can function as a dive computer. It even allows data transmission to other divers within a range of 10 meters. It costs almost $1,500 but provides a top choice for serious divers.
Extended Warranties for Waterproof Smartwatches
Swimmers and divers can’t just look at IP ratings to buy watches. They need to invest in specialized watches that can withstand long periods under water. Of course, these selective watch buyers know they will need to pay more for top smartwatches that can survive conditions that would ruin most electronics.
Unlike limited warranties that come with watches, an Upsie extended warranty will cover drops and liquid damage. In addition, Upsie customers can choose between two- and three-year protection plans. Upsie offers both ship-it-in and local repairs, only charges a $25 deductible, and has lower prices than their name-brand competitors.
Top waterproof smartwatches can make swimming and diving more productive, safer, and even more fun. Upsie will ensure that swimmers and divers can enjoy their investment for a long time.
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