Garmin has announced today the second iteration of their aquatic adventure tracking watch. Garmin Swim 2 keeps tabs on heart rate underwater, it has built in GPS, it comes with support for open water swimming and much more.
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It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep tabs on Garmin’s ever expanding selection of sports watches. One of the devices that hasn’t seen on update in a long time, though, is Garmin Swim. This is a watch that was unveiled in the now distant 2014. Well, that’s all changed today with the release of Garmin Swim 2.
It’s no surprise the second version comes with many upgrades over the original. This includes built-in GPS/GLONASS/Galileo and the Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate sensor which is able to monitor heart rate underwater.
The physical size of the watch is 44 x 48 x 13 mm as compared to the 42 x 42 x 11.4 mm of its predecessor. The always-on, full-color Garmin Chroma Display technology of Swim 2 makes everything much easier to read, even in direct sunlight.
The improvements in functionality are almost too numerous to list. But you can check out the Garmin product comparison page on this link. In summary, you now get basic land activity tracking stats (step counter, move bar, calories, distance, stress, Body Battery…), performance analysis (Training Effect, Physio True up…) and some running and cycling functionality.
In terms of swim tracking, in addition to everything offered by its predecessor, Swim 2 comes with time and distance alerts, pacing alerts and critical swim speed metrics. This last one estimates your anaerobic threshold speed. You can use it to guide your training and track progress.
A big difference is the support for open water swimming. The built-in GPS enables Swim 2 to track swims in lakes, oceans or rivers and record distance, pace, stroke count, SWOLF, stroke rate, stroke distance and more.
Finally there’s also more smart functionality than before including support for notifications, social functionality and more. If you’re in the market for a new swim watch choosing between Garmin Swim and Swim 2 is a no brainer.
Having said that, Garmin now has a much wider selection of sports watches than in 2014. So deciding between Swim 2 and other devices in the range is not as simple. The Forerunner 945, MARQ and Fenix 6 series, for example, have most of the functionality Swim 2, or at least they will get it soon. The price difference is, however, hefty!
In a sense, Swim 2 is to swimming what the Forerunner 245 is to running. Lots of features dedicated to one sport, with a few additional extras that make is a capable fitness tracker.
As listed by Garmin’s website, the only swim-related features that can currently be found on Swim 2 and not on other Garmin devices include:
- Auto Rest (Pool Swim Only)
- Time and distance alerts
- Pacing alerts (pool swim only)
- Critical swim speed.
Like all Garmin sports watches, battery life is decent. Swim 2 will keep going for up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, 13 hours in GPS and optical heart rate (OHR) mode and 72 hours in pool and OHR mode.
The watch is available from today on garmin.com. There’s a Whitestone and Slate option, each of which will set you back $249.99.
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