Product Promotion Network

Samsung Gear Sport

The Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers of 2018

Dive Deep

You can expect a fitness tracker to be a bit more resilient than your average smartwatch[1], able to handle the bumps, shakes, and most importantly, sweat, that comes with a workout. Any fitness tracker worth considering is resistant to moisture and splashes, because exercise can result in sticky dampness. But this doesn’t mean that all fitness trackers are actually waterproof.

In fact, many of them are not. Just because you can wear a fitness tracker in the shower, doesn’t mean you should wear it the next time you swim a few laps in the pool. For swimming, you need a fitness tracker that’s completely waterproof.

That means it’s sealed and submersible, and will survive a consistent soaking. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best waterproof trackers we’ve tested here. Rest assured, all of these devices can be worn in the water–and will still be in good working order once you dry off.

What to Look For

You don’t need to settle for merely waterproof.

The same seals that keep water from ruining the electronics in swim-friendly fitness trackers also protects them from the pressure of that water. Most waterproof fitness trackers are rated for a certain depth, which is handy if you want to go diving. Typically, these devices have a 5ATM rating, which means you can plunge them up to 50 meters (164 feet) underwater, though some are only rated for 3ATM (30 meters, or 98 feet).

You should take into consideration what you want your tracker to do.

Are you more interested in viewing your data during or after a workout? If you want to keep an eye on your laps while you’re in the pool, you should look for a tracker with a bright screen. You’ll also want to make sure it’s capable of responding to your swipes underwater.

If you’re not that concerned with real-time data, consider a screenless alternative. The Motiv Ring (pictured above) is small, comfortable to wear, and completely safe for the pool. Another thing to keep in mind is how swim-centric you want your device to be.

If the pool is your primary source of exercise, you’ll want to double check that your tracker supports multiple underwater activities. The Samsung Gear Sport has a partnership with Speedo, for example, while the Apple Watch Series 3 and Fitbit Ionic can both track swims from their default exercise apps. Other trackers may require you to identify your activity after the fact, and as a result may not give you the same amount of insight.

Smartwatches for Swimmers

The line between fitness trackers and smartwatches has increasingly blurred.

These days, many of the big smartwatches feature heart rate monitors and GPS, just like fitness trackers. Add a waterproof build, and many become suitable for use in the pool.

The Apple Watch Series 3, Fitbit Ionic, and Samsung Gear Sport are our favortie swim-friendly smartwatches right now. An added benefit is that these watches tend to be more stylish than their fitness-focused counterparts; you can easily switch a swim-friendly silicone strap out for something leather or metal once you’ve toweled off.

If you don’t need a waterproof tracker, check out our list of The Best Fitness Trackers[2] for a look at the top contenders in the category overall. And to better understand how gadgets are rated for durability, check out our explainer[3].

Featured Waterproof Fitness Tracker Reviews:

  • [4]

    MSRP: £449.99

    Bottom Line: The Garmin Forerunner 735XT fitness tracker gives pertinent information to triathletes about their sports, including advice you don’t often see, like recovery time. It’s comprehensive and ea…

    Read Review[5]

  • [6]

    MSRP: £19.99

    Bottom Line: Thanks to a smart balance of features and price, the £20 Misfit Flash Link is an excellent fitness tracker for first-time users.

    Read Review[7]

  • [8]

    MSRP: £99.95

    Bottom Line: With the Flex 2, Fitbit upgrades its original entry-level fitness tracker with a fully waterproof design, color LEDs, automatic activity tracking, and a variety of ways to wear it.

    Read Review[9]

  • [10]

    MSRP: £299.95

    Bottom Line: The Fitbit Ionic is an ambitious and promising smartwatch with a focus on fitness and accurate tracking, but its success will depend on the growth of its app ecosystem.

    Read Review[11]

  • [12]

    MSRP: £199.99

    Bottom Line: The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a premium fitness tracker, and it includes the GPS and heart monitoring features not found in lesser-priced models.

    Read Review[13]

  • [14]

    MSRP: £99.99

    Bottom Line: The Misfit Ray combines top-notch fitness and sleep tracking with one of the best-looking designs we’ve seen.

    Read Review[15]

  • [16]

    MSRP: £199.99

    Bottom Line: The Motiv Ring is a subtly stylish fitness tracker that puts lots of features and functionality right on your finger.

    Read Review[17]

  • [18]

    MSRP: £119.00

    Bottom Line: The Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition makes it easy to automatically count your laps, as well as all your activity.

    It’s a good looking device for swimmers, but not the only one.

    Read Review[19]

  • [20]

    MSRP: £299.99

    Bottom Line: The Samsung Gear Sport is a Tizen-based smartwatch with a fitness focus that gives Android Wear a run for its money.

    Read Review[21]


  1. ^ smartwatch (
  2. ^ The Best Fitness Trackers (
  3. ^ check out our explainer (
  4. ^ (
  5. ^ Read Review (
  6. ^ (
  7. ^ Read Review (
  8. ^ (
  9. ^ Read Review (
  10. ^ (
  11. ^ Read Review (
  12. ^ (
  13. ^ Read Review (
  14. ^ (
  15. ^ Read Review (
  16. ^ (
  17. ^ Read Review (
  18. ^ (
  19. ^ Read Review (
  20. ^ (
  21. ^ Read Review (

The Best Smartwatches of 2018

Watch Out

The infamous calculator watch[1] has been around since the 1970s, but smartwatches have finally reached the point that they’re, well, smart. And now that the Apple Watch has catapulted the category into the mainstream, smartwatches are no longer accessories associated primarily with tech geeks. From running apps, to displaying smartphone notifications, to monitoring your heart rate, the latest crop of smartwatches do a lot more than just tell time.

Since Pebble is out of the picture[2], which one should you buy? We’ve rounded up our top-rated options to help you decide. It’s also important to know what to look for, so keep the following advice in mind when shopping around.

Device Compatibility

Naturally, the first thing you’ll want to consider when buying a smartwatch is compatibility.

Most of the devices currently available use Android Wear, Google’s operating system designed for wearables; Android Wear supports iOS, but these are still very much Android-centric devices (make sure to look for a watch that supports Android Wear 2.0[3], the latest version of the OS). The Apple Watch, as you’d expect, connects strictly to iOS-powered devices, so it’s iPhone-only. Make sure to pick a watch that’s compatible with the mobile device you own.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any watches we recommend that support BlackBerry or Windows Mobile devices.


What separates a smart watch from a dumb watch? Lots of things, but as smartphones[4] have taught us, apps might be the most important.

Most of the watches we like feature full-fledged app stores, bringing everything from Uber and Yelp to–yes, a calculator–to your wrist. Much like smartphones, app availability is a good way to determine which product to get, so make sure to check out the app selection for each watch before buying in. And if you’re looking for apps, right now Apple is your best bet.

The Apple Watch has the largest number of high-quality apps and big-name developers, by far. Android Wear also has it fair share, but developer interest definitely seems to be in Apple first. Samsung’s homegrown Tizen OS doesn’t seem to be on the radar for most developers, and the kid-friendly LG GizmoGadget is more about messaging than apps.


Unless you want a gadget on both of your wrists (not the best look, in my opinion), you’ll want a smartwatch that can do double-duty as a fitness tracker[5]–or any other wearable gadget you were thinking about getting.

Most smartwatches are capable of tracking basic activity, like steps, but you need to pay close attention to any additional features. The Apple Watch Series 3 and Nike+ edition, for instance, feature built-in GPS, so they can track your runs without the help of a companion device. They also have heart rate sensors.

The Fitbit Ionic tracks more advanced fitness metrics than the competition, but has less in the way of third-party apps, so there’s some trade-off. Look closely and choose a watch that tracks the activities you want to monitor.

Cellular Connectivity

Now that Apple has added a cellular model to its Series 3 lineup, you might be wondering if cellular connectivity is something you actually need.

Basically, it allows you to make calls, send texts, stream music, download apps, and do anything else that requires an internet connection, without actually needing to be connected to your phone. The cellular Series 3 carries a £70 premium over the standard version, and you also have to pay to add it to your phone plan–most carriers charge an additional £10 per month. Whether this convenience is worth it for you depends on what you plan to use your watch for.

If you want to be able to stream music while you exercise, but you want to leave your phone back in the locker room or at home, a cellular connection can certainly come in handy. If you always have your phone on you, however, you can probably save the money and skip it.

Battery Life

You don’t want a smartwatch with good battery life, right? Good, because you’re not going to get it.

Watches with full-color, smartphone-like displays, like the Apple Watch and Android Wear watches, only last for about a day on a single charge. Like your phone, you’re going to want to throw them on a charger every night before you go to bed. And most of the watches that fall into this category feature screens that turn off after just a few seconds.

In order to check the time, you either need trigger the display with a physical button or a gesture like holding it up to your face.


Smartwatches can be very expensive, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money to get a good one. Yes, the ceramic Apple Watch Edition is sure to draw a lot of attention, but at £1,299 (and up), you can buy a couple of new iPhones. Even the base model Series 3 costs £329, placing it among the more expensive smartwatches we recommend.

If you’re a first-time smartwatch buyer, you might want to think about going the less-expensive route, in case you wind up not wearing it all that much.

The Best Android Watch

There are more Android Wear watches on the market than any other kind, yet a glance at the chart above shows our highest-rated Android model scores just 3.5 stars. We also don’t have an Editors’ Choice in the Android Wear category. That isn’t to say Android watches aren’t good–depending on your needs, you can get one that does everything you need for half the price of an Apple Watch.

But pay close attention to the reviews, because not all Android Wear watches are created equal. As mentioned above, make sure to look for a watch that runs Android Wear 2.0.

It’s the latest version of the operating system, and a significant improvement over the original that makes operation more intuitive. Aside from that, it’s pretty much about finding the features you want at a price you can afford. Our current favorite model, the Huawei Watch 2, offers continuous heart monitoring, built-in GPS, and above-average battery life.

There are also far more styles to choose from. If you buy an Apple Watch, you’re limited to a selection of proprietary bands if you want to swap out the original for a customized look. Many Android watches support standard watch straps, making your options virtually limitless.

Not only that, but the selection of watches themselves is far more diverse than the one-design-fits-all Apple Watch. Want a sporty design? Check out the LG Watch Sport[6].

Prefer to go the traditional route? Look to the Asus ZenWatch 3. So while Android Wear still lags behind the Apple Watch in terms of simplicity and app selection, it’s far more versatile in terms of pricing and features.

Buy It for Looks, Don’t Buy It for Life

Let’s not forget: You’re also going to wear this thing.

And unlike your Timex, it’s probably not going to remain in style for years. Smartwatch design is rapidly changing, so hold out until you find something you actually want to wear. And keep in mind that smartwatches are still gadgets.

The coming year is sure to bring new iterations of pretty much every watch on this list, not to mention plenty of completely new ones. The battle for wrist real estate is quickly heating up. That’s good news for consumers, since it’s likely to result in even better–and better-looking–devices.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this list reads completely differently the next time you see it.

But if you’re looking for the best smartwatch available today, the options here are the finest we’ve seen so far.

For the latest reviews, see our Smartwatch Product Guide[7].

Featured Smartwatch Reviews:


  1. ^ calculator watch (
  2. ^ Pebble is out of the picture (
  3. ^ Android Wear 2.0 (
  4. ^ smartphones (
  5. ^ fitness tracker (
  6. ^ LG Watch Sport (
  7. ^ Smartwatch Product Guide (

Apple Watch Series 3 versus Samsung Gear Sport

The Apple Watch Series 3 GPS and Samsung Gear Sport are two of the latest devices from smartwatch giants Apple and Samsung but, in this battle of the heavyweights, who comes out victorious? The results are in, and we can tell you the top smartwatch contender. This pair of smartwatches enter the metaphorical boxing ring with similar prices – there’s only GBP30 between them.

The Apple Watch Series 3 GPS[1] (38mm) is the pricier of the two and costs GBP329, while the Samsung Gear Sport[2] is GBP299. If you want the larger-faced 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 GPS, you’ll need to spend GBP359 – GBP60 more than the Samsung. They’re both health and fitness focused, but have a full range of smart features too.

In terms of key specs, how do they match up – and is there anything that sets these two apart? Below we take a look at exactly what each has to offer. Best Buy smartwatches[3] – find out which models beat the competition in our tough tests.

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS (38mm) Samsung Gear Sport OS compatibility iOS Android & iOS Display size (mm) 36 30.5 Display resolution (pixels) 340 x 272 360 x 360 Weight (g) 50.24 66 Dimensions (mm) 38.6 x 33.3 x 11.4 44.6 x 42.9 x 11.6 Battery life claim 18 hours Four days


They could barely be more different to each other in terms of looks.

The Apple Watch Series 3 has the rectangular bezel that the range has become known for, while the Samsung Gear Sport has a round watch face sat on a rounded-square surround, plus a rotating bezel. When it comes to the size of the case of each watch (including the bezel and measured diagonally), there’s very little in it. The Samsung Gear Sport feels a little bulkier, mainly due to the rounded-square surround of the face, and the fact that it’s heavier than the Apple Watch: the Gear Sport tips the scales at 66g, against the 50g Apple Watch Series 3.

You’ll be wearing these devices every day, so you want to be able to customise the look to suit you. The Apple Watch Series 3 GPS is only available with an aluminium bezel, unlike the Cellular version which can also be bought in stainless steel, with variation in silver, black or rose gold. It comes with a silicone sports band as standard, which comes in silver, pink, grey or black.

You can then choose from a range of bands, including woven nylon, leather or stainless steel, although these cost extra. The Samsung Gear Sport is only available with a blue or black silicone band.

Smart features

These are both advanced devices, and will let you receive and respond to texts, calls, emails, social media notifications and calendar alerts straight on your wrist. Neither have built-in LTE connectivity, unlike the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular and the Samsung Gear S3.

When it comes to on-board storage for storing apps and music, the Watch is the winner with 8GB versus the Gear Sport’s 4GB. While they both have a raft of smart features, what’s important is how they deal with them. One of these smartwatches scored five stars for the smooth way it manages smart notifications, and the ease with which you can deal with these.

Health and fitness tracking

Both devices have plenty of on-board sensors for health and fitness tracking, including built-in GPS and a heart-rate monitor, plus a water resistance rating of up to 50 metres.

They will both track steps, distance covered and calories burned, as well as a wide range of exercises. Using the Gear Sport, you can set goals for steps taken, floors climbed, calorie consumption, and even water or caffeine intake. The Watch only lets you set a move goal, which is based on the number or calories burned through an activity.

Both watches will notify you when a goal is met, and you’ll get an encouraging message such as ‘good work’ too. You can add third-party apps for particular fitness tracking functionality, such as Strava or MapMyRun. The App Store has the advantage over Samsung’s Tizen when it comes to the fitness apps available – there’s still a lot of choice and you’ll find most of the well-known health and fitness apps, but Apple has far more.

One health metric that the Apple Watch doesn’t track is your sleep. Given the battery life claims, you may well be charging your device overnight anyway, but this feels like a bit of an oversight considering even basic fitness trackers can capture sleep data. We know that the accuracy of health and fitness tracking data is important, as it helps you to track your improvements.

But how did these devices perform in our tough fitness tracking accuracy tests? We reveal all in our full reviews. More interested in fitness?

Find out whether to buy a smartwatch or a fitness tracker.[4]

Battery life

In this contest, the Samsung Gear Sport delivers a knockout punch to the Apple Watch Series 3.

Despite the number of features on offer, Samsung claims you’ll get around four days of battery life per charge, while the Series 3 promises just 18 hours – meaning you’ll need to charge it once a day, depending on usage.

To find out how both devices performed in our full testing, you’ll need to check out our full Apple Watch Series 3 GPS[5] and Samsung Gear Sport[6] reviews.


  1. ^ Apple Watch Series 3 GPS (
  2. ^ Samsung Gear Sport (
  3. ^ Best Buy smartwatches (
  4. ^ smartwatch or a fitness tracker. (
  5. ^ Apple Watch Series 3 GPS (
  6. ^ Samsung Gear Sport (