Garmin Swim 2 GPS Watch – Review

Garmin Swim 2 tests related to specific tools, battery life, and technical aspects. The basic Garmin Swim 2 features, but also the unique functions.

Garmin Swim 2 complete review, symbols, applications, set ups, pool swimming details, openwater swimming details, GPS and heart race accuracy.

Over seven years later, Garmin has actually lastly incremented the 2nd version in their swimmers-only watch. And also, it’s precisely what you would certainly anticipate in the first swimming watch from Garmin in 2020.

A lot more than that– it has, in fact, obtained brand-new swim-specific attributes not seen on any type of various other Garmin gadget today. This consists of auto-rest for periods, Critical Swim Speed monitoring (kinda like FTP, but also for swimmers), real-time pacing informs, as well as brand-new enhancements to organized exercises that can likewise be implemented on one’s guard. It seems like those functions are established to be included to some existing 2019 Garmin enjoys as well, however no durations.

Regarding the only disadvantage contrasted to the OG Garmin Swim watch? The initial Swim 1 simply utilized a coin-cell battery that lasted for life in your swim bag (like, several months).

Oh, and lastly, as constantly, I utilize tools like wild tracks – leave absolutely nothing behind. These are media loaner devices that go back to Garmin quickly.

The Basics (Non-Swim Stuff):


If you’re acquainted with Garmin wearables after that, truthfully, you can avoid this area on the Garmin Swim 2. In this piece, I’m going to detail all the basic little bits of the Garmin Swim 2 watch, from the task monitoring to rest monitoring, heart price things, as well as even more.

You can match and also blend from a slate of pre-installed watch encounters, or thousands extra from Garmin Connect INTELLIGENCE IQ. For the pre-installed ones on Garmin Swim 2, you can fine-tune the accent shade; however, you can not personalize the specific information areas on each watch face (Garmin’s higher-end watches enable that).

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These consist of little bits like climate, actions, 24 × 7 heart price, stress and anxiety, body battery, as well as your last swim information (consisting of devoted web pages for open water versus swimming pool swims). You can personalize which of these web pages are revealed or not revealed, and also many of them enable you to open them for additional information.

Several of the symbols on the Garmin Swim 2 are rather darn refined. Two wave lines listed below a swimmer suggests ‘swimming pool swim’ versus three lines indicates ‘open water swim,’ particularly on the once a week complete web pages. If you desire your week to begin on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, you can set it up on your Garmin Swim 2.

The Garmin Swim 2 watch will certainly track your actions and basic straying around task making use of the accelerometer (it additionally has GPS as well; however, that’s for exercises especially). You can see your action amounts to the majority of the watch deals with, yet likewise on the actions widget, which you can after that study for even more information.

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Keep in mind that the Garmin Swim 2 does not have a barometric altimeter in it, and also hence does not track stairways climbed up.

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On the back, you’ll have discovered that blinking thumbs-up, that’s the optical heart price sensing unit– the very same one discovered in the Garmin Forerunner 45 watches. Garmin Swim 2 tracks your heart price 24 × 7 in addition to throughout exercises.


You can see your heart race on several of the Garmin Swim 2 watch features; however, additionally, there’s a four-hour chart too in the widgets. And also, atop that, you can check out your relaxing heart race monitoring, which is possibly one of the most helpful parts of the Garmin Swim 2.

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Like actions as well as whatever else on your Garmin Swim 2 watch, this is moved to Garmin Connect, and also you can do longer-term analytics there:

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The Garmin Swim 2 watch will certainly track your rest immediately each evening; no switch presses needed. With a two week old newborn in residence, I’m amazed by exactly how well Garmin Swim 2 is managing that.

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Keep in mind that, like many businesses, Garmin Swim 2 still does not track snoozes. There is no credit rating for them.

These will certainly reveal from any kind of application that you’ve configured your phone for notices on. You can set up whether or not to show these, and whether or not to present them in an exercise.

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There’s no technique nevertheless to respond to a text message (at the very least on iPhone, due to Apple limitations), so it’s even more of a verification point than anything else. You can silence these in the evening, making use of either the do not interrupt feature on your phone or on the Garmin Swim 2 watch itself.

Pool Swimming Details:


We’re going to leap right into the swimming pool on this set. Practically the Garmin Swim 2 device does sustain five sporting activities in a total amount: Pool Swim, Open Water Swim, Run, Bike, and also Cardio (Indoor). Keep in mind that if you desire walking/hiking, you can simply utilize running, there’s no functional distinction in regards to information areas or anything.

To begin a swimming pool swim, you’ll push the top right switch on the Garmin Swim 2, and by default the very first choice will undoubtedly be swimming pool swim:


Press it once more, and also you’ll get on the waiting display where you can see your existing swimming pool size, heart price standing, time, and after that option of choices.


If you weigh down to alternatives, you’ve obtained a heap of points on Garmin Swim 2: Workouts, information display setup, signals, swimming pool dimension, stroke discovery, the countdown begins, as well as automobile remainder. I’ll describe them all one after another.


Up on Garmin Swim 2 is exercise. This is where you can introduce custom-made exercises developed on Garmin Connect/Garmin Connect Mobile and after that downloaded and install to your watch. Garmin states they’ve made some tweaks timed to the launch of the Garmin Swim 2 that include added functions, particularly that you can currently allow greater than two actions in a repeat block, which you can likewise make it possible for embedded repeat blocks.

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Right here’s exactly how that searches on Garmin Connect are producing an organized exercise:


On guard, there’s, in fact, a solitary customized exercise now, which is the CSS Test. I’ll say much more concerning that later on, however practically talking, that’s simply a customized exercise they’ve pre-loaded. I would certainly like to see them pre-load a couple of even more exercises, comparable to what they do on the Vivo collection for a handful of exercises pre-loaded.

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On Garmin Swim 2 you can produce signals for range, pacing, or time. The method it functions is that it’s kinda similar to something like the FINIS Tempo fitness instructor in that it’ll vibrate/chirp your wrist each time you need to be striking the wall surface for the rate you define:


If you establish an offered speed – state 1:30/ 100m, after that, it’ll do the mathematics based on your swimming pool dimension and advise you each 18 secs, which preferably lines up to when you struck the wall surface. It will certainly both buzz and make this bird in a blender or food processor tweeting noise.

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On Garmin Swim 2 you can readjust these pacing notifies on the fly in the swimming pool by holding the up switch, and you can likewise silence them too– once again, all mid-workout.

Next off, there’s a swimming pool dimension. This one is straightforward, and it’s where you establish your swimming pool dimension.

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By default, this is on, yet if you’re like me (a lowly triathlete that just swims freestyle), after that, you can think about transforming it off. Which is generally like claiming ‘I do not desire to listen to when you’ve spotted my stroke incorrectly since I simply do not care.’


The factor, though is to enable you to push beginning, and after that go at specifically 0 secs. Suitable for beginning from the blocks, or for those of us that simply desire every last nanosecond of time on our divides.

And last, yet not the very least (as a matter of fact, perhaps the very best function) it is the brand-new Auto Rest on the Garmin Swim 2.


This is like Garmin’s Auto Pause in Running/Cycling, however, for the swimming pool. It’ll instantly produce laps (collections) as you quit at the wall surface each time. You can essentially do your whole exercise by memory from beginning to end up and also never ever touch your watch, while still obtaining your established details.


The means it functions is that in the swimming pool you’ll see the display on a white history suggesting you’re mid-lap. When it goes to black history, it suggests you’re in remainder:

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And also, in truth, you’ll see the distinction on the interval timer particular display, due to the fact that it reveals the last interval time, and also any type of repeat time.

If you’re Type-A like me and also desire each established timed to the 2nd ideal, you’ll possibly desire to stick to switches. Garmin states that both periods, and remainder periods (times), might be off “sometimes” by as much as 5-10 secs. You can not utilize this in combination with any type of structured/custom exercises– those need hands-on switch pushing.

It is the real-time Garmin Swim 2 display and when exactly it switches from swim to rest screen.

Unlike running or biking, there’s really little communication you’re most likely to have with the watch when you’ve begun swimming. I locate the most effective time to see the watch is an extremely mild wrist spin following pushing off the wall surface on any type of offered size, which I can conveniently and also plainly construct the numbers on guard. Naturally, I’m fortunate because my sight is respectable– yet also in the nightclub swimming pool, it’s not a concern.

You see, all interior swim goggles or watches work with approximately the very same facility: They make use of accelerometers as well as gyros to identify whether you’re swimming continually, or if you’ve simply transformed at the wall surface.

No dance, no re-enacting the YMCA tune to your friends in between collections. As well as if you’ve got Auto Rest on, for the love of God do not attempt grabbing that girl or guy in the lane beside you by making believe to be a trainer and smacking your arms regarding showing appropriate catch and arm joint positioning in between collections. Every one of these will certainly create negative points to occur, despite the Garmin Swim 2 gadget.

Just swim. Otherwise, they might think you’re swimming then too.

Next off, finish the swimming pool swim. When you do so you’ll be provided your collection recap:

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Right here’s what it appears like on Garmin Connect (you can click this web link to go into my swim):




Garmin Swim 2 has a super simple structure:

  • 10-minute easy warm-up
  • 400m at race pace
  • 10 minute easy
  • 200m at race pace

There is additionally a calculator on the website also, if you simply wish to do this examination by hand:


When you’re done, you’ll get sharp at the end of the exercise that you’ve got a brand-new CSS worth (for those triathletes, it’s the same to the FTP and also lactate limit messages on your watch). Or, you can bypass it by hand any time:


The concept, though, is that you’ll trend this in time. At existing, it’s not readable anywhere within Garmin Connect or Garmin Connect Mobile. I’ve got ta think that’s on the means, given that there are many various other efficiency metrics that are trended with time currently on Garmin Connect.

Openwater Swimming Details:

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Next off, we head outside right into open water with Garmin Swim 2. It’s simply not wonderful for brief ranges like that.

Both of those assistance downloading and install information from the upper body band to your Garmin Swim 2 watch after the swim collection is done. It has to wait till the swim collection is full to download and install that information due to the fact that neither ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart take a trip even more than regarding 2-3 cm undersea.

What’s trendy however is that (and all of this relates to swimming pool swimming as well), you can make use of the optical Human Resources sensing unit in the Garmin Swim 2 watch throughout the swim to see your information, and after that, you can still download and install from the upper body band post-swim to obtain even more precise information. It’ll merely change the optical Human Resources swim information immediately.

All the same, to begin open water swim you’ll head back to the sporting activity food selection and also select open water:

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There are few choices on Garmin Swim 2 for open water swim, leaving you with simply: Data display arrangement (primarily like interior, other than without the pool-specific areas), signals (time/distance/stroke race only), laps (auto lap or guidebook), as well as GPS kind (GPS/GPS+ GLONASS/GPS+ Galileo).

Or else, once the GPS is located on Garmin Swim 2, it’ll reveal you that, along with your heart race. In my experience, it’ll locate GPS within a couple of secs if you’ve been outside lately or if you’ve synced with your phone or computer system lately so it can pre-cache the satellite details.

Afterward, they merely struck the begin switch and also began swimming. As you’re swimming, you can repeat your information areas, and you’ll obtain real-time range statistics. You can stop it if you need to wait on watercraft to cross the network, or you can simply let it ride as I did below.

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One of the points I’ve been looking for details right here is that it does not break itself and also quit videotaping range arbitrarily (generally at simply a couple of loads meters right into the swim). I’m satisfied to claim I have not seen it in any of my open water swims today.

When you’re done with your swim wearing the Garmin Swim 2, you’ll push the time out switch, and also after that, push it once again to quit. After which, you’ll obtain a recap of your swim on the watch itself:

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And after that, upon Garmin Connect you’ll see the swim information:


And naturally, if you’re on Garmin Connect Mobile (the mobile phone application), you’ll see that there as well.

From an open water swim viewpoint, points are functioning incredibly well for me. Probably the most effective open water swim watch I’ve ever before had, also consisting of the well-founded Suunto Ambit 2/3 devices, which was among one of the most precise GPS watches of perpetuity. Looter alert for the following area– I would certainly suggest this is the most precise open water swim watch ever before (for on-wrist use).

GPS & Heart Rate Accuracy:


For heart price recording, you’ve got two choices: The initial is to make use of the interior optical Human Resources sensing unit, and also, the 2nd is to make use of a Garmin HRM-TRI or HRM-SWIM breast band. Upper body bands are a rather well-recognized point, and also Garmin’s breast band has actually been around years.

When it comes to swimming Human Resources in basic, I do not really locate it very valuable. The factor is that swimming Human Resources has a tendency to delay substantially contrasted to cycling or running Human Resources. Every business from Polar to Suunto to Garmin and also most likely Apple, if you obtain them intoxicated sufficiently, they will certainly inform you that gauging optical Human Resources undersea is at finest a doubtful recommendation.

Allow’s begin with the other day’s open water swim. For this, I’ve obtained the Polar Vantage M on one wrist, the Garmin Swim 2 on the various other, and after that a Garmin FR935 affixed to a swim buoy behind me as the recommendation track.


The swimming track of the Garmin Swim 2 can be a little bit tough to see, being the consistent wobbles and also misdirection of the Polar Vantage M’s swim track. Allow’s got rid of that for a 2nd as it’s not also shut.


Certainly, there are some well-secured aquatic web traffic network pens that I have been following to, and also, it’s incredibly outstanding exactly how close this gets. Both the referral track and the Swim 2 obtained the proper side of the buoy– extremely close.


On the following buoy, I walked around beyond it (without quitting). The referral track captures that properly, however, not the Swim 2. Remember, virtually no other GPS devices would, in fact, pass this examination in open water swim setting:


Right here’s including back in the Polar Vantage M to show that:


You’ll see the recommendation track, as well as Swim 2, is a simple 30 meters apart after some 1,700 m.


Next, this time we are switching out the Polar Vantage M for the Apple Watch Series 5. Formerly I would certainly have stated that was the ruling king for open water swim GPS precision.


Currently, the Apple Watch really did not make any type of significant errors, as well as general, and it’s excellent. You can see as I began off on the very first going across of the network, it had not been spot-on:


It’s difficult to see in teal, yet it essentially crosses in the wrong place, and after that does an odd loop-de-loop beyond. The Swim 2, as well as the FR945 recommendation track, are near similar.

It looks like I wandered really somewhat, which both the recommendation track as well as Apple Watch Series 5 chose up. We’re just chatting a couple of meters added, yet the Swim 2 showed up to smooth that out.


On the various other sides of the lake, when I made my following turn, you see the Apple Watch reduced the edge a little bit once again, whereas Swim 2 managed it well.



The last one, for the enthusiasts. The exact same collection of gadgets as previously, simply various courses. Below’s that information established:



At the various other turns, we see no corner-cutting from the Swim 2, however extremely mild corner-cutting from the Apple Watch:


Surprisingly, when throughout the network, we see the particular mistake in all my open water swims – a quick wayward loop-de-loop revealed on the Swim 2 track. I had actually stopped briefly right here to take photos/video; therefore, my arm was listed below the water a little bit (which is no different from anybody else treading water awaiting a swim friend). It showed up to trigger some small complications for the GPS.





There are some really small unusual bugs that require to be improved. Points like the GPS placement turning up in swimming pool swims after the truth online on Garmin Connect or some small interface peculiarities in the food selections that simply require eliminating. None of it affecting real everyday usage, simply points that are a lot more things I see and I think others would not like…