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Thread: Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

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    Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

    My Garmin swim watch bit the dust. (Warning to anyone who has one - make sure the back is really snapped down after you change the battery or it will get water inside...like mine did!) I really enjoyed having this as a tool to keep track of what and how I swam at each workout. But I'm debating replacing it with the Swimovate Poolmate Live...which appears to have an option for open water swimming. Has anyone used either of these watches, or both, and have an opinion to share?

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    Re: Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

    I have not used either but my wife got me a Pebble earlier. I have enjoyed it.


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    Very Active Member Sumorunner's Avatar
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    Re: Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

    I have the Swimovate, never had a Garmin, so I can't compare. The only way one uses it for open water is simple chrono mode like a run watch. It can't measure distance, stroke length, efficiency, etc. unless it first knows the length of the pool.

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    Re: Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

    The Garmin Swim is a very good watch for pool swimming. I have had one for several years, and the battery lasts over a year. But if you want something for open water swimming, you need a watch with GPS and open water mode. Open water mode simply uses a different algorithm to filter the raw GPS given path, which can be very noisy, as the arm is more than half of the time underwater. I have a Garmin 920XT, which supports both pool and open water swimming. It used to be an expensive triathlon watch, but it seems to be on sale now and you can get it for $200. DCRainMaker has a website with very good triathlon gadget reviews, including some swimming watches. It also has pointers to possible discounts, sales etc.

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    Participating Member VintageDirt's Avatar
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    Re: Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

    The new Swimovate does have an "open water" mode. But it's an estimate based the stroke length you enter.

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    Re: Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

    I have both a Garmin 920 XT (a GPS triathlon watch with swim function) and a Swimovate Poolmate 2 (has OW mode) - not exactly the same models you list but many of the same features. You really have to get a GPS capable watch for accurate OW data. Garmin & Suunto being the main options. Without GPS, OW mode is just an estimate based on stroke count. The varied water conditions of OW can change your stroke efficiency too much for stroke count alone to be meaningful. Both brands will accurately count lengths in the pool sharing the same limitations - they require strong push off from the end, can get fooled if you stop mid way or change strokes. Garmin is way more expensive but offers much more data as well as customizable data screens. The swimovate is much cheaper, but basically just counts laps. The other advantage of the swimovate is that it is much smaller on my female wrist. I started with the Swimovate and have since passed it on to another family member who only needs to count laps. If you aren't interested in spending the $$ for GPS triathlon watches, then best just to give up on OW mode and just pick a pool watch that has the features / price you prefer. One other option for OW that I have heard of is to put a GPS running watch in the swim cap, but that assumes you already have one.

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    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

    Has anyone yet tried the Swimmo (http://www.swimmo.com/specs/) and, if so, can you make any comments about the accuracy of the heart rate monitor functionality? I really don't want a swim watch for anything other than 'instead-read' heart rate, but I've not yet found one that works.

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    Re: Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

    I'd be interested in any Swimmo reviews as well. Holding out on a purchase until I can read more about it; it seems to have all of the features I'm interested in, but I'm not sure how accurate or durable it is.

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    Re: Swim watch - Garmin versus Swimovate Poolmate Live

    I have a Garmin 735XT - has running, biking, tri, pool, and open water options, plus other apps to add (hiking) - and I really like. It charges via a USB cord, so no battery changing

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