Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
About two weeks in the past, I placed on my suit and jumped within the pool for my first lap swimming consultation in 4 years. In not up to one duration, it was once glaring to me that not anything had modified: I nonetheless knew the right way to freestyle swim (although I used to be in an instant out of breath) and Fitbit trackers have been nonetheless totally pointless at swim monitoring.
I’m lately dressed in a Pixel Watch and the use of it to trace my walks, random hikes, and, for the previous couple of weeks, swims. And let me inform you one enjoy isn’t just like the others. So in case your most popular type of workout comes to doing back-and-forths within the pool, I wouldn’t counsel you get a Fitbit and I’d warning you towards the Pixel Watch too; there are a lot better smartwatches for swimming in the market.
Do you monitor your swims with a health tracker or smartwatch?
The place are the swim stats, Fitbit?
As you’ll see within the left screenshot above, once I get started monitoring a stroll or hike, I will see quite a few stats on my Pixel Watch‘s display screen, from the overall distance to the selection of steps, middle price, tempo, energy, energetic zone mins, and extra. I will even customise the show setup to just display the stats I care about. However as the suitable screenshot presentations, once I get started a swim, all I will see is the elapsed time and, uh, that’s it. Only a stopwatch at the display screen. No laps, distance, tempo, middle price, or anything else of the kind. A $10 virtual watch does the similar factor. Heck, I may just merely have a look at the wall clock within the pool and calculate the length of my swim!
A $10 virtual watch can monitor the length of my swim simply as smartly.
Issues don’t get significantly better once I’m out of the pool and sync my workout with my Pixel 7 Professional. The app presentations me what number of lengths I’ve swum and calculates the overall distance. The ones are all of the right kind swimming stats Fitbit deigns to offer me. Any seasoned swimmer will inform you that they don’t desire a fitness tracker for that; we already depend laps in our heads and we will do the maths. Multiplying by way of 50m or 100m isn’t rocket science.
What we want is tempo, reasonable length in keeping with pool duration, spoil length, splits, a SWOLF rating, and it all obviously arranged by way of swim stroke kind. (I individually change freestyle and backstroke and I’m indubitably sooner on the former). Appearing me general length and distance is opaque and useless; it doesn’t permit me to match my stats, observe my development, or be informed anything else attention-grabbing about my present swim. Runners, cyclists, and hikers have it such a lot higher with Fitbit.
Even after syncing to my telephone, all I am getting is general length and distance. It is useless.
And sure, there are 3 different tabs of so-called stats, however none of them imply all that a lot for swimmers. Energy burned get two tabs for some explanation why, with a graph this is mildly attention-grabbing to observe my common development and leisure. Any other tab presentations middle price zones, however I doubt they’re correct as a result of, for some explanation why, middle price doesn’t seem to be tracked all the way through swims. Wait, what?!
The place is the guts price information, Fitbit?
For different workout varieties, Fitbit measures and presentations my middle price in an in depth graph. For swimming? Nada. As I discussed previous, even the energetic mins don’t seem to be correct as a result of it doesn’t matter what I do — swim sooner, slower, or leisure — all my mins are counted as “fats burn.” Even my first swim, once I struggled so much, couldn’t breathe correctly, and felt my middle bounce out of my chest, was once supposedly all spent within the decrease “fats burn” zone. I do know my frame and I’m assured I hit the aerobic zone many times and top middle price more than one occasions.
Center price information is totally lacking when monitoring swims.
It sort of feels to me that, as an alternative of depending on measured middle price information from my smartwatch‘s integrated sensor, Fitbit is making use of some previous set of rules that appears on the swim’s length and general distance, then assigns a mean middle price zone to all of the workout, without reference to what I’m doing or how intense the workout feels to my very own middle.
I wore an Apple Watch on my 2d wrist the opposite day, simply to peer if the Pixel Watch was once messing up my zones, and smartly, sure. Consistent with the Apple Watch, I spent over 50 mins above 149bpm, which must qualify because the “aerobic” zone on my Pixel Watch. However in keeping with my Fitbit stats, I used to be chilling within the “fats burn” zone just about all of the time. When you’re questioning, the 2 watches measure the similar middle price out of doors the pool, so it isn’t an issue of one in every of them being erroneous.
Any other somewhat telling evidence is that middle price information all the way through the swim is totally lacking from the day’s graph too. Test the screenshots underneath. I went for a swim round midday on Tuesday, July 25, and Thursday, July 27. Center price information is particularly lacking all the way through the ones workouts (identified by way of the purple arrows), so there’s no method for me to inform how intensely I swam. In any respect.
Fitbit’s swim monitoring is crap, get a Garmin as an alternative
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
To be truthful, this isn’t anything else new. Fitbit’s swim monitoring has been underneath par for years. Even again in 2016, when I used to be trying out the Flex 2, I realized that it failed at monitoring any attention-grabbing information about swims. Seven years later, it nonetheless does. Fitbit presentations the similar stats now because it did in 2016. There must’ve been quite a few time to reinforce the ones algorithms and supply a greater swim-tracking enjoy. Alas, nope.
Fitbit’s swim monitoring hasn’t stepped forward in additional than seven years.
The Pixel Watch’s handiest saving grace is the third-party Swim.com app. It measures lots of the stats you want and turns out correct sufficient. However the information doesn’t sync again to Fitbit and combine with the remainder of your workouts, leaving you with any other app to stay your eye on. (No, Swim.com doesn’t make stronger Google Well being Attach.)
That’s why I’d counsel you get any other health tracker when you’re desirous about monitoring your swims and bettering your tempo. Garmin trackers are superb for swimming or even a elementary choice just like the Garmin Forerunner 55 ($199.99 at Amazon) will
run swim laps round the most productive Fitbits or the Pixel Watch with excellent data at the display screen, whilst you swim.
However, if you wish to have extra apps and smarts, Apple has upped its swim functions and the newest Apple Watch Series 8 will display your whole laps, swim types, tempo, and extra. It nonetheless has some problems measuring laps and detecting wall flips, even though, in my enjoy.
And in any case, if you wish to are living someday, the FORM swim goggles ($249 at Amazon) overlay your stats within your goggles as you swim. I used to put on them when I used to be continuously swimming 4 years in the past and, although I disliked the slender box of view, I discovered the enjoy of seeing all my stats in entrance of my eyes insanely superior and helpful. It was once like having my very own relentless trainer, and it helped me push myself and reinforce my swim far more than glancing a few times at an eye display screen ever may just. I nonetheless have it in my backpack so perhaps I’ll take it for a spin on my subsequent swim. I simply want Fitbit on my Pixel Watch may just come any place close to that.