Garmin is adding a new product to its line-up of fitness watches, and this one is dedicated to workouts of the aquatic variety. The Garmin Swim tracks your distance swam, average pace, workout time and more, and it uploads those stats to the web to help monitor your progress. Though it’s meant to be a part of your exercise routine, the Garmin Swim watch looks like your average plastic digi-timepiece. The watch has six buttons with functions for viewing the time of day, scrolling through the menu options, controlling the timer, viewing the menu and entering workout mode. The setup takes some getting used to, but the illustrative icons on the watch helped us get into the rhythm quickly.
Getting started with the Swim simply entails entering the size of your pool, with options to measure in yards or meters. Once that info is uploaded, you press the swim button and are ready to get splashing. We spent a solid half-hour doing laps, and the Swim duly recognized and recorded that we varied our strokes. Stopping the timer each time we took a break created a new interval for our workout, with a rundown of the elapsed time, distance in meters, number of strokes, type of stroke, total laps, average speed and calories burned. That’s a lot of data to pore over, and Garmin lets you wirelessly upload it all to the Garmin Connect site. To do this, you have to pair the watch with your computer using a USB ANT stick: once it works, it’s an efficient, easy way to review your workout, but it took us a few tries before our laptop recognized the watch. Garmin says the watch’s battery will last a full year, which is plenty of time to log some serious laps. For more about the Swim, check out the press info past the break.
Gallery: Garmin Swim hands-on