Swimming with Apple Watch Series 2 and Fitbit Flex 2

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#AppleWatch2 #FitbitFlex2Swimming with Apple Watch Series 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 : After years of users asking for it, Fitbit finally gave the world its first waterproof fitness tracker by launching the Flex 2. Apple meanwhile decided the Watch Series 2 was the right time to give its smartwatch a more swim-friendly design.

But both companies didn’t just stop there. They went one step further offering lovers of the sea and the pool the ability to track their swimming performance as well.

Waterproofing is always high on our list of priorities, but clearly it’s a lot more difficult than it seems. Fitbit revealed that it encountered Flex 2 production issues making the tracker waterproof. But it pulled it off, and we’re glad it did but it has been a long time coming.

So how does Fitbit’s first swim tracker skills compare to the the one that Apple has packed into the Series 2? We’ve been spending some time with both in the pool to find out. We’ll be adding our thoughts on how they fare for open swim tracking once we’ve had spent some more time testing them out.

Wearing them in the pool

If your wearable is not equipped to deal with the rigours of a workout in the water, then it’s already failed. It can track all the metrics in the world, but if it feels clunky or unwieldy when you’re swimming, it’s probably (definitely) going to get ditched. The good news on both fronts is that you won’t have any problems like that with the Series 2 or Flex 2.

Once you’ve paired the Series 2 with a suitably sporty strap, it really is a comfortable swim tracker to wear. We’ve lived with the smaller 38mm model, and it’s light, unobtrusive and does not budge.

Unlike the Flex 2, it does have the benefit of a full touchscreen display, but that’s inactive once you enter swim tracking mode. It’s fine though, because Apple’s reliable gesture support means a flick of the wrist will illuminate the screen to let you cast an eye over your performance.

Once you’ve completed a swim, a twist of the digital crown gives you back control of the touchscreen to pause or end a workout. You’ll also initiate the eject water mode, which gets rid of the water through the Watch’s speaker. It’s a clever way to deal with the potential build up of water inside the device.
The Flex 2 is even slimmer and lighter than the original Flex, which means it barely takes up any wrist space. You don’t have the screen, but there is an LED notification display that gives you a quite clear visual indication of how much swim time you’ve put in.

One light equals 10 minutes and so on. Fitbit has vastly improved the clasp on the Flex 2 as well, which means you’re not going to need to worry about this falling off. It might be a little trickier to take off afterwards, but it’s very secure to wear in the water.