The Top Water-Resistant Smartwatches

From Pebble to the Apple Watch, These Options Can Withstand a Splash

Pebble Watch
Pebble Watch. Alissa Hankinson/Moment Mobile/Getty Images

Whether you lead a particularly active lifestyle or simply are a bit accident-prone, choosing a waterproof smartwatch can be a smart choice. And especially when spending time outdoors in warmer weather, who isn't likely to encounter a splash or two? If water resistance is high on your list of must-have smartwatch features, read on for some of the top choices you should consider. 

Keep in mind that these smartwatches are water-resistant, not waterproof.

That means that you need to follow the specific guidelines for each product to avoid permanent damage. For instance, with all smartwatches, you’ll want to ensure that the ports are sealed so no water can seep into the products’ internals. Also keep in mind that most products don’t hold up well when exposed to salt water — if you do get salt water on one of these devices, make sure to rinse it off with fresh water as soon as you can. Finally, if you want a product that can accompany you in the pool for some laps, your best bet is a sports watch made specifically for swimmers.

Sony SmartWatch 3

Sony’s third-generation smartwatch, available for well under $200 on Amazon, was clearly designed with active people in mind. For example, the “transflective” display fights glare so you can see the screen even in direct sunlight, and the watch boasts an IP68 rating for its dust and water resistance.

With all the Smartwatch 3’s ports and covers closed, the device can be kept under 1.5 meters (almost 5 feet) of fresh water for up to 30 minutes without sustaining any damage. 

Apple Watch

As you may already know, the Apple Watch is water-resistant as well. There are some important distinctions between the different Apple Watch models, though.

The Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Series 3 are actually what some would consider "waterproof" — Apple says you can use them for "shallow water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean." However, the company says neither should be used for "scuba diving, water skiing, or other activities involving high velocity or submersion below shallow depth." Apple even specifies that you can take these models in the shower, though the company is careful to note that you shouldn't expose the device to things like soap and lotion.

The Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch (first-generation), meanwhile, are less water-resistant. You won't want to take them in the water, though they are splash- and water-resistant. The company says you can wear these devices during workouts without worrying about sweat getting on it, and while washing your hands. You should even be able to don the wearable in the rain without any serious repercussions. Note that Apple discourages submerging the watch. Also, note that the leather Apple Watch bands are not water-resistant — choose a Sport Band if you think the watch might get wet.

Pebble

The smartwatch that started it all, Pebble, is a strong option as well; the device is rated for water resistance in up to 50 meters (about 164 feet!) of water.

That means you can pretty much take it anywhere, from the shower to snorkeling. And as it's available for as little as $40 (because the company is no longer operating/selling products directly) Pebble is the cheapest option on this list, to boot. The Pebble Steel also boasts this level of water resistance. And interestingly, Pebble says that its watches have been tested to work within the temperature range of 14 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit — so it should be able to withstand the weather pretty much anywhere you go.

Samsung Gear S3

The Gear S is built to withstand immersion in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

Additionally, it boasts the highest level of dust resistance. One version of the the Gear S3 (the Frontier Model) has built-in LTE to act as a standalone smartphone, and it includes the same water-resistant features.

LG G Watch

The LG G Watch hasn't received much attention as of late, as the decidedly more stylish LG Watch Urbane has been hogging the spotlight. Still, this older model is IP67-certified, meaning it can survive immersion in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It's one of the cheaper models on this list, too, available for as little as $139 online.

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