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Swimovate HR
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 13th August 2013


Tags  Lap Counter  |  Swimovate  |  Swimovate HR


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Swimovate Poolmate HR

Key Points

  • Vibrating in pool alarm for laps, distance, or time (intervals)
  • Heart Rate that works under water (chest belt 122Khz)
  • Rechargeable watch last for weeks at normal use
  • Downloadable to software for Performance Analysis
  • Sapphire crystal glass and ceramic dial to make it tough but really stylish

Price: £160

Find out more: www.swimovate.com/poolmatehr/

The Verdict:

First impressions were very good on unboxing the watch, it felt solid and well built. Compared to other watches I have tried this felt quality - it was a similar experience to holding a Garmin. It felt like it was up to the task, and would take a good beating in the kit bag.

So far so good. After setting it up and giving it a good charge the only thing to do was get wet!

My advice on getting started is to read the manual and play with the watch first on dry land as when you are in the pool and swimming you need to know what and when to use the watch.

Here you can select your pool length and away you go. Once going I let the watch do its thing. The vibrating alerts at first were a distraction but they now are very useful and when you are trying to focus on technique rather than counting laps it all falls into place.

My expectations for the watch were high, Swimovate have had a few models before this to get things on the right track and I think this is where they are, on the right track. I liken this to Timex, great products but some of their older user menus always seemed over complicated or just not intuitive. The Poolmate HR is pretty close to being great, it just needs a tweak of simplicity in the menu department. That is perhaps being over critical and if I read the manuals properly things would probably be different, but I bet many of us just dive in pressing buttons wildly! As I mentioned earlier, read, read, play and then go swimming.

The performance has been very good, the data I collected was as accurate as I would have expected. This is a world away from counting in your head as I normally do which can be distracting from working on technique. Setting up the watch proved to be straight forward enough and linking it to the computer for analysis all fine.

I found that you did need to open the Poolmate software for the watch to charge but this was no real issue and it says so; did I tell you to read the manual?! What I did find was that unlike many other rechargeable watches in my training toolbox this one went ages between charges. The battery life is one of the quoted benefits and it does indeed last a long time. If you are not recording training then the battery goes for literally weeks. Well done Swimovate, perhaps my iPhone needs a few lessons in battery consumption from you!

The software crucial to using the watch is pretty straight forward, it displays all the data in an easy to read format and with more data than this swimmer would need but it's all there for analysis. You can select which metrics are displayed and click back through the calendar display to compare older workouts. It's all there if you want it but also simple enough to get started.

In conclusion, the Poolmate HR is a well built, good looking training companion for swim analysis. It provided me with all the data I needed and has been a great addition to pool swimming. My only problem was being too eager to get using it and I should have sat back with a coffee and read about how it works more fully before going swimming.

I think this is an item that will be used perfectly by good swimmers and would be an item for swimmers who want to get better. I include myself in the latter group and if you use a GPS watch to monitor your runs and bikes, this will help with your swim. I sometimes need data as a motivator and this gives you that, even if you just use the top line information of lengths, stroke numbers and your time. Job done, data logged.

I will update this on the use of the heart rate monitor but I suspect this will be a pretty simple addition to the data logging aspect and possibly of interest to the more serious swimmers. None the less, a feature that is very high up on the feature list needs a good mention. I will report back.

Now, where is that manual?


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