Apple Watch stands up to submersion in new tests

Caitlin McGarry
13 May, 2015
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The Apple Watch has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it can survive dunks up to a metre (three feet) deep and still work. Apple doesn’t recommend showering, swimming or diving with the watch, and most people will abide by that advice. But not triathlete Ray Maker, who did everything to his Watch Sport that Apple warns against.

People have already taken Apple Watch for a few laps in their backyard pools without incident (and posted the results to YouTube), but Maker took his Sport for a 1000-metre swim and it still worked perfectly when he emerged from the water. Check out the results below.

There’s no real need to wear your watch while swimming, because it won’t do anything useful. Wrist raise activation won’t work  and, even if it did, Maker says his heart rate measurements were all over the map. Plus Apple Watch doesn’t track swimming-specific measurements like pace-per-lap – probably because you’re not supposed to take it swimming. Maker’s Watch also survived three deep dives into the pool and a waterproofing chamber. I cringed while watching these videos, but they prove the watch can withstand more than I’ve given it credit for.

Why this matters: The Apple Watch is clearly not as delicate as it seems. If you’re concerned that the Apple Watch isn’t as rugged as other wearables when it comes to fitness just because it’s not officially rated for swims and dives, Maker’s videos prove the Watch can hold up just fine. But if you soak your Watch by swimming laps and it dies, just don’t expect Apple to offer a free replacement.

 

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