One wearable fitness fan has been putting his Apple Watch to the test in a series of underwater endurance assessments, and the tech is holding up much better than expected.
Ray Maker is an American triathlete, with a pretty extensive athletic tech testing blog. In a series of videos assessing the Apple Watch’s overall fitness functionality, Maker included a trio of underwater tests.
To anyone who isn’t a tried and true triathlete, this would just be foolish. But Maker’s tests proved that the Apple Watch could actually be a lot better underwater than Apple dares to admit, since officially they won’t say it’s waterproof at all.
The Apple Watch Sport does come with an IPX7 water-resistance rating, which sounds impressive until you realise that, as Maker puts it, that’s “less than most $15 Walmart watches”. It’s possible that Apple has had one too many overpromise snafus, or maybe the next time Maker ends up in a 1,000 metre pool his Apple Watch will go on the fritz.
Because nobody ever reads the manual, Maker made a list of all the underwater things you’re absolutely not supposed to do with your Apple Watch and ticked them off, one by one. He took his Apple Watch for a spin off a 10 metre high dive platform, put it through a 1,000 metre lap pool test, and submerged it in a waterproof test chamber to simulate 40 metres of underwater depth.
After a couple of low platform dives, Maker has a fellow swimmer take his watch up to the high dive platform at 10 metres for a test jump, and the Watch makes it through without incident.
After his 1,200 metre swim, Maker demonstrates that the Apple Watch is still responsive and functional, but he does admit that the heart rate monitor accuracy was off while tracking him underwater. For the fitness trackers out there, Maker also notes that the Apple Watch Sport doesn’t have a specific swimming tracking function.
For his final test, Maker submerges his Apple Watch in a custom automated test chamber that uses a compressor to simulate depth underwater. Which, forget the Apple Watch, is a pretty cool unit in itself. He uses a standard dive gauge to show the compressor in action in real time, and the Apple Watch survives apparently undamaged.
Ray Maker has put plenty of other fitness trackers and tech through his underwater test programs on his YouTube channel, so the Apple Watch didn’t get any special treatment as it was put through its paces.
(The more cynical among us would’ve noticed that Maker doesn’t have any wrist tattoos, so that’s already a big advantage over other Apple Watch testers in recent weeks!)