Forget Apple Watch Ultra 2 — the FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles are now my go-to for pool workouts

Can the FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles make me a better swimmer?

FORM Smart Swim 2 review
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The FORM Smart Swim 2 are both a great pair of goggles and a fully-featured underwater fitness tracker backed by an excellent app and metrics-based platform. It's only let down by a slightly erratic heart-rate sensor and an outdated charging method.

Pros

  • +

    Great visibility and comfort

  • +

    Accurate tracking and easy to navigate

  • +

    Comprehensive app platform

Cons

  • -

    Heart rate not always visible

  • -

    Charges via USB-A

  • -

    Monthly subscription required for additional metrics

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FORM Smart Swim 2: Specifications

Price: $249 / £229 / AU$399 / €249
Subscription price (monthly): $15 / £13 / AU$23 / €15
Colors:
Black
Battery life (rated): Up to 12 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Durability: IPX8 waterproof
Weight: 65g / 2.29 ounces

The FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles are, without doubt, the most comprehensive piece of technology solely focused on swimming that I've ever used. The design and fit of the goggles themselves are excellent while the platform backing them gives you everything you need to improve in the water. 

Despite the amount of tech loaded on board, the goggles aren't heavy to wear, they don't fog up and come with different nose bridges so you can find your perfect fit. The biggest selling point of the device is the heads-up display beamed into the right goggle so you can always see your metrics without having to glance down at a wearable strapped to your wrist.

This second generation pair of Smart Swim goggles improves on the prior model by shrinking the module mounted to the side of the goggles while still adding a heart-rate sensor. The goggles will track up to nine different metrics and, if you're willing to pay for the premium subscription, you can unlock professional coaching to help you improve in the pool or in open water.

While the Smart Swim 2 puts everything swim-related into a nice easy-to-use package, the pricing and specificity mean this is a product geared towards serious swimmers or those looking for meaningful improvement. 

You can accomplish a lot of the same stuff with a fitness tracker and pair of dumb goggles. But then, that doesn't make you feel like Iron Man every time you're getting some laps in.

FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles review

(Image credit: FORM)

FORM Smart Swim 2 review: Price and availability

There's no getting around the fact the FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles are an investment. The up-front price for the goggles is $249 / £229 / AU$399 / €249 — which makes them much more expensive than your typical Speedos as well as pricier than the likes of the $189 FINIS Smart Goggle Max Kit which connects to a pair of goggles you have to buy separately.

Where it gets even more expensive is if you factor in the cost of the subscription plan, which gives you access to personalized coaching, a digital compass for open water swimming and over 1,500 workouts alongside a number of other perks. If you want to sign up, your pricing options are as follows:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FORM Premium Subscription Price
RegionMonthly priceAnnual price
USA$15 per month$99 per year
CanadaCAD$19 per monthCAD$119 per year
Europe€15 per month€99 per year
UK£13 per month£84 per year
AustraliaAUD$23 per monthAUD$149 per year

As you can see from the table above, to maximise the most value from FORM's premium subscription, you're going to want to pay an annual fee. And, of course, unless you have your own pool (or a suitable nearby lake) you're going to need to pay the membership fee each month or year.

The good news is that FORM will likely offer you a free trial (sometimes as much as one year) so you can get a great deal of use from the platform before having to pay. Also, as you can see from the table above, availability isn't a problem with the FORM Swim Smart 2. Whether you're based in the USA, U.K. or Australia you can easily and reliably get hold of these goggles and their accompanying platform.

Sadly, they only come in the black and luminous yellow colorway you can see in these pictures.

The product is too new to see any reasonable discounts at this stage, but if you're on a budget you can pick up the previous generation FORM Smart Swim goggles for $199 at Amazon at the time of writing.

FORM Smart Swim 2: Design and comfort

FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles review

(Image credit: Future)

My first thought when I took the FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles out of the premium rubberised carrying case was how they'd feel strapped to my face for fifty lengths. There's a plastic module attached to the right lens housing the smarts that beam your stats in front of your eyeball while you're swimming. I needn't have worried as, once I pulled the goggles on, I barely noticed the slightly heavier weight (65g) compared to a regular pair. In fact, FORM has made the computer module 15% smaller than the first generation model, which makes these even easier to wear.

The company has developed proprietary eye seals designed to contour to a variety of facial structures for maximum comfort while you're in the water. As before, the goggles come with several different arched nose bridges so you can find the right fit for you. These clip on and off easily with no trouble. Likewise, the head strap can also easily be adjusted and is now a bright yellow color rather than the boring black of the first generation. That being said, the main frame remains black which, I'm sure, many will prefer because it's pretty discreet and doesn't advertise that these are high-tech expensive goggles.

FORM Smart Swim 2 smart goggles

(Image credit: FORM)

During my time swimming, the goggles didn't fog up once and only came slightly dislodged when I executed a fast turn and pushed off from the side of the pool much faster than I should have done. The text of the HUD is also a luminous yellow-green and is easy to see against the turquoise of the pool water.

You can navigate using the rubberized buttons on the underside of the computer module. These are easy to discern by touch alone and you can quickly cycle through the options during a rest at the end of a lap.

FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles

(Image credit: Future)

I didn't wear a swimming cap with the goggles and have medium-length hair that occasionally got in the way. But apart from a few annoying tugs to get strands of hair out of my face, the goggles remained in place comfortably throughout my swim.

FORM Smart Swim 2 review: Tracking and performance

FORM Smart Swim 2 stats vs Apple Watch Ultra 2

(Image credit: Future)

I am not, by any stretch, an elite swimmer. If I didn't know that before, I certainly do after taking the FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles out for a spin at my local 25-meter pool. Up until now, I've used the most low-tech method imaginable to gauge my swimming: the analogue clock mounted high up on the wall. If I can fit in fifty lengths in under 45 minutes with a mixture of breast stroke and front crawl, I'm happy.

Taking to the water for my regular swim session on a Thursday evening, the FORM Smart Swim 2 put me at fifty lengths in just 38 minutes and 11 seconds. I finished up at 55 lengths (1,375m) in 41 minutes and 46 seconds. During which time, I burned 360 calories with an average pace per 100m of 2.40 seconds. Which is all ok, but there's plenty of room for improvement. You can see above how those stats look when compared with those captured from an Apple Watch Ultra 2 during the same swim.

All that data is great to have, but it just scratches the surface of what the FORM Smart Swim 2 can do for me. The goggles measure nine basic metrics, which include: distance, time, heart rate, stroke rate, pace, split times, stroke count, distance per stroke and calories.

If you pay for the Premium membership, you get access to the HeadCoach training platform that also takes into account headpitch, peak head roll, time to neutral, interval pacing and set pacing. Take just the first two of those: thanks to a built-in gyroscope, the goggles will detect whether my head is positioned too low (looking at the floor of the pool) or too high (up out of the water) during a length swimming front crawl.

Moreover, when I whip my head round to take a breath, the goggles will determine if I am overcompensating and therefore expounding valuable energy. During the aforementioned Thursday night swim, my head pitch score was 33 (calculated by scoring my head pitch angle for every length and then averaging out — my head was at about 55 degrees) and my peak head roll score was 27 at an average of 139 degrees — which is woeful.

FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles review Jeff Parsons stats 1

(Image credit: Future)

In each case, I can access the HeadCoach section of the app to learn what each skill is, see what I'm doing wrong and watch instructional videos to see how to correct it. The nearest I can compare it to is having a sensor analyze your golf swing and provide feedback on how to extend your drive further. In terms of measuring and improving your swimming technique, there's nothing else I've used that's quite like it.

One of the big additions FORM has made for the Smart Swim 2 is an integrated heart rate monitor that sits in the top right corner of the display. I tested the Smart Swim 2 alongside an Apple Watch Ultra 2 to give me some frame of reference. According to the goggles, I worked harder with an average heart rate of 134BPM compared to the Apple Watch at 125BPM.

Heart rate stats from the FORM Smart Swim 2 and Apple Watch Ultra 2

Heart rate stats captured from the FORM Smart Swim 2 (left) and Apple Watch Ultra 2 (right). (Image credit: Future)

However, I did notice that the heart rate sensor on the goggles took a longer time to kick in. The sensor is positioned on the inside of the head strap so it sits against your temple.

FORM Smart Swim 2 goggles heart rate sensor

(Image credit: Future)

I found it took a couple of lengths to arrive and then would occasionally disappear while I was swimming. 

I'm not sure if this is because my hair was getting in the way or the movement of the water was interrupting the reading — but it became a bit of an annoyance. It may only vanish for a length or two before coming back again for a while, but I could never be sure it would stick around for long. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch kept up a steady, uninterrupted reading during the entirety of the swim.

FORM Smart Swim 2 review: Battery and charging

FORM Smart Swim 2 smart goggles

(Image credit: FORM)

Putting a load of tech into a pair of goggles means you're going to need to keep them charged. According to FORM, the Smart Swim 2 boasts a battery life of up to 12 hours. There's no indicator on the HUD indicating battery level, so you only get to see where you're at when the goggles are connected to the app. I'm not the kind of swimmer that'll be attempting a 12-hour open swim so I'm content to charge the goggles up between every trip to the pool. And given that I go pretty infrequently, that's not a big problem.

What's more of a problem for me is that the included proprietary charging cable comes with a USB-A connector. Which, in 2024, seems a bit archaic when most other fitness gadgets are (or should) be transitioning to USB-C. Especially given the high price of this equipment, I'd like to be able to plug them directly into my USB-C outlet without having to go searching for an adapter. Similarly, because it's a proprietary cable, if you lose or break it, you'll need to purchase a replacement directly from FORM for $19.

The good news is that charging happens pretty quickly and the goggles retain their charge for a long while. I picked them up two weeks after my initial swim at 100% battery, without having charged them when I got back, and there was still 73% left in the tank. Providing you remember to charge up after every other swim (and depending on how often you hit the pool), you shouldn't be worried about a dead battery. 

FORM Smart Swim 2 review: Verdict

FORM Smart Swim 2 smart goggles

(Image credit: FORM)

The FORM Smart Swim 2 are, without a doubt, the best piece of tech you can acquire to help improve your swimming performance. While the best Apple Watch and best fitness trackers will measure your swimming prowess, the FORM Smart Swim 2 blows past them in terms of insight and convenience. You don't need to glance down at a wearable because the information is right there in front of your eyes.

Even without the premium subscription, you can set yourself training goals and even sync the data with other services you may be using, such as Apple Health, Strava or TrainingPeaks. Moreover, the FORM app is simple and easy to use with eye-pleasing color bars and visualizations to help you understand what you're doing right and doing wrong.

Things aren't completely perfect with the FORM Smart Swim 2. You'll need to pay up for the subscription to get the very most from the device which isn't inherently a bad thing — you just need to be aware of that before making a purchasing decision. More problematic was that I didn't find the heart rate tracking to be consistently visible during swims and I also wasn't impressed with a $249 device shipping with a USB-A cable in 2024.

But those minor quibbles aside, I was hugely impressed with the overall tracking and performance of the goggles. Suffice to say, I'll be leaving the Apple Watch Ultra 2 at home when I head to the pool from now on.   

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Jeff Parsons
UK Editor In Chief

Jeff is UK Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide looking after the day-to-day output of the site’s British contingent. Rising early and heading straight for the coffee machine, Jeff loves nothing more than dialling into the zeitgeist of the day’s tech news.


A tech journalist for over a decade, he’s travelled the world testing any gadget he can get his hands on. Jeff has a keen interest in fitness and wearables as well as the latest tablets and laptops. A lapsed gamer, he fondly remembers the days when problems were solved by taking out the cartridge and blowing away the dust.