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152 Reviews
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful training aid
I've been swimming with the Poolmate for about a month now and on the whole I'm very happy with it. My swimming has improved significantly, partly because I've been able to accurately track my times, speeds and stroke efficiency but probably more because I'm not having to count my laps which leaves me free to concentrate on maintaining good form.

The Poolmate...
Published on 19 April 2011 by K. H. May

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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poolmate
If you are like me and daydream when doing endless laps then losing count is annoying. I often swim 2 to 2.5 miles of our pool without a break so keeping count whilst trying to focus on technique is difficult. The poolmate really does what it says on the tin and so far I've found it to be very accurate. Even when doing long strokes it never misses. For these sessions it's...
Published on 10 Feb 2010 by P. Hume


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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poolmate, 10 Feb 2010
By 
P. Hume (UK) - See all my reviews
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If you are like me and daydream when doing endless laps then losing count is annoying. I often swim 2 to 2.5 miles of our pool without a break so keeping count whilst trying to focus on technique is difficult. The poolmate really does what it says on the tin and so far I've found it to be very accurate. Even when doing long strokes it never misses. For these sessions it's brilliant and if that's all you need it for it's a four star bit of kit. I've only given it 3 stars however as it's also a bit of an annoying little device. For instance, on those long swims it would be nice if you could set it so that it beeped after say every 10 lengths because as you can imagine, with not having to count you have no idea how far you've gone or for how long you've been swimming without stopping to look. The reason I've only given it 3 stars though is the other functions for when you are doing intervals and the like. The stop button doesn't stop the time unless you press it twice and then the whole thing resets. Pressing it once puts it into pause mode. Ok I suppose if you want so many seconds between intervals but I prefer to work off a set time. For these type of sessions my Timex IronMan watch is much better. Personally I also don't think scrolling through the options and settings is very intuitive and takes some fiddling with. Looks wise I wouldn't wear it for normal daywear. It looks cheap compared to other digital watches. In summary, if you want a watch to just count laps then get it. If you want one for varied workouts wait for the mark 2 to come out.
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful training aid, 19 April 2011
By 
K. H. May (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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I've been swimming with the Poolmate for about a month now and on the whole I'm very happy with it. My swimming has improved significantly, partly because I've been able to accurately track my times, speeds and stroke efficiency but probably more because I'm not having to count my laps which leaves me free to concentrate on maintaining good form.

The Poolmate isn't without its quirks, as many reviewers have mentioned, but I've been able to minimise or work around all of them quite easily. I shouldn't need to say that you need to have the Poolmate tight on your wrist. Not so tight that it's uncomfortable, but the watch shouldn't move around on your wrist during your stroke. The most significant issue I've encountered is the Poolmate's tendency to 'drop' laps. Basically this happens when the watch fails to detect that you've finished one length and started another. It's a good idea to periodically check that the watch has an even or odd lap count at the right end of the pool. If it's wrong, then that means it's dropped a lap so just carry on and add an extra lap to what the watch says. All your figures will be slightly out, but your time will be correct which for me is the most important.

Chances are you can easily minimise the likelihood of the Poolmate dropping laps by changing the arm you wear it on, though. The watch seems to detect the end of one lap and the start of another by registering a stop in motion, followed by a pause as you kick off and glide to start the next lap. When I started with the Poolmate, I wore it on my left wrist, like I would a normal watch, but soon realised that because I take my first stroke with the left arm, I was shortening the amount of time the Poolmate had to register that 'glide' phase. By wearing it on the right wrist, it gets an extra half-second or so and now it almost never misses a lap.

A few minor technical hiccups shouldn't put you off this device though, as it's a great training aid and probably the next best thing to having a swimming coach. It's an innovative device and there's nothing out there yet that can do what it does, so a few minor limitations are to be expected.

That said, there are a couple of things that prevent me from giving the Poolmate five stars. Firstly, it just seems to cost a bit too much for what it is. It's essentially a waterproof digital watch with a motion sensor and some simple software and I think Swimovate are being a bit cheeky charging 70 for it. Secondly, the Poolmate Pro option costs twice as much for the same watch with a microUSB port and a bit more basic software. Thirdly, the battery is only expected to last for one year, at which point you're supposed to send it back to Swimovate to "ensure it remains watertight", the cost of which, judging by the rest of their pricing, will likely be a gross inflation of what you'd be charged at your local watch repairer (who would almost certainly do just as good a job).

Bottom line, if you're a keen swimmer and want to improve then the Poolmate is very effective and worth what it costs. If you're more casual about your swimming though, you should have a think about how much you want to spend on the Poolmate and its replacement batteries, and be sure you're going to get enough use out of it to justify the price.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb !!, 28 April 2012
By 
Ms. L. J. Lewis "LauLau" (Hereford uk) - See all my reviews
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Was initially concerned after reading all the bad reviews but took the plunge anyway deciding that the watch looked good anyway. When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised how it fitted my wrist. I have very small wrists and was expecting it to be geared up more for men not us ladies. Tested the watch in my 25m pool which is never quiet and even in the fast lane have to contend with a lot of others swimmers and different paces but again the watch did not dissappoint and counted my 64 lengths. ( I counted as well to double check) . A few more swims and I trusted it completely now I don't bother to count. An excellent watch and well worth the money.I wear the watch on the tightest notch when I swim and loosen it at other times. Also love the calorie counter which always makes my swim feel worthwhile after a hard days work
The only negative I have is that it seemed to scratch quite easily and I wish I had left the clear cover on it but the positive far outweigh that small negative.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 15 July 2010
By 
BigSofty (Peak District) - See all my reviews
I have had this for a few months now. At first I though it was great was reasonable consistent although it nearly always ended up with an odd number of laps. I usually swim for about 1hr in a 25m pool and have never managed to count past 10 so this product was a god send. It usually counts to about 80 but one day I managed to count for a whole hour and got to 100. Since then I have been checking my length times on th epool clock and I am consistently below 40s which is consistent with swiming 90+ lengths. So the counter is out by quite a bit when it only reaches 80.
I wear it on my right wrist so I changed the settings for left wrist and tried it on my left wrist. This time the count was only 50. So for me it is not at all reliable as a lap counter. And the time drifts out as well so not great as a watch.
I haven't tried to return the watch because the guarentee specifically excludes the accuracy of the lap counter.
The instructions also tell you that you should not press any of the buttons under water!

On the plus side I have just spoken to Swimovate who make the watch and they are going to send me a "recording watch" when one comes free which will look at why my lengths are not properly recorded. So maybe things will get better!
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivating gadget, 15 May 2010
My Pool Mate arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to try it out. I practised with it in house first, using swim like arm movements, so that I was familiar with the controls. I don't usually swim on Saturday mornings, but I don't usually have a new toy to motivate me! The Pool Mate worked perfectly. I was able to pause it when I was having short breaks - this is very easy to do. At the end, there was a log for the overall swim and also logs for each set of the laps I did. These are automatically stored, but can be deleted if you don't want to keep them. I'm a recreational swimmer who is trying to improve fitness, so it's going to be very useful to chart my progress as my strokes, speed and stamina improve. My efficiency is way below average at moment (no surprise to me) so the only way is up. I use a heart rate monitor when exercising and always know how many calories I'm burning during other exercise and now I know what I'm burning during swimming - excellent. It was great not to be counting lengths all the time. I'm very pleased with this product.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poolmate, 28 Jan 2011
This was such a disappointment. After spending a lot of time and effort to find the right product this one seemed like a real winner and so was purchased as a christmas present. Unfortunately the product did not work. There was less that 50% accuracy with the number of laps done and the number of laps the poolmate actually recorded. We tried to solve this problem with no success. If you are a regular swimmer this seems like such a great idea but it just does not perform as the company claim which was a real shame and it seems like one of the best items on the market. My recommendation would be to keep counting the laps the old fashioned way until the watch actually works properly - this is potential and a market for such a product but with less than 50% accuracy this is not yet available. On the plus side it is light and looks good!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really useful product, 1 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. S. G. Ward "inodyouhitit" (North Yorks) - See all my reviews
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Great little watch with fantastic functions (love the stroke rate counter and efficiency index) - 100% accurate so far notwithstanding I use a small 20m pool. If in doubt buy it !!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great watch but could be improved, 7 Mar 2011
I really like the watch and what it does for keeping track of my swimming sessions.
At first I hoped that I could just start it and do my swimming sets and get the total number of laps/meters I had done but I got some surprising results.
This was due to that I did drills or switched stroke during a lap. When I found this out it works great.
It would be great if the watch could handle this but maybe thats impossible.
I would also like it to be able to present separate laptimes for longer sets instead of just the average time per lap.
For instance if I swim 500m it would be great to have separate times for each 50m during that set.

Overall I recommmend the watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SWIMOVATE POOL MATE, 8 Jan 2011
The watch accurately counts the number of laps done in the pool and does what it says on the box. Setting up the watch needs some getting use to as it is not so intuitive as a normal digital watch but the instructions are clearly presented. It takes some effort to remember the various functions but on the whole works well.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't read it in the water, 18 Jan 2012
I'm a regular slow swimmer, doing 1Km before work 3-4 times a week in a 25m pool, taking about 30 mins to do so. My eyesight is poor but I wear prescription goggles and in the past I have been able to read non-automatic lap counters under water. This device is not the easiest thing to get to know, the buttons are not intuitive, the screen contrast is low and it uses letters for text, e.g. an upside down "6" (or possibly a "9") for a "g".

The first time I used it I quickly learnt that if you crawl and tend to breathe to the right, you don't see much of your left wrist. Swopping it to the right it accurately counted my laps on the first occasion. Next time it was 2 laps short (certain I counted correctly), today it was three short and as I ended up at the same end of the pool as when I started it most certainly is wrong.

The biggest issue however is that by the time you deal with the clock face mainly showing the time with the number of laps in relatively small "type", the low contrast of the screen, the distance of your wrist from your face whilst crawling, the 90 degree offset of the clockface (with your right arm outstretched the numbers are at 90 degrees to where you want them, which is why you normally flex your elbow to read the time), any deficits in your eyesight, the relatively poor optical quality of goggles and the fact that underwater the watch "glass" becomes relefective - you have absolutely no chance of checking the number of laps whilst still cralwing. If you have perfect sight and swim breaststroke with your face out of the water you could probably check it without stopping.

Looking at the other reviews people seem to have bought this to enable them to check how far they have gone as they seem to lose count. I would be prepared to perservere with my style and try and get the counting sorted but as a tool to preventing stopping too soon because you've lost count, it's hopeless.

If the manufacturers read this - it needs to be simpler, we don't need all the airy-fairy add-on calculations; people want a lap counter and timer. Once running it needs to have a large backlit or illuminated screen in very clear type showing alternate time and number of lengths completed and a watch face which swivels so that you can read it on an outstreched arm.
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