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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but needs some improvement
I must have been one of the first buyers of this item and it shows. The idea is great, the design is good but needs some improvement. On one side there are minor glitches that will keep improving via the upgradable firmware. Glitches such as getting pacing data in feet/second despite having chosen meters/second in the setup, not being able to choose the correct age or...
Published on February 11, 2011 by Arturo

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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Way too inaccurate
This devise does not work correctly way too often. I did not believe some of the reviews but they were correct it misses a lot of laps (or sometimes splits the lap into two) thus making the usage close to impossible. I tried to use it for my training sessions (like 4*50 with 15 sec rest) and it added 25 yards to 2 out of 4 repetitions. The idea is interesting, interface...
Published on May 5, 2011 by Vladimir


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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Way too inaccurate, May 5, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
This devise does not work correctly way too often. I did not believe some of the reviews but they were correct it misses a lot of laps (or sometimes splits the lap into two) thus making the usage close to impossible. I tried to use it for my training sessions (like 4*50 with 15 sec rest) and it added 25 yards to 2 out of 4 repetitions. The idea is interesting, interface is good and web site is nice but the fact that it is so inaccurate breaks everything for me. I sent mine back to Amazon for a refund.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but needs some improvement, February 11, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
I must have been one of the first buyers of this item and it shows. The idea is great, the design is good but needs some improvement. On one side there are minor glitches that will keep improving via the upgradable firmware. Glitches such as getting pacing data in feet/second despite having chosen meters/second in the setup, not being able to choose the correct age or weight but in multiples of 5, not being able to export or correct training data from the web app, etc.

Then there are the major issues. Battery will last for two one hour swimming sessions at the max. What is surprising is the rete of battery consumption in watch mode, which should be equivalent to a regular watch, so the best option is to turn it off when not in use. The other major glitch is not having heart rate measurment.

I don't want to look negative, this is a good piece of equipment and would buy it again, but it shows that swimming computers are a new breed of training computers and there is still a lot of room for improvement.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars details that really help, January 19, 2013
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
I have been using this watch for 3 weeks. I am a former competitive swimmer, now swimming masters and training on my own, 53 years old. I swim interval workouts, as well a long endurance fitness swims in a 25 yd pool. I am primarily a middle distance free style swimmer. Occasionally I swim in a wetsuit. I use a small paceclock on deck for interval swimming sets.
I have to say, this watch does several important things for me I could not do very well on my own:

1. log total yards, and accurately count laps on longer swims.
2. track and record pace and strokes on workout sets, allowing me to focus on technique and intensity

What I DO NOT use this swimming monitor for:

1. a regular watch
2. a lap counter that I can see while actually swimming/moving ( although i have tried many products for this purpose, there is not one that can be worn and seen easily while swimming)

I interface this watch with an iMac computer. At first, there was a hiccup with uploading the workouts, but that was because Finis had just changed their software from swimsense to streamline bridge, (the paper instructions in the box did not reflect that).Customer service at Finis by email, resolved that within 24 hours.
Also my paper manual, an even the online instructions do not mention a valuable new feature embedded in the watch: automatic interval swimming detection (as a configuration option). This is a unique feature that allows for swim sets to be recorded accurately and automatically
(such as 10 x 100 free on the 1:30 or 10 x 100 I.M. on the 1:45). For swimming tight interval sets this feature is invaluable, as you don't have to stop and pause and then restart the watch during intense swims. The interval splits are displayed by length AND by stroke type along with distance per stroke, stroke counts, and average pace. Even a deck side personal coach cannot do this. The data is fun to compare, workout to workout, and helps keep me honest (and motivated).

Occasionally the watch splits an interval up in a way that I did not swim it (say if I had a slow or blown turn), but the data can easily be edited in the display software. ("Combine interval edit")
Also there is a note section of the workout log that lets me put in other data such as subjective effort, if I did a different breathing pattern, if I descended a set on purpose etc.

I am surprised frequently by the monitor results, and believe it to be accurate. For example, I felt more comfortable breathing freestyle on the left than the right, but my right side breathing laps were shown by this monitor to be faster and more efficient (DPS). I also like seeing my splits, by stroke, on an I.M. set. The monitor has accurately picked up my stroke type, even in a wetsuit, where there is more buoyancy, and breast stroke changes a lot due to higher hip position. Additionally, I have been changing my flip turn from on side to another (wall push phase) and experimenting with times, and the monitor is not fooled.

All in all I believe this to be a great product thus far, and if it holds up, I will be using it whether swimming alone or with my masters team.
I would also pay double for this watch monitor if it had built in a heart rate monitor that would log heart rates and performance simultaneously while swimming.
Outside of a need to update the online and paper instruction manuals, I have no gripe, and only praise. Hope this opinion, and product, holds up.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product that could be made even better!, December 11, 2011
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
I've bought the Swimsense watch immediately after it was available in Europe. Since then I swam a few hundred kilometers wearing it. Basically unless I forgot to take it with me I used it.

I had some problems at the beginning with stroke type recognition but as the firmware was updated these problems disappeared almost completely. I also had some problems with the watch itself, but excellent support solved it quickly by sending me a new unit. I don't really like the web application which is the official way to manage your workouts right now, but since you can export your swims to a CSV file I created my own site that lets me see exactly what I want so I'm happy. Coming back to the watch itself, it is really important to have a strong push off and not to take pauses as you swim. While nobody does that intentionally you don't always have your own lane and then it becomes a problem. I think setting your minimum time per 25/50m would solve half of these automatically as now I sometimes end up with a 25m breast swam in 10 seconds which is something I will never achieve in real life :)

Pros:

- It does what it's supposed to do and it does it pretty well (counting laps + recognizing stroke type)
- You can get a decent idea if you are improving or not.
- It lets you export your workouts to CSV for further analysis using your own software!
- Battery life is really good

Cons:

- It does not let you count laps made doing drills, not even a simple push-counter.
- As a result of that some people are discouraged from drills and they are so important!
- New features which were promised a long time ago still haven't been delivered :/
- Online application needs a facelift and a lot of features!

Summary:

If you are looking for something that will keep you motivated, let you analyze more less how efficient you are this is what you are looking for. On the other hand it is definitely not a timing device. It will give you a decent idea on your lap times, but I'd say it's +/- 1 second precise. This device has a lot of room for improvement and hopefully the dev team will work on it, although for this price I'm absolutely satisfied with this watch. Looking forward to the next generation if/when it comes :)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately the watch has problems, January 28, 2012
By 
H. Miller (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
I've had my device for many months. The 1st one stopped mid swim for no apparent reason. It was replaced. The lap counting and distance can be either marginally off or wildly off.

I use my Timex Ironman with stopwatch to keep track of my laps when i use Swimsense to make sure I am getting an accurate count. My own calculation for laps is almost always different than the Swimsense. I still have no confidence on getting accurate readings. I've just complained to support and so far none of their suggestions are worthwhile...

In short, I really want this watch to work, but it just doesn't!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars watch broke down after 3 months, September 10, 2012
By 
NicV (Zurich, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
I got my Swinsense in March 2012.
used it almost daily for 3 months without a problem (other than erratic uploads to the web site at times).
I've put about 60km on it.
then... it started breaking down...
I stared seeing fog inside the watch...
then the STOP button stopped functioning.
I've contacted support and after a couple of back and forth and my sending a video of the watch disfunction, I finally got support to send me details for a return/exchange.
I followed all the instructions, sent the watch by registered intl. courrier at my cost.
it's now been a month.
I've chased FINIS for an update on the support ticket 3 times. without getting any response.
so far, my experience has been: a low quality product, match my a low quality customer service.
buy it at your own risk.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars good idea, with very poor implementation, March 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
At the time I was looking for a swimming stroke/lap counter (2011), there were only two options: swimsense and poolmate. Apparently the former one's review at amazon was way better, and I just picked swimsense. My later experience shows that this is probably the worst investment I've made when it comes to training gears.

The idea this counter is based on is interesting and becomes popular among similar products, but the workmanship and quality of this watch is nothing but lousy. The rubber band broke for the first time after ~ 3 months of normal use, which is around 3000 -4000 yard/week. After some hassle with the support, I got replacement from the manufacturer. And then, ~ 3 months later, the buckle broke again and I got another replacement. The watch was designed in a funny way that the strap can not be easily replaced.
And then a couple of months beyond their 1 year warranty, the watch's display is completely dead. I talked to support again and surprisingly they do not offer any service/repair at all. All they can offer is to give me 50% discount if I buy a new one.
If you feel this is just some particular case and I was just unlucky, then the terrible design of their log website is definitely not in this category: Very strangely the data of this watch can only be uploaded to their poorly designed website, thru their special software conduit. I would not have any complaint if all these work out fine. First, every once a while, their website would be down for no apparent reason and explanation; secondly, there is no way you can backup your data in your computer; finally you can not export your data from their online program for more customized analyzing with your own algorithm.
Besides all of those, the customer support of this company is very in-responsive. They promise to get back to you within 2 days, but usually this is just the lower limit of the time it would take. A lot of times, it takes days to make them understand your issue correctly.
In short, I would recommend all the people like me looking for a reliable training monitor to look somewhere else. Before they significantly improve their product and service, it would be just a good way to waste your money and valuable training time if you decide to buy swimsense.
Given my previous experience with several swimsense watches, I feel it would be a total waste of money to get a new one. I'd rather spend some more on a Garmin Swim, which my friends gave very positive review for.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea... just does not work, January 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
Got the Swimsense several weeks ago. I was super excited, and had read a couple of reviews that said it was great. Have tried it multiple times. The first time it was pretty good. I did about 1400 yards, it had me at 1275, not too bad. As I watched it during the work out it seemed to be way behind on the laps at all times. Yet at the end it popped up the right laps. The next day it was less then stellar 1400 it had me at 1725 and I had done 1900 yards. Since then its gone down hill. The first time I tried some different strokes I was pretty impressed with the results on the dashboard, since then its been getting worse. One day it had me at 50% of my laps done in backstroke. All I did that day was a 200 IM. I have tried changing the settings around a little on the intervals. It defaulted to manual so I tried automatic. That just seemed to make things worse. Yesterday After doing a 500 warm up, it had me at 1 lap 100 yards. I spent so much time playing around with the watch yesterday that my planned 1650 work out was really only 1000. However the watch had me at 250 yards at a total time of 4 minutes.

The clock does not work on my unit. I had the unit on the charger over the weekend at my office. It said it was fully charged. I started it up before my lunch time swim. The time was off (AGAIN) so I set the date and time. an hour later when I went to the pool it was still showing the time I had set an hour before (and yes I did hit save). I reset the time and started swimming. 20 minutes later time had not changed, reset it and still did not work. When I got out of the pool to shower I looked at the unit and i noticed the time was at least working (wrong time). I watched the seconds tick by.. 1..4...5...6.........8...9 It was a good 2-3 seconds between each change of time. From the time I left the pool, showered, got dressed and walked out the clock said a total of 4 minutes had elapsed. It was more like 15-18 minutes. For reference I left teh unit on teh charger turned on all night. The clock is now 12 hours and 22 minutes behind, and the date is now a full day behind too. Checked my workout yesterday and it says PM so it was set correct yesterday.

The charger is another issue. When you put it on the charging base, the bands act like a spring and push it off the connectors so it wont charge. So you either need to latch the band around the charger as if the charger was your arm, or you have to put the watch face down on the table so the charger is on top. If you latch the band it presses right where the USB cable comes out of the base, so I fear that the band forcing that cable to the side right at the connection will wear out the connection and it will fail. The other method to keep the unit connected to charging base is to put it upside down, but that rests it on the face and I worry that doing that is going to scratch it.

Also if you do any kicking sets, it does not work. Not sure why you they could not just add a manual lap counter so that when you are doing a kicking set, you could mark your laps on your own since your hands are free. Also I hooked it up to Myfitness Pal, and after all my workouts, yesterdays was the first to push across. (Though in their defense, that could be a myfitness pal deal)

After having such high hopes, I am very disappointed. I think there is some possibility, but frankly I would wait a version or two to see if they get the bugs worked out. I frankly never expected it to be perfect, but being off 75% means that it is worthless as a tracker for me. I have been counting my own laps for 32 years of competive swimming, I may have to go old school again :-)

I am going to try a hard reset on the unit, check for the updated firmware again, and if it does not start functioning better i am going to return it.

PS Just to not sound negative, the Dashboard is awesome, and the Bridge works really well. My computer seems to always have problems connecting to USB devices (takes a couple of plug and unplugs) but the unit gets picked up right away. The navigation was a little tricky at first, I reread the manual, and realized its actually pretty easy. You can get around inside fairly well. If I can get this working to any level of comfort I am excited to try it in open water. Right now I take my Garmin 310XT start it and put it in my cap so its mostly above water. Hoping it works in open water and the laps dont mess up the overall distance calculations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not recommend this device, April 5, 2014
By 
mitch55 (CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
I spent quite time to fix multiple issues with poor customer support,
received 2 times replacement, finally resulted in death of the watch, finding water drop in the display.
In terms of the functions of logging, not quite accurate, missing several turns, or over counts.
I was really excited when the one delivered, but it did loose the USB connection in 2 months, replaced by a new one by customer support,of which right top button didn't function at all even at the first use.
3 weeks later, another new one came, but was drown in 6 months. I decided to throw this out, and try other product such as Garmin.
On the 3rd one, I also had communication error on Mac which disabled uploading several months. The customer support simply recognized the issue with no solution.
I had to conclude FINES doesn't have necessary technology of this kind of device.

I would like to recommend to go something else, if you don't want to waste your time and loose log.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works, August 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor (Sports)
As advertised, I use it a couple of times per week. It took some work but I finally have gotten it to upload and it transfers the data to myfitness.com. It seems accurate to me, it counts my laps and the time it takes to do the laps as a minimum. If you want more it does that too. Some reviewers are hard on this but it does what they say it does. It seems like magic but it just works.
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