As a swimmer and coach, every time a new activity tracker is announced, my first reaction is to flip through the official page trying to find out if it is compatible with my favorite sport. The following is an in-depth study of what you are really tracking about swimming because it can be anything from total time and distance to the detailed breakdown of each round. Most of the time, there is no information available and I just need to purchase the device to test it myself.
When I saw Form's swimming goggles, I knew what I was up against. They're made specifically for swimmers and no one else, and the app clearly shows a wealth of follow-up details. However, what was most interesting to me was the idea of having my stats before my eyes when I was swimming: no more lifting my wrist to check where I was and there were no more water barriers with each stroke, I could only swim. In practice, Form meets all of these expectations.
Hardware, design, what's in the box.
Unless you really see it, Form's glasses don't scream, "I have high-tech gear in my head." The smart module is not active and is not too prominent or looks very strange. The all-black design also helps hide it, making the overall effect quite unappealing. I'm not sure someone in my pool is paying attention to them, but if they do, they don't say anything.
The glasses only have two buttons: one to turn on and select, the other to move between different menus. They click with enough comments so you always know you pressed it. Other than that, it only takes a few clicks to start swimming, and there is little reason to touch any button until it's done.
Two magnetic charging pins are visible on the side. This is a proprietary method, but given the form factor and the need for excellent water resistance, the choice is justified. All modules are tightly closed to prevent water leakage.
As for the glasses, this is not my favorite design. The most annoying aspect is the small, narrow lens of the eyepiece. I am used to curving individual goggles that provide a deep swimming experience with exceptional visibility even to the side. The form design reduces my field of view to what is in front of my face with artifacts on the sides, bottom, and top. When I look down, I can't see someone coming from the end of the pool; Fortunately, that's not a problem for me because I don't go to a crowded pool and often get a path for myself, but it can be a problem where you swim. I can barely see other swimmers in the nearest lane, so I can't enjoy my favorite underwater activities observing their shapes and techniques. You could say I was forced to focus on swimming alone, but after a while it got pretty boring.
The design of this lens seems to be determined by the screen's projection system. This is a series of transparent plastic pieces that reflect the image from inside the module on the lens in front of you. I understand the limits for first generation products, but I hope the Form works to avoid this little lens with the next iteration.
However, one good thing about this design is that it can be reversed. You can choose to use glasses so that the screen is on the right or left side, and change the settings in the application or on the glasses to flip the text.
Five sizes of nose bridge are provided to help fit. I generally prefer elastic toe bridges that don't need to be adjusted, but I don't see a problem with this harder material. The adjustable straps are fine, although the mechanism is annoying. You have to spend your time going through all the circuits. Toothed cords that can be quickly adjusted and stay in place will be better. When properly adjusted, the goggles provide a good seal and I've never had a problem with water leaking, so while I'm not a fan of the design it gets the job done.
Form says he makes these glasses to last four hours a day, six days a week. Silicone eye seals are very durable and FDC certified, and the glass has the same anti-fog coating found on dive masks. If you are used to submerging goggles in water before swimming or spraying Quick Spit to avoid fog, you should change your habits. Only fresh water can be used to rinse and reactivate the coating.
In the box, you get Form goggles, four additional sizes of nose bridge, a large, breathable bag, a charging cable, and a manual.
Swim with shape
After adjusting the glasses to fit my face and adjusting them through the app (quick process), I went to the pool to swim for the first time. The first round is brutal. I had trouble seeing something, I miscalculated the distance to the wall with my sandals and almost hit myself again when I stopped. Slowly, I began to get used to them. My eyes learn to look beyond the projections to see what lies ahead and I adjust to the narrow field of vision.
After swimming several times, I got used to them and stopped worrying about what I could and couldn't see. This is certainly not my favorite aspect of this lens and I would love to see the same feature with a wider field of view, but for now, this is an exchange I'm willing to do, given all that the other Forms provide.
The screen is super clear and easy to read all the time. When you swim, the words seem to overlap in the water or float a few meters ahead. Still, Form told me that people with myopia will have no trouble reading it. The brightness can be adjusted so that a low setting is sufficient if you're swimming indoors, but for outdoor pools on a sunny day, you may need to turn it on.
In my swimsuit, I saw some fog on the left lens, which had no appearance in my case. Rinsing them with cool water before or after swimming should stop that, but it keeps happening. Sometimes it's just the side of the lens, but once it's the entire front and I have blurred vision throughout my swim. I was told this was not a problem (and other reviews seemed to indicate that I was alone in this matter), so maybe my unit had the wrong layer, or maybe I had chosen the wrong one. I have to manipulate this and try to find a solution.
The best aspect of using Forms in a pool is that you really don't have to do anything after you start swimming. Turn it on, choose the length of the pool, choose whether you want to swim laps or intervals, and start. The timer doesn't even start counting until you push a wall or jump, so it can take a few seconds to prepare before you leave.
Unlike wrist-based trackers or clock speeds, you don't need to raise your head or hands or change anything about how to swim to see your stats. That aspect is quite magical. No more dragging water from the clock, just wrapping your head to quickly see the time it turns, and you no longer guess its length because you lost count in the middle. The timer is in front of you, the time for each duration appears after you rotate, and you can choose to view more statistics when you're resting. This experience is a bit real, like you have super powers in your eyes and it tells you everything you need to know about your swimming.
Spin mode is ideal for casual or semi-serious swimmers. You do your thing in the pool and the form will keep track of everything. The stroke type (freestyle, back, breaststroke, butterfly) is automatically detected based on head movements. Flip too, whether you're doing underwater or spinning regularly. Rest is recognized, so you don't need to manually pause every time you rest. When you are ready and push the wall again, the motion detector bar fills the screen, indicating that it is starting to count again. The bar really helps you see when the tracker is getting ready to count a lap, so if you're hectic in place and you see it's fully loaded, you can rest easy and cancel. There is no other swim tracker that tries to give me this kind of feedback.
More importantly, moving your hand while pausing does not cause additional lengths to appear incorrectly, an advantage compared to other wrist-based trackers. I can even change lanes twice during breaks (to make room for team training sessions) while still following or influencing my swimming stats. HIS that right
I usually swim in a 25m pool. My routine is freestyle rotation (50m) with the underwater twist on one side but stopping to breathe on the other. I repeat five times (250m) but do it with my back at my last length to break boredom. Then I rest a little and repeat everything 6 times with a total of 1500m.
During my first bath, I noticed that each break was shorter than 5 seconds don't count. A breath stop takes around 3-5 seconds so that shorter breaks don't count and time adds to my duration. So I decided to stop for a moment or two more seconds to avoid it. Here we break our hair, but this is exactly how you are with these glasses. There is no other swimming tracker that allows you to quickly understand what is happening and adjust it on the spot.
Left: Before setting a break, some did not count. Right: Then. Beauty in order.
There was also some swimming where I felt a jerk and the push from the wall was very smooth. I was immediately afraid that the Form would not count and I was right. The entire round was recorded as a length and my stats fell by 25m for the remainder of the swim. However, when I sync the glasses with the app, the awkward length cannot be found and the total distance is accurate. I contacted the form and got confirmation that there was post-processing on the server that could fix this type of error. I never saw a tracker make a correction like this when I saw something strange, and I praise the company for it.
Interval mode maintains the same benefits as spinning mode, but is aimed at more disciplined swimmers. The main change is to see the time and statistics per set instead of the totals. You can also switch to training from the pause screen in any mode for following kicks, freestyle with one arm and other exercises.
After swimming, stop the exercise and you will get the latest statistics through glasses. They can store around 200 exercises, so there is no need to sync immediately afterward, but you need to do it to see your swimming stats. Don't forget to turn off the glasses, because there doesn't seem to be an automatic shutdown. The battery may not need to be depleted if you leave it on.
Android apps and statistics
The Android application form is very impressive. It is beautifully designed, easy to navigate, and quick to set up and use. The interface is divided into three main parts: Eat, My glassesY My profile.
Swimming bait and swimming statistics of an interval 5 x 100m.
The bait is where you will find all your bathing suits and everyone you follow. Touchez swimming and you will be served a beautiful comprehensive set of statistics. The first screen shows the duration of each hit length, level and type, as well as all breaks. The second places all the information in the progress progress table with different totals, displacements and rest periods. The third divides the entire swimming distance per stroke. The fourth shows your SWOLF score by length, and the fifth shows your calories spent according to the type of stroke. There is also a general screen with the total amount depending on the type of stroke.
A swimming statistic. Accurate, detailed, beautiful.
So far, this is the detailed swimming stat I've seen on any tracker, from the basic Fitbit experience to Misfit, Mi Band 4, and Garmin, and do I need to repeat it again? Very nice to see. I'm a mathematician – numbers, graphs, and statistics speak to me, and I like how everything is displayed in the Form app.
Equal to 1500 m of swimming. The shape is right (left), Fitbit Inspire HR says 1525m (center), Mi Band 4 somehow break it 2750m (right).
They are also the most accurate swimming statistics I have ever seen. Every swim is perfectly tracked: No odd lengths appear here and there, nor a total distance that cannot be understood. Even the running frequency is correct, which is surprising considering that the tracker is in my head and not in my hands. The only difference I noticed is the amount of bumps on the back – forms are always calculated to double, but I was told this problem would be fixed this month.
I tried doing a weird swim where I alternated between different styles. Don't disturb him.
The glasses section allows me to manage my units and choose what statistics I see in lap and interval modes. The swim display can be turned off by one, so if you choose to avoid annoying numbers when swimming, you can. A temporary spin screen (when flipping) and a rest screen are required. Two metrics can be displayed at the same time: the upper one is generally locked on a timer, but the lower one can be adjusted as desired. The rest of the screen allows you to rotate between the bottom three metrics, which is a nice bonus.
Choose the metrics you want to see on the swim, flip, and rest screen of your glasses.
And finally, the profile section is where I can edit my profile information and make it private, view some statistics and general purposes, change units, disable notifications, and connect to third-party services. Strava Peak, Garmin and Training are currently supported, but Google Fit and Apple Health will be added in the fall.
Of course, there are things I add to the app, but only to take it to the next level. Comparative statistics between swimming, access to current statistics (and not just the previous length) when swimming, best recommendations for other users to follow based on my speed and level, competition and challenges between users, etc. I also want training in glasses, training and challenges.
For first generation products and applications, the form is almost perfect. I rarely see such a polished and impressive software experience, only Nuki comes to mind.
Configurations and forms settings.
Should you buy it?
Yes this, with some caveats. I was very skeptical before trying Form for myself, but my first swim, while uncomfortable, came as a great surprise to my mind and I can easily recommend these goggles if you are passionate about swimming.
For casual or semi-serious swimmers who like to go further and challenge themselves and also enjoy statistics and numbers, the form is very good. It helps you keep track of turns when your mind is floating, push yourself when you want to increase your time, and track your progress during swimming. It also tracks your every move, leaving you free to swim however and whenever you want without worrying about frequent breaks and moving arms, smooth turns, or unstructured intervals.
For serious athletes and swimmers, nothing comes close to precision and simplicity in a pool. Direct feedback when nothing is unmatched, head-based tracking is more accurate than wrist-based tracking, and the app gives you more detailed statistics than you can do to help you understand where you're lazy or improve.
The main weakness is the narrow field of view and the price. If you want to know, the Form offers a 45-day fit guarantee so you can return your glasses for free if you feel it doesn't work for you. The company also has a one-year limited warranty, and replacement parts are available if you contact customer service. That's not something I want to worry about with my goggles, and I prefer the form factor that separates the goggles from the smart modules so it's easy to replace, but that's where swimming technology is good right now.
Some goggle-based swim trackers have appeared before (ZWIM, InstaBeat, Phlex EDGE, SWIMAR), but they stopped for years and never launched or disappointed when they did. The forms, on the other hand, are available now, working as intended, and are made by a team of people who have previous experience in making AR glasses: the founders were behind Recon Instruments, which was bought by Intel and was let die. Maybe that's not a bad thing, because now we have a more focused company that knows what it's doing. Shape glasses are good evidence – these are AR glasses that are made correctly.
- You like swimming and don't mind paying for the best activity trackers.
- You're a professional athlete and need immediate feedback when you swim and detailed stats afterwards
Don't buy it if
- He likes swimming but can't justify paying $ 200 for glasses
- You are an open water swimmer
- You never take good care of your glasses and you think you could damage or lose it