Do I need a smartwatch to be able to use the goggles?
No, a smartwatch is not required to use the goggles.
The goggles work great in the pool on their own. They track and display your metrics (including stroke rate, stroke count, distance, number of lengths, distance per stroke and pace).
You can also use the goggles on their own in open water. This lets you track your time and real time stroke rate while you swim. You would also be able to review your average stroke rate and calories in the workout summary after you saved your swim.
In both the pool and open water, you can connect the Polar OH1/OH1 + or Verity Sense sensor to monitor your heart rate in real time.
You can connect a compatible smartwatch in open water to see time, distance, pace and heart rate* (*heart rate is not available when connected to a Garmin fenix 5 Plus).