In my quest to find a running watch to meet my needs, I decided to try the Coros Apex GPS Watch. The company, Coros, is a newer company on the GPS scene. They created two watches, the Coros Apex, and the Coros Pace. I chose the Coros Apex because it has all of the same features of the Coros Pace but has a “less sporty look.” I wanted a watch I could wear wherever.
Coros designed the Coros Apex GPS Watch as a Multisport Watch for athletes who want to train harder, smarter, and more efficiently. Along with pace, distance, time, you can even create workouts specifically geared towards your fitness level and training needs.
1000s, 400s, mile repeats? You got it! (A key importance for me)
After a workout, you can easily upload your data to the Coros App. If you use Strava or Trainingpeaks, it will sync to that too. It does everything a Garmin Forerunner will, and I believe everything the Garmin Fenix also does. Coros vs. Garmin is comparable in everything, including GPS Accuracy.
In exchange for an unbiased review, Coros gave me 50% off the watch.
Coros Apex Thoughts:
Right off the back, I liked the look of the Coros watch face. I like the sleekness of white but also the ability to change bands if I want too. Plus, the watch face is not big or bulky. Of any watch I’ve used, it’s by far the lightest.
I’m upgrading from the Garmin Forerunner 220, so the Coros Apex GPS has a lot of features. Garmin vs. Coros is similar, and you wouldn’t go wrong with either. Since I run, I’m most interested in running watch and overall health features as they relate to running. Before researching watches, I was unfamiliar with the brand Coros. It’s a newer company but well known for running, cycling, and swimming.
As far as features go, the Coros Apex is most similar to the Garmin 935.
Coros Apex Design:
The Coros Apex is available with a watch face in two different sizes, 42mm and 46mm. I went with the smaller Coros Apex 42mm apex because I like a smaller watch face that I can wear daily. It looks sporty but not ultra-sporty. It’s something I can get away with outside of the fitness world. The Coros Apex 46 mm is by no means big. I just prefer something smaller.
One thing I haven’t experimented with (yet), is the removable bands. Once the white gets dirty, I’m sure I’ll be changing bands. I like pink, so maybe that will be next. You are also able to create custom watch faces too.
It’s advertised to go about ten days on a single charge, and I’ve had success with that. In fact, I only charged the Coros Apex once on my entire trip to California. I wore it every day and used the GPS mode for either hiking or running.
It can also be in “Full GPS mode for 25 hours (or 35 with the larger 46 mm). I have no need for that length of GPS, but if you are an ultra runner, I can see a huge benefit to not changing watches. I appreciate I don’t have to charge it after every workout because I usually forget.
Coros Apex Features:
The Coros Apex Watch has a lot of features. Since I upgraded from a Garmin Forerunner 220, it took me a while to get used to everything. In fact, I’m not fully used to everything just yet.
The important features to me were the ability to program a running workout like 12X400 with 400 jog in between (or any track workout) as well as the essential time, distance, pace. I liked the look of the Fitbit, but it could not program track workouts.
Seems simple right? Believe me, the Coros Apex Watch has all of that and far far more. I’m a basic runner and would prefer an “easy to use” watch versus one with 10,000 features that I didn’t use. Luckily, the Coros Apex is both easy to use and has a ton of features.
Here are just a few of many features for the Coros GPS Watch:
- Distance, pace, and speed (compared to other GPS brands, I’ve found it accurate
- Entire Indoor/Treadmill Run Feature: I used Coros inside (my first time using a GPS watch inside ever), and the indoor GPS is accurate as well.
- Heart Rate, Heart Rate Zone
- Cadence and Stride Length (in real-time)
- Auto-lap, auto-pause
- Training Load and Stamina Level information: Are you training too much?
- VO2 Max information including lactate threshold, threshold pace, and aerobic and anaerobic paces.
- Ability to display more or less data on the watch face: Seeing the data is neat, but I personally don’t need to see it every second of my run. You can adjust the data screens to show more or less information.
Keep in mind, I don’t cycle. At all! The Coros Apex does all of the cycling data too.
- Distance, speed, HR, HR zone, and so on.
For the LOLZ, I decided to get back into the pool just to see what the Coros Apex did. Back in my day (omg I’m old…a decade ago), we had no GPS watches to track our collegiate swimming laps. To be honest, that was probably good. Moving forward, it was a whole new experience to get all of this information in the pool. It’s also waterproof up to 100 feet.
Like other sports, it did the following:
- Distance, pace, stroke count,
- I swam in the pool, but you can differentiate between the pool and open water swimming.
- I have found it to be accurate too. When I swim 1000 meters, it says just that.
Coros Apex Heart Rate Monitor:
I used the Heart Rate Monitor, and in comparison to my Fitbit, it’s pretty spot on. Like most fitness trackers and GPS Watches, the Coros Apex uses wrist-based heart rate. There is no strap, and everything is done from your wrist. I didn’t have an issue, and the accuracy seemed right in line.
Coros Apex and Hiking:
While there isn’t a “hiking” GPS, I’ve been using running, and it’s been accurate. A couple of cool hiking orientated features are the built-in compass as well as barometric altimeter which measures the altitude. The built-in barometer is used for measuring elevation. It’s much more accurate than GPS elevation. Most Altimeter watches use atmospheric pressure as the method to measure altitude. Essentially, the altimeter is a barometer created for a specific purpose (IE: measuring altitude).
I’ve found myself using both regularly, and it’s been an awesome addition to hikes.
Coros Apex Daily Factors and Sleep Tracking:
Sleep Tracking was a big feature for me. I like the ability to track sleep on the Fitbit Versa. I don’t think Garmin does a great job at it. The Apex also has your standard activity and sleep monitoring features.
I think the sleep tracking is far more accurate and better than Garmin. I do believe, Fitbit sleep tracking is better.
Other Overall Wellness Features and Fitness Trackers:
- Daily steps, active calories, exercise time (all fairly accurate and the steps was within 100 of what other trackers said)
- Smart Notifications (I like to see texts or phone calls but have stopped notifications on social platforms (which I also do on my phone).
- Elevation: I’ve enjoyed tracking the elevation for hiking. When we went out to California, it was a lot of fun to track our climbing.
Overall Thoughts of the Coros Apex GPS Watch:
I like my Coros Apex Watch. I like the general design and the ability to wear it outside of fitness. I appreciate all of the features in the watch as well as it not being “big and bulky.” It’s the smallest GPS watches I’ve seen on the market.
I know I don’t use every single feature, but the Apex marks all of the basic things I need (a basic GPS watch, that can be used for complex workouts, as well as being out and about). Coros, in general, flew under my radar until recently but if you are looking for a GPS watch, the Apex is one to consider.
Coros Apex Pros:
- Lightweight and slimmest GPS watch I’ve tried
- 35-hour battery life and 25 hour battery life on GPS track mode
- Sleep Tracking
- Built-in wrist-based heart rate monitor
- Bonus hiking features including altimeter and compass
- So. Many. Features. (maybe too many for me, but there are a lot!)
Coros Apex Cons:
- Lack of music ability which many watches have at that price
- The Digital Knob: start/stop button for running can be finicky, and it is relatively easy to pause a run accidentally.
In finding a watch, the Coros Apex GPS Watch meets all of my needs. From tracking pace, distance, time, and workouts to hiking elevation, I haven’t found a feature it doesn’t have that I need. Plus the overall look can’t be overlooked as a functional but cute watch.
If you are interested, you can use the code COROS-Hollie and receive a free watch band with a watch.
Questions for you:
Do you wear a GPS watch? What kind?
What features are most important to you in a watch?
This sounds very interesting. I have been on the hunt for a new watch for a while, and this one might just be the one I am looking for. It has so many features!
That Coros Apex Watch is really a must have! It has a lot of features that can really help us. I want one!
There are so many features Chelle, and I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. 😬
I am always looking for new smart watches and fitness bands. This one is intriguing. Thanks for shairng
Thanks Scott. What is your favorite watch?
That’s seriously a well written review. I’ve had the Pace for about 8 months now and I LOVE it. At first, the app and firmware had a few bugs but Coros worked hard to resolve all of that. It has way more features now than it did when I bought it. 😀
I like the app actually. I don’t really interact with anyone and don’t use Strava for safety reasons so I like how quiet it is. How do you like the pace?
I like the Pace a lot. The battery lasts FOREVER. The distance is verified to be pretty accurate. Even the indoor running matches up with treadmills as long as I’m not running too fast. I’m still figuring out whether I buy into all of the data that is available (training effect, stamina level, etc.).
Oooh, this is perfect and maybe I need to look at this watch as I get ready to upgrade my TomTom Spark.
What I liked about the spark was the good data it gave me while running and that I could manually lap my watch fairly easily since I don’t usually program in my workouts. I also like that mine has several activity functions so I could program in yoga separately from a spin class or a treadmill run for indoor activities while also getting in my regular gps runs too. Sounds like this Coros does something similar but with a much better battery life which is exactly what I was looking for!
I honestly can’t believe how long the battery life is Ally. I think it’s a great watch and if you do update, you’ll like it a lot.
This looks like a great watch! I might have to get one of these to keep track of all my movements.
What a great sounding and looking watch!I think I need to upgrade to this watch from my older FitBit!
That’s a kind of watch I’d need to get for my running! I’m going to start my trainings again in spring, so I’ll need to check this product out for sure! 🙂
One of the biggest challenges I have had with fitness watches is the “bulk” factor. I love wearing mine every single day but it can, at times, stick out like a sore thumb. Having another model that is out there that can provide mostly function with a bit more fashion is a GREAT thing!
Yes, that was something for me as well. I don’t like a big bulky watch and prefer a slimmer one.
I got something like this last year and you just reminded me about it. I’ll have to look for it.
I just started using the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and really like it so far. I had not heard of Coros, so appreciate the review. The 735 is the first GPS watch I have been able to take into the pool. Think mine was priced at about $350, so slightly more than Coros, but looks like similar features. Thanks.
Thanks for sharing!!! i’ve been wanting to try this watch, so I loved the honest review.
I have the apple watch, but it won’t last battery wise for an ironman.
Great review, I have not heard about apex and I’ve been looking for something like this. I will check it out for sure!
Ooooh this looks like an awesome watch!! It’s so cool. Thanks for sharing
Such a watch! I love watches and I have a couple of them, from sporty watches to sleek ones. Anyway, this watch really has features! Even a heart beat monitor? I love it.
Any watch that holds a charge for that long sounds perfect. And the fact that you used the GPS and it still worked that would be perfect. It looks like a nice design as well.
This looks like a great watch with so many amazing specifications. I think I should get my hands on this watch soon
Wow looks really good. I do not run but do some exercises so it would be great to have that kind of watch
I think this would be the perfect gift for my brother and dad! They’re always buying the newest cool watch!
Let me know if you do Monique!
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