I was excited to use the Coros Pace 3. I’ve been using Coros since 2019 and tried several of their products throughout the years. In 2019, Coros was not a heavy hitter in the running world. Now they are one of the best options for GPS watches made at cheaper than most brand prices.
How would the Coros Pace 3 compare?
Is the Coros Pace 3 good?
Is the Coros Pace 3 accurate?
Find out more in this Coros Pace 3 review.
I’ve reviewed a ton of Coros products at this point:
- Coros Apex 2 Watch Review
- Coros Pace 2 Watch Review
- Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band) Review
- Coros Pod 2 Review
- Coros Apex versus Coros Pace 2: Which one is better for YOU?
Over the last few years, Coros has become one of the top GPS brands, offering high-quality, accurate watches at reasonable prices. I was excited to try the Coros Pace 3 after it went through a pretty big update. The Coros Pace 2 is good, but the Coros Pace 3 is better.
In a nutshell, the Coros Pace 3 is a lightweight watch packed with many features and a continuously improving app, making it a great choice for runners and those doing any sport.
Although the Pace 3 has seen a price increase to $229 compared to the original Pace and Pace 2 at $200, Coros has made significant enhancements. These improvements include a longer battery life, a new GPS chip with multi-network and dual-frequency capabilities, onboard music, a touchscreen, pulse oximetry measurement, and more. It also remains one of the lightest watches on the market, weighing 30g, and boasts a slim profile at just 13mm, especially considering its 1.2-inch screen size. I am a big fan of small and lightweight watches, so the Coros Pace has always spoken to me.
The Coros Pace 3 Versus the Garmin 245:
Which is better: the Coros Pace 3 or Garmin 245?
Comparing it to a close competitor like the Garmin Forerunner 245, which costs $71 more at $300, the Pace 3 offers a thinner 12.2mm case and slightly higher weight at 38.5g due to its silicone strap. Both watches feature the same screen size and resolution, but the Pace 3 has better battery life, offering 38 hours in GPS mode (compared to 24 hours for the Forerunner 245) and 18-24 days of everyday use (versus 7 days for the Garmin).
The Coros Pace 3 also includes features like a barometric altimeter, onboard music, and Coros’s upcoming turn-by-turn navigation, setting it apart from the competition. In terms of software and app features, both watches are roughly comparable.
About the Coros Pace 3:
Comfort, fit, and size are key considerations when evaluating the Pace 3. Weighing only 30g and featuring a nylon strap, it’s comfortable. I was slightly concerned about the nylon strap but have found it every bit as good as the silicone. I’m not sure what my general preference between the nylon and silicone is. The nylon allows you to get a better fit, but the silicone feels “normal” to me.
Pace 3 Watch Interface:
Regarding watch interface, the Pace 3 retains the digital dial found in all Coros watches but now incorporates a touchscreen, which the Pace 2 lacked. The touchscreen can only be used when it’s in workout mode (why did it take me so long to figure that out?).
Vibration feedback is more pronounced throughout the interface. I’ve definitely noticed more vibrations in the Pace 3. The digital dial operates differently in the regular mode, allowing users to scroll up or down to access stats and notifications.
The lower back button is the navigation to the previous screen. The touchscreen replicates these actions with swipes. Pressing the dial allows access to activity modes, history, training plans, system settings, and more.
Selecting an activity initiates GPS and heart rate tracking. I’ve found it usually takes just 5 seconds to get the GPS situated, even inside. You can adjust activity settings before starting, but once you’ve started your workout, these settings cannot be changed (similar to any GPS watch really). Occasionally, this annoys me because I decide I want to do a structured workout (or similarly don’t).
You can start/stop, navigate screens, and mark laps by pressing the digital dial. In all, it’s a fairly simple watch to use. If you are looking for a basic GPS watch, the Coros Pace 3 is a great option.
You can also control the data you want to see and change watch faces to a few options. It feels like there are fewer watch face options than the Coros 3. You can modify the layout to include the stats you want. I generally prefer heart rate, miles, steps, and flights of stairs climbed.
A huge reason people want to try Coros in general is the battery life. As someone who forgets to charge all electronic devices often, having a long battery life is essential. The Coros Pace 3 has 38 hours while in GPS mode, which is well above competitors.
Coros Pace 3 GPS Accuracy:
I’ve found Coros in general to have good accuracy. A few things I’ve noticed throughout the years that they seem to have updated is that: occasionally new watches take a long time (a couple of weeks) to really sync to their area.
On one of the first runs, the Coros Pace 3 stumbled on GPS once and logged a 7:40 mile when I logged a 9:30 mile. After a few times running in the area, it hasn’t had that problem again.
Second, when you pause a Coros watch, it may take some time to catch back up. Several years ago, on a trail run, my husband and I had differing distances by about .3 due to stopping and starting again (we did so 4 times in 14 miles). The Coros Pace 3 does not seem to have that issue. So yes, the Coros Pace 3 is accurate. No GPS watch is perfect, but this is close to accurate. They’ve really perfected the GPS in Coros watches.
Optical Heart Rate:
At this point, I think we can all agree that optical heart rate for any sports watch is not ideal. That’s why Coros made their own Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band). I’ve found the Coros Pace 3 to be more accurate than previous models, but is it perfect? No. If you are really into heart rate, I suggest you get a heart rate monitor (Coros or the top of the line Fourth Frontier X2 Heart Rate Monitor). The new HR sensor in the Coros Pace 3 is designed with a five-LED/four-photodetector unit that makes it comparable to the Apex 2.
I’m not huge into using the Coros App and mainly just use Strava, but the app has improved in the last few years. It offers a clean and comprehensive platform that is easy to navigate and understand. Transitioning from Garmin or other platforms is not challenging, and data can be easily exported to Strava and other sports apps.
Additionally, the app provides access to Coros EvoLab, an advanced sports science platform for personalized fitness assessments, Coros Training Hub for direct communication with coaches, and Coros Coaches for expert guidance. Training plans and workouts created by users, coaches, or Coros pro athletes are also available.
How can any GPS watch really compete with Coros? For the amount of features the Coros Pace 3 has, compared to the $229 price tag, it’s no competition and makes it one of the best value watches out there.
Coros Pace 3 Conclusion:
In conclusion, the Coros Pace 3 stands out as a fully-featured GPS sports watch that offers accuracy, ease of use, long battery life, lightness, and comfort, all at an affordable price of $229. Whether you’re upgrading from an older sports watch or seeking a reliable and inexpensive GPS watch, the Pace 3 is a great option. I appreciate that Coros has continued to update their watches and make them better.
Who should buy the Coros Pace 3? If you are looking for a lightweight GPS watch that has all of the regular features. It’s easy to use and inexpensive!
Who should not buy the Coros Pace 3? If you are looking for a GPS watch from Coros with the most amount of features, it’s the Apex 2. I don’t really have a reason someone would not want the Pace 3.
Questions for you:
What is your favorite GPS watch?
Have you tried the Coros Pace?