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Coros Apex GPS Watch Review

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 gps watch review

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.

Coros apex gps watch review

Battery Life:

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.

Marin Headlands San Francisco

Hiking the Marin Headlands

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.

Coros apex gps watch review

Here are just a few of many features for the Coros GPS Watch:

Running:

  • 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.

Cycling

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.

Swimming

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 gps watch review

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 gps watch review

Coros apex gps watch review

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 Hollie10 and receive 10% off the watch (which is $30).

Questions for you:

Do you wear a GPS watch? What kind?

What features are most important to you in a watch? 

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