Coros Apex Pro 2 Review
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Coros Apex Pro 2
|Price||$449.00 at REI|
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|$199.00 at Amazon|
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|$199.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Excellent battery life, great mobile application, sleek premium design||Ultra-lightweight, thin profile, good for smaller wrists||Reliable, durable, excellent battery life, simple design||Low profile design, great battery life, very accurate, low cost||Simple, inexpensive, lightweight|
|Cons||Scroll wheel requires screen lock, pricey, lacks ANT+||Less premium materials, potentially less durable, tool requires straps||Plastic body, fixed band less comfortable (hinge band sold separately), may be less comfortable for smaller wrists||Minimal activity profiles, no navigation features, plastic construction||Lacks premium health stats, shorter battery life|
|Bottom Line||This watch offers the best battery life for its size, a great interface, and our favorite mobile companion app, all for less than the top premium models||This fully featured running watch is perfect for those who want the lightest equipment for the track and trail||A rugged GPS watch with potentially unlimited battery life, this watch has all the features you need and nothing you don't||A fully functional and incredibly light GPS sports watch boasting great battery life at an incredible value||A basic GPS watch that will be perfect for those looking to track their activities without the advanced features of premium models or extended battery life|
|Rating Categories||Coros Apex Pro 2||Garmin Forerunner 955||Garmin Instinct 2 S...||Coros Pace 2||Garmin Forerunner 55|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Coros Apex Pro 2||Garmin Forerunner 955||Garmin Instinct 2 S...||Coros Pace 2||Garmin Forerunner 55|
|Watch Face Material||Sapphire glass||Corning Gorilla Glass DX||Power glass||Corning glass||Chemically strengthened glass|
|Bezel||Titanium alloy||Fiber reinforced polymer||Fiber reinforced polymer||Fiber reinforced polymer||Stainless steel|
|Case||Titanium||Fiber-reinforced polymer||Fiber reinforced polymer||Fiber reinforced polymer||Glass fibre reinforced polyamide|
|Strap Material||Silicon or nylon||Silicone||Silicone||Silicon or nylon||Silicone|
|Tools Required to Change Band?||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Size Tested||47mm||One Size only||One size only||One size only||One size only|
|Measured Main Body Size (diameter)||46.5mm||46.5mm||45mm||43mm||42mm|
|Measured Screen Width||33mm||33mm||23mm||32mm||26.5mm|
|Measured Weight||1.9 oz||1.7 oz||1.87 oz||1.2 oz||1.31 oz|
|Measured Charging Time||93 min||120 min||123 min||80 min||111 min|
|Battery Type||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion|
|Measured Battery Life With GPS On||73 hours||41 hours||30 hours||29 hours||19 hours|
|Manufacturer-Reported Battery Life||Smartwatch mode: Up to 30 days
GPS-only mode without music: Up to 75 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode plus Multi-Band with music: Up to 14 hours
All Systems GNSS mode plus Multi-Band without music: Up to 45 hours
Dual Frequency: Up to 36 hours
Dual Frequency with Music: Up to 11 hours
|Smartwatch mode: Up to 15 days
GPS-only mode without music: Up to 42 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode plus Multi-Band with music: Up to 8.5 hours
All Systems GNSS mode plus Multi-Band without music: Up to 20 hours
Ultratrac mode: Up to 80 hours
|Smartwatch mode: 28 days and unlimited w/ solar;
|Smartwatch mode: 20 days;
GPS: 30 hours;
Ultramax mode: 60 hours
|Smartwatch mode: 2 weeks;
GPS: 20 hours
|Navigation Built In?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Satellite Networks Used||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS||GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO||GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO||GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU||GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO|
|Maps?||Yes||Yes - detailed||No||No||No|
|Back to Start Navigation?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Water Resistance (max depth)||50m||50m||100m||50m||50m|
|Music Storage?||Yes||Yes - 2000 songs||No||No||No|
|Daily Fitness Tracking?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Main Software App||Coros App||Garmin Connect, widgets for other features||Garmin Connect, widgets for other features||Coros||Garmin Connect, widgets for other features|
|Can Software Cross Over to Different Software Ecosystems?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Today's GPS watch market revolves around the almost standard 47mm case size. Besides the much larger Coros Vertix 2, the new Apex Pro 2 is the flagship model of the Coros lineup. The Vertix 2, being over a year old, leaves space for the Apex Pro 2 to bring new features and performance. The Apex Pro 2 was released along with the smaller, cheaper Apex 2, which shares many similarities in features and design but comes in a smaller 42mm case. These watches mimic the previous models' footprint and have many design similarities.
The Apex Pro 2 continues to lead the industry in battery life for its size (75 hours in GPS mode). Equipped with the same UI as all Coros watches, this watch is easy to use and is paired with an awesome companion application that allows for watch customization and visualization of health data. Sensor upgrades such as heart rate, HRV, and electrocardiogram, and new features like music storage (Mp3) and multi-pitch climb modes make this the most advanced Coros watch to date.
The Apex Pro 2 has all of the expected features you'd want on a modern GPS device. Our team insists on a few important features such as sleep tracking, activity tracking, some form of navigation, ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass), and health stats via a heart rate monitor. The increasingly popular HRV (Heart Rate Variability) metric is newly included in this model, which can help visualize overtraining and overall health. Coros is also known for implementing substantial software updates, which we anticipate will bring new features in the future.
The Apex Pro 2 lacks features found elsewhere at this price point. Music storage is still limited to Mp3, which is confusing given today's ecosystem of streaming services. Map navigation is still limited to GPX route following and does not offer turn-by-turn directions. Health metrics are still very data-oriented and do not provide detailed insights into a user's health. ANT+ has been removed, and Bluetooth is now the only method of connecting external sensors. Also missing are features we miss, like Garmin Pay, music remote control, and inReach pairing. Coros makes up for lacking these features largely with its industry-leading battery life.
With 75 claimed hours of full GPS, this is the longest battery life out of any ~47mm watch. The closest competitor is the Garmin Fenix 7 with 57 hours, but it costs more and provides less juice. Coros continues its battery life domination, and, in our opinion, this is one of the main selling points of this watch. You can receive top-tier battery life and save hundreds over other premium models.
During our testing, we went from a dead battery to 100% in 93 mins (12W USB-A), and full GPS lasted for 73 hours of continuous usage. This is roughly 88% longer than the previous Apex Pro. We would prefer the included cord was USB-C, which is more convenient and potentially allows for faster charging. Regardless, this battery life was more than sufficient for all of our daily needs and even supported us on extended multi-day outings. If you plan on using dual-frequency or music while tracking, expect the battery life to drop.
Ease of Use
A required mobile companion app allows for easy changes to settings and data fields. This app is one of the best we've tested, and it does a good job of balancing data and space, making the UI feel clean and uncluttered. The setup is easy, and linking to third-party apps like Strava is straightforward. We experienced no lag in uploads, and the Bluetooth connection was always reliable and fast.
Interacting with the Apex Pro 2 is smooth and precise, but we would still prefer dedicated buttons over the larger scroll wheel. We found the dedicated back/backlight buttons useful and are glad they were kept around for this iteration. The touch screen is still limited to certain data screens but is not enabled throughout the entire device. It's probably most useful moving the navigation screen, but we almost always rather pull out our phone. The screen lock is still one extra step we could live without. Really our biggest complaint is the continued implementation of the scroll wheel; it has never felt like a natural way to interact with the watch. Still, if you've used any tech products in the past five years, the Apex Pro 2 will feel familiar.
This model received an updated heart rate monitor, which we found closely matched the data we received from our leading accuracy models. We also had good GPX track results in technical terrain thanks to a new dual-frequency satellite chip. A multi-pitch climbing mode allows for better tracking in steep sheltered areas, which was nice when ice climbing in Colorado. This new chip also helps prevent spikes and errors and does not cause as frequent inaccuracies in elevation data.
The previous version of this model scored highly for accuracy, and the new model closely matches that data, so while these new technology claims are useful, we didn't notice a huge difference in performance. This watch fit great on our wrist, which is essential for getting accurate heart rate data. We also found that the antennas were strong enough to achieve accurate results even when wearing a shell while skiing or ice climbing.
While the form factor hasn't changed with this newest iteration, Coros has switched up the design a bit, offering new colorways and a standard loop wristband. The durability of the materials and the tactile feel of the buttons and haptics are quality. There is a new watch face specific to this model, and it does a good job of sharing data without leaving the timing field cluttered. We prefer the slightly more angular design of other watches, but we can see the appeal of the rounded design found here.
Unlike the Vertix 2, which ships with a loop and normal watchband, the Apex Pro 2 only ships with a loop band — a normal watchband is available as an accessory. We prefer a watch strap because it is easier to attach to other gear or a bag. The ability to micro-adjust your watch is nice, but we actually prefer the ability to index the tightness based on the hole count. Largely this will come down to your preference, and overall this model is a sleek-looking design and competes with the competition on durability and premium materials.
Should You Buy the Coros Apex Pro 2?
If your primary concern is battery life, this is the best on the market for the price point. However, if you don't mind sacrificing some hours, there are other watches with more features, some which are very useful. Without a doubt, this is the best watch Coros has released, but we wish it also included some additional features found elsewhere.
What Other GPS Watches Should You Consider?
If battery life is less important to you, but you still want a solid adventure watch, we'd recommend the Garmin Forerunner 955. It has multiple software features that we appreciate, like Spotify Music, Garmin Pay, ANT+, and turn-by-turn navigation. If you're on a budget but still want a great watch, we'd recommend the Coros Pace 2.
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