Coros Apex 2 Pro GPS Watch ReviewJon Monks
Coros is a company that specializes in the production of sports and outdoor adventure-focused smartwatches and GPS devices. They are known for creating durable and feature-rich products designed for activities such as running, cycling, swimming, hiking, and other sports and outdoor pursuits. Some popular Coros watch models include the Coros Apex, Coros Pace, Coros Vertix, and Coros Apex Pro and the new range of Apex 2 Watches.
These smartwatches typically come with a range of features tailored to athletes and adventurers, including GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, altimeter, barometer, compass, and various training and performance analysis tools. Many Coros watches are designed to be rugged and waterproof, making them suitable for use in challenging outdoor environments.
Coros smartwatches often have long battery life, which is a crucial feature for those engaged in extended activities like ultramarathons or long hikes. Additionally, they offer compatibility with mobile apps to help users analyze their training data and track their progress.
Thoughts on using the Coros Apex 2 Watch – our personal experiences
I have been using my own Coros Apex 2 Pro watch since March 2023, my main activities have been Trail Running, Hiking & Running.
One of my main criteria with this type of watch is to have good battery life that will last for the duration of some of the longer ultra events that I have been taking part in, which included the Montane Spine Southern Challenger event over 60hrs.
The quoted battery life for the Coros Apex 2 pro is using GPS only 75hrs, all Systems on for more accuracy 45hrs.
I have been very impressed during my usage over the last 6 months, on the events that I have been using the watch on I have been achieving pretty much Coros’s quoted battery figures,.
As well as recording the activities I also load routes onto the watch to navigate with, which I would expect does use a bit more battery than just recording but have still achieved expected battery figures give or take a very small margin.
Battery life is GPS watches is improving all the time but I have often found that to achieve a battery life of 75hrs that the watch would be quite large and heavier to wear for my smaller wrist size, one of the first thing that I noticed with the Coros Apex 2 Pro is how comfortable and light on my wrist the watch feels, this is great as I do wear the watch 24/7 to record my sleep patterns and daily steps as well.
Construction / Controls
Despite its light weight feel the Coros Apex 2 Pro has premium materials used in its construction with a Titanium PVD coated Bezel and a tough Sapphire Glass Screen, the 22mm Quick release band supplied is comfortable to wear with lots of adjustment, the band dry’s quickly if wet and is easy to clean.
This is the first watch that I have used with a Scroll wheel button that is used to access and move around the menus, having come from watches that use 5 x buttons for control once I got used to how the scroll wheel button worked which did not take long and the simplicity of just two other buttons, one for backlight and one as a back button / lap button I found the button controls of the Coros Apex 2 pro watch very easy and simple to use, unlocking and using the scroll wheel button even with gloves on worked well.
Although the Coros Apex 2 pro watch has a touch screen which was useful for moving the map screen around I did find for other functions the scroll wheel was just as easy to use if not better and the scroll wheel works well for zooming in and out on the map screen when following a Route for navigation.
Screen Data / Navigation
As well as using a Handheld GPS device with more detailed maps for navigation I do still like to load routes onto a watch as well for backup with off course alerts and the ease of having useful information such as distance to destination, activity distance, elevation data, speed, and pace etc on your wrist along with a route line to follow.
I have found on a lot of events that I tend to use the data on the watch much more than my handheld device, although in more difficult situations for navigation a more detailed Ordnance Survey Map on a handheld device can be much better.
What I like about the Coros Apex 2 Pro, is the flexibility of how you can easily set up the data screens and information that you see via the Coros App on your phone, you can have up to 6 x data screens and within these data screens you can set from either 2 x data box fields to 8 x data box fields maximum, setting a smaller amount of data field boxes you can clearly see the data that you require to read quickly.
I found during my Montane Spine Challenger event the data information that I had displayed invaluable, showing me how I was progressing.
The screen visibility in bright sunlight works well and during my nighttime events I found the night-mode setting in conjunction with me using a head-torch worked well.
I like that the screen auto locks to stop you accidentally stopping your activity recording, but I do like that when this screen lock is on you can still use the scroll wheel to quickly move between your different data screens and also the Topo Map screen / Elevation Graphs if you are also navigating a Route.
The Topo Maps that you can download to the watch using the Coros App & Wi-Fi are okay to give you some basic land / road information but are quite basic compared to other maps that I have used, hopefully these maps will improve in the future, but having said that I did find when following a Route on the watch it was clear and easy to see your route line to follow with directional white arrows embedded along the pink route line, having a map that is not as detailed did actually make the route line clear and easy to see.
The Coros Apex 2 Pro watch currently does not give turn alerts although we know this is something Coros are working on but what the watch does do well is give you an off-course alert on your watch if you deviate from your route, I found this worked well and I received the alerts as a Vibration & Tone when you deviated approximately 70ft off your route.
Another nice feature found on the Coros Apex 2 pro is the ‘Back to Start’ function, when you record an activity at any time you want to navigate back to the start, you can using the navigation tools menu follow your recorded breadcrumb on the map screen back to your start point.
I know that GPS accuracy is something that there are many discussions on across all makes of GPS watches and handheld devices, there are many factors that can affect accuracy of your recordings from the environment to settings on your actual device.
Environment examples that could affect accuracy are if you were in a deep narrow valley with steep sides, urban environments with tall buildings etc
Depending on your watch there could be setting that change what Satellites you can lock onto, I have found using Auto Pause settings can sometimes cause issues, some watches can be set to record more often than other watches, from my experience you will find different watches will display slightly different figures depending on how they have been setup etc.
Also none of us run / walk in exactly the same line on a route etc.
For the majority of my activities I have been using my Coros Apex 2 Pro set as All Systems on which has worked well for me, I have a regular short run that I do a couple of times a weeks, parts of the run do go through heavy tree coverage with high sides, on paper snapped to the roads the run is shown on a digital map as exactly 3.80 miles, looking at my last 10 x recordings they have all been between 3.82 – 3.84 miles, I have always been happy with the results that I have recorded on my own watch, I recently completed an off-road half Marathon a lot of which was through dense woodland, I did set the watch to the All Systems + Dual Frequency settings, for 90% of the route the 1 mile route markers matched my watch, I recorded a total distance of 13.10 miles, I do not know how precise the organisers were with their half marathon distance of 13.1094 but for me to be only approx. 40ft short of an official half marathon distance I was very happy with this recording.
During my longer Montane Spine Challenger event I did set my watch to use GPS only so that I would have enough battery for the 60hr event without havening to worry about charging. A lot of the course was fairly open I did not see any real accuracy issues although I do realise that the other GPS settings would have improved overall accuracy I was happy with the figures that I recorded, I dropped out the event at officially 65miles on the route, I had recorded 67miles on my Coros Apex 2 Pro but when I examined my actual recording there were sections where I deviated slightly and some diversions in place.
One feature that I really like on the Coros Apex 2 pro is when doing longer events especially with checkpoints that you may stop at for long periods to sleep at is the ‘Resume Later function’, found within the Trail Run Activity, this function helps save battery when you are stopped and especially inside a building where if you loose GPS signal your device can potentially record incorrect data and use a lot of battery whilst trying to get a satellite lock.
Using the Resume Later Trail Running function the GPS recording on your watch is paused but if you have set a data field as Total Time, your Total time is still running so that you do not lose track of your total time elapsed and you simply resume the GPS recording when you come out of the checkpoint.
Conclusion including likes and dislikes.
Great battery life
Multi-Band Dual Frequency option for more challenging Environments
Premium Sapphire Glass Screen / Titanium Bezel
Ease of use
Simple to use App showing all of your data & fitness metrics + simple import & route transfer from the App.
Would like an option to have more detailed Maps
Music can only be transferred by MP3 files via USB
Currently no data field options for ETA, ETE to end of route
Currently no Turn Alerts – (This feature is currently being tested and may be added in the future)
No contactless pay options
In conclusion a great value multi activity GPS watch, with premium build materials, an excellent battery life and accurate activity recording.
N.B., we do also stock the Corso Apex 2 Watch, this is a slightly smaller version of the Coros Apex 2 Pro, it does have multi-band all systems but not the dual frequency satellite option of the Pro version and has a shorter battery life but still an impressive 45hrs with GPS only recording.
Coros Apex 2 – More info here