Coros Apex 2 Pro Review: For Practical Outdoorsmen

Coros Apex 2 Pro Review: For Practical Outdoorsmen

I can not be the only one with this problem. When I’m snowboarding, I am moving. I sat down with a clip in, and flipped myself over to stand up. I fall off the kickers, unclip to walk back up and shoot the chute, and fall into the halfpipe screaming for Jon Secada. When I test huge, expensive Garmin watches, I often accidentally hit the side buttons or the touchscreen with my shenanigans, accidentally stopping or starting recordings.

Coros watches green. You hold down the center button to start recording your activity, then hold it down again for three seconds to stop recording. Clever! This is one of several small but much appreciated features that make Coros watches some of my favorites right now, even compared to more expensive sports watches from other brands.

The company has hit on something that most manufacturers haven’t: People who like sports (me in particular) don’t always care about looks. A big, bright, crisp screen doesn’t mean as much to me as not having to charge my watch every night. I would happily pay a lower price for a watch that is more comfortable, convenient, and easier to wear.

Rat Lab

The Apex 2 debuted late last year and comes in a basic or Pro version. I tested the Pro, which is $100 more, slightly larger, and has dual-frequency GPS for more accurate location tracking. And it has my favorite nylon strap, which doesn’t absorb sweat like silicone straps do. Measuring 46.5 millimeters across, the Pro is larger than the basic model, but not as big or heavy as Coros’ Vertix 2 (50.3 mm).

Dual-frequency GPS positioning is important because EvoLab is now employed by Coros, a personalized sports science platform and a direct competitor to Garmin Connect. (It’s free to use with all Coros watches, unlike Fitbit Premium.) The company has wisely targeted serious runners with celebrity ambassadors like Des Linden, Kilian Jornet, and Eliud Kipchoge. In addition, you can only unlock EvoLab by tracking current road sessions. If you’re interested in progressing as a runner, programs like EvoLab are better than what you’d get with the Apple Watch. Sure, Apple now measures a lot of useful current metrics, but it still doesn’t give you an actionable big-picture overview.

Photo: Coros

It took me about two weeks of running three or four times a week (and sleeping regular hours, which I’m not great at) to unlock EvoLab. When I did, I scrolled through his proposed training plans, which are, in a word, nice. (You can look at examples of training plans online.) I’m currently working on my speed development, which helps you run faster, and easier, by doing longer aerobic cycles at an easy pace with short, hard anaerobic periods .

One of my workouts is running fast 0.1-mile repeats with 0.4-mile recoveries. That means I run at my threshold pace for 0.1 miles and then jog for 0.4 miles. The Apex 2 Pro pings me when it’s time to start my fast segment, pings me when I’m not within my target speed range, and then pings me to stop and go back to recovery speed . To put this technological feat into perspective, I can run 0.1 miles in about the time it takes you to read this article. At that time, the Apex 2 Pro sends many signals up to space and backfast enough to guide me in real time.

It’s not nearly as accurate as a coach standing on a track with a stopwatch, but it’s much more convenient and cheaper. For more running metrics, you can add the Coros Pod 2 ($99), which is slightly more expensive than the comparable Garmin running pod. When it came to tracking my pace and heart rate on my routine runs, I didn’t notice any discrepancies between the Apex 2 Pro and the Apple Watch Ultra, which also has dual-frequency GPS positioning. Perhaps the Apex 2 Pro was a little slower to lock onto GPS when I started running.

Wrist Navigation

Probably one of the biggest reasons to own a Garmin is its navigation capabilities. If you’re anything like me, an impulsive, scattered and disoriented outdoorsman, having maps that are easy to use even when there’s no signal on your phone is invaluable. Here, there is just no comparison. Garmin started as a navigation company, and even now, its maps and software are much easier to use.

The Apex 2 Pro is much more difficult to use for navigation. There are preloaded landscape maps that are fairly easy to view and scroll through on the LCD screen, but you have to download topographic maps. I noticed this especially while snowboarding. I may have accidentally turned the activity recording on and off on the Garmin Epix, but Garmin has preloaded ski resort maps on all its watches for all the resorts near me – I didn’t have to do anything! You’ll need to manually download topographic maps onto the Apex 2 Pro, which comes with 32 GB of storage. That’s enough for 10 or so routes stored as GPX files. Since there is no integration with music services, you will have to share that space with MP3 files, if you still do so.

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