COROS is becoming a big contender in the watch world. While their battery life is the thing that first garnered a lot of attention, it’s definitely not the only excellent function they offer.
We’ll be comparing every aspect of the two watches side by side, so you can pick out the one that’s better suited for your needs.
Ultimately, they’re both excellent watches. But it’s the finer details that make the biggest difference, so read our comparison carefully to see which would suit your lifestyle!
The Pace 2 is a great choice for those who want the lightest watch on the market that covers most forms of exercise.
It has an impressive battery life but lacks non-running activities that some people might want.
The Apex is the more robust of the two watches, but that means it’s slightly heavier. This is just by a few grams, though, so it’s not likely to be a deal-breaker!
Like all COROS watches, its battery life is excellent, and it may be the best choice for those who want a wide variety of features and gym options.
Size and Display
The Apex is the larger of the 2 watches, with a size of 46 x 46 x 11.9mm. It’s not that much larger than the Pace, though, which comes in at 42 x 42 x 11.7mm.
The Pace 2 and Apex have exactly the same display specs, a 1.2-inch screen of 240 x 240 pixels, 64 colors. Both watches also have an always-on memory LED light.
However, their screens do differ ever so slightly. The Pace 2 uses Corning glass, while the Apex uses Sapphire glass.
Sapphire glass is known to be hard and scratch-resistant, but it’s also more prone to shattering if dropped. Corning glass may be susceptible to some scratches, but it’s technically a little more durable.
In terms of the bezel, the Apex is much more robust, featuring a grade 5 titanium alloy bezel that can take a few knocks. The Pace 2, on the other hand, has a fiber-reinforced polymer bezel, which is much less durable but shaves some weight off the watch.
Talking about weight, the Apex weighs 55 grams with the silicone band and 45 grams with the nylon band. The Pace 2 weighs around 36 grams with the silicone band and 30 grams with the nylon, the lightest on the market.
Both watches have impressive battery life and can charge fully in under 2 hours. If you’re looking for the better of the two, the Apex comes out on top, but the Pace still beats most other watch brands out there.
On your standard, daily use mode, you’ll get roughly 20 days out of the Pace 2. Using the same settings, the Apex gets an extra 10 days or so, so you’ll get a full month’s use.
When using full GPS mode, the Pace 2 will give you 30 hours and the Apex offers 35 hours. The battery-saving UltraMax GPS mode will allow you 60 hours of use on the Pace 2 and 100 hours on the Apex.
Listening to music, using the exercise tracking functions, or activating any other features of the watch will cause the battery to drain more quickly. Depending on how much and how often you use these features, your battery life could be much less than what’s indicated.
Heart Rate Monitor
Both the Apex and the Pace 2 have built-in, wrist-based optical heart rate monitors. They measure your average heart rate as the day goes (24-hour tracking), and also both watches have the ability to track and train in heart rate zones.
Also, both watches continue to monitor your heart rate while you’re swimming, which is excellent news for triathletes and swimmers.
Apart from the HRM, both watches have a barometric altimeter, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a compass.
Maps and Navigation
Both the Apex and the Pace 2 support GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS GNSS constellations.
The Apex features Breadcrumb Navigation, which is basically following a pre-selected route offline, with real-time information available along the way for a more accurate experience.
It also has Back-to-Start navigation, which reverses the breadcrumb route you created to get you back to your starting position.
However, the Pace 2 has no built-in navigation features. The GPS can track your distance and route, but you won’t be able to use this to find your way anywhere.
Both watches feature a wide range of built-in activity profiles. The Apex is the more comprehensive of the two, but the Pace 2 covers enough activities to be more than sufficient for most users.
The Pace 2 covers the following activity types:
- Run (normal, indoor, track)
- Bike (normal, indoor)
- Swim (pool, open water, flat water)
- Rowing (normal, indoor)
- GPS cardio
- Gym cardio
- Multisport mode
- Strength training
- Training plan
- Structured training programs
The Apex covers everything the Pace 2 does, with a few extras that outdoor enthusiasts will be happy for. Surprisingly, though, it doesn’t have an option for walking.
- Trail run
- Mountain climbing
- XC Ski
- Ski Touring
Both watches come with COROS EvoLab, which allows you access to metrics like your VO2 Max, fatigue level, training load, running power, and threshold pace. You can also get recovery information on each, which is invaluable when it comes to planning your workouts.
You’ll also have access to interval training, triathlon-specific training, structured workouts, and multisports training modes.
Third-party integration is also super easy, so if you use Strava, TrainingPeaks, or other similar apps, you can sync it up with your watch and get all your info saved in one spot.
Apart from training, both the Apex and the Pace 2 offer sleep tracking, which is an essential part of your recovery. They accurately track your start and end times, as well as various sleep cycles you go through during the night.
Both of these watches can be used with both silicone and nylon straps. Choosing the nylon strap shaves a couple more grams off the weight of the watch, but the silicone strap doesn’t exactly weigh you down. It comes down to personal preference.
Just be aware that the Apex uses a 22mm quick-release band, while the Pace 2 uses a 20mm quick-release band. Choosing the wrong size will render the strap useless!
Both watches are compatible with a wide variety of external equipment, such as power meters, cadence sensors, and chest heart rate monitor straps. However, the Apex is unable to connect to ANT+ devices, whereas the Pace 2 can.
COROS mentions that both of these watches are compatible with thick gloves, so whatever the weather, you shouldn’t have any issues wearing and using either of them.
Both also feature phone notifications during workouts, so you can stay on top of everything without disrupting your session.
The Pace 2 has two features the Apex doesn’t. Firstly, an “always-on backlight” mode, which may drain the battery slightly if you keep it on inadvertently but which can be helpful.
Secondly, and more excitingly for adventurers, the Pace 2 features Action Camera Control, which allows you to control your GoPro or Insta360 through your watch.
Ultimately, the COROS Pace 2 vs Apex comes down to personal preference. Athletes who want the more feature-rich of the two watches should choose the Apex, which has a longer list of trackable activities and gets regular updates.
On the other hand, runners who want the lightest watch they can get while still having plenty of functionality should opt for the Pace 2. It’s unusually lightweight, and still has a ton of excellent features, although less than the Apex.
If battery life is your biggest deciding factor, then you can take your pick of the two watches. Both models offer exceptional battery life and a variety of battery mode options.
And if you’re hesitant about making the switch from Garmin to COROS, don’t be! We’re behind you all the way and COROS is proving themselves to be as good, if not better than others for runners.