Coros Apex 2 review

Coros Apex 2: One minute review

If long battery life is your main want from a sports watch, the Corus Apex Pro 2 is the one to go for. You’ll pay more for the privilege though, which is why the Coros Apex 2 proves to be such a good alternative. It’s cheaper, but bristles with many of the same features and functions found on the Pro edition. 

Granted, there’s a smaller screen area and a less premium feel emanating from the bezel, but dip inside the features and it’s every bit as good. You don’t get multi-band GPS, but that’s only appealing to a relatively small sector of the Apex 2 target market such as climbers and adventurers. As a whole though, this is a cool entry to the best running watch that does most things expected of it really rather well 

Coros Apex 2: Price and availability

The Coros Apex 2 is available now alongside the other newcomer to this range, the Coros Apex 2 Pro. If you’re working to a budget, the Apex 2 is the one to go for, with a retail price of $399 in the US, £349 in the UK and AU$699. 

This compares favourably to the more expensive Coros Apex Pro 2, which is $499, £499 or AU$859. Granted, the battery life isn’t as good but, on the whole, you get much the same package for less money with the Apex 2 in standard form.

Coros Apex 2: Design and screen

Lightweight titanium alloy bezelMuted 1.3-inch colour screen Practical and hardwearing Velcro strap

 Coros Apex 2: Features Put the Coros Apex 2 alongside its bigger and more expensive brother and there’s not a huge amount of visible difference. The titanium bezel comes in black on the Apex 2 and isn’t as big, with a 1.3-inch screen that sports a 260 x 260 resolution. However, the overall look is impressive, and with a contrasting Velcro strap – typical of other trail watches – it all appears reasonably hardy. It makes the watch easy to get on and off, or adjust on the fly during a workout.

If you’re not keen on bulk, the Apex 2 makes more sense than its larger and heavier counterpart. Although it’s only about 10 grams lighter than its bigger relative, weighing in at a slight 42 grams, the overall effect is that the Apex 2 feels significantly less cumbersome. It’s therefore a good bet if you get agitated by having a chunky sports watch on your wrist while you run or lift weights, for example, but it’s still not as slender as the best fitness trackers

The Coros Apex 2 has a very easy to use interface, with three buttons on the right side of the bezel. The central ‘winder’ allows you to scroll through the various features and functions like the Apple Watch’s crown, selecting them as you see fit by pushing it in. The button at the top lets you turn the screen on and off, while the button at the bottom enables additional functions to start and stop. It’s all pretty straightforward and the colour graphics are easy on the eye, though these do come across as a little faint in some scenarios.

Design score: 4/5

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Coros Apex 2: Features

Built-in maps feature5 ATM water resistantTouchscreen controls

Pick through the features of the Coros Apex 2 as we did when reviewing the Pro edition at the same time and you’re presented with a near identical range of options. 

What that means is a raft of features and functions that have been beefed up or replace modes found on the original incarnation of the Apex. 

There’s improved heart rate monitoring along with ECG reporting and a better GPS, or GNSS (global navigation satellite system). You also get solid mapping features that work impressively well, whether you’re using GPS or downloading maps. Downloading topographical maps (or topos) offer more detailed elevations and geographical points of interest, making it a useful tool for trail runners and serious hikers, while landscape maps offer more network and road details. These can be a little tricky to read in our experience of using them, but GPS serves for the average user. 

Alongside the standout features there are everyday tools, such as camera controls to take photographs remotely from your phone, altitude and night modes plus the ability to get storm alerts if you’re frequently outside during inclement weather. 

There’s a very good Coros app too, which provides a comprehensive overview of your data such as sleep tracking, historical heart rate data, and plenty more. Coros’ companion app is impressively comprehensive, with an “active energy” score effectively functioning in the same way as Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes. The app also allows you to customize the Apex 2 with different watch faces. 

There’s only 8GB of storage space, however, as opposed to 32GB on the Pro model, so if you’re a keen map-downloader, you may want to spring for the Pro. There’s also no music streaming, so the maps will jostle for space with any audio files you want to listen to. 

Features score: 4/5

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Coros Apex 2: Performance

Excellent tracking accuracyEvoLab training analysis is impressiveNew optical heart rate sensor works a treat

Though there’s not a huge amount of difference in the price between the Coros Apex 2 and the Pro version, the latter does have better battery life. However, the Apex 2 can still function as a standard sports watch for up to 17 days on a charge. The figure tends to drop the more features and functionality you have switched on, with the battery life slipping to 28 hours if you choose to use everything at the same time. 

Aside from that, the Coros Apex 2 functions really well and, because it has the same core features as the Pro edition, this means there’s not a huge amount to differentiate between the two. There’s no multi-band GPS, but given this is a feature aimed more at niche sports such as climbing, that might not be an issue for many. You also get the benefit of the Coros EvoLab training analysis, via the pretty good app, with everything displayed in colourful detail on your smartphone screen or via the web. 

The smaller screen of the sports watch itself makes looking at data rather less straightforward, though once you’ve got the hang of it by using the scrolling winder function you can move through your data on-the-go too. Overall, especially when trialled alongside the Pro edition, the results of heart rate monitoring and so on seems very in-tune with the more expensive rival. 

The maps feature functions much like the Pro edition too, and is let down only by the fact that it is quite hard to glance at when you’re running. Something not helped by the not-too-vibrant screen.

Performance score: 4/5

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