Coros Apex is gentle in weight, lengthy on battery life, however misses on options
“Coros Apex hits the candy spot for those who’re a triathlete, however lacks the additional options to set it aside.”
Light-weight, slim design
Extremely lengthy battery life
Fast and dependable cell syncing
Restricted exercise monitoring
Coaching metrics want enchancment
No web-based evaluation
We first encountered Coros in 2018 when it launched the Tempo, a triathlon-focused health watch that turned heads with its unbelievable month-long battery life and Garmin-inspired design. With the debut of its second watch the Apex, Coros adopted its personal path making a GPS watch with a particular design and spectacular function set. We examined the $350 Coros Apex whereas working, mountaineering, biking, and swimming to see if it has what it takes to compete towards excessive efficiency health watches just like the Garmin Fenix 6, the Suunto 5 and the Polar Ignite.
A sturdy design that works all over the place
The Coros Apex has a clear and fashionable design that appears good each on the sports activities area and off it. With a single button and a digital crown, the Apex has a bit extra refinement than I’m used to seeing in a rugged health watch. I examined the 42mm model of the Apex which had a really readable 1.1-inch show with a 218 x 218-pixel decision and 64 colours. Whether or not I used to be inside working or out working on roads and trails, I by no means had any points seeing my stats or incoming alerts on the show. The one factor I want I may change is the white textual content and black background on alerts. Different watches use a white background and black textual content, which is far simpler to learn. I assume Coros went off to the power-saving darkish aspect to eke out as a lot battery life as potential.
Kelly Hodgkins/Digital Tendencies
Relating to day-to-day use, the Apex could be very snug to put on. On the underside of the watch is the center charge monitor, which is sort of flat with the underside casing. While you get a comfortable match with the band, the center charge monitor makes safe contact along with your pores and skin, but it surely doesn’t dig into your wrist. The silicone band is detachable, however you gained’t wish to exchange it. It is among the most snug bands I’ve worn in a health watch. It’s mushy in your wrist and really versatile, so it strikes while you transfer. In contrast to different watch bands, the silicone strap on the Apex doesn’t appear to build up a number of dust and dirt. Even after a sweaty run within the woods, the band was moist from sweat however in any other case clear.
The Tempo had a plasticky really feel that felt low cost, however the Apex just isn’t some low cost knockoff; it seems and feels stable, due to the sapphire glass display and the ceramic bezel of the 42mm model. Each the display and the bezel held as much as months of path working and mountaineering. Even after rock scrambling to the highest of Mount Washington and to Katahdin, there was not a single scratch on my Apex watch. Coros additionally sells the Apex in a 46mm model, which I didn’t check. Not solely does this model have a bigger show (1.2-inches) with a sapphire glass display, but it surely additionally has a titanium alloy casing.
Intuitive and simple to make use of
Coros will get a giant excessive 5 for its user-friendly interface. The watch makes use of a single button that capabilities as a again button and to entry the shortcuts menu. There’s additionally a digital crown button that you need to use to scroll by the menu system after which press to pick out the objects on the display. The menus are simply so intuitive that I didn’t have to go surfing to learn the way to entry the settings or change the watch face. With a couple of clicks and a few scrolling, it was easy to determine what to do.
Talking of scrolling. In contrast to the Tempo which had 4 buttons for navigating the person interface, the Apex has a single button and a digital crown button. The digital crown is simple to make use of, although you must get used to the nuances of scrolling. You solely want a few quarter flip to maneuver from display to display. Any greater than that and you’ll blow proper by your choice. The digital crown additionally makes use of pure scrolling, so that you flip the crown upwards to maneuver down by the screens.
Restricted health monitoring, however plentiful knowledge
Coros advertises the Apex as a “premium multisport watch” however the watch is primarily designed for the triathlete in coaching. You possibly can monitor each outdoors and indoor working, biking, and swimming. You can also monitor all three actions within the Triathlon sports activities mode. If you wish to monitor some other actions, you must select between mountaineering, GPS cardio, or health club cardio. It’s disappointing to see such restricted decisions, particularly when the competitors provides further decisions resembling strolling, elliptical, power coaching, and extra. It’s important to begin and pause every exercise manually as there isn’t a automated train monitoring
Kelly Hodgkins/Digital Tendencies
Whereas the Apex could also be restricted within the variety of actions it tracks, it has a ton of metrics you could view whereas exercising. Throughout an exercise, you possibly can view your tempo, distance, coronary heart charge, elevation and extra in real-time by switching between the 5 knowledge screens. The center charge knowledge was corresponding to my Garmin and Polar wrist-based displays. My favourite knowledge level was the incline which calculated the grade of the hill I used to be climbing or working. In the event you don’t just like the structure of the info, you possibly can customise every knowledge display utilizing the Coros app. When you’re carried out exercising, it can save you your knowledge, however sadly, you can not discard it except the exercise is lower than a minute lengthy. I hope Coros provides a discard function as it’s inconvenient to delete an exercise after it has synced to the cell app and any third-party providers.
Like its rivals, Coros consists of lactate threshold, VO2 Max and comparable coaching depth metrics. It’s in a few of these areas that the Apex begins to crumble. Regardless of how onerous I hiked or ran, the coaching impact metric, which calculates how a lot an train contributes to your health degree, by no means went above inefficient. Even once I hiked eight hours continuous to the summit of Mount Washington and again down, the coaching impact meter didn’t even budge. My threshold tempo, which calculates how briskly you must run was additionally means off. It had me working a 7-minute mile on trails once I normally run a 10-minute mile.
Good sleep monitoring, stable GPS
Coros provides sleep monitoring into the combo, however the metric just isn’t the corporate’s forte. The Apex does a good job detecting while you fall asleep and while you get up. It breaks down your sleep into deep sleep, gentle sleep, and awake occasions. It additionally measures your resting coronary heart charge and graphs it alongside along with your sleep knowledge. The interface is clear, however there isn’t a sleep rating or comparable metric that will help you analyze this knowledge. The Apex additionally doesn’t have a pulse oximeter, which is turning into more and more frequent on health trackers and smartwatches.
There’s additionally built-in GPS/GLONASS/BDS that’s as fast to lock and as correct as competing GPS watches. Distance recorded by the Coros was corresponding to my Garmin, Suunto, and Polar watches. The Coros help breadcrumb navigation means that you can observe the course that you simply’re recording, or one that you simply uploaded to the watch.
Respectable cell app, sensible notifications
The Coros Apex connects to your smartphone through Bluetooth LE and Coros does a good job with its cell app. It syncs extraordinarily rapidly to the watch offering loads of efficiency evaluation for the informal athlete. The structure of the app is straightforward and intuitive so you possibly can spend extra time reviewing your knowledge as an alternative of looking for the place it’s hidden. The app is damaged down right into a day by day abstract, an exercise diary, medals/profile part, and a tool display. I spent most of my time within the actions part, as that’s the place the meat of the info is saved.
Within the exercise part, you possibly can see an summary of every exercise which incorporates the kind of exercise (hike, run, bike and so forth), the space, tempo, date, and site. Tapping on every exercise shows an in depth graphical evaluation of your efficiency. These graphs current your efficiency knowledge clearly and are simple to know I particularly like using colours which permits me to see the depth of my coronary heart charge and the velocity of my cadence at a look. Coros additionally calculates your coronary heart charge zone and the coaching impact of the exercise.
There are a couple of key areas within the Coros app that want enchancment. The primary is historical past. There is no such thing as a method to view traits. I can swap to the day by day view and see my sleep or steps for the day, however I can not see how these parameters have modified over the week, month or yr. It is a must-have for Coros down the road. Additionally lacking is an internet app that means that you can view, export and analyze your efficiency on-line.
Good notifications out of your cellphone pop up rapidly on the watch show, however they’re condensed. Every textual content or e mail alert solely exhibits a small portion of the message. You possibly can clear the alert on the watch, however you can not reply. With cellphone calls, you possibly can silence the ringer or refuse the decision from the watch. As I discussed above, I want the alerts had been white with black textual content, which is far simpler to learn than the present black with white textual content.
Coros additionally helps a number of third-party providers together with Strava, TrainingPeaks, Apple Well being Equipment, and others. Syncing is dependable and quick when you finish an exercise. Nearly with out fail my exercise was already on Strava earlier than I even acquired into my automobile.
Kelly Hodgkins/Digital Tendencies
I don’t know the way Coros manages battery life, however the firm has nailed it. The battery life far exceeds some other health watch I’ve examined. The 46mm model guarantees as much as 35 hours in GPS mode, and 30 days in common use, whereas the smaller 42mm model has 25 hours in GPS and 24 days in day by day use. These are the corporate’s estimates, and they aren’t an exaggeration.
I used the Apex to file an Eight-hour hike, and it barely put a dent within the battery life. The watch was prepared the following day to do it once more. When not recording actions, the Coros Apex sat idle in a drawer for over a month and nonetheless had sufficient battery to file a five-mile run. If that isn’t sufficient stamina for you, the watch consists of an UltraMax GPS Mode. This power-saving mode dials down the center charge monitoring and GPS monitoring to supply as much as 100 hours of steady exercise monitoring.
Value, availability, and guarantee data
The Coros Apex is offered now from Coros and choose on-line retailers resembling Amazon. Pricing begins at $300 for the 42mm mannequin and climbs to $350 for 46mm mannequin. Coros gives a guaranty for its merchandise protecting defects in high quality and workmanship for 2 years after the unique buy date.
Coros took fairly a couple of steps ahead with its Apex GPS watch, but it surely nonetheless has a method to go within the options division if it desires to be on a degree enjoying area with its competitors. Its greatest promoting level is its battery life which remains to be unequalled. Efficiency monitoring can also be good, so long as you don’t rely too closely on the superior coaching metrics. It’s additionally missing extras like music and cell funds.
Is there a greater different?
The Apex’ weak level is its restricted function set. If you’d like extra metrics to obsess over and advantages like music and coaching, the you must take a look at the $300 Garmin Forerunner 245. The Forerunner 245 is concentrated on working however that’s not all it does. It additionally helps each indoor and out of doors actions like swimming, power coaching, and extra. It provides teaching by Garmin Coach and a digital associate so you possibly can enhance your time on an present run. One other stable selection is the $230 Ignite from Polar, which blends health and coaching with a trendy design. The Ignite has a ton of metrics and a coaching mindset that’ll make it easier to attain your targets so long as you’re keen to place within the work.
How lengthy will it final?
The construct high quality on the Coros Apex is stable and may final not less than two to 3 years underneath regular use. The corporate usually updates its units, including new options and bettering present ones.
Must you purchase it?
Sure, the Coros Apex is a stable performing health watch for many who run, cycle, or swim. Its extra-long battery life is unequalled for its measurement, making it an excellent selection for endurance athletes. Simply take a few of its superior metrics with a grain of salt.