Coros Apex PRO Review
Note: 2022 See the Coros Apex 2 Pro review here.
The original APEX that was released earlier in 2019 by Coros was a nicely featured smart and sports watch. Some might say it was also suited as a dress watch and yet others might nod sagely and agree that, perhaps, a rugged Garmin Fenix is not as good a match for a Tuxedo.
Well, now we have an even classier Apex to ponder over. The new, higher-end Apex is the Coros Apex PRO model. It’s still an Apex under the skin but made with more premium materials, an extra button and touchscreen, and a sneaky little Oximeter on the back. So it now has all the high-end Coros-features including those from the Vertix.
Coros Apex Pro – What’s New?
Did that sound a bit complicated? Let’s go to bullet-point mode. Here’s what’s new
- Optional Touch Screen interaction with nice, subtle haptic feedback
- Bigger Digital Crown, nice size perhaps a little too close to the adjacent buttons
- One more light button,
- Oximeter (re-designed oHRM array) as found on the Vertix
- Improved GPS battery life – impressive stuff, see below
- Dimensions and Weight have changed slightly with a few grams being shaved off.
- Same watch band.
- But NOT A SMALLER 42mm version just the better-selling 46mm model (screen dia.)
- The overall (case) size is slightly larger than the earlier Apex 46mm (see comments below)
- Higher Price…$150 higher.
There’s also a new version (v2) of the Coros firmware which MAY wing its way to other modes and which now adds the following to the Apex PRO
- The touchscreen is enabled on various pages, for example when navigating
- Multi-day workouts are now enabled for the Trail Run, Mtn Climb and Hike sports profiles. A workout can be paused and resumed later similar to Garmin’s functionalities here
- Like Polar, there is now a 3-second ‘hold-to-finish’ action that is required to properly end a workout. This is a nice touch that works well.
- Notifications during workouts are now optionally enabled (not tested)
- Trail Run and Mtn Climb sports profiles now have a 2D/3D Distance Switch which changes the method of distance calculation (not tested)
- Sea-level Pressure/Station Pressure Switch
To check out some more detailed info on the APEX then have a look through the Coros Apex review
Coros Apex Pro Comparison to Competitor Brands
The Apex Pro compares nicely to some of the other watches that occupy the same space in the market and certainly, it compares well when you look at pricing from some perspectives. The following chart is produced by Coros, so it’s biased to some degree in the focus of the info it presents but even if you were to look at other software features, the Apex would do well in many comparisons. Of particular note is an improved battery life all the way up to an impressive 40 hours of GPS usage.
As we’ve seen with the new v2.0 firmware updates, Coros are now starting to introduce some fairly esoteric functionalities (base station pressure) as they already have many of the usual functions done and dusted. The Coros app is probably ‘good enough’ but Polar FLOW and Garmin Connect are more fully-functioned alternatives…but if you stick your data in STRAVA the app doesn’t matter at all.
|Comparison Chart||MSRP||Touch Screen||Oximeter||Regular Use||GPS Battery||Bezel||Screen||Weight||Waterproof|
|COROS APEX Pro 46mm||$499.99||Yes||Yes||30 days||40h Full / 100h Ultra||Titanium Alloy||Sapphire||59g||100m|
|COROS APEX 46mm||$349.99||No||No||30 days||35h Full / 100h Ultra||Titanium Alloy||Sapphire||55g||100m|
|Garmin 935||$499.99||No||No||14 days||24h Full / 60h Ultra without HR||Fibre-reinforced polymer||Chemically strengthened glass||49g||50m|
|Garmin 945||$599.99||No||Yes||14 days||36h Full / 60h Ultra||Fibre-reinforced polymer||Gorilla Glass DX||50g||50m|
|Polar Vantage V Titan||$599.95||Yes||No||–||40h Full||Titanium||Laminated Gorilla Glass||59g||50m|
|Suunto 5||$329.00||No||No||7 days||20h / 40h||Stainless steel||Mineral crystal||66g||50m|
Coros Apex Pro Specifications
|COROS APEX Pro Specifications|
|Display Size||1.2 in. 240 x 240 (64 colors)|
|Display Type||Touch Screen Memory LCD|
|Screen Material||Sapphire Glass|
|Bezel Material||Grade 5 Titanium Alloy|
|Quick Release Band||22mm|
|Physical Size||47 x 47 x 13.4 mm|
|Wireless Connection||BT4.2 BLE for smartphone only
ANT+ for accessories
|Navigation||GPS / GLONASS
(Galileo / Beidou via future firmware update)
|Sensors||Optical Pulse Oximeter
Optical Heart Rate Monitor
|Waterproof Rating||10ATM (100 Meters/328 Feet)|
|Working Temperature||14°F to 140°F (-10°C to 60°C)|
|Storage Temperature||-4°F to 158°F (-20°C to 70°C)|
|Charging Time||Less than 2 Hours|
|Battery Life||30 days of regular use
40 hours in Full GPS mode
100 hours in UltraMax mode
First Swim – Bike – Run
I managed to do a Half Ironman…OK, admittedly it was partly on my own and spread over 3 days. I’m all done for real HIMs until next year!
With this limited sample size of a swim, bike and run, the Apex PRO has had a mixed GPS performance.
Cycling was actually great, where the Apex beat the Fenix 6 and Wahoo Bolt through the hills and woods of Surrey’s bumpy roads. However, it performed poorly in open water. Unusually, I have managed to ‘test’ the Apex Pro on my formal running test circuit and that, by itself, scored a very respectable 75%. It didn’t quite fit in with my training but I was intrigued into completing the test as the previous Vertix Ice Breaker didn’t fare so well. You can see the source data files for both the Vertix and Apex Pro’s tests here and on the test day itself, the Apex relatively easily outscored the Fenix 6 (GPS+GLONASS). The Apex Pro scored nicely with a ‘good’ results and that was only with GPS enabled.
Heart Rate Performance whilst cycling with the Apex Pro was also good as shown in the following chart and the Apex again beat the Garmin Fenix 6 (reviewed here) as well as being roughly in line with the Polar H10 chest strap. Steady-state running was also good but the OWS/Swim was poor.
Please don’t take any of these results as a statement of the accuracy you will receive. You could have better or worse results, especially with the oHR.
Coros Apex PRO Review – Thoughts & Opinion
This is a sensible addition to the Coros range. Garmin and others have proved that there clearly is a market for people who want a decent watch in a premium shell. The slant taken by the Apex PRO towards the market is that of a prettier, but well-featured watch. Perhaps you could think of it as something in between Garmin’s Vivoactive & Fenix ranges
It’s a nice watch and it feels very well made, even better than the previous APEX (which was good). There is still a touch of naivety in the on-screen fonts and icons, in places, (like the Garmin Fenix 5/5-Plus) and that side of the Coros firmware offering needs prettying-up & professionalising just a little bit more. But perhaps, instead, Coros will focus more on boosting the features on the app. Putting those relatively minor criticisms to one side…you get a LOT of on-watch features that are well-implemented AND tentatively it looks like the sensor accuracy is comparable to Garmin…probably better.
It’s worth buying and using. BUT is it worth $499.99? A: I’m not sure. It seems on the pricey side to me despite the premium materials. Then again, don’t listen to me….I like plastic sports watches ! (usually)
Price, Discount & Availability
The Coros Apex Pro 46mm is available now from the link below at $499.99 via my partners. It appears on Amazon from time to time too and when it’s there (and placed directly by Coros) the discount works on Amazon too.
Price $499.99 and 10% off with the codes shown
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