archive COROS Apex Pro Review

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.

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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.

Coros Apex Pro Review Specs

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 Review Specs

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
Cover Material Aluminium
Strap Material Silicone
Quick Release Band 22mm
Physical Size 47 x 47 x 13.4 mm
Weight 59 g
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
Barometric Altimeter
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)


Buy with discount code THE5KRUNNER10 or THE5KRUNNER (amazon)

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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19 thoughts on “archive COROS Apex Pro Review

  1. You seem to suggest above the Apex Pro is 46mm dia.? I was under the impression it’s closer to 52mm?

    1. It has 1.2″ screen (240x240px) so 52mm diameter of the body would be quite an overkill from my point of view. I would say 46mm is more realistic.

    2. ty.
      I’ll clarify that with coros
      the original Apex had a screen dia of 46mm with overall dims 48.50 x 48.50 x 13.75 mm. that’s the 46mm I was talking about (I’ll make that clear above)
      the smaller apex is a 42mm screen dia.

      however the apex pro is listed by coros as 46mm dia in a shell of 51.7 x 51.7 x 14.6 mm. but that seems the wrong dimensions to me. so i’ll check that. I assuem that is the figure you are referring to

  2. Thanks for the review. I’ve been quite disappointed with build quality of 945 (button gate). How does this Coros Apex Pro stand on button quality? Is it close to Fenix 6 side (good, clicking feedback) or close to 945 (mushy, sluggish)?

    If only Stryd would start supporting these watches.

    1. yes.buttongate..haha
      my 945 was alright. at first. it’s now going back because of the buttons. i’ll maybe send it back in the new year on the off chance there are also other invisible hardware improvements that noone will admit to
      the apex pro is not quite as good as the fenix 6 on the button front but pretty close.

    2. Unless I’m misunderstanding, I think it’s the other way around in that the watch needs to support Stryd, Stryd emits ANT+ and BLE protocols, its for the watch to interpret and add power fields etc.

      1. You are right, I meant Stryd – Coros compatibility and indeed the ball is on Coros side. However with Coros Performance Pod coming in October I doubt they will be focusing on Stryd support any time soon.

  3. Great first impressions. I’m torn, really considering the Fenix 6 Pro or this APEX Pro what do you recommend?
    Read your article on the F6 GPS accuracy tests and it makes me second guess it, has that improved?

    (BTW I tried the discount code, didn’t work for me)

    1. I have a 6X and it has given me Ambit 3 levels of accuracy so far (living in the states). I’ve posted some comparison tracks over on the garmin forums if you’re interested.

  4. Since my earlier post I’ve seen some size comparison photos on the Coros official FB Group page. The Apex & Apex Pro look pretty similar in face size. It seems to be the rotating knob position on the Pro that pushes the dia. measurement out.

  5. Eagerly awaiting your review on this 🙂 I’m a wavering Suunto user. Interesting to know if they’re close to delivering on Stryd integration (did they ever get back to you?) and structured workouts. Aware both of those features were on their product backlog.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      This is David from COROS. Stryd integration and structured workout features are under development. We may be able to release these in Q1 2020. Please follow us on social media (@corosglobal) for product/feature updates.

      1. Also, you may have timed it quite well as Suunto are removing the old Movescount app in a few days (where you could build structured workouts) so users will have to use the new app (where you can’t). Already, the forums are getting questions on how to do it. It looks like Suunto aren’t going to add this feature any time soon even though it’s the number one feature request! Crazy.

        I’ve got the feeling, there are going to be a lot of annoyed Suunto users over the next week…

      2. Sorry about the late reply. Structured workout feature is under development and may be added via future updates. We don’t have a set timeline yet.

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