Coros – 10 More Features ! or 10 More Shrugs?

Coros – 10 More Features across 4 watches

Today is ‘Happy Day‘, or at least it is if you are a Coros Watch owner. You can sit back, update the firmware on your watch and then just walk around with a smug grin on your face, knowing that you’re getting more features, more often than anyone else. Well, anyone else apart from some Garmin watch owners who got about 25 mini-features this month? But hey, Coros owners, your features are bigger. And it’s always size that counts right?

Must Read: Coros Pace 2 Review

Heads Up: Tell me what features you want in the comments and I will pass them to the Coros CEO

Quick Overview

These are the full list of the 10 features and an indication as to whether they apply just to the Coros app or to your watch. I’ve highlighted the ones in bold that are, in my opinion, a little meatier than the rest.

  • Structured Workout for Indoor Run and Indoor Bike Mode (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)
  • RPE and Training Notes (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)
  • Sleep with REM Tracking (VERTIX/VERTIX2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)
  • Adjusted Pace in Run Mode (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)
  • Watch Status Indicator (COROS App)
  • New Training Calendar View (COROS App)
  • Find My Phone + Find My Watch (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)
  • Manually Delete Activities from Watch (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)
  • Wi-Fi Data Sync (VERTIX2)
  • Map Display Optimization (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro)

So, there’s nothing earth-shattering to see here. There’s no wholly new feature that’s never been seen on a sports watch before. Coros DO that occasionally (Track Mode) but not today, as today is Garmin catch-up day. (And Happy Day, but I’ve already said that).

This will be a quick skim through the features with some thoughts about each one and then I’ll add some wider, more controversial comments in the Take Out section at the end.

Structured Workout for Indoor Run and Indoor Bike Mode

Personally, I rarely use structured indoor run workouts and I always use a bike computer for structured bike workouts. But that’s me and you’re you. Many of you train entirely differently from me and so this new feature will let you monitor and log your planned workouts indoors when you need to from your Coros watch.

 

Insight: There’s a deliberate, quirky feature that automatically converts pace to speed for indoor running. The rationale here is that it will more easily match the display on your treadmill.

RPE and Training Notes (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)

These options only appear when you are following a pre-planned workout which is part of a plan. The new options let you tag the perceived difficulty of your completed workouts and add some notes on the app. Maybe you can look back on these in years to come (hmmm) or perhaps they will be useful for your coach.

Sleep with REM Tracking

Lots of people love sleep tracking features and will be wowed by the new tracking of REM sleep. You’ll get charts on the app that look something like this.

There you have it. 1h 29min of REM sleep. It’s on the computer (phone) so it must be true.

Adjusted Pace in Run Mode

I like this one.

Adjusted pace takes regular GPS pace and adjusts it to take into account the grade/slope. As an example, when you are running uphill the Adjusted Pace will be faster than the GPS Pace. You’ve probably already seen this in Strava where it’s called NGP or Normalized Graded Pace. It’s the same thing. To be more accurate adjusted pace would need to also take into account, humidity, elevation, surface type, wind and a few other minor factors but the gradient/slope is a major factor and one that most of us frequently encounter.

 

Once all the factors are accounted for, truly normalized pace effectively is a proxy for running power. Obviously, your Coros watch already has that produced with by the watch itself or taken from Stryd.

Note: Adjusted Pace is also a metric for the watch.

Watch Status Indicator

The chart says it all…who needs words?

 

 

New Training Calendar View

The motivation behind the new changes to the calendar seems to be focused on Workout Compliance. This should be an important feature for coaches/self-coachers.

So what we see is a new colour-coding for planned workouts that have been completed. The colour-coding gives a flavour to whether or not you achieved the original workout objectives.

Here is the colour coding which is not exactly obvious at first sight. However, look closer and it does make a little more sense. (You have to look closer!)

 

 

Find My Phone + Find My Watch

It seems we are a forgetful lot.

The world is full of people who either can’t find their phone, their watch, their dog, their partner or just some other random possession. My techy suggestion here is that we just buy less stuff and take better care of it. That said, I do have an AirTag on my dog and I haven’t lost it yet.

Now you can find your smartphone from your Coros watch or the Coros app can find your Coros Watch. You get the picture. We’re all guilty of needing to use this kind of feature. I don’t know how I coped 10 years ago.

Manually Delete Activities from Watch

This feature lets you automatically add a new activity to the Coros app.

Ha. Gotcha! Just checking that you are paying attention. Again, this is a does what it says on the tin kinda feature. One thing to note is that an activity deleted on the watch is also deleted on the app.

Wi-Fi Data Sync

I’ve not yet tested this one out. “VERTIX 2 users can update daily metrics and activity summary via Wi-Fi.” This could mean that all wellness and activity data is now synced over WiFi (Good, if true). Or perhaps not quite all the details and just some of the summaries, it’s a bit vague. Once activities, wellness data and maps are synced over WiFi, Coros can turn their attention to music streaming services but don’t expect that anytime soon. I’d even be surprised if Coros attempts music streaming by the end of 2023. I could be wrong.

 

Map Display Optimization

The maps on all of our smart devices are cleverer than we think. Really it’s never a simple, single map that we have.

‘Maps’ as we generically call them, usually consist of 7-levels of zoom and are saved as square tiles. Thus when we zoom or pan, a different set of tiles are chosen and displayed. Heatmaps or maps that include surface type might simply be additional, zoomable layers that are overlain onto our regular maps.

Each of the 7 levels of our regular map can have more or less stuff shown on it. Thus, previously Coros did not show all roads/trails on the 200m level of zoom (level 6), now they do. Previously only the most zoomed-in 100m level showed all roads/trails (Level 7).

 

Take Out

I’m going to be a bit negative here, sorry.

It’s worth sometimes taking a step back and not being over-wowed by big lists of features. Although at some point I admit that you do have to deliver features and Coros, for sure, is good at doing that.

Coros seems to double down on its way forward with its user interface, usability and the depth provided in its features. IE it is perhaps NOT giving those issues the consideration they deserve and it seems to me that Coros is progressing doggedly toward ticking every box on a list that someone created a couple of years back.

Thus whilst the headline box IS ticked, it’s often the case that the feature is either not presented that well, or perhaps isn’t backed by as much science as some of the competitors and perhaps isn’t complete to the level of detail to make it truly useful.

  • REM Sleep – I doubt this will be correct
  • RPE – So what? It would be great to have insights built upon RPE like whether or not RPE correlates with the degree of compliance in your workouts? Maybe that’s on the roadmap?
  • Training Calendar View – The visuals could be better

 

That said, the Coros strategy is working and it sells shedloads of watches (Pace 2, at any rate). However, at some point, the speed of progress is going to come back to haunt Coros as it will have to unravel what it has done and start again to some extent.

 

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7 thoughts on “Coros – 10 More Features ! or 10 More Shrugs?

  1. Grade adjusted pace is a good feature. It should be directly proportional to power, which probably made it low hanging fruit for a company that has implemented native running power. (🔥Garmin) The reset of those are all features Garmin already had or are fantasy sleep metrics.

  2. I haven’t worked out the math which I probably can’t actually do but I think power should be convertible directly to grade-adjusted pace. It’s essentially the same concept. Like how pace and RPM imply stride length.

    If power is constant on a 0% grade then speed is constant (holding aside any other accelerations such as wind). The acceleration of gravity is matched by your muscles and tendons acting as a spring system in a dynamic equilibrium. You bounce along running at a constant speed for a constant power.

    If you increase the grade, then each step you have to overcome more gravitational acceleration than you get back in order to gain altitude. That is effectively a negative acceleration proportional to the gradient. And the reverse is also true running downhill.

    The model breaks down with high gradients because human locomotion becomes a less efficient spring system.

  3. >> (holding aside any other accelerations such as wind) … The model breaks down with high gradients because human locomotion becomes a less efficient spring system.

    > surface condition, wind, inefficiency of running technique, humidity

    Yes but none of these algorithms attempt to deal with any of those complications with the exception of the “new” Stryd pod that has direct measurement of wind and Garmin with their (extremely dubious) weather station measurement prevailing wind.

    https://medium.com/strava-engineering/improving-grade-adjusted-pace-b9a2a332a5dc

    “[Strava’s] GAP is only an estimate of the energy cost of running. It does not account for terrain surface or the technical skill involved in downhill running.”

    https://www.trainingpeaks.com/learn/articles/what-is-normalized-graded-pace/

    “[Training Peaks’ Normalized Graded Pace (NGP) is] the adjusted pace reported from a global positioning system (GPS), or other speed/distance device, that reflects the changes in grade and intensity that contribute to the physiological cost of running on varied terrain.”

    https://www.outsideonline.com/health/training-performance/running-power-stryd-research-2020/

    “Keeping the power constant on Stryd equates to keeping metabolic power constant and letting mechanical power change.

    “In the white paper, Snyder and her colleagues introduce a more subtle piece of terminology. What Stryd actually aims to provide, they explain, is a measure of instantaneous metabolic demand, rather than metabolic power.”

    What I’m saying is that GAP, NGP (TrainingPeaks’ GAP), and power are all meant to quantify metabolic/physiological cost of running. If this works properly (perhaps a big IF?) then they should be proportional and trivially inter-convertible. Therefore, if you already have a power metric like Coros did, it should be trivial to generate a GAP metric by applying a constant conversion factor.

    This one will really bake your noodle, if you haven’t seen it already:

    http://www.georgeron.com/2017/12/stryd-running-power-model.html

    1. “Yes but none of these algorithms attempt to deal with any of those complications with the exception of the “new” Stryd pod that has direct measurement of wind and Garmin with their (extremely dubious) weather station measurement prevailing wind.” stryd does take into account surface type, in extreme cases like mud or snow i think the calculations break down. I know it cant sense the surface conditions.

  4. I wish Polar support works as good as Coros. Theyre pushing their hardware really hard with constant updates. Good job Coros!

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