new Coros Pod 2 Review – the wonder pod?

coros pod 2 review belt cradle
Coros Pod 2 Review

This is a great do-everything running pod for Coros watch owners. Well. Do everything so long as it isn’t running power. It doesn’t support running power in any way but it makes up for that omission with EffortPace.

Price when reviewed

Buy Pod 2  Coros

Who is Pod 2 aimed at?

Coros identifies these runner types as potential customers and I reckon they’ve hit the nail on the head here providing the runner owns a Coros watch.

  • Urban runners: to improve GPS track quality and data consistency
  • Indoor runners: to get consistent and comparable data inside and outside
  • Road runners: to get accurate instant pace measurement and distance data
  • Trail runners: to manage efforts on hilly terrain with familiar metrics.


coros pod 2 charging cradle review

What is the Coros Pod 2 & What’s New?

Pod 2 is a running sensor that’s used alongside a Coros watch to improve accuracy or give insights into your running technique. It has a few distinct uses.

Firstly it can be clipped onto your running shorts to produce industry-standard gait metrics. Alternatively, you can clip it onto the laces of your running shoe where it acts as an old-school running pod to give distance (pace) measurements.  There are a few interesting takes on how coros does that and some related smaller-scale features, but that’s basically what it is.

There is a good dose of cleverness added when Pod 2 interacts with your chosen running mode on the Coros watch. The gait metrics are produced for any kind of run, be it indoor, treadmill, trail or road based. Whereas the performance features primarily work with trail and road running profiles where altitude, distance and the GPS track are all improved by the watch and pod sensors working together.

What’s also new is the following

  • A newly invented outdoor metric called EffortPace. Essentially it will evolve into running power restated as a pace equivalent.
  • treadmill stride length
  • outside temperature (workout summary only)
  • a charging dock that also has battery storage
  • USB-C charging for the dock
  • new clips for shoes and shorts

What’s Missing?

Three things are missing. Firstly, the inability to work with any other watch. It is unlikely that Garmin, Suunto or Polar will choose to support protocols that Coros implies to be proprietary.

And then running power is kinda missing, OK, it’s totally missing! Thus Pod 2 is NOT a direct competitor to Stryd. A casual observer would get a distinct impression that Stryd has started to enforce its patent rights…

Finally, there is no cache of your running data on the pod, everything is sent to the watch in real-time.

Coros Pod 2 Review: Unboxing, Contents, Pairing  & Calibration

Everything is packaged & presented professionally. Pod 2 will make a good Xmas present as every aspect is very well-presented.

You get a very nice quality carry-pouch, although that’s probably of limited use, and then there are two shoe clips, a single running shorts clip, a USB-C charger and a cable.

Remember to pair the Pod first to the Coros app for firmware updates. For me, the POD seemed to automatically pair itself to the Coros watch at the same time…cool!

There is a one-off, 1-minute calibration where you turn over the Pod in your hands a few times. You can also set the wear position (lace vs shorts) on the watch but the default, automatic setting for that worked for me.

Coros Pod 2 Review


There also appears to be an automatic distance calibration that appears on short runs. Thus when I completed a 1km track run, the watch asked if I wanted to calibrate the pod’s recorded distance to the actual distance.


How to wear the Coros Pod

Place the clear, plastic cradle underneath 3 or more laces and clip the pod in. There’s plenty of room even for my rounded elastic laces and there’s a nice audible click to let you know it’s in place.

The alternative wearing position for those of you who want the gait metrics is the centre-rear of your running shorts where the grey, plastic cradle easily clips on.


I would say that neither cradle is likely to become easily detached by accident.

How to charge the Coros pod

The pod itself holds a charge for 28 hours of continuous running and is recharged when placed in the charging dock. Handily the charging dock has its own battery with sufficient capacity to completely charge the Pod 2 a further 5 more times, so you will get WELL over 100 hours before you need to connect to a mains supply.

The pod simply and easily clips into the charger and LED charge indicators let you know what’s going on.

coros pod 2 charging cradle


Coros Pod 2 Running Metrics

When the Pod 2 is worn on the waist, the pod essentially is in ‘gait metrics’ mode, and it provides a good set of running insights that describe aspects of the mechanics of how you run. These are similar metrics to those provided by Garmin, Apple and others and there is nothing unusual here.

The pieces of data in the chart below can be displayed live on the watch or as charts in the app after you have finished. The phrase “Sensor fusion with Watch” means that Coros use multiple pieces of information to determine the correct value – for example, Altitude probably comes from a 3D-GPS fix from the watch adjusted to changes in barometric pressure on the pod.

Gait Metrics

Wear on WaistRunTrack RunTrail RunTreadmill
Ground Contact TimeYesYesYesYes
L/R BalanceYesYesYesYes
Stride HeightYesYesYesYes
Stride RatioYesYesYesYes
AltitudeSensor fusion with WatchNoSensor fusion with WatchNo
Elevation Gain/LossSensor fusion with WatchNoSensor fusion with WatchNo

Ground Contact Time or Stance Time is the time your foot is in contact with the ground and Stride Height is your Vertical Oscillation. You’ll find that if you run faster both will decrease but it’s hard to specifically train those metrics to get lower. Just run faster!

So there’s nothing new to see here that hasn’t been done before. Now the interesting bit.

Performance Metrics

Coros pod 2 versus stryd

When worn as a foot pod, we are essentially in ‘Performance’ mode where the gait metrics are removed and swapped for increased accuracy and responsiveness, at least more accurate when you compare your stats to those from a GPS source.

I’ve highlighted below, what I consider to be the two interesting metrics, EffortPace and GPS Track Enhancement.

EffortPace is very much a work-in-progress for Coros as this measure starts out as a simple grade-adjusted pace but will morph over time to include the effects of other environmental factors and physiological factors like athlete weight. Coros also claims there is a personalised, learning element to its algorithms although I’m not entirely clear on how that could reliably work.

GPS Track Enhancement follows on from sensor fusion concepts introduced years ago by Suunto’s FusedTrack and which are used without fanfare, by other vendors like Garmin. Essentially your current GPS position has a sense check applied to it based on the movements recorded by the accelerometer. For example, going through a long tunnel would see the algorithm switch entirely over from GPS to the pod.

Wear on FootRunTrack RunTrail RunTreadmill
AltitudeSensor fusion with WatchNoSensor fusion with WatchNo
DistanceSensor fusion with WatchSensor fusion with WatchNoYes
EffortPaceSensor fusion with WatchNoSensor fusion with WatchNo
Elevation Gain/LossSensor fusion with WatchNoSensor fusion with WatchNo
GPS Track EnhancementSensor fusion with WatchSensor fusion with WatchNoNo
Stride LengthSensor fusion with WatchSensor fusion with WatchNoYes

Coros Pod 2 on laces

Metrics On The Coros App

The new metrics can be shown on your Coros Watch as you run in real-time and are added in the same way as other metrics when you customise the screens for each of your sports.


After you’ve finished your workout you’ll see some new numbers in the summary, like a temperature figure, plus some new charts which appear depending on where you were wearing the pod.

EffortPace vs Running Power

At launch, EffortPace is simply a renamed grade-adjusted pace. In the months following the launch, it will be progressively enhanced to incorporate the effects of environmental factors on pace. Thus pace is restated to take into account environmental difficulty.

This is essentially how running power works. However, I would imagine the clear benefit here is that most runners instinctively understand pace or speed more than power. Thus the data is presented in a format that they can work with. If their plan tells them to run at 5:00/km for 20 minutes but the last 10 minutes of that is uphill then the runner always targets EffortPace of 5:00/km rather than reverting to heart rate or  ‘running a bit slower‘.

My arguments against EffortPace would be along two lines

  1. Let’s say your recently adjusted threshold running pace is 4:09/km and you are told to run at 93% of that. How fast do you run? It’s a ‘hard’ calculation that’s even fairly hard to do from scratch on a spreadsheet. The calculation for running power is simply 0.93*rCP
  2. Post-workout stress/load calculations are more easily made on power numbers than pace numbers.

Of course with the right platform or right spreadsheet someone else does the calculations for you and I guess my arguments then don’t affect you.

Massive Heads Up: Coros continues to support Stryd but is no longer developing the power metric. All its future product development in this area will be focussed on extending the EffortPace measure.

Coros Pod 2 on laces

Musing & Deeper Dive Into EffortPace

Well, it’s a mini jump into the shallow end really.

At launch, EffortPace is simply graded pace. #Shrug. I did a few cursory tests and went up a slight hill. The EffortPace on Coros was 5 seconds per KM faster than the GPS pace shown on a Garmin. Entirely what I would expect give or take a second or so.

Coros plans to introduce other factors into EffortPace as it moves forwards. Thus athlete weight, ground conditions, temperature, air pressure and so on will all be added to adjust your actual GPS/Pod pace to what it should be on hard, level ground.

I was involved in a similar project to this a few years back. That project was much wider in scope but required the same perfectly adjusted pace that Coros is trying to achieve, good luck to them!

However, Coros has specifically pointed out that this is more than a graded pace or environmentally adjusted pace. They don’t want to limit its potential evolution by calling it the latter. Thus they might add in the effects of load-estimated fatigue, a fatigue measure based on HRV, or even somehow adjust for altitude. So you’d get some sort of metabolic-cost adjusted pace.

Grandiose plans.

Even in the medium term, EffortPace will effectively be Running Power but still stated as pace. And THAT is a great idea as there are WAY more people who want to work in PACE terms rather than WATTS. But once the basics have been accounted for (2023), I suspect the next steps will just introduce too much complication and, like some of Garmin’s physiology metrics, some wrong number somewhere in the chain will bring the whole pack of cards tumbling down.

Thus, EffortPace could evolve to be something extremely clever but I suspect before long it will evolve into something that’s too clever for its own good.

Coros Pod 2 Accuracy Review

Over 3 days, I looked at quite a few aspects of accuracy albeit superficially for now. These include distance, responsiveness to pace changes and if, or how, the pod can improve a GPS track.


Let’s start with distance, which should be an easy one at a superficial level.

Test 1: over 50% tarmac and 50% medium-firm grass.

This should be the fused distance jointly from the Coros Pod 2 and Coros Pace 3 and it seems to tie in with the Apple Watch and Garmin 955+Stryd (set as the source of distance and pace).



My Stryd was correctly calibrated before this test and the 1km auto lap alerts from Coros were well within 5m of those from Stryd/Garmin on this run.

Test 2: Running Track

I performed an orientation calibration of the Coros pod by flipping it over and twisting it in my hands a few times. I then ran for a km after which I accepted the Coros watch’s automatic prompt to calibrate to that distance.

As I had the new adidas Prime X out for their first-ever run, I did a full calibration run for Stryd for 8 laps on the inner edge of Lane 2 and calibrated Stryd as per Stryd’s instructions.

I then ran 1000m on the track and a further 100m in the opposite direction as it was a bit windy. I had Apple Watch 6, Garmin 955 and Coros Apex+Pod 1 all set to indoor mode so there are no GPS tracks to show. These are the figures I got and which I have to say that I am not happy with! I’ve no idea why both Coros and Stryd/Garmin overran on the second run as I closed the workouts whilst standing stationary on the finish line.


Run 1 (metres)Run 2 (metres)
Likely Actual10051005
Apple Watch 6915916
Coros Apex+Pod 2 (Inside foot) 10101070
Stryd + Garmin 9551010(inside foot) 1020

The inside foot probably travels a metre ot so less than the outside foot I guess?

I have no conclusions here.

Test 3: Under bridges, Over Bridges. Does Pod 2 improve Coros’s dual-band/multi-frequency GNSS tracks?

Answer: No.

It’s difficult to explain the route of this tricky out-and-back GPS test in any detail. Basically, I went under the river bridge in each direction twice and under the long underpass to the right, twice. Much of the right side of the route also involves running close to a tall building.

The results for Garmin/Coros (both Multi-Band) are about as good as I would have expected and consistent with the good results I’ve had in the past with the best GPS-running watches. Pod 2 was supposed to improve the GPS track. #Shrug maybe it did. But a slightly worse track without the pod would mean that the Coros watch wouldn’t have been as good as the Garmin. The Garmin and Coros sets of results were about the same as each other and better than the Apple watch that I excluded from the second of these maps.


Conclusion: The pod either made no difference or made it as good as the Garmin.


Vertical Oscillation

This data is garbage in the sense that none of the 3 sources matched. I don’t know what’s going on. Normally these metrics are broadly similar. I was running off-road quite a bit with the dog, so maybe it’s her fault.


Grand Contact Time/Stance Time

There was more agreement here between the three sources but I’m not entirely sure why both Apple and Coros show a low contact time when I’m stationary. Hey ho.

Responsiveness & Instant Pace

Stryd’s reviewer pack makes a notable play about the responsiveness of the pod compared to GPS, so I had to test that claim.

The easiest test for responsiveness is to quickly stop running and look at the watches until the current pace shows zero. The Coros pod takes maybe 4ish seconds to hit zero and is a full 1 second slower than the time it takes Stryd Wind to hit zero. The Coros pod’s moving average duration couldn’t be configured and the Stryd pod was set to instantaneous power, so presumably, all Stryd’s other metrics have the same degree of ‘instantness’?

‘Instant’ pace or power is to some degree meaningless and needs to be averaged over a few strides. True instant pace from one footfall to the next varies by the acceleration and deceleration forces in play at the time. Thus what Stryd (and presumably Coros) transmit as instantaneous data is in reality averaged over a few seconds.

Anyway. If Stryd is averaging the raw data for 3 seconds and Coros for 4 seconds then both are ‘instant’ enough for me. If you want something more instant I imagine there will be too much noise in the data for it to be useful.

Coros Pod 2 Review

Coros Pod 2 Specifications

  • Weight: 5.6g
  • 27.1mm (Width) * 33.9mm (Length) * 8.6mm (Thickness)
  • Case material: Fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Battery life: 28 hours of continuous running // 50 days in Standby Mode
  • Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium Battery
  • Water rating: 3 ATM
  • Working Temperature: -10 to 60 ℃
  • Wireless Connection: Bluetooth (Coros apps on iOS/Android and Coros Watches)
  • Barometric Altimeter
  • Thermometer
  • Geomagnetic Compass
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope

Charging Dock Specifications

  • Weight: 17.6g
  • 33.9mm (Width) * 52.1mm (Length) * 15.5 (Thickness)
  • Case material: Fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Battery life: Able to fully charge POD 2 unit 5 times
  • Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium Battery
  • Charging Port: Type-C


Verdict: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - A pod to do everything for Coros Watch owners...everything exept running power
  • Price
  • Apparent Accuracy
  • Build Quality & Design
  • Features, Including App
  • Openness & Compatability

Coros Pod 2 Review

coros pod 2 review belt cradle

Take Out – Coros Pod 2 Review

Sorry. I’ve been as negative as I could about The Coros Pod 2 in the main part of the review but I can’t help but feel that it’s a great product. It’s everything that Stryd Lite was but more complete and packaged excellently.

Pod 2 looks good and it seems robust enough to last for years, the only exception is the cradle for the shoe which seems to be made of brittle plastic and I reckon that will break soon, admittedly there is a spare.

The battery life is great and the additional battery storage in the charging cradle is an awesome idea. Plus I love how the Pod 2 can be used either on the waist or on the shoe with all the accessories for each supplied out of the box. The setup & initial calibration couldn’t be easier.

With the exception of power, there is more than enough data for almost any runner running on any kind of surface either indoors or out. Don’t forget, Coros watches still fully support Stryd running power.

But Coros know that running power is missing and has cleverly instead introduced us to EffortPace which will develop over time to morph graded pace into a super-metric that effectively covers all or more of the same inputs that running power uses. The obvious bonus is the number that the watch shows is PACE/SPEED rather than WATTS and most runners intuitively understand the former WAY more than the latter.

Pod 2 is probably worth buying if you currently own a Coros watch and run without either Pod 1 or a Stryd pod. If you are a triathlete who understands how to work with power and who wants a comprehensive running power ecosystem then Stryd is the obvious choice.

Price when reviewed


  • A running pod for technique or performance uses
  • Reasonable price tag
  • Well made
  • EffortPace is a great concept. Let’s see it evolve.


  • No running power
  • Seemingly brittle Shoe cradle material
  • Only works with Coros Watches at launch but not Pace 1.
  • Does not support industry standards over BLE or ANT+
  • I don’t see any notable accuracy or responsiveness gains over other pods.

Which Coros Watch Would You Like to see next? – Thoughts & Reader Poll




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16 thoughts on “new Coros Pod 2 Review – the wonder pod?

  1. Much better idea than all the useless power stuff.
    I will definitely buy it and support an innovative company.
    I really like what they try to do. Dumbs up 👍

    1. not sure why you think power is useless. pretty much EVERY competitive road cyclist in the world will use it.
      if you prefer a pace-like metric then, fair enough, you’re in the majority for runners

      1. And then we can use GAP which is quite close, nope?
        (didn’t read all the article, maybe you explain why Effort Pace is better than GAP…)

      2. Good review! I wish Coros had come out with this a few months ago; I might have purchased a Coros watch + this pod at the same time. (Instead, I went with another Garmin ForeRunner. I keep looking for an excuse to get away from Garmin, but the alternatives always seem to be ‘missing’ a feature or two that I actually use.)

        When I was comparing watches, I really ‘wanted’ to get the Coros Apex Pro, but since it didn’t have on-board music, that was a deal-breaker for me. If Coros had a lightweight watch (comparable to the Garmin FR series with on-board music, I’d buy it and leave Garmin. (The Coros Vertix has on-board music, but it’s too large/heavy for my personal taste. It’s like the Garmin FR vs. Fenix design/weight.)

        It’s too bad Stryd is (apparently) enforcing their patents. From their business perspective, I get it. As a Stryd owner who DIDN’T sign up for their subscription model, I don’t like the ‘feel’ of their business anymore. I used to be a beta tester (I guess I still am; I can still go into their Discord server.) and would send them feedback while using their beta app “Project Bigfoot”. For many people, running power IS useful

        And, what’s up with people hating on running power? Plenty of people use Power to train and get faster. Just like plenty of people use HR exclusively. And some use Pace exclusively. And some people do well with perceived effort + time.

        There are pros and cons to all of them, and you can’t say any of them is the ‘best.’ I used Power to train for a marathon and improved my time significantly. I was also on a specific marathon plan for 4 months and already had a good base, so who knows?!?

        Lately, I’ve been training on perceived effort, but still tracking power to keep the CP/FTP data fresh. I wouldn’t say any of those methods are “useless.” Some people ARE tech/data geek and having more data and charts is helpful AND fun. What more could I ask for: Tools that help me train and that I enjoy tinkering with?!

        I would be interested in spending a few months with a Coros watch and their new pod, unfortunately, I’m just a regular customer so I have to pay for my gear, and I just bought another Garmin. *thoughtful face emoji*

      3. i’ve no idea why there are running power haters. very bizarre.
        maybe the next gen of coros watches will be for you. But then someone will come up with the anti-china arguments.

  2. Like the Pod2 being waterproof for OCRs (while my Stryd isn’t). Wish it had incline recognition when running on a treadmill (with Stryd only via app), or at least a way to set the incline on the watch.

  3. if I understood correctly your second track run was clockwise, maybe the software always assumes regular counter-clockwise running and produces weird results due to the wrong assumption

    1. the first one was the ‘wrong’ way but i did calibrate it the ‘wrong’ way in the sense that you start with your stryd-foot on the line and i have stryd on my right foot.

  4. If I recall, Killian Jornet uses GAP and keeps a spreadsheet of his own modified grade adjusted pace that he uses. I wonder if the shift in emphasis here is the fruit of collaboration with Killian as a newly Coros-sponsored athlete as well as the problem of Stryd having circled the wagons with patents for running power.

  5. I’m a happy and satisfied user of Stryd since right after it launched – I say satisfied but what I mean in the context of what Stryd provides, a reliable product for pace/power and a neat little CIQ app – I am NOT satisfied in how well it meshes with my Garmin 945, but I lay the blame of that at the feet of Garmin. They’ve resisted making a standard that Stryd (and others) can adopt and now I am beginning to see why.

    It appears there has been a war brewing “behind the scenes” as a result of these patent defenses and the subsequent responses from Garmin and Coros to go in different direction. And in Garmin’s case, freezing Stryd out of their rollout of “Running Power.”

    For what it’s worth, I think the idea of “Effort Pace” or whatever you want to call it – that has alot of merit. I actually would like to see Stryd add that to their own list of data fields, calling it “equivalent Pace” or something like that. I have long since equated my watts numbers to what they would be approximately on level ground, may as well have a field to do that. Of course, maybe they’re afraid everyone would abandon the use of watts at that point as it is more arcane and difficult to approach.

  6. FYI.
    Coros have confirmed that the Pod2 uses auto calibration using GPS data.
    They may explain some accuracy and consistency issues.

    1. yes i assumed that but it wouldn’t affect me in these tests
      my calibration was over 1km on a track but using indoor mode. there was an automatic prompt that pops up asking if i want to calibrate when i did.

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