Coros Introduces Lots of Changes…good ones
Coros has been listening.
You always ask for lower prices and you’ve got them. I asked for a new app design and I’ve got it, many Coros Pace 3 and Coros Pace 2 owners asked for breadcrumb navigation…guess what? They got it. There’s much more news to share than that so let’s start off with a summary and then I’ll expand on some of the more interesting details.
Coros has been busy. Very busy. There are improvements here for watches, for the app and for EVO Lab. Here are the 6 key areas of improvement.
- APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro RRP price drops – Broadly speaking the various Apex 2 models are receiving a $/£/Eu50 price cut. If you already own one of the watches, there is a credit program for the same amount open until May 31st (apply here).
- New third-party integrations: Google Health Connect, HRV4Training, Intervals.icu, and more
- PACE 2 gets breadcrumb navigation. Nice! Vertix/Apex get the ability to manage maps over WiFi.
- New software releases with 22 changes ranging from awesome to irrelevant
- New app interface!
- EvoLab 2.0!
- Navigation and mapping!
- New watch firmware and the ability to store more routes
Price Cuts & Credit Program
The credit program is a nice way to introduce a price cut that avoids alienating existing owners, albeit for a limited time. Here are the price cuts I talked about
|APEX 2||399 → 349||479 → 399||419 → 349||579 → 499|
|APEX 2 Pro||499 → 449||579 → 499||499 → 449||699 → 599|
|APEX 2 Pro KJ||549 → 499||599 → 549||549 → 499||749 → 649|
While the Pace 2 sells very well and is reasonably priced, the same cannot be said for the Apex 2 which competes with some seriously good Garmin & Apple watches at premium price points. It still definitely sells though!, I’m just not sure how well.
It is unusual for sports watch companies to lower prices permanently at a time of rising inflation, and this may suggest that the initial pricing was incorrect or that the market has shifted. Perhaps both factors played a role.
In contrast to Coros, Garmin has the flexibility to raise prices if they see an opportunity to do so, and with the current inflation rate exceeding 10%, Garmin could argue that increasing the price of a $450 watch to $500 is reasonable. However, Coros has gone in a different direction and reduced prices, presumably to increase unit sales.
A decade ago, an app that linked to Strava or some other platform might have been noteworthy, but it no longer is today. However, today’s integration with HRV4Training is a valuable addition, it’s one of the leading consumer-grade HRV tools, and I use it regularly. Additionally, Intervals.icu is a highly regarded analytics suite that Coros users should consider when they require more in-depth analyses than the Coros app provides.
Then there is a connection to Google Health Connect which gives a conduit for Coros watch owners to connect to a wide range of other apps. Other links to Dangelo and connectivity to the HRM by Fourth Frontier are also available.
The PACE 2 will receive breadcrumb navigation
The photoshopped images from Coros may exaggerate the actual vibrancy of the screen, particularly when compared to a map on the Workoutdoors app. However, comparing my photos to those of the Apple Watch might be slightly unfair because the Pace 2 is unquestionably a better sports watch. But now it’s a sports watch that also comes with basic route-following capabilities – a welcomed and free addition for existing Coros users.
Coros Pace 2 owners can now use the same route creation and management features as the more expensive Coros watches, accessed through the smartphone app. These are still slightly clunky, but if you only intend to follow breadcrumb routes occasionally, you should have no issues.
Note: Breadcrumb routes are simply lines/arrows, there is no mapping on Pace 2.
New App Interface
In general, the new app appears to be more streamlined, logical and professional in appearance. I quite like it!
The most notable modification is the centralization of the app’s core features around the Progress, Activities, Explore, and Profile tabs. The Progress tab is customizable, and the Explore tab now boasts a useful new route builder with some advanced features.
EVO Lab 1.0 is now EVO Lab 2.0
EVO Lab is Coros’ online analysis suite that delves more deeply into physiology and performance metrics. Two years ago, when it was initially launched, it was a highly promising first attempt. However, its race prediction times contained inaccuracies, and some metrics were only correctly calculated after relatively restrictive conditions were met. While I won’t go into the extensive details that Coros kindly shared with me, here are some of the key improvements highlighted in EVO Lab 2.0.
- Predictions and estimations appear as quickly as after 25 minutes of working out and are more accurate
- Coros has been quite open about some of the improvements to accuracy for example the 10k race estimation is now claimed to be over 10% more accurate than from EVO Lab 1.0
- Following the Running Test once will unlock Lactate Threshold Pace, Lactate Threshold Heart Rate and Maximum Heart Rate
- New Training Status score, a Running Fitness Score and its breakdown
- Improved Heart rate, fitness and running tests
Navigation, Route Creation & Mapping
Saving locations on the watch and creating routes have become more accessible. It is now possible to create routes from previously completed workouts. Additionally, the ability to finger-draw routes on a map and edit or erase sections adds a modern twist to route management. Waypoints and waypoint alerts can also be added, and it is worth noting that the waypoint does not necessarily have to be on the route, just nearby.
- You can draw a route for a run, ride, or use manual mode for planning your route. Try doing that on Garmin Connect.
- The ability to edit, erase, and add waypoints during route planning is available.
- Waypoint Alerts can be set up when a waypoint is near a route.
- You can add and save important locations from your app or watch, and they will auto-sync between them.
- “My Collection” stores all your routes and locations with filter features. The filter features are a great way to find that elusive route amongst that huge list of routes that most of us now have.
- In-app, you can add or delete map sections with Map Manager and download over Wifi if available
- The watch route storage is upgraded – APEX 2, APEX 2 Pro, and VERTIX 2 can now save up to 30 routes, up from 10.
This is a significant step in the right direction for Coros. The changes made to the app, EVO Lab, and the watches themselves are all greatly appreciated.
It appears that 2022 was a moment for the company to pause and reflect. Historically, Coros has been excellent at adding many new features, but upon closer examination, inaccuracies or omissions were often discovered. This was of much less relevance if you sent your data out of the Coros ecosystem but its app was definitely a weak point.
Last year seemed to mark an acceptance by the company that it is now time to prioritize getting things right rather than continually rushing forward to complete the next checkbox item. Furthermore, I am delighted that the look and feel of the product are now more professional and are moving forward positively.
Coros Pace 2 – Get It HERE
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