The Coros Apex 2 and Coros Apex 2 Pro have arrived, featuring specs to rival some of the top racing watches of the moment. Coros has always been an underdog compared to category giants such as Garmin, and while we haven’t had the opportunity to review the watches in their entirety yet, it’s likely that at least one of them will end up on our best racing watch list if their spec sheets are something to follow.
With multi-band satellite connectivity for precision, Coros Apex 2 and 2 Pro are tailor-made for track and tri events. A rugged raised bezel with sapphire crystal and titanium alloy case, the digital “button” on the side of each watch is, like the feature of the original Apex and the new Apple Watch Ultra, designed to be operated with gloves while on the move. .
Both are 5ATM water resistant (suitable for surface activities like swimming and surfing, but not diving) and also offer downloadable topo maps. Many of the features are taken from their top-tier Vertix line for a slightly lower price point, costing $499 in the US, £319 in the UK and AU$859 in Australia for the Pro and $399, £399 and AU$699 for the Apex 2. While our official verdict is yet to come, the Coros Apex 2 and Apex 2 Pro present themselves as solid entries in the sub-$500 trail watch category.
But if the watches really seem to shine in one area, it’s the battery life. The Coros Apex 2 Pro claims it will last in smartwatch mode for 30 days, while the Apex 2 claims 17 days. With all GPS systems firing, the watches are said to last 45 hours (for the Apex 2 Pro) and 30 hours (for the Apex 2). For context, the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar, our choice of health and fitness device of the year and a close match at this price point, comes in at just 22 hours even with that Power Glass solar extension.
Analysis: test for success
Coros has always been a solid buy when it comes to choosing a fitness watch, but it’s a relatively young brand that’s consistently outclassed by the more popular and better-known Garmin, not to mention the big bite of the smartwatch market taken by Apple and Samsung.
However, if Coros manages to create a well-designed, comprehensive fitness watch (which it almost always does) and claims Garmin battery life when the Forerunner 955 Solar is doing so well, it’s a great indicator of things to come. Vertix has already done something similar with Garmin’s massive Enduro line of premium fitness watches, which has positioned itself as the battery to beat.
We’re looking forward to testing the Apex 2 and Apex 2 Pro to find out if these battery life claims really are all they seem.
Is Garmin in trouble? Not yet. It’s too big and frankly too good, and the distrust surrounding certain Chinese manufacturers, like Huawei, could deter Coros. But Coros is determined to keep making devices good enough to challenge Garmin’s dominance, which can only benefit watch fans as we have more technology to choose from.