The new kid on the block, Coros Apex, may just be the right watch for you with a full GPS life of 35 hours and a display that you can customize as a lifestyle watch or with metrics you need on your activity.
I’ve probably gone through the most basic GPS watches up until the premium ones whether as my go-to watch or part of my regular watch reviews. The trends has been that the price of GPS watches continues to skyrocket as developers add more features to track your workouts and lifestyle. I have actually settled for a more basic watch with just the displays I needed for a run. After all, I haven’t been actually geeky and competitive as of late.
Well, that’s until I found Coros Apex. Coros brings in the high-end features like full color display, activity tracking, watch face customization and a Full GPS life of 35 hours at the mid-tier price level. Coros Apex retails at Php18,995 while other high end watches can go as high as Php 30-40K price range. Somehow, it’s a game changer and here’s what I’ve learned for the past few months of using Coros Apex.
Full GPS Life of 35 Hours is Real
Ever since I got my Coros GTX, I knew the re-conning point would be my Snow Mountain Hike since it’s a multi day hike and we’ll surely take lots of hours climbing 3,886 meters of Snow Mountain. So here’s the drill.
- Day 1 Hike: 7.91 K, 1,130M elevation gain, 7:03 hours
- Day 2 – Hike 1: 7.58K, 799M elevation gain, 7:40 hours
- Day 2 – Hike 2: 7.28K, 163M, elevation gain, 5:01 hours
- Day 3 Hike: 5.5 Km, 624M elevation gain, 3:58 hours
That’s about 24 hours using full GPS in 3 days and I’m still at 37%. I had so much confidence in the watch that I didn’t even bring my charger the whole trip.
Good news! You can save the map directly to your watch, you can either email or air drop the GPX files to your phone linked to the watched and once synced, you’re good to go. To test this feature, I uploaded the 8K route for Mafate Mudfest in one of our final recon while I did the 16K route. Once I stepped out of the regular 8K route, you can actually see a dot deviating from the route map and tell you how much distance you are from the correct route. So when I got back to the route, it was spot on as it showed me the distance to the proper route.
You can easily customize your views. For me, I usually want to see my heart rate and my altitude on trail runs and I’m more pace oriented on road runs. It’s easy to set your desired metrics at the Custom Interface portion of your Coros App on the phone, which you can sync to your watch. There is also an available watch face customization to suit your different moods even when you use it on your regular lifestyle modes.
Aside from tracking your workout, Coros also tracks your activity from your average steps, heart rate, energy consumption and fitness level on a day to day basis. I’m geeky about this stats but here’s one of the drawbacks I see with Coros Apex. When it computes your VO2 max and threshold pace, it’s mostly using your pace and heart rate when you work out irregardless of the terrain. I’ve noticed this difference since I am mostly on trails and I used to have a low threshold pace because with the climbs, it’s much slower and faster to get that heart racing. So when I switched to road runs, I had a big jump in my metrics, which is due to the faster pace and less drag during road runs. Other than that, I’m good with the Tracking.
If there was something I was trying to master, it’s my sleep. Most of the times, the stats are on point though there are few days that you’d surprised how poor your sleep quality is. So when I wake up, I check the quality of sleep and if I feel I lack a good sleep, I usually try an hour or two of extra sleep.
GPS detection is a few seconds and you’ll get notification once it has detected the GPS and heart rate. So far, even in remote areas, I’ve never had a problem with the GPS reception. For the heart rate, it’s a wrist based heart rate, which according to many is not as accurate as a heart rate monitor. I get annoyed using the chest heart rate so I’d give the little difference in accuracy for comfort.
Funny, how I never read manuals when it comes to watches. Coros Apex is easy to operate. You just have to choose a workout on the dial button, detect GPS and heart rate and you’re good to go. One point of adjustment is the use of the dial button instead of just regular button so when you start or end the work out, you have to roll the dial until it unlocks before pressing the button. It’s more of an added protection so you just don’t accidentally pause or end workout.
Uploading of files is fast and easy with bluetooth connectivity between watch and phone. You can easily access your data on your phone and upload a watermark photo, gpx data, or workout details on social media. I think the biggest drawback is that there is no dedicated desktop app for Coros where you can access your data. You can always pair it with Strava or a GPX viewer. Coros should really develop a dedicated desktop app like other GPS watches where you can see you workout or even create routes. For now, I’d be content with pairing it with Strava.
When you see how lifestyle watches are evolving to be GPS watches, the same holds true for GPS watches being lifestyle watches or an everyday kind of watch. Coros is a GPS watch with lifestyle look and features with customizable watch face and replaceable straps. Since it is top-of-the-line in terms of battery, it can go on for days without charging.