Elliot takes the COROS "Man v Watch" Challenge !!
Posted on April 23 2019
If you are looking for a GPS watch with fabulous battery life..... you need to read this !!
Last weekend we challenged our good mate Elliot to beat the #COROSApex 46mm watch ....... here is the blow-by-blow account of how that went !!.. #bigboarsbackyardchallenge #theracewithnoend
"1 week before the inaugural Big Boar’s Backyard Challenge here in Hong Kong, I was approached by my good friend Peter Hopper at Gone Running with a challenge within the challenge!
#GoneRunning recently started stocking COROS premium GPS watches. An economical GPS watch with all the functions, AND a battery life well above the cut-offs of most 100 milers!
Since my race was one with no end, what better way to put this watch to the test than at the Big Boar.
Some background on my recent GPS watches. Garmin Fenix 5X (2 years), and my current watch, Suunto Baro 9 (1 month).
So, this COROS APEX was up against some pretty stiff opposition.
I accepted the challenge and I put on the watch for the first time on Sunday 14th in the late afternoon. The battery was factory charged at 95%.
Out of the box, the watch is the more minimalist of the 3. Slimmer, with a case diameter of 46mm, appealing to a wider audience, and great for smaller wrists.
The band is soft and easy to fasten, and the loops/keepers easily lock into place (note to Suunto to improve their straps). Please don’t mind my jargon, I am a watch guy by trade after all 🤓
So next step… watch powered on, app downloaded, watch synced, profile entered, watch face selected, and in a matter of minutes all was done! That was easy, very easy actually!
The Apex watch only has 1 button and 1 winder that scrolls through the various functions. Very simple, with the option (using your phone) to activate the auto-light with the action of your wrist. Personally, I prefer a separate button for the light, but it remains very quick and easy to activate through your phone.
Very quickly, what struck me how fast the watch synced with the phone. It synced in a matter of a few seconds. Even long activities! And what’s more, it synced to Strava and Trainingpeaks just as fast if not faster than Garmin. Suunto being much slower in that respect.
The app on the phone is very simple, but informative, showing data we can relate to, understand and use, like Resting Heart Rate, Vo2Max, fitness level, lactate threshold etc.
So, back to the battery…. a 11km run and another short 5km run to keep the legs moving during the week, and the battery was still at 78% 5 days from when I got it at 95%. Now I don’t want to ruffle any feathers but Garmin Fenix 5X and Suunto 9 would definitely have a lower battery status using the full GPS mode by that stage.
So, I started to worry! How the heck was I going to beat this watch? 35 hours claimed in full GPS mode and constant HR monitoring.
So, Smart Elliot charged the watch on Thursday night hoping it would still show 100% the next morning but be on the lower end of 100%. A bit like when you fuel up your rental 40km away from the drop off just enough to keep the indicator on full… you know what I mean And just as I predicted it showed 100% so I took a picture and sent it to Peter as proof!
So the challenge started at 9am on Bowen Road on April 19th. Loop of 6.72km for as long as long as possible. Well, I did not reach my intended target of 30 hours or more, nor did the winner for that matter who finished in 25 hours. As simple as Bowen Road may appear, running on road is not like running on trail, but enough about me and back to the watch!
18 laps later and 121.9km recorded on my watch, I pressed “finish” and no sooner had I done that I got a message from Strava “your run is ready”! Wow!
Then the moment of truth! 58% battery left!!!!
That was simply embarrassing!! Not only had the watch recorded my whole activity with amazing precision (off by 800m over 120km versus the GPS strava course set by the Race Director), it monitored my heart rate, accurately posted splits and I hate to ruffle more feathers, posted the true total ascent over 120km of just 414m….So for those of you with readings of 300-900m ascent over 10-20km on Bowen, sorry to break it to you…
What an amazing piece of kit! This is the real deal! It may not be the GPS by brand status (Garmin Polar Suunto – I came up with this myself) but it definitely nips them in the butt in terms of performance and definitely matches them in build and looks! And to have this much accuracy over such an amount of time is unbeatable!
Suunto 9 with its fusedtrac that sporadically asks you to recalibrate in the middle of a run, or the Garmin that simply does not last above 20-22 hours in full GPS mode, the COROS Apex is a game changer!
And to make matters worse, it’s much more economical at HK$2,799.-
So when I stopped running, I was happy with my performance but I was gutted thinking I had to return the watch. But when I received a message from Peter that I could keep the watch, I jumped on my phone replied “many thanks”.
So now that I have two watches, the Suunto Baro 9 and the Coros Apex. Which one will I wear daily and which one will I bring on my 100 miler this summer? Well, without a doubt, the Coros Apex on both accounts!"🏃♂️🏃♂️🏃♂️🏃♂️🏃♂️🏃♂️🏃♂️