Posted on March 28 2022



One of our most popular blogs over the years has been our "Which Watch 4 You?" blog. Deciding on the right GPS watch can be very confusing, but still a substantial investment for any runner. 

We have been so impressed with the emergence of COROS, we thought it would be worth doing a specific WW4Y for COROS. They really have taken the industry by storm and just this last month announced the signing of Kilian Jornet and Emilie Forsberg, who need no introduction, to their sponsored athlete team. These Ultra Trail legends join Eliud Kipchoge and Molly Seidel to form one of the best stables out there. They must be doing something right. 

Across the range there are two over-riding achievements that set the brand apart. Battery Life and Price. Most of us want a range of great features but combined with great battery life at an affordable price. COROS have become masters of this.

The technical details of GPS watches can be a bit heavy and for a lot of people a total turn off, so instead we have focused on you, the sort of people we meet everyday in the running community and suggested a watch that could best fit your needs.  Of course nobody is exactly one profile but the characteristics hopefully can help you identify which is the best watch 4 you.

So this is our categorization. 

We have defined 5 broad runner types:

1. "New to the sport, living a healthy life" : Top Wants: Low weight, Good Price, Simplicity, and this is likely your first GPS watch

2. "Focused Road Runner up to Marathon Distance". Top Wants: Low Weight, Price, Simplicity. Only the data I need.

3. "Dedicated Trail Runner, no bells and whistles". Top Wants: Battery Life, GPS Reliability, Navigation.

4. "Hard Core, Trail/Ultra Runner" Top Wants: Battery Life, GPS Reliability, Navigation, Data, Adventure Tools.

5. "Ultra Hard Core Adventurist" Top Wants: Max Battery Life, Navigation, Data, Adventure Tools, Extreme Reliability and GPS Accuracy, 

The COROS Range provides a solution for all of these runners from just under $2000 HKD price point to just under $6000 HKDs. 

Lets tackle the battery life issue first, this is how the models compare on continuous GPS and Heart rate monitoring. 

The Vertix 2 is simply phenomenal, when Wong Ho Chung did the 4 Trails Ultra challenge his watch still had 76% battery life after operating continuously, on full GPS, for almost 50 hours.  For most normal humans, the reality is this means charging is a rare event. I run everyday, never as far as Wong Ho Chung, but I am only on my 3rd charge since Christmas and its now the end of March!. 

Obviously, price is also an important issue and for some people the size of the watch face is important. If you want light weight or have small wrists, a large watch can be intrusive. Typically, the longer the battery life the larger the watch (it has a bigger battery), but also the higher the price point so this is how the COROS range maps on these factors.

Taking all of this together then these are our recommendations:

1. "New to the sport, living a healthy life" : Top Wants: Low weight, Good Price, Simplicity, and this is likely your first GPS watch

We would recommend either the PACE 2 or the APEX 42 mm. Both are at a great price point if this is your first watch. They will track your run, your heart rate and give you all the essential data elements to understand your training needs. Super light weight and if you have thinner wrists and want a smaller watch they will fit. If you are thinking to do more trail than road then pick the APEX 42 as it can be used for navigation. If you are into power metering, pick the PACE 2. 

2. "Focused Road Runner up to Marathon Distance". Top Wants: Low Weight, Price, Simplicity. Only the data I need.

The PACE 2 is your watch. While being at a great price point it is by no means a watch without capability. Light weight means you will hardly notice it is there and it will not effect your running form. Will give you all the necessary data to help you train and manage that important race. This is Eliud Kipchoge's choice. Everything you need, nothing you don't.

3. "Dedicated Trail Runner, no bells and whistles". Top Wants: Battery Life, GPS Reliability, Navigation.

You spend a lot of time on trails. Train regularly, understand what you need, like to explore new paths and expect to be out there a while. You are not bothered about lots of frills on your watch. If you are a Garmin user, you probably have a 945. The COROS watch for you is the APEX 46mm. Very affordable price under $3000 HKD but with 35hrs of battery life on full GPS. You can down load your routes on to the watch and have it guide you to places you have never been. Superb value for money. 

4. "Hard Core, Trail/Ultra Runner" :Top Wants: Battery Life, GPS Reliability, Navigation, Data, Adventure Tools.

Now you want to step it up a bit. You have set yourself some ambitious goals. maybe the HK100 or the UTMB, or any other ultra race you might think of. You want GPS reliability, and yo want the watch to be there thought out the event, not concerned if it will die on you. You might be at altitude and you may want to monitor how much oxygen you have in your bloodstream. Bottom-line, you like data. There are two choices for you, 

The APEX Pro or the VERTIX 1. Both super capable watches and have the same data management capabilities. They have 40 hrs and 60 hrs of battery life respectively but the trade off is weight, 59g v 76g. The APEX Pro is Kilian Jornet and Emilie Forsbergs choice. 

5. "Ultra Hard Core Adventurist" :Top Wants: Max Battery Life, Navigation, Data, Adventure Tools, Extreme Reliability and GPS Accuracy, 

Now we come to the that person, imagining, planning and executing that really tough expedition. Extreme weather, the worlds toughest terrain exposed for many hours and days. It might involve scaling the vertical rock face of a previously unclimbed route. Tracking GPS coordinates up a sheer rock face is difficult as you can imagine. For this person, there is the VERTIX 2. The only watch on the market that simultaneously tracks all 5 GPs satellite systems AND uses Dual Frequency, previously only used in aircraft navigation. The result is an ability to accurately track a route or a pitch in any situation and then review it in 3D. 

To power all of that requires battery horsepower and while fully connecting up to all of those systems is power hungry, when used in normal, comparable GPS monitoring mode, this watch has a phenomenal 140 hrs of battery life. 

Add to that all the data you will ever need and an ability to operate in the most extreme environments, this is the true adventurers watch. 

Its also damn good looking! 

So we hope you find this useful and if you want to check out the collection click HERE










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