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Coros Apex vs Pace 2 (2021): Comparing GPS Running Watches

In the lower-end of Coros’ sport watches are the Apex and Pace 2, but even though they’re the most affordable models in the lineup, they pack a lot for their price.

These two may be identical in more ways than one, but there are more differences than there are similarities. For starters, the Apex is older than the Pace 2, but newer doesn’t automatically mean it’s better. Each one also has features unique to them, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

Coros Apex vs Pace 2 Comparison Chart

ModelCoros ApexCoros Pace 2
 COROS APEX Premium Multisport GPS Watch - 42mm (Black/Grey)Coros PACE 2 Premium GPS Sport Watch with Nylon or Silicone Band, Heart Rate Monitor, 30h Full GPS...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Display42mm: 1.1-inch, 218 x 218, transflective, Sapphire Glass
46mm: 1.2-inch, 240 x 240, transflective, Sapphire Glass
1.2-inch, 240 x 240, transflective, Corning Glass
Always-On BacklightNoYes
SensorsOptical heart-rate monitor, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, GPS, GLONASSOptical heart-rate monitor, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, GPS, GLONASS
24/7 Heart-Rate MonitoringYesYes
Sleep MonitoringYesYes
Battery Life42mm: Up to 24 days (normal use), 25 hours (GPS), 80 hours (UltraMax GPS)
46mm: Up to 30 days (normal use), 35 hours (GPS), 100 hours (UltraMax GPS)
Up to 20 days (normal use), 30 hours (GPS), 60 hours (UltraMax GPS)
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+Bluetooth, ANT+
Water ResistanceUp to 100 metersUp to 50 meters
Weight42mm: 49g (silicone), 38g (nylon)
46mm: 55.3g (silicone), 45g (nylon)
35 to 36g (silicone), 29 to 30g (nylon)
Colors42mm: Gold, black/gray, white/silver
46mm: White, black/gray
Dark navy, white

Build

The Coros Apex has a better overall quality with its metal construction than the Pace 2’s plastic build.

Coros Apex vs Pace 2 Build
Notice the metal bezels on the Coros Apex (left) and the plastic ones on the Pace 2 (right).

To start things off, the Coros Apex is available in 42mm and 46mm sizes, while the Pace 2 comes only in 42mm. At first glance, it’s hard to tell the two apart, especially when the 42mm Apex and Pace 2 are put side by side since they have about the same measurements. In other words, they’re more or less equal in terms of design.

However, a closer inspection shows that the Apex has the better build quality than the Pace 2. That’s because the 46mm variant’s bezels are made of titanium and the 42mm’s are aluminum, and both their backs are aluminum to boot. Meanwhile, the Pace 2 is an all-plastic affair—fiber-reinforced polymer, to be exact—from its bezels to its cover. If nothing else, that makes it lighter than the Apex, but the trade-off is it’s less durable.

In the same vein, the Apex sports a sapphire glass, which is tough to scratch. The Pace 2 has a Corning Glass, and while it’s decent, it can’t really compare to sapphire crystal. Speaking of, the 42mm Apex has a 1.1-inch display, while the 46mm Apex and Pace 2 rock a 1.2 incher. All three of them have transflective displays for better viewing in direct sunlight, as well as backlights for darker places. Neither one has a touchscreen, which is where the digital crown and back button come into play.

Features

The Coros Pace 2 has Night Mode, while the Apex doesn’t.

Coros Apex vs Pace 2 Features
Here’s a closer look at the optical heart-rate sensors of the Coros Apex (left) and Pace 2 (right).

When it comes to their activity programs, the Coros Apex blows the Pace 2 out of the water. Not only does it have the usual workouts like running and cycling, but it also has hiking and winter sports modes, which the latter doesn’t have. Seemingly, the newer Pace 2 is designed mainly with runners in mind, but at the very least, both do have Coros’ strength training program.

Moreover, the Apex is the only one of the two that has breadcrumb navigation. It also has a better battery life of up to 30 days or 35 hours with GPS for the 46mm variant and 24 days or 25 hours with GPS for the 42mm model. The Pace can go up to 20 days on a single charge, and interestingly, it can last up to 30 hours with GPS, which is longer than what the 42mm Apex can do.

Both sport watches have excellent water resistance, but the Apex does it better. To be more precise, it can go up to 100 meters, while the Pace 2 can only survive up to 50 meters underwater. As for their sensors, both have staples like an optical heart-rate monitor, GPS, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, and GLONASS. Each one is as accurate as the other as well, and both connect to smartphones via Bluetooth and accessories via ANT+. For the record, they also feature sleep and 24/7 heart-rate monitoring.

Notably, there is one thing that the Pace 2 has that the Apex doesn’t: Night Mode. For the uninitiated, it keeps the backlight on during a workout, which is a feature that’s also only found in higher-end Coros watches like the Vertix and Apex Pro.

Click here to see our comparison between the Coros Vertix and Garmin Fenix 6.

Configurations

The Coros Apex and Pace 2 have quick-release bands and silicone and nylon straps.

Coros Apex vs Pace 2 Configurations
Only the Coros Pace 2 (in photo) is available with a nylon strap out of the box.

When purchasing the Coros Pace 2, it’s available with either a silicone or nylon strap right from the get-go. The Apex only comes with a silicone band as standard, but it’s also compatible with nylon straps, which can be bought separately. On that note, both watches have quick-release bands, making it as easy as 1-2-3 to swap them out.

Last but not least, the Apex has more color options. The 42mm Apex is available in gold, black/gray, and white/silver, while the 46mm variant comes in white and black/gray. On the other hand, the Pace 2 has dark navy and white options.

Verdict

From the look of things, the Coros Pace 2 wasn’t made to top the Apex.

All things considered, we’ll have to go with the Coros Apex here. It has a better all-metal build with a sapphire glass screen, more workout modes, and a longer-lasting battery. However, the Pace 2 isn’t without its charm. It’s relatively more affordable, and it can do a lot of things the Apex can do. It even has Night Mode, but although all that isn’t enough for it to come out on top here, it does have its target market, namely runners.

FAQs

📌 Are Coros watches any good?

Yes, Coros has built a reputation of making high-quality sport watches with a strong focus on fitness and activity. For example, the Apex and Pace 2 are two popular models because they have plenty of features yet don’t break the bank.

📌 Does Coros Apex have music?

No, the Coros Apex doesn’t have internal storage for music or something along those lines.

📌 Does Coros Apex track sleep?

Yes, the Coros Apex features sleep tracking, and it’s pretty accurate in detecting sleep patterns.

📌 Which is better, the Coros Apex or the Pace 2?

The Coros Apex is better than the Pace 2 because it has an all-metal design as opposed to plastic, a sapphire glass screen, hiking and winter sports modes, and a longer battery life.

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.