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Coros Pace 2 vs Garmin 55 (2022): Comparing Affordable GPS Running Watches

The Coros Pace 2 and the Garmin Forerunner 55 are two similar-priced GPS running watches that share a lot of features, which makes it difficult to decide which one to get. On top of that, each one has its own unique benefits.

We compare the two to clear up their advantages and disadvantages. That way, you can make a more informed buying decision.

Coros Pace 2 vs Garmin 55 Comparison Chart

ModelCoros Pace 2Garmin Forerunner 55
 Coros Pace 2 vs Garmin Forerunner 55Coros Pace 2 vs Garmin Forerunner 55
PriceCheck Price at Amazon.comCheck Price at Amazon.com
Display1.2 inches, 240 x 2401.04 inches, 208 x 208
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
VO2 MaxYesYes
GPSYesYes
Music ControlsNoYes
AltimeterYesNo
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM
Battery LifeGPS off: Up to 20 days
GPS on: Up to 30 hours
UltraMax mode: Up to 60 hours
GPS off: Up to 2 weeks
GPS on: Up to 20 hours
WeightSilicone band: 35g to 36g
Nylon band: 29g to 30g
37g

Build and Display

The Coros Pace 2 has a bigger and brighter screen than the Garmin Forerunner 55.

Coros Pace 2 vs Garmin Forerunner 55 Build and Display
Here’s the Coros Pace 2 (in photo) with a nylon band.

Both the Coros Pace 2 and the Garmin Forerunner 55 are made of plastic, but they’re durable and capable of withstanding bumps and the rough outdoors as you train. The two also have a 5 ATM water resistance, meaning they can be worn in the pool—or while showering, for that matter.

Additionally, these running smartwatches have the same quick release design. In fact, the bands of the Pace 2 and Forerunner 55 are interchangeable, so if you get straps compatible with one, you can definitely put it on the other as well.

The most obvious difference here is their screens. The Pace 2 has a brighter and larger 1.2 incher with narrower bezels as opposed to the Forerunner 55’s relatively dimmer 1.04-inch display. Thing is, you can’t adjust either one’s brightness, and it goes without saying that a brighter and bigger screen is better in general, especially when training outdoors.

Last but not least, the two weigh almost the same, with the Pace 2 ranging from 35g to 36g and the Forerunner 55 coming in at 37g. Needless to say, this is hardly noticeable. However, that’s only if the Pace 2 is fitted with its silicone band. If you swap it out for its nylon band, its weight drops to 29g to 30g, which almost feels like you’re wearing nothing at all.

Activity and Health Tracking

Both the Coros Pace 2 and the Garmin Forerunner 55 have accurate GPS and heart rate monitoring.

Coros Pace 2 vs Garmin Forerunner 55 Activity and Health Tracking
The Garmin Forerunner 55 (in photo) has stress tracking and plenty of activity profiles.

Thanks to its larger display, the Coros Pace 2 is better built for training. Since it has a larger screen real estate, it can show you up to six data fields at a time. On the other hand, the Garmin Forerunner 55 can only accommodate four data fields, owing to its smaller display.

Now the two have all the basics covered, from counting steps to tracking calories burned and even VO2 max estimation. In terms of advanced training tools, both also have a race predictor and a recovery advisor, but only the Pace 2 have additional features such as Training Load that provide more data into your training overall.

When it comes to accuracy, both have reliable GPS, though it’s worth mentioning that the Forerunner 55 locks onto signals slightly faster. It’s the same story with heart rate monitoring too, where both watches can deliver somewhat similar results as top-rated sensors such as the Polar Verity Sense and H10. However, the Pace 2 takes a while before it starts reading accurately.

One glaring difference is that only the Pace 2 can show minimum and maximum elevation in real time since it’s the only one of the two that has an integrated altimeter. But in the Forerunner 55’s defense, it does have a bigger selection of activity profiles, including yoga and HIIT, as well as features like Garmin Coach, Body Battery and stress tracking.

Click here for our Polar Verity Sense vs H10 vs OH1 comparison.

Usage and Battery Life

The Coros Pace 2 can last longer on a single charge than the Garmin Forerunner 55.

Coros Pace 2 vs Garmin Forerunner 55 Usage and Battery Life
The Coros Pace 2 (left) only has a back button and a dial for controls, while the Garmin Forerunner 55 (right) has five buttons.

Regarding controls, the Coros Pace 2 is more minimalistic in that it has only one back button and what the company calls Digital Dial, which is similar to the Apple Watch’s digital crown. That means you’ll be turning the dial to scroll through widgets and such to check your data and other metrics. Meanwhile, the Garmin Forerunner 55 uses a five-button layout to navigate through menus and such.

Both have customizable widgets and additional ones are available for download via their respective stores. However, the Forerunner 55 has more options from Connect IQ, which offers hundreds to choose from. 

In addition, the Forerunner 55 has Widget Glances, and as its name suggests, it lets you see your data in a condensed form across widgets. Of the two, it’s also the only one with music playback controls, so you don’t have to take out your smartphone to pause, play and skip forward.

The Pace 2 has the edge in battery life, lasting up to 20 days with GPS off or up to 30 hours with it on. Interestingly, it also has an UltraMax GPS mode that uses sensors in tandem with GPS to conserve power without compromising accuracy, allowing it to go up to 60 hours in one go. In comparison, the Forerunner 55 is rated to last up to two weeks on a single charge or up to 20 hours with GPS.

Click here for our Apple Watch Series 6 vs Fitbit Versa 3.

Verdict

Neither one really wins, and by the same token, both the Coros Pace 2 and the Garmin Forerunner 55 are excellent entry-level GPS watches in their own right.

To sum things up, the Coros Pace 2 is the better running watch, while the Garmin Forerunner 55 is the better smartwatch in general. In other words, if you want more granular info into your training, the Pace 2 has got you covered. But if you want something for everyday use with plenty of activity and fitness tracking and a more polished interface, the Forerunner 55 will be more up your alley.

FAQs

📌 Does the Coros Pace 2 measure VO2 max?

Yes, the Coros Pace 2 offers VO2 max estimation.

📌 How accurate is the Garmin Forerunner 55?

The Garmin Forerunner 55’s GPS is accurate with little to no deviations in tracking paths compared to smartphones. Its heart rate monitoring is also accurate with a similar performance to its chest strap counterparts.

📌 Can the Coros Pace 2 be used for trail running?

Technically, yes, but the Coros Pace 2 doesn’t have a Trail Run activity profile. That means you’ll have to make do with the normal Run mode, which might not take into account the differences in VO2 max estimation between running on a paved surface and trail running.

📌 Does the Garmin Forerunner 55 have music?

The Garmin Forerunner 55 doesn’t have onboard storage for songs, but it can control music playback.

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Vincent Lanaria

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