Garmin enjoys a solid reputation when it comes to multisport smartwatches. Its catalog boasts premium, midrange, and budget wearables that appeal to a broad demographic. For instance, runners on a budget will like the company’s Garmin Forerunner 55, which builds on the success of Forerunner 45 while offering more smart features.
That being said, there are wearables that rival Garmin’s offering, one of them being the COROS Pace 2. Priced similarly to the Garmin 55, the COROS Pace 2 keeps its focus on fitness and ditches the bloat of what some may see as unnecessary features. But is this move an advantage or are you still better off with Garmin?
Garmin Forerunner 55 vs COROS Pace 2 Comparison Chart
Design and Build
The COROS Pace 2 is lightweight and sporty, while the Garmin Forerunner 55 has a bit more heft behind its sleek exterior.
The COROS Pace 2 is smaller than its predecessor while having nearly identical dimensions to the Garmin Forerunner 55. Its silicone band comes with multiple holes for breathability, but it also lends the wearable a sportier aesthetic. If you opt for the nylon band variant, you’re getting what COROS says is the lightest GPS watch around at 29 grams.
Garmin’s Forerunner 55, on the other hand, has a sleeker appearance. Although it also comes with a silicone strap, it sports a uniform color and has fewer perforations. The watch is heavier than the COROS Pace 2, although the difference doesn’t affect wearability and comfort.
Both devices have 1.2-inch memory-in-pixel displays. This allows for excellent readability under bright conditions while keeping power consumption low. Based on reviews, the Garmin 55 is more vibrant. However, the COROS Pace 2 offers the advantage of a night mode. In terms of durability, COROS opts for a Corning Gorilla Glass screen. On the Garmin 55, you’re getting a chemically-strengthened glass display.
However, neither screens support touch gestures. Instead, the Forerunner 55 and Pace 2 rely on physical buttons for navigation. You get five on Garmin’s watch and two on the COROS. As for water rating, the wearables don’t have IP ratings but are water-resistant up to 5 ATMs.
Fitness and Activity Tracking
The Garmin Forerunner 55 tracks more activities, while the COROS Pace 2 provides more advanced performance metrics.
With the Garmin Forerunner 55 and COROS Pace 2, running is the focus. Garmin’s wearable offers more run profiles, five to be exact, including treadmill and virtual running. For performance data, you get GPS-based distance, time, and pace. Cadence is also tracked, and the built-in PacePro function provides guidance for a selected course or distance.
In contrast, the COROS Pace 2 offers more advanced performance metrics. Aside from cadence and elevation, the wearable can monitor your stamina. Through the COROS EvoLab platform, the watch also measures training load, fatigue, and intensity. While the Pace 2 has fewer run profiles, its Track Run Mode has more accurate GPS tracking courtesy of a proprietary algorithm.
Staple smartwatch metrics like calories burned and steps are covered by the Forerunner 55 and Pace 2. However, COROS’s sports watch is equipped with an altimeter, so you can also track floors climbed. The Garmin 55, on the other hand, tracks more non-running exercises, including Yoga, HIIT, and Pilates. But for its price, the COROS Pace 2 is one of the most affordable watches to offer Triathlon and Open Water Swimming.
Garmin’s Forerunner 55 has more holistic health features than the COROS Pace 2.
Although primarily designed for sports, the Garmin Forerunner 55 and COROS Pace 2 have their share of health tools. Both wearables offer 24/7 heart rate tracking with the ability to detect abnormal heart rates. They also monitor sleep, breathing, and hydration. However, Garmin’s watch has more holistic features.
The Garmin 55, for instance, has all-day stress tracking. This complements nicely with tools like relaxation reminders and a relaxation breathing timer. For women, a menstrual cycle tracker is built into the watch as well. Garmin-exclusive features like Fitness Age and Body Battery Energy Monitor are also present. The former can estimate how fit you are compared to your age, while the latter tracks a user’s energy level throughout the day.
COROS, on the other hand, makes up some ground by including nutrition alerts. The feature provides time-based nutrition reminders during workouts. Meanwhile, the Muscle Heat Map function shows “training status based on total sets completed for each muscle group.” This is handy if you want to know which muscle group you should focus on in your next workout.
Smart Features and Battery Life
The Garmin Forerunner 55 has more smart features but the COROS Pace 2 offers better battery life.
The Garmin Forerunner 55 and COROS Pace 2 enjoy a handful of smart features as well. Smart notifications, customizable watch faces, and call alerts are available on both wearables. But like in health tools, Garmin has a few more tricks up its sleeve. The Garmin 55, for instance, offers smartphone music controls. Paired with an Android phone, it can also send text responses and reject phone calls via text.
However, battery life is the arena of the COROS Pace 2. With regular use, the wearable can last up to 20 days. Meanwhile, the Garmin 55’s battery life in smartwatch mode is only up to two weeks. On standard GPS full mode, the COROS Pace 2 can be used for 30 hours. There’s also an UltraMax GPS mode that extends its battery life to 60 hours. In contrast, the Garmin 55’s GPS mode offers a shorter 20-hour battery life.
Go for the Garmin Forerunner 55 if you want more non-fitness features. Buy the COROS Pace 2 if you need advanced performance metrics.
Because they retail for the same price, choosing between the Garmin Forerunner 55 and COROS Pace 2 comes down to the features you need. Garmin’s wearable is more of a jack-of-all-trades device, offering holistic fitness and health features. It also comes with more smart capabilities, which should appeal to those who want to stay connected.
On the other hand, the COROS Pace 2 provides more performance metrics and accurate geolocation services. It has ample health and smart features, too, including standard functions found on today’s smartwatches. If you need more performance data than health tracking, the Pace 2 is a better option.
The COROS Pace 2’s charging time is less than two hours.
The Garmin Forerunner 55 offers Bluetooth and ANT+.
The COROS Pace 2 has a digital dial and a back button for navigation.
Garmin’s Forerunner 55 comes with Live Event Sharing. However, the safety feature is only compatible with Android phones.