In a world of smartwatches and fitness trackers that can breach the $800+ mark, one begins to wonder when will the madness end? Besides telling the time, measuring your heart rate, tracking your workouts and, providing notifications; design and branding are all that sets them apart. Enter COROS, the 2nd generation of their PACE 2 fitness watch is looking to disrupt the market and provide an excellent all-round experience similar to their high-end competitors for less than $199 USD (currently) and after a month of using it, we have begun to wonder – do you really need much else?
For the unaccustomed, COROS is a performance sports technology company that helps athletes train to be their best. They are passionate about the outdoors, mountains, and living an active lifestyle. They seemingly work to combine high-grade hardware with innovative technology to provide endurance athletes with the gear they rely on in the world’s most extreme environments. Their original PACE fitness watch was received well by consumers, praised for its lightweight yet durable design and feature to price ratio, often receiving many 5 star reviews on sites like Amazon. The PACE 2 is an iterative update that builds on this success of the original and brings some necessary upgrades to keep this in the minds of budget-oriented consumers.
The PACE 2 is the lightest GPS watch currently on the market at 29g (with nylon strap), a full 20 grams lighter than the Apple Watch. It features a fiber-reinforced polymer build with a brilliant navigational turn wheel and button design. The PACE 2 also features a vibrant 1.2 inch LCD screen that is easy to read outdoors which we have come to appreciate. Aimed at runners and fitness athletes, the watch is also 5 times faster than the original and also features more storage and memory, making this a much more fluid user experience. The new PACE also maintains the stellar battery life of the original with a massive 20-day battery life or up to 60 hours straight in UltraMax GPS mode which is very impressive for a watch that is so light and svelte.
Beyond the lightweight design, the PACE 2 is loaded with lots of fitness tracking features which include the ability to track your heart rate on land or sea thanks to its 5ATM rating. It also tracks your sleep, calories and the inbuilt GPS enables it to track your routes, locations, pace, and distance too! The built-in altimeter flawlessly measures your elevation and the compass can help you find your orientation. Especially of note is the inclusion of over 200 preloaded workout exercises and triathlon and multisport mode.
The watch can also record your heart rate, SWOLF, calories and swimming with the cherry on top being the inclusion of advanced training analysis such as VO2max, training effect, training load, threshold pace, etc. You can even download and/or create custom workout plans and share them with your loved ones and friends with the touch of your finger in the COROS app which has become our favorite way to manage our fitness data even beating the Garmin connect service.
Lastly, the PACE 2 now supports third-party integration for services such as Strava, Stryd, and TrainingPeaks, and their latest new feature – Muscle Heatmap – allows you to see which muscle groups saw the most action in a daily, weekly, or monthly view to help you target the right muscles.
Incredibly, all of these features, many of which are found on high-end fitness watches that are much more expensive can be yours for a fraction of the price and they work incredibly well. It is hard to find flaws with the PACE 2 given all that is on offer. Sure it is not a premium metal build, no sapphire screen or music capability but ask yourself do you need all that? If you answered no, the PACE 2 is a brilliant offering from COROS and one that you should buy if you are looking for affordable quality and a rich feature set.
BUY yours today – COROS PACE 2 Premium GPS Sport Watch with Nylon or Silicone Band, Heart Rate Monitor, 30h Full GPS Battery, Barometer, ANT+ & BLE Connections, Strava, Stryd & TrainingPeaks (Navy – Silicone Strap)