Coros Apex 2 Pro Watch | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Coros Apex 2 Pro Watch | Review

A featured-loaded GPS watch from the brand favoured by Eliud Kipchoge during his marathon world record and by Kilian Jornet when he set a UTMB course record

You’re probably here either because you want to purchase your first ever GPS watch or you want you’re looking to replace or upgrade the watch you’ve been using. And the question you’ve come here with is likely going to be: is this watch any good? We all lead busy lives so I’ll give the answer right away. Yes, this is a good watch. Stick with me here and I’ll explain what’s good, what’s not so good and my main impressions of it following testing. 

The Design

The Apex 2 Pro weighs a lightweight 66g and is 14mm thick. It’s waterproof to 15 metres. It doesn’t feel as chunky or heavy as other similar leading watches like the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar or the Suunto Vertical. Perhaps what’s most notable about its design is the stretchy watch strap. This allows you to get a precise, comfortable fit and, from my experience, it dries quickly. I’m a little concerned about how this will age over time, especially given the propensity of synthetic fabrics to get a bit smelly, but it is at least replaceable. And if the stretchy strap isn’t your thing, you can also buy a conventional replacement from Coros. 

An image from our test trip in the Scottish Highlands. Photos: Dave Macfarlane

The screen is made from a super tough sapphire glass. I’ve been pretty confident that this is going to be hard to scratch. The bezel is a grade 5 Titanium Alloy. The screen is pretty clear at night and day time, with a dedicated backlight button.

That backlight button forms one of three on the watch. The main one is a scroll wheel which doubles up as the main start/stop button. This is smooth to use and seems to have just the right sensitivity. The third button, the bottom one, brings up your main menu.

All in all, I found this system very easy to use and I think the user interface is pretty clean and intuitive. 

Who’s Going to Benefit From It?

With activity recording and tracking for a whole host of different activities, including running, cycling, swimming, windsurfing, triathlon, climbing and plenty more, the Coros Apex 2 Pro casts the net wide, so essentially everyone who likes getting activity in some way is going to find this watch useful. From our experience with it, we’d say the audience it really suits to a tee are runners, hikers and cyclists who want something to be able to track their fitness and training and to navigate with as well. It’ll provide them with pretty much all of the features people expect from a high spec GPS watch these days, including heart rate monitoring, in-depth fitness and sleep tracking (including blood oxygen level checks) and in-built training plans. 

“The most striking thing about the Coros Apex 2 Pro is its battery life.”

Forgetting all that, if you’re a hiker who doesn’t care about performance and data tracking, it might be a worthwhile investment for its navigational functions alone. 

Battery Life

I’d say the most striking thing about the Coros Apex 2 Pro is its battery life. Coros say that you can get as much as 30 days of regular use from this per battery charge. That’s not with full GPS functions on the go, however. Still, with GPS enabled, you’ll still get an impressive 75 hours of use. I initially turned this watch on when I first got it then went away for a fortnight, leaving the watch in a draw. When I came back, I was amazed to find it still with plenty of juice. Since then, I’ve been using it for various trail runs and hikes and have found each trip only reduces the battery by single digits. 

For a watch of this kind, that battery life really is top of its class for a 47mm watch with no solar charging. It’s impressively quick to charge too, requiring around about 100 minutes to get a fully juiced up tank. 


It took me a long time to get up and running with the navigation features here. You need to download the specific map to your region onto your watch and, for me, finding out how to do this proved quite hard to figure out. Eventually I realised that even though I hadn’t had the watch for long, I hadn’t downloaded the latest software update. Doing this finally let me find the option to download the maps for my region on the Coros app and after transferring this data to my watch via Wifi, I was good to go. I got there in the end. 

Testing the watch during a trip to the Scottish Highlands. Photos: Dave Macfarlane

Once you’ve downloaded the map onto the Coros app and transferred it to your watch, you’re able to use it to navigate offline with the assistance of a whopping 5 major satellite systems. This gives you an extremely accurate reading, wherever you find yourself.

Topographic maps are available, so you can see things like footpaths, contour lines, altitude and bodies of water. You can’t see text though; that means no names for things like settlements, bodies of water, mountains or rivers. 

I really like the route planning capabilities with this. You can plan out your course quickly and easily on a desktop or on your phone using auto-routing point-to-points. Best of all, the Coros app works seamlessly with komoot and Strava. I found this meant I was able to view all the routes I’d planned out on komoot within the Coros app. For me, I didn’t really like using the unfamiliar Coros mapping for planning out my routes, but I love using komoot, so that’s a big, big plus for me. 

You can use the watch for route following and route tracking and while it doesn’t provide turn-by–turn navigation, it will give you a little buzz to tell you when you’ve deviated off-course. 

As you’d expect from a watch of this value, it also has an altimeter, barometer with weather updates and, of course, a compass. 


There are some notable absences here. First and foremost, there’s no music app compatibility – not just yetanyway. Coros say an over-the-air update is on the way but there’s no news as to when that will be. You can upload mp3 files, but that’s a little old school these days. You also can’t use this watch for payment support and while you can see calls, you can’t take them. 

One handy feature it offers that you don’t see on many other watches is remote camera control. That means you can, say, mount a GoPro near to you and use the watch to take photos or record video. 

All in all, I’ve enjoyed this watch and I think it’s a handy tool. For me, the battery life is probably the most impressive thing about it, followed by its GPS accuracy and its integration with Strava and komoot. The fitness and performance tracking and the training plans are pretty admirable too. 

Coros Apex 2 Pro

Selected for the Outdoor 100 Winter 23/24
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