COROS APEX Pro Smartwatch | Review - Outdoors Magic

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COROS APEX Pro Smartwatch | Review

The all-new APEX Pro smartwatch from COROS is like having a personal trainer on your wrist

Why we chose it: Excellent battery life, vital health statistics, tough, lightweight and waterproof.

COROS, the newer kids on the block within the outdoor GPS watch world, have been consistently releasing interesting designs and technologies to their ever expanding range of timekeepers. They bring with them a refreshing approach to producing these wrist-top computers, representing David fighting the Goliaths of Suunto and Garmin.

Who Is The COROS APEX Pro For?

The COROS APEX Pro is like having your own personal trainer on your wrist. Anyone who spends time working up a sweat in the mountains – whether that’s ski touring or trail running – will love what’s on offer. As you’ll learn later on in this review, there’s an all-new feature that’s designed to keep an eye on vital health statistics while you’re high in the alpine.


Sporting a large LCD touch screen that’s protected by sapphire glass reinforcement, the COROS’ screen gives a clear and crisp display, similar to that of the impressive Coros Vertix Icebreaker which we tested last year.

Surrounding this LCD screen is a toughened, yet lightweight, titanium alloy bezel that manages to provide protection while not adding too much chunkiness to the watch face. The fabric strap keeps things pretty lightweight at 59g, while providing a relatively secure velcro fasten.

“By far the biggest selling point of this new and improved APEX Pro is the battery life”

There’s no worries in the waterproofing department, either, with 100 metres of waterproof protection on offer. That’s more than enough to handle anything that all but the most serious divers would be taking on.

By far the biggest selling point of this new and improved APEX Pro is the battery life. COROS now claim that they’ve managed to squeeze 40-hours of full GPS use into the APEX Pro – that’s a 14% increase over the original APEX. Now 14% may not sound like a lot, but that’s the difference of having to switch into a lower power mode or keeping full GPS capabilities going when you’re 80 miles into a 100 miler.

Credit: Chris Johnson
Credit: Chris Johnson
Credit: Chris Johnson


The new training modes on the COROS APEX Pro give you a host of pre-planned workouts. By tapping into the COROS app, you’re able to share and download activity-specific workouts created by athletes and coaches as part of a library that gives you the choice of more than 200 preloaded exercises to create more targeted training sessions.

One of the features we like most on the Apex Pro is the all-new 24/7 blood oxygen monitoring with Altitude Mode. While blood oxygen monitoring is nothing new, Altitude Mode offers a potentially vital feature by providing hourly acclimatisation evaluations. Should your blood oxygen levels begin to drop to an unhealthy level while climbing or hiking at altitude, the watch will recommend that you stop ascending. This’ll be a welcome feature for all the mountaineers and alpinists out there.

As outdoor users, we frequently spend time under the cover of darkness, whether that’s walking out from a big mountain day, or relaxing in a tent. This is where COROS’ all-new Night Mode comes into play. By leaving the watch face permanently on during evening activities, the watch won’t need to be pressed to boost the backlight for extra lighting. COROS says this mode leaves just enough light on so that your eyes can adjust to read the screen easily in the dark, but without causing any compromise to the 40 hours of battery performance. Once your activity is finished, or when sunrise arrives, this mode will automatically switch off. Neat.

Tester’s Verdict

Grant Hyatt, Snowdonia-based outdoor photographer

“I’ve never really been one for gadgets on my mountain adventures, but I am definitely converted. On the day of the Outdoor 100 Test Team event where I used this, I was able to set it up and record my activity without any bother. The information it displays during, and that it puts out after, are a lot more useful than I was expecting.

“Since the event I’ve been out on a number of tough mountain walks and have already managed to use the data, around heart rate especially, to improve my performance and recovery times. That’s by paying closer attention to my heart rate zone, leaving me needing less breaks and feeling stronger on the climbs. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the reliability of the bluetooth connection, having only needed to turn off the watch once in two weeks due to my phone not being able to locate it.

“The battery life is pretty impressive too, even in GPS mode and I would have no issues using this on a multi day trip, likely only needing an occasional top up over a few days of use.”

Credit: Chris Johnson



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