The Coros Apex comes in two versions, the 46mm, and the 42mm. I’m reviewing the 46mm, which has a longer battery life than the 42mm. If you have heard anything about the Coros Apex, it is likely related to battery life. And most likely everything you have heard is true; the battery is freaking amazing! The website boasts a whopping 100 hours in UltraMax GPS mode, 35 hours in regular GPS, and 30 days in regular use. The 35-hour claim is legit. I tested it side by side with my Garmin 920 XT and got more than twice the battery life. It actually took time to adjust to not charging it after every run! I haven’t tested the UltraMax GPS mode but based on the regular GPS mode I wouldn’t be surprised if it was spot on. Also untested is how the navigation mode impacts battery life, but given the baseline is 35 hours, it is likely to last for most adventures.
Another feature the Apex has that my Garmin 920 XT doesn’t is the ability to track and charge, which I’m super stoked about. The only drawback is that the charge port is on the underside and requires the charger to stick straight out of the watch, so you can’t wear it on your wrist (at least face up) while charging. It charges quickly, so this is only briefly annoying.
The watch connects via Bluetooth to an app. The app allows you to change any of the watch settings, so you don’t have to do everything from the screen of the watch. The app also provides the COROS Trainer, which is a bunch of data including wrist-based heart rate and calculated VO2, lactate threshold, fitness levels, and more. I don’t know how accurate the data is, but nonetheless, it is fun to look at now and then.
The COROS Apex has a modern aesthetic, which I love. It doesn’t look like a GPS watch, except for its size (larger compared to fashion/utility watches). It does have a large face, especially for a female wrist, but it is smaller than the Garmin 920 XT and the Garmin Fenix 3HR. There are multiple face settings to choose from and you can customize the active face displays via the app. The Apex is sleek enough that I can get away with wearing it in a business professional setting.
The sleek aesthetic includes a minimal number of buttons as well. It has two. One large knob and one small button. The knob controls most functions with either a push or turn. Prior to use, I was convinced the size and placement of the knob would result in numerous errant pushes, creating havoc with my tracks. Luckily, this has not been my experience during months of use. In fact, the only time this has happened is when I use the Leki-pole gloves, which will occasionally hit the knob. Adjusting the watch a little further away from my wrist resolved this issue. There are advantages to having one primary button: one you don’t have to remember which button does what and two, you can’t invalidate your track while saving it by hitting the wrong button… I’m talking about you, Garmin 920XT. The one large knob adds to the sleek aesthetic of the watch.
The wrist band is silicone and very comfortable. I have a pretty small wrist and wear it on the smallest setting. There are lots of band color options for an additional fee ($29.99).
It was hard to leave the Garmin family, but this is now my go-to watch. Thank goodness Strava exists, amiright? The one feature that I do miss from my Garmin 920XT is that both my moving time and elapsed time were tracked automatically. This meant I never had to pause my watch or use the auto-pause mode (which gets funky on steep climbs). I struggle with not knowing my moving splits and that Strava thinks I’m getting slower because, for the most part, I don’t pause the Apex. That said, I like the Apex enough to deal with the struggle. The COROS Apex 46mm retails for $349.99.