This lightweight mid-range sports watch is a stylish alternative to the Garmin Forerunner 245 for people who want to track triathlons but don’t want to spend as much. It’s also very light, and the GPS accuracy is very good. It can even figure out the length of your stride so you can keep measuring your cadence even when running through tunnels. The “AI trainer” helps you keep track of how much training you need to do. The screen on the Pace 2 could be brighter, but for the price, it’s hard to find anything else wrong with it.
The Coros Pace 2 is a great mid-range fitness watch with specs that are similar to the Garmin Forerunner 245. It’s a great choice if you want to move up from a Fitbit to something more powerful. It’s great for smaller wrists and activities where flexibility is important because it’s light and thin, and the controls are well thought out.
It can also track the location of runners, cyclists, and swimmers very well, thanks to GPS and two (soon to be three) other satellite positioning systems. Serious athletes might be better off with the more expensive Coros Apex, but this is a great choice for anyone who wants a reliable device that will help them stay on track with their training.
At launch, the Coros Pace 2 comes in white and navy, and you can choose between a nylon or silicone band. Even though the case is made of plastic, it doesn’t look cheap because it has a matte finish, and it’s surprisingly light on the wrist. The first Pace weighed 48g, but if you choose the nylon strap for the Pace 2, it only weighs 29g. Want something new? If you flip the watch over, you’ll see two quick-release pins that are big enough to be undone with your fingernail. No screwdriver is needed.
The Pace 2’s 64-color memory-in-pixel screen is very impressive for a fitness tracker, just like the screen on the first Pace. We recommend turning on the gesture backlight, which is easy to do through the settings menu, to make it easier to read in bright daylight. Its 240×240 pixel resolution is one of the best you’ll find on a mid-range sports watch.
At the time this article was written, there were only three different watch face designs to choose from, but a future firmware update could add more. We liked the ScoreBoard face for everyday use because it shows the time, date, current steps, calories burned, time spent exercising, heart rate, and progress toward goals without looking cluttered.
The Coros Pace had four buttons like a Garmin, but the Pace 2 only has two: a dial that looks like a crown for scrolling through menus and choosing options, and a back button. It has the same layout as the recently released Coros Apex, which makes it very easy to use. We really like how the watch is unlocked: you press the crown once, then turn it until a small meter fills up and the watch buzzes its approval. It’s easy to do, but it’s hard to do by accident.
2. Tracking your fitness
The fitness tracking on the Coros Pace 2 was better than that of a competing sports watch that cost almost twice as much.
The Pace 2 has the usual sensors found in fitness trackers, such as an optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, and thermometer. It stands out from the competition because it has a very accurate GPS that works with GLONASS and BEIDU (the Chinese equivalent of GLONASS). In a future update, it will also work with GALILEO. It’s great for the price, since many watches that cost the same don’t have satellite positioning at all.
Workout modes include run, indoor run, track run, bike, indoor bike, pool swim, open water swim, triathlon, strength, gym cardio, and GPS cardio. Some of the original Pace watch’s off-road modes, like trail running and hiking, are no longer available. This is a shame, but it could be because the Coros Apex just came out, which is designed for serious outdoor exploration above all else.
We compared the Pace 2 to one of Garmin’s newest watches, the Garmin Instinct Solar. When it came to heart rate, the two watches were almost the same, with a difference of only 1bpm and no sudden drops or spikes. Results for distance and cadence were also almost the same. The only big difference was the estimated elevation, but GPS has a big error margin when measuring elevation, so this doesn’t mean that either device isn’t working well.
Even though the Coros Pace 2 costs less, it has a few smart features that the Garmin doesn’t have. One of the best things about it is that it can figure out how long your steps are. It’s a simple idea: when you’re connected to GPS, the watch uses your cadence and speed to figure out how long your stride is. Then, if you lose connection with the GPS while running through a tunnel, for example, it will be able to estimate your cadence when it reconnects.
3. Use every day
This is a multi-sport watch first and foremost, so it doesn’t have features like tracking your period, music, or NFC. If you want something that could replace your phone during a workout, you’d be better off with a Fitbit Charge 4 or a smartwatch like the Samsung Galaxy Watch or Apple Watch 4.
Even when worn every day, the Coros Pace 2 still has a lot to offer. If you wear it all day, app alerts will show up on your wrist. The high-resolution screen makes it easy to read most of the message, and the rotating crown makes it easy to scroll down.
It works well to let you know about incoming calls, texts, and emails, but we had to turn off WhatsApp notifications because every time our messages synced, the watch buzzed like an angry wasp. You can also set a “Do not disturb” window so you can work without being interrupted.
The Coros Pace 2 can also track your sleep and keep track of your light, deep, and REM sleep. Then, you can use these to figure out how well you’ve recovered from your workouts. We’ll talk more about that in a minute.
Our review unit had a nylon band that was held together with hook-and-eye (Velcro) instead of the usual buckle. Not everyone will like this, and after a while, your clothes might get stuck in the hooks, but it does make the Pace 2 easy to slip on for everyday wear.
You can easily add your own training routes to the app, but it only works with GPX files at the moment. These can be made using workouts from the past that were recorded with a Coros device or a third-party app. Routes can’t be made in the app, which is a shame.
The Coros app also doesn’t let you connect with other users, but this isn’t likely to be much of a problem since Coros is great at connecting with third parties. The app is easy to link to Strava, which is important for any serious cyclist or runner. It can also be linked to TrainingPeaks, Relive, and a bunch of other services that track activity.