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COROS Expands Targeted Recall of APEX GPS Watches: An Explainer

COROS-APEX-46mm

Back in August COROS started issuing more widespread recall notices for “select” COROS APEX 46mm watches. Though, as each week went by, the recall seemed to expand further and further. COROS stated that certain watches have sent back data to COROS indicating they need to be replaced. COROS is replacing those units free of charge, or allowing users to upgrade to other COROS watches by paying the price difference. Seeing frequent messaging about this, I figured I’d dive into what’s going on, and the reasoning behind it. As always, I’m fascinated by not just new features of watches, but how companies handle when things go wrong (like last week’s Garmin altimeter failure post).

In messages to users, COROS has told them in an e-mail:

“If you received the recall email this means that your watch sent a “flag” to our system, indicating that there may be a possible hardware failure in the future. For that reason, we wanted to proactively reach out and replace the watch to avoid that scenario. You just need to fill out that form in the email and you’re good to go!”

Now while most users started getting messages in August, and it seems to have ticked up in the last few weeks. This isn’t the first COROS APEX recall.  COROS initially did some super-targeted recalls back in May for these watches, with the handful of messages then a bit more dire than more recent ones. Here’s the May messaging:

“We would like to immediately recall your defective unit for further investigation and expedite the replacement process to reduce the impact on your daily use and training.

For safety concerns, please refrain from using the defective unit immediately. In addition, please discharge the battery by starting a GPS workout and let the watch power off on its own.”

The more recent messaging is less ‘world-is-gonna-end’ dire, and more ‘please just get this done for your own sake’. COROS’s CEO Lewis Wu noted at the time:

“We’ve identified a small batch of old APEX watches which were manufactured in 2019, that may have a battery failure. We would like to recall all of them for further investigation, and will replace with a new one for those being impacted.”

Noticing the differences between the messages, I checked with COROS’s CEO Lewis Wu, and he explained the May (also targeted) recall versus the more recent ones:

“They are related but not identical. In May there was a confirmed defective batch which may have stopped working at any time, but now recalling the devices is a proactive approach for us to avoid potentially defective units from batches where we have seen a higher than acceptable rate of warranty claims. Many of the users who received the recall notices reported no issue on their watches, but eventually they were even happier about our solution.

He went on to note that, at this point, their goal is essentially replacing out those 2019 production units in the order they were manufactured, since it’s timed more to the production date than dying tomorrow:

“Due to the hardware design of those old units, there might be hardware failures such as faster battery drain, can’t be turned on, etc. after being used for a certain period of time (like 20 months or older). For that reason, we wanted to proactively reach out and replace the watches to avoid that scenario, ensuring users do not have a non-functional watch before an important race or mountain adventure. There is a flagging system set up internally and we reached out to a select number of APEX 46mm owners batch by batch, giving them the option to receive a recall replacement or upgrade to another model.

In other words – rather than recalling everything in one go, this ensures they have stock on-hand to replace the defective units prior to the units encountering that issue – while ultimately getting through the backlog. And thus explaining why the recalls are going out in waves.

Replacement Logistics:

COROS-APEX-46mm-Box

In terms of logistics, COROS will be handling US users differently than the rest of the world. For US users, they’ll fill out a form to get their remaining personal details. After that, users are issued a gift card for the COROS site, which allows them to ‘purchase’ a replacement COROS APEX 46mm, or, to buy-up to any other watch at the retail price difference. The unit will then ship to the user.

The company says 14 days after the user receives the gift card, COROS is deactivating the old unit, causing it to be ‘locked’, making it non-usable. COROS won’t be receiving the locked units back, but rather is suggesting folks find their local electronic recycling drop-off point for proper disposal. In other words, there’s no value left in those units for COROS, and thus it’ll cost more to ship them back than it is worth.

For non-US users, they fill out roughly the same form, except choosing which color replacement unit they want (or if they want to upgrade). But COROS is handling that manually, rather than just issuing gift cards for the store. This is likely to ensure that users aren’t hit with VAT/import taxes on a replacement unit (in theory, a replacement unit doesn’t trigger a tax in most countries, but in reality – it’s always a lottery with what customs officers in any given country decide to do on any given shipment).

I thought the locking bit was somewhat interesting. It’s a relatively good way to ensure that watches aren’t being re-sold after the fact. I’m not aware of any of the other endurance sports watch makers having similar functionality. Certainly most companies can block serial numbers from being activated, but to lock out an older watch is more tricky. Though with COROS’s case, the app is 100% required for configuration and setup, whereas a Garmin watch could technically be activated/set up in the middle of the ocean on a raft, without any connectivity.

Interestingly though, this isn’t the first time COROS has leveraged their locking capability. A user had their Amazon-purchased watch locked in September, after the company had a shipment of watches to a retailer go missing. Thus it does appear that COROS could use this for other stolen goods – something I’d love to see happen in the bike computer realm (where stealing of bike computers on bikes in triathlon transition areas is more common).

In any case, here’s the recall message in full, as sent to some number of APEX users:

“Good afternoon!

We are sending this message as a first notice that your COROS APEX 46mm has been included in a mandatory recall.
In order to effectively process the replacement or upgrade of your recalled APEX 46mm watch please visit the correct COROS Recall Support pages linked below, in accordance with your country of residence. Full instructions and details regarding the recall procedure are included on these pages.

US Customers  – https://support.coros.com/hc/en-us/articles/4405300683284
Customers Outside of the US – https://support.coros.com/hc/en-us/articles/4406260623636

Both sites will include key information about the recall that you may refer to in clarifying any questions and please make sure to fill out the form on the bottom of the Support page. You can also reference our Recall and Upgrade FAQ page or contact support@coros.com for further information.

Recall and Upgrade FAQ’s – https://support.coros.com/hc/en-us/articles/4406113650068

Additionally, you’re more than welcome to continue using your current watch until the replacement arrives, as we are aware that a significant portion of COROS users are currently within training blocks or have races coming up who can’t afford to miss out on a recording their data!

We are sorry for the inconvenience but hope that you can understand this is an effort by our entire team to continue Exploring Perfection as we work to improve COROS every day. We greatly value every COROS user’s feedback as well, so please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions/comments/concerns and thanks for being a part of the COROS community!”

The messages are all signed by specific names/members of COROS’s support team, depending on who exactly sent it. Which, is about the only criticism I’ve seen from most people in the forums – they aren’t sure if these messages are legit, or a phishing attempt. Which as a former IT dude, means society is finally making steps towards being skeptical of unsolicited e-mails with links asking for personal info. Woot! 🙂

But, I could see how perhaps also integrating the notice directly into the COROS app would make sense, especially given the ability to lock the watch and ties to the specific known broken unit ID’s (which is tied to your app).

Still, that minor quibble aside, it appears COROS is doing a good job handling this recall. And also I suspect, rate-limiting the recalls of the units so that they have enough stock on-hand to replace users’ watches, rather than sit in a queue forever. After all, the issuing of recall notices seems to have stretched on some 5 months now. Given the current world availability environment, this seems like the best way to handle it.

With that, thanks for reading!

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34 Comments

  1. Peter^

    “COROS is replacing those units free of charger”

    I am astounded units manufactured 2019 lasted this long without the charger!

  2. Puk

    “In terms of logistics, COROS will is doing US users differently”

  3. vansickle

    > COROS won’t be receiving the locked units back, but rather is suggesting folks find their local electronic recycling drop-off point for proper disposal.

    Gigantic watch boxes for Vertix, not getting units back for sourcing – these guys don’t care about sustainability at all.

    • While I agree with you on the gigantic boxes – the re-use of components probably isn’t as sustainable as one might think.

      I was talking to another (far larger) company in the sports tech space- but not a competitor of COROS, about something similar a few weeks ago, and they noted their environmental impact team (that’s how big they are) did an analysis of return type scenarios in this realm and the impact was far greater to return the device than dispose of it.

      In the case of the APEX, it’s a 2019 watch. Meaning, it’s really a 2017-2018 watch in terms of internal components. We already know the battery is a loss (since that’s the part that’s problematic). That in turn leaves just a handful of useful parts, none of which are probably going to be re-leveraged in 2021 for production now. Tech has moved on. So essentially, you’d be having the environmental impact of sending a watch likely all the way back to China (but first probably two-hoping through another distribution area), and likely packed in the most inefficient way possible (because most consumers far overpack things).

      And while the argument could be made to re-work those watches as new APEX’s, my bet here is that the components in a new 2021 built APEX are slightly different than a 2019 built APEX (as COROS themselves noted).

      I get the sentiment, but I suspect this is one of those cases of the devil’s in the details.

    • Darian

      I wanted to provide a bit of insight and transparency regarding our (COROS) decisions on the recall, the VERTIX cases, and sustainability at large. We wanted to acknowledge that it seems have we erred in educating users that our intent of sending the VERTIX cases was that they would be repurposed for mountaineering, camping, etc. and do apologize as it is easy to see how this may have lead to the perception of us not being concerned with sustainability. For that reason, we made sure to redesign the case for the VERTIX 2 to be much smaller, in addition to creating VERTIX case usage competitions, support articles, and more to spread awareness.

      We also wanted to echo Ray’s points on how re-using components in the end actually leads to a larger carbon footprint, despite it seeming to be a bit paradoxical in nature.

      Lastly, we continually do our best to roll out firmware updates to all existing COROS users, removing the need to purchase new hardware to receive more features which is a foundation of our business at COROS. We hope this serves as an indicator of the sustainability effort on our behalf. Hopefully, this provides a bit of clarity behind why we made our decisions on the mentioned topics.

    • Andrew M

      Darian,

      I’m not a COROS user, but just wanted to give a shout out to a company that is trying to do the right thing by its customers through a recall.

    • JK

      “If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.”

      ― Pete Seeger

    • Rui Pereira

      It can be recycled, just hand it over to your local recycling facility. What doesn’t make sense in this case is sending it back all over the world.

    • HDR

      Totally agree with JK.

      Let’s go back to batteries any user can replace – that maybe a start.

      RUI says “It can be recycled, just hand it over to your local recycling facility. What doesn’t make sense in this case is sending it back all over the world.”.
      You are right, it does not make sense. But sadly there is no chance that my local recycling center will spend time to break a watch down and separate the bits that can or cannot be recycled. It should happen – it won’t.

    • “Let’s go back to batteries any user can replace – that maybe a start.”

      But when was that?

      I don’t mean that in a challenging way – but really, was there ever really any user-replaceable battery in smart watches? Sure, back in the FR210 or so days you could do it. But those days also included watches that weren’t actually waterproof (seriously).

      Consumers have demanded smaller and smaller watches. People take out pitcheforks around these parts due to bezels being just a couple of millimeters. Those demands aren’t compatible with user-replaceable batteries, because the devices have to be built in ever smaller packages in order to meet those consumer demands. And as technology progresses, the parts involved get smaller and smaller – most well beyond what consumers could ever imagine trying to hand-assemble.

      I think a better approach is probably more inline with creating platforms that last longer. Take example the Apple Watch Series 3. Now 4 years old, and still getting updates. That requires massive forethought since you figure that was developed over 12-18 months prior to that, so we’re talking 5-6 year old tech – that can largely speaking still hold it’s own.

      But Apple really stands alone there. We don’t see that same depth from Samsung, or others. Certainly not 4 years of feature updates from any of the endurance sports players. I suppose the counterpoint to that question though is: Does that actually matter in the end?

      Meaning, does that actually reduce people buying watches at the 3-4 year marker? Or are they buying the new model anyway for some new hardware feature? I suspect we all know the answer there.

      And finally, practically speaking – one has to also step back and look at the greater picture. We can complain about lack of recycling of a single watch battery ~every 3 years, but is that meaningfully different waste-wise than the umpteen AA/AAA/9V batteries people go through each year in the average house? And on and on.

      Not saying doing nothing is the answer, but I think figuring out the right things to focus on is better.

    • Bob

      Sounds like a “it’s not our fault or responsibility to reduce waste” to me. Why not put some energy and profits into finding a partner that can keep your old/recalled products and apparently packaging, out of landfills? I.e., take some responsibility!

    • Brooks Presnell

      Hey Darian, in the off chance that you check back and see this, can you please refer to my comment I just left in this thread? I reached out in July to the support email address listed on the COROS website, but never heard back. I googled searched to no avail at the time to see if other people were having a quick battery drain / overheating issue, but couldn’t find anything at the time. Sounds like my beloved 2019 Apex has the recall issue, but it’s been powered off since July so maybe y’all didn’t get the “notice” back from my watch that it crapped out?

    • vansickle

      Hello Ray and Darian, Thanks for your answers and to everyone who joined the conversation.
      I agree that it’s the proper customer service, kudos to that. But on sustainability topic while your explanations may make sense I’m not buying it, sorry.

      I had Garmin Fenix 2 in which I replaced the battery multiple times. Sometimes I bought ready-made package, installation required just simple disassembly of the watch, sometimes it was just a battery without controller and it required a little soldering. I eventually end up tired of this, but anyway I could use much longer than without battery replacement. And the watch wasn’t perfect.
      On the other hand I still have Suunto Ambit 3 Peak about the same age, up and running. I don’t know if the battery can be replaced in there, but I’ve never even thought about it – the battery life is still quite good.

      That’s what I consider environmentably-friendly product.

      Then when you say that environmental impact of sending back so small device like a watch and changing the battery is so high that it’s better to make device an electronic waste – I can’t believe in it. I don’t know what kind of company you were talking to, Ray, I assume it may be true for company making large products, but not for the 70 grams product.

      What I hear when company is saying that they just get you a coupon for the same amount of money is that they designed a product in which they can’t replace the battery. That this product costs so little to produce that it’s cheaper (not more sustainable, only cheaper) for them to give me another one than do proper recycling.

      And may be it’s okay for cheap product like Pace 2, I wouldn’t be happy if the is true for my Vertix 1. I wonder now if Coros can repair their products at all.

      All in all 10-20 years ago I would consider such recall as just a great customer service, nowadays I see it differently.

    • Darian

      Thanks for the reply!

      I understand that we may not see eye to eye on this, but to provide further clarity I will add this.

      With most of the watches which we have recalled having been in use for ~2 years, either replacing the battery or breaking the watch down for parts is not a viable option. As is the case with any tech device, the hardware experiences “wear and tear” from regular use. For this reason, if we were to ship the watches back to us, replace the battery, then send them back out into the world with a new battery but ~2-year-old hardware elsewhere, we would not expect the lifespan of the watch to last very long – thus creating a similar problem of continuing to replace pieces of the watch one at a time (shipping it back to us each time) or sending new units. We have found the latter option to indeed be much more sustainable, and also a far better experience for our users.

      Hopefully this helps and I greatly appreciate your time.

      Cheers,
      Darian

    • Darian

      Hey Brooks!

      First, I apologize to hear of any issues you’re having with a COROS watch! I will note that, seeing you have the original APEX, this is likely a case unrelated to the recall discussed in this article as nearly every device recalled was an APEX 46mm (2nd generation).

      That being said, we’d still be more than happy to help out! I searched through our support queue/history and see no record of you submitting an inquiry, so it sounds like this is why you never received a reply. Could you send one more email to support@coros.com so that we can take a look into things for you?

      I appreciate your patience in advance and let us know if you have any additional questions in your email to support!

      Cheers,
      Darian

  4. giorgitd

    While it’s not great to see the battery (?) issues here, COROS’ proactive response and comprehensive fix (a new watch replacing one that might be two years old!) is pretty fantastic. The ability to use the full value on an upgrade is just icing on the cake. This type of customer-centric approach is tipping my hand to a new COROS when my Garmin gives up. Heck, I’ve been thinking about an upgrade for the 2022 season, so I might just buy a COROS even while the Garmin is functional. Chapeau, COROS, impressively well done.

    Also, typo: “…COROS will is doing US users…”

  5. Dan

    Wow that is proper customer service!

    I told garmin my 645 had a cracked hrm cover and they just shrugged and said tough but a friend had their 935 replaced!

  6. HDR

    Hi DCR,

    Sorry, more of an essay than a comment 🙂

    First of all, love the website. Probably the most in-depth objective review website I have ever come across. Great work.

    You mentioned at the top of the article that you are “…fascinated by not just new features of watches, but how companies handle when things go wrong”, so I figured this section might be as good a place as any to post this. I am also curious how companies deal with you – especially when out of warranty and when it comes to batteries.

    The short version: I want a watch where I can replace the battery. If not, then I want the manufacturer to replace the battery without me feeling ripped off.

    The long version: I would love to see you do a new section on your website relating to battery longevity, whether a battery can be replaced (and who by) or whether you have to buy a replacement. Oh, and the costs. Yes, sorry, I know, your reviews are the extremely comprehensive as it is. Maybe this could be part of your comparison tool. Please.

    This all stems from me trying to find out how long batteries last for in sports watches. Not how many hours a battery lasts between charges – your coverage of this is already great. I mean how long a battery lasts before degrading so much it needs to be replaced. After reading many forums I noticed that this is a topic that keeps cropping up but I have yet to come across anyone who has covered it in detail.

    I was about to upgrade my running watch. I had narrowed down my choices to just a few possibilities and I just thought I’d contact the manufacturers to find out the cost of replacing the battery… and down the rabbit hole I went.

    I was shocked to find out how expensive it is. I was also dismayed to discover that there are many watches that cannot have a battery replaced at all – you have to pay to get a replacement unit. These days, like a lot of people, I am also concerned about this from the sustainability/environmental side (but I do note your comments in #5 above).

    It takes a bit of work to get this information (something I am sure you know all too well DCR) and I expect I have only scratched the surface. Some manufacturers give a straightforward response and price – but others you have to push to get any real information or rather any information at all. However, all I wanted to find out was whether or not a particular watch could have the battery replaced and the costs – a reasonable request I thought.

    Reading various forums shows that some people are having to get batteries replaced after 6 months, some after a couple of years. But what happens if a watch is out of warranty and will manufacturers do anything when things go wrong?

    Suunto responded but just said that they had no fixed answer to repair costs out of warranty. They said if a device could not be fixed it was up to the technical service department to offer a discount for the purchase of a newer model. I asked them to elaborate on this but I am still waiting for a response. The trouble is, Suunto, without full details and costs then I doubt I would use you.

    Coros tell me that they do not replace batteries or repair watches. If your watch is out of warranty (i.e. over 2 years old) then they offer a 10% discount on a new watch. There is no chance I would buy from them with that policy. Unless I am mistaken doesn’t this mean they are effectively producing disposable watches? It doesn’t take long on the internet to find someone selling a new watch at less than the 10% discount Coros give for a replacement (so it is no real incentive).

    Like Coros, Polar say that their Ignite and Vantage M watches “cannot be opened but has to be replaced if the battery fails”. They quoted between £100-£195 to get a replacement depending on the model (so possibly a higher discount than Coros). Anyway, on this basis, I would not buy these models either. On a more positive note, Polar tell me that the Vantage V, Vantage V2, Grit X and Grit X Pro have “more changeable parts”. A battery replacement (or rather, the battery and back case – as I understand they are combined) on a Vantage V2 costs about £120. Grit X Pro was estimated to be about £60 – 70. Let me praise Polar customer service for quickly responding and actually answering.

    Garmin was a mixed experience. On one hand they were friendly and quick to respond, which I thank them for. On the other hand I couldn’t help but wonder if they had always read my emails properly before responding. However, got there in the end and, again, unlike some companies I did actually get a response. I found out that it is impossible to replace batteries on any watches in the range Fenix 6, Forerunner or Vivoactive ranges. Garmin will not even change them. Hugely disappointing. I was told that Garmin might offer a replacement unit for a cost – ranging from £92.80 for a Forerunner 45 Plus, to £110.77 for a Forerunner 245 Music, up to £175.38 for Fenix 6 Pro. Note – you do not end up with a new watch but a newly overhauled replacement.

    £175.38!! Seriously!! I always thought I might quite like a Fenix 6 Pro. I will need some serious persuading now.

    On the Apple website it states that an out of warranty battery service fee for an iwatch is £82.44. Apple state the price and whether tax/postage is included. I think £82.44 is still way too much (a bit more than a Grit X Pro but much less than all the others I mention here). I have to hand it to Apple (and I am not an Apple fan) for clearly stating the prices and allowing customers to access this information before they buy. Shame that I don’t actually want an Apple watch.

    This also makes me wonder whether some of the repair policies by watch manufacturers will kill or invigorate the second hand market. If a watch cannot be repaired and the manufacturer is offering a replacement at only a token discount then as soon as the battery shows any sign of degradation then everyone will try to sell them before they become worthless. However, surely this also means no one is going to buy second hand either. Ok, maybe they will if it was ludicrously cheap and the battery was working perfectly but knowing that as soon as it did fail it would be heading for recycling/landfill. I realise whether you take the risk depends on your own experience of failing batteries. I have a Blackberry – same battery for over 15 years and it still works. I also have numerous other bits of kit (ranging from 2-6 years old) and the batteries have completely gone.

    I have a Polar RS800CX watch that is about 12 years old. I still use it. I have to. Some new watches I have no longer work (yes, battery issues) or if I forget to charge others that do work then I grab the RS800 and off I go. The GPS is pretty good considering its age, the HR is just as good as any newer watch I have had, the battery lasts well over a year, a replacement battery can be bought for a couple of pounds and it takes 2 minutes for me to replace. In 12 years I have needed to replace the HR strap once. Just the strap – the HR module detaches. Although I seem to praise this watch if someone told me it had cheap plasticy looks, lack of features, a horrid screen, rubbish software etc then I would not correct them. However, it does the job and it works as well as it did on the day I got it.

    I understand that manufacturers need to make a profit. They do not want users to repair watches. Buying new watches funds development and new features. Not allowing users to change batteries means cheaper manufacturing and helps with waterproofing. Non replaceable batteries means the unit can be slightly smaller and lighter. I think I understand all the arguments. I too love all the latest features, the larger clearer brighter colour screens, lighter units, more accurate sensors and up to date software but I am increasingly finding I do not care. I just want something that does its job, is reliable and where I am not going to get ripped off if a repair/new battery is required.

    I appreciate that fixed batteries mean cheaper manufacturing costs but do I actually benefit from those savings. I strongly suspect the cost to manufacturers of allowing me to replace the battery is negligible compared to what I am being charged for battery replacements (that’s if it is possible at all).

    Of course, many people might just want the latest watch/phone etc and upgrade so regularly they never care/find out if a battery needs replacing. Putting £500-600 towards a new watch is not something I can do lightly and I suspect I am not the only one. However, having to then spend £175 every so often to effectively get a new battery or, worse still, throwing the watch away when the battery gives out is not for me. Maybe I can still use that RS800CX in another 12 years!!

    I strongly expect there are many people who have no idea about the costs of replacing batteries and would equally shocked to find out they may have a model where the battery can never be replaced. It would be nice (or just plain naive) to think that manufacturers would be more upfront about this (yes, some do), and explicitly state whether batteries can be replaced as well as readily publishing the costs. If Apple do this then the rest have no excuse.

    There are a huge amount of articles, complaints, forums all moaning about the cost of replacing iPhone batteries. Apple do this for £49 yet people still complain. However, compared to watches (including, the iwatch), when it comes to batteries, iphones could be considered cheap. Not something I would have ever have guessed.

    The new right to repair laws coming to the UK and Europe might help but I suspect that, despite the good intention, this legalisation will end up being watered down and make little difference. I also remember reading at some point last year that there was a draft directive from the EU to force manufacturers of smartphones, tablets and wireless earphones to use easily replaceable batteries. That couldn’t come soon enough but I do not know whether it would apply to watches.

    Anyway, DCR, I expect you are best placed to find out all the relevant information regarding batteries/replacement units from manufacturers. With a bit of that DC magic and the fact that manufacturers take you seriously I expect you could get all the relevant information very easily. I am sure I would not be the only one who would love to see this info included on your comparison tool (though, of course, it could actually be just me!).

    Keep up the great work.

    • Interesting – I like the idea!

      I had a roughly similar concept years ago for out-of-warranty replacement costs, but realistically it quickly became impossible to figure out due to the number of ways you could kill something and which models. But I think battery replacement is a bit easier.

      That said, i think more generally, most people are seeing pretty significant battery durations in smartwatches before they start to die (usually many more years than they want to use the watch). Not every case of course, most in most cases I don’t tend to hear battery degradation is the leading cause for replacement. Instead, it’s just that people want a new watch instead.

      That said, it’s a good idea to add to the rainy day list!

      Cheers!

    • HDR

      “…it’s a good idea to add to the rainy day list!”

      Thanks DCR and should that rainy day come the following might help in some very small way.

      Watches where batteries can be replaced – price of battery replacement:

      Polar Grit X – £60 – £70 Exact price not given by Polar
      Polar Grit X Pro – £60 – £70 Exact price not given by Polar
      Polar Vantage V2 – £103.95 + £15 service fee and postage
      Apple iwatch – £82.44

      Watches where batteries cannot be replaced – price of replacement units:

      Garmin Fenix 6s – £129.23
      Garmin Fenix 6 – £166.15
      Garmin Fenix 6s Pro and Sapphire – £166.15
      Garmin Fenix 6 Pro and Sapphire – £175.38
      Garmin Fenix 6X Pro and Sapphire – £175.38
      Garmin Forerunner 45 Plus – £92.80
      Garmin Forerunner 55 – £83.44
      Garmin Forerunner 245 – £101.54
      Garmin Forerunner 245 Music – £110.77
      Garmin Forerunner 745 – £112.50
      Garmin Forerunner 945 – £130.24
      Garmin Vivoactive 4s – £120.94
      Garmin Vivoactive 4 – £129.23
      Coros Pace 2 – £161.99
      Coros Apex 42mm – £242.99
      Coros Apex 46mm – £269.99
      Coros Apex Pro – £404.99
      Coros Vertix – £485.99
      Coros Vertix Pro – £539.99
      Polar Ignite – These four Polar models quoted between
      Polar Ignite 2 – £100 – £195
      Polar Vantage M – Polar were not clear
      Polar Vantage M2 –

      Coros prices based on 10% discount they say they give for a replacement and their current website prices.

      The above prices are what I understand to be correct but might be incorrect so do not rely on them. I hope manufacturers will provide you with (or publish) the correct details, like Apple.

  7. Brooks Presnell

    Wow, this is this first time in hearing of this recall… But I emailed COROS on July 21st and never heard back from them. I emailed support@coros which was listed on their website, maybe I should’ve done something else instead? It was of course about 2 months or of warranty, so chalked it up to bad luck.

    I was emailing to ask them what I should do with my watch that got so hot that it woke me from my sleep. I stuck a thermometer between the watch and my wrist and it was reading 107.9F before it was too uncomfortable to keep wearing.

    The battery life had fell sharply the 3 or 4 weeks prior, to the point I wasn’t even getting 48 hours on a charge. After going into thermonuclear meltdown mode while I was asleep, I was afraid to even attempt recharging it, so it’s been in my nightstand drawer since. I wonder if me not having it powered on this while time has prevented them from getting the “notice” that mine is bad? Should I maybe power it up and sync it to the app and see if I get a recall notice from them?

  8. MJ

    Hi Ray
    There’s a GoPro Hero10 commercial playing in that strange commercial / link / pop-up box in the mobile site.
    Thought you might to block it (you can also delete this comment afterwards, if you want). Or take out the floating box in the first place – it sucks to always have to click multiple times on the X to close it.

  9. miCoachFans

    hmmm. i think coros may not be as noble as you think.
    they have to wipe their but before listing.

  10. HDR

    Hey Darian,

    I do think that Ray’s article about the product recall is a positive point for customer service but I really have to disagree with some of your comments.

    1) I agree with others posting here in that I too do not believe that the Coros policy for issuing replacement units, instead of mending that unit or replacing its battery, is more environmentally friendly. I understand Garmin mend units and send out newly overhauled replacements. I believe older Polar units cannot have a battery replaced but newer units are mended and returned. So are you saying Garmin is not as environmentally friendly as Coros? Are you suggesting that Polar’s policy for newer units is actually making them less sustainable?

    Either way it would be good to know. I appreciate Coros must have conducted sustainability studies for you to be able to make your comments. So please publish those studies so we can see for ourselves.

    2) “As is the case with any tech device, the hardware experiences ‘wear and tear’ from regular use… …if we were to ship the watches back to us, replace the battery, then send them back out into the world with a new battery but ~2-year-old hardware elsewhere, we would not expect the lifespan of the watch to last very long…”
    So when the battery needs replacing in your car you expect to get a new car!!!

    You might rightly respond that a car was designed to have its battery replaced. And there lies the problem, Coros should have designed for this. Your view is also completely at odds with the recently proposed UK & EU directives looking to force manufacturers to use easily replaceable batteries.

    And, yes, we all expect our devices “to last very long”. I believe you have a duty to create a well made product. Something more than 2 years old is not old. 3/4/5 years is not old. If a watch breaks through normal use (and I don’t mean abuse) then I suspect that product was poorly designed and/or not well made i.e. it is not fit for purpose. If a customer uses a product as it is intended it should last a long time. With normal use customers can reasonably can expect buttons to keep working, plastics that do not deteriorate, clips that do not break, screens that do not fade, electronics that last etc. Just because problems do occur does not mean they should.

    “We have found the latter option …. a far better experience for our users.”
    If it is possible to forget about the environment and sustainability then we would all be delighted to get a new watch as opposed to getting an old one mended. But wait… this is where we get to another big problem with Coros!! If your watch is out of warranty then Coros charge for a replacement and the charge is “essentially” full price. I say “essentially” because I understand that you give a 10% discount. But who ever pays full price. I can today get a new Coros watch at a 10% discount. I suspect it is nearly always possible to get a discount and also likely that you can get more than 10%. So therefore why would anyone want to pay you for a replacement. If things go wrong, I do not want to pay you for a replacement – I want a refund.

    How does this translate into a better experience for me?

    3) You also do not seem to understand that a battery is totally different to the rest of any watch. A battery will wear out through normal use. It has a limited life. Fact. If the battery cannot be changed either by the user or manufacturer then the manufacturer is building into the watch a finite life span. Consequently, the battery needs to be replaced but it is not possible with Coros. Therefore when the battery goes or anything else needing mending on a Coros watch it is heading for landfill.

    Products designed to be thrown away when the its fuel has run out – pure genius!

    • giorgitd

      Not in response to @HDR, but in general wrt this thread… I think that Coros is getting unfairly criticized for their replacement plan. They could have taken the silent approach, let devices fail and replace those just from the loudest complainers. Instead, they ensure that all their customers are minimally impacted by a poor materials supplier and replace old devices with new. its hard to argue with the positive customer service.

      But some want to argue that the device should have been designed for battery replacement to advance sustainability. That is a different topic, IMO – although worthwhile to consider. If battery replacement was a high priority for consumers, some vendor would leverage that in design and advertising to gain market share. That isn’t happening, from what I can see. That doesn’t mean that nonreplaceable batteries are good, its just that market forces are not compelling manufacturers to produce such devices. Don’t blame Coros for this marketplace fact! And even for devices that do allow battery replacement, how many are ‘saved’ from the trash by battery replacement? For how long? I imagine a tiny fraction of those produced receive battery replacement, implying that most of the ‘replaceable’ battery GPS watches wind up in the landfill anyway.

      Perhaps we do better, as a worldwide society, to focus on bigger device and bigger impacts. I have a MS Surface Pro 4 with a worn out battery. I replaced that device some months ago. The battery there must be 10x larger than my Garmin. And there must be many more Surfaces and iPads and other devices with large, practically unreplaceable batteries than GPS watches. the impact of those devices dwarfs that of GPS watches, I think.

      I’m not against replaceable GPS watch batteries but I think that some wider perspective is in order here and some acknowledgement of Coros’ customer service, independent of sustainability concerns, seems appropriate.

      Not a Coros employee or customer.

    • miCoachFans

      hi giorgitd,

      the only reason coros eager to replace old apex device is that the battery temperature rise issue (just like @Brooks Presnell posted) could harm to users, and that did happen in China.
      coros or Darian never told you.

    • Do you have a link to user harm happening somewhere? I haven’t seen/heard that anywhere.

      Note that while Brooks noted the uncomfortableness of a hot watch (and certainly something was wrong with his unit), 107F isn’t actually to the point of being able to burn. Just not fun to wear.

    • micoachfans

      hi Ray,

      can you read Chinese ? i could send you some screenshot about this case by email if you wish.
      the person concerned doesnt like to talk about this after coros replace his apex46.
      but i got the screenshot before that.

    • micoachfans

      btw, the harm no need to burn or explode. its kind of low temperature scald.
      Brooks would get that if he didnt take off his watch.

    • Sure, I can understand enough. My e-mail is simply my first name at dcrainmaker.com – Cheers!

    • miCoachFans

      mail sent to ray#dcrainmaker.com (# as at)
      plz check it
      u can delete this reply