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COROS Rolls Out 10 New Features To Vertix Series, APEX Pro, Pace 2

While COROS skipped their usual seemingly unofficial monthly new feature updates last month, they’re back at it again this month with a pretty solid update – including both app and firmware features. Below I dive into everything that’s new, and cover which watch these features are available on. Note that for the firmware side, COROS says that the original APEX and PACE watches don’t have any more space in the firmware for expansion, hence why they’re excluded.

They also reiterated their plans to introduce “new hardware” later this year, but no specifics beyond that. Given the lack of details on what that hardware is, I can only assume COROS will start manufacturing milkshake machines.

Note that COROS says the update cycle will be staged over the coming days, but that all users should see it by the end of the week.

What’s New:

There’s 10 new features, with 8 of them being watch-based, and 2 of them being app-based. Though, many of the watch-based features also enumerate on the app. For example, the sleep tracking bits with sleep phases now show in both places.

1) Structured Workout for Indoor Run and Bike Mode: Up till now, neither of these were supported as structured workouts. Now, you can create structured workouts for both – as well as it’ll support it for inbound structured workouts from TrainingPeaks. (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)

2) Perceived Effort & Training Notes: When you complete a planned workout or structured workout, you’ll be given the option to rate the level of pain using smiley faces. Though oddly, this isn’t offered for non-structured workouts (even as an option). You can complete this on the watch, or on the app itself – but again, you can’t add it to the app for general workouts that aren’t structured. On the app you can also put in notes for that training session. Coaches will also see this data in the COROS Training Hub, which is really where the value is for most people. (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2). But again, this should be available for all completed workouts.

3) Sleep Accuracy Increase, now with Sleep Phase/Stage Data: COROS previously had sleep tracking, but didn’t track the four sleep stages (Deep, REM, Light, Awake). This data will show on both the watch in a widget, as well as in the app afterward. (VERTIX/VERTIX2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)

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For fun, here’s how this data lined up for me last night:

SleepStages

And here’s a little gallery of the screenshots of each app. The time I fell asleep/woke up, is at least largely correct across the board. Oura however miscounted awake time significantly, as I was not awake those last 30-40 mins.

Thus between the data and the screenshot, you can see why I don’t put much faith into the value of sleep phase/stage information from various wearables.

4) Added ‘Adjusted Pace’ for Running: This will automatically adjust your pace to account for the terrain. So basically, what your pace would be if running on flat terrain. This is useful to try and compare efforts on hilly routes versus flat routes. If you’ve used TrainingPeaks, you know this data field as GAP, or Grade Adjusted Pace, and it’s something I find super useful to compare after the fact on a rolling course. (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2). I would go out and try and do a test run to demonstrate this, but…I live on a giant pancake. So instead, here’s a screenshot from COROS of how it looks in the app:

GradeAdjustedPace

5) Watch Status Indicator: This simply shows in the upper left corner of the app what your watch and app are doing. Whether they’re currently flirting, actively doing the horizontal shuffle, or no longer talking to each other.

It’s as simple as that. (This is a COROS App feature, and is available across all watches.)

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6) Training Calendar/Center Changes: These are all interrelated changes, all kinda rolled into one section within the COROS app for all users. They include:

A) Showing both completed and planned workouts with different coloring/backgrounds, so you can see what you did versus what you planned to do.
B) Added an effort color-coding key for this calendar, including both color-coding the completion rate as well as the workout type (e.g. run/bike/swim/etc…).

7) Find My Phone + Find My Watch: You can now use your watch to find your phone, and your phone to find your watch. Neither will find Dunkin’ Donuts, nor the Apple TV remote. These features do of course require that you have your phone/watch paired up via Bluetooth Smart – and that it be in range. I find the COROS Bluetooth range disturbingly good – so this isn’t usually a problem. Seriously, I had a watch in a bowl of water in the kitchen yesterday, and it still found it out in the backyard. From the watch, you’ll find this in the Toolbox of other things like settings and action camera control. Once you press this button, on the phone it’ll start a unique tone/song, at full volume.

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Inversely, you can use the app to find your watch, though this didn’t work for me either. Just the sound of silence. These features are available on the VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2.

8) Manually Delete Activities From The Watch: I’m not sure I need to expand on this with any further words. Pretty self-explanatory, except to note that if you delete it on the watch, it’ll delete it on the COROS platform too – which is actually kinda unusual. (VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX Pro/PACE 2)

9) WiFi Data Sync: This is the first step towards COROS utilizing the WiFi hardware in the Vertix 2, now allowing data sync. This will sync your workouts and other data to the COROS cloud platform. You can certainly see how down the road this would allow map downloads as well as things like music sync. COROS previously talked about WiFi map downloads, which would be a huge step up from the current map loading process.

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10) Map Road Data Details Increase: This is an easy one, roads and trails will now display on the map one scale level higher, at 200m/500ft, versus the previous 100m/200ft. In other words, previously you had to zoom lower to see roads/trails, now you can see them at higher zoom levels. This is for the VERTIX/VERTIX 2/APEX PRO.

The Forward Slog:

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Now like I’ve said for many COROS feature updates over the last 6 months or so, none of these are new to the industry. All their competitors have all these features already. Instead, this is specifically designed to check off show-stoppers that might prevent someone from jumping ship to COROS (from Garmin, Polar, or Suunto). You’ll notice most of these features are more minor tweaks designed to make your life easier. Things like being able to delete a workout from the watch, or finding your phone using your watch.

From a training-specific standpoint, it’s similar. Aspects like being able to record a perceived effort or training notes, as a new training calendar view in the mobile app. Supporting structured workouts for indoor run and cycling modes is more major however for a company to implement, but something that many have asked for.

While it’s easy to look at this list and shrug, it’s important that this list is happening. By that I mean, this is the point where COROS has largely entered into the ‘death by a thousand feature cuts’ update slog realm.

When people look at endurance sports watches, there’s often some very specific feature to them, which they use daily, that’s a showstopper if it’s not there. Take for example structured bike workouts on the watch. For some portion of the population, having that was a hard-stop requirement. Yet for others (like me), it’s shrug. I do my structured cycling workouts using an app like Zwift or TrainerRoad, and if outside, on a dedicated bike computer. Inversely, outdoor structured run workouts? Yup, that’d be a hard-stop requirement for me (and COROS already had that, they added indoor structured run workouts – which for me falls back into the non-critical camp since I’ll use an app or piece of paper).

The point being, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these types of features. Things you don’t even think to realize – like the newly added ability to delete a workout on a watch. That’s the sort of thing that’d likely never be covered in a review anywhere, but it’s what makes ease of use better on a watch. And this is COROS going and checking that box.

Finally, the important thing to keep in mind here is that COROS is doing this frequently – usually monthly. So even if features are catch-up, they’re dropping a huge slate of additions – and again they’re doing it almost monthly, which means their momentum is far greater than some of their non-Garmin competitors who are adding 2-3 items every 3-5 months.

With that – thanks for reading!

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32 Comments

  1. Argon

    Nice! Thanks Form the information 😊 I Hope We will See more unique Features from coros’. Garmin Sure could Need a kick in the butt. As Sports watch Leaders they are moving rather slow, even though i appreciate the recent Update Wave…

    • Leo

      I doubt this will kick Garmin in the butt.

      In my views the one thing that sells watches is a long feature list and loads of data, preferable data that gives an impression of details.
      For instance sleep data with sleep fases. It’s complete rubbish but people want it anyway and without any proof are convinced brand X random sleep data is a lot better than brand Y random sleep data. Those people use that data only to look at. None of them will alter their sleep routine based on the data their watches gives them.

      Same for workout data. People want more data with more details but none of them will alter their training based on these numbers.

      Yes, I largely generalize, but it’s what I read in different fora. And it’s what garmins marketing department knows.

      For me, it’s simple. My forerunner 935 got all my must have features. Newer watches might have a few nice to have features (like maps, music or track mode) but no new must have features or even should have features. But I train with a club with a trainer to discuss schema’s and training intensity, so I don’t need my watch for that.

    • Sven

      Saw this post 2 days ago, but still don’t see the Fw update available for my pace 2 in the coros app.
      Are you getting updates sooner, did you subscribe to some kind of beta test program? Or are they rolling this out more slowly to different countries?

    • Here’s the updated timeline for this week:

      VERTIX: Monday, May 16
      VERTIX 2: Monday, May 16
      APEX Pro: Thursday, May 19
      PACE 2: Thursday, May 19

  2. Carlos

    Now, they only need to really focus on making drills available when swimming and to let people customize the rest screen also while swimming and now that I can follow workouts on my treadmill, is the perfect triathlon watch. When I changed from garmin (935) to my pace 2 I really struggled with this “missing feats”. Now I just need to be able to do drills and to scroll screens while resting during a swim session. It’s not THAT much to ask for! Falling in love with coros more and more…

    • Matthew B.

      This comment is almost the epitome of why Garmin’s “more features than any one person could want, but features for almost every person” strategy works so well. I have owned 15?+ different Garmin’s over the years and never have even considered that feature (I’m sure there are features I use daily that you also never have considered). It’s going to take a long time for someone like Coros to get to that level of feature matching to hit that 1-2% target market that would want these various features.

    • Doug

      Yep, I am waiting for these features as well!! I emailed them about it earlier in the year and they said “You will be happy to know that our engineers are currently considering both of these suggestions.”. Whether thats true or they were just fobbing me off I have no idea. I reckon the more people that email about it the higher likelihood it will get added.

    • Gilberto Baisch

      YES +1!!!

  3. Johny

    I wish Coros make updates for Polar… They are do fazy!

  4. Brandon

    Definitely more a list of shrugs for me. Two big ones would be some kind of recovery store around sleep, and the ability to unlock the training load bits without having to do so much running first. A third one would be Bluetooth music controls. $50 activity trackers can do that.

  5. Sjoerd

    Great article again. I have a Pace 2 and I love it, happy to see the firmware updates.
    I started a few months after buying the watch with Swimruns. I am so looking forward to a SwimRun multisport feature. Do you have any idea if they are working on it?
    I saw Garmin has a good swimrun mode, but I would really prefer to stick with Coros

  6. Josh

    I’m guessing it wasn’t very profitable but I wish Coros made their bone conduction helmets again…!

  7. Tom

    Do you know something when we see the new coros / apex?

    • COROS has simply said later this year. My assumption would be a fall launch, probably August or September.

      Most companies won’t launch stuff after about ~mid-October, as then it misses the holiday buying season.

  8. Pommie

    Any news/dates/info on new coros watches, eg upgrade of apex watches? Its been a few years so surely some hardware upgrades are within sight?

  9. Chris

    This is nice. As a Pace 2 user I think COROS manages to balance features quite well so far. As a software engineer I can understand how important it is not to overburden your team with implementing barely necessary features. Instead let them fix bugs and resolve hard problems. I know this is subjective, but I can understand that they don’t implement e.g. Bluetooth music control, because most headphones already have those controls. The less maintenance burden on not so important features, the better and more polished product.

  10. Jason

    Interesting to finally see the ability to manually delete errant activities on the watch and have it sync to the app. I’m curious though, does this also apply to WORKOUTS? I have a bunch of old workouts on my PACE 2 that I can’t manually delete and which are no longer listed in the app to be deleted&synced-to-watch; I’ve been told the only way to remove them is to factory reset the watch, which should not be necessary.

    Also looking forward to a possibly new PACE 3 at the end of the summer. There’s only 1 feature that would get me to upgrade, though: an even better battery. +50%.

  11. Otega Sodje

    I still want to be able to add a work out/run manually if I forget my watch but have it on another app such ad NRC. Then I’ll be happy. But thanks for the update. Much appreciated.

  12. Sebastian

    Hello! I do not see the Sleep-Widget on the watch. I downloaded the latest Firmware App and Watch but it did not appear.

  13. Fouc

    Amazing !

    Wish I could choose “vibrate” only for my alarms. The sound is awful and I prefer to wake up to only a Ligur vibration

  14. Layne

    It’s not a sport thing, but I will love having Find My Watch and Find My Phone again. Really missed that when I moved from Garmin last fall.

  15. I’ve been hearing that Coros is the big up and coming contender. I’m not in the market at the moment – happy with my Fenix 6 Pro – but when I looked at the Vertix 2, I noticed that there’s no ANT sensor support. That’s absolutely baffling to me – why would they remove support for ANT from their top line device? Un my opinion ANT is superior to BLE, especially since it allows for many sensors to connect at once. They had it in previous devices, so why remove the option? It would instantly the watch for me, because I have numerous sensors that only use ANT that would be expensive paperweights with a Vertix!

    The hardware looks great and software ismaking progress with all these updates. Why shoot themselves in the foot that way?

    • Yup. Just yup.

      Everything I gathered on this one is that a chipset decision was made without realizing the implications, and then once they realized said implications, it was far too late to press the undo button. As you noted, for many cyclists/triathletes, it’s a tough item to get around.

  16. Gerhard Olsson

    The Pace 2 looks great but to replace my Suunto Ambit 3 I want something with a better GPS. As I find Coros Vertix 2 and Garmin fenix 7 to bulky, I hope that Pace 3 will have dual GPS…

  17. David Golden

    Do you know if/when we might see labels added to basemaps? That’s a bit of a showstopper for me, but I’m hesitant to switch from the Suunto ecosystem to Garmin for it.

  18. Rob

    Has anyone else seen a change in the active calories calculation? I used to finish the day with a wildly inaccurate number (between 700 and 900 just sitting at my desk), but now a day without activity has me at 90 total.

  19. timb

    Talking of Coros, Decathlon have just launched this.. Kiprun 500 GPS watch by Coros
    link to decathlon.nl

    Is this the Coros Pace (not Pace 2) rebranded, or a new watch? It doesn’t have a barometric altimeter or Ant+, but does support open water swimming, and is only 149€. Interested in this for the family.

  20. Michael

    Is there the ability to create structured workouts for Flatwater mode? Even if it is the non-specific ‘Custom’ like Garmin uses.