Bottom line: An affordable, lightweight, GPS sport watch that features exceptional battery life, all-day activity and sleep tracking, 14 preloaded workout modes, and 24/7 heart rate, temperature, and altitude monitoring.
- Excellent battery life
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Built-in GPS
- All-day activity + sleep tracking
- 24/7 heart rate, altimeter, and thermometer
- Easy to use app
- Overall calorie burn seems low
- Limited sport modes
- No music or touchscreen
It's been awhile since I've had the opportunity to review a new fitness tracker, so I was very excited when I was asked to consider reviewing the Coros Pace 2. I'm not typically someone who wears a sport watch every day, but I've been putting the Pace 2 through its paces, and have worn it every day for the past two weeks.
The Coros Pace 2 is a GPS sport watch that tracks all-day activity, sleep, and 24/7 heart rate, altitude, and temperature. It features 14 preloaded sport modes and hard to beat battery life.
Coros Pace 2: Price and availability
The Coros Pace 2 was released August of 2020. It is readily available on Amazon and the Coros website. You can snag it on both sites for $200. For everything that you get, Coros Pace 2 is an excellent value.
Coros Pace 2: Light as a feather, great features, excellent value
The Coros App
Coros Pace 2 uses the Coros app to track and record all of your data. The Coros app is intuitive and easy to use. Your first step is downloading the Coros app and creating your user profile. You'll choose a username, and input your weight, gender, height, birthday, and country or region. You'll also input your sleep tracking start time, and you can set your heart rate zones to most effectively track your workouts.
After that, sync your wearable with the app, and you're ready to start tracking your activity. Once synced, Coros Pace 2 automatically logs all of your daily stats in the app, and no reconnection is necessary. When you're in the app, there are four little clickable emblems at the bottom of the screen.
From left to right, clicking the first emblem (looks like a bar graph), gets you to your daily stats, the second (looks like a runner), gets you to all of your recorded workouts, the third (looks like a badge), gets you to your profile page, and the fourth emblem (looks like a watch), gets you to your customization page.
The daily stats page, where I spend the majority of my time, is divided into seven categories: Active Energy, Exercise Time, Steps, Heart Rate, Sleep, Training Load, and Fitness Index. When you click on any individual category, you can see your stats displayed in color coded line and bar graphs for the day, week, month, and year. There's an eighth category called Fitness Level displayed at the very bottom of the screen. It's ready to view after you complete three moderate runs, which I have not, because I'm not a big runner.
Within the app, on your profile page, you have the option to create your own workout programs and training plans if desired. You can create your own running, biking, swimming, and strength workout programs. Creating a training plan entails creating a workout calendar for yourself, and then the Coros app will help you adhere to your plan and meet your fitness goals.
After you create a workout, you can check where you've spent the most time and energy on your Muscle Heatmap. This is a clickable link on your profile page. This heatmap shows how much time you've spent working your deltoids, chest, biceps, forearms, abs, abductors, quadriceps, adductors, and calves over the past one to six months.
To utilize the muscle heatmap, you must create a workout program and a training plan on your main profile page. This feature would be particularly useful if you were training for some type of athletic event, such as a marathon or a triathlon. The Coros Pace 2 is definitely one of the best fitness trackers for triathlon training if that's your thing.
Coros Pace 2 has 41 watch faces to choose from. I like watch faces that show all of my complications at once, and there are several of those to choose from. The Coros Pace 2 is also compatible with the following third party apps: Strava, TrainingPeaks, Running Quotient, adidas Running, Relive, Final Surge, Runalyze, Apple Health, and WeRun, if you're looking to integrate that data. Coros Pace 2 comes with 14 preloaded sport modes: Run, Indoor Run, Track Run, Bike, Indoor Bike, Pool Swim, Open Water, Rowing, Indoor Rower, Flat Water, Triathlon, Strength, Gym Cardio, and GPS Cardio.
Battery life and fit
The Coros Pace 2 features killer battery life. It can deliver up to 30 hours in GPS mode, which is a 20% increase from its predecessor, the Coros Pace. If you're not using GPS mode a lot (like myself), it can offer up to 20 days of daily use. That's 20 days of tracking 24/7 heart rate, all-day activity, sleep, and receiving phone notifications on a full charge.
When I unboxed my Pace 2, it had a 40% charge on it already, so I decided to put it on, and start testing it right away. In the first day and a half, the battery went from 40% to 33%. I decided to charge it for two hours on the third day, because I wanted to see how long a full charge would last. Two hours got it 97% charged. After wearing it for eight days straight, the battery went from 97% to 55%. I used GPS mode for about one hour during that eight day span, which sucks up more battery.
Overall, I'm impressed with the battery life on this sport watch. I do not like charging things every day. If I can get away with 20 days of basic activity tracking on a full charge, I'm a happy camper. This kind of battery life is also really helpful if you're trying to track your activity around the clock, i.e. all-day activity and sleep tracking.
The thing I noticed most, after putting my Coros Pace 2 on, is how lightweight and comfortable it is to wear. It only weighs 29 grams, which is nothing! I hardly even notice that it's there. At the time of its launch, Pace 2 was the lightest sport watch in the world, and I believe that it still holds that title. I'm not a fan of large, bulky trackers or smartwatches, so this is an enormous plus in my book.
The band itself is made of high-quality nylon. It's breathable, lightweight, and quick-drying. Initially, I was concerned that the nylon would take a long time to dry out after getting it wet, but it dries quickly. After toweling off, I'd say it's totally dry in 30 minutes or less. The Pace 2 features a velcro enclosure for easy adjustments and the perfect fit. Pro tip: I recommend wearing it snugly for the most accurate heart rate readings and sleep insights.
All-day activity tracking
The Coros Pace 2 features all-day activity tracking. I chose a watch face that shows all of my available complications. At any given moment, I can see my daily steps, active calories, current heart rate, altitude, battery life, date, and time. My last complication toggles between sunrise, stairs, and sunset.
I think the Pace 2 is relatively accurate when it comes to tracking my daily activity. I have the MYX Plus connected fitness system that I like to use three to five times a week. The MYX Plus connects to a Polar OH1 heart rate monitor to track my heart rate, calorie burn, and MYX workouts. I've found that the Pace 2 and the Polar OH1 are on par when it comes to heart rate monitoring, but the Pace 2 always records less calories burned overall than my MYX/Polar OH1 system.
To give an example, after I wore both the Pace 2 and the Polar OH1 for a 20-minute indoor cycling ride on my MYX bike, the Polar OH1 said I burned 195 calories, while the Pace 2 said I burned 157 calories. My height, weight, and age stats are the same in both apps, so this is a pretty large discrepancy. I feel that the active calories my Pace 2 records on a daily basis are on the lower end in general. I consider myself to be a pretty active person.
I walk my dog at least three times a day, I chase after my almost two-year old daughter all day long, and I try to get at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise in every day as well; sometimes more if I'm teaching clients. Yet, the Pace 2 records my daily active calorie burn between 700-1000 calories on average. Coros Pace 2 defines active calories as activity and workout calories.
Active Calories are generated by daily movements with a cadence of 130 or higher. Workout calories are the calories burned when wearing the watch in a workout or activity mode. That being said, my averages still seem low to me. Especially, after doing a google search telling me the average American woman burns 2,400 calories a day.
The Coros Pace 2 does offer sleep tracking. It keeps tabs on your sleep cycles, and how much time you spend in deep and light sleep. It also logs how much time you spend awake, how many hours you slept in total, your heart rate range, and your average heart rate throughout the night.
I wasn't getting super accurate sleep readings at first (it should be noted that I move around a lot when I sleep), but then I started wearing my Pace 2 more snuggly at night, and that adjustment definitely improved the accuracy of my sleep monitoring.
Within the Coros app, you can see your sleep stats displayed on a line graph for the night, or on a color coded bar graph for the week, month, or year. I enjoy looking at the correlation between the time spent in each sleep cycle and how refreshed I feel when I wake up in the morning.
You have to input a sleep tracking start time in your profile within the Coros app to ensure sleep tracking accuracy, and you can alter this start time whenever you need to. Just don't forget, or your sleep stats won't be accurate.
24/7 heart rate, altitude, and skin temperature monitoring
The Coros Pace 2 uses 24/7 heart rate, an always-on altimeter, and a thermometer to keep close tabs on your overall health and wellbeing. I love the 24/7 heart rate and skin temperature monitoring. Coros Pace 2 will show you how your skin temperature fluctuates — always displaying your current, minimum, average, and maximum temperatures.
Heart rate monitoring is necessary to track calorie burn. Plus, it's neat to see how it fluctuates throughout your day. I don't care as much about the always-on altimeter, but it is cool to see how your body responds to different altitudes. Especially, when working out. It's a whole lot harder to catch your breath when you're working out at higher altitudes. It's a noticeable difference and takes some serious getting used to.
Coros Pace 2: Calorie count is low, limited sport modes, and no music or touchscreen
I went into detail about calorie counting and overall calorie burn above, but my daily and workout calorie burn always seems low with the Coros Pace 2. When I've compared it to my other heart rate monitor and heart rate monitoring systems, which are using the same personal stats (height, weight, gender, age), the Pace 2 always records a lower overall calorie burn by a substantial amount.
It would be different if we were talking about 5-10 calories, but we're talking about a 40-50 calorie difference when recording workouts, and an even larger difference when it comes to overall active calorie burn. Additionally, for a brand new sport watch, the Coros Pace 2 is outfitted with limited workout modes.
It comes with 14 preloaded workout modes, whereas many of its competitors come with 20+. I do a lot of yoga, barre, and Pilates, and would love to be able to track those workouts with my sport watch, but the Pace 2 does not enable me to do so. I can generally track them via the strength mode, but I wish the Pace 2 offered more modality specific workout modes.
You cannot store, stream, or play music on the Coros Pace 2. It also does not have a touchscreen. Instead, it's outfitted with two buttons on the right side of the watch. The top button turns like a dial. It's used to unlock the screen, so you can scroll through all of your complications, and select workout modes or adjust your settings. The bottom button gets you back to the previous screen, and ultimately to your home screen.
Coros Pace 2: Competition
Apple Watch Series 6
Apple Watch Series 6 is the best smartwatch on the market today. It is much more expensive than the Coros Pace 2, but it comes with more features, like the ability to store, stream, and play music, and a built-in cellular system enabling you to stay connected anywhere and everywhere without your phone. If you're looking for a feature heavy smartwatch, Apple Watch Series 6 can't be beat. However, if you're looking for an affordable sport watch that offers all-day activity, sleep tracking, and much better battery life, Coros Pace 2 is the way to go.
The Withings Move is a worthy adversary when it comes to comparable products as well. It features a whopping 18 months of battery life, it's water resistant up to 50 meters (like the Pace 2) and offers all-day activity and sleep tracking. It's less expensive than Coros Pace 2, however it doesn't have a heart rate monitor, or built-in GPS. The Withings Move is a great budget pick, but if you want a GPS sport watch that offers more features and 24/7 heart rate, Coros Pace 2 is the right choice.
Coros Pace 2: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You're looking for a GPS sport watch with exceptional battery life
- You want all-day activity and sleep tracking
- You're looking for something quick-drying, lightweight, and comfortable to wear
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want a plethora of sport modes
- You want music
- You want a touchscreen
If you're looking for a GPS sport watch with exceptional battery life, Coros Pace 2 delivers. It offers up to 30 hours in GPS mode, and up to 20 days of all-day activity and sleep tracking on a full charge. It's quick-drying, comfortable, and the lightest sport watch available on the market right now.
You should not buy this if you want a ton of different sport modes. It comes with 14 preloaded workout modes: Run, Indoor Run, Track Run, Bike, Indoor Bike, Pool Swim, Open Water, Rowing, Indoor Rower, Flat Water, Triathlon, Strength, Gym Cardio, and GPS Cardio. Coros Pace 2 does not have a touchscreen, it has two buttons, and it does not store, stream, or play music.
This is an excellent, affordable sport watch that boasts exceptional battery life, built-in GPS, all-day activity and sleep tracking, and 24/7 heart rate, altitude, and temperature monitoring. It weighs a mere 29 grams, making it extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear. It's water resistant up to 50 meters, so you can rock it in the shower, ocean, and pool.
It syncs seamlessly with the intuitive and easy to use Coros app, so you can check in on your health and fitness daily, and track your stats over time. I would highly recommend this product to anyone looking to track their daily activity, monitor their sleep, train for an event, or those that just want to track and improve their overall health and wellness.
Nicolette is a freelance writer for iMore. With over a decade of high-level experience as a health and fitness professional, Nicolette has become an expert in the industry. As a writer, quadruple-certified master fitness instructor, DJ/MC, and mom; she’s had the pleasure of working with some of the top websites, studios, and brands in the world throughout her career. A dedicated creative, Nicolette enjoys writing about all things: health, fitness, audio, and home. If she’s not working, you can find her sipping a glass of wine, enjoying a concert, or hanging with her family.
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