I can not be the only person who has this problem. When I’m snowboarding, I moving. I sit down to buckle up and roll over to stand up. I fall off the kickers, unbuckle to get back up and shoot the parachute, and fall into the halfpipe screaming to John Secada. When I test huge expensive Garmin watches, I often inadvertently press the side buttons or the touch screen with my shenanigans, accidentally stopping or starting recording.
Koros watch lock. You hold the middle button to start recording your activity, then hold it down again for three seconds to stop recording. Smart! This is one of the many small but very valuable features that make the Coros watch one of my favorites right now, even when compared to more expensive sports watches from other brands.
The company has found something that most manufacturers have not been able to: people who love sports (in particular, I) do not always care about appearance. A big, bright, and crisp screen doesn’t mean as much to me as not having to charge the watch every night. I would happily pay a lower price for a watch that is more comfortable, comfortable and easier to wear.
Apex 2 debuted late last year and comes in a basic or pro version. I tested the Pro, which is $100 more expensive, slightly larger, and has dual-frequency GPS for more accurate location tracking. And it has my favorite nylon strap that doesn’t trap sweat like silicone straps. At 46.5mm in diameter, the Pro is larger than the base model, but not as big or heavy as the Coros. Vertix 2 (50.3 mm).
Dual frequency GPS positioning is important because Coros now uses EvoLabpersonalized sports science platform and direct competitor Garmin Connect. (It can be used with all Coros watches for free, unlike Fitbit Premium.) The company has skillfully targeted serious runners with celebrities such as Des Linden, Kilian Jornet and Eliud Kipchoge. What’s more, you can only unlock EvoLab by tracking road runs. If you’re interested in progressing as a runner, programs like EvoLab are better than what you’d get with an Apple Watch. Sure, Apple now measures a lot of useful running metrics, but it still doesn’t give you an actionable overall view.
It took me about two weeks to run three to four times a week (and sleep regularly, which I’m not very good at) to unlock EvoLab. As soon as I did that, I looked over the suggested training plans, which, in a word, are good. (You can look at examples of training plans online.) I’m currently working on my speed development, which will help you run faster and easier by alternating longer aerobic runs at an easy pace with short, hard anaerobic intervals.
In one of my workouts, I run 0.1 miles fast with 0.4 mile reps. This means that I run at my threshold pace of 0.1 miles and then jog for 0.4 miles. The Apex 2 Pro pings me when it’s time to start my fast segment, pings me when I’m not in my target speed range, and then pings me to stop and go back to the recovery pace. To put this technological feat into perspective, I can run 0.1 miles in about the time it would take you to read this paragraph. During this time, Apex 2 Pro sends dozens of signals. to space and backfast enough to guide me in real time.
It’s not as accurate as a coach standing on the track with a stopwatch, but much more convenient and cheaper. For more performance metrics, you can also add Coros Pod 2 ($99), which is slightly more expensive than a comparable Garmin running device. When it came to tracking my speed and heart rate during regular runs, I didn’t notice any discrepancies between the Apex 2 Pro and the Apple Watch Ultra, which also have dual-frequency GPS positioning. Perhaps the Apex 2 Pro was a bit slower to lock onto GPS when I started my run.
Navigation on the wrist
Probably one of the main reasons to buy a Garmin is its navigation capabilities. If you’re like me, an impulsive and frivolous outdoors person with no sense of direction, having easy-to-use maps is priceless, even when your phone isn’t picking up a signal. There is simply nothing to compare with. Garmin started out as navigation companyand even now its maps and software are much easier to use.
The Apex 2 Pro is much more difficult to use for navigation. There are preloaded terrain maps that are relatively easy to view and scroll on the LCD screen, but you need to download topographic maps. I especially noticed this while snowboarding. I may have accidentally turned activity recording on and off on the Garmin Epix, but Garmin has ski resort maps preinstalled on all watches for all resorts near me – I’ve never had to do anything! You will have to manually upload topographic maps to the Apex 2 Pro, which comes with 32GB of storage. This is enough for 10 or so routes saved as GPX files. Since there’s no integration with music services, you’ll have to share that space with MP3 files if you’re still into that sort of thing.