COROS APEX 2 Overview
Modern adventurers are well-prepared for the excursions they undertake. Moreso than their expedition-bound ancestors, today’s hikers, trail runners, and backpackers are keen on the data surrounding their intrepid trips.
The COROS APEX 2 GPS Outdoor Watch is the contemporary adventurer’s compass, map, journal — and so much more. It’s one of the newest and most advanced 42mm sports watches on the market, and it’s certain to take your adventures to the next level. We recommend the COROS APEX 2 GPS Outdoor Watch for the adventurous Day Hiker, Car Camper, Wilderness Backpacker, and Ultralight Backpacker.
COROS APEX 2 Star Rating
The COROS APEX 2 GPS Outdoor Watch is a well-rounded sports watch that punches above its weight with class-leading battery life and top-tier GPS connectivity.
Read the full COROS APEX 2 review below.
COROS APEX 2 Specifications
|What This Means
|43.0 x 42.8 x 14.6mm
Display Size: 1.2”
|Not too big, not too small. Just right for most wrists.
|Backpacking, Trail Running, Hiking
|This is a multifunctional sports watch with adequate battery life, GPS connectivity, and built-in storage for multisport applications.
|GPS Sports Watch
|A multi-use sports watch for just about any activity you can imagine.
|17 days or 45 hours with full GPS functionality
|Plenty of battery for multi-day backpacking trips.
|Dedicated button for visibility when you need it.
|Water Resistance Depth
|Suitable for surface-level watersports and low-depth diving.
|Free global offline maps.
|Multisport tracking functionality and a dedicated app to track statistics.
|Connects with 5 satellite systems
|All-satellite GNSS chipset provides excellent GPS accuracy.
|No cellular option is available.
|The APEX 2 may be the most fully-featured GPS sports watch at this price point and size.
Gear Review of the COROS APEX 2 GPS Outdoor Watch
COROS has established itself as a forward-thinking company putting out feature-rich wearable hardware that’s paired with industry-advancing software. The COROS APEX 2 GPS Outdoor Watch is a big step forward from its previous iteration and stands out as the leading GPS sports watch in its weight class.
I tested the APEX 2 while hiking, bicycling, and training for my first ultramarathon. On a fundamental level, the watch wears well — as in it feels like the exact weight and size I want on my wrist.
The 42g weight was light enough to feel securely strapped to my wrist with the nylon band rather than sliding up and down my arm like some heavier watches do, which can alter the metrics they record. Plus, the durable titanium case looks as good as it is strong.
Arguably, the best feature of any COROS watch is the software that’s paired with it. COROS is constantly updating its smartphone apps to provide more metrics and a better user experience, and it truly shows.
While many options and metrics can be viewed and fiddled with on the watch itself, the COROS smartphone apps for iOS and Android are where you can plan your workouts, set your fitness goals, and track your progress. And the reason the companion app is so good and so essential to the COROS experience is two-fold in that it is:
- Simple to use and displays your info in an easy-to-read format. This is a boon for everyone, from the die-hard runner who wants to capture every metric to the casual user more interested in maintaining their workout calendar and viewing overall trends.
- Customizable, creating a unique experience for everyone. Modify and share structured workouts and training plans, personalize your data settings, and sync your workout data with other apps and platforms.
COROS rivals the Apple Watch in its software usability and design — all other competitors haven’t yet reached this tier. And the Apple Watch software falls short of COROS regarding data configuration and display. So, if you’re looking for a GPS sports watch with the best software, then you’re looking at getting a COROS watch.
The updated APEX 2 improves upon the functionality of its previous iteration in multiple ways, including a new, more accurate heart rate sensor, expanded GPS connectivity, and greatly enhanced GPS battery life.
What’s more, the APEX 2 is more durable with a grade 5 titanium alloy bezel and scratch-resistant sapphire glass. It’ll survive depths of up to 50 meters underwater and temperatures ranging from -22°F to 122°F. It’s also easier to use than the original APEX, too, thanks in part to its simple buttons and full touchscreen.
WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 are standard, plus you can load up all of the landscape and topographical maps you could ever need — and yes, you can view them right on the watch. Navigation and interconnectivity have never been easier to manage, and it all integrates well into the workouts you choose. Load up a .GPX file to have the route you plan to run or hike at the ready and record every step you take along with your heart rate and blog oxygen levels. The APEX 2 is prepped for it all.
Features 3.5 stars
While the APEX 2 is loaded with great features, it can’t do everything, and a few of the top features were reserved for the more expensive COROS APEX 2 Pro. For instance, the APEX 2 did not get the same dual-frequency GPS chipset as the Pro model, and the standard APEX watch does not have the Multi-Pitch Climbing Activity Mode that the Pro offers. And where both models currently fall short is audio functionality — to listen to music or audiobooks, you must import .mp3 files straight to the watch. No one wants to deal with file transfers like this anymore. COROS says the hardware is there for future firmware updates that can include music streaming services, but that remains to be seen.
App Integration 4 stars
COROS has one of the best companion apps — it’s exceptional. But it’s not perfect. For example, it’s frustrating that the same controls available during a Run activity are not also available during a scheduled Workout run, and the intervals cannot be adjusted either. And I had trouble syncing the watch to Samsung Health — using Strava as an intermediary to bridge the connection.
Location and Data Accuracy 5 stars
For its class, the APEX 2 is top-notch. The Pro model does a bit better regarding GPS accuracy thanks to the dual-band chip, but unless you’re standing between tall skyscrapers or deep in a narrow slot canyon, the standard APEX 2 watch will know where you’re at. I wore several layers of clothing over the watch during some colder hikes, and it still recorded my data as expected. During several trail runs, I compared the GPS and health data against an Apple Watch Ultra, and both were consistent with one another.
Battery Life 5 stars
No doubt about it, with 17 days of battery life, or 45 hours with full GPS functionality, the COROS APEX 2 is best in class. You’d expect such a small watch to have much less battery than this. The APEX 2 sets the new standard.
Design is subjective, so there is no star rating. I can say that I find the watch to be handsome and perfectly sized for multisport activities. I’ve read and heard complaints about the nylon band it’s shipped with, but this is my favorite style of band for outdoor activities, especially running. The nylon strap is super secure, which it needs to be for accurate data recording, and it wicks your sweat away. I also like the chunky buttons — they make it easy to use the watch while you’re actively moving.
Other than a few software hiccups, the APEX 2 is a solid sports watch. What I would most like to see is improved music and audiobook functionality — integration with streaming services would be ideal and make it a watch I would want to wear all of the time — not just for outdoor activities.
There are many reasons to buy the COROS APEX 2 GPS Outdoor Watch. A lot of great functionality is built right into the watch, and the companion smartphone app is as good as it gets. The APEX 2 is ideal for casual to intermediate hikers, trail runners, and backpackers who want a durable, capable, and long-lasting GPS sports watch for their active outdoor pursuits.