COROS APEX 2 vs. APEX 2 Pro: Which Should You Pick?

COROS APEX 2 in black next to the APEX 2 Pro in silver

Both the COROS APEX and APEX Pro got a much-anticipated refresh in November 2022, with more accurate tracking, even longer battery life, and more. But now that the APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro are sold in the same listing as different versions, it’s harder to choose between them.

In this post, I’ll go over the reasons to choose one over the other. For context, I’m a distance runner who mostly trains for half and full marathons, but I’ve also dabbled in triathlons and trail running. I’m a GPS watch nerd and have tested all the COROS watches and several others, and want to help you make a decision (check out the rest of my GPS watch comparisons).

This post isn’t sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links and discount codes, meaning that I earn a small commission on any purchases through those links/codes, at no extra cost to you. Your support allows me to keep writing reviews like this one 🙂

Things in Common: APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro

Before we dive into their differences, here are the features the APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro have in common.

Wide variety of fitness tracking profiles: The APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro track almost the same list of activities, including the following:

RunWhitewater
Trail RunSpeedsurfing
Track RunWindsurfing
Indoor RunSki
Virtual RunSnowboard
WalkXC Ski
HikeSki Touring
Mountain ClimbGPS Cardio
BikeGym Cardio
Indoor BikeStrength
Open WaterIndoor Rower
Pool SwimIndoor Climb
FlatwaterTriathlon/Multisport
Rowing

Fitness stats: 

  • Steps
  • Heart rate and HRV Index (heart rate variability)
  • Sleep
  • VO2 max (aerobic performance capacity)
  • SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation)
back of the COROS APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro

Advanced training metrics/features: 

  • Training metrics—training load (whether your training is a smart amount), base fitness & load impact (whether your training is effective), fatigue, aerobic and anaerobic training effect, race predictor, and recovery time
  • Training features—interval workouts, topographic and landscape maps, All Systems On mode (all satellite systems turned on to improve GPS accuracy), and Altitude Mode to help you acclimate
COROS EvoLab stats on the APEX 2 against the fall leaves

Smartwatch features: 

  • Calendar, message, and call notifications
  • Find my phone/watch
  • Download MP3 files and play them via Bluetooth headphones
  • GoPro and Insta360 camera control
  • Touchscreen when navigating workout data screens and maps
  • Backlight button and backlight always-on mode

With that, let’s get into the differences between the two watches!

Reasons to Choose the APEX 2

APEX 2 on wrist in direct sunlight
Side view of the COROS APEX 2

The APEX 2 is the more basic version of the two watches, so this section is naturally going to be shorter. But, this watch is still packed with features and could be the better choice for you.

For one, it retails at $100 cheaper than the APEX 2 Pro, so if you won’t need its extra features, going with the APEX 2 can save you some money.

Physically, the APEX 2 is also smaller and lighter than the APEX 2 Pro. The APEX 2 screen size is about 43mm in size while the APEX 2 Pro is 46mm. At 42g with the nylon band, the APEX 2 is 26% lighter than the APEX 2 Pro at 53g (with the silicone band, the weights are 53g for the APEX 2 and 66g for the APEX 2 Pro).

Do note that the screen size is slightly smaller at 1.2 inches vs. 1.3 inches.

Run summary on the APEX 2
COROS APEX 2 black nylon band that reads #EXPLOREPERFECTION

If you have a small wrist like me, you’ll probably prefer the APEX 2 over the APEX 2 Pro. The band size for the APEX 2 Pro is 2mm wider than that of the APEX 2, and the APEX 2 Pro is heavier, which makes it less comfortable to wear.

In fact, the default nylon band for the APEX 2 Pro would actually be too long if your wrists are smaller than mine, as the extra band length hits just under the watch face for me. For reference, my wrists are around 5.5 inches (14cm) in circumference.

There’s a tiny bit more leeway with the silicone band on the APEX 2 Pro, but it’s not as comfortable to wear since the band is heavier.

If you still want the APEX 2 Pro despite having smaller wrists than me, the support team may be able to help you out, and I’d recommend reaching out to them before your purchase.

If you want a more feminine color option, the APEX 2 comes in a coral/rose gold option (along with silver and black), while the APEX 2 Pro has a forest green option outside of silver and black.

Reasons to Choose the APEX 2 Pro

COROS APEX 2 Pro in silver on wrist in direct sunlight
COROS APEX 2 Pro side view

The APEX 2 Pro is the more premium watch and retails at $499. One of the biggest reasons to choose the APEX 2 Pro over the APEX 2 is its longer battery life.

APEX 2APEX 2 Pro
Regular Use17 days30 days
GPS45 hours75 hours
All Systems30 hours45 hours
Dual FrequencyN/A26 hours

In certain modes, you get almost twice the battery life from the APEX 2 Pro than the APEX 2. While playing music in GPS mode, the APEX 2 has 8 hours of battery life while the APEX 2 Pro has 17 hours, and in All Systems On mode, it’s 7 hours and 14 hours, respectively.

While testing the watches, the APEX 2 lasted me 16 days and 6 hours of tracking in All Systems mode. I could’ve gotten a few more days out of it, but I usually charge my watches after they dip under 30%. The APEX 2 Pro, however, lasted me 22 days and almost 12 hours of tracking in All Systems mode, and .75 hours of tracking in Dual Frequency mode.

COROS APEX 2 Pro run summary
COROS APEX 2 Pro in silver lying flat with the nylon band
COROS APEX 2 Pro nylon band

Speaking of Dual Frequency mode, the APEX Pro is able to get L1 and L5 satellite frequency signals, improving tracking accuracy. This mode may be helpful if you’re training in big cities or remote areas with tree cover or cliffs. I haven’t had the chance to use Dual Frequency extensively yet, but will update this post when I have. On the one run and walk I have used it, I didn’t notice any difference in accuracy.

The APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro track basically the same activities, except the APEX 2 Pro also tracks Multi-Pitch Climb. You can select the Grade System (Rock YDS, Rock French, Rock Aid, Ice, Mixed) and the phase (approach, climb, descend).

While both the APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro have landscape and topographic maps, the APEX 2 Pro comes with the global landscape maps preloaded. For the APEX 2, you need to download the regions you want separately from the COROS website, which is easy to do, but can take a good couple hours since the files are larger.

Landscape map on the COROS APEX 2 Pro

The Bottom Line

The APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro are both very capable watches. It ultimately comes down to whether you want a larger build, even longer battery life, Dual Frequency tracking, or multi-pitch climbing mode.

Since I mainly do road running and have small wrists, I’d personally go for the APEX 2. But if I spend more time on the trails or do ultrarunning, you might prefer the APEX 2 Pro.

Where to Buy the APEX 2 and APEX 2 Pro

If this review helped you, it would mean a ton if you purchased through my affiliate links or codes. I also want to encourage you to buy secondhand or from small, local running stores if you can. I don’t get paid if you do that, so if you still want to show your appreciation financially, you’re welcome to buy me a virtual coffee.

Directly from COROS

Use code COROS-Lily to get a free, extra watch band or any other accessory, minus gift cards and the explorer pack. Just add both the accessory and the watch to your cart before applying the code at checkout. Please do not share this code on public forums

APEX 2/APEX 2 Pro

Amazon

APEX 2

APEX 2 Pro

Other retailers

Swappa (used electronics)
Mercari
REI
eBay


If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Also let us know what you decided on and why!

You may also like these posts:

APEX vs. APEX 2
Forerunner 255 vs. APEX 2

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