Coros Pace 2 review

A brilliant running watch that won’t break the bank.

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The Coros Pace 2 was released in August 2020, with some significantly beefed-up specs compared to the original Coros Pace. The watch is designed to be attractive to anyone who wants to accurately track their exercise. 

At under £200, the Pace 2 competes more readily with fitness trackers and running watches than it does with ‘true’ smartwatches that are often much more expensive, and it lacks many of the features that would make it a fully-fledged smartwatch.

As such, it compares most closely with devices such as the Garmin Forerunner 55. It’s a device that you might also consider if you’re in the market for a fitness tracker such as the Fitbit Charge 5This watch will likely be seen by many as a direct competitor to Garmin, which has long held the crown in the world of running watches. And with the Pace 2, Coros may well be offering a legitimate alternative at the budget end of the spectrum. Find out what we thought in our Coros Pace 2 review.

The Coros Pace 2 GPS watchCredit: Exceptional
The Coros Pace 2

Coros Pace 2


An excellent running watch, filled with useful features and accurate GPS. Perfect for runners who are on a budget, this is a device that’s easy to recommend, even if there are one or two compromises along the way. 





Who’s this for?

Coros advertises this as a watch “for multi-sport athletes who want to go fast and far”. It’s aimed primarily at sport enthusiasts – runners and triathletes will particularly appreciate what’s on offer.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Incredibly accurate GPS
  • Superb battery life
  • Aggressively priced compared to many competitors
  • Plastic build feels quite cheap
  • Screen is dark when backlight is off
  • Limited smart features
  • No touchscreen may be off-putting for some

Expect to pay

RRP: £179 The price hasn’t fluctuated vastly but, if you’re prepared to wait for a sale or promotional period, you may be able to pick this up for around £150.

Coros Pace 2 Review method

How we test

We tested the Coros Pace 2 over a period of weeks, using it for everyday wear, sleep tracking and activity tracking.

The watch was set up to receive text, WhatsApp and email notifications, as well as for monitoring heart rate, step count, and exercise. 

Alongside the watch, we regularly used the Coros app [iOS|Android] to see how well the data was presented, and how effectively it transferred data from the watch.

For this review, we were able to compare this watch with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, which provided a reference point for all the metrics the Pace 2 measured, to gauge its accuracy and consistency.  


Coros Pace 2 Setup

Quick and easy

Screens showing the set up process for the Coros Pace 2Credit: Exceptional
The Coros Pace 2 is very easy to set up

Getting the Coros Pace 2 up and running was about as simple as it gets. Download the Coros app and create an account. You’ll be asked to provide details such as your gender, date of birth, height and weight.  

Next, turn on the watch and pair the device via a QR code displayed on the watch screen. As you get the watch set up, you’ll also be asked to specify which wrist you’ll be wearing it on, what your daily calorie burn goal is (light, moderate or hard targets are available) and set a sleep schedule to improve the accuracy of sleep tracking. 

The entire process takes just a few minutes, although you’ll likely be prompted to update the software to the latest version, which took around an extra 15 minutes.  

Coros Pace 2 Design

Very light

The Coros Pace 2 on a mossy backgroundCredit: Exceptional
The watch weighs very little, which is perfect for runners

The watch is extremely light, thanks to the plastic case. It was surprising how light it felt, and while plastic does feel far less premium than the metal cases on, say, the Withings ScanWatch or Garmin Venu 2, the lack of weight will certainly be appreciated if you are competing in races, for example, and want to carry as little excess weight as possible. 

If you choose the silicon band, the Coros Pace 2 is available in three colours – blue steel, dark navy and white. If you go for the nylon band, then you have a choice of navy or white. Whichever strap you choose, they can be easily swapped using the quick release pins on the underside and are compatible with plenty of 20mm wide third party bands.  

We tested the blue steel version with the silicon band for our Coros Pace 2 review, and found the watch generally quite comfortable. There were a couple of occasions where we had to take the watch off for a period, as it was irritating our skin a little. But this wasn’t major, and, within a couple of hours, any redness had disappeared. It is, though, something to be aware of, particularly if you have sensitive skin. For some, the nylon band may be the better option. 

The Coros Pace 2 lying on grass with some wildflowersCredit: Exceptional
The display on the Coros Pace 2 isn’t the brightest we’ve tested


The LCD display is 1.2in x 1.2in (30mm x 30mm), with a 240×240, 64-colour resolution. When the backlight is on, it is extremely bright, and easy to read. Without the backlight, it is quite dull and can be a bit harder to see, especially in bright light. You can adjust the backlight settings if you want to. It isn’t as pretty as the best smartwatch screens out there, but, overall, it’s a respectable display and it does enable the watch to have very impressive battery life (more on that later). 

You can choose from one of five different watch faces and about 14 different colour schemes on the watch. The app lets you select from an extensive range of other watch faces, but you need to replace one of the five you currently have loaded. You can select from very minimalist digital faces that shows the date, time and battery level, or something much more detailed, offering date, time, step count, calorie burn, heart rate, and time spent exercising. 

No touchscreen

The Pace 2 doesn’t have a touchscreen and is instead controlled by two buttons – the first is a crown-style dial (much like the Withings ScanWatch) that allows you to scroll through menus by rotating the dial and select options by pressing the button. You also rotate the crown to unlock the watch and a short press will access the activity tracking menu. The crown itself is also plastic and while we didn’t experience any problems with it during testing, we could see this as a potential point of failure in the long-term. It just felt a little flimsy. 

The second, lower, of the two buttons is used to access a general ‘toolbox’ menu by pressing and holding. Short pressing acts like a back button. Once you get used to what the buttons do, it’s a simple system to use.  

Underside of the Coros Pace 2 showing the charging point, and charging cableCredit: Exceptional
The Pace 2 uses a three-pin charger


When it comes to charging, the Pace 2 comes with a proprietary three-pin charger, which has a standard USB connection at the other end. It’s a very secure connection, so once plugged in, there were no concerns that it will suddenly disconnect and stop charging.

Coros Pace 2 Features

Not a ‘true’ smartwatch

The Coros Pace 2 is not a fully-fledged smartwatch; it’s primarily a sports watch with a few smart features added. This means you will be missing some features that are common on other smartwatches, such as music, contactless payments, or the ability to send messages and take phone calls. If you’re looking for the ‘full’ smartwatch experience, this watch will leave you feeling disappointed. 

But if you’re someone who wants to focus primarily on sports tracking, with a few little extras, then this watch has plenty to offer. 

The watch buzzes enthusiastically to alert you to incoming calls, texts, emails and other notifications. It’s certainly hard to miss. You can turn these notifications on or off for individual apps via the Coros app and you can also set them to ‘do not disturb’ if you want to limit distractions.  

The crown dial allows you to read messages in full, should you wish. What you can’t do, however, is reply to anything via the watch – you’ll still have to use your phone for that.  

Beyond notifications, the Pace 2 offers heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking, breaking down your night into REM sleep, light sleep and deep sleep, and telling you how long you spent in each of these sleep phases. It will also show you your heart rate range and average heart rate during the night.  

Where this device really shines though, is in the sports tracking features on offer. It has an altimeter, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, thermometer, and an optical heart rate monitor. It also has in-built (and highly accurate) GPS tracking. 

The sports tracking screen in the Coros appCredit: Exceptional
The Pace 2 can track a variety of popular sports

As a result, the watch can track a wide variety of sports: run, indoor run, track run, walk, bike, indoor bike, pool swim, open water, rowing, indoor rower, flatwater, strength, jump rope, gym cardio and GPS cardio.

This isn’t perhaps as comprehensive as some other devices, which can track a much wider variety of sports, and it may mean that this watch isn’t right for you if you want to be able to track hiking or yoga, for example.  

When you are tracking certain types of exercise, such as running or walking, the watch will track things like your cadence (your stride frequency) and your stride length, and calculate the training effect of your workout, as well as the training load. 

Training load

Training load measures the impact of your training on your body. It is classed as ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’, depending on the intensity of the workout. Training effect uses the estimated training load and the intensity of the exercise to estimate the effect that your workouts will have on your fitness and give you a score between zero and six.

A score below 0.9 would be classed as ‘inefficient’, between 2.0-2.9 would be seen as ‘maintaining’ fitness levels, while 4.0-4.9 is ‘optimized’ training. Anything above 5.0 is classed as ‘overreaching’, which could be useful to help show where you may be overdoing things. 

While these are interesting features, they will probably only be of use if you are heavily into your training. Otherwise, things like stride frequency probably won’t matter a great deal. Even so, it’s nice to see these touches on a device at this price point. 

Finally, there is third party app integration available, if you prefer to use something other than the Coros app. Examples include Strava, Adidas Running and Nike Run Club. This is potentially most helpful if you already use one or more of these. You can even connect the Coros app to Apple Health or Google Fit. 

Coros app

Screens taken from the Coros app tracking data from the Coros Pace 2Credit: Exceptional
The Coros app displays data clearly

The Coros app adds considerably to the overall experience. The main page provides brightly coloured graphs displaying your daily data. One is for ‘active energy’, which counts calories burned via whole body movements such as exercise.

You are also set a daily target to try to reach. Some people may find this motivational, but a target for calorie burn by itself probably isn’t overly useful unless you know what your goals are and focus carefully on your diet and nutrition. 

Exercise time, step count, heart rate and sleep are the other graphs on display. Each is a different colour and there’s also a snapshot on the right-hand side to make them very easy to understand. Tapping on any of them brings up a more detailed breakdown of that metric. It’s all very user-friendly. 

At the bottom of the screen are four options: the daily summary screen that we’ve just discussed, an activity screen, which records previously tracked exercise activities, a ‘device’ screen, which allows you to manage your watch (or any other compatible Coros devices), and the Coros EvoLab, which we’ll discuss below.

The device screen offers options such as changing your watch faces, your notification settings, and even the choice of creating a training plan.  

You can do this by adding workouts to a calendar, setting the length of the workout and the fitness goal you want to achieve. If you want, you can even create entire workout routines, such as a strength routine. These are advanced features which again, we can’t imagine being valuable for everyone. But if you want to use it, it will allow you to control your exercise routine very thoroughly.  

Overall, the app is minimalist. It doesn’t have too many screens and you aren’t bombarded with data unless you go looking for it. You won’t find anywhere to enter water or food intake, or stress level measurements. It makes the app very user-friendly and ensures that fitness and activity records take top billing. 


A final feature to highlight is the Coros EvoLab, described by Coros as a ‘sports science platform’. The concept is that this can evaluate your fitness levels, performance and fatigue, to help you optimise your training. 

Before you can start using it, you need to go running at least seven times (it doesn’t need to be on consecutive days), for at least 300 minutes in total. Ideally, this needs to be on level ground, with minimal changes of elevation. This is to allow enough data to be collected to gauge your baseline fitness level. Once you’ve done this, you can then use the features of EvoLab with any workout type that the Pace 2 tracks. 

As a result of these requirements, we weren’t able to activate and test this element of the app. We can though, see this being particularly useful to runners. Whether it would offer enough to everyone else to make it an absolute must-have, is slightly more debatable. If you exercise for recreation, then this sort of information may or may not be of interest. 


We were extremely impressed by the Coros Pace 2’s battery life. While we thought the Garmin Venu 2 had excellent battery, even that is beaten by the Pace 2 in the longevity stakes.

Coros claims that the watch will give you up to 30 hours in full GPS mode (or 60 hours in ‘UltraMax mode, which collects your GPS data intermittently and fills in the blanks itself), and up to 20 days in smartwatch mode.

This is seriously impressive when you consider that devices such as an Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 will give you a day or two at best (admittedly, those devices do offer more features).

The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 next to the Coros Pace 2Credit: Exceptional
The Coros Pace 2 has much better battery life than the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

During testing, we found battery life to be consistently excellent, and felt in line with the claims being made. A week after fully charging the watch, we were still left with 71% battery having used it regularly, including a one-hour run using GPS and four other tracked workouts.

After a one-hour walk with GPS activated, battery life went from 65% to 60%, which is seriously impressive. For comparison, the Galaxy Watch 5 went from 23% to 4% during the same walk.  

When the watch finally did run out of battery, we were able to fully charge it in under 90 minutes. And in 10 minutes, we were able to charge the battery from 60% to 80%, which would give you days of added everyday usage.  

Coros Pace 2 Performance

Impressive health and fitness tracking

We were consistently impressed by the performance of the Pace 2, particularly in relation to GPS tracking. The GPS, which relies on GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou systems, is extremely accurate and tracked our movements very precisely indeed. It aligned very closely with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 in terms of distance covered and elevation. 

Heart rate tracking was slightly more varied, often tracking a much lower average heart rate than the Watch5 across a variety of exercises. The maximum heart rate numbers were generally quite closely in agreement, however. 

In terms of sleep tracking, when we compared the data with the Watch5, there were some differences between the two devices.  

The Samsung device typically identified slightly less ‘light’ sleep than the Pace 2, and usually slightly more ‘deep’ sleep each night. REM sleep was more variable. On half the nights we tested, the Coros showed more REM sleep while during the other half, the Watch 5 showed more.

It’s hard to know which one was more accurate, and research suggests there are question marks over the accuracy of sleep tracking in any case. This is probably best used as a rough guide rather than anything more substantive. 

As we mention above, the battery was extremely impressive, both in terms of longevity, and in how quickly it recharges when you need to. You could easily charge this while you were having a shower and not need to worry about charging it again for days.  

Coros Pace 2 Value

Hard to beat

When it comes to running watches, it’s difficult to suggest any alternative device that represents better value than this. With superb battery life, a decent screen and highly accurate GPS tracking, this will have just about every essential for a dedicated runner.

And in this respect, it’s priced extremely competitively. Many similarly priced devices don’t offer in-built GPS, for example. 

When you add an excellent, highly focused app, which can support anyone looking to improve their running performance, or even fitness more generally, it becomes a pretty complete package. 

For comparison, a running watch such as the Garmin Forerunner 255 has an RRP of £299.99.

Featured product

Garmin Forerunner 255

RRP: £299.99

Garmin Forerunner 255

Coros Pace 2 Competition

You might also like…

If you aren’t totally convinced by the Coros Pace 2, here are some potential alternatives to consider: 

Garmin Forerunner 55

The Garmin Forerunner 55Credit: Garmin
The Garmin Forerunner 55

With an RRP of £179.99, the Forerunner 55 is the closest running watch to the Coros Pace 2 that Garmin offers in terms of price. And there’s a lot to like, with built-in GPS, up to two weeks of battery life and plenty of health and fitness monitoring.

Much like the Pace 2, this is a running-focused device, offering cadence tracking, pacing suggestions and Garmin Coach, which offers adaptive training plans if you’re looking for a bit of extra help. It also offers access to the excellent Garmin Connect app.

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Garmin Forerunner 55

RRP: £179.99

Garmin Forerunner 55

Fitbit Charge 5

The fitbit Charge 5 lying on a stone surface, with grass and white flowers in the backgroundCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Fitbit Charge 5

If you think you might prefer a more traditional fitness tracker, then the Fitbit Charge 5, with an RRP of £129.99, is a possibility. Cheaper than the Pace 2, the Charge 5 still offers a wealth of health tracking, such as heart rate, blood oxygen, and even skin temperature monitoring available.

Fitbit has been a prominent name in the world of wearables for years, offering good quality devices with plenty of features. If you aren’t looking for a device with such a sharp focus on running as the Pace 2, then this could be a suitable alternative for you

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Fitbit Charge 5

RRP: £129.99

Fitbit Charge 5

Amazfit T-Rex 2

The Amazfit T-Rex 2 watch on a climber's wristCredit: Zepp Health
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is designed for the outdoors

Looking for something a little more rugged? The Amazfit T-Rex 2 will withstand just about anything you care to throw at it, without costing as much as many of its competitors. It’s RRP of £219 makes it slightly pricier than the Pace 2, and for the extra money, you get a watch that offers over 150 sports modes, is heat and cold resistant, and has a host of other smartwatch features.

This is potentially a great choice if outdoor adventures are your thing, and you don’t want to spend a lot for the features on offer. The Zepp Life app isn’t the most intuitive however, and certainly isn’t as good as the Coros app.

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Amazfit T-Rex 2

RRP: £219

Amazfit T-Rex 2

Coros Pace 2 Final Verdict

An excellent fitness-focused watch

The Coros Pace 2 on a wooden post with a stream in the backgroundCredit: Exceptional
The Coros Pace 2 does exactly what it intends to

There is an awful lot to like about the Coros Pace 2. It’s among the best fitness watches at this price point, offering excellent GPS tracking and incredible battery life. If you’re looking for a bit more than you’d typically get from a more traditional fitness tracker, without wanting to spend more than £200, this will be one to consider. 

Inevitably, at this price there are some compromises to be made. While the screen is good, it isn’t as bright as some pricier devices and it lacks a touchscreen. It also has limited ‘smart’ functionality, so if you want to be able to reply to texts, take phone calls, or even play music through the watch, you’ll be disappointed.  

Then again, that’s probably reasonable given both the price tag and the purpose for which this watch is designed. It is unashamedly fitness-focused and the watch has really lasered in on what matters to most fitness enthusiasts – especially runners and triathletes. The app backs this up superbly, with the right amount of detail as a snapshot, and more depth available if you want it. It’s a really well thought through product, which has invested in everything that matters. 

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to runners who want as much insight into their training as possible without breaking the bank. Beginners will find it useful, but experienced runners will also be able to get a lot out of it. It would also be a good choice for anyone in the market for a basic smartwatch, who doesn’t want anything too complicated. It’s an excellent device that caters for its intended audience superbly. 

Buy this if:

  • You want accurate run tracking 
  • You don’t want to spend a huge amount 
  • Battery life is particularly important 

Don’t buy if:

  • You want a ‘complete’ smartwatch experience 
  • Your primary focus is not on fitness tracking 
  • You want the best screen out there 

Coros Pace 2


An excellent running watch, filled with useful features and accurate GPS. Perfect for runners who are on a budget, this is a device that’s easy to recommend, even if there are one or two compromises along the way. 


Extremely lightweight, but the plastic does feel cheap compared to some other devices


Very fitness-focused, so lacks some features that other watches offer


Excellent activity tracking and GPS, easy to use, superb battery, and well-thought-out app


For the price, it’s difficult to think of much that represents better value

Who’s this for?

Coros advertises this as a watch “for multi-sport athletes who want to go fast and far”. It’s aimed primarily at sport enthusiasts – runners and triathletes will particularly appreciate what’s on offer.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Incredibly accurate GPS
  • Superb battery life
  • Aggressively priced compared to many competitors
  • Plastic build feels quite cheap
  • Screen is dark when backlight is off
  • Limited smart features
  • No touchscreen may be off-putting for some

Expect to pay

RRP: £179 The price hasn’t fluctuated vastly but, if you’re prepared to wait for a sale or promotional period, you may be able to pick this up for around £150.

Coros Pace 2 Specs

Weight 29-36g
Dimensions 42 x 42 x 11.7 mm
Screen size 1.2in
Screen resolution 240 x 240 pixels
Removable strap? Yes
Operating system Proprietary
Compatibility Android and iOS compatible
Workouts tracked Gym cardio, GPS cardio, walking, strength, triathlon, flatwater, indoor rowing, rowing, open water swimming, pool swimming, indoor bike, bike, track run, indoor run, run
Wi-Fi No
Bluetooth Yes
Cellular No
Steven Shaw

Written by Steven Shaw he/him


Steven Shaw has been a freelance writer for a variety of outlets, most notably TechRadar. His degree in Medieval History prepared him less adequately for his career than you might expect, but the years spent working in technology focused retail were much more helpful.

Outside of work, Steven is passionate about health and fitness, and particularly enjoys high-intensity interval training, weight training, and increasingly, spending time recovering. Steven loves reading, films and a wide variety of sports. A particular highlight was watching Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar batting together in an exhibition match.

He wishes he could travel more. He can also tell you a lot about the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Carolingians. Most of his non-work time is spent with his young children, who are the living embodiment of high-intensity training.