Coros APEX by Petr

我是越野跑者,偶爾跑跑馬拉松,不過基本上是個探險家… 評測文 Petr中文:

I am trail runner, occasionally ultra runner, and often explorer. I enjoy exploring of deep mountains but also combination of new trails and roads nearby. Track my daily activity is very important for me and for Beast Runners 跑山獸 (  Following will be about miner experience with Coros APEX as user. I will skip some technical specifications which can be find anywhere else, and will focus mainly on how I enjoy Coros APEX.

Notice: I was using Suunto Ambit 3, which was that time best for me. It had navigation function, fine battery (but not enough) and accuracy.

Below are Pros and Cons for me, some of them, especially navigation, will describe shortly or widely later. Also good to know there are two size of APEX – 46mm (35hours GPX, 55g) and 42mm (25hours GPX, 50g) and colorful quick release bands.

Coros APEX 46mm Specification

  • colors: black or silver
  • Display Size: 1.2 in. 240 x 240 (64 colors)
  • Display Type: Memory LCD
  • Screen Material: Sapphire Glass
  • Bezel Material: Titanium Alloy
  • Strap Material: Silicone
  • Quick Release Bands: 22mm
  • Physical Size: 48.50 x 48.50 x 13.75 mm
  • Weight: 55.3 g
  • Wireless Connection: BT4.2 BLE for smartphone only, ANT+ for accessories
  • Navigation: GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • Sensors: Optical Heart Rate Monitor,Barometric Altimeter,Accelerometer,Gyroscope,Compass
  • Built-In Memory: 32MB
  • Water Resistance: 10ATM (100 Meters/328 Feet)
  • Working Temperature: 14°F to 140°F (-10°C to 60°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 158°F (-20°C to 70°C)
  • Charging Time: Less than 2 Hours
  • Battery Life:
    • Up to 100 Hours in UltraMax GPS Mode
    • Up to 35 Hours in Full GPS Mode
    • Up to 30 Days for Regular Use

Coros APEX 42mm Specification

  • colors: black or white
  • Display Size: 1.1 in. 218 x 218 (64 colors)
  • Display Type: Memory LCD
  • Screen Material: Sapphire Glass
  • Bezel Material: Ceramic
  • Strap Material: Silicone
  • Quick Release Bands: 20mm
  • Physical Size: 45.00 x 45.00 x 14.45 mm
  • Weight: 50.8 g
  • Wireless Connection: BT4.2 BLE for smartphone only, ANT+ for accessories
  • Navigation: GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • Sensors: Optical Heart Rate Monitor, Barometric Altimeter, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass
  • Built-In Memory: 32MB
  • Water Resistance: 10ATM (100 Meters/328 Feet)
  • Working Temperature: 14°F to 140°F (-10°C to 60°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 158°F (-20°C to 70°C)
  • Charging Time: Less than 2 Hours
  • Battery Life:
    • Up to 80 Hours in UltraMax GPS Mode
    • Up to 25 Hours in Full GPS Mode
    • Up to 24 Days for Regular Use


  • small size and lightweight
  • Battery life (by spec up to 35hours with GPS)
  • Navigation function (and how it works)
  • Built-in wrist HRM
  • Software updates (improvements)
  • Connect with 3rd party Apps (to Strava just in seconds)


  • Course for navigation can import only .gpx file, cannot use .kml file to upload route (but I believe Coros developer will update this).
  • Navigation course do not support Way Points (not yet)
  • Background light timeout or fully ON (did not find function when can set light on without timeout, this I was missing during 5K race at evening where I was checking pace often, also believe this function will be possible in future)
  • Small size (even small size for me is huge benefit for me, the screen is smaller and data from display is more difficult to read)

Neutral (±) and explanation

  • No web platform, only APP in smart phone – this disadvantage turned to convenient advantage after few weeks of using. All setup, uploads are done in app. If you do not use smart phone, you cannot use this watch. J The data transfer only via Bluetooth.
  • KNOB (scroll and button) and another button – with all this control anything. Easy to learn and easy to use. It is still watch (show time) and during normal wearing no matter which screen is shown is enough press button which will show screen with time of day and date. This sounds like WHAT?, but in Suunto had to list in screens over many to get actually time of day.
  • Wrist HRM is new and nice feature for me, just is necessary tight watch strap bit more. It did not show well in high intesity activity (5K race and lot of sweat). For me HR tracking is less important (running on feeling, or on max) but deviceee can pair with cheast heart sensor with ANT+
  • Multiple sports – well this is benefit, but I am mostly runner or hiker. For running can predefine interval, aerobic, anaerobic training (did not test yet). For each discipline can set 5 screens in app (Custom Interface)
  • Activities statistic can preview in watch (AI Trainer), but delete only in app (swipe left to show delete function)
  • Price – relatively cheap, already coming with sapphire glass and all usable sensors. And the battery…

Interesting functions and comments

  • Sleep tracking – It was interesting see how bad nights looking on chart (APEX are only watch which I do not mind wear during sleeping)
  • Alarm (easy to set and I really use it for gentle wake up me before scream of real alarm)
  • HR, temperature, barometric pressure, altitude, tracking daily tracking and show Last 6 hours on screen
  • Compass, and current position (coordinates)
  • Strike and cadence measuring (actual and average), metronome
  • Watch Face and color scheme variations
  • Notifications from your smart phone on watch screen (this function I totally block, but in some occasions can be handy choose show notifications – calls, text, Gmail, FB, messenger, WeChat,…)
  • Activity Alert (eg. 1k distance, pace or HR alert over or below limits)
Good night
Bad night
my interface for RUN
  • Workout mode for “Run”, “Trail Run” and “Hike” (I was going to add to cons have only one workout and screens layout for outdoor run, but this changed with V 2.0 firmware update in May 2019, it is great see permanent improvement from developer). Bike, swim, triathlon for who need this.
  • UltraMax tracking – which suppose extend activity record up to 100hours (30% take from GPS, 70% from motion sensor). Basically I prefer good record of any of run or hike, but I test this during trail cutting and the shape of course was accurate enough. But this function can be handy for hikes over many days.
  • Auto lock – (1) during activity and (2) lock of watch. I use only lock during activity to avoid pause or lap press. Unlock is done by holding of any button.
  • Recovery time (I do not think this works for my style of activities, but interesting)
  • Finish activity – resume or finish with automatic save which avoid accidentally discarding, if activity less than 1minute there is option discard it.

Petr`s user experience with Coros APEX

Daily running

Battery. If you go for morning run (even 5 hours for someone) you do not need worry that you watch just show 30%, it is plenty. Basically I charge my watch once per week. Upload activity to Coros app is done by Bluetooth, and it is sent to my Strava immediately. I do not wear watch during computer work, but rest of day or for sleeping Apex do not disturb me. Also watch has not sharp buttons or edges, which I found very baby-friendly during carrying my daughter.
I love see where I was, I save all in Google Earth.


I do explore almost daily. Sometimes I just enjoy run nearby and combine know and unknown roads or trails, sometimes in deep mountains and bad trails. So for me navigation in watch was very interesting function. If I need I am able to draw my course quickly in map, export to .gpx and upload to watch via app in minutes. Process how to upload course and how to use navigation will describe separately. If I go explore for really long or complicated course I will take smart phone with or Locus free app.

Long runs or races

Get lost is good experience during training, but during race get lost is nightmare. I won many races in Taiwan and East Asia (Vietnam Mountain Marathon 100k, TNF75 Thailand, TMBT 50, BUTM50,) and during all these I used navigation in watch (that time Suunto Ambit 3). In some of them got ahead due to having navigation and know course from studying before. I never run race without using navigation in watch. Exception was TDS where marking was too good on official course and I safe battery (Suunto drain battery faster when navigation is used). I never used smart phone for navigation during the race, it will lost the joy from running and running safe.

To use full capability of simple navigation in watch is still necessary know course shape and study some parts or important turns and combine with elevation chart. In 2018 I was 3rd in Ultimate Tsaigu 100, which I can consider as huge success in that weather condition. In 2019 I did enjoy and got 8th place in Tsaigu 80km with very competitive field, this time I enhance the joy of running by using Coros APEX and its navigation for first time.

What I learn Apex can charge quickly and also can charge during the activity. For very long races I am taking USB power bank as spare battery for my headlamps (it is mandatory to have extra batteries).

Petr Novotny  (Beast Runners 跑山獸)

My guidance how to enjoy be (not) lost 🙂

How to upload course for navigation

How to use NAVIGATION on course

activate navigation

  • KNOB (press) → RUN (or other activity) →
  • KNOB (scroll) Settings →
  • Navi, Settings → Choose Course
  • Confirm course →
  • see Elevation Details
  • Start Point Direction (positive/reverse)
  • Map Direction (for run use only North UP)
  • Start Course → (wait for acquiring GPS)

It is also possible start navigation or change course during activity:

  • Long press to call menu
  • (Stopwatch/Wrist Hand/Map/Navigation/UltraMax/Compass/Settings/Timer)
  • ↻ Naviagation → choose course →

HOW to use navigation

  • By scrolling KNOB ↻ can see map and elevation profile and current location on map
  • On Map screen can see: arrow, scale, red line – course, white line – current activity
  • North UP orientation (I suggest use this for running)
  • Align watch horizontally will show ARROW in the middle of screen in correct direction by compass
  • By pressing KNOB → will activate/deactivate zooming function
  • scroll for comfortable scale (for normal runs scale of 100m is enough)
  • If your current location deviated from course over ~20m it will warn by sound and vibration
  • This deviation and shortest straight way back to course is also show by white dash line

How to find “Your Self”

How to find my current location (coordinates)

  • This is very important feature to get current coordinates
  • We suggest to Beast Runners participant know how to get this in case of need (Safety First)
  • HOW (during activity when GPS is logged):
  • Long press to call menu
  • ↻ Compass
  • → KNOB press to change screen
    to see eg. 24°55’29”N 121°25’56”E (however we prefer location in this decimal format 24.9247, 121.4322)

MAP even without course

  • To see your current location and plotted current activity on map
  • This is can be very interesting function during “be lost” or exploring
  • HOW (during activity when GPS is logged and activity in progress):
    • Long press to call menu
    • MAP
    • In map can zoom and see orientation of your watch

HOW much left?

  • During navigation can see on display how many kilometers left to end of route
  • also cumulative elevation from current position to end (eg. 1250/1863m means 613m left to end)
  • if you skip part of course (shortcut) it will recalculate by actual position to course end

How to get GPX file of course

How to get GPX file for route

  1. Download (if somebody provide, eg. Race course, or someones Strava activity)
  2. CREATE GPX file

Notice: GPX file must be single course and Way Points (WP) are not yet supported by Coros. To display WP on course is also very useful and hope Coros will bring this in future.


Google Earth
  • by clicking create course and export .kml (slow, but I can see all my runs)
  • export .kml and convert to .gpx (for example by online tool
  • MAPY.CZ (on desktop), online map, open source trails, app available, work great for Taiwan)
  • For english version
  • Right click: “Plan Rout From Here”
  • Hiking (to allow plan on trails)
  • Plan by dragging course over trails and roads
  • Export GPX (or KML)
  • Notice:
    • Export include elevation profile which is very handy (if map has available)
    • Androi APP (offline map for Taiwan ~300mb, cannot export GPX from app)
Strava - my routes
joun Beast Runners Strava club




我是越野跑者,偶爾跑跑馬拉松,不過基本上是個探險家… Petr中文:

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