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Coros Pace: a triathlon watch at a low price

by Philippe Baudoin © Copyright (published 29/10/2019)
Coros Pace triathlon watch

Proposed for less than 200 € by a chinese start-up, this triathlon watch has everything to please

New on the sports watch market, Coros, a chinese start-up specialized in connected bicycle helmets, offers a rather complete entry-level triathlon watch with a large autonomy at a very competitive price. In addition to the current instruments, it has a barometric altimeter, an underwater cardio monitor and offers some interesting tools. It is similar to the Garmin Forerunner 735XT. What is this multisport watch worth? Should you buy it? Detailed review and advice.

Buy Coros Pace

Price (from)
199 €

Commercial links. Prices are not contractual. Please visit the merchant site.

Technical characteristics

48 g
46 x 46 x 11.8 mm
Color, 240 x 240 px, 1.2"
25 h (GPS mode), 50 h (ultra), 30 d (watch mode with activity monitoring)
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou
Recommended activities
Triathlon, running, cycling, swimming
iPhone, Android (no PC/web interface). Bluetooth wireless data transfer.
Cardio-frequency meter
Yes, underwater wrist optics
Music player
Payment system
Telephony / 4G
Barometric altimeter
Yes (auto or manual calibration)
5 ATM (50 m), suitable for swimming but not diving
Activity monitoring, physiological measurements (VO2max, aerobic and anaerobic training effect, lactic threshold), running time prediction
The Coros Pace is an entry-level, long autonomy triathlon watch with a barometric altimeter, an underwater optical heart rate monitor and performance analysis tools

Coros Pace in brief

Coros is a Chinese start-up specialized in connected bicycle helmets. It has recently turned to sports watches and launched, in 2018, the Coros Pace, a triathlon watch with rather interesting functions for the price offered (around 200 €). It should appeal to beginner or occasional triathletes, runners and cyclists.

The Coros Pace is akin to a Forerunner 735XT, Garmin's entry-level triathlon watch, which costs an additional €150 at the time of writing. It is inspired by it in its design, functions and almost identical displays...

The watch is available in a 43 mm case (therefore relatively small) with a non-touch color display screen with a resolution of 240 x 240 px that can display up to 6 data fields. It includes a GPS chip compatible with GLONASS, GPS, Galileo and Beidou (the Chinese satellite system), an underwater optical heart rate monitor, a barometric altimeter with manual or automatic calibration (rare on a price watch), a compass, an accelerometer, a gyroscope and compatibility with external ANT+ sensors (including cardio belt, footpod, bike cadence, speed and power sensors). It is waterproof to 50 m.

Coros Pace

Its autonomy is excellent and this is the major advantage of this watch: 25 hours in training mode (50 hours in energy saving mode) and 30 days in watch mode with activity monitoring! It should be noted that most sports watches offer only one week of autonomy in watch mode at most.

It has 7 sports profiles (running and cycling indoors and outdoors, swimming at sea and in the pool, triathlon/multisports), making it a watch exclusively reserved for running, cycling, swimming and triathlon.

Its sporting functions are relatively limited. The watch knows how to estimate, based on the performance of the latest activities, the running time for a 5 km, 10 km, half-marathon and marathon. It evaluates the recovery time. Pace also offers some physiological measurements (VO2max, lactic threshold, Aerobic and anaerobic Effect Training, threshold speed in particular), the programming of simple but not yet (it could come yet) GPS navigation training (track tracking, return to start, recording GPS coordinates).

The Coros Pace manages activity monitoring (steps, calories, high floors, sleep quality) but does not measure stress level. It has alerts (heart rate, cadence, etc.).

It is an affordable sports watch that should appeal to beginner runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes or who occasionally practice their sport and who are not looking for advanced tools. Be careful, it only works with a Smartphone (no web interface) and its interface is not yet available in French.

Detailed review of the Coros Pace

Design: a sporty look a little cheap

Coros Pace watch

The Coros Pace is a sporty look watch available in 3 colours (red, blue and grey) and with a confortable silicone strap. The watch, all plastic including glass, seems not very robust but it is very light (48 g) compared to other equivalent watches. It has a 43 mm diameter and 12 mm thick case. In comparison, the Forerunner 735 XT and Forerunner 245 offer almost the same size but are a little lighter (8 to 10 g less). The Polar Ignite, a more Fitness-oriented watch, is much thinner (8,5 mm thick) and even lighter (35 g!).

Its silicone strap is interchangeable with a tool provided by Coros.

The screen has a resolution of 240 x 240 px (215 x 180 for the Forerunner 735 XT), the same as the latest Garmin watches (Forerunner 245 and 945 in particular). The contrast is excellent and the transflective screen is very readable in full light. The backlight is activated by pressing a button or moving the wrist. It can be disabled in the settings (the button then no longer works, which may not be practical).

The Coros screen offers up to 6 data fields, 5 of which are customizable (the 6th is reserved for the chrono and appears at the bottom of the screen). In comparison, Garmin offers 6 to 8 fields (depending on the model) on its latest model Fenix 6 but a maximum of 4 fields on its other models.


The Pace is equipped with all the sensors needed for triathlon and its activities, including indoor training: underwater heart rate sensor on the wrist (as at Polar and Garmin), GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope. There is also a compass with azimuth and a thermometer.

optical sensor
Coros Pace's heart rate monitor on the wrist works underwater

The watch is also equipped with a barometric altimeter, a rare instrument for a watch of this price. Best of all, it can be calibrated manually, which corrects errors related to changes in atmospheric pressure (GPS is not used for altitude measurements). It displays pressure and altitude (instantaneous value, 4-hour average, min and max over the last 24 hours) as well as graphs.

The Coros Pace is waterproof to 50 m (5 ATM). It can therefore be used for swimming but not for diving.

GPS is compatible with the main satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo) as well as the Chinese Beidou system (BDS). But what is interesting about this watch is its "intelligent stride algorithm". It is able to "predict" the GPS track in case of signal loss (tunnels difficult urban areas, dense forests, etc.). The algorithm uses machine learning techniques to learn the runner's habits and build a stride model that it will use to "guess" the GPS trace. On the same principle as Suunto and its "FusedTrack" algorithm, the watch uses its on-board instruments (compass, accelerometer, gyroscope) and the famous stride model to reconstruct the GPS track. The algorithm is also used for indoor running and UltraMax mode (energy saving). However, the accuracy of the measurements depends on a good calibration of the compass beforehand.

External sensors can also be connected to the watch using the ANT+ protocol, for example a cardio belt, a footpod, bike speed, cadence and power sensors (Stryd, etc.). Coros should soon add the Bluetooth protocol (it is currently only used for data transfer between the watch and a Smartphone).

Autonomy: unbeatable in clock and activity monitoring mode!

The Coros Pace stands out from the competition's other watches by its long battery life: 25 hours in GPS mode and 30 days in watch mode with activity monitoring. In comparison, the recent Forerunner 245 holds 24 hours in GPS mode and only 7 days in watch mode with activity monitoring. The manufacturer was able to obtain these amazing results by optimizing the hardware (including the use of a low-power Sony GPS chip) but also the OS (operating system).

The autonomy can reach 50 hours in UltraMax mode. Coros saves battery power by activating the GPS for only 30 seconds every 120 seconds. The rest of the time (90 seconds), the trace is calculated using the Coros Intelligent Stride algorithm.

Display mode + activity monitoringGPS modeUltraMax
30 d25 h50 h
Autonomy of Coros Pace

Sports and athlete support functions

The Coros Pace offers only 7 sports profiles: running (indoor and outdoor), cycling (indoor and outdoor), swimming (sea and pool), triathlon/multisports. Unfortunately, there is no "free" profile, nor any profile for walking or hiking. You cannot create custom profiles either. It will therefore be necessary to work with the 7 profiles offered. This model is therefore clearly oriented towards running, swimming and cycling. As for the multisport profile, it is not configurable because it uses the other profiles. It allows you to combine 2 or 3 different activities. For example, swimming, cycling and running (triathlon), or swimming and running but not swimming, running and swimming again (ie no swim-run possible).

cyclist wearing Coros Pace

The watch records the essential data: GPS trace, time, distance, speed, pace (except for cycling), cadence, heart rate (even underwater), calories expended, altitude, height difference. For cyclists, it also measures the slope and, with an external sensor, the power developed (instantaneous, normalized and average over 3, 10 and 30 seconds). The screens display instant and average values as well as a graph of the last 4 hours of heart rate, altitude and atmospheric pressure. In swimming mode, it displays time, distance covered, pace (speed in open water), heart rate, number of movements and SWOLF score (average, per lap and over the last length) and detects the type of swimming. The length of the pool can be programmed between 15 and 300 meters or yards.

The Pace has a metronome on board to work on the cadence and has an auto-pause function.

Coros proposes, like Garmin, a function estimating the running time over a 5 km, 10 km, half-marathon and marathon according to physical condition (VO2max in particular). The watch evaluates the recovery time after an activity. Simple split sessions (running and cycling) can also be scheduled, for example 5 sets of 30"/10", but no complex training, for example 2 sets of 5 x 30"/10".

The user can program alerts based on cadence, heart rate (working in zones), pace or speed.

There are no GPS navigation tools (no GPS track, no route tracking, no GPS coordinate recording, no return to start point) but this should come in the next watch updates.

Woman wearing a Coros Pace

Physiological measurements

Unlike its competitors Garmin or Suunto, which work with Firstbeat, or Polar, a leader in this field, which develops its own algorithms, Coros works in partnership with an independent company to provide physiological measurements: VO2max, resting heart rate, lactic threshold estimation, threshold speed, aerobic and anaerobic training effect, training load. The watch therefore offers interesting tools to evaluate performance and optimize training.

Activity monitoring

The Pace offers activity monitoring that is now common on most cardio watches: distance, number of steps, calories burnt, sleep quality and, thanks to the barometric altimeter, number of floors climbed. However, it does not offer the possibility of defining objectives to be achieved.

watch and interface
Coros does not offer any web interface. You must have a smartphone to use the watch data.

Connected functions

They are basic. The Pace only knows how to manage Smartphone notifications (SMS, emails, incoming calls) and traditional applications (WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, FB, WeChat, FB Messenger). There is also an assistance function in the Smartphone application but nothing on the watch.

The interface

Coros does not offer any computer interface. It is therefore necessary to have a compatible Smartphone or to use a third-party application such as Strava or Apple Health to use the watch data on a computer.

The interface allows you to manage the recorded data, display the route on a map, display activity monitoring (sleep graphs, etc.) and customize the watch.

Coros highlights a data transfer speed up to twice as fast as its competitors, thanks to "UltraSync", an ultra-fast transfer function based on optimizing the size of data files.

watch and interface
Coros does not offer any web interface. You must have a smartphone to use the watch data.

Our opinion: a watch that has yet to mature further

The Coros Pace is an entry-level triathlon watch that is interesting for people who do not have a high budget or do not need extensive performance analysis.

For about 200 €, you can get a relatively complete triathlon watch. In addition to the fact that it seems not very robust (all plastic), the display is of high quality, the watch is light and the bracelet comfortable. It also offers a high degree of autonomy. It has a barometric altimeter, an accessory that is rarely offered on a watch of this price and that allows you to measure accurately altitude, altitude difference and slope. In terms of design and displays, Coros has obviously been inspired by Garmin, which gives a very user-friendly and practical interface.

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(liens commerciaux)

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Cet e-book devrait aider bon nombre de sportifs qui souhaitent se mettre au footing ou qui courent déja mais qui veulent progresser et trouver plus de plaisir dans leur sport. Guillaume Faure et Benoît Rey-Robert, 2 triathlètes passionés par le sport et cumulant à eux seuls plus de 40 ans d'expériences sportives, on regroupé dans ce livre illustré de nombreux conseils pour se motiver, s'entraîner efficacement et progresser ou encore perdre du poids. Un livre très complet et agréable à lire que nous recommandons aux débutants comme aux sportifs confirmés. 127 pages, 100% Satisfait ou remboursé.

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It is a pity that sports profiles are limited to triathlon activities and that one cannot program others. The watch is obviously not intended for hiking (despite its altimeter and compass) or walking, let alone skiing or weight training!

Regarding data reliability, a critical point when choosing a watch for sport, the Coros Pace still needs to make progress. Even if Coros displays tests on its website to demonstrate that the reliability of its GPS track is better than that of the market leaders, the reality is not so obvious. According to various tests carried out on the Coros Pace, the route is relatively good under favourable conditions but can be chaotic in situations where the competition is doing relatively well. Cardio accuracy is also good, but it can be random with high stalls when the heart rate is high or when the rhythm changes rapidly. We can hope to see improvements in future updates since the accuracy here is essentially related to firmware.

The watch offers interesting tools, such as aand anaerobic Training Effect (evaluation of the effects of training on aerobic and anaerobic capacities), lactic threshold evaluation, race time prediction and recovery time evaluation, tools found at Garmin in particular. However, this is not enough to match the Forerunner 735XT.

It is also a pity that the interface is not available for computers (you need a Smartphone to explore the watch data) and that it is not yet available in French.

The Coros Pace still has a long way to go to match the equivalent watches of the leaders. It remains nevertheless interesting for triathlon if you are a beginner or if you have a limited budget, especially since you will not find many triathlon watches as complete at this price level! Apart from the Forerunner 735XT, which dates from 2017, Garmin now only offers high-end triathlon watches, such as the Forerunner 945, the ultimate sports watch. At Suunto, we find the Suunto 5 (329 €) and, at Polar, the Polar Vantage M (279 €), triathlon watches released in 2019.

pack Garmin Forerunner 735XT

In comparison, the Forerunner 735XT, Garmin's closest entry-level triathlon watch, offers race dynamics, more complete physiological measures, more advanced connected functions (control of VIRB camera, music control of a Smartphone, LiveTrack for Internet tracking, etc.) and complete GPS navigation functions, not to mention the fame and experience of a major brand.

Coros has already made a number of improvements to its watch (addition of VO2max, interval training, new sports profiles, ANT+ compatibility, Galileo compatibility and soon Bluetooth Smart and French language for the interface and watch). It is also expected that the reliability of the measurements will improve with future firmware updates.

We therefore recommend this watch for people who practice triathlon and do not want to spend too much on a sports watch. Otherwise, you can turn to the Suunto 5 or the Polar Vantage M. For running and a watch of similar price, our preference is the Forerunner 245 (with or without mp3 player).

Also to be read: Comparison Polar Ignite, Polar Vantage M, Garmin Forerunner 245, Suunto 5 and Coros Pace: the differences, which one to choose

We liked
  • A triathlon watch at a low price
  • Its excellent autonomy (GPS mode and watch)
  • The barometric altimeter and its manual calibration
We would have liked
  • A slightly less cheap design
  • GPS navigation functions
  • Reliability of measurements: progress to be made

Price and availability

The Coros Pace is available in France at the recommended price of 199 €. Discover it at our partners and enjoy our reduction codes.

Buy Coros Pace

Price (from)
199 €

Commercial links. Prices are not contractual. Please visit the merchant site.

Philippe Baudoin
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