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On these pages and on the blog xiaomitoday.it at the level of smart wearables we have really seen a multitude of them, but we have never focused on a real smartwatch, except in the particular case of the Amazfit Stratos series. In this market segment the names that resonate in the pinnacle of quality are undoubtedly Suunto, Garmin and Polar but alas the cost is definitely embarrassing for most users, but fortunately we have found a valid alternative to the more famous sports wearables. Let's find out the COROS Pace 2 together, in this complete review.
I will not go to bore you with the history of the brand, but I still want to say a few words towards this American company, which also distributes its products in our market. Over the years COROS has increasingly refined its tools and technology, combining innovation with hardware, offering products that over the years have also obtained numerous awards in the reference sector, with the sole purpose of offering the right tools to the athlete, to the right price.
Well, but now let's start by analyzing the sales package, which in the case of our sportwatch looks like a cube with the image of the product in evidence and a summary of the primary functions of the sports watch. Inside the box we find the following equipment:
- COROS Pace 2;
- USB charging cable with proprietary plug-in connection;
- manuals (present the Italian language);
- silicone cap to protect the charging contacts;
- COROS custom stickers.
Before going into specifics, I want to immediately underline the importance of the supplied silicone cap, which will serve to protect the charging contacts. But from what? Well, our sportwatch has a waterproof certification up to 5 ATM and therefore the aforementioned tool prevents any oxidation of contacts in contact with water, as well as denoting the attention that the brand places in small details. which often make the difference between a good product and a poor one.
I state that the COROS Pace 2 is suitable for both a male and female audience, both for the design adopted but also because of the rather small size. In fact, we are talking about a 42 mm case and a thickness of 1,7 mm, while the weight settles on 35 grams if you choose the variant with a silicone strap, while we go down to only 29 grams if you prefer the model with a silicone strap. nylon, resulting in excellent comfort, free from particular hassles in terms of wearability. On balance COROS Pace 2 is the lightest sportwatch with integrated GPS in the world but above all one of the most comfortable. In fact in our case, or the variant with a silicone strap, this is ultra-breathable as it is equipped with a series of slots and holes, which contribute not only to the comfort and adaptability of the watch on any type of wrist, but also contribute to a perfect fit to aid the accuracy of cardiac monitoring. In any case, the strap offers a quick release and a 20 mm pitch, so that you can customize your outfit with the many replacement solutions available on the net.
At the level of pure design, the COROS Pace 2 is as beautiful as it is minimal, keeping faith with the use of materials definitely suitable for sport, that is a fiber-reinforced polymer that gives extreme solidity and resistance to the watch while to protect the display we find a Corning Gorilla Glass. On the right profile we find 2 physical buttons, 1 of which in the shape of a ring, which allow navigation through all the system menus of the sportwatch, considering that these will be the only one allows for the use of the COROS Pace 2 because the display it does not offer the touchscreen.
If you think about it, this is a really brilliant feature because it will allow us to use the smart watch even with gloves or during intense sports activities where even the hands are sweaty, or underwater. By turning the top button, from the standby of the clock, this will be unlocked while continuing the rotation you will access the daily statistical data as well as the notifications, while other functions of this button, when pressed, are the confirmation of some actions or access to the sports monitoring menu.
The lower key, on the other hand, allows you to choose which information to display in the watchfaces or go back from the menu in which it is located, while if held down, it allows you to access a series of quick toggles, but for greater clarity I will summarize everything in this diagram:
LOWER BUTTON (held down) for QUICK TOGGLE:
- here we find the possibility to activate / deactivate the night mode which will disable the backlight up to 1 hour after sunrise;
- we have the possibility to choose which watchfaces to display, drawing up to 5 different skins (many others available for free from the companion app) which can also be customized in the color gradient;
- we find the alarm function that can be set directly from the clock with a lot of frequency customization;
- we find the timer, stopwatch and compass;
- we can enable the ULTRAMAX mode, a function that halves the battery consumption in RUN mode, thus ensuring the presence of the GPS signal and the data monitor, without weighing too much on autonomy
- then we find a metronome, from which the BPM can be set, ideal for athletes who need to synchronize their movements with certain speeds or cadences of time;
- we can view the battery statistics, having in real time also the residual times in case of use of the GPS, or an estimate of how many days we still have autonomy with our usual use;
- we can then view the heart rate value in real time, activate / deactivate the DND mode and finally enter the settings from which to improve the performance of the heart rate sensors, barometer, altimeter and GPS but also add accessories and sensors, thanks to Bluetooth technology 4.2 and ANT +, such as heart rate bands, speed sensors, etc. but it does not end here as we can also customize the data interface in sports mode, allowing the automatic scrolling of the information displayed on the screen, the size of the font, the background (white or black) and whether or not to receive notifications from apps or calls. Finally, you can define the position of the watch up to, that is to say whether it is worn on the left or right wrist, enable the active backlight with gesture, the direction of rotation of the bezel button, enable / disable the vibration or the buzzer, the self-lock and more.
TOP BUTTON (rotation only) for DAILY DATA:
- we find the notifications section, which can only be read or deleted, but you cannot reply or even view emojis or photos. More than fair, considering that COROS Pace 2 is a sportwatch and not a smartwatch.
- We can view sunrise and sunset times, view temperature, atmospheric pressure, altimeter data, history and real-time heart rate.
- We can also have a summary of daily activity data, such as calories, steps, elevation (flights of stairs) and physical activity time. Finally, there are 3 tabs dedicated to performance, fatigue and rest for the RUNNING mode, which are activated after at least one week of activity.
Sorry for the "pippone" but it was a duty by virtue of the many functions available. Overall, the construction was very solid and resistant to shocks in general and to this is added, as already mentioned, an IP68 certification up to 5 ATM, therefore resistant to immersion in water so much that it can also monitor water sports.
The display adopted on COROS Pace 2 is of a circular 1,2-inch type with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels with transflective TFT technology, protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass and anti-fingerprint treatment. The transflective technology proves to be a winning weapon for this device, as it allows excellent visibility under direct sunlight and therefore outdoors where we generally play most of the sports that we can monitor. Indeed, the brighter the light, the more visible the display will be, thus allowing you to identify the required information.
We also find a sort of Always On Mode, as the display always remains active showing the basic screen, really consuming poco in terms of battery. We do not find the presence of an automatic brightness sensor as there is a backlight that will allow us to read the contents of the display when we are in the dark. In this regard, the backlight, if we decide to carry out sports activities at night, was rather intense to allow the readability of the display in the dark but at the same time dim, so as not to bother the eyes. This always remains active during the sports monitor phase, automatically turning off at the end of the workout or one hour after sunrise.
To conclude the overview of the display, this can be activated through the gesture of the rotation of the wrist or through the top button but above all we can go to act on the change of the watchfaces, available through the companion app.
COROS Pace 2 is a champion of autonomy, which on average also reaches 20 days of continuous use, without having to give up the H24 monitoring of heart rate and sleep, receiving notifications, alarm clock, vibration and of course the collection of statistical data of our daily activities and as already mentioned, we can also benefit from the ULTRAMAX mode if we want to monitor a run but have low residual charge. The recharge takes place in about 2 hours by means of the cable with proprietary connection, which I prefer to the classic bases or magnetic pogo pins, obtaining greater stability and less bulk.
Unfortunately I do not know the technical specifications of the hardware used but according to the company the COROS Pace 2 has a processor 1,5 times more powerful, 5 times the amount of RAM and 4 times more storage space for data storage, than the previous generation. Of course I cannot verify these data but I can assure you that this sportwatch has never shown signs of jamming, slowdowns or lag, on the contrary the fluidity and reactivity with which you move in the system or you get answers from it is really excellent. Moreover, hyper completes the sensors that see an optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, barometer, compass, gyroscope, thermometer, accelerometer and of course GPS / GLONASS / Beidou at work (a future update will also bring Galileo).
The software that moves this COROS Pace 2 is quite complete with functions but unfortunately I have to report the absence of the Italian language, which should arrive with a future firmware update while it should not arrive and therefore confirm itself as absent the possibility of monitoring the SpO2 value, for many important indicator in some sports.
Apart from that the true essence of Pace 2 comes out in the monitoring of the sport which basically offers 19 different sports activities, namely running, indoor running, circuit running, cycling, spinning, swimming in the pool, swimming in open water, rowing, rowing machine, canoeing at speed, triathlon, strength, cardio fitness, GPS cardio, multisport as well as the possibility of importing personalized training programs. It is of course possible to set goals and alerts. Before starting, we will be able to consult on the satellite maps the coverage we have available from each system to choose the combination that is most useful for us.
We also have advanced metrics such as training load, recovery time, anaerobic threshold and VO2max etc .. data that will allow us to refine our training effortlessly. The thing that particularly surprised me is the reliability and accuracy of the data that make use of algorithms developed by COROS, but above all I want to emphasize that the sportwatch of the American brand, thanks to the altimeter / barometer, boasts the "sensor" of integrated power without having to combine external sensors, allowing you to generate training plans based on power goals together with classic ones based on rhythm and heart rate bands, a function that only COROS Pace 2 offers.
The GPS also captures the signal in very short times and overall the data collected by the sportwatch are reliable and precise, comparable to a Suunto 9, with really negligible differences. Furthermore, when a pause (which is automatic) is performed during training, a new stopwatch is activated to indicate the rest time, also a unique function of its kind. In addition, as already mentioned there is a training mode on the track, in which improvements are applied in the software that eliminate discordant data and increase its accuracy considerably.
The data displayed is also super complete and able to study targeted training plans, for example in swimming the information available will be: number of strokes, style, SWOLF score and stroke ratio.
Before moving on to the smartphone side software, which offers other goodies, I want to mention the smart side of Pace 2, which is limited to receiving notifications, but limiting the action to only reading / deleting it without the possibility of responding, as well as for calls it is possible to change or reject the call as the device does not have a microphone and speaker. Good thing is that we can receive notifications from all the apps on the smartphone.
As promised we are talking about the companion application of COROS Pace 2, available for both iOS and Android and which responds to the name of COROS. From the home we will have under control all the data relating to calories, activity time, steps, heart rate and sleep monitor, the latter precise result both for recording the start and end data as well as detecting when we are awake in the night and relative graphic trend of our heart. At the moment it is not possible to import .GPX tracks but we can build customized training programs. Furthermore, considering that indoor sport is becoming more and more popular, COROS dedicates a strength training mode in which we will be able to select the muscle groups that we will train. In fact, it is possible to consult a muscle map of our body to remind us of the areas we have trained in the last few sessions. It is also possible to share the data of our workouts with third-party applications such as Strava or TrainingPeaks, Adidas Run etc .. and draw on the many customizations of the screen (watchfaces).
At the selling price of € 199,99, the COROS Pace 2 is undoubtedly a best buy, not only for the list price itself but for the level of performance offered. Ideal if not perfect for running but also for the other sports mentioned, counting on unique and innovative functions such as running mode and power sensor. The ease of use net of the many functions, the reliability and the wide autonomy are points on which the Pace 2 becomes unbeatable, not to mention the affordable price.
For price and performance, the Pace 2 by COROS is positioned as the fiercest rival compared to more well-known brands such as Garmin, Suunto and Polar. There are many functions dedicated to sport and the goodness of the data collected as well as a super autonomy that will accompany you in your athletic adventures.
- UNIQUE AND INNOVATIVE FUNCTIONS
- OPTICAL SENSOR WORKING ALSO UNDER WATER
- READABILITY OF THE DISPLAY
- NO ITALIAN LANGUAGE
- TOO FEW SMARTWATCH FUNCTIONS