A few months ago I reviewed, and then purchased, a COROS Vertix GPS adventure watch, and since then received an update that added touchscreen capability. Once again, COROS proves it may be the leader in updating existing products to make sure your purchase lasts for years.
In addition to supporting existing owners, COROS launched a new trade-in program where you can get up to $100 credit towards a new COROS purchase by trading in any brand of a working GPS watch. I haven't tried this out yet so don't yet have data on how much typical models are worth, but give it a try and see what COROS is willing to give you for your old watch.
The newest firmware coming to the Vertix, Apex Pro, Apex, and Pace (amazing how the company supports all of its devices) brings new views, enhanced features, and an awesome Track Run mode. I went to my local high school this past weekend to test out some new features and am impressed by the results.
COROS watch update
We typically see a company release a GPS sports watch or smartwatch and then provide some updates to tweak some things and add some improvements. However, major new features are typically reserved for newer generation wearables that forces consumers to upgrade the hardware to take advantage of new features. COROS continues to prove it supports all of its customers with updates across all the watches in its arsenal.
The updated smartphone app is available to download now with firmware updates for the Apex also now available. The Apex Pro and Vertix will get the firmware update by tomorrow with the Pace getting the firmware update in the next few weeks.
The smartphone app gets a new workout overview screen that shows a monthly summary for running data that combines run, trail run, and hike modes. You can also view fitness index history with VO2 max, lactate threshold, and more.
Watch enhancements and optimizations include:
- Adds enhanced daily HR option to display HR reading on select watch faces. Setup via System - Sensor - Daily HR.
- Adds weather forecast feature based on the last 6 hours of air pressure changes.
- Adds Storm Alert feature for imminent weather changes. Setup via System > Sensors > Barometer.
- Adds navigation for Bike mode.
- Adds arrows during the breadcrumb navigation to indicate direction in case of forks and turnarounds.
Track Mode test results
Running around on a 400 meter track should be a simple thing to get right for GPS sports watches. However, there seems to always be some error introduced and while it might seem minor at first, running many laps tends to throw the GPS off even further. The distance is clearly a known distance so the errors should be minimized, but your watch is always on one side of your body and may be blocked from the satellite occasionally.
The new Track Run mode from COROS, one of the workout options you can now select, uses GPS and algorithms to provide more accurate results. I ran 10 laps on a track and used four different GPS watches with the following results.
Garmin Forerunner 945
Polar Vantage V
Huawei Watch GT2
As you can see, my COROS Vertix was the only watch that achieved the exact distance I ran. Even better, in Track Run mode the watch counted the laps perfectly. This is helpful for those who run a lot of laps when you can easily forget which number you are on. I'm a fan of this new Track Run mode and may start doing more of this type of running to measure my improvement on a consistent venue.
You can even select exactly which lane you are running in since running all of your laps in outer lanes will be longer than 400 meters. You can even use a long press action to change the lane you are running in during your workout. I haven't seen any other watch provide this level of granularity for track running. You can even start your workout in Track Run mode away from the physical track and then the watch is smart enough to use your first lap to recognize you have started track running. The accuracy will increase starting on the second lap.
The Polar Vantage V is currently the only GPS watch that provides running power from the wrist. Others provide this data through external heart rate monitor or foot pod devices. COROS announced its small accessory that fits on your waistband behind your back called the COROS Performance Optimzation Device (POD). I'll be getting one to test soon so let me know if you have any questions as I take it for runs.
The COROS POD is available for $69.99 or $49.99 with the purchase of any COROS watch. In yet another great customer service move, existing COROS watch owners can also purchase the POD for $49.99 after logging in to the new COROS portal. BTW, you can also use the COROS portal to upload GPS data you tracked on other wearables before making your move to COROS.
The COROS POD will collect and help you view the following:
- Running Efficiency: The COROS POD helps track how much energy is involved in propelling your body forward. Using this metric in conjunction with all of the other great data provided by the POD you can train to become a more efficient runner – whether that allows you to run faster, farther or both is up to you.
- Running Power Analysis: The COROS POD takes into account your weight, speed and several other inputs when calculating your running power laterally, vertically and most importantly horizontally (forward propulsion). COROS is the first solution on the market to offer multi-directional power analysis.
- Advanced Running Metrics: The COROS POD provides the following metrics to help turn you into a smarter and more efficient runner: power, run efficiency, ground time, left/right balance, stride height, stride ratio, stride length and cadence.
I've been using a Stryd footpod to track running power and love using this metric since I run all over hills and need something better than pace or heart rate to guide my training.