Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


This is the lightest GPS sports watch I've tested, and I can't believe the price

The Pace 3 is a near-perfect GPS sports watch for most people, with a low price, long battery life, and extensive training and analysis tools.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Matthew Miller/ZDNET

I visited the Coros CES booth back in 2018, primarily to take a closer look at its Omni bone-conduction bike helmet. The Coros Pace GPS sports watch was also being demonstrated and, since then, the company has launched numerous wearables under the Pace, Apex, and Vertix lines. We're now on version three of the Pace, and I've been testing it.

Also: Coros rolls out limited edition Chamonix Apex 2 Pro

The new Coros Pace 3 has only been on my wrist for a week, but it packs a serious punch and is clearly the "undisputed lightweight champ". With the nylon band, the weight is just 30 grams, which makes it one of the lightest GPS sports watches available today. In addition to that, the Pace 3 is also light on your wallet with a price of just $229. The Garmin 200 series is similar in functionality, but priced at least $100 more.

View at Coros

Coros has always been known for its competitive pricing but is even better known for its superb battery life. With typical usage lasting 24 days and GPS tracking battery life of an amazing 38 hours, there is no other watch close to this level of performance. With dual frequency enabled, battery life is rated for 15 hours, and the watch charges in just 1.5 hours.

Also: You basically don't need to charge this Garmin smartwatch

The Pace 3 has an ample 1.2-inch memory-in-pixel LCD with 240 x 240 pixels resolution. The always-on display is nice to have so that the time and other information are available at a quick glance. Unlike most other watches in this price range, the Pace 3 sports a touchscreen display along with a button and a rotating crown/button on the right side to support navigation of the watch operating system. A high-strength polymer body surrounds the mineral glass display.

The lugs on the Pace 3 support standard 22mm watch bands. The nylon band that arrived with the evaluation unit was very light and comfortable, and it's the band I'd recommend if you'd like to keep the wearable as comfortable as possible. Still, the watch is quite durable with a 5 ATM water-resistant rating.

Also: I test hundreds of smartwatches, but this one's been on my wrist all year

The Coros Pace 3 can even store your music files and play them back to you via a connected Bluetooth headset. There is no support for built-in subscription music services, but my workout MP3 collection played flawlessly from the Pace 3 to the Shokz OpenRun Pro headset.


The Coros Pace 3 (left) beside other larger offerings.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios are also packed inside the small 42mm diameter body. Five GNSS are available, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS. This tiny sports watch also supports dual L1 and L5 frequencis for accurate positioning.

Review: Coros Apex 2 Pro: Cheaper sports watches are getting good

More than 20 sports are available for tracking, including activities in running, riding, water sports, winter sports, and cardio activities. Free training plans and workouts are available in the extensive smartphone application while the Training Hub website provides an advanced analysis tool for Coros watch users. You can even get free advice from actual coaches through the Training Hub.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Lewis Wu, CEO and Co-Founder of COROS Wearables stated: 

For years, COROS has been pushing the boundaries of what is possible; our PACE 2 set the industry standard with innovative features backed by a top-notch training system and has continued to be worn by many of the world's top athletes. With the launch of the COROS PACE 3, we are renewing our commitment to everyone who wants to improve their athletic performance by giving them the best equipment, with even more features enabling them to continue training hard to be their best.

ZDNET's buying advice

The Coros Pace 3 is available in white or black with nylon or silicone band options. The nylon and silicone bands are available separately for $29. If you are looking for your first GPS sports watch, I highly recommend you try out the Pace 3 for just $229.

I like big watches and have larger wrists, so I personally prefer the Vertix 2 or Apex 2 Pro for my daily driver. However, the tiny lightweight Pace 3 is an awesome watch for sleep tracking and 24/7 wear while offering almost all of the same capabilities in a smaller form factor and at a very affordable price. You can also count on Coros providing updates for the Pace 3 for years to come while the Training Hub serves as a fantastic tool for tracking your fitness progress.

Also: Coros just made the most comfortable heart rate monitor I've ever tested

Not every person has large enough wrists to support big GPS sports watches that pack in a host of features. Thankfully, the Coros Pace 3 offers just about everything you would want in a GPS sports watch in a size that satisfies those with smaller wrists. Along with its size, the price is not as hefty as what you'd pay for competing GPS sports watches that can offer fewer functions and features. 

Editorial standards