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COROS vs Garmin Watches | Best Smartwatch 2021 Comparison

Coros vs Garmin? We compare some of the best smartwatches from these two brands.

APEX Pro vs Forerunner 945, VERTIX vs fēnix 6, and PACE 2 vs Forerunner 245

What is the best smartwatch when it comes to Coros vs Garmin? That depends on you and what you want out of a GPS smartwatch. Are you training for a triathlon? Do you lead a very active lifestyle? Are you known to disappear into the backcountry for days?

Both Garmin and Coros are brands that are brilliant at creating GPS smartwatches geared toward specific activities like running, hiking, golfing, and much more!

The COROS brand focuses on training in the outdoors, mountain altitudes, and for sports performance. Garmin watches are engineered to help everyone from amateurs to athletes pursue their passions and personal best.

In this article, we compare the features of GPS smartwatches in three categories from both COROS and Garmin. Read on to find out which premium running watch, outdoor GPS watch, or multisport GPS smartwatch is the one for you!

Features to Look For in a GPS Smartwatch

Training Features

A smartwatch should have the special features that align with how you want to use it. For example, if you want to train for a triathlon, it should provide profiles and metrics for running, cycling, and swimming.

Health Monitoring

Any mid-range to high-end fitness watch should include basic health-monitoring, such as heart rate and oxygen saturation. Brands like Garmin and COROS offer exciting advanced health features.

GPS and Navigation Tools

COROS and Garmin GPS watches provide even more navigational tools beyond GPS. They often include multiple satellite imagery navigation along with maps, compasses, and other real-time route-tracking features.

Smart Features

Get the convenience of your phone on your wrist. Garmin and COROS GPS Watches provide smart notifications when paired with a compatible phone.


Because you shouldn't have to sacrifice style for even the most durable GPS wearable, loaded with advanced technology.

Battery Life

 The GPS smartwatch you choose should have the juice to power you through every challenge.

Shared Features for Each Brand


Because we want to use the space in this article to tell you what is special about each individual watch, we're going to tell you all the features in common between the 3 models for each brand. That way, when we get to the comparison part, you can see the features that set each GPS smartwatch apart, and find the one that speaks to you and your passion.




Features in Common Between The COROS Models in This Article

The COROS APEX Pro, VERTIX, and PACE 2 all come with:

    • Satellite navigation: GPS, QZSS,
      GLONASS, and BeiDou
    • Altimeter, barometer, compass
    • UltraMax Battery Mode
    • Advanced training analytics
    • Smart notifications
    • Water resistance
    • Wrist-based heart rate
    • Recovery time
    • Interval, triathlon, multisport training
    • Training plan
    • Strength training
    • Running power from wrist
    • ANT+ accessories
    • Swimming heart rate
    • Sleep monitoring
    • 3rd Party Integration
    • (Strava, TrainingPeaks, etc)
    • Digital Dial

Features in Common Between the Garmin Models in This Article

The Garmin Forerunner 945, fēnix 6, and Forerunner 45 all include:

    • Color, sunlight-readable display
    • Wrist-based heart rate
    • Body Battery™
    • Advanced sleep monitoring
    • Multi-GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)
    • Accelerometer
    • Smart notifications
    • Controls smartphone music
    • Safety tracking features (LiveTrack, Incident Detection, etc.)
    • Basic activity tracking (step counter, calories burned)
    • Basic training features (interval training, advanced workouts, VO2 Max, etc.)
    • Basic running features (running profiles, GPS-based distance, time, and pace, etc.)
    • Basic cycling (cycling profiles, goal alerts, etc.)
    • Water resistant

COROS APEX Pro vs Garmin Forerunner 945

The COROS APEX Pro Premium GPS Running Watch

What makes the COROS APEX pro multisport watch an amazing running partner? It has the endurance and durability to go with you anywhere. With 40 hours of FULL GPS battery life, you can run that 100 miler through the mountains—no sweat! (At least for the battery!)

Speaking of which, if you do like to run in extreme conditions like the mountains, this is the watch for you. It has Altitude Mode, with hourly acclimatization evaluations. The Apex Pro sports a titanium frame, sapphire glass for scratch resistance, and is waterproof to 100m.

This COROS GPS smartwatch model also has a touchscreen and digital dial, giving you options and making it even easier for you to adjust your navigation track up/down or zoom in/out.

COROS watches are tested and approved by athletes and coaches. In training mode you can download their workouts, as well as create and share your own. Paired with the COROS app, you'll find you can build limitless workouts for running, cycling, swimming, and more!

This premium running watch has also fined-tuned GPS tracking on a standard track and has a night mode for a backlight your eyes can adjust to. The COROS APEX Pro is the GPS watch for the athlete who runs and trains in all environment and conditions.

The Garmin Forerunner 945 Premium GPS Running Watch

The Garmin Forerunner 945 is an elite GPS running watch designed to help you train. It's loaded with performance metrics including Running Dynamics, which shows you cadence, stride, contact time, balance, and more, to offer insight on your form, allowing you to adjust and improve.

It includes Training Status, a metric that evaluates your recent exercise history and performance indicators to let you know if you’re training productively, peaking, or overreaching. Training Effect shows you how your workouts are affecting endurance, speed, and power. And Training Load is a stat that measures your 7-day exercise volume and compares it to the optimal range for your fitness and recent training history.

The Forerunner 945 premium running watch also offers recovery time that factors in all-day stress, sleep, and daily activity outside workouts.

For extra navigation, it provides features like full color mapping, ClimbPro, Turn-By-Turn navigation, and roundtrip routing.

It has a high battery life, with up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, 10 hours in GPS mode with music, and 36 hours with GPS and no music.

Speaking of music, if you are the kind of athlete who needs their jams, the Forerunner 945 let's you store up to 1,000 songs—no phone needed!

There's a ton of additional training and advanced performance analytics available with this Garmin watch from Firstbeat metrics. If you're a runner who wants serious training and feedback paired with music and style, this Garmin is the wearable for you!

Garmin fēnix 6 vs COROS VERTIX

Garmin fēnix 6 Pro GPS Adventure Watch (Pro Solar and Sapphire Options Available)

The Garmin fēnix 6 Pro has many of the same advanced features as the Forerunner 945, including Running Dynamics, Training Status, Training Effect, Training Load, and more!

Where this GPS adventure watch stands out is in size, ruggedness, and power. Yet it thoroughly maintains sophistication with advanced technology and convenience as an everyday watch with smart features like emails, alerts, texts, paying from the wrists, and storage for up to 2,000 songs.

Also, the fēnix 6 rugged multisport watch has several model options, which we will touch on with each specialized feature. Prices vary between models.

For display size, it's always optimal to have a large color touchscreen on your wrist when your GPS watch is loaded with features. The fēnix 6 has a 1.3" screen, while the fēnix 6S has a 1.2" for smaller wrists, and the fēnix 6X has a 1.4" for those who want the largest touchscreen. Keep in mind that with a larger display comes a larger case size, which means more battery power (and more cost). We'll get to that in a moment.

For ruggedness, all Garmin fēnix 6 Pro watches are tested to U.S. military standards for thermal, shock, and water resistance. You can opt for the fēnix 6 Pro Sapphire edition, which adds a scratch-resistant sapphire lens and premium materials.

And finally, let's talk battery life. You can really extend the power in your adventure watch with the fēnix 6 lineup that has Max Battery mode and solar-charging options. With the Garmin fēnix 6 Pro, you get up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, 72 hours with Max Battery GPS mode, and 28 days in Expedition GPS Activity. When you opt for the Solar edition, you get up to 16 days in smartwatch mode, 93 hours with Max Battery GPS mode, and 36 days in Expedition GPS Activity.

Whether you take it surfing, backcountry skiing, or mountain biking, the Garmin fēnix 6 Pro adventure watch can perform wherever you roam!

The COROS VERTIX GPS Adventure Watch

Like the fēnix 6, the COROS VERTIX GPS adventure watch is rugged and sophisticated—and we would add that the VERTIX GPS outdoor smartwatch accomplishes in one watch what Garmin spread out over the fēnix 6 lineup.

The VERTIX doesn't have size options but has opted for a 1.2" screen. However, it comes standard with a titanium bezel and cover material and an impressive sapphire-glass with diamond-like coating to make its display extremely resilient.

For durability, it does go beyond Garmin's already impressive military rated standard in the fēnix 6 collection. It is the only GPS watch of its kind to have a 150-meter water rating (the fēnix 6 has 100-meter). The COROS VERTIX works in down to -4°F/-20°C and lasts for 21 hours in GPS mode under -22°F/-30°C extreme testing.

This premium adventure watch also sports a formidable battery life of 45 days in regular use, 60 hours in full GPS, and 150 hours in UltraMax mode.

Mountain climbers, you'll get 24/7 blood oxygen monitoring in Altitude Mode, providing daily acclimatization evaluation and suggesting when it is safe to climb higher.

Even though it's tough and powerful, this watch is lightweight—just 54 g not including the band.

Whether underwater or in thick winter gloves, the Digital Dial makes it easy to control your COROS VERTIX with just one finger. And the touchscreen allows you to easily adjust your navigation path.

Night Mode will keep your screen backlit, so that your eyes can easily adjust to it in the dark.

And, of course, you can get any workout anywhere with this GPS smartwatch.

If you want an outdoor watch that can take the extremes you take it to and puts the A+ in "Adventure", then the COROS VERTIX premium adventure watch is the perfect choice!

COROS PACE 2 vs Garmin Forerunner 45

The COROS PACE 2 GPS Multisport Watch

Keep it super light and ultra fast with the easy to use Coros Pace 2 premium GPS sport watch. There's no fat on this feisty wearable at just 29g with the Coros nylon band.

Despite its ultra featherlight weight, it boasts a 1.5x more powerful processor, offers 5x more RAM, and 4x more storage than the original Coros Pace.

Even more impressive, the COROS PACE 2 still has room for a battery life that last 30 hours in full GPS and 20 days in daily use.

And while this premium GPS multisport watch has an attractive price, it doesn't skimp on training features. It's packed with sports modes for running, biking, swimming, strength training, and has an impressively accurate track mode!

This mighty and lightweight sport watch is available with a breathable nylon band, and the COROS DIGITAL DIAL makes it easy to use. You can also count on it to auto-detect your body movement and monitor heart rate and calories burned.

If you want a premium multisport watch that won't weigh you down and will raise you up to your personal best for an attractive price, you want the COROS PACE 2 as your new personal trainer!

The Garmin Forerunner 45/45S GPS Multisport Watch

Gearing up for your first 5K? The Garmin Forerunner 45 is a basic running watch for beginners. But there’s nothing basic about it, considering it's packed with training workouts, health-monitoring, safety features, and profiles for cycling as well.

It’s simple and lightweight design comes in two size options: the Forerunner 45 has a 42 mm diameter, while the 45S has an even sleeker 39 mm diameter. The sweat-ready silicone band fits comfortably and won’t chafe, and you'll love the sunlight-readable color display.

Get free adaptive training plans with Garmin Coach and built-in sports apps, for when you want to switch things up. Wrist-based heart rate makes taking your pulse a thing of the past. And built-in GPS gives you accurate stats on your location, distance, pace, and intervals.

Features like Stress Tracking, Body Battery™ Energy Monitor, and Fitness Tracking help you optimize your training while keeping an eye on your health.

Get notifications from your smartphone along with assistance and incident detection features that send your location to your contacts. Also, easily control the music on your smartphone through your running watch.

If you're looking to get up and get moving, the Forerunner 45 is an attractive starter fitness watch, loaded with Garmin's fundamental features at a very attractive price!

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