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DUEL: Garmin Forerunner 955 vs. Coros Apex 2 PRO

Tags: Fight | Garmin | Coros | Smart

19.1.2023 | 5 MIN

Today, the purely running watch models Garmin Forerunner 955 and Coros Apex 2 PRO will meet in a duel. And since everyone is primarily interested in the facts, let's get straight to it.

Internally very similar watches, but externally each one is slightly different. Although both models exude sportiness like a cyp (in Ostrava), they also have some extra smart functions.

Garmin Forerunner 955 review – Satisfied only with the best
Garmin Forerunner 955 review – Satisfied only with the best

Whats makes the models similar:

  • Light case
  • Dual-band GPS and excellent heart rate measuring
  • Long battery life
  • Music storage
  • Advanced sports features and metrics

In what ways do the watches differ:

  • Case material
  • Battery life
  • Music player options
  • Smart features
  • Price

That would be the basis, and let's we will dig into it in proper detail.

Plastics vs. Titanium

I will say right from the start that the Coros Apex PRO 2 is simply a model that is more pleasing to the eye. The titanium elements (bezel and back case) are larger than the all-plastic construction from Garmin.

499,00 € (delivery by 9.7.)

In terms of size, the Garmin has a diameter of some 46.5 mm and the Coros 46.1 mm. Well, what can we do, it's unrecognizable on the hand. And if we look at it in terms of weight, there is a difference of only a gram. 52g Garmin and 53g Coros. Again, I give a thumbs up to the fact that the Coros has titanium elements and does not look like a watch from a toy store.

The Coros comes with a nylon strap, and if you wanted a silicone one, you'd get a weight of 66g. But you can still put nylon on the Garmin. But it's still within grams and both models are regarded as light watches.

The more I look at these two models, the more convinced I am that Coros sat on the design longer. Profiling the case, fitting the strap, fitting the hand. Coros definitely has a point in this category.

Displays at the same level with added value again on the side of Coros

Not much happened with the displays in either case, and in both we find a transflective MIP display with a size of 1.3" and a resolution of 260 x 260. The biggest change is in the glass, where Garmin is equipped with Gorilla and Coros has sapphire. Neither has a problem with legibility in direct sunlight, but Coros has a plus for a more premium material.

And another plus is the use of the display. If we talk about sports activity and the distribution of data fields, then Coros can handle up to 8 of them, while Garmin only 6. Yes, it is a sufficient number, but it can be seen that Apex PRO 2 can work better with the display and its layout while maintaining a good readability.

So here we have the second point for Coros.

Sensor equipment

The sensors are exactly the same in the models, with one exception, which is the ECG sensor in the Coros. But the latter is used to measure the heart rate variability value, and the Forerunner 955 also measures this, so we're on the same point again.

But what differs is the accuracy of the sensors, where Garmin leads the way. Coros Apex PRO 2, as far as GPS is concerned, does not keep up. It undermeasures and the accuracy is dismal. And I tried two different pieces.

Well, take a look at the photos and the comparison.

Coros Apex Pro 2 - Fialová, Garmin Forerunner 955 - Modrá

Coros Apex Pro 2 - Purple, Garmin Forerunner 955 - Blue

Coros Apex Pro 2 - Fialová, Garmin Forerunner 955 - Modrá

Coros Apex Pro 2 - Purple, Garmin Forerunner 955 - Blue

Both models have been set up for the most accurate sensing possible.

Tepová frekvence sedí o poznání lépe a překvapuje mě, jak jsou oba modely citlivé. Kdysi ty křivky byly skoro "vyhlazené" a teď jde vidět, že lépe reagují na jakoukoli změnu. Ačkoliv s podchlazenou rukou si stále nerozumí.

Heart rate fits much better and I'm surprised at how sensitive both models are. At one point the curves were almost "smoothed" and now you can see that they respond better to any change. Although, neither gets along with the hypothermic hand...

Coros Apex Pro 2 - Fialová, Garmin Forerunner 955 - Modrá

Coros Apex Pro 2 - Purple, Garmin Forerunner 955 - Blue

The winner? Forerunner 955.

Battery life is great on both models

As for the battery, the Coros Apex 2 PRO wins again. But it's whatever really, the endurance is great on both models and you'll have no problem running a marathon or more with either model.

Coros Apex PRO 2
Garmin Forerunner 955
Smartwatch mode
30 days
15 days / 20 days*
Low power mode -

GPS 75 hrs.

42 hrs. / 49 hrs.*

All navigation systems
45 hrs.
31 hrs. / 34 hrs.*
All navigation systems + multi-frequency reception
26 hrs.
20 hrs. / 22 hrs.*

The biggest difference is the smartwatch mode, where Coros cheats a little. 30 days is only if you have your heart rate on every 10 minutes. If you have it on continuously, the endurance goes in half and we are on the endurance from Garmin. Forerunner 955 values with an asterisk define endurance with solar support.

If we look at endurance with active GPS, Apex 2 is the winner.

Athletes like no other

There is not much to deal with in terms of sports activities. If you want a proper watch for sports, these are the two models. There are no important sports activities missing. Garmin has a smaller advantage in that if you don't find something there, you can create or add an activity via Garmin Connect IQ. But then again, I give Coros a bonus for simplicity and the fact that you can't actually screw up the watch with any downloaded "stuff".

I would also like to look on the navigation features shortly, where Garmin fully rules. Although both devices have maps, if you start navigation on both, only Garmin lets you know about detours and simply navigates you. Coros only reports when you go off course. In addition, the Garmin map is a bit more detailed.

I wouldn't say there is anything missing in either of the models, but I would give Garmin a point for better handling of the navigation functions.

Garmin, the overlord of smart functions

Card payment, streaming services, the ability to unsubscribe from notifications, support for the Connect IQ store... I see a clear advantage for Garmin in all of this. Coros is not so good at smart functions, so you have to make do with the basics in the form of notifications, the "where is my phone" function and, for example, an alarm clock. It's great that they added music, but unfortunately no streaming services. I also see a slight advantage in the ability to control GoPro and Insta 360 cameras.

I give the Forerunner 955 a point for greater usability and smartness.

Nearly identical Fitness masters

If we now focus on the fitness functions, it is an absolute must here. Steps, floors, heart rate, calories, active minutes, evaluation of fatigue from training, prediction of race results, heart rate variability and sleep monitoring. Everything is there, everything is perfectly clear and understandable.

But it is a bit of a shame that Coros can't yet read heart rate variability all night and in milliseconds. This value can tell you a lot about your health, whether you are sick, tired, etc. So with Coros, you have to put your finger on the crown and wait for the value.

Final evaluation

To be honest, this decision kind of breaks my heart. Although I've been wearing Garmins for almost a decade, I prefer the Coros in this fight. But in terms of features and accuracy, I can't help but appreciate Garmin, that is simply more accurate. In terms of price, Garmin is about 2 thousand cheaper at this point of time, probably due to the use of a plastic case and mineral glass.

From a design point of view, the Coros definitely wins, but it just can't match the accuracy of the Garmin.


Watches mentioned in the article