COROS announces today a new update for its watches, strengthening the firmware update cycle to which we are getting used to lately. They are currently being quite consistent with a release cycle of new features every 2 or 3 months.
This time around there are small minor updates that are not going to be a major change in your daily workout, but it does show that the brand cares about the good performance of its watches and gives clues where they are heading to in the future.
I'll try to be brief, I've been testing the new features for a few days (as well as the COROS PACE 2, review that will be published very soon) and so I can clarify how each one of them affects you. Here are the features that includes the new firmware version and below I'll give you a sneak peak of each one.
New Feature Highlights
- Adds measurements to hundredths of a seconds to Run, Track Run, Bike, Pool Swim and Rowing modes.
- Adds checkpoint feature that allows users to record locations during outdoor workouts or navigatie with checkpoint-enabled GPS tracks.
- Workout program supports track run.
- App workout details include weather info including temperature, humidity, and wind.
- New map layer options in the app from Mapbox including outdoor terrain, winter, and dark.
The new features explained
The above is the information that COROS provides, but there are some details that are probably not clear, so I step to explain briefly what they are about.
First we have hundredths of a second. Now when we're doing an interval training and mark a lap (or we do it with the lap button), the watch records the times not only in seconds but also in hundredths of a second.
It may seem silly... but it all depends on what and how you're training. If you are doing 1K intervals you won't care much if the watch tells you that it took 3:45 or 3:46.
But imagine that what you're doing is 100m intervals because you're a sprinter. The difference here is important and you need to know if you're at 0:11 .27 or 0:11 .96.
Not only you can see it when you complete the lap, but also that in the analysis it appears detailed. Here you can see the difference between the COROS APEX Pro (with the new update) and the COROS PACE 2 (with the previous firmware version).
Next we have route navigation, which now includes the ability to show points of interest or waypoints halfway through the route, or create them while we are navigating (to return later, or to have it registered in case you want to do the route again another day).
When you sync a GPX route that contains point of interest data they can be seen on the map.
It also includes a screen with info about how much you have to travel in distance and elevation to reach that point. Also the direct direction to that point (which I marked in the image).
This can be useful so that when you create the GPX route you add points like water fountains, supplies, pizza restaurants... you know, all the important stuff. In the details you will be able to see the name of each point.
Likewise, while you are making a route you can create a waypoint from the quick access menu. To do this you simply have to long-press the lap button to display that menu, and select the option to save location.
Saving a location can be useful if you want to return to that place later, or if you're preparing a route for another day and want to mark something on the path. This will be saved in the activity's GPX file (which you can use again as a route another day) and will also be displayed in the training summary in the COROS app.
The third point is quite straightforward. COROS added in the middle of last year the possibility of creating training programs. But these programs were not compatible with the track profile, so if you wanted to do an interval workout on the track you had to use the standard Run profile, losing the chance to make use of the fantastic track profile that works so well on COROS.
Now we are only missing the possibility to do those workouts on the treadmill, because it is a profile that is also not compatible with the training sessions of the program.
As for the app there are two new features that we have thanks to new buttons that appear on the map. First we have data on temperature, humidity and wind. Pressing these buttons expands the information.
And secondly there are new map layers to view your workout route, also thanks to the button that appears on the map. Here are the different possibilities.
COROS continues to improve their products, which is always good news not only for users of its watches but also for those using any other brand (big competition only brings good things to customers).
The brand is walking a path that is increasingly consolidating it in the sector. It is no longer that watch that “looked like a Garmin but wasn't a Garmin” which was the original COROS PACE. Now there is a product of its own, differentiated and with bringing different ideas to the segment.
It is also important to note that these features are not only focused on new or higher-end watches (well, navigation features are, because obviously it is the high-end ones that can offer it), COROS does not forget about the models that have been on the market for years.
By the way, it becomes clear that having sponsored athletes in different sports is not only useful for marketing. For this update is clear they had feedback from someone who uses their products and needs certain features (hundredths of a second, points of interest). And since you're paying for a sponsorship, there's nothing better than asking your athletes for opinion on how to improve the product and what they need from it.
That's something I've criticized some brands for, being Huawei the latest. It is of no use to have quality hardware if you fail to bring a software at the same level; not because it works poorly, but because the implementation of the features are done by engineers who do not know exactly the demands of athletes if they don't do workout themselves.
I would say that COROS is 80% of its definitive implementation in the market. It still has to correct youth failures (such as the demand they couldn't keep up with PACE 2), strengthen a distribution network (although they are increasingly seen in more stores) and make themselves known not only among the most enthusiastic users but within the general public. But they don't need to rush... step by step.
And with that... thanks for reading!