Coros Watch (Pace/Apex/Apex Pro/Vertix) FAQs

This is a collection of questions and answers i’ve received or run across in various Facebook groups and decided to write it all here once instead of having to re-type this every time the same or similar question comes up. I do own a Coros Apex 46mm, and it’s the best GPS watch i’ve ever owned. That being said, it’s important to mention that I am not at all affiliated with Coros, I don’t work for Coros, and Coros does not pay me for anything. I just got tired of repeating myself and thought this would be a more efficient way to answer questions.

Why does Strava show a shorter time and faster pace than what I see in the Coros app?

To understand the discrepancy, it’s important to understand how data is shared from your watch to Strava (and other third party applications).

Coros logs data in 1 second intervals unless you have the watch set to UltraMax mode and then it logs every 60 seconds. When an activity is completed, this data is uploaded to the cloud via the Coros app and is visualized in to what you see as an activity in the Coros app. When this data is shared with third party apps like Strava, the data is put in to a FIT file (Flexible and Interoperable data Transfer) and the entire FIT file is sent to Strava (or other app). The FIT file includes a time stamp, activity type, GPS position, heart rate, distance, cadence, speed, enhanced speed, step length, enhanced altitude, and altitude. At that point, Strava (or other 3rd party apps) will process the data, apply their own unique algorithms, and visualize the data accordingly including distance, time, and pace.

Sample FIT file

Sample FIT file

Now that you understand the process, the answer to the question is that Strava has a tendency to selectively remove data points where it deems you may have been stopped (tying a shoe, stopped at an intersection, using the bathroom, etc.) or where it thinks you are moving too slow. Once it removes these data points, it calculates time and pace accordingly and you end up with a discrepancy. In this case, Strava is the reason for the discrepancy and not Coros. There’s nothing wrong with your watch or the Coros app. If the discrepancy bothers you, open up the activity in Strava and set the Type to Race. This tells Strava to leave all the stops/slowness in and you will see the total time and pace match exactly with Coros.

Why won’t Strava show the calibrated distance if I run on a treadmill and calibrate at the end of my run?

This is another side effect of the way data is shared with Strava (and other apps). The FIT file (Flexible and Interoperable data Transfer) format does not contain totals for an activity. Instead it just has an entry for every second of an activity. When the FIT file is received by Strava, the total distance, time, pace, etc. is calculated accordingly. It’s not possible to provide the calibrated distance to Strava becuase the FIT file does not have any accommodation for this.

Why is my resting heart rate (RHR) higher then when my heart rate when I sleep? Shouldn’t it match my sleeping heart rate?

If you click on the information button next to Fitness Index, you’ll see that Resting Heart Rate (RHR) is the lowest heart rate reading detected when you are relaxing and awake throughout a day. That means it’s possible for your sleeping heart rate to be lower since RHR does not include measurements when you are sleeping.

Why isn’t my data showing up in Apple Health, and how come if I go to the shield icon and 3rd Party Apps and select Apple Health, it doesn’t have any option to connect?

Unlike other apps where the credentials need to be supplied to connect with the Coros app, Apple Health is already on your phone and doesn’t require credentials. The way to configure/enable Apple Health is via the Health app. To enable Coros data to be sent to Apple Health, open the Health app, click Profile (the icon of a person in the top right corner), click Apps, click Coros, and either select Turn All Categories On, or enable specific data categories individually. Word of caution, if you enable all categories, you may get your steps counted twice in Apple Health since they are also on by default in Apple Health. You can either turn them off in Apple Health (which confusingly is done through the iPhone Settings -> Privacy -> Motion & Fitness page) or turn them off under the Coros configuration.

What is the difference between all the various profiles (called Custom Interfaces in the Coros app) like Run, Trail Run, Indoor Run, etc.?

Generally speaking, the profiles are simply a more organized way to choose which fields you want to display during an activity. For instance, when you are doing a road run on a flat road (or track), you may not care about elevation or vert, but you may want to see this data while doing a trail run.

In the case of Coros, some of the profiles also have other unique characteristics. For instance, all of the Indoor or Gym profiles will disable the GPS since you won’t be able to get a reliable signal indoors. The Run profile (inexplicably since I generally only do intervals on a treadmill) is the only profile that has an Interval mode. Trail Run will default to using 3D Distance instead of Distance, and also has a Resume Later option in case you take long breaks between runs but want to capture it all as one activity (stage races for instance). Keep in mind, there are probably some other nuances to the various profiles not covered here. If I’ve missed any, contact me below so I can update this for everyone else’s benefit.

Can I combine multiple workouts into a single workout and re-upload them to Coros?

Yes, this is possible but there’s no guarantee that it will work 100% of the time. The tool used to merge FIT files is not owned or managed by Coros, and the Bulk Uploaded tool provided by Coros is still in beta which means both or either of these tools could still have bugs in them. In order to do this there are 3 major steps.

Step 1: Exporting your activity files

  1. Open the Coros app on your phone
  2. Click the Activity icon (running person) on the bottom
  3. Scroll to and select the first activity you want to merge
  4. Click the share button in the top right corner (square box with an arrow)
  5. Click Export Data
  6. Select .fit file
  7. Use one of the options to get the file to your computer (Airdrop, email, etc.)
  8. Repeat all of these steps for each activity you want to merge

Step 2: Merging your activity files

  1. With all the files now on your computer, open a browser and go to https://www.fitfiletools.com/
  2. Click Launch under the File Combiner tool
  3. Under Step 1, either drag all the FIT files exported in step 1 above or click the …or select files button and choose all the FIT files
  4. Under Step 2 click GO
  5. A merged FIT file will now be downloaded automatically to your computer

Step 3: Uploading your activity files

  1. Open a browser and go to the Coros Bulk Uploader tool https://en.coros.com/web/reg/login.html
  2. Login with your Coros credentials
  3. Click Import Data
  4. Select the FIT file that was downloaded in step 2 above.

The new merged activity should now be uploaded and should be visible in your browser and if you open the Coros app on your phone. At this point you’ll probably want to go and delete the individual activities. You can do this in the Coros app by swiping left on each activity and selecting Delete.

What does the message “Remaining valid duration XX hours” mean and what do I do about it?

GPS satellites are in geo-synchronous orbit around the earth and move in predictable paths. Coros watches have a feature that allows you to download or pre-cache the next two weeks worth of satellite locations. The reason for this is so when you start an activity, the watch knows exactly where the satellites are and can lock on to the signal almost instantly so you aren’t standing around waiting to start your activity. Coros watches have a limited amount of storage to hold this data, so it must be refreshed periodically. Normally when you sync your watch with your phone, it will get updated but if it’s been a while since you’ve synced you will get this message indicating that the location data won’t be valid for much longer. In order to resolve it:

  1. Open the Coros App on your phone
  2. Click the watch icon (bottom right)
  3. Click GPS Satellite Data

How do I use the watch to run intervals?

Currently, you can only do intervals in the Run profile. In order to set up and run intervals:

  1. Unlock the watch by rotating the dial
  2. Click the dial to get to the screen where an activity profile can be selected
  3. Scroll to and select Run
  4. Scroll to and select Interval Training
  5. Configure your desired interval settings
    • Repeat = Number of desired intervals
    • Run = Time in minutes you want to run
    • Rest = Time in minutes you want to rest between intervals
    • Warm Up = If you want to do a warm up before starting your intervals, turn this on. The intervals won’t start until you manually click the dial after you’ve started your activity (so the second click)
    • Cool Down = If you want to cool down after your intervals, turn this on. The activity won’t end until you manually end it after the cool down period.
  6. When everything is configured as desired, scroll to and select Start Training

Can I make the watch face white instead of black?

Yes, with the exception of the bottom field on the watch which at this time cannot be changed. To do this:

  1. Press and hold the bottom button until the menu pops up
  2. Scroll to and select System
  3. Scroll to and select Workout Interface
  4. Select Background Color and choose Black or White
  5. Exit back to the main screen by pressing the bottom button until you are back to the watch face

Can I rotate the watch so the dial is on the lower left instead of the top right?

Yes. Doing so will also change the rotation of the screen so that it looks normal instead of upside down. To do this:

  1. Press and hold the bottom button until the menu pops up
  2. Scroll to and select System
  3. Scroll to and select More
  4. Scroll to and select Digital Knob
  5. Select Knob Location and choose Right Side or Left Side. The screen will immediately flip upside down at this point.
  6. Exit back to the main screen by pressing the bottom button until you are back to the watch face

Why am I struggling trying to stop an activity?

By default, Coros watches will lock the dial so that you don’t accidentally stop your activity and then get mad at Coros about it. In order to unlock the watch, scroll the dial until you see the little lock icon on the screen unlock. Then you can press the dial and Pause your activity. At this point, you can Resume the activity by pressing the button or Finish the activity by holding the dial for 3 seconds.

If you don’t like having to scroll to unlock, you can change the behavior back to the old default of holding the dial or you can turn off auto-lock altogether. Keeping in mind, without auto-lock, you will very likely constantly stop your activity since the dial is pretty sensitive.

How do I turn off or change the auto-lock setting?

To change the auto-lock setting on the Coros Apex:

  1. Press and hold the bottom button until the menu pops up
  2. Scroll to and select System
  3. Scroll to and select More
  4. Scroll to and select Auto Lock
  5. Choose the mode you would like to change the settings for (Standby Mode or Workout Mode)
  6. Choose your desired behavior (Scroll to unlock, hold to unlock, OFF)
  7. Exit back to the main screen by pressing the bottom button until you are back to the watch face

What is Broadcast Heart Rate and why would you use it?

Broadcast heart rate is a feature that lets you use the heart rate sensor in the watch and send it to another device such as a bike computer or a piece of gym equipment. I use mine with my Garmin Edge 520 bike computer when I mountain bike so I can capture all my data in one place. I prefer to use the Garmin Edge 520 instead of my Coros Apex for mountain biking because the screen is bigger and it’s mounted on my handlebars so it’s easier to see. In order to use Broadcast Heart Rate:

  1. Press and hold the bottom button until the menu pops up
  2. Scroll to and select System
  3. Scroll to and select Sensors
  4. Scroll to and select Optical Heart Rate
  5. Scroll to and select Broadcast Heart Rate
  6. Exit back to the main screen by pressing the bottom button until you are back to the watch face

If this is your first time enabling the feature, you’ll have to pair it with whatever device you are trying to send the heart rate to (Garmin Edge, Treadmill, Elliptical, etc.). Those instructions are outside the scope of this FAQ and you’ll want to check the manuals for the respective device. Don’t forget to cancel out of broadcasting your heart rate when your activity is done or you will use up your battery more quickly.

Can I broadcast my heart rate to my fancy Peloton bike I got for Christmas?

Yes. When you start a class on the peloton you’ll see a window pop up showing your Bluetooth connection and HR monitor connection. Click the HR monitor option and if your watch is broadcasting it will show up on the list. Just select it and then close the window.  More information and instructions located here.

Can I record a spin bike activity at the gym and capture power, speed, distance, etc. with my Coros watch?

I can’t speak for your gym specifically, but generally speaking if you are taking a spin class, the bike will have a power meter on the pedal that broadcasts the information up to a big screen for everyone to see. You can add your bike to your watch as an ANT+ sensor and capture all the data in to a single activity using your watch. To do this:

  1. Press and hold the bottom button until the menu pops up
  2. Scroll to and select System
  3. Scroll to and select Accessories
  4. Scroll to and select Add Ant+
  5. At this point, a lot of entries will likely pop up on the watch. Find the one that represents your bike (usually a sticker on the pedal with a serial number/code on it) and add it.

Now when you start your Indoor Bike activity, all the data from the bike should be captured on the watch along with heart rate so you have it all as one activity. No guarantee this will work with every bike at every gym or that your gym left the sticker on each bike so your mileage may vary.

Where do I turn on and off vibration and sound alerts?

Vibration and Sound alerts are considered a global setting so in order to configure them:

  1. Press and hold the bottom button until the menu pops up
  2. Scroll to and select System
  3. Scroll to and select More
  4. Scroll to and select Vibration for vibration alerts and configure accordingly
  5. Click the bottom button to go back one screen
  6. Scroll to and select Tones for audible alerts and configure accordingly
  7. Exit back to the main screen by pressing the bottom button until you are back to the watch face

Where do I change the distance/pace/cadence/heart rate when I receive an alert?

While vibration and sound alerts are a global setting, distance/pace/cadence/heart rate alerts are configured on a per activity (profile). In order to modify these:

  1. Press the dial and select your desired activity
  2. Scroll to and select Settings
  3. Scroll to and select Activity Alert
  4. Scroll to and select whichever alert you are interested in enabling/modifying and modify accordingly
  5. Click the bottom button to get back to the activity
  6. Click Start to start your activity or click the bottom button to go back to the main watch face

What if I’m having problems with my watch and need help?

If there is an actual issue with your watch (and it’s not just user error), Coros recommends the following:

  1. Contact Coros via [email protected] from your email client
  2. Once in contact with Coros, open the Coros app, click the Shield icon, click Feedback, and submit details of the issue you are having

This is the most efficient way to get issues resolved.

My Coros doesn’t seem as accurate as my previous watch. Why?

There are many reasons why this could be the case. A few things to consider:

  1. Your previous watch may actually have been less accurate than your Coros and not the other way around and maybe you’ve been running short your entire life. Newer watches use newer improved GPS satellite chips and the technology is always improving. Don’t just take your old watches accuracy as gospel.
  2. Your friends watches aren’t always accurate either. It’s fairly normal to do a group run and have everyone’s watch record a different distance. All the variables that affect accuracy in a single watch are multiplied when there are multiple watches in the mix. Different watches use different GPS chips, some people are better than others at keeping their watch’s firmware up to date, people wear watches on different arms, and not everyone runs the exact same route to the footstep.
  3. Race courses and trail markers on your trails aren’t necessarily accurate either. You don’t know how they were measured, when they were measured, or if the device used was even calibrated properly. So again, don’t take those as gospel either.
  4. Your watch is determining your location using reference satellites that are about 12,000 miles away from Earth orbiting in space and you need a signal from a minimum of 3 of them to triangulate your position. Many factors could affect your watches ability to receive a signal including obstructions (buildings, trees, your body, etc.), weather, GPS satellite issues, and solar flares to name a few. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that a $300 device on your wrist isn’t always going to be 100% accurate every time and without an actual military grade GPS receiver to compare accuracy with, it’s best to not lose sleep over a missing 1/10th of a mile here and there. If your watch is obviously inaccurate all the time, then see above about how to contact Coros for support. You may just have a bad watch which can happen on occasion, but otherwise it’s fairly normal to expect some inaccuracy in any GPS watch.

Can I turn off various features to save battery life?

In short, no. The Coros watches have been optimized for maximum battery life so even if you could turn something off like Bluetooth or Heart Rate, it wouldn’t result in a huge increase in battery life. The better option if you are concerned that 25, 35, 40 and 60 hours (depending on watch) isn’t enough, is to charge on the go with a small portable USB charger. All Coros watches support charging on the go.

Should I use the UltraMax mode for longer races?

No. All UltraMax does is change the interval in which GPS data is captured and stored and the end result is a wildly inaccurate record of your activity. This is true of any brand of watch that has a similar feature including Garmin, Suunto, etc. The preferred option if you want an accurate record of your activity is to use a small portable USB charger and charge on the go.

How do I export a GPX file from Strava and import it to Coros as a route?

You can download GPX files from your own activities in Strava even without Summit but you have to do it from the website and not the app. To download a GPX file from Strava:

  1. Login to Strava
  2. Go to Training -> My Activities, and select an Activity,
  3. Click the 3 little dots icon on the left hand menu next to the pencil icon
  4. Click Export GPX

Once you have the GPX file, you can follow the Coros instructional video to create a route from it and import to your watch.

Where can I get different watch bands for the Apex/Apex Pro?

The Apex uses an industry standard watch clasp mechanism that’s also used by many other smart watches. You can buy replacement bands from Coros at a higher price and more limited color and style selection, or you can buy any of the thousands of replacement options on eBay or Amazon. If you have the Apex 42mm, search for 20mm watch band. If you have the Apex 46mm, search for 22mm watch band.

Can I change the watch band on the Pace like I can on the Apex?

You can, but you’ll have to buy replacement bands directly from Coros for the Pace.

Can I get a smaller watch band?

If the band that comes with your watch is too big for your dainty wrists, Coros will send you shorter bands. Contact them at [email protected]

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