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Garmin Forerunner 745 vs Coros Apex Pro

Coros Apex Pro vs Garmin Forerunner 745

For over two decades, Garmin has been the unrivaled king of GPS watches. Their technology, design, simplicity of use and functionality, put them head and shoulders above the rest. They were and still are the benchmark for the quality GPS watch. However, recently several companies have emerged and are making attempts to challenge Garmin’s supremacy. One of those companies is Coros.

When Coros came onto the scene, they did so intending to become the preeminent GPS watch manufacturer in the world. Since that time, they have released a series of watches, all of excellent quality, and with each generation, the improvements keep raising the bar. Now, it’s time to compare two of their most well-known products, It’s time to look at the  Coros Apex Pro vs. Garmin Forerunner 745.

Garmin Forerunner 745

4.5/5

Coros Apex Pro

4.5/5

The Coros Apex Pro

Coros is a California based company that entered the sports tech market in 2016. In that short time, they have established themselves as one of the top GPS watch companies in the world. Coros sees itself as Garmin’s main competitor. In 2019 they released the Coros Apex Pro, a state of the art GPS watch with extraordinary capabilities in GPS tracking, navigation, and training applications.

4.5/5
  • Lightweight GPS watch
  • Long battery life
  • Thin watch
  • Lower price

The Garmin Forerunner 745

Garmin has been the leader in GPS technology for decades, providing it to both the public and private sectors. The company, which was founded in 1989, began developing products for the athletic market in the 1990s. Today, they are known as the leader in GPS watches and the Forerunner 745 is one of their signature offerings. It has upgrades in applications, smartphone connectivity and sensor technology.

4.5/5
  • Numerous profiles for various types of athletes
  • Has many of the same features as the 945 but at a lower cost
  • Includes the music option without offering a different product

Getting the Details

If there is one thing that runners are, it is detail-oriented. All purchases are completed only with utmost attention to every piece of information available to them. They will examine all the materials, look at all the data, and investigate all the blogs to find the right fit for them.

GPS watches are intricate devices with dozens of functions, utilizing various programming. Also, they are extraordinarily complex in their builds. Engineers will agonize over how to design their creations, including form and feel. In the end, they come up with exacting specifications. We are going to do the same and look at those specs.

Specifications

Coros Apex Pro Overview

Noticeable Differences

In the side by side statistics, there are a few noticeable differences.  First and foremost, the weight. The Apex Pro is noted for its light feel; however, the Garmin 745 is even lighter, touching the scales at a feathery 47 grams. While the next-generation Garmin’s have interchangeable straps, the Forerunner 745 has only replaceable straps, preventing it from having the Coros Apex Pro dress-up options.

Another important difference is the bezel. Garmin uses polymer plastic with stainless steel, whereas the Coros model uses a titanium alloy. Titanium gives the Coros a more substantial appearance and is crack proof.

Mapping

Both the Apex Pro and the Forerunner offer vibrant map displays on their screens. The details are quite impressive and amazingly easy to read. The colors differentiation they offer are both excellent. However, the sapphire green glass of Apex Pro makes those colors pop a little bit more, giving the edge to the Apex Pro.

Who Has the Heart

Both watches feature heart rate monitors with sensors on the backside of the casing. The sensors are of good quality; however, neither one will provide you the detail of a chest strap.

The Garmin Forerunner 745 Extras

The Forerunner 745 has Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity that can pair with its monitoring capabilities, as well as Garmin’s heart rate monitor strap. Without the strap, monitoring is still reliable and is excellent for steady workouts, such as your LSD runs. It does struggle a bit with training that requires rapid alternating stress levels.

The Corus Apex Pro’s Extras

The Apex Pro also has excellent heart rate monitoring capabilities. It also has a pulse oximeter that allows you to measure blood oxygen saturation levels, a nice extra. The Apex Pro has performed well in tests with steady stress levels but has some accuracy hiccups if those levels change quickly.

The Verdict

The edge, albeit slight, goes to the Garmin. Its syncing ability to other devices and its choices to go with the watch sensors or a chest strap give it greater accuracy.

Sensors on the both the Coros Apex Pro and the Garmin Forerunner 745

User Friendliness

The complexity of today’s GPS watches often presents another problem; the difficulty in using them. Garmin has always been exceptionally good with ergonomics. Its design of buttons lining its bezel work very well, and if you have used a Garmin before, the Forerunner 745 will not add any problematic issues.

Taking It to the Next Level

The Coros Apex Pro decided to up their game when it came to ease of use. They did this with a remarkably innovative swiveling bezel whose beauty is in the simplicity of the design. It makes navigating through its functions breezily easy. If that was not enough, it has a touch screen interface and button navigation as well.

The Ergonomics Award

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is reasonably easy to use, and if you have had a Garmin before, you will not have any problems. However, the Apex Pro’s unique design and its combination of technology give it one of the most user-friendly platforms of any GPS watch, placing it at the head of the pack.

Coros Apex Pro vs Garmin 745 Side by Side Comparison
Side By Side Comparison the Apex Pro is on the Outside and the Forerunner 745 in on the Inside

Battery Life

Endurance events have gradually increased in range over the last several years. With the popularity of trail running, ultra-distance events, and triathlons, our training device demands have increased. Because of these new challenges, battery life has become imperative. Nothing can equal the frustration of running in a hard workout, only to realize your GPS died and you have no way of recording it.

A Shortcoming

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is a high-quality device; however, if it has one Achilles Heel, it would be its battery life. Runners who combine GPS mode with the Forerunner 745’s music function will find they will be out of juice after 6 hours. Even in its GPS only mode, it gets an anemic 16 hours of use before it must go back on the charger.

A Long Life

Coros wanted to begin to adapt to these new demands after some disappointment in the power range of earlier models. They did so nicely with the Apex Pro. It has an impressive 35-hour range in GPS mode and 100 hours of constant operation in Ultra Max Mode. With the functions turned off, the battery can go an impressive two weeks before needing to be recharged.

Conclusion

The Garmin Forerunner 745 has adequate power for those who wish to use their GPS watch for training only and whose workouts are an hour or under. However, if you want to apply everyday use or if you tend to put more time on the trails, you will have to plan on charging it often. The Coros Apex Pro has the power to burn and is excellent for the mega-workouts.

Accessories and Features Apex Pro and Forerunner 745

GPS Accuracy, Forerunner 745 vs. Apex Pro

Runners are meticulous, especially when it comes to the accuracy of their workouts. There is no serious runner who has not calculated the exact distance they traversed or who has not agonized over making sure they know every mile mark. GPS watches, if anything, must be accurate. Without accuracy, times are unreliable, pacing is shot, and the plans for your next race may have to be altered due to faulty information.

The Forerunner 745, Usually on the Mark

For years, Garmin has prided itself on being the gold standard when it comes to accuracy. Year in and year out, their watches outperform the field, and the Forerunner 745, for the most part, is no different. The watch has seemed to improve its accuracy in open water swimming and cycling; however, while it is spot on most of the time, it does have moments of inexplicable inaccuracy.

Coros Apex Pro, Accurate in the Short Run

The Apex Pro has improved its GPS accuracy over previous generations of Coros watches. In testing on runs slightly more than a half marathon, it seemed to be accurate. However, it appeared to fatigue as the distances got longer. Coros has offered a new feature, “Track Mode,” which promises to recognize and measure the exact lane you are running in if you are on a track. A nice feature if you are regularly on the oval.

Whose GPS is Better?

The Apex Pro and the Forerunner have similar accuracies. Both have some kinks to iron out when it comes to consistency issues. But if you are like most runners, you are going to spend some time on the track. With that in mind, the Coros model gets the nod here for its innovative Track Mode function.

Workout Features on both the Apex Pro and the Garmin 745

Sport Tracking

Runners, though most often loyal to the sport, will venture into other endurance pursuits. Swimming, cycling, or the occasional triathlon, will sometimes make it into their repertoire. Sport tracking is best when it does not get over complicated. A good motto to follow would be “stick to the basics.”

The Forerunner 745, Keeping it Simple

The engineers at Garmin got it right when they set up the Sport Tracking feature in the Forerunner 745. The sport selection is clean and concise and does not choose endeavors that are way off the beaten path. Transitioning from activity to activity is easy, and the incorporation of altimeters and motion sensors to track steps in a nice touch.

The Corus Apex Pro Steps Up

The Apex Pro also leans toward simplicity. It has a selection of 13 sports to choose from. Accessing the activities through the turning bezel is a breeze. You can also incorporate interval workouts and speed play with notifications of rest and interval periods built-in. If you are doing intervals or a fartlek workout, this feature is extremely useful.

No Bad Choice

When it comes to sport tracking, both the Forerunner 745 and the Apex Pro do a fantastic job. If your choice comes down to Sport Tracking, you are going to have a tough decision.

Coros Apex Pro and Garmin 745 and their smartphone apps

Smartphone Connectivity

No GPS is a stand-alone device. Gone are the days of merging with clumsy computer programs. Today’s GPS watches are all about connectivity, and which is the best choice is entirely dependent on what you want.

Forerunner 745 Features

The Forerunner 745 feature apps that can be accessed through your smartphone and monitor your training as well as log performance. The apps are reasonably simple to use, and the interface between the watch and mobile device is dependable. The Forerunner 745 stands out in entertainment features, including its ability to link into Spotify or download music directly into the watch itself.

Where the Apex Pro Shines

The Apex Pro does not have all the bells and whistles of the Garmin model. However, if your goal is clear and beautiful training apps, then there is nothing better on the market. The people at Coros geared their app to be easy to read and beautiful to look at. If you are solely focused on training, this would be your choice.

It Depends on You

Both watches offer clear, user-friendly apps and easy smartphone connectivity. There is no right choice in this category. It is completely dependent upon what you are looking for in a GPS watch.

The Cost

This is going to make your decision a little trickier, or maybe easier, depending on if you know the features you want. Both models come in at $500. The materials used in their construction, the features, and the specialty programs they offer, make both products good enough to justify their price.

Garmin Forerunner 745

4.5/5

Coros Apex Pro

4.5/5

Apex Pro vs. Forerunner 745, the Summary

There are advantages and disadvantages to both models. Garmin has slightly more accurate GPS tracking, offers more features in conjunction with your smartphone, and some additional programming associated with its sensors. Like all Garmin products, it is a high-quality GPS.

Yet if your focus is training, the Apex Pro provides items that are more attune with the serious runner. The much longer battery life is a must if you are into high mileage. The innovative turning bezel allows for easier navigation through the Apex Pro’s features, and their beautiful app is the best on the market.

The Decision

A serious runner is about training first. Other features are nice to have, but in the end, it’s about what is going to be better for your performance. The training centric Coros Apex Pro fits the bill using this metric. If you put performance first, it is the obvious choice.

 

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Robby McClung

Robby McClung

This article was written by the editorial staff of the Canaan Valley Running Company and Robby McClung. Robby is the founder of the Canaan Valley Running Company. You can read more in the about section of the website on Robby and the Canaan Valley Running Company.

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