Though it’s no secret that the smartwatches of today do a far better job of tracking your athletic performance, a sports watch often feels like the most reliable option to strap to your wrist and monitor your heart-pumping workout sessions. Of course, like smartwatches, there are plenty of sports watches to choose from.
A lot of them are excellent, allowing you to track your runs with GPS, measure your effort levels with heart rate monitors, and track your total steps for the day. Two of the most popular sports watch brands are Polar and Coros, and if you’ve done any research, you’re probably torn between these two brands.
So, we’re going to compare them side by side and see who makes the better sports watch. Read on for more.
According to Polar, the company has had innovative sports and physiological medical research at the core of everything they do. The Polar Research Center is made up of an in-house team of experts in the fields of physiology, technology, and data science. They perform regular studies in the field of sports science, so their offerings are usually backed by science, giving the brand much more credibility.
It’s safe to say that Polar knows what they’re doing when it comes to sportswear, particularly sports watches. They have a number of academic papers available on their website describing the science behind their smart coaching and technology. The Finnish brand is responsible for the invention of the first heart rate monitor, and they have continued to evolve their technology since.
More about the brand
Polar’s mission statement is to help you get a deeper understanding of your training through a combination of expertise in physiology, sports, and electronics. According to their website, the brand aims to cater to all fitness levels by offering a comprehensive product range, along with essential advice and support.
Not only does Polar offer some excellent sports watches, according to popular tech websites like Play Better and Runners World, but they also provide a range of other services. They help athletes improve their sporting performance, enjoy a healthier lifestyle, and aid with rehabilitation and weight management.
Polar Ignite & Ignite 2
While Polar is definitely a science-driven brand, they do offer more accessible options such as the Polar Ignite and Ignite 2, which, as their website puts it, are designed for general fitness enthusiasts. These two watches are some of their most popular offerings, providing features like GPS tracking and Precision Prime heart rate sensor technology, which tracks your effort levels while you exercise.
Many of Polar’s products also offer their FitSpark suggested workouts feature, as well as sleep tracking that includes nightly recharge measurements. According to TechRadar, these measurements will assess whether you are fit to train or whether you should be taking a break.
Polar Vantage M2, V2, & Grit X
The Vantage M2 is considered to be an upgrade from the Ignite series and bolsters the training and analysis features you would receive from the Ignite. This includes Polar’s Training Load Pro, which, according to the brand’s website, allows you to pay closer attention to the amount of effort you are putting into your training sessions.
The Vantage V2 is the natural next step and, along with the Grit X, is at the top of Polar’s sports watch family. The Vantage V2 is definitely designed for more serious athletes, like dedicated marathon runners, ultrarunners, and triathletes. It offers features such as Training Recovery Pro, providing you with even deeper insights into your workout data to shape your training plans and help you decide when it’s time to rest.
Coros is relatively new to the world of sports watches and has designed all of its products primarily for triathletes. However, some models will definitely appeal more to runners or those who prefer to hike, climb, and run trails.
According to TechRadar, Coros is unlike Garmin in that they offer less on the smartwatch front, instead prioritizing robust sports tracking features as well as long battery life with GPS and in standby mode. Coros’ sports watches also connect with third-party apps such as Strava, providing you with any analytical statistics to study after you have completed your workout.
The brand does try to offer largely the same software features across all of its watches as well.
Best overall Coros GPS Watches
More about the brand
According to Coros’ website, the brand is a performance sports technology company that helps athletes train to be their best. Coros places its focus on the outdoors and a passion for an active lifestyle. They combine innovative technology with robust, high-grade hardware to provide endurance athletes with the necessary equipment to brave the world’s most extreme environments.
In comparison to Polar, Coros is still a very young company, having announced its first product toward the end of 2016. Since then, they have developed a sound reputation and are considered to be one of the best sports watch manufacturers by the likes of Healthline and Outdoor Gear Lab.
Coros Pace 2
One of the brand’s most popular sports watches, the Coros Pace 2 is the most affordable option in the small family of Coros sports watches. Despite its low price, it boasts many features, such as core tracking modes for runs, cycling, and swims that track metrics such as your heart rate and traveled distance.
The watch also offers modes for more unconventional athletic activities, such as indoor rowing and paddle boarding. Coros also offers rep counting and strength training to provide you with advanced running metrics with Evolab training insights.
Coros Apex & Apex Pro
As you can imagine, the Coros Apex and Apex pro are the upgrades to the Coros Pace 2. These watches allow you to follow your running routes in combination with all of the other features of the Pace 2.
However, they are slightly heavier and bulkier than the Pace 2 and will cost you a few extra dollars.
Which Should You Choose?
This is a question that, of course, only you can really answer.
Polar has been around for nearly half a century, and it’s clear that they have perfected their craft when it comes to creating robust sports watches that are packed with features. They make a wide range of products that cater to all kinds of athletes, so whether you’re a casual runner or dedicated triathloner, Polar will have a sports watch for you.
Coros, while still a relatively new brand, makes some excellent sports watches as well. However, their products are definitely more geared toward professional and dedicated athletes, so if you are more of a casual runner than a hardcore marathoner, we think that Polar would be a better brand for you.
FAQ on Polar vs Coros Watches
A sports watch is a worthy investment for any athlete, whether you’re an amateur runner or professional triathloner. They can help you monitor your performance and effort levels, providing you with insight into your development as an athlete and even weight loss progress.
Try not to take price as an indication of value – there are tons of simple watches on the market that are more than enough to make a difference in training. Furthermore, their usefulness can extend to other areas in your life.
A sports watch is able to provide you with insight into the progress of your training. Many allow you to analyze your average running, swimming, and walking speed, distance, heart rate, and the route that you covered during your training session.
These are all important metrics for any athlete passionate about improving their athletic ability and making the most of their training sessions.
The answer to this question is a highly subjective one. What you consider to be the best sports watch might not be what another athlete considers to be the best. Everyone has different needs and wants during their training sessions, and it’s important for you to find a watch that meets those needs.
However, if you are looking for a place to start, Polar, Coros, and Garmin produce some fantastic sports watches at a range of different price points. Whether you’re working on a budget or money is not an issue, they will likely have a product for you.
Polar and Coros are currently two of the leading brands in the world of sports watches. They offer a good range of products to suit various types of athletes, and their watches are definitely worth considering if you’re on the market.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is through constantly challenging yourself.