The Coros Pace 2 is a hard act to follow. It’s one of the best sports watches available, offering a wide range of features, long battery life in a lightweight design, and outstanding value at $199/£179, especially seeing as Coros continues to support it with new features.
So, can the new Coros Pace 3 live up to the standards set by its predecessor? On paper, all the signs are good. The price has risen to $229/£219, but the new watch offers some valuable new features to justify this.
Chief among these is the addition of multi-band GPS and music storage. It also now comes with a touchscreen, and the battery life has been extended to 38 hours of standard GPS or 24 days in watch mode (up from 30 hours/20 days on the Pace 2), which is excellent given the small size of the Pace 3. It’s similar in size and weight to the Pace 2, weighing just 30g with the nylon band, and has a 1.2in LCD screen.
There are caveats to the multi-band GPS and music storage that are worth mentioning because you won’t find these features on other watches in the Coros Pace 3’s price range. On the GPS, having a multi-band mode doesn’t always result in vastly improved accuracy. It does on some watches, like Garmin’s range of multi-band devices or the Suunto Vertical, but on Coros watches I have often found the multi-band mode lacking, and that still seems to be the case after one run with the Coros Pace 3. It’s accurate enough, but not the step up in quality you get with multi-band elsewhere, even if it will probably be a modest improvement on the Pace 2.
The music storage is just for MP3 files, which you can drag and drop to the watch and then listen to via Bluetooth headphones. There is no support for streaming services, unlike on Garmin watches that link with Spotify among others, so unless you have the digital files for your music this new feature won’t do much for you.
These new features do improve what is already an excellent package for the price, however. The Pace 3 has training analysis through Coros’s EvoLab software, with stats available to analyze on the watch and the partner Coros app and website. It also has breadcrumb navigation and added turn-by-turn directions through a recent beta software update, and you can create routes in the Coros app to sync to the watch directly.
All of this is also available on the Coros Pace 2 though, and one thing you lose with the new watch is the ability to link it to external sensors via ANT+. You can still do this via Bluetooth, which is the more common way of linking up sensors in my experience, but losing ANT+ is a shame especially for cyclists and triathletes who use more accessories like power meters.
Overall the Coros Pace 3 looks to be a superb sports watch, and great value, even if some of the major new upgrades from the Pace 2 are perhaps not quite as good as they initially appear.
Coros Pace 3
Price: $229/£219 from Coros
Released: 30 August 2023
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.