Goodbye Apple Watch

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Coros pace 2 outside shot

1768 days.

That's how long I've used the Apple Watch. Just a little under 5 years, in case you're wondering. I really love it. I don't know about "future of computing" and all that, but it's definitely a device I've fallen in love with. Last week, for the first time, I ditched it. Let me explain why.

My last marathon didn't go that well. A story for another day. In the aftermath, I've been thinking about my training process. What went well, what went wrong, you know, introspection and all that. So I did what I do best. I got too deep into the topic. I research how other people train. I explore the vast sea of resources about running. You come across some pretty cool resources. And some scary ones.

I was watching Kipchoge, and how he just broke the WR in Berlin. What a guy. You know what watch he uses for running? It's called Coros Pace 2. I'm far from a Kipchoge, but for 200 EUR, I had to know more. After some weeks of e-window shopping and a lot of YouTube reviews, I ordered it.

The good

20 days. That's how much this watch can last in a single charge. Yes, you read it right. 20 days. For someone who is used to charging an Apple Watch every single day, that's a pretty nice upgrade. I don't have to worry about charging it every night, I don't have to carry an extra cable every single time I travel. I just go, and it will last the whole trip.

Obviously, I bought this watch for the fitness capabilities. Compared to the Apple Watch, it delivers. Setting up the Apple Watch for interval training, or any type of specific workout can be a pain. It doesn't even come close to the Coros. The workout views are much more informative and the after-workout analyses are much more insightful. That' s expected. What I didn't expect, is a full web-based training portal where I can track all my workout metrics. Now that's a nice surprise.

Coros training hub

The training hub and the Coros app (which is not that bad) give me much better control of my training plan. I can plan 3 months in advance and design all my workouts exactly like I want. For every workout, Coros gives me the Aerobic and Anaerobic training effect, my effort, my performance, so I know exactly what went down.

Sleep tracking. You know that thing you sometimes do with your Apple Watch, but not too often since you don't know if you'll have time to charge in the morning? Yup. Since I don't have to charge the Coros overnight, I get access to all my Sleep stats. I know exactly how much and how well I've slept over time. You know, 'cause sleep matters.

The bad

It's not an Apple Watch. Yes, I could write about the fact that some parts of the Coros app are kinda rough, or the fact that the watch interface is a bit clunky. Or even the fact that it uses some sort of weird proprietary charger. But the bottom line is, I keep comparing it to the Apple Watch.

One side of me now understands why Apple has never given us custom watch faces. Coros has at least 100 watch faces to chose from, and they all look… well, not great. This watch is clearly missing the aesthetic appeal that the Apple Watch has.

I have a love/hate relationship with Apple's beautiful walled garden of an ecosystem. How can I miss paying with my wrist so much? How can I miss controlling music playback on my wrist so much? Seeing those circles close in every widget I own. Getting all the notifications in your watch. The next event in your calendar at wrist glance. The "Do not disturb until I leave this location", two taps away. Even the haptic motor.

I miss the cozy ecosystem. It's a bit like a withdrawal - it will fade. I think.

Coros pace 2 outside shot at home

The end

I don't think there's a winner. They're different devices - with different goals, and different target audiences. One, focuses on design, ecosystem, wellness, and lifestyle. The other is a powerful fitness tracker, and does it very well.

I could just use both. But I don't want to add that stress to my life. For now, a good run brings me more joy than paying with my wrist. A good night of sleep is more important than seeing all my calendar events in my wrist. Focus, is more important than constant notifications.

So I'll stick to the Coros for now.

October 29, 2022
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