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Running Accessories • August 29, 2023

Coros Pace 3 First Look: Upgrades in All the Right Places


What You Need To Know

The Product

Coros Pace 3, entry-level GPS watch

What's New

Longer battery life, onboard storage, touch screen, upgraded GPS


$229, available now

coros pace 3 packaging

Coros Pace 3 packaging

Coros Pace 3: Background & Intro

Back in 2020, Coros released the Pace 2, a small-but-mighty watch that ended up landing our Best In Gear award for best GPS watch of the year. It kind of came out of nowhere– while the original Apex and Vertix were both solid, the first Pace came before all of those, before Coros had even made a ripple in the running world. To be honest, I’m not even sure it was a GPS watch.

But the Pace 2– now that was a gem. After reviewing it, I actually thought the watch was priced too low for all its features. No, it didn’t have all the bells and whistles of a Garmin– no music, no maps, no wireless crapabilities. But it had everything a runner needed: crazy battery life, track mode, precision accuracy, and easily built workouts, all in a featherweight package. At $200, the bang easily equaled the buck.

That was three years ago. Since then, we’ve seen a ton of software updates and features across the Coros line, as well as new updates to the the Apex and Vertix lines. So what’s new with the Coros Pace 3? Let’s find out.


Emma Bates’ nails are on point

What’s New in the Coros Pace 3

Next-Generation GPS

The satellite accessibility is upgraded in this newest version, which can now access the five major satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, Beidou, QZSS) with dual frequency for the most accurate signal possible. This is the same accessibility as in the higher-tiered watches like the Apex and Vertix.

Battery Life

We thought the battery life in the original was already incredible, yet it’s somehow improved in the Pace 3, now with 38 hours of life in full GPS mode. Good luck finding your charger when  you only use it every three weeks.


Improved GPS and battery life

➤ Touchscreen & Onboard Storage

New to the Pace 3 is a touch screen, which is surprisingly useful at times though I usually forget it’s there because I’m so used to using the push crown dial. Additionally, you can now use Bluetooth headphones to connect and listen to music stored directly to the watch. This is a unique feature that other watches in the Pace price tier don’t have (i.e. Garmin Forerunner 55).

➤ New Activity Modes

Finally, Coros adds hiking, trail running, skiing, XC skiing, and snowboarding to its activity modes. It was always extremely puzzling to me that the watch was clearly targeted towards runners and had bread crumb navigation but lacked trail running and hiking modes, literally two of the most common activities for runners.


You probably won’t run Mags this fast, but you can pretend by setting your watch to metric

➤ Price Increase

Yes, the newest version has a price bump, but as I said earlier, I always thought the Pace 2 was priced low. Couple that with inflation and the $229 price tag is more than fair.

Size and weight

Somehow, the size is smaller (.6 mm thinner) than the Pace 2 and the weight is essentially the same (1 gram more in the Pace 3). I was fully expecting it to be bigger and heavier, so I was pretty surprised to see it’s pretty much the same.


Optional always-on MIP display

Our Thoughts

The Pace 3 hits all the right notes in terms of upgrades. Obviously it’s not going to be packed with premium features, those elements are reserved for the more higher-priced models. But it’s a big deal that Coros was able to bump up the battery life by nearly 30%, upgrade the GPS chipset, add some offline storage and a touchscreen, and still keep it incredibly lightweight.

If you’ve worn the Pace 2, you know how small and lightweight that watch is– it almost feels like a toy. I actually don’t understand how they could make the Pace 3 smaller, with more features. It’s quite impressive. All of this for $229.


Choose between nylon or silicone strap

One other note– after a teaser reel was posted to the Coros Instagram account, some commenters were speculating the display had been upgraded to an always-on AMOLED. That’s incorrect, and there’s just no way you can get 38 hours of battery with an AMOLED. It’s still a Memory-in-Pixel display; however, it does have an always-on option for extra brightness.

We’re testing the watch right now to measure the accuracy and battery, and so far, everything is holding up to the claims in the Coros pitch deck. More testing will come, but for now, we think Coros has another winner on their hands.

If you’re looking for a simple and sleek GPS watch with good design and the simplest user interface out there, then you can’t do much better than the Pace 3.

At launch, the watch will come in four variations: black with silicone strap, black with nylon strap, white with silicone strap, and white with nylon strap. Additionally, a red Pace 3 Track model will be available for purchase in October.

The Coros Pace 3 is available now for $229, you can pick it up at the shop links below.

Shop The Watch

coros pace 3 - black
Coros Pace 3 Black
coros pace 3 - white
Coros Pace 3 White

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. T H says:

    Love the Pace 2 – it’s the best running purchase I’ve ever made, and is tons better than the Garmin I had that it replaced.

    For $30 more, the Pace 3 has fantastic upgrades! But personally speaking – I would unequivocally buy a Pace 3 had it NOT had a touchscreen. It uses up more battery and I don’t want situations where I accidentally brush it and have it do something. So now I’m iffy if I’ll get the Pace 3 one day.

  2. TrailzRock says:

    Coros Pace 3 would be the perfect multi sport watch were it not for one huge missing feature that now has me looking somewhere else. ANT+ compatibility. Sure, I run, I bike and even swim and do all kind of other things this watch is perfect for. But I also bike indoors on platforms like Zwift. Without ANT+ this supremely fantastic athlete’s watch is a no go. Without ANT+ you cannot. Let me say that again. You cannot pair a power meter to multiple devices. Once my trainer or bike based power meter is paired with my tablet I can no longer pair it to my watch. Basically you can forget about recording any useful bike related metrics without a power meter. And that’s why the Pace 2 is still the Coros watch to get for anyone that uses a power meter on their bike. In every other way this is the perfect racing watch in a multiple of sports. But I’ll spend a little extra and buy a Garmin that has all the Coros features and ANT+ so I’m not left wanting when I’m hammering indoors this Winter

  3. Ben Clark says:

    Hi ‘T H’ – the touchscreen is entirely optional. You can go into settings and toggle it on or off, therefore not taking any battery life. You can use it similar to PACE 2 if you prefer, only by buttons.

    If you decide to turn on the touchscreen, you’ll need to unlock the watch every time before using touchscreen, to save you accidentally pressing something.


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Robbe Reddinger
Senior Editor
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Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

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