Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Coros Pace 2: Best Mid-range Running Watch

The Garmin Forerunner 255 and the Coros Pace 2 are both excellent running watches for athletes who want something in the mid-range price category ($200-400). Both watches offer a variety of features, such as GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, interval training, and more.

Garmin is the industry leader in GPS watches; Coros is a relative newcomer but has quickly made its place by offering tried and tested features of Garmin in an affordable price range.

Here, We will compare Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Coros Pace 2 in detail and find out which one is the best running watch for you.

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Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Coros Pace 2: General Comparison Table

Preview
Winner
Garmin Forerunner® 255S Music, Smaller GPS Running Smartwatch with Music, Advanced Insights, Long-Lasting Battery, Black
Runner Up
COROS PACE 2 Premium GPS Sport Watch with Nylon or Silicone Band, Heart Rate Monitor, 30h Full GPS Battery, Barometer, ANT+ & BLE Connections, Strava, Stryd & TrainingPeaks (Navy - Silicone Strap)
Product Name
Garmin Forerunner 255
Coros Pace 2
Predecessor
Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Coros Pace
Models
40mm, 46mm | FR 245, FR 245 Music, FR 245S, FR 245S Music,
42mm
Release Date
June 2022
AUG 2020
Parent Company
Garmin
Coros
Operating System
Garmin OS
Proprietary OS
Compatibility
Android, IOS
Android, iOS
Competition
Apple Watch 7, FR 955, Garmin Instinct 2, Fenix 7, Fitbit Sense, FR 55
Polar Pacer Pro, Coros Vantage 2, Forerunner 245, COROS APEX
Suitable For
Outdoor, sport & fitness
Fitness/Running smartwatch
Sensors
GPS, GLONASS Galileo, Multi-Frequency Positioning, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitor
GPS/QZSS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Optical Heart Rate Monitor, Barometric Altimeter, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Thermometer
Winner
Preview
Garmin Forerunner® 255S Music, Smaller GPS Running Smartwatch with Music, Advanced Insights, Long-Lasting Battery, Black
Product Name
Garmin Forerunner 255
Predecessor
Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Models
40mm, 46mm | FR 245, FR 245 Music, FR 245S, FR 245S Music,
Release Date
June 2022
Parent Company
Garmin
Operating System
Garmin OS
Compatibility
Android, IOS
Competition
Apple Watch 7, FR 955, Garmin Instinct 2, Fenix 7, Fitbit Sense, FR 55
Suitable For
Outdoor, sport & fitness
Sensors
GPS, GLONASS Galileo, Multi-Frequency Positioning, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitor
Check Latest Price
Runner Up
Preview
COROS PACE 2 Premium GPS Sport Watch with Nylon or Silicone Band, Heart Rate Monitor, 30h Full GPS Battery, Barometer, ANT+ & BLE Connections, Strava, Stryd & TrainingPeaks (Navy - Silicone Strap)
Product Name
Coros Pace 2
Predecessor
Coros Pace
Models
42mm
Release Date
AUG 2020
Parent Company
Coros
Operating System
Proprietary OS
Compatibility
Android, iOS
Competition
Polar Pacer Pro, Coros Vantage 2, Forerunner 245, COROS APEX
Suitable For
Fitness/Running smartwatch
Sensors
GPS/QZSS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Optical Heart Rate Monitor, Barometric Altimeter, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Thermometer
Check Latest Price

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Coros Pace 2: Price

The Garmin Forerunner 255 and 255S retail for around $350, while the Coros Pace 2 retails for around $200. The music variant of Forerunner 255 goes for $400.

Here, Coros seems to be offering a better deal as you get more features for a lower price. In fact, it is priced the same as the FR 55, the entry-level Garmin watch for runners.

Winner: Coros Pace 2

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Coros Pace 2: Design and Display

Garmin has introduced two sizes with Forerunner 255, which have almost identical features and designs except for the screen resolution and battery performance.

Both models are protected by Gorilla Glass 3; have 5 ATM water resistance, 5 button navigation system, a transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display, and silicone straps.

Here is a brief breakdown of their dimension and screen resolution.

  1. Garmin Forerunner 255 (46mm): 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm, 49g, 22mm quick-release Strap
  2. Garmin Forerunner 255S (41mm): 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm, 39g, 20mm quick-release Strap

Coros Pace 2 is almost the same size as the Forerunner 255S (42 × 42 × 11.7mm), and it is also protected by Gorilla Glass. Its always-on memory display is also transflective and has great visibility in direct sunlight.

Pace 2 has a 5 ATM water-resistance rating, and 2 button navigation system (digital crown and button), and comes with a 20mm quick release band.

However, the watch weighs only 35g with the strap. For runners, weight is an important consideration as every gram counts when you are running long distances.

Winner: Tied

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Coros Pace 2: Features

As far as smart features are concerned, the main difference between the two watches is that the FR255 can store music as well as stream playbacks on Spotify, Deezer, iHeartradio, and Amazon Music. You can also download podcasts and music for offline listening. There is no Wi-Fi support on the Coros Watch.

Next, the Garmin watch can make contactless payments using Garmin Pay. This is a great feature for runners as it means they can leave their phone and wallet at home while going out for a run. Coros Pace 2 simply doesn’t.

Also, you can find more sports modes on the Garmin watch than on the Coros watch. To mention a few: yoga, Pilates, and cross country skiing.

Though both watches have fairly accurate GPS, Garmin goes a step further by offering dual-frequency GPS support on FR 255 that allows it to connect to both GPS and GLONASS satellite networks. This means that the watch can pick up a signal in challenging environments like forests and urban canyons.

In the health tracking department,  both watches come with all-day heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking. However, Garmin comes with a Pulse oximeter that can be used to measure blood oxygen saturation levels. This is a great feature for hikers and mountaineers as it can help them acclimatize to high altitudes.

In the performance and recovery department, Garmin yet again takes the lead with its  Training readiness, Training Status, and body battery. Plus, it has introduced new features like 24/7 HRV monitoring, native Running power, acute load, and more with the FR255.

Winner: FR 255

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Coros Pace 2: Battery Life

The Garmin Forerunner 255 has up to 14 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and up to 30 hours in GPS mode. So there is no need to charge it every day as you do with a smartwatch.

However, the battery life drops to 10 hours if you use the music playback feature along with GPS. To make it even more simple, you would be able to get almost 3-5 days of battery performance on a single charge.

Keep in mind that the numbers drop a little if you are going for the FR 255S.

Coros Pace 2, on the other hand, has a lot to offer in this department. The watch can last up to 22 days in the smartwatch mode, and 30+ hours in the GPS mode. This is particularly impressive when you consider that both watches have almost the same display type.

Winner: Coros Pace 2

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Coros Pace 2: Final Verdict

The $150-200 price difference is too high to justify the extra features on the Garmin FR 255.  For those who are just getting into running and are on a budget, the Garmin watch is a big no. Forget the bells and whistles, go for the Pace 2. It offers much more value for the money, the same display, and more battery life.

However, if you have already invested in the Garmin ecosystem, and want more accuracy or advanced training metrics, the FR 255 is a good buy. The price seems fair for the sports tracking it offers compared to Fenix 7 or Forerunner 955 watch.

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Coros Pace 2: Specs And Features

Product NameGarmin Forerunner 255Coros Pace 2
Dimensions, Weight46mm: 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm, 49g | 41mm: 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm, 39g42 × 42 × 11.7mm | 35g-36g
Band Size45mm: 22mm | 41mm: 18mm20mm
Build materialssiliconeSilicone/Nylon
ColorsTidal Blue, Slate Gray, Light Pink, Powder Gray,  Whitestone, Black


Black, White
Waterproofing5 ATM5ATM
Display Size46mm:1.3 inches | 41mm: 1.1 inches1.2 Inch
Screen Type & Resolutionsunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) | 46mm: 260 x 260 pixels, 41mm:218 x 218 pixels (active area)Always-On Memory LCD, 240 x 240 pixels 
Screen ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 3Fiber Reinforced Polymer
Always-on DisplayYesYes
No
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+ANT+/Bluetooth
Companion AppCONNECT IQCoros App
Storage4G & up to 500 songs16MB to 64MB
Notification AlertYesYes
Calendar, WeatherYesYes
Offline SpotifyYesNo
Timer & AlarmYesYes
Customizable Watch FacesYesYes
Voice AssistantNoNo
Music Storage, ControlYesNo
Third-Party AppsYesYes
Make calls, send texts & EmailsYes(Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only))No
Contactless PaymentYes (Garmin Pay)No
Built-in GPSYes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)Yes (GPS/QZSS, GLONASS, BeiDou)
Heart Rate TrackingYesYes
SleepYesYes
StressYesYes
Blood OxygenYesNo
ECGNoNo
Bioelectrical Impedance AnalysisNoNo
Steps, CaloriesYesYes
Menstrual cycleYesNo
Sport Mode32+Yes(18+)
Sync Data With Strava or Apple HealthYesYes
Battery PerformanceUp to  6.5 hours to 14 days (mixed usage)Regular use: 20 days,  Full GPS mode: 30 hours, UltraMax mode: 60 hours
Charger TypeUSB charging cable.Charging dock
Fast ChargingNoNo(1-2 hours)