Coros Pace 3 vs Garmin Forerunner 255: Which Should You Buy

Coros Pace 3 vs Garmin Forerunner 255 Which Should You Buy

Coros Pace 3 vs Garmin Forerunner 255: The COROS PACE 3 and the Garmin Forerunner 255 and 255 Music are similar multisport and triathlon watches. Both of them have the same sensors and similar features, making them versatile for various sports. They’re both lightweight, so they feel comfortable on your wrist. Whether you’re doing sports in the mountains like trail running, hiking, skiing, or others, these watches work great because they have a barometric altimeter. This feature helps measure altitude. Both watches also have GPS navigation functions, but they don’t show maps.

The Coros Pace 3 and the Garmin Forerunner 255. Both watches are packed with features and promise to cater to the needs of fitness enthusiasts. However, there are differences between these watches. First, the price: the COROS watch is usually 70 dollars cheaper than the Garmin watches. Second, they have some unique features, so you’ll want to check which one offers what you need.


FeaturesCOROS PACE 3Forerunner 255
Case size42 x 11.7 mm45.6 x 12.9 mm
Weight30 g (nylon)
38 g (silicone)
Screen size1.2″ (30.5mm)1.3″ (33mm)
Resolution240 x 240 px260 x 260 px
Touch screenYesNo
GlassMineral glassCorning Gorilla
HousingReinforced polymerReinforced polymer
Waterproof5 ATM5 ATM
Optical Cardio SensorYesYes
Pulse oximeterYesYes
Multiband GPSYesYes
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Battery life24 days14 days

Key Differences

  • Coros Pace 3: Available in white silicone, white nylon, black silicone, or black nylon. It has a slightly retro style, especially in the white nylon version.
  • Garmin Forerunner 255: Comes in two sizes and various colors. There’s also a music version available in black or white stone.
  • Coros Pace 3: Features a 1.2-inch always-on memory in pixel transflective display. Best viewed in direct sunlight.
  • Garmin Forerunner 255: Boasts a larger screen with a 1.3-inch display for the 255 and a 1.1-inch display for the 255s.
  • Coros Pace 3: Lightweight at 30 grams with up to 38 hours in GPS mode and 24 days of general use.
  • Garmin Forerunner 255: Weighs between 32 to 49 grams depending on the model. It can last up to two weeks in smartwatch mode and between 16 to 30 hours in GPS mode.
  • Coros Pace 3: Offers multi-band GPS, breadcrumb navigation, and turn-by-turn directions. Users can load routes using the Coros app.
  • Garmin Forerunner 255: Provides various GPS modes and features a new race day widget for users.


Coros Pace 3 vs Garmin Forerunner 255: Which Should You Buy

Both watches look sporty, but the white PACE 3 with a nylon strap stands out as especially stylish. You can wear it to work, around town, on a night out, and of course, during sports. The Forerunner 255 looks nice, but its style isn’t as flexible.

The Forerunner 255 has a bonus: it comes in two sizes. The smaller 255S fits perfectly on slimmer wrists, often for females. If you have a bigger wrist, the PACE 3 might seem a bit small.

Coros Pace 3 vs Garmin Forerunner 255 Rear sensor

Coros Pace 3:

  • Size and Weight: The Coros Pace 3 is almost identical to its predecessor, the Pace 2, in terms of size and weight. It’s slightly smaller and weighs a tad more, likely due to the wider band size, which is now 22 millimeters.
  • Strap Options and Display: The watch offers both nylon and silicon strap options. The 1.2-inch screen with a 240 by 240 memory in pixel always-on display is now touch-enabled, making navigation during workouts a breeze.

Garmin Forerunner 255:

  • Form Factor & Design: The Forerunner 255 boasts a clean, minimalistic design made of plastic with metal buttons. It’s available in six colors, including black, white, powder gray, slate gray, tidal blue, and bubble gum pink.
  • Display: The watch features a 1.3-inch memory in pixel transflective display, perfect for sunlight readability. Unlike the new 955, it’s not touch-enabled.


Both watches feel light and comfy on your wrist. You barely notice them, even when you’re running. The PACE 3 has a special nylon strap with Velcro. This lets you adjust it just right for your wrist. It feels more comfortable than a silicone strap and measures your heart rate really well. Plus, the stretchy band is easy to put on and take off. Garmin also has a nylon strap, but you need to buy it separately.

Both watches feel light and comfy on your wrist


Both watches have colorful screens that use MIP (Memory In Pixel) technology. They’re protected by a plastic ring and strong glass. The PACE 3 uses mineral glass, while the Forerunner 255 has Corning Gorilla glass, which resists scratches better. Because of the transflective technology, you can easily read these screens in sunlight. In darker conditions, they might be harder to see, but you can turn on a light. You can either tilt your wrist to light it up or push a button. The PACE 3’s screen looks a bit brighter.

The PACE 3 has a touchscreen that makes moving around its features easy. It has a good-sized screen, 1.2 inches, and can show up to 8 pieces of information during sports. This is handy because you can see all the important stuff on one screen.

The COROS application allows you to create your own watchfaces using a photo as a wallpaper.

The Forerunner 255S, the small model, has a small screen (1.1″). This is the minimum you can expect from a sports watch displaying up to 6 data fields. This is a bit tight, especially if you have vision problems.

The Forerunner 255 offers a comfortably sized 1.3″ screen, but only displays up to 6 data fields in total.

Features and Functionality

Both COROS and Garmin watches have the essential features you need. Garmin even has some advanced features. Whether you want to train, get ready for a competition, or just have fun, these watches have you covered.

COROS PACE 3Forerunner 255
Number of sports profiles2260
Training SuggestionsNoYes
Training programmingYesYes
Running dynamicsYesYes
Race Time PredictorYesYes
Lactate threshold testNoYes
Running level testYesNo
Sports coachNoYes
Run against yourselfNoYes
GPS track / breadcrumbsNoYes
Return to startYesYes
Elevation profile (past, future)YesYes
Save POIsYesYes
Weather reportNoYes
Music (MP3 player)YesYes
Streaming musicNoYes
PaymentNoGarmin Pay
Incident/fall detectionNoYes
SOS callNoYes

Coros Pace 3:

  • Battery Life and GPS: The watch offers an impressive 24 days of battery life under regular use. It introduces dual-band GPS, enhancing accuracy, especially in challenging environments.
  • Music and Connectivity: The Pace 3 supports downloadable music with 4GB of storage. However, music must be imported directly from a computer.
  • Activity Tracking: The watch offers a wide range of activity types, from running to winter sports. It also supports navigation with turn-by-turn alerts currently in beta.
  • Heart Rate Sensor and Sleep Tracking: The improved heart rate sensor provides accurate readings. The watch also tracks sleep stages but lacks heart rate variability (HRV) tracking.

Additional Features

The Coros Pace 3 can play MP3 files directly on the watch when connected to Bluetooth headphones or speakers. However, it doesn’t support streaming services like Spotify. Coros also offers a range of training and efficiency tools, all included with the purchase of the watch.

Garmin Forerunner 255:

  • GPS Accuracy: The Forerunner 255 offers improved GPS accuracy, especially in its multi-band GPS mode.
  • Heart Rate Sensor & Battery Life: The watch comes with an improved built-in heart rate sensor and up to 14 days of battery life in smartwatch mode.
  • Software Updates: The 255 is packed with software updates, making it more user-friendly. It introduces features like a morning report widget for daily insights and a race widget for upcoming races.
  • New Features: The watch introduces multi-band GPS mode, an Elevate 4.0 optical heart rate sensor, an updated user interface, Garmin Pay for NFC payments, and more.

Additional Features

The watch includes Garmin Pay, allowing users to make payments directly from their wrist. It also features Garmin’s latest optical heart rate monitor and can monitor blood oxygen saturation levels.

Battery Life

Both watches have a long-lasting battery. The PACE 3’s battery lasts a bit longer, while the Forerunner 255’s battery life can change depending on the watch size.

Garmin has a cool feature called SatIQ. It’s a smart GPS mode that picks the best GPS setting based on how strong the signal is. This helps save battery life. So, if you’re going on a long trip and you want the best GPS tracking without running out of battery, this mode is great.

If you use your watch all day and do sports for an hour in the super accurate GPS mode, you’ll need to charge it about once every 7 days. But if you just use the GPS mode, it can last between 10-12 days before needing a charge.

Price Point

The Coros Pace 3 is priced at $229, offering a plethora of features at an affordable rate. On the other hand, the Garmin Forerunner 255 is available in two versions: the 255 priced at $299 and the 255 Music at $349. The only difference between the two is the built-in music storage in the 255 Music.

Conclusion: COROS PACE 3 vs Garmin Forerunner 255

Both the Coros Pace 3 and the Garmin Forerunner 255 offer a range of impressive features for their price points. The Pace 3 stands out for its customizable display, impressive battery life, and training tools. In contrast, the Forerunner 255 shines with its payment feature, heart rate monitor, and race day widget.

If you’re deciding between the two, think about how much you want to spend. The PACE 3 is more affordable and gives you a lot for your money. You’ll have to spend $70 more for the Forerunner 255 without a music player and $120 more for the one with music. So, if you’re watching your money, the PACE 3 might be the way to go.

The PACE 3 also has a touchscreen and shows more information on its display (8 different things). Its band is comfy and light. The only downside? Its dial is a bit skinny and harder to use compared to other COROS models.

On the other hand, the Forerunner 255 costs more, but you get more sports features, tools, stats, and customization options.

The Forerunner 255 does have 5 buttons, which can be a bit confusing at first. But once you get the hang of it, using the watch is smooth and fun. Overall, it’s more advanced than the PACE 3.

When it comes to accuracy, the Forerunner 255 seems a bit better than the PACE 3, especially with GPS and measuring height. So, if you want the most accurate watch out there, the Forerunner 255 might be your pick.