Other sports watch and smartwatch makers have launched new watches with support for multi-GNSS dual-frequency satellite networks in order to improve your outdoor workout tracking. COROS was the first in the world to launch a GPS sports watch with dual-frequency support in the Vertix 2 in 2021. It turns out that COROS didn’t settle on that achievement and kept working to find ways to improve accuracy for runners.
The new COROS POD 2 (Performance Optimization Device) is now available for $99. The POD 2 is designed as an accessory for your paired COROS watch to provide accuracy in areas with challenging satellite signals, faster response to pace changes, and improved accuracy while training indoors. The COROS Pod 2 tagline is Run Beyond GPS.
Also: COROS Vertix 2 outdoor sports watch review: Challenging Garmin with longer battery life, lower price, dual GNSS support
I’ve had the COROS POD 2 paired with a COROS Vertix 2 for a few days and have been able to run three times with it mounted to my shoes. We will be evaluating the POD 2 on more runs in the near future while testing the shoe mount and waistband mount solutions.
|Case material||Fiber-reinforced polymer|
|Battery life||28 hours of running, 50 days on standby|
|Water resistant rating||3 ATM|
|Sensors||Barometric altimeter, thermometer, geomagnetic compass, accelerometer, gyroscope|
|Dimensions||27.1 x 33.9 x 8.6 mm and 5.6 grams|
COROS POD 2 retail package and setup
The COROS POD 2 comes in a small box with the POD 2, charging dock, USB-A to USB-C cord, two shoe clips, silicone waistband clip, zippered carrying case, and manual. The charging dock charges up the POD 2 up to five times before the charging dock needs to be charged up via USB-C.
The COROS POD 2 connects to your supported COROS sports watch via Bluetooth. The POD 2 works will all COROS watches, except for the PACE 1, and it does not work with other GPS sports watches. Pair the POD 2 with the COROS smartphone app and then it will automatically be paired with your connected COROS watch.
Several metrics are enhanced by the POD 2 and work in a dual data input configuration with your COROS watch. These metrics include distance, EffortPace, stride length, elevation gain/loss, and altitude. Metrics provided by the POD 2 when worn on your foot include pace, cadence, and temperature. If you wear the POD 2 on your waistband then left/right balance, ground contact time, stride height, stride weight, and temperature are provided.
What is EffortPace?
COROS provided Adjusted Pace on its watches to provide runners with a pace estimate as if all of their runs were on flat ground. Running power is also a metric that attempts to provide you with a measure of your true effort as you run up and down hills. With the launch of the COROS POD 2, Adjusted Pace is now being named EffortPace and with this change, COROS will continue to develop the algorithms for EffortPace so that more factors than hills will be accounted for in the metric. COROS states that EffortPace will be the most advanced training metric available so we will clearly be focusing on testing the POD 2 on this metric.
Since I live on a hill, every single one of my runs where I live includes uphill and downhill portions so I’ve been trying to incorporate running power into my training for a few years. There are very few training programs set up for running power and I haven’t been able to fully establish power levels for training. Part of this has been due to using multiple watches that have different running power standards. COROS will continue to provide running power in its watches, but the POD 2 does not provide running power. COROS will also be focusing its efforts for development on EffortPace.
Also: Coros POD review: Advanced running metrics, including power analysis
With EffortPace, I should be able to train using the standard training programs that are based on either pace or heart rate. Distance, pace, and heart rate are standard metrics used across the industry and focusing on these should make it easier for runners to accept and implement EffortPace.
First few runs with the POD 2
I’m spending time with my daughter in Colorado so I’ve been able to run on local roads and trails with lots of hills at a much higher elevation than I usually run in the Puget Sound area. Laying EffortPace over the top of pace and elevation shows that my EffortPace significantly increases as a ran up hills. It then dropped quickly as the elevation dropped and then matched up closely with the pace in flat areas.
Choosing to show running power and EffortPace at the same time on the charts shows that their trends and plot line matches up closely with the most significant trend differences at the bottom of hills. Seeing these two match up so well is encouraging as it is much more intuitive for me to train at pace levels rather than running power levels.
COROS continues to send out updates for the POD 2 and I need to go on several more runs to assign a score to this new accessory. Initial results are very encouraging and I am excited to get out and run.
Alternatives to consider
The COROS POD 2 stands alone when it comes to the EffortPace metric and only works with COROS GPS sports watches. Alternative foot pods that can provide other metrics to help you train include the following: