The Coros Vertix 2 is a watch that offers almost everything you could want from an outdoor companion. It has a rugged build, strong sports tracking features and excellent battery life. In addition, while new additions such as mapping and music aren’t perfectly integrated, it’s still a big watch with plenty to like.
- Great battery life
- Reliable sports tracking
- Added map support
- Music player doesn’t work with third-party apps
- Heavier than original Vertix
- Missing ANT+ support
- Battery lifeUp to 240 hours between charges
- WaterproofUp to 100 metres
The Coros Vertix 2 is a multisport watch that’s firmly aimed at those who like to spend a lot of time exploring the great outdoors.
Whether that’s discovering new off-road trails for more scenic runs or hiking and climbing up mountains, the Vertix 2 joins the likes of the Garmin Fenix and the Polar Grit X as watches that want to make better companions on outdoor adventures.
Successor to the original Vertix that launched back in 2019, Coros delivers many more features including full mapping for offline use, an ECG for use outside of checking heart health, plus – in a move that sees the Vertix 2 become more smartwatch-like – a built-in music player.
Priced at £599.99, the Vertix 2 costs the same as the original and matches the price of rival watches such as the Fenix 6 Pro. It’s promising to see a watch go toe-to-toe with Garmin’s outdoor beast, so with the Vertix 2, does Coros deliver the goods?
- Touchscreen and always-on LCD panel
- Weighs 89g
- 50.3mm case
- Removable straps
Like the first Vertix, the Vertix 2 is built for ruggedness, so you can expect a big watch with a hulking bezel, and the kind of qualities that make it fit for holding up in extreme hot and cold temperatures.
The case is 50mm, which is a jump up from the 47mm on the original Vertix, but it remains slightly smaller than Garmin’s Fenix 6X. It’s got a little chunkier, too, moving from 15.6mm thick to 15.7mm. There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a hefty watch, one that might take some time to get used to having on your wrist. If you like a big watch that looks built for the outdoors, then you’re going to like what you see here.
Like the previous model, that housing is made of a titanium alloy, now with an added PVD coating to bolster things in the durability department.
There’s a sapphire glass screen and a raised titanium alloy bezel to add more protection to that display. Coros includes a 10ATM water-resistance rating on the Vertix 2, which is actually a drop from the 15ATM rating on the original. Nevertheless, it does still mean this watch is safe to wear for swimming and other water-based activities.
That case is partnered with 26mm quick-fit straps, which are super-easy to take on and off if you want to swap them out for something different. I opted for one of the textured silicone straps, which didn’t cause any discomfort or irritation through testing. You do also have the option of a nylon band, which helps to reduce the overall weight of the device.
Weighing in at 89g with the silicone band, the Vertix 2 is 10g heavier than the original. While this might not sound a lot, over a long period of wearing, it’s the kind of weight difference you might notice. I can’t say that it felt heavy to wear day-to-day and during exercise, but it’s a bit more noticeable when you take it to bed.
Front and centre is a 1.4-inch, 280 x 280 always-on memory LCD screen, which does offer a degree of touchscreen support for some of the features. That’s a bigger screen and improved resolution, now matching what Garmin offers on the Fenix 6X.
Quality-wise, it isn’t the brightest nor most vibrant screen, but it’s designed for strong visibility outdoors, and in that regard it largely delivers. There’s a backlight here, too, although it isn’t the brightest. Coros has also brought over the night mode from its other watches to enable you to keep that backlight on during workouts.
Although there is some touchscreen support here, you’ll mainly interact with the device using the physical buttons – these all sit on the right side of the case. The top button’s primary job is to activate the backlight, while the bottom button lets you quickly scroll through some of your daily stats and can also launch an additional settings menu. Between those two buttons is the digital dial, which you can tap to select things and twist to scroll through screens. Note that you do have the option to disable the digital dial – which, out of the box is used to keep the watch screen locked.
To make the Vertix 2 more attractive to outdoor lovers, Coros has also introduced a Carabiner accessory, into which you can clip the device and attach elsewhere. This is for those who are big into climbing, for example, who may not want to wear the watch on their wrist while taking part in the activity.
Tracking and features
- Global offline mapping
- Electrocardiogram for HRV measurements
- Built-in music player
It’s fair to say that the Vertix 2 isn’t short of a feature or two. Whether it’s tracking activities, getting deeper training insights or performing more like a smartwatch, there’s plenty going on here.
We’ll start with the sports tracking. Here, you get a multitude of modes – around 25 – that include running, mountain climbing, hiking, open water swimming, rowing and skiing, whitewater rafting. You can track triathlons as well. On top of those sports modes, you can follow training plans and add workouts to follow, too. In addition to the core metrics, you can also tap into the Coros EvoLab to view further training insights such as your VO2 Max, Training Load and Fatigue.
For outdoor runs, open water swims and using the gym cardio and indoor cycling and rowing modes, I was pretty satisfied with the Vertix 2’s accuracy. On the whole, Coros watches are known for delivering reliable sports tracking performance, and that remains with the Vertix 2.
GPS accuracy is something Coros wants to shout about here. That’s because it will allow you to talk to all five major satellite systems at the same time. That’s GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS and Beidou. On top of talking to all those systems, it also introduces something called Dual Frequency satellite communication to pick up a better signal faster than the previous Vertix. Coros is also improving GPS plotting for tracking around well renowned spotty areas, such as big buildings, deep forests, or when climbing up rock walls.
As far as how much these features have improved GPS tracking, I’d say there wasn’t enough of a difference over the other watches (Garmin Fenix and Polar Grit X) that I tested the Vertix 2 against. There’s still a little smoothing in places with the GPS routes, although it does a solid job overall.
One of the Vertix 2’s headline features is proper mapping support. Most of the Coros watch clan offer basic features. However, the Vertix 2 additionally offers the ability to view online and offline street and topographical maps using the digital dial to zoom in and out of maps. When in sports tracking mode, those maps can be viewed when you’re navigating to a particular position. If you’re not doing that, you need to jump into the toolbox screen outside of the sports tracking screen to check in on your location, which isn’t the most user-friendly thing to do.
In terms of how that mapping features work, you’re not getting a rich amount of detail here; you’re still getting the more basic navigation to help you get around. The Vertix 2’s mapping features can’t quite match those offered by the Garmin’s Fenix watches – but it’s a start, with Coros doing well to quickly refine its features.
Like the previous Vertix, a pulse oximeter and optical heart rate monitor are included, which can track heart rate continuously and during exercise. While heart rate accuracy was generally fine for steady-paced workouts, I still opted to grab an external chest strap monitor for more intense sessions, which you can pair via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, the missing ANT+ connectivity here is sure to disappoint cyclists who like to pair multiple devices to their watches.
Coros adds an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, but not in the way that Apple, Samsung or Fitbit have added the potentially useful health feature. Instead, Coros offers the ability to take HRV tests, which last a minute and require you to place your fingers on the watch bezel. After that minute, the watch generates an HRV Index score to indicate stress levels. As such, this isn’t a sensor that will detect signs associated with atrial fibrillation. Instead, the tech is present for more fitness-centric purposes.
Coros is embracing a greater number of smartwatch features, too. Like previous watches, you’ll be able to view notifications from Android and iOS devices. While you can’t act on those notifications, the larger display does at least make them a little nicer to absorb.
If you own an Insta 360 action camera (the One X2 or One R), you can use the watch to control the camera from afar, too. However, the big addition is a music player, which supports the MP3 file format only. This means you’ll need to connect the device to your computer via the charging cable and drag and drop music you’ve purchased; it doesn’t work with third-party music streaming services. You can make use of the 32GB of storage, which is also reserved for storing routes, maps and workouts. Then you can pair Bluetooth headphones and listen to music without needing your phone nearby.
- Up to 140 hours in full GPS mode
- Up to 240 hours in UltraMax mode
- 60 days in general use
- Strong standby performance
One of the biggest reasons that Coros has become a bigger part of the sports watch conversation is its ability to deliver decent battery life. Pretty much across its range, you’re getting battery powerhouses with and without tracking – and this doesn’t really change with the Vertix 2.
Coros breaks down battery performance based on the features you put into play. For daily use, you can expect 60 days and for full GPS, up to 140 hours.
In UltraMax mode, you’ll get 240 hours – but, obviously, you sacrifice GPS accuracy. If you’re using the dual frequency GPS tracking, battery life drops to 50 hours; add in music and it will last 30 hours.
In our experience, the battery holds very well. On a day without tracking and notifications, as well as features such as continuous heart rate monitoring in play, battery drop-off was 1-2%. For an hour’s worth of using the full GPS mode, the battery dropped by 3%.
When it comes to charging, Coros says the Vertix 2 takes less than 2 hours to charge fully – and this played out in our experience. The charging cable is strikingly similar to the one used on Garmin’s watches, which isn’t a cradle-style that hugs the back of the watch case but one that plugs into the case instead.
Should you buy it?
You want an outdoor watch that can go the distance Along with its tough, rugged build, the Vertix 2 delivers a generous battery life, making it a device you can rely on for weeks as opposed to days.
You want the best outdoor watch out there While the Vertix 2 packs in a great array of features here, you’ll find that mapping support and smartwatch features are better executed by rival Garmin.
The Vertix 2 makes some significant improvements on the original Vertix, making it a better outdoor watch alternative to the Fenix 6 and the Polar Grit X. It doesn’t quite do enough to knock Garmin off its rugged perch, but if you value decent battery life, a wealth of tracking modes and software that Coros regularly seeks to improve, then the Vertix 2 is still well worth checking out for your next big adventure.
How we test
We thoroughly test every fitness tracker we review. We use industry standard testing to compare features properly and we use the watch as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Worn as our main tracker during the testing period
Heart rate data compared against dedicated heart rate devices
Side-by-side GPS comparison with competing devices
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The Vertix 2 comes with 32GB of storage.
Yes, there is a built-in music player here.
Yes, its waterproof up to 100m.
GPSAn abbreviation of the Global Positioning System, which uses satellite communication to pinpoint your location. Some smartwatches are able to achieve this communication without the use of a smartphone.
An alternative to GPS that was originally developed in Russia. In the absence of GPS, some smartwatches can utilise the GLONASS framework to determine a user’s location.