COROS Vertix 2 Review

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COROS jumped on the scene a few years ago and quickly became hugely popular, mostly because of the amazing battery life.

It’s their biggest selling point, but they do a ton of things really, really well. Their watches are jam-packed with high-end, helpful features.

Today we’re checking out the COROS Vertix 2. It’s an adventure watch, ideal for running, cycling, skiing, and quite a few other things, too.

In this COROS Vertix 2 review, we’ll be diving into the features and functions of the watch, improvements from the original version, and what you can expect from the device.

Let’s have a look!

The Watch and Battery Life

Let’s take a quick look at the size, weight, and style of the Vertix 2. It’s an outdoor, adventure-seeking device, so it’s big and robust.

Case

The case is slightly larger than the original Vertix, just over 50mm wide and 15.7mm thick. It’s a robust, rugged watch, so if you prefer something sleek, this may not be for you.

Made from titanium alloy and layered with a PVD coating to provide better protection against the elements and scratches, it stands up well to the outside world. There’s also a titanium bezel with two buttons and a digital crown.

Screen

The Vertix 2 has a beautiful screen. Made from sapphire glass, measures 1.4 inches all-round. With a resolution of 280 x 280 and in 64 colors, the always-on LCD screen is an improvement from the original.

It’s not vibrant, but it’s designed to be easily seen outdoors in bright sunlight. It does that job well, and it’s easy to see indoors, too. It also features a backlight and a night mode, which allows you to keep the backlight on during workouts.

There is limited touchscreen operation, although not during workouts. This is a plus, since we’ve never liked fiddling at touchscreens with sweaty hands.

The crown dial and buttons will do most of your navigation. You can place up to 8 different metrics on one screen for quick viewing.

Weight

The Vertix 2 is slightly heavier than the original Vertix. It’s by no means heavy, though, especially considering it’s such a robust watch.

When paired with the light silicone band, the watch weighs just 89 grams (3.1 ounces) on your wrist. If you swap it out for a nylon band, you can shave a few more grams off of that weight.

Battery

Being just 15.7mm thick, the battery is small but mighty. On the back of the watch, like all COROS watches, is the charging port.

The watch comes with a charger, and COROS states that it charges fully in less than 2 hours, which we’ve found in our testing.

Heart Rate Sensor

The optical heart rate sensor, which is a small group of LEDs located on the back of the watch, tracks wrist-based heart rate.

Carabiner Attachment

This is a super useful accessory if you do any type of climbing.

You can remove the straps from your Vertix 2 and clip it into the carabiner attachment. Then, you can hang it on a backpack or a belt loop so it’s not in your way while you’re busy.

What’s New On the Vertix 2

The original Vertix was a great watch, but COROS’ engineers have supercharged the Vertix with many more features.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect to find on the Vertix 2 that was missing from the original Vertix.

Maps

The Vertix 2 supports maps, both regular and topographical. You can download from the COROS website on your laptop and sync them with your watch for online or offline use.

Music

This is excellent news for those who enjoy exercising or adventuring to a playlist. Add music directly to your watch via USB, and play it back using Bluetooth headphones. MP3 files only, though!

Improved GPS

COROS has upgraded the Vertix 2 to be able to connect to all five major navigation satellites simultaneously.

It also uses dual-GNSS GPS functionality. All you need to know about this is that it allows for faster connection and less-interrupted use.

Improved HR Features

A revamped optical heart rate sensor is present on the Vertix 2. It’s been upgraded to include ECG data and an HRV capture feature, which allows you to capture a single HRV data point but needs to be done in the app. It still has an SP02 function, too.

Insta360 Action Cam Control

If action, adventure, and watersports are your favorite mix, you’ll love this feature. The watch has cam control for the Insta360 One X2 and One R.

Instagrammers and YouTubers rejoice! You can now control your cam from your wrist, opening up more possibilities for shooting photos and video footage.

Increased Internal Storage Capacity

To store those many videos, photos, maps, and songs, COROS has increased the Vertix 2’s internal storage capacity to 32GB.

Increased Battery Life

Just when you thought COROS’ battery life couldn’t improve anymore, it did. Regular battery life when you aren’t using any form of GPS can stretch to 60 days.

In normal GPS mode, you can get up to 140 hours. Ultra mode should give you around 240 hours, and dual-GNSS mode allows you close to 50 hours.

Removed ANT+ Sensor Support

This could be a dealbreaker for some. COROS has elected to remove ANT+ sensor support from the Vertix 2.

ANT+ is best-known as Garmin’s primary sensor support. So, if you have some Garmin heart straps, they won’t work with the Vertix.

Other Features

The Vertix 2 has many new features, but it also brings many of the great features from the original over.

You’ll find all the usual stuff, like:

  • Altitude alerts
  • Nutrition alerts
  • ABC sensors
  • Active calorie count
  • Step counter
  • Sleep tracking

Because we’re all about running and triathlon, we’ve chosen to focus more closely on the sport-specific features that athletes loved on the original Vertix.

COROS EvoLab

COROS has its general workout modes, and it also has COROS EvoLab, which is a metric-tracking platform that’s free for all COROS users.

Here, you can track a bunch of different things, including:

  • Training load
  • Aerobic/anaerobic training effect
  • Base fitness level
  • Load impact (past 7 days)

In addition to these, it also has some running-specific features, such as a marathon readiness score, running performance metric, and a handy race predictor.

Running Features

Apart from the various EvoLab features that cater specifically to runners, the watch features road running, track running, and trail running modes. Each one has a different algorithm to give you the most accurate metrics for where you are running.

It also has automatic track detection, which is helpful for runners who spend a lot of time on the track for either training or competition.

Cycling Features

Choose from indoor bike and regular bike (outdoor). Again, slightly different algorithms offer you the best metrics for the type of riding you’re doing.

You also can connect to things like power meters, cadence sensors, and other cycling-specific devices. Take note, though, that the watch no longer supports ANT+ devices.

Swimming Features

The Vertix 2 offers both an indoor pool swimming mode and an open water swimming mode.

It also has a stroke detection feature, which could be handy if you like to vary your strokes during training or if you’re serious about swimming as a form of cross-training.

Triathlon Features

The Vertix 2 has a triathlon-specific mode and a multi-sport mode. This is super handy as it allows you to track all your sports without having to switch between profiles on your watch while you’re busy.

Having separate modes for swimming, running, and biking is excellent for training. You can select the one you need on the day, but triathlon/multi-sport mode is ideal for competition time.

Other Sports

Whatever cross-training you’re into, you’ll find something on this watch to cater for you. Here are some of the workout modes you can choose from:

  • GPS Cardio
  • Gym Cardio
  • Indoor/Outdoor Rowing
  • Strength Training

You’ll also find sport modes for non-running sports, such as:

  • Mountain Climbing
  • Multi-Pitch Climb
  • Hiking
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Windsurfing

Price of the COROS Vertix 2

The COROS Vertix 2 isn’t an entry-level watch, and its price tag reflects that. A new Vertix 2 will cost $699, which is a big ask even for such a feature-packed watch.

We advise taking some time to pore over the features and functions, figure out how they’re going to be beneficial to you, your training, and your competitions, and then make the decision as to whether it’s worth it to you!

Pros and Cons

Pros

Battery Life

COROS’ battery has always been a talking point, and nothing has changed. The Vertix 2 has an extremely impressive battery life that will see athletes of all types through even the longest of events.

This is a huge pro. Whether you’re taking on an Ironman of 16 to 20 hours, heading out for an ultra run, or spending days in the wilderness, you should be covered.

Weight

Despite being slightly heavier than the original Vertix, the Vertix 2 is still nice and light. 89 grams with the silicone band (less with a nylon band) is hardly anything, especially for such a robust watch.

Versatility

The watch’s features allow you to monitor your health and fitness for whatever activity you prefer. Its ability to be worn as a watch or on a carabiner is also a fantastic feature that makes it super versatile for adventurers.

Cons

No ANT+ Functionality

Nobody knows why COROS decided on this, but ANT+ devices won’t be able to connect to the Vertix 2. Although the Bluetooth connection capabilities remain, this could be a huge con for some.

It could be especially problematic when using smart trainers. Most trainers only allow for a single Bluetooth device to be connected, and that’s usually your phone app for the trainer.

This means you most likely won’t be able to connect your watch to the smart trainer, which defeats the point.

No Navigation Features

Although you can download and use maps on your watch, you don’t have a turn-by-turn navigation feature. This means you’ll need to check the map closely and regularly as you move.

GPS Accuracy

This isn’t necessarily a con, but although their GPS system is said to be super accurate, there’s really not a huge difference between the COROS Vertix 2 GPS accuracy and speed compared to other watches.

If the GPS is your main reason for this watch, you’d be better off looking at other options.

ECG Data

Although the watch states that it has an ECG function, it’s not a true ECG. The results don’t get stored, so there’s no way to use the data. It’s actually named “HRV Test,” which stands for heart rate variability.

It’s pretty easy to do and the instructions are pretty good. You’ll touch your fingers to the bezel and wait for 60 seconds while it measures your heart rate. During this time, it shows you a nice little ECG monitor.

At the end of those 60 seconds, though, you’ll only be shown an HRV value, which is actually not at all the same thing as an ECG.

COROS states that they can’t provide an ECG as they’re not a registered medical device, but that sort of defeats the point of having an ECG function in the first place.

Just a touch deceiving. So if having an ECG on your wrist is important to you, if you have a heart condition or for other reasons, this watch won’t be helpful.

Summary

There’s no denying that the COROS Vertix 2 is an excellent piece of equipment. It’s packed with features for a wide variety of athletes.

Best for? Adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts. The variety of adventure sports and the improved GPS and map features will serve you well.

Not for? Serious runners or athletes who want a running-specific or sport-specific watch. Also, for those who can’t justify spending $699 on a watch.

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AUTHOR

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.