COROS Vertix 2 adventure sports watch review: Great battery life, dual-band GNSS and brilliant features – Mark Kavanagh

Many comparisons have been made between the COROS Vertix 2 and Garmin’s high-end adventure sports watches: the Fenix ​​6 and the all-new Fenix ​​7.

Two of the key areas where COROS gives Garmin’s flagships a run for their money are the longest battery life and the most accurate GPS.

In fact, Vertix 2 easily wins on battery life.

Other flagship features COROS introduced on its flagship Vertix 2 wearable include color topographic mapping, music playback, dual GNSS functionality (it was the first sports/fitness watch to introduce this functionality), ECG, 140 hour GPS battery life and Insta360action camera controls.

New updates for 2022

COROS recently released a firmware update with loads of new features.

It’s encouraging to see that the 2022 firmware updates by COROS were suitable for all watches in the firm’s ranges, even those that were a few years old and not just the Vertix 2.

Adjusted pace displays an estimate of what COROS calculates to be your pace if you are running on completely flat ground.

Virtual Run allows your Vertix 2 to stream indoor running metrics; including pace, cadence and heart rate. Now you can pair the device with software like Zwift or Rouvy so you can start virtual races with just a treadmill and COROSwatch.



Using a CORE Body Temperature Sensor with Vertix 2

You can now pair Vertix 2 with CORE body temperature sensors using Bluetooth to provide core body temperature during activity.

Other enhancements include the creation of optimized workouts, a new Mapbox 3D Map feature, an improved GoPro connection, and the use of the Vertix Barometer 2’s built-in thermometer to provide temperature data for open water and water swimming activities. pool.

This huge firmware update follows the late 2021 upgrades which added Insta360 ONE X2, ONE R, GoPro 9 and GoPro 10 camera control, a new Walk mode and Komoot route sync.

Before that, a few weeks ago, the addition of support for Strava Route Sync.

Now, when you create a new route in Strava or Komoot, the process of getting it to your watch is quite simple using the app on your phone.

Navigation

The mapping features on Vertix 2 are superb. You can download free topographic and landscape maps of anywhere on earth from the COROS website (using your computer).

You can display either on the watch, but the best option is to use the hybrid view which combines the two.

Maps on Fenix ​​6 are more detailed. On Vertix 2 you don’t get any names for streets, trails, lakes or mountains, just blue color indicating water and green color indicating land. The topographic map will highlight all elevation areas.



COROS Vertix 2
Vertix 2 includes a full selection of sport modes including running, cycling, indoor cycling, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, climbing and skiing

But the way you can use the crown and touchscreen together to move around the screen on Vertix 2 is a better user experience than moving around a map on Fenix ​​6.

However, Garmin has fixed this issue on Fenix ​​7, which has touchscreen control.

One catch with COROS mapping is that there’s no turn-by-turn navigation. But you get detour alerts if you deviate from your preloaded route.

Dual band GNSS and battery life

Vertix 2 was the first wearable device with dual GNSS functionality, which is the highest type of consumer GPS available, so it should be the most accurate fitness watch in this regard. But in comparison to the Fenix ​​6 and 7 and Polar’s Vantage 2, the GPS performance is similar – neither of them are perfect.

However, I would say that in my usage the Vertix 2 still locks onto GPS faster than other handhelds.



COROS Vertix 2
COROS Vertix 2 quickly locks onto GPS

Battery life with dual GNSS is 50 hours compared to the 140 hours of endurance you get with standard GPS. It is exceptional and the best in its category. It can last up to 60 days as a smartwatch when not using GPS.

So, in this regard, the Vertix 2 definitely trumps all of its competitors’ devices.

Design and build

The Vertix 2’s 1.4-inch touchscreen has a 280 x 280 resolution but isn’t the brightest or most colorful.

It is surrounded by a smooth titanium alloy bezel and case.



COROS Vertix 2
The Vertix 2 is a big watch, but it’s ruggedly built and still comfortable to wear around the clock.

It’s quite a heavy watch at 89g and it’s definitely the biggest wearable I’ve tested. But it’s not uncomfortable to have it 24/7.

And it feels sturdy and extremely durable.

Health and fitness

The watch houses an array of sensors such as optical heart rate, optical pulse oximeter, thermometer, compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter.

There’s also an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor built into the outer bezel which means you can take useful heart rate variability readings to help track your health and training readiness.

A nice feature is the widget’s handy previews that let you see snapshots of your steps, recovery time, and sleep time.

Sleep tracking is detailed, with light and deep sleep recorded, but not REM sleep stages.

On top of all that, you get a full selection of sport modes, including running, cycling, indoor cycling, swimming (indoor and open water), mountain biking, hiking, climbing, skiing, cardio gym, cardio GPS, bodybuilding and triathlon.



Profiles for running, indoor running, trail running and track running come with a competitive range of measurements.

You get running form monitoring with stride length, running cadence and power as well as real-time usual pace, distance and heart rate zone.

And you can download athlete-inspired training plans and workouts for running, swimming, triathlon, and strength.

All COROS watches include the EvoLab suite of tools and information, including real-time training load, VO2 Max, pace and intensity guidance, basic fitness tracking, current fatigue level, load impact and recovery time recommendations.

For pool swimming, you get detailed tracking of lengths, distance, average pace, stroke count, and pace.

Other Features

Elsewhere there’s built-in WiFi, 32GB of built-in storage and offline music support, but you have to load your MP3s onto the watch using a USB cable. There’s no support for offline music from streaming services, but that’s the case with many smartwatches and that’s the fault of the streaming services and not COROS or any other wearable clothing manufacturer.

You can receive notifications from your smartphone, but you cannot reply to messages or take calls. Weather information includes temperature, barometric pressure, sunrise and sunset times, and storm alerts.

COROS training center

This new training platform is a web application that was launched in December and is a space where athletes and coaches can interact with each other.

The interface is best viewed on a desktop or laptop, but it also looks great on an iPad Pro.



COROS Vertix 2
The Calendar view in COROS Training Hub

It aims to improve athlete-coach communication, where coaches can design workouts for their athletes based on data analysis and their strengths.

It uses a drag and drop system to add workouts and events and the main areas of interest are all clearly marked and easy to see.

Verdict

COROS Vertix 2 is one of the best adventure and multisport watches you can buy. It’s a brilliant all-rounder with unreal battery life.

Recent firmware updates indicate the kind of long-term support COROS will provide users, making Vertix 2 a great investment.

Pricing

COROS Vertix 2 costs €699 from Ready 2 Run Offaly.

Key specs

Dimensions: 50.3mm x 50.3mm x 15.7mm
Weight: 89g
Display: 1.4 inches, 280 x 280 resolution, 64 colors
Battery: 140 hour GPS, extends to 240 in super power modes
GPS: Full GPS system with dual-band tracking
Heart rate: optical readings and ECG
Navigation: Landscape and TOPO maps
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi
Straps: 26 mm, interchangeable silicone or nylon 26 mm
Waterproof: up to 100 meters