The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Coros Vertix Review

This watch is your ultimate mountain sport training tool.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $600 List | $599.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Great battery life, accurate tracking, easy to use
Cons:  Expensive, slightly bulky
Manufacturer:   Coros
By Paige Klugherz ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 19, 2019
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90
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Altimeter Accuracy - 30% 9
  • Battery Life - 20% 9
  • User experience - 20% 9
  • Features - 15% 9
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 9

Our Verdict

Coros may be a newer name on the market, but they've hit it out of the park with the Vertix. This beast of a watch is durable, accurate, and has incredible battery life. The screen is clear and easy to read, the buttons are straightforward and responsive, and the accompanying phone app is a breeze to use. Although you may not use every feature unless you're doing some serious high altitude mountain activities, we think this one can function well for both the recreational and the professional athlete. If the mountains are your training ground, the Vertix is the watch to guide you through them, and it earns our Editors' Choice Award.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Coros Vertix
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $599.99 at Amazon$499.99 at Amazon$436.00 at Amazon
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$244.95 at Amazon$399.00 at Amazon
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Pros Great battery life, accurate tracking, easy to useTracks many activities, easy to use, stylish, comfortableTouch screen, many features, consistent altimeter, clear graphsLong battery life, durable aluminum finish, great fit, precise, easy-to-use interfaceComfortable, high quality, easy-to-use, highly accurate, GPS, many features, rechargeable battery
Cons Expensive, slightly bulkyShorter battery life, less accurate GPSShort battery life, inaccurate step counterAltitude and barometric graphs are sub-par, no GPS, lag on button pressesThicker profile, short battery life
Bottom Line This watch is your ultimate mountain sport training tool.This altimeter watch is loaded with features for the mountain athlete.This is an all-star watch for those who keep to the front country.This Best Buy Award winner is the best option for those looking for a classic altimeter watch at an affordable price.This watch excels because of its accuracy, reliability, and great features.
Rating Categories Coros Vertix Garmin Forerunner 935 Suunto 9 Baro Suunto Core Alu Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Altimeter Accuracy (30%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Battery Life (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
7
User Experience (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
7
Features (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
Comfort And Fit (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
Specs Coros Vertix Garmin Forerunner... Suunto 9 Baro Suunto Core Alu Suunto Ambit3 Peak
GPS? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Dimensions (Inches) 1.85 x 1.85 x .61" 1.85 x 1.85 x .55 2.03 x 2.03 x 0.67 " 1.93 x 1.93 x 0.57” 1.97 x 1.97 x 0.71”
Type of Battery Rechargeable lithium ion battery Rechargable lithium ion battery Rechargable lithium ion battery Watch battery Rechargable lithium ion battery
Battery Life (w/o GPS) 45 days 2 weeks 14 days 12 months 30 days
Battery Life w/ GPS on 60hrs up to 24 hrs regular GPS, up to 60 hrs in Ultratrac w/o hr tracking 7 days No GPS 20, 30, or 200 hours
Altitude Range None provided None provided -500 - 9999 m -500 - 9000 m -500 - 9999 m
Altitidue differential? None provided Yes Yes Yes Yes
Elevation interval None provided 1m/3ft 1ft 1m/3ft 1m/3ft
Barometer Yes, barometric graph Yes, barometric graph Yes Yes Yes
Barometric Recording Interval & Time (for the graph) Every 10 min, 24 hours Every 30 minutes, 24 hours 10 seconds, 24 hours Every 30 minutes, 24 hours Every 15 minutes, 24 hours
Barometric Pressure Range None provided 920 - 1,080 hPa (27.13 - 31.85 inHg) Information pending 920 - 1,080 hPa (27.13 - 31.85 inHg) 950 to 1060 hPa (28.05 to 31.30 inHg)
Storm Alert Alarm? No No Yes Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes Yes, tilt adjustable None Yes
Time Features Digital, stopwatch, timer Digital (customizable faces), stop watch, GPS time, countdown timer Digital (customizable faces), stop watch, GPS time, countdown timer Digital, dual world times, stopwatch, countdown timer Digital, stop watch, countdown timer
Time Alarm Yes, 10 daily alarms Yes, 10 daily alarms Yes Yes Yes, one daily alarm
Thermometer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Temperature Resistance Range -4 to 140F (-20 to 60C) -20° C to +60° C (-4F - 140F) -20° C to +60° C -20° C to +60° C (-4F - 140F) -20° C to +60° C
Water Resistance Yes, 150 meters Yes, 50 meters Yes, 100 meters Yes, 100 meters Yes, 100 meters
Interchangeable straps? Yes Yes Yes No No
Types of bands and material Silicone Silicone (leather options, as well) Silicone Silicone Elastomer
Bluetooth connection? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
GPS, GLONASS, both? Both Both GPS No GPS GPS
Apps Yes, Coros app Garmin Connect Suunto MovesCount n/a Suunto MovesCount
Charging Type specialized cord Specialized cord Specialized cord Battery Specialized cord
Warranty Limited Warranty Period (2 years) Limited Warranty Period (1 year) Limited Warranty Period (2 years) Limited Warranty Period (2 years) Limited Warranty Period (2 years)
Other Cool Features sunrise/sunset, sleep tracking, VO2 max sunrise/sunset, sleep tracking, VO2 max, etc. Activity monitoring, heart rate monitor, notifications, moon phases, points of interest, sleep tracking sunrise/sunset notifications, points of interest, recovery time estimator,

Our Analysis and Test Results

Its outstanding battery life, accuracy, and ease of use make this one the across-the-board winner.

Performance Comparison


Taking the Vertix up a scrambly peak in Iceland.
Taking the Vertix up a scrambly peak in Iceland.

Altimeter Accuracy


We found this watch to have accurate altimeter readings in a variety of situations including coming out of steep-walled canyons and under tree cover. It can be calibrated using GPS or by entering your known elevation, but we didn't find ourselves having to do it very often.


There are always some discrepancies to be expected with altimeter watches, but in general, the Coros was consistent. Hiking and running the same trails multiple times brought nearly identical readings that were always very close to predicted elevation based on hardcopy maps and websites such as CalTopo.

Unlike some of the other watches tested  this one maintained a consistent  accurate altitude reading despite the pressure changes from storms throughout the night.
Unlike some of the other watches tested, this one maintained a consistent, accurate altitude reading despite the pressure changes from storms throughout the night.

Battery Life


Simply put, the battery life is outstanding. With up to 45 days of regular use, 60 hours in full GPS tracking mode, and 150 hours in Ultratrac, it blows the other GPS watches out of the water and almost negates the "better battery life" argument for choosing a non-GPS watch. It charges quickly, within a few hours, and if needed, you can extend battery life by turning off Bluetooth or by not enabling GLONASS.


We took this watch to Iceland for a couple of weeks of backpacking and trail running and never had to charge it in spite of how many activities we tracked. If you're doing long backcountry days or weeks, this one can handle it. Unless you need the full year of life that you can find in a non-GPS altimeter watch that uses a standard watch battery, such as the Suunto Core Alu, the Vertix should have more than enough longevity.

It charges with a unique USB cord that plugs into the back of the watch body next to the optical heart rate sensor.
It charges with a unique USB cord that plugs into the back of the watch body next to the optical heart rate sensor.

User Experience


With three responsive buttons (scroll/select, back, and light) and a large, clear screen, the Coros is easy to get started using. The bright display functioned well in both bright daylight and at night. From your home screen, you can view daily data such as current altitude, heart rate, air pressure, and more by scrolling through the different screens. The colorful graphs under each category were appreciated. Tracking activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, and trail running can be accessed by clicking the scroll button. Additional features including timers, alarms, compass, blood oxygen monitoring, navigation, and general settings can be found by holding the back button.


We loved that you could customize the different data and the number of screens during each type of activity. It usually took less than thirty seconds for the heart rate and GPS to register and allow you to begin tracking, and afterward, the upload to the accompanying app was lightning fast. The Coros app has a clean design and is straightforward to use, which is pretty much all we want in an app!

This shows some of your daily data as well as your activity history.
This shows some of your daily data as well as your activity history.
This shows part of a tracked activity and some of the ways you can customize your screens.
This shows part of a tracked activity and some of the ways you can customize your screens.

Fit


While the watch face is substantial and has some heft, it didn't feel overwhelming for any of our testers. The band is comfortable and easily adjustable for a variety of wrist sizes, and the silicone felt durable without feeling too thick.

Features


Although it tracks fewer activities than a Garmin, taking into account the ABC features, fitness and sleep tracking, the ability to read texts via the watch, and the heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring, we think the Coros still has nearly all the features you could want.


Altimeter and Barometer


The altimeter and barometer both display graphs of the previous 24 hours, with them each taking an automatic reading every ten minutes. You can scroll back through the increments and view the exact altitude and air pressure for any point in your day, and it also gives you an average reading for the past 6 hours.

Easy to read screens display total gain/descent as well as current elevation and grade.
Easy to read screens display total gain/descent as well as current elevation and grade.

Compass


The compass calibrates quickly by rotating the watch in circles. As always with ABC watches, when there is high consequence, bring a map and compass as well. This is a solid, simple feature.

Timekeeping


This watch has all the standard timekeeping features including a stopwatch, timer, and the ability to set numerous alarms. The time and date can be set manually or by having it automatically sync when connected to your phone via Bluetooth. You can also choose whether to have a digital or analog time display on your home screen.

Fitness Tracking


Fitness tracking is another area where the Vertix shines. Along with VO2 measurements and training intensity and resting recommendations, similar to what you'd find in some Garmin and Suunto models, it also offers 24/7 blood oxygen monitoring to let you know how your body is adjusting to extremely high altitudes and when you can safely go higher. While most of us won't be using this feature every weekend, it's a pretty incredible tool.

Heart rate is also tracked every 10 minutes, and you can scan through a graph of the previous 24 hours of readings. This is also the main feature that enables sleep tracking, and together the two can be useful to determine how you're recovering from hard efforts. As with all watches that offer wrist heart rate monitoring, remember that they can vary in accuracy between users and will never be as accurate as a chest strap heart rate monitor. These types of tracking functions are great for giving you insight into general trends in your fitness, but remember to take it all with a grain of salt.

GPS


This watch offers both GPS and GLONASS, with the default being just GPS enabled. Using both will increase accuracy, but slightly lower battery life. During testing, we found this watch to be highly accurate with its distances. When comparing the tracked routes after activities to satellite maps, they were also very precise.

We loved being able to upload GPS files before heading out in order to follow a precise path and know exactly what the elevation changes looked like in the upcoming terrain. Traveling in areas where trails meandered or were easily lost, we appreciated the setting that vibrated whenever we got more than .1 mi off course. (This was the standard setting, but that number can be customized.)

Following an uploaded GPS route for the day allowed us know the exact elevation profile of the trail ahead.
Following an uploaded GPS route for the day allowed us know the exact elevation profile of the trail ahead.

Value


At its price point, this is definitely an investment, but we think it's a worthy one. It's actually not as expensive as the highest-end Garmin or Suunto models, and we'd still pick the Coros for its functionality and accuracy. There are a number of features that many wearers won't be using on a daily basis, such as blood oxygen monitoring, but if battery life, durability, and cold weather performance are important to you, treat yourself to the Vertix.

Conclusion


This watch seems to tick all the boxes- comfortable, easy to use, highly accurate, and a battery that just won't quit. With Coros releasing firmware updates all the time, including adding more activities to track, this one seems like it will just keep getting better. This watch is stylish enough and has the right blend between smartwatch features and serious mountain capabilities to make it transition from the office to the alpine. Whether you're trekking in the Himalaya or getting your vert in post 9-5, the Vertix is our Editors' Choice for best altimeter watch.

This watch was a great tool for Sierra trails and peaks.
This watch was a great tool for Sierra trails and peaks.


Paige Klugherz