We found ourselves choosing the Coros Vertix 2 whenever we needed extra battery life and weren't doing high output activities with lots of arm movement. With a 51mm case, it's the largest model we tested, and that larger usable screen makes this a fantastic choice for navigation. The signature Coros scroll wheel is easy to use and allows movement throughout the interface to be smooth and precise; however, it gets bumped much easier, making locking the watch pretty essential during activity. The associated mobile app is great — our favorite out of the brands we tested. If you desire a larger watch and seemingly endless battery life, check out the Vertix 2.Editor's Note: Over the summer Coros launched some promising software updates. We haven't fully tested this yet, but are in the process of doing so now and will offer a full analysis with our upcoming fall update.
Coros Vertix 2 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Durable, incredible battery life, large screen, great app
Cons: Heavy, expensive, limited touch function, resume later function not enabled across all activities
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Coros Vertix 2
|Price||Check Price at Backcountry|
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|$699.99 at Amazon|
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|$399 List||$449.99 at Backcountry|
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|$199.00 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Durable, incredible battery life, large screen, great app||Excellent battery life, great interface, advanced health metrics, beautiful screen resolution||Good battery life, comfortable, easy to use, great value||Reliable, durable, excellent battery life, simple design||Low profile design, great battery life, very accurate, low cost|
|Cons||Heavy, expensive, limited touch function, resume later function not enabled across all activities||App could be better, calibration of ABC difficult, expensive||Lacks some toolset functions, scroll wheel has unintended clicks||Plastic body, straps not removable, may be less comfortable for smaller wrists||Minimal activity profiles, no navigation features, plastic construction|
|Bottom Line||The most rugged expedition-ready watch we tested with insane battery life in a large 51mm case||The best GPS watch for everyday use and extended adventures in backcountry terrain||A fully-featured GPS watch at a great price makes this one of our top recommendations for all user types||A rugged GPS watch with potentially unlimited battery life, this watch has all the features you need and nothing you don't||A fully functional and incredibly light GPS sports watch boasting great battery life at an incredible value|
|Rating Categories||Coros Vertix 2||Garmin Fenix 7||Coros Apex Pro||Garmin Instinct 2 S...||Coros Pace 2|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Coros Vertix 2||Garmin Fenix 7||Coros Apex Pro||Garmin Instinct 2 S...||Coros Pace 2|
|Watch Face Material||Sapphire Glass||Corning Gorilla Glass DX||Sapphire glass||Power glass||Corning glass|
|Bezel||Grade 5 titanium alloy with PVD coating||Stainless steel||Titanium Alloy||Fiber reinforced polymer||Fiber reinforced polymer|
|Case||Titanium Alloy with PVD Coating||Fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover||Alumnium||Fiber reinforced polymer||Fiber reinforced polymer|
|Strap Material||Silicon or nylon||Silicon||Silicon or nylon||Silicone||Silicon or nylon|
|Tools Required to Change Band?||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Size Tested||One size only||47mm||47mm||One size only||One size only|
|Measured Main Body Size (diameter)||50mm||47mm||47mm||45mm||43mm|
|Measured Screen Width||35.5mm||33mm||33mm||23mm||32mm|
|Measured Weight||3.17 oz||2.75 oz||2.0 oz||1.87 oz||1.2 oz|
|Measured Charging Time||128 min||168 min||80 min||123 min||80 min|
|Battery Type||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion||Rechargable lithium ion|
|Measured Battery Life With GPS On||135 hours||56 hours||36 hours||30 hours||29 hours|
|Manufacturer-Reported Battery Life||Smartwatch mode: 60 days;
GPS: 140 hours
|Smartwatch mode: 18 days;
GPS: 57 hours
|Smartwatch mode: 30 days;
GPS mode: 40 hours;
UltraMax mode: 100 hours
|Smartwatch mode: 28 days and unlimited w/ solar;
|Smartwatch mode: 20 days;
GPS: 30 hours;
Ultramax mode: 60 hours
|Navigation Built In?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Satellite Networks Used||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS||GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO||GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU||GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO||GPS, QZSS, GLONASS, BEIDOU|
|Maps?||Yes - detailed||Yes - detailed||Yes - basic||No||No|
|Back to Start Navigation?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Water Resistance (max depth)||100m||100m||100m||100m||50m|
|Music Storage?||Yes - 32gb storage||Yes - 1000 songs||No||No||No|
|Daily Fitness Tracking?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Main Software App||Coros App||Garmin Connect, widgets for other features||Coros App||Garmin Connect, widgets for other features||Coros|
|Can Software Cross Over to Different Software Ecosystems?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Larger watches tend to stand out more, and the Vertix 2 makes a rugged statement when you wear it. It feels bombproof and ready for anything you throw at it, but it's heavy and easily noticeable when doing high output activities such as running. The larger screen allows for more data to be displayed, and the topo navigation experience was the best we tested because of the larger size. For some, this case size may be a dealbreaker, but we think it holds a place in the GPS watch market.
At this price point, you can expect to get top-of-the-line features, and the Vertix 2 generally follows the market regarding its feature set. It provides standard smartwatch functions such as music controls and notifications and advanced health metrics such as sleep, fatigue, and recovery. That said, while Garmin products provide scores and descriptions about these metrics, the Vertix only offers stats that you will have to interpret for your own body.
Similar implementation of widgets and tools are found on this model as other top-tier products, and they work well to allow easy access to all the functions you desire. However, one that's missing on this model, which we often like to use, is a find my phone function, so keep that in mind if you're prone to losing your phone. A unique function the Vertix 2 offers is the ability to control a GoPro or Insta360 camera remotely from the watch.
- Several activity profiles
- Pedometer and calories burned
- Sunrise/Sunset information
- Breadcrumb navigation + topo maps
- Course creation and upload options
- Customizable watch faces
- Touch Screen
- Optical pulse oximeter
- Optical heart rate sensor
- Electrocardiogram sensor
- Internal storage and Bluetooth headphone streaming for offline content
Take a look at the Coros website to see the full scope of all the features offered.
Thanks to the size, the navigation features found on the Vertix 2 are the best we tested. Topos come preloaded on the watch, and there's 32 GB of storage included for adding music. Unfortunately, you have to manually do this instead of using a service like Spotify. Bottom line: loads of features are found on this watch, and the majority of them all work flawlessly, but they may require a bit more interpretation or work than some of the competition.
The Vertix 2 has unquestionable dominance in battery life compared to the other models we tested — over twice the juice when compared to the Garmin Fenix 7 in multi-satellite mode with all other functions and systems running. A claimed 90 hours is incredible and far surpasses any of the competition. Coros is known for its battery life already, and this model sets the bar even higher. On a four-day backpacking trip, we recorded 15 hours of full GPS while using multi-satellite GPS tracking and got home to a watch still at just over 80%; incredible.
Surprisingly, there are no power modes on this watch, maybe because battery life is so good, you just don't need them. But the GPS modes are hidden in the settings, unlike other models that give you the option right when you start an activity. You also have no battery options in the toolset other than UltraMax mode, which is only available when recording a workout. That said, while it's something we wanted to point out, it's hardly a complaint. With the Vertix 2, the last thing you have to worry about is battery life and battery modes. With one-second recording for 90 hours on all available satellites, why would you? On paper, the fastest racers could ride the entire Colorado Trail on one battery charge with the entire route downloaded while using navigation. Insane!
Ease of Use
This model receives high marks for its ease of use both in regard to the mobile application and the watch's internal interface. The main scroll wheel is easy to use and precise, and the dedicated back buttons make movement through the settings and menus a breeze. The user interface is almost identical to Garmin products. There are a few differences, but they are easy to learn, even if you are migrating from a different brand.
While the scroll wheel is nice when actively operating the watch, we experienced more accidental presses than with other watches. Having to use the lockout feature is one extra step not required on dedicated button models.
Oddly, the touch screen is not enabled for regular usage outside swiping during an activity or when using navigation. Tapping into widgets and accessing the graph also allows for touch gestures, but we are unsure why the decision was made not to enable touch gestures across the device. Most likely, it is because the scroll wheel is more than sufficient, but we still find this a bit strange.
The integrated mobile application is designed well, and we prefer it to Garmin Connect, even though there are no community aspects like a news feed or friend-following. We suspect most people interested in these features use Strava or a similar third-party application and that Coros knows this. We think this is a good move, for now anyway. Adjusting data fields and watch settings is far superior to the Garmin Connect method, and we found the Vertix 2 to be the easiest to set up and configure via the app. Certain items were a bit buried in the menu systems that we wish had more visibility, such as GPS settings and battery controls. Enabling touch via a toolset would also be a valuable addition.
Despite these things, it's hard to argue that there is anything negative with this model in terms of ease of use. It scores very highly, and we think it's about as smooth of an experience you can ask for. We appreciate the dedicated buttons in addition to the smooth scroll wheel, and it's clear Coros is thinking hard about how to provide the best user experience when designing their devices.
Thanks to its dual frequency and MULTI GNSS capabilities, this is one of the best GPS watches we tested for accuracy. We took the Vertix 2 on a 50-mile backpack in a remote canyon in Utah. It performed excellently and had zero issues obtaining satellite reception even in the deepest of canyons. We do wish it was a bit easier to switch GPS modes without going into the settings — the Garmin Fenix 7 easily allows you to do this in the options screen when starting an activity.
We also took the Vertix on a three-mile remote GPS test with all of the other watches in our test group. Each of the watches was within 0.01 miles of the three miles. If you are in technical terrain, dual-frequency will provide the most accurate data, so this watch is an excellent choice if you often find yourself in these places.
Just by looking at this device, you can tell it's made for expedition use and rugged outings. The 51mm case looks commanding in all situations, and the screen size attracts attention. The color screen is vibrant, and the various watch faces pop out with their rich data. Readability is great thanks to this larger screen, but we suspect the size will be a limiting factor for some.
The Coros Apex Pro with its 47mm case size will most likely be what the average user desires, but if you have a larger wrist or desire the beefy look of a 1.4-inch screen, we don't think you can go wrong with the Vertix 2. We loved this design for hiking and activities that have less aggressive arm movement. Due to the weight and being the heaviest we tested, we may recommend a different model if your primary activity is running.
Unfortunately, we experienced more accidental button presses on this model due to the size and the protruding scroll wheel. This mostly happened when wearing jackets or using ski gloves. A few times while ice climbing, the watch unintentionally paused without us noticing. Luckily there is a lock function with the ability to either scroll or long-press to unlock. This is helpful to have but is one more step while running or working out that you'll have to deal with if you want to change data fields or swipe to see your heart rate stats.
If you desire seemingly endless battery life and a design with premium materials, we think this model is worth the cost. However, you can easily pay much less and receive some of the main basic features with a different watch, but the design and feel will be cheaper and less extravagant. The Vertix 2 may be overkill for most people, but it's hard not to argue that your money is being spent on a solid build both internally and externally.
The Coros Vertix 2 is a beast of a watch. With upwards of 100+ hours of full GPS recording, it's hard to use this model and not be impressed. While not for everyone given the price and case size, we think that the market will gain from the technology found in this series. If you desire premium materials and all-month(?!) battery life, you can't go wrong with this model. Sure we think Coros could make a few software tweaks here and there, but ultimately you will not be disappointed in this device, and the technology should stay strong and competitive for years to come.
— Matthew Richardson
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