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Coros Vertix 2 Review

The most rugged expedition-ready watch we tested with insane battery life in a large 51mm case
Coros Vertix 2
Credit: Coros
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $700 List | Check Price at Backcountry
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
Manufacturer:   Coros
By Matthew Richardson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2022
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86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 12
  • Features - 20% 8.0
  • Battery Life - 20% 10.0
  • Ease of Use - 20% 8.0
  • Accuracy - 20% 9.0
  • Design - 20% 8.0

Our Verdict

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.

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Coros Vertix 2
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Coros Vertix 2
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
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$699.99 at Amazon
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$399 List$449.99 at Backcountry
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Pros Durable, incredible battery life, large screen, great appExcellent battery life, great interface, advanced health metrics, beautiful screen resolutionGood battery life, comfortable, easy to use, great valueReliable, durable, excellent battery life, simple designLow profile design, great battery life, very accurate, low cost
Cons Heavy, expensive, limited touch function, resume later function not enabled across all activitiesApp could be better, calibration of ABC difficult, expensiveLacks some toolset functions, scroll wheel has unintended clicksPlastic body, straps not removable, may be less comfortable for smaller wristsMinimal 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 caseThe best GPS watch for everyday use and extended adventures in backcountry terrainA fully-featured GPS watch at a great price makes this one of our top recommendations for all user typesA rugged GPS watch with potentially unlimited battery life, this watch has all the features you need and nothing you don'tA 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
Features (20%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Battery Life (20%)
10.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Ease of Use (20%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Accuracy (20%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Design (20%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
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
Model Tested Standard Standard Standard Solar N/A
Size Tested One size only 47mm 47mm One size only One size only
Measured Main Body Size (diameter) 50mm 47mm 47mm 45mm 43mm
Measured Thickness 16mm 15.5mm 13.4mm 15mm 11mm
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;
GPS: 30/48hrs
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 Control? Yes Yes No Yes No
Music Storage? Yes - 32gb storage Yes - 1000 songs No No No
Daily Fitness Tracking? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Touchless Payment? No Yes No Yes No
Sleep Tracking? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blood Oxygen? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Compass? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometric Altimeter? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Temperature Sensor? 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.

Performance Comparison


Coros Vertix 2 gps watch - the coros vertix 2 has the best battery life out of any of the...
The Coros Vertix 2 has the best battery life out of any of the models we tested and was our favorite for hiking.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Features


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.

Notable Features:

  • Compass
  • Thermometer
  • Alarms
  • Several activity profiles
  • Pedometer and calories burned
  • Barometer
  • Altimeter
  • 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.

Coros Vertix 2 gps watch - the toolset on the vertix 2 is extensive and one of the best we...
The toolset on the Vertix 2 is extensive and one of the best we tested. We wish it had a find my phone feature.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Battery Life


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!

Coros Vertix 2 gps watch - testing the coros vertix 2 in snowy running conditions. no battery...
Testing the Coros Vertix 2 in snowy running conditions. No battery life loss was detected due to the cold temps.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

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.

Coros Vertix 2 gps watch - the best navigation experience out of any of the watches we tested...
The best navigation experience out of any of the watches we tested thanks to the large touch screen.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Accuracy


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.

Coros Vertix 2 gps watch - hiking in to ice climb, we took the coros vertix 2 because we knew...
Hiking in to ice climb, we took the Coros Vertix 2 because we knew we'd be out for a long mission.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Design


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.

Coros Vertix 2 gps watch - the altimeter function features an easy-to-use scrollable graph...
The altimeter function features an easy-to-use scrollable graph, similar styles are found on other ABC widgets.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

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.

Coros Vertix 2 gps watch - the metal bezel provides durable protection for the screen and looks...
The metal bezel provides durable protection for the screen and looks great while doing so. This watch commands attention and we are big fans.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Coros Vertix 2 gps watch - backpacking in winter gets dark quickly. our cozy sleeping bag is...
Backpacking in winter gets dark quickly. Our cozy sleeping bag is the perfect time to mess around with various functions on the Vertix 2.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson
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