'The approach that Coros has to sports and GPS watches is functional and aligns with the kind of person who’s looking for data to give them the edge or achieve their adventure goals.'
Activity tracking
Comfort and ease of use
Battery life
Value for money
Immense battery life
Very durable
Generally quite accurate
Data driven features
It's expensive
Some processes are convoluted
Some features aren't useful in day-to-day life
Mapping is only useful when following a predetermined route

Tim’s spent a good few months becoming intimately acquainted with a Coros Vertix 2 GPS Adventure Watch, but does it know him better than he knows himself?


If you’ve ever had a modern GPS watch you’ll know that it’s not a simple transaction, it’s more like entering an intimate relationship.

Even more than our phones, these things are literally strapped to us, reading our metrics, urging us to wear them in our sleep, itching to record every activity where our heart rate moves anywhere above resting (oh and they know your resting heart rate).

They’re also very complex. The list of features on the Coros Vertix 2 goes on for almost as long than its battery life, which, spoiler alert: is immense.

But firstly, who the hell are Coros?

Who are Coros Performance Sports Technology?

In the GPS watch game Coros might be seen as a bit of a newcomer, starting in 2016 with their very successful kickstarter for smart bike helmets.

Two years later they released the PACE multisport watch, finally adding a bit of diversity to a pretty tight market.

People loved it and by 2020 Coros had released the PACE 2, the APEX and sponsored some of the best athletes in the world today.

Seriously, Eliud Kipchoge, Killian Jornet and Tommy Caldwell are the respective GOATs (greatest of all time) of road marathon, ultra mountain running and big wall rock climbing – with Emilie Forsberg, Molly Seidel and Hayden Hawks rounding out the household names.

Froth aside, Coros have pitched themselves as a data-driven company, focused on athletes who take their training seriously and are looking for the best data, not necessarily the cleanest user experience (and definitely not dumbed down).

With that in mind I’ll be reviewing the Coros Vertix 2 from the view of their intended buyer. It’s also worth understanding that no GPS sports watch is perfect, so a simple loss of heart rate or GPS connection isn’t a death knell.

It’s more about consistency, your ability to trust the data and let it inform how you act on your run, ride, climb or swim to get the desired results.

Read more: How to Compare GPS and Multisport Watches


The Coros Vertix 2 is well and truly waterproof

The Specs

Here’s an abridged look at the specification of the Coros Vertix 2. Safe to say it’s a large, tough watch, but it doesn’t feel overly bulky considering what they’re packing into it. You can view the entire list on the Coros website.

Dimensions: 50.3 x 50.3 x 15.7mm

Weight: 89g

Display: 35.5mm

Screen Material: Sapphire Glass

Bezel Material: Grade 5 Titanium Alloy With PVD Coating

Cover Material: Titanium Alloy With PVD Coating

Waterproof: 10ATM (suitable for surface activities but not diving)
Working temperatures: -30 to 50 degrees celsius

Satellite Systems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS

Eye-catching custom watch faces are a fun feature – this Ultra Trail Mont Blanc one has become my favourite


Let’s start with what the Coros Vertix 2 is hanging its hat on. The new features, updates and things you won’t find in every GPS watch.

I’ll explain the feature and immediately give my thoughts on how it works to keep it simple and it’s worth noting that this isn’t a complete list of features, because that would fill a novel.

Map Functionality

Coros have added topographic and landscape maps to the Vertix 2 and they cover every inch of the globe. The watch will come pre-loaded for your region (mine had Oceania, so they’re not small) and other regions can be added using the website and your computer. The watch has 32GB of storage by the way, which means many maps (and songs) can come along for the ride.

Most of the time you’ll use the hybrid function which shows topographic lines, and roads and paths. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where I’d just want one style of mapping.


The topographic map had a tendency to be low on detail


Using the full colour topo map while navigating a route is a definite level up which helped me quickly find myself contextually and ensure I was going the right way (especially useful when you’re cooked on a long trail run).

For route finding, I found the map less useful as it has no location names and a small level of detail. It was clunky enough that I found myself quickly reaching for my phone, but I think it’s fair to say this feature will improve with time and updates.


The hybrid map was more useful in most environments, even the bush, where it showed fire trails

Dual-GNSS functionality

Dual-frequency GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System – a broader term than just GPS) is a major selling point for the Coros Vertix 2.

Since the watch launched it’s appeared in a few other brand’s models as they race to pinpoint their users ever more accurately.

Essentially it allows the watch to pick up more signals at once and should increase accuracy when under trees, near cliffs, or around buildings.


Dual-GNSS ensured high accuracy in a heavily-wooded valley where I often lose GPS signal


Using it on the Vertix 2 drops the battery life from 140 hours (more on this epic number later) to around 50, but I’ll be honest (and this is a win for Coros) I didn’t feel I needed it all that much.

The GPS tracks were at least as accurate as my friend’s on our shared trail runs and it was hard to discern the small benefit that was probably there.

Even the run that probably needed it the most was racing UTA50 in the Blue Mountains, but even without the feature my route aligned with the average distance I saw across Strava (the course was definitely not 50km, if you’re wondering).

Essentially, I’m stoked to have an even more accurate tracking function available, but I’m not generally willing to sacrifice 90 hours of battery life for the privilege.

On the fliip side, the Ultramax setting will give you 240 hours by lowering the accuracy of the GPS – but I simply can’t see a reason for this.

You get very poor data and whatever you’re doing surely has enough flexibility to allow for some charging time while tracking – a feature that is supported by the Vertix 2. It also will fully charge in under 2 hours, and I found rapid results from quickly plugging it in to a battery pack.


Ok I was surprised to see this on the list but it’s an $1150 watch so I guess you’ve gotta have everything. Considering this is a first for Coros, it works really well – I connected to my Airpods and bopped along without issue, however:

  • There’s no Spotify integration, you have to manually load the mp3s onto the watch from your computer
  • Do you actually own any mp3s?
  • Are you often leaving your phone behind?

To me this feature is niche and unnecessary unless I can load in a few choice playlists from a 3rd party. But it’s also so rare that I won’t have a phone on me.

The same goes for features like paying using the watch, it seems unnecessary and I’d rather see Coros spend their time on more serious features. If you think I’m wrong, let me know in the comments.

Sidenote: You can get notifications from your phone on the watch (and control the type) and this works well. I turned them all off except phone calls, as I love being able to see who’s calling while exercising to decide whether or not I answer on my Airpods. Yes, I’m screening your calls.

The large watch face makes it easy to glance at during bumpy activities like trail running

Heart Rate Features

There’s a new optical heart rate sensor in the Vertix 2 and, not to get scientific on you, it works way better than my Suunto 9 Baro ever did.

I didn’t experience ‘cadence lock’ where it reads my steps instead of my heart rate and the SpO2 (pulse oximeter) created some interesting data points in the app – as well as allowing blood oxygen monitoring at altitude.

I was really excited about the Heart Rate Variability feature after hearing a lot about HRV on podcasts, but I have some caveats. Mainly, the issue is that Coros wants you to measure your HRV by sitting still for 60 seconds, 5 minutes after you wake up.

To be honest, this consistency is really important and a bunch of other watchmakers are probably having a laugh by pretending they can give it to you in real time.

However, I quickly got bored of the HRV test and I’m not convinced it’s useful unless you’re really super serious about your training.


Heart rate alerts, whether by zone or custom, were useful for specific training

Insta360 and GoPro Action Cam Control

What? Ok to me this seems more random than music, and I couldn’t test it as I didn’t have any of these cameras. But the principle of being able to control my GoPro or phone camera from the watch is cool and I’d like to see this functionality broaden out.


The watch now has WiFI which can be used to update the watch quickly and easily. I’m sure more features will be added – having great hardware in a watch means more features can come online over time.

Find My Phone/Watch

Both the watch and phone app can send signals to each other to ring and vibrate to help you find them. It’s no Find My Iphone, but it has helped me find both under piles of sweaty clothes post long run.


Let’s start with navigation because this is We Are Explorers – it’s also often a distinction point between cheaper and more expensive watches and the reason you might look at a competitor like the Garmin Fenix.

I touched on the maps before and honestly, once I worked out the process for making routes in Strava and pushing them onto the watch, it wasn’t too difficult to throw something onto the watch and head out on a new trail.

Essentially, it works, you’ll just probably  want to pull your phone out if you have to change the route on the fly. For slower activities like hiking I found the navigation more than adequate to keep me on the right path.

One area I’d love to see Coros improve in this space is the ‘map heading’ function. Unless you’re a purist, you’ll probably have your map set to orient with the direction you’re heading, something your watch should be pretty damn aware of, but I found that the Vertix 2 was often pointing the wrong way and needed a few seconds to settle.

This led to a technique where I run with my hand up like I’m looking at my watch (without looking at it) before glancing down knowing the direction should be correct. Feels a bit silly in 2023.

The only other criticism is of the colour given to parts of the route you’ve already covered – Coros have chosen ‘water blue’ for this and I legitimately kepting thinking I should be running alongside a river when I was running an out and back.

Activity Tracking

Despite branching into some other features, Coros leaves no doubt what its purpose is with the Vertix 2, the main button takes you directly to the list of activities you can track, no sub menus here.

You can track 27 different kinds of activities with the Coros Vertix 2, which is pretty comprehensive but I’d love to see this grow to include sports like surfing.

It’s important because Coros makes a big deal about using the right mode during setup, it reminded me that I need to tell it I’m doing an interval workout so it can be ready for quick changes in heart rate, and that the track mode was most accurate as the watch would know I was on a 400m athletics track (you even choose your lane).


Track mode locks in for a very clean Strava post (this is 12 laps)


The customisation here is great and you can choose from one to seven data points to receive across up to six pages.

I made use of this on trail runs with one page that showed me distance, pace, total time elevation gain and the time of day, and another right next to it that only showed me heart rate (for when I needed to focus on my effort). The process of changing these for each activity happens on the app and is super quick and simple, kudos from me.

Before you begin tracking you can also add in lots of activity-specific alerts like ‘rest alert’, ‘nutrition alert’ and heart rate or pace zones you want to target. I got a bit carried away and sounded like the jangly man with too many alerts set during one activity (the watch also buzzes) but I really loved the customisation.



The only sport modes that didn’t quite hit the mark for me were ‘indoor climb’ and ‘open water swim’ The indoor climb mode tried to automatically record my ascents, but was quickly confused by walking or belaying, and it felt like I was constantly touching my watch when I went manual. The ocean swim simply got confused and lost my location – granted, I’ve never personally had a GPS watch do this particularly well – but judging from Strava a lot of people’s watches have worked it out.

In the pool I found out that laps are decided by a tumble turn and the suggestion if you can’t do one is to ‘wave your arm around like you are’. See my note earlier about running along with my arm out. That being said, it nailed the distance when I did jump in the pool. Something that couldn’t be said for my friend’s Coros APEX until recently, so they must be working out the algorithm.

There’s an advanced system for building your own workouts in the app too, with tracking of the muscle groups you worked, but I’ve only just scratched the surface of this.

I did however import a training plan from Training Peaks, a popular app used by coaches, and this worked seamlessly. I haven’t once gone hunting for a workout.

My only concern is that sometimes doing the imported workout overrides my choices for that activity and I lose my customised screens. This isn’t a criticism, as I reckon it’s fixable, but I haven’t worked out how yet.


EvoLab is the free Coros training tool designed to help you maximise your workouts and recovery. It’s definitely more advanced than the offering at Strava, with metrics like ‘Training Load’, ‘Power’ and ‘Fatigue’ playing into algorithms that give you indications of whether you’re ready to work hard or rest up.

From what I’ve seen, EvoLab doesn’t go as far Garmin in giving you specific workouts (or alerting you that you’re losing fitness if you have a day off) but I think this is a good thing.

The data is useful to give you an indication of how your training is going, but should be used as part of a holistic approach to how you feel and how your body is performing.


Am I smiling or grimacing? The Coros Vertix 2 knows


Too many of these products overreach and suggest heaps of intensity because they don’t have a complete picture. For example, Strava has told me that I’m losing fitness, despite Coros believing quite the opposite.

It’s also worth knowing that if you’re going to rely on these tools, you need to be dedicated to the data. You should probably use a chest strap for heart rate measurement (the optical heart rate was not perfect and often missed heart rate spikes on hills) and wear it every night to sleep.

I don’t like sleep tracking but I gave it a crack with the Coros Vertix 2. It was fine, forming a ‘hard-to-dispute’ picture of my night and giving me a score, but I found the mental side of being monitored even at rest difficult and quickly let it slip.

The Vertix 2 expects commitment, which it needs to form an accurate picture of your training

Comfort and Ease of Use

Considering the size of the Coros Vertix 2, it’s damn comfy. I reckon it’s mostly due to the 26mm thick band, which spreads the weight evenly, doesn’t slip, and has heaps of holes to get the perfect tightness.

The back of the watch itself is also cleverly designed to push into the skin just enough to get a good reading, but not enough to be irritating.

That being said, when I tried to wear the watch non stop my skin eventually did start complaining, but this is partly because I wasn’t even cleaning under there.

As for the interface, it’s mostly good news. There’s a ‘digital crown’ to scroll through menus and three main buttons on the right hand side of the watch (the watch can actually be ‘flipped’ for lefties, which I love). There’s also a touch screen, which you can get away without using at all, so much so that I forgot it had one.


The thick strap spreads the weight and simple button setup is optimal for left or right handed users


Most of the time the digital crown and big button combo does everything you need, kind of like an iPod, and the menus are fine, if sometimes a bit long. There’s also a great lock function that prevents you from pausing your activity or ending it early, however this does take a bit of getting used to.

The only time I don’t like the interface is when I’m mid activity, as I find spinning the little wheel more difficult than a button push, and the process of going in and out of the map while in an activity made me zoom accidentally more times than I’d like to admit.

The app interface is great and easy enough to navigate. Like the watch, I feel that some of the menus could be a little more intuitive, but I think it’s better than the offerings I’ve tried from Suunto and Garmin.

In particular, the way the watch paired and uploaded activities was consistently excellent, which is great because it’s often one of the biggest pain points.

Finally, and I know this is small, but you can customise the watch face to dozens of fun, colourful options that include imagery and references to events or countries. In the future I’d love to see a customisation feature so you can build your own.

Battery Life

C’mon, do I need to say it? Coros battery life is the bomb, and the Vertix 2 is another step forward. Numbers like 140 hours of tracking or 60 days of use are all well and good, but how does it perform in real life?

I trained for a month with the Coros Vertix 2, six days a week, and did an overnight hike in the middle that I tracked. By the end of all that the watch was on 38%. That’s sensational.

I never tweaked any settings to save battery and used connections like a heart rate monitor all the time.

Simply put, I’ve never used anything like it, even the Suunto 9 Baro which made its name on battery life five years ago has nothing on this, nor do its competitors.


This is another area where the Vertix 2 truly excels. After six months of solid use my watch looks exactly the same as when it first came out of the reusable hard carry case it arrived in. Even the strap looks unchanged, which is particularly impressive.

The watch has a sapphire glass screen, which is basically unscratchable and provides proper peace of mind when you’re taking it outdoors every day.

Likewise the titanium body is super tough and I’ve knocked it on all kinds of rocks and doorframes, worriedly inspected it, and been unable to see where it hit the wall. I reckon that’s pretty special to be honest.

I don’t want the brevity of this section to make it seem unimportant. I give the durability of the Coros Vertix 2 full marks.


Now this can be a tricky conversation as $1150 might seem like entirely too much money for a Strava track and a bunch of features in various stages of development.

But you can get a GPS watch for much less than this. Even the Coros PACE 2 comes in at a bit over $300. But the Vertix 2 is at the forefront of this tech and the durability, battery life and accuracy doesn’t get much better.

The other thing worth noting is the Coros reputation for pushing development very quickly. Some of the features of the Vertix 2 might seem like a work in progress, but the bones of the watch and its hardware are good, and I’ve been receiving updates almost every week that tweak and optimise.

That being said, it is expensive and it’s worth asking yourself what features you really do need and if the top tier model is right for you. At least with its big battery and bombproof casing, you’re sure to have it for a while.

The Coros Vertix 2 and I have become symbiotic

If you’ve read this far, I want to thank you for your dedication and I’d love to know if you have any questions, just comment below.

Reviewing a product like this is an immense task and Coros were legends for lending it to me for six months to try out as many of the features as I possibly could.


I trail ran, hiked, canoed, rode bikes, lifted weights, surfed and ran track with the Coros Vertix 2


The approach that Coros has to sports and GPS watches is functional and aligns with the kind of person who’s looking for data to give them the edge or achieve their adventure goals.

I like that – I like it when features help us act in the real world, rather than pull us into some wearable utopia that we don’t want or need. I think that the Coros and EvoLab system is powerful, but only when used correctly. While testing I found that its understanding of my current state of readiness and fatigue was quite accurate, certainly more than most watches and training tools I’ve used, however it was a huge commitment to track sleep, HRV and all exercises (in specific ways) to get the most benefit, and this wore thin for me.

The Vertix 2 is a huge step forward in many ways for Coros and it excels in these areas, while feeling somewhat out of its depth with other features such as music and off-route navigation. The upside is that these are fairly software-based issues, and the bones of the watch are strong enough that it’ll be around to make use of them.