at the races Watch review: Coros Vertix 2

Watch review: Coros Vertix 2

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I have been running for a long time and for a runner, getting a new watch is like getting a treat, some arm candy for us sneaker-wearing geeks. The new Coros Vertix 2 watch is like a whole bowl of leftover Halloween candy on your wrist. I started running what seems several light-years ago with a watch that only had a stopwatch and then strapped on the first 300lb, forearm-length GPS running watch and waited 4-days for it to pick up a signal.

Times have changed!

With a mind-boggling collection of treats and with crazy battery power stuffed within its solid and beefy casing, the Coros watch packs a punch like a mouthful of candies to the stomach after trick or treating. The Vertix, however, leaves out the stomachache, but may tax your brain a little bit to figure out in the first few days.

Coros shipped me out their new watch and I popped open the solid plastic, heavy duty case that matches the watch in sturdiness. I set it up, walked with it, worked out with it, ran and racewalked with it and had it in the woods. I went through as many features and options as I could to get a feel for everything and my review is from the perspective of a long-time runner. This is not a tech review but an honest, summarized version of what I think you need to know.

If you are in a rush, quickly scroll to the bottom for my summary.

LOOKS, FEEL AND WEARING IT – Durable, solid beast of a watch

The watch looks like an adventure watch and is not dainty. I got a beige strap, but you can punch it up with other colours like orange, green and yellow. I liked the look, but some may find too it looks too big on their wrists.

The watch is thicker than any running or sport watch I have worn and is heavy. The casing is super solid and tough with wrist sensors on the back and simple charge port. There are three buttons to navigate settings, with the middle button jutting out quite a bit. The middle button can be turned to get to options and also pressed. However, the middle button was so big that I kept starting workouts or doing something when I bent my wrist. There always seems an option with this watch—too many functions?—and I flipped the watch/buttons to the other side and changed orientation of the watch face, and problem solved. You need to make it your own, which its designed for. Also: it has a solid, durable strap that was snapped on super easily to the watch body.

The watch, despite being big and solid, felt OK wearing after I got used to it.

OPTIONS, TOOLS AND MORE – If you do it all, this has it all

The COROS Vertix 2 is called an “adventure watch” because it will not only appeal to runners and endurance athletes, but it really has tools that those venturing off the main trails or up, climbing stuff can use. It has all the tools I would expect and want from a GPS running watch (distance, time, pace, splits, cadence).

I started to create a list of tools and options for a runner and – well, it got too long!

The watch catches a satellite signal surprisingly quickly and is amazingly accurate. The dual-frequency GNSS chipset enables VERTIX 2 to handle more complex environments like city streets, gorges and forests. The new chipset gives the VERTIX 2 significantly higher accuracy in complex environments where you have limited satellite visibility, or where there is interference from large walls or buildings. So when running through your neighbourhood or city running this watch will be more accurate than nearly anything else on the market. I’m sure many of us have had to deal with weird pace readings or stats from runs, or even races, when there are large buildings around.

For trail runners and ultramarathoners, the mapping options (landscape, topographic and hybrid) combined with COROS’s biggest screen ever and a long-lasting battery life (after 4-weeks of testing I still had not charged) make this a go-to watch.

Like an Apple Watch, it will show you when you get a call or text, connects to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and you can control your camera from your watch. Plus, you can store music on the watch to easily listen to tunes without a phone or extra gear.

When purchasing a running watch, think about what you want and what you don’t really need. The Vertix 2 has more bells and whistles than any other watch I have worn or tested. 

RUNNING WITH IT

No issues. I got used to the size and weight and the strap is comfortable and it did not slide around on the go.

SUMMING THINGS UP

The watch has a huge screen, is solid and heavier than many other watches I’ve tried. The battery-life is mind-blowing, it picks up a satellite signal super-fast, has good wrist-based HR and it has all the options, tools and stats that I think a runner could ever want. I love being able to download music and have it on the go, perfect to use on my foolish ultra runs and on the trails. With a suggested retail price of $949CAD, it’s a big investment. If you run and are also a trail runner, like going super long, cross train, climb and like adventures than this watch has what you need— you soon can even get a carabiner to climb with this watch hanging from your side.

This watch is about adventure on foot.

If the watch seems too expensive and you do not picture using all the options, then I suggest taking a look at the Coros Pace 2, it’s a much lighter GPS multi-sport watch geared more for just runners. There are many online watch comparisons if you need more information or are more techy and the Coros website also has more information and help.

Discover the COROS VERTIX 2 here.

Noel Paine has been running for over 30-years from fuzzy cheap headphones to the current wonders of technology and writing about much of it. You can find him on Twitter at @NoelPaine or Instagram at @Runningwriter.

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