Coros has launched a new rugged sports watch that offers Garmin and Polar real value for money with a very long battery life., offline navigation tools, and a highly durable design for long training sessions and multi-day events.
The original Vertix arrived in May 2019 and the new model follows a similar design, with a titanium case, sapphire crystal display and textured silicone strap. It comes in a reusable protective case (we've gotten our hands on it before on TechRadar, and it's extremely sturdy).
It has a color touch screen and physical buttons, allowing for precise fingertip control and easy glove navigation. Coros has redesigned the clock interface to make it easier.
However, the biggest improvement is the battery life. While the original Vertix could continue to run for 60 hours in full GPS mode, the new model continues to run and track your location for 140 hours. For comparison, the Polar Grit X can run for up to 40 hours with full GPS tracking, as can the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar in sufficient sunlight.
Navigation tools are also impressive. The Vertix 2 communicates with all five major global satellite systems simultaneously (including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou) so you can accurately fix your position anywhere in the world.
There are also global offline maps, with panoramic, topographic and hybrid views to ensure that you can follow your planned route even when exploring a remote location. If you've already invested in a Coros Vertix or Apex Pro watch, you don't need to upgrade just for that; These two watches will also receive topographic maps in late 2021.
It won't be as rich as the mapping on the Vertix 2 (there isn't enough space to store a global map, so you'll only be able to download one map for your region), but it's still a great upgrade.
Rounding out the exterior package, the Vertix 2 is compatible with Insta360 action cameras, allowing you to take photos using the watch as a remote control, so you're not limited to arm-held selfies.
The Vertix 2 comes in two colors (a shade of black called Obsidian and an orange shade called Lava) and costs $699.99 (about €500 / AU$1,000).
Go the distance
Coros also announced a special edition of its Pace 2 watch, designed to celebrate world marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge. It was the watch Kipchoge wore when he won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics this year.
The Signature Edition Pace 2 is essentially the same as the standard version, but it comes with a few themed extras, including a selection of bands (silicone and nylon) with red and green accents to match the flag of Keyna, Kipchoge's home country. , plus a note from the man himself.
The package also includes the Chorus POD (Performance Optimization Device), which attaches to your clothing and provides analytics including time on the ground, stride length, cadence, and left/right balance.
Only 5.000 of the Signature Edition watches will be made and are now available to order directly from Coros.
Analysis: Why GPS Alone Isn't Enough
GPS is an essential tool for outdoor sports, but sometimes it is not enough. Getting accurate satellite data can be difficult in cities, where tall buildings obstruct or bounce the signal, and things get even more difficult when you start to get more adventurous.
Deep tree cover can cause problems, as can tunnels and caves, but climbing is one of the most difficult challenges. Watches that only use GPS can have a difficult time determining your vertical position and even which face you are riding on.
If your watch uses multiple satellite systems simultaneously, more satellites will be seen at the same time, allowing you to locate your position much more precisely.
This is not only important for keeping track of your workouts, but also for safety; Many watches have excellent SOS tools that can alert an emergency contact if they detect a sudden change in speed (indicating a drop), but this warning is only useful if the location data is accurate.