COROS VERTIX 2 Smartwatch | First Look - Outdoors Magic

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COROS VERTIX 2 Smartwatch | First Look

We take the all-new COROS VERTIX 2 for a two-week blast around the Swiss Alps

We were impressed with COROS 2020 release, the Vertix Icebreaker when we reviewed it for our Outdoor 100 product guide last year. Now for 2021, the brand has unveiled a refreshed version, called the VERTIX 2, and it comes with some seriously impressive updates.

I brought the VERTIX 2 out with us on a recent hiking and climbing trip in Switzerland and have been left impressed with the improvements COROS has made to this already successful GPS smartwatch. Before I dive into my thoughts, let’s give you a rundown on what’s new with this timekeeper.


The previous watch in the VERTIX series was built to withstand some of the most rugged terrain on the planet and this new version takes things to new levels. The titanium bezel, for instance, is now three-times more scratch-resistant than the one on the original. There’s also a premium sapphire glass screen that’s been protected with a diamond like coating (DLC) for unrivalled scratch-resistance. To put this coating into perspective, DLC typically measures between 5,000 – 9,000HV (hardness rating), while other forms of coatings can only reach up to 1,000 – 4,000HV.

This screen has not only had a boost in durability, but also screen size. Now sporting a 1.4 inch screen, the COROS VERTIX 2 brings 16% more screen resolution to the table compared to the previous design. This extra screen real estate gives you the option to pack more key training statistics on your wrist for incredibly detailed training sessions.

To support the increase in screen size, COROS has designed a new battery for the VERTIX 2, one that promises two-times longer GPS battery life than the original (which already offered industry-leading levels of GPS battery life). You can now expect 60 days in standard mode, 240 hours with the UltraMax GPS mode, 140 hours in standard GPS mode and 90 hours with all systems on.


An increase in physical size requires a boost in processing power. COROS has addressed this through a next-generation processor that gives the watch a snappier response to the button inputs. We found this to be obvious when it was directly compared to the older VERTIX 1. An impressive 32 gigabytes of internal storage has also been built into the watch to store more music, maps, routes and workout data. 

More satellites equals better GPS accuracy”

In my opinion, COROS are the best of the bunch when it comes to GPS tracking (it’s the primary function of a GPS watch, after all). In fact, the VERTIX 2 is the first GPS watch in the world that’s equipped with an all-satellite dual-frequency (GNSS) chipset. To the laymen, this means that the watch can talk to all five of the major satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS and Beidou. More satellites equals better GPS accuracy, which is essential stuff for us hill-goers. Bear in mind, however, that it does result in a little less battery life.

The whole user interface has seen a bit of a redesign. It’s now centred around a digital dial that sits on the right-hand side of the watch. This dial lets you scroll through key information quickly and easily. One of these stats includes an ECG, which tracks your heart rate throughout the day and there’s even feedback on your heart rate variability as well (a good way to keep an eye on your post-activity recovery progress).

By partnering with Insta360, the new kids on the block in the action cam world, COROS has opened up the possibility of controlling your Insta360 camera from your wrist with the VERTIX 2. Set your camera up on a rock, tree, backpack, or any other hard to reach object and you can record and stop the camera just with a few taps of the watch face.

How Does The COROS VERTIX 2 Stack Up?

I’ve just returned from a two-week hiking trip to the Swiss Alps, and the COROS VERTIX 2 has joined me through every step of the trip. The first thing to note about this watch is the comfort. I’m usually wearing a Suunto 9, which features a similarly large display as the Vertix 2. The VERTIX 2 does, however, feel a little more comfortable on the wrist compared to the Suunto. This is thanks to the extremely adjustable, and fairly stretchy, wrist strap that really lets you tune in your fit.

Comfort aside, I found the user interface found on the VERTIX 2 to be extremely easy to navigate around. The novel scroll wheel on the side of the watch really is an effective way to navigate through menus, widgets and to select the sport mode you’re after (of which there are 25 to chose from).

I found the large screen to have plenty of room to present all my key tracking stats and data. While the ability to carry 8 different data fields on the single screen is great, I found that it could sometimes be too much data (especially when you’re quickly glancing at the watch during a run) – so it was nice to have to option to switch to the basic viewing modes.

“I didn’t have to worry about the battery once”

Last but not least: the battery. This thing is phenomenal in that regard. Throughout my two-week trip in Switzerland I didn’t have to worry about the battery once. Yes, I wasn’t GPS tracking most days, but it was great to have the confidence in knowing that I’ve got over twice the battery power than, say, a Garmin or Suunto. I’m looking forward to getting this thing out in the backcountry where I could see the GNSS chipset truly coming into its own out in a far-flung valley.

Weight: 89g
Price: £599.99



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