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REVIEW: COROS Vertix 2 Watch

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With an incredible battery life, and a host of features that should appeal to runners, mountaineers and hillwalkers alike, the Vertix 2 is a state-of-the-art wrist-mounted powerhouse, says Rob Greenwood. But despite the huge price tag, it's not quite perfect. So is this the watch you've been looking for?

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 Tom Briggs 15 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Videos:

People pair Polar HR straps with Coros. The Polar Verity Sense can be used on the upper arm if you don't like chest straps. Keep meaning to get one because...

...I've had an Apex for over a year now. Really rate it overall but the wrist-based HR sensor is not reliable. If you want to track your HR data over time over the same runs, you just can't trust it. Which is irritating.

Also, some of the data in the App around fitness/fatigue/performance etc is just plain daft. It even gives predicted race times for distances slower than the... race times you've recorded on the watch!

In reply to Tom Briggs:

> People pair Polar HR straps with Coros. The Polar Verity Sense can be used on the upper arm if you don't like chest straps. Keep meaning to get one because...

> ...I've had an Apex for over a year now. Really rate it overall but the wrist-based HR sensor is not reliable. If you want to track your HR data over time over the same runs, you just can't trust it. Which is irritating.

Thanks for the feedback Tom, I hadn't seen that reported elsewhere, and haven't got a Polar HR strap to try it out with, so wasn't aware of that, but it's good to know. As per the sentiments within the review, I've found it to be fairly accurate in some regards, but really inaccurate in others. Either way, I agree with exactly what you've said: if you want accurate results, never, ever rely on a wrist-HR.

> Also, some of the data in the App around fitness/fatigue/performance etc is just plain daft. It even gives predicted race times for distances slower than the... race times you've recorded on the watch!

I think I fell through some of the gaps here, because I don't take place in any of the events that the watch predicts time for (i.e. 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon etc...). I think if you're an outright road runner they'd be more accurate, but the watch - and the software - finds it hard to handle the data from trail running. Part of me wonders whether it's this that's caused it to come back with dodgy data for you, because I know you blend the two (i.e. road and trail). Either way, it felt - at least to me - like it offered a lot more performance data for the road/track runner, but maybe they're just a much easier group to calculate for due to the consistency of the terrain and pace?

 Tom Briggs 15 Mar 2022
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I should say I've just picked on the negatives there. After 14 months of use, there is literally not one scratch - nothing - on the sapphire glass screen. The build quality is another level compared to the Garmin I had before. I like a lot of the features and the ease of uploading training programmes from the App. And as everyone says, it's really handy to rarely have to charge the thing up.

In reply to Tom Briggs:

> I should say I've just picked on the negatives there. After 14 months of use, there is literally not one scratch - nothing - on the sapphire glass screen. The build quality is another level compared to the Garmin I had before. I like a lot of the features and the ease of uploading training programmes from the App. And as everyone says, it's really handy to rarely have to charge the thing up.

When you're reviewing things it's really easy for the constructive criticism to overshadow everything else. In the case the Vertix 2, and in your case the Apex, each have their limitations, but each also have a huge set of perks and positives. Like you say, the build quality is on another level and the battery life is still something I'm stunned by. 

To put this into context, I'm currently at 17% battery - which with a Garmin or Suunto would mean you'd need to get it on charge right away. With the Vertix 2 you've got another 7-10 days!!

 gavinpeach 15 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I had the same issue with the wrist based HR for Hill Reps but it is pretty good when you are keeping a steady pace. Using a chest strap is much better for hill reps, intervals etc and you get the data you would expect.

I'm training for the West Highland Way Race and UTMB and I have been using the Music mode as I often listen to Japanese whilst I'm running (bonus study time). The music mode does have a significant drain on the battery though. Although, as you mention in the article the battery is exceptional.

In reply to gavinpeach:

> I'm training for the West Highland Way Race and UTMB and I have been using the Music mode as I often listen to Japanese whilst I'm running (bonus study time). The music mode does have a significant drain on the battery though. Although, as you mention in the article the battery is exceptional.

That's a great couple of races, are you entered for both this year? 

Funnily enough I've wondered about listening to podcasts, or audiobooks, but have never quite got around to doing it. Part of the reason for this (and this might sound strange) is that throughout the winter I do a lot of running at night and I don't particularly like the idea of having no hearing whilst out on the wooded trails close to my house. I think I'd have a heart attack if someone passed me and took me by surprise!

In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Funnily enough I've wondered about listening to podcasts, or audiobooks, but have never quite got around to doing it. Part of the reason for this (and this might sound strange) is that throughout the winter I do a lot of running at night and I don't particularly like the idea of having no hearing whilst out on the wooded trails close to my house. I think I'd have a heart attack if someone passed me and took me by surprise!

As someone who regularly listens to (at first the radio, now mainly...) podcasts while riding on my own, there is a very simple solution to this - just put one ear bud in! As I'm listening to solely, news, current affairs, documentaries etc. when on my bike, as opposed to music I don't find it make really any difference in terms of sound quality etc just listening in one ear. As I'm sometimes on roads, I tend to have the left ear bud in so on with  my "road side" I am listening for traffic behind me, but I must say listening to people talking on podcasts when they are not turned up particularly loud, doesn't actually change your "situational awareness" much when it comes to traffic - it's pretty bloomin' obvious when there is a HGV on your right shoulder!

Having said all that when cycling up behind people walking who have with ear phones in though does show they don't hear bikes easily. I've taken to yelling a cheery "Hello! Bike behind!" but people still don't always hear that and you know they are going to jump out of their skin as you go past them even if you slow right down. My commute takes me along the Chesterfield canal for good few kms, and it hasn't happened yet but I do worry either me or a walker is going to end up in the canal in one of these interactions!

 tebs 16 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Hey Rob,

Just to add another, cheaper option, I've been running with a Coros Pace for the last year or so. I love it, entirely because of the battery life. It just makes such a difference for me, as someone who does the occasional all-day activity, but mainly because I'm forgetful, so not needing to charge so often means I'm hardly ever without a watch (this used to happen a lot!). Also worth saying that my coros pace works 100% fine with my garmin chest strap.

Cheers,

Bart

In reply to tebs:

Cheers Bart, that's good to know on all accounts.

It'd be really interesting to have tried out the Pace + Apex, as they both sound really good - plus have the benefit of being a lot less than £600!! Obvioulsy the Vertix 2 features all the features, so stripping them back a bit might actually suit people who don't need everything. I'm guessing that both of these options are a little bit lighter too, because there's no denying that the Vertix 2 is a pretty sizeable and weighty beast!

Thanks for confirming that the Garmin chest strap works too. I'll give it another try with my Suunto one, although that's never been overly reliable with my Suunto 9, so I'd be amazed if it did, but you never know...

 simes303 17 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Yeah, I often cycle along the Sheffield canal and regularly get stuck behind people with headphones who can't hear me. This is despite me having a 115 decibel air horn on my bike (https://www.airzound.co.uk/). It's ridiculous.

(That was off topic, sorry).

 galpinos 17 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Pre pandemic my commute had a decent section of shared use path (NCN route) and my nightmare scenario was a dogwalker with headphones and the dog on an extendable lead at dusk. 

In reply to galpinos:

>  the dog on an extendable lead at dusk. 

Yep, my commute was much worse for that in Finland as lots of paths are separated from roads but shared use bike and pedestrian invariably mr dog owner is one side and fido is on the other side with an invisible dyneema cord stretched between them! 

 galpinos 17 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Disappointed that it doesn't support OS Grid ref.

Couple of questions:

  • Does have a customizable function like Garmin "widgets"? Things that I thought were ridiculous have turned out quite handy, eg the Parkrun widget so I've my barcode on my watch.
  • Is there any way to change the home screen graphics/font so it looks less like it was designed by my 6yo on a sugar high? Garmin have some pretty "clean" colour/font combos that look reasonably smart.
In reply to galpinos:

> Disappointed that it doesn't support OS Grid ref.

I think this is its greatest omission, because without it the usage - at least from an ad hoc navigational perspective - is basically redundant, because it doesn't provide you with the only data you'd ever want, which is where you are.

> Couple of questions:

> Does have a customizable function like Garmin "widgets"? Things that I thought were ridiculous have turned out quite handy, eg the Parkrun widget so I've my barcode on my watch.

It doesn't have this particular function, although it wouldn't surprise me if it did in time. Since I started using the watch COROS have been providing a pretty constant stream of updates and improvements, which is why I'm still holding out for the OS grid references to appear at some point.

> Is there any way to change the home screen graphics/font so it looks less like it was designed by my 6yo on a sugar high? Garmin have some pretty "clean" colour/font combos that look reasonably smart.

This made me chuckle, although perhaps not as much as some of the alternatives, which look like the aforementioned 6yo had something a little spicier than sugar. Took a bit of scrolling to find a slightly more modest (or to put it another way, less manic) design. Strange that they've gone so radical, because I - much like you - prefer something a little cleaner/less chaotic.

Post edited at 10:17

In reply to tebs:

Begs the question - while clearly v good value is the apex really worth the extra 90squid vs the pace 2 for most stuff? Any views welcome 

 nufkin 17 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

A slightly odd question, but have you tried it worn on the inside of the wrist? My weird wrist bone makes conventional watch-wearing uncomfortable, but sometimes HRM functions seem to struggle (more than usual) when I wear them like this

 benwarrick 18 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

How customisable is the navigation screen? I think gps can be an amazing addition to traditional nav, and don’t think of map vrs electronic as mutually exclusive.

walking a bearing is easy, working out distance is hard - gps is perfectly suited to telling you this. 
move played lots with older devices and by setting a waypoint the immediately doing a ‘go to’ this point then the screen will count up distance from that point and give a back bearing. 
I’m still looking for a device where I can hit a single button and the screen count up distance traveled from that point and a bearing walked on. 

In reply to nufkin:

> A slightly odd question, but have you tried it worn on the inside of the wrist? My weird wrist bone makes conventional watch-wearing uncomfortable, but sometimes HRM functions seem to struggle (more than usual) when I wear them like this

I haven't, but can certainly give it a go. Whilst sat at my desk it still seems to work, but the proof will very much be in the out/about pudding, That said, it probably won't be until next week by the time I have an answer, as I'm doing the Cheviot Goat this weekend and want the watch where I know it'll work!

In reply to benwarrick:

> How customisable is the navigation screen? I think gps can be an amazing addition to traditional nav, and don’t think of map vrs electronic as mutually exclusive.

In short: it's not that customisable.

Much like you I think the two can be blended, and from the feedback I just received from COROS it's looking like the UK Team are going to raise the matter of grid references to the top of the priority list, because this is a good example of what you describe - a way of people using both map and electronic devices.

> I’m still looking for a device where I can hit a single button and the screen count up distance traveled from that point and a bearing walked on. 

Your best option here would be to hit 'lap', as that'll give you the exact distance travelled from whenever you started. There's no limit to the number of laps you do, and if you're not after pace data (i.e. how many minutes each autolap - which is either a mile or kilometer - will take you) then it's largely redundant.

 Tom Briggs 20 Mar 2022
In reply to tebs:

> Also worth saying that my coros pace works 100% fine with my garmin chest strap.

Can’t believe I’ve never bothered to try that. Took about 5 seconds to pair with my old Garmin chest strap ✅

 wbo2 20 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:  Out of curiosity what does it give you - a lat lon? Any conversion to any of the other CRS e.g. UTM? Usually you can buy a library of these transformations

 Bog ninja 21 Mar 2022
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

How did you find the Cheviot Goat Rob? I had a great day and night out but my quads gave up on the descent of Dunmoor making Brough Law and Ewe Hill my personal crux. That moon was amazing 

In reply to Bog ninja:

> How did you find the Cheviot Goat Rob? I had a great day and night out but my quads gave up on the descent of Dunmoor making Brough Law and Ewe Hill my personal crux. That moon was amazing 

I had a great time. Went off a little too fast, which I paid, although not as much as I paid for deciding not to use poles - that was a real mistake. In spite of these errors I was really pleased with how it went. Ended up finishing in 12hrs 3mins - 6th overall.

That final climb (and descent) was brutal wasn't it?! I was feeling surprisingly alright on it, up until the point I saw someone motoring up from behind, which meant I had to shift out of cruise control and into turbo, as I didn't want to be passed that late on in the race!! Turned out to be Nicky Spinks, who put in a (perhaps unsurprisingly) strong effort throughout the second half of the race.

In reply to wbo2:

>   Out of curiosity what does it give you - a lat lon? Any conversion to any of the other CRS e.g. UTM? Usually you can buy a library of these transformations

Yep, it gives you latitude and longitude - no other options available (currently).

 wbo2 21 Mar 2022
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:  Ah , a translation to a more common map system would be nice, but it's a bit of CPU for the translation.  You'd also need to assemble a library of transformations for different countries, but you could manage that via an app and your phone or pc, or whatever

 Bog ninja 21 Mar 2022
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Blimey that’s a good result, good going to get in before darkness fell. Yes I agree with you on the poles, I too went without them but in hindsight they would have helped save my legs for the final hills 

 99ster 22 Mar 2022
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Disappointed that it doesn't support OS Grid ref.

> I think this is its greatest omission, because without it the usage - at least from an ad hoc navigational perspective - is basically redundant, because it doesn't provide you with the only data you'd ever want, which is where you are.

I emailed them to ask about this some time ago - when they first appeared on the market. I just got the standard 'we're working on it'.  So it really doesn't seem like a priority 'upgrade' for them, and for me it's a deal breaker.  A GPS watch that can't actually tell you where you are?  WTF?

In reply to 99ster:

Over lockdown I set myself the project of building a GPS tracker with an Arduino and off the shelf components. One feature I wanted to include was OS grid ref at the touch of a button but when I looked into it I found that the maths behind the conversion from coordinates to grid ref is very much not trivial. In fact, it would have required far more memory and processor power than the Arduino was able to provide. At that point we were allowed back into the hills again and I didn't touch the project again

Post edited at 14:27
 99ster 23 Mar 2022
In reply to pancakeandchips:

> Over lockdown I set myself the project of building a GPS tracker with an Arduino and off the shelf components. One feature I wanted to include was OS grid ref at the touch of a button but when I looked into it I found that the maths behind the conversion from coordinates to grid ref is very much not trivial. In fact, it would have required far more memory and processor power than the Arduino was able to provide. At that point we were allowed back into the hills again and I didn't touch the project again

Good effort though!

Post edited at 10:14
 Denning76 16 Apr 2022
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Oh Lord. I was considering a Fenix or a Vertix as my old 920 is finally dying (adore that thing) and wanted something I could wear all day without looking stupid while wearing a shirt, jacket etc (the 920 was not that). Those faces are all a bit... much...


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