All About the COROS Vertix

After the Pace and the Apex, Coros is coming out with their watch #3: the Coros Vertix GPS Adventure Watch. As the name implies, we’re going vertical…

Where the Pace was a first entry into the running/triathlon watch market and the Apex has been jockeying for a front position in the multisports/ultra-endurance watch market, the Vertix is meant for outdoors adventures.

Preferably, in the mountains, the cold, the extremes.
But also, your backyard.

Time and Tours Review / How-To / Experience Reports?

Coros unfortunately had too few early samples to get one to a small blog like mine, but I am on the list – and I should soon have some good opportunities for checking it out, too…

I will still put up this announcement-and-description, then add links to all future posts going into practical details, experiences, and how-to, as they come.

Vertix iceclimbing image

Coros Vertix Standout Features

Standout features include:

  • Battery life of 60 hours in full GPS (with 45 days runtime in non-GPS use; 150 hours GPS use in UltraMax mode)
  • Low-temperature performance (with testing having seen 21 hours of continuous GPS runtime at -22°F/-30°C)
  • Suggested operating temperatures are between -4°F and 140°F (-20°C to 60°C)
  • Altitude mode using Sp02 oximeter to track blood oxygen continuously (and) to assist with acclimatization at altitude
  • 150 meter waterproofing
  • Titanium frame and bezel, sapphire glass screen, DLC (diamond-like coating)

Sensors

Almost goes without saying that there will be

  • optical heart rate monitoring, in addition to the pulse oximeter,
  • barometric altimeter,
  • compass,
  • thermometer,
  • accelerometer and gyroscope.

In sensors that can be added/paired, we have

  • ANT+ HR belt,
  • ANT+ cycling speed/cadence sensors, as well as
  • ANT+ cycling power meters

Footpod compatibility is announced for later.

Features

From the start, the Coros Vertix promises

  • HR zones
  • HR alerts
  • calorie tracking
  • recovery time calculation
  • HR recording while swimming
  • HR broadcast
  • daily activity tracking

HRV stress testing is already announced for later.

Sports Modes

In addition to the usual running and cycling and swimming (clear also from the sensor support), the Vertix is announced as coming with ski touring, trail running, mountaineering and skiing modes either pre-loaded or planned.

Running

Running should have the usual oHR or HR chest strap data, the above-mentioned HR zones – but there are some interesting plans:

The features mention that VO2Max estimation and recovery advisor will be on the watch; advanced running data (such as vertical oscillation and ground contact time) and running power would become available via future firmware updates.

Same applies to foot pod compatibility, which I hope will include power pods (which would make sense, given the mention of running power).

Quite the plan there alone!

Interval training – Coros already has its “Trainer” feature offering some automatics for that – and auto-pause will be there… and structured workouts are on the roadmap mentioned, as well!

Swimming

Swimming mode will offer open water swimming and pool swimming, with adjustable pool size setting.

Heart rate will be recorded while swimming.

Multisport Mode

A multisport/triathlon mode will be available, as well.

Notifications and Syncing

As with their existing (and most other) watches, the Vertix will pair with the Coros smartphone app via BTLE.

First of all, this connection will be used for syncing, secondly also for smart notifications from the phone.

Gimmicks such as music storage or control from a watch or NFC payment options will be left to Garmin 😉

GPS and Runtime

The navigation system will use GPS and GLONASS at first. Later on, Galileo and Beidou will be added, as per the announcement.

I need to point out the battery life that Coros is promising in full GPS again: 60 hours. 150 hours in UltraMax.

In comparison:

The Suunto 9 Baro’s stated battery life in best GPS/Performance mode is 25 hours, extending to 50 or 120 hours in its Endurance and Ultra modes, respectively.

Garmin’s fenix 5(X) Plus offer 18 or 32 hours in full GPS, 42 or 70 hours in UltraTrac mode.

We’ll have to see how that really works out in practice; I haven’t had a chance to use a Vertix in practice yet – but going by the work Coros did with the Apex and its insane runtime, I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed.

Navigation

A bit strangely (although, same as it was with the Apex), a back to start function is set to come later, but GPS track navigation with route import to the watch will be there.

For later, navigation with POI support is planned – which has a good chance of getting the Vertix ahead of the current Suunto lineup. (The updated routing of these watches with directional arrows is nice, but I really dislike that Suunto does not – or rather, no longer – support waypoints now.)

There are, apparently, extremely interesting future plans re. navigation – but in the spirit of “underpromising, overdelivering,” these will be talked about only if and when they come…

Size and Weight

All that will be in a case made of titanium (except in the Ice-Breaker model with clear fiber case), with sapphire glass, and slightly smaller than the Suunto 9 Baro, with a weight of only 76 grams.

For comparison, again:

Coros Vertix: 48.74 x 48.74 x 16.75 mm, 76 grams
Suunto 9 Baro: 50 x 50 x 16.8 mm, 81 grams
fenix 5X Plus: 51 x 51 x 17.5 mm, 96 grams (87 grams in titanium)

Vertix Display

The display of the Coros Vertix will be the usual 1.2 inch (30.4 mm) LCD screen. Resolution is the same as on a Garmin fenix 5X Plus or other at 240×240, with 64 colors.

The Suunto 9 Baro has a display of 34 mm diameter – at least according to my measurement, as the display size is not actually mentioned anywhere… Resolution here is 320×300.

UI / Buttons

The Coros Vertix uses a 3-button layout that looks interesting:

Coros Vertix in “Fire Dragon” design

Up will be a dedicated (back)light button, down a “Back/Lap” button, and in the middle a somewhat new kind of digital knob.

The Apex already uses a digital knob, and I have seen a similar system used by Casio.

Frankly, the Apex system works really well, auto-locking the buttons, otherwise always leaving them/it usable. Turn to scroll through screens, push to switch between screens of a kind or enter into menus… or do the same push and turn to zoom in or out in navigation.

(See my intro to the Apex for how that works.)

In keeping with the mountain adventure theme, the digital knob of the Vertix is made to be nicely usable even with gloves. This, too, will be something to have a look at in practice, asap.

Models/Colors

The Coros Vertix will come in four different color options:

Coros Vertix Lineup
  • “Dark Rock” in all black,
  • “Fire Dragon” with black case, silver bezel, orange strap;
  • “Mountain Hunter” with black case, amber bezel, forest green strap.
  • Ice Breaker with blue bezel, blue strap and clear (transparent) fibre case.

Pricing and Shipping Date

The Coros Vertix line will be $599 for all models except the Ice Breaker with the transparent case and blue bezel, which will be $699.

Shipping begins at the beginning of June; late June for the Ice Breaker.

Official website: https://coros.com/vertix

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4 Comments

  1. Tommy

    Too bad they didn’t send you one instead of dcrainmaker. I mean, he’s always been bias for Garmin but really, this time it’s as if Garmin has told him explicitly to downplay it as a competitor to Fenix

  2. Ion González

    WOW!!! incredible step since Apex. Any idea if all those software features will eventually come to Apex? All my external sensors are Bluetooth, and I own an Stryd, so these roadmap could fit my expectations without need to buy the expensive FR945

    Love your reviews, keep them on!!!

    • The Bluetooth sensors are an issue, is Coros only supports ANT+ sensors (and uses BT only for the phone connection), unfortunately. But yeah, it sounds like a nice next step – and many of the features (as far as they are only software-based) seem destined to come to the Apex, indeed.

      Thank you! 🙂

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