Coros Vertix test: For all mountaineers of us
- Long battery life
- User-friendly interface
- Climate control
- No web companion
- No music, apps or Payments
Expensive in Functionality [1
How does Coros Vertix compete against these two established brands? I came to the Vertix to find out.
Big and laborious
Coros did not save on designing the Vertix. The materials in the watch are top notch. It features a scratch resistant sapphire crystal display and a 48mm titanium case. I've worn the Vertix for more than a month without interruption, and the display or case has no scratches. With the exception of dirt and grime, the watch still looks brand new.
At 76 grams, the Vertix is heavy compared to most fitness watches, but lighter than competing adventure watches that offer stainless steel cases. Although the Vertix falls into the category of bulky watches, it does not fit like a big and sturdy watch. I thought it was a monstrosity, but the Vertix is surprisingly comfortable to wear, even on my little wrists. The 22mm band is soft and flexible and had many adjustments to switch from my little wrists to my husband's bigger wrists. The case fits snugly against my wrist.
Although the Vertix falls into the category of bulky watches, it does not fit like a big and robust watch.
The Vertix has two buttons and a central digital crown button on the right side of the watch. The watch buttons are flush with the case, but the digital crown sticks out quite far, making it difficult to carry the watch on the left hand. You can turn the display around with your left hand for use, but then the labels are mounted upside down on the case. In the end, I wore the watch on my right hand, which was convenient for me because I'm left-handed.
The 1.2-inch (240 x 240) display was easy to read in sunlight, both inside and out. I never had any trouble seeing my walking statistics on the screen, even when I was on an exposed ridge line in full sun. I wish the screen were a bit bigger, but Coros skilfully hides the black area around the display with markers that represent a dial.
Coros nailed him into the interface section. The clock uses two buttons – one that turns on the backlight and one that acts as a back / round button. You can hold the back button to access the context menu. In the middle is a digital crown key that allows you to scroll through the menu system and then press to select items on the screen.
The crown sticks out a bit, but is easier to use a glove. Like the Apex before, the menus on the Vertix are so intuitive that you do not need a manual to find out the menu system.
Clinging to the Foundations
Under the rugged exterior of the Coros Vertix hides a powerful watch to track your fitness. All standard metrics are available – heart rate monitoring, tempo, cadence, altitude, and distance. The measurement of these metrics is accurate – just like the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro. You can view these metrics by scrolling through the data screens during a workout. Like most high-end watches, these data screens can be customized in the mobile app. It was motivating to know how fast (or slowly) I could get on or off.
Coros uses the training data to calculate the training effect, which measures how training improves your fitness. I found that the Vertix constantly underestimated the effort of training. On a recent run that overworked myself, my Garmin 6S Pro seemed excessive, while Vertix rated the run as inefficient. I've seen a similar effect on a recent hike to Mount Katahdin in Maine.
The Coros app subdivides each workout and displays the metrics with colorful, easy-to-understand color charts. Unfortunately, it only indicates the individual training and does not show any trends. You can not go back a week or a month to see how your pace or heart rate has changed. It also does not detect a run in the same location, so you can not track your performance over time on this route. Other brands like Garmin offer trend analysis, so it's disappointing not to see them in the Coros.
Since the Vertix is intended for outdoor and mountain sports, it is supplied with a pulse oximeter, which is designed for Höhenakklimatisierung at high altitudes elevations (2500m). When this option is enabled, the Vertix measures every hour and alerts you if your oxygen level is too low. Although I live in a mountainous area, there are no peaks in the range of 2500 m.
There is a barometer, a temperature gauge and an altimeter to track altitude and external conditions. I took advantage of that when climbing Mount Washington. The Vertix is also waterproof up to 150 meters, so you do not have to worry about getting wet.
Coros recognizes the basic metrics, but the Vertix lacks the advanced features that support your workout and improve performance.  Coros recognizes the baseline metrics, but the Verix lacks the advanced features that help you train and improve performance. I like the new PacePro Pacing Assistant from Garmin, which sets a tempo using altitude data and Suunto's FusedTrack algorithm. It extends battery life by selecting the GPS and using motion sensor data to track a run. For a $ 600 worth of watch, I was expecting some advanced methods of using the sensors on the device and developing innovative ways to analyze the data. Each morning, you can view your resting heart rate along with a chart of your sleep, which is divided into deep sleep, light sleep, and waking times.
These data are interesting to look at but do not provide much insight into your sleep patterns. What's missing in the Vertix is your sleep anamnesis. Yes, you can scroll backward on a daily basis, but you can not view a month of sleep on a chart as you would on other platforms.
The Vertix also does not have extras available on other competing devices. The watch comes with a pulse oximeter, but is only used for height measurements and not for sleep.
GPS and mobile app
GPS is the key to an adventure watch, and the Coros Vertix delivers most of the time. The clock connects quickly to satellites – either GPS or GLONASS. The tracking was accurate most of the time, but there are situations where it dropped off. Unlike the Suunto and Garmin devices, which seem to be able to fill in all the gaps, sometimes the Vertix breaks the GPS connection and loses part of my track.