Hats off to Coros. Despite intense competition from Garmin, Polar and Suunto, they’ve gained traction. That started with sector-changing battery life and was strengthened by value. With the Vertix 2, they’ve definitively ticked one box, but the other’s a touch more tentative.
In short, the battery life is truly incredible, reaching up to 140hrs in standard GPS. That’s eight Ironman events for an athlete who’ll cross the finish line a whisker under the 17- hour cut-off. On that alone, it makes it a great choice for any triathletes taking on multi-day events that are off-the-beaten track.
That figure does drop when using the dual frequency GPS mode, but it’s still a healthy 50 hours. And it’s a sacrifice worth making for many of us, as that two-band frequency comes into its own in built-up or mountainous areas. Retention and pick-up proved impressive throughout.
It’s a deep, bulletproof watch like the Garmin Enduro, but it’s heavier – 91g against 61g. Mind you, that’s the titanium model. Also, much of the weight stems from the silicone strap rather than the nylon used on the Enduro. Personally, we’re nylon fans. They feel more luxurious, which is what you want when you’re spending more than £500.
Still, there are lots of features trying to justify that spend. As you’d expect there are activity profiles galore, including triathlon. Accuracy was good across all three disciplines and transition. There’s also an ECG sensor that measures your HRV (heart rate variability, which broadly measures readiness to train) via placing your finger on the bezel. As time passes and knowledge builds, this can become a useful tool, though similar to its optical heart rate sensor, it’s not as accurate as chest-strap versions.
The screen’s okay, though a touch dull, lacking the crispness of many at this price point. This carries over to the map, but on the plus side it’s in colour and navigated by the dual use of dial and touchscreen. It’s easy to use, but lacks road names or points of interest, though these are seen on more expensive models.
You’re also given music, which is a little parochial. It’s good you can download MP3s but it doesn’t sync to the likes of Spotify for downloading. You can’t control your phone’s music from the watch, either. Hopefully this will come in time.
Finally, we’re fans of the clean, simple and usable app, though connection between sensors is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi only. That means no ANT+, which is disappointing for those with older power meters. This is an impressive watch, but it has a few too many anomalies for a watch at this price point.
Verdict: Feature-packed and great GPS, but we prefer the more affordable Pace 2 as a triathlon watch.