One of the best sports watches I've tested has satellite navigation and weeks-long battery life

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Matthew Miller/ZDNET

ZDNET’s key takeaways

  • The Coros Vertix 2S is available now for $699 in three colorways, and two bands are included with every purchase.
  • The Vertix 2S improves on its predecessor with better heart rate sensing and GPS accuracy. It’s just as durable and big as the Vertix 2 while also having a longer battery life.
  • Notably, there is only one size option available that’s best for users with larger wrists.

It’s been three years since I upgraded my original Coros Vertix adventure watch for the Vertix 2, and that watch has held up well through many trail runs, hikes, bike trips, and more. While I switched to the Apex 2 Pro in late 2022 because of the improvements made with the heart rate sensor and satellite navigation system, I still longed for the design, fit, and finish of the Vertix series.

Also: One of the most gorgeous sports watches I’ve tested also has week-long battery life

You can imagine my excitement when Coros released the new Vertix 2S, bringing the key benefits of the Apex 2 Pro to the Vertix line. With these enhancements, the Vertix 2S has become the flagship product from Coros. Better yet, it’s great to see these upgrades while maintaining the same $699 price as the previous generation Vertix watches.

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For the past month, I have been testing the Space model of the Vertix 2S. By default, the watch launches with a new themed watch face, but that was too hard to read and provided little information, so I switched it out for one that was more informational (and useful at a glance).

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The front of the Vertix 2 (left) and Vertix 2S (right)

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

A hallmark of Coros watches has been their superior battery life, consistently outperforming competitors. Interestingly, the battery on the Vertix 2S is slightly less powerful than that of the Vertix 2 — possibly due to the improved, larger sensors that take up internal space. Coros advertises 118 hours of GPS use for the Vertix 2S compared to 127 hours for the Vertix 2. 

Despite this slight reduction, the Vertix 2S remains a leader in battery performance. I’m pleased to see Coros continue to use MIP LCD displays since I prefer the longer battery life over a brighter, sharper display. You won’t have to worry about tracking your entire event, and it’s great that you only need to charge the watch every couple of weeks with typical use.

Also: I tested this cheaper Oura Ring competitor for women – here’s my buying advice

The Vertix 2S is a large watch with a 50.3mm diameter and 16mm thickness. Despite its size, it is fairly light, weighing just 70 grams with the included nylon band. Coros also includes a second silicone band, matching your selected watch color, in the recycled packaging. For durability, the sapphire crystal display is designed to resist scratches, complemented by a titanium alloy bezel and back cover, all encased in high-strength polymer.

With my larger wrists, the 26mm band and substantial size of the watch fit me well. It is built to withstand the elements with a 10 ATM water-resistant rating and an operating temperature range from -22°F to 122°F. That’s about industry standard as far as sports watches go.

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Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The Vertix 2S also features Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, allowing you to connect to your smartphone to use the excellent Coros app, external sensors, and your local network to sync the watch. It supports five GNSS systems, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS. The upgraded Vertix model also supports dual L1 and L5 frequencies for more accurate positioning. Coros has optimized the GPS algorithm for Outdoor Climb mode to provide the best possible positioning for climbers.

I compared the Vertix 2S with the Suunto Race and Polar Grit X2 Pro and the Coros provided the most accurate positioning through open roads and wooded trails. The heart rate sensing was relatively similar across the board, which is a good thing as I recommend all three watches.

Also: Coros Apex 2 Pro review: Cheaper sports watches are getting good

To view your fitness metrics, including training load, training status, recovery, running fitness, stress, and more, look to Coros’ mobile app. I’m especially fond of the app’s simple instructions to optimize your training, a step that manufacturers tend to skip or not put much effort in. 

 More than 20 sports are available for tracking, including running, water sports, winter sports, and cardio activities. Free training plans and workouts are available, too, while the Training Hub website provides an advanced analysis tool for Coros watch users. You can even get free advice from actual coaches through the Training Hub, which is a nice bonus.

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Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The Coros Training Hub and fantastic smartphone application are so good that I’m considering purchasing the Vertix 2S to replace my Vertix 2 and move primarily to the Coros ecosystem for my health and wellness tracking. The customization present in the training plans and workouts is fantastic and helps motivate me to improve.

ZDNET’s buying advice

Coros improved the Vertix 2S in all the right areas, and the 2S name is fitting given there was no change in form factor, display technology, or major external features. If you’re looking for a watch you can use 24/7, charge every three to four weeks, track long races with, climb mountains, and wear everywhere without worry, the Coros Vertix 2S is an excellent option at a reasonable $699 price point.





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