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6 things to know about the new COROS Vertix 2

By Henry Howard

COROS unveiled its Vertix 2 on Aug. 17 in a product launch live on YouTube. Among its promises: the VERTIX 2 works with all five major satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS and Beidou) at the same time.

The significant GPS, battery life, storage (32 gb) and other enhancements are great news for endurance athletes, especially back-country hikers, climbers and ultra runners.

Without giving specifics, COROS CEO Lewis Wu hinted at big things to come during our interview a few months ago when the company launched EvoLab. At the time, Wu said EvoLab was the first in a series of new products and features.

“Our users have given us tremendous, useful feedback that helped us to build something even better,” he said. (Read the entire interview here.)

With the launch of the Vertix 2, here are my quick takeaways after viewing the live announcement and some independent research:

1. Increased battery life: COROS emerged a few years ago as a leader in this incredibly important category for endurance athletes. (During my 100-miler in the mountains, I finished with 23 percent battery life remaining on my Apex Pro.) The new Vertix says it can accommodate up to 140 hours in regular GPS mode, 240 hours in ultra tracking mode and 50 hours in dual-GNSS mode.

2. We’ve got maps: Now both topo and regular maps are available for anywhere on earth. They need to be downloadable free from the COROS website via computer. The watch’s touchscreen allows the user to move the map around, which is cool. However, there are not any turn-by-turn navigations or names of trails, mountains, streets or other landmarks.

3. Pump up the jams: When I started running, I had a long cord attached to an Mp3 player at my waist. Thanks to Bluetooth headphones, I was able to go cordless but still needed a device (my phone) to play music or podcasts. Now, the Vertix allows for Mp3 files to be uploaded to the watch via a USB cable and then play via Bluetooth headphones. That’s a great solution for athletes who want to shed the phone and listen to music. But for podcast listeners, it’s a three-step process to transition an episode to an Mp3 on the watch. Perhaps a deal with iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and/or other podcast hosts will alleviate this issue in the near future.

4. A bigger screen: The 1.4-inch screen offers 16% higher resolution, which allows the Vertix 2 to provide more information and keep you updated with key metrics. It can also display eight data fields on a single page giving the user more information at a glance.

5. Ain’t no ANT+ anymore: Users will no longer be able to pair or broadcast ANT+ devices or sensors. While this doesn’t affect me, it will have an impact on those who use a smart trainer like Zwift. COROS explained that this is a hardware decision.

6. The cost: Yep, all of the new amazing features from what was already an outstanding watch is going to cost more: $699 U.S. That’s about $100 more than the original Vertix.

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