Coros Vertix 2S Review: The Garmin Fenix Rival Gets Some Useful Upgrades

The Coros Vertix 2S offers accuracy upgrades on the Vertix 2 and is loaded with useful features but still suffers in comparison the Garmin Fenix 7

Coros Vertix 2S
(Image: © Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Our Verdict

The Coros Vertix 2 is an impressive adventure watch that offers long battery life, detailed sports tracking and training analysis, as well as maps and music. The Vertix 2S is a minor upgrade on the Vertix 2, but it’s still not as polished as the best sports watches, like the Garmin Fenix 7, and I was left unimpressed by the new heart rate sensor.


  • Improved GPS accuracy
  • Color maps
  • Durable design
  • Long battery life


  • Less battery life than Vertix 2
  • No streaming service partnerships for music
  • Inaccurate HR tracking
  • Screen isn’t the brightest

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The Coros Vertix 2S is a small-but-meaningful upgrade on the Vertix 2, notably improving the accuracy of the GPS tracking. It’s one of the best sports watches you can get and despite the high price, it’s reasonable value for those who want a rugged titanium watch with long battery life.

However, it is still outclassed by the best Garmin watches, like the Garmin Fenix 7 or Garmin Enduro 2, which offer better navigation and smart features, while matching or outdoing the sports tracking and training analysis on the Vertix 2S. There are also AMOLED sports watches I prefer like the Garmin Epix Pro and Suunto Race.

Coros Vertix 2S: Price And Availability

The Coros Vertix 2S launched on April 25, 2024 and costs $699 in the US and £599 in the UK, the same price as the Coros Vertix 2. It’s far from cheap, but equivalent watches with titanium bezels and sapphire screens—like the Polar Grit X2 Pro, Suunto Vertical and Garmin Fenix 7 Pro—are all more expensive (if you choose the titanium models of each).

How I Tested This Watch

I used the Vertix 2S for two weeks prior to its launch, and will continue to use it until I’m able to drain the battery entirely. I have run more than 60 miles with the watch, as well as tracking other activities like yoga and strength sessions. I’ve tested the rest of the watches in Coros’s range and the Coros Vertix and Vertix 2, as well as the best sports watches from other brands.

Design And Hardware

Coros Vertix 2S

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The Vertix 2S is a large watch, with a 50.3mm case that’s 17.6mm thick. It’s light for its size though, with the case weighing 61g, which rises to 70g with a nylon band and 87g with a silicone band—both bands are included with the watch, and you can also use other 26mm straps with it.

There are three colors available—black, gray and blue—and all have a titanium bezel and back case, with plastic used for the rest of the case. The 1.4in memory-in-pixel touchscreen is made from sapphire glass. There are three buttons on the watch, with the middle one also being a dial. 

The Vertix 2S has a 10 ATM waterproof rating and will work in a temperature range of -22°F (-30°C) to 122°F (50°C), according to Coros. The materials used, and the durability of the watch, are a selling point because you have to pay more to get equivalent materials from other brands. However, the screen is duller than others, including other LCD watches like the Fenix 7, and it’s less bright than the AMOLED display you get on the likes of the Garmin Epix Pro and Polar Grit X2 Pro. It’s clear enough to read outdoors, but a bit dull inside and I often had to turn on the backlight to read it throughout the day.

The Vertix 2S has a new optical heart rate sensor that promises more accuracy than the sensor on the Vertix 2, but reduces the battery life of the watch. In fairness, the Vertix 2S has battery life to play with: the 2S will still last up to 46 days in watch mode and offers 118 hours of GPS tracking. As with the Vertix 2, the Vertix 2S offers dual-band GPS tracking, though Coros has redesigned the antennae to improve the accuracy. The Vertix 2S has a barometric altimeter and compass, and can measure blood oxygen saturation and heart rate variability. You can connect external sensors via Bluetooth, but not ANT+.

HR And GPS Accuracy

The Vertix 2 was the first sports watch I’d tested that offered dual-band GPS tracking, but it wasn’t as big an upgrade in accuracy as I’d hoped. Since then many brands have launched watches with dual-band GPS, and Garmin and Suunto’s watches were more accurate than the Coros watches with dual-band in particular.

Coros seemed to fix this with the Coros Pace 3, which is accurate, while the redesigned antennae on the Vertix 2S have improved the accuracy compared with the Vertix 2. On all my runs I compared the Vertix 2S to the Garmin Epix Pro and it matched up closely and there were few, if any, errors on the GPS traces I looked at after runs.

Coros Vertix 2S

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Unfortunately, the picture isn't as rosy with regards to the Vertix 2’s heart rate tracking. This is often a weakness with sports watches, but given that Coros sacrificed battery life to put in a new optical sensor to improve HR accuracy I expected better.

On almost all my runs the Vertix 2S has been inaccurate when compared to a chest strap, usually reading way too high, and if you’re planning on using its training analysis or using heart rate to guide your training, I would pair a chest strap to the watch.

Battery life

Coros watches are renowned for their long battery life, and the Vertix 2S is no exception. It will last up to 46 days in watch mode, though this drops to 36 days if you use the sleep tracking on the watch, and offers up to 118 hours of standard GPS tracking, or 43 hours of dual-band GPS tracking. All these numbers are comparable with the longest-lasting watches out there, like the Garmin Enduro 2 and Suunto Vertical, though the Vertix 2S offers less battery than the Vertix 2 because of the new HR sensor.

There are a couple of negative reasons Coros battery life is so good that are worth noting. One is the dull screen compared with other watches, and the other is that the watch only takes HR readings every 10 minutes rather than continuously when you’re not exercising. You can change this setting, though, and I think taking readings every 10 minutes is a good option to have as I’d rather have good battery life over 24/7 HR stats.

After 10 days of use, including eight runs using dual-band GPS and sleep tracking each night I was down to 60% battery. Even for those training heavily you can expect two to four weeks of battery life, with the main determining factor being how much time you spend training using GPS—in between workouts the battery barely drops on the Vertix 2. The battery life is as good as, or better than, what I got from the Garmin Enduro 2 and Suunto Vertical. The only watch that consistently outlasts the Vertix 2S is in fact the Vertix 2.

Sports Tracking And Training Analysis

The Vertix 2S has a variety of sports modes, including triathlon and open-water swimming tracking, along with a dedicated track mode for runners. You can create a custom sports mode if one of your favorites isn’t listed by default. It’s also easy to create and follow structured workouts or training plans on the watch, and you can customize data screens to show up to eight stats at once.

It’s an easy and intuitive watch to use for sports tracking. Coros has upgraded the sports tracking across its watches with a software update. This includes screen mirroring so you can see the watch’s stats on your phone during a workout, as well as the navigation screen if you’re following a route. This update also added a virtual pacer for running workouts.

The Vertix 2S also feeds into Coros’s EvoLab training analysis platform, which gives you a rating of your running (and cycling) fitness, predicted race times and a breakdown of your recent training load. This is available across all Coros watches. I’ve always found EvoLab a pretty accurate and useful gauge of my current fitness and training load.

The sports tracking and training analysis on the Vertix 2S is up to par, though it doesn’t stand out, aside from extra features for outdoor climbing I’ve not been able to test. Coros offers the same array of features across its range, and on the best Garmin watches you get extras like a training readiness score, plus interesting ratings of your endurance and hill running ability.

Maps And Navigation

Coros Vertix 2S

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The Vertix 2S has color maps with turn-by-turn directions on routes and a back-to-start feature. It’s easy to create routes within the Coros app, or import them into it from other sources to load onto the watch. The maps are not as colorful and clear to read as those on Garmin, Polar and Suunto watches, especially those brands’ AMOLED watches, nor are they as detailed as Garmin’s, but it’s easy to navigate routes using them.

You can’t add the maps as a default data screen within an activity, which seems odd to me, but I set the maps to come up when I held down the light button on the watch. You can do this during a run or other activity to add the map to your screens without pausing or stopping your workout. This will show a breadcrumb trail of your route so far overlaid on the map, and you can also add a back-to-start pointer to any outdoor activity. When following a route you also get an elevation profile that shows the climbs and descents to come, plus details on the total distance and amount of uphill you have left. 

The navigation features on the Vertix 2S are good and on a par with Polar and Suunto’s, but Garmin still reigns supreme here. Its watches have “routable” maps that know where you are so you can create or adjust routes on the fly, whereas the Coros routes are overlaid on a map, so if you go wrong you are just told you’re off course. Garmin also has the excellent ClimbPro tool that shows each climb and descent on your route individually to help you judge your effort on long uphills in particular.

Smart Features

The Vertix 2S shows your phone notifications and has a weather forecast widget, and can store music to playback on Bluetooth headphones. The watch doesn’t yet work with any streaming platforms, so you will need the digital files to drag and drop across to the watch, whereas Garmin works with Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music so you can wirelessly transfer across your playlists.

It’s good to have the option to play music on the watch, but the way it’s done means it’s not a feature I’d use regularly. I mostly stream music and even getting hold of podcast files to transfer isn’t always easy. There is no app store for the Vertix 2S—though you can pick from a range of watch faces in the Coros app—and it doesn’t offer NFC payments. If you want a sporty smartwatch then Garmin is a better bet, while full smartwatches like the Apple Watch obviously offer more on this front.

Activity And Sleep Tracking

The Vertix 2S will diligently track the usual daily activity stats, like steps, active minutes and active calories burned, and it tracks your sleep if you wear it at night. It’s not the most comfortable watch to wear overnight, which is a problem with any large sports watch, but the sleep tracking was broadly accurate to me.

If you wear the watch at night it also provides a heart rate variability score in the morning, which is compared with your baseline. You can use this as a guide to how stressed your body is, and it can help guide how hard you push in training each day, since HRV is the main data used to underpin readiness scores from other brands. The Vertix 2S tracks stress levels throughout the day, and you can take a wellness check, which gives on-the-spot measurements of your HR, HRV, stress, breathing rate and SpO2. 

Is The Coros Vertix 2S Worth It?

The Vertix 2S is an excellent watch and a strong alternative to the Garmin Fenix 7 for those who want a watch that uses the best and most durable materials, and does the essentials of sports tracking well. You get more features from the best Garmin watches though, and the features Coros and Garmin have are generally more polished with Garmin, such as music and maps. 

The Fenix 7 is also in sales fairly regularly, so you may be able to get a titanium one for a similar price to the Vertix 2S, and that would be a better buy, while the Garmin Epix, Polar Grit X2 and Suunto Race are attractive alternatives with AMOLED screens.

The main upgrade you get here, compared with the Vertix 2, is improved GPS accuracy, which may not be a vital feature for some who’d rather have the longer battery life of the older watch, which is still getting regular software updates from Coros.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.