I remember the days of me rushing to finish my first marathon within 6 hours just to make sure my watch makes it to the finish line in 2014. 2 years later with an upgraded watch, my watch barely managed to cross me to the finish line in 14 hours for the 50K distance. Chasing times because of watch battery is now a thing of the past with Coros Vertix battery life of 60 hours at full GPX.
Let me start first stating the the Coros Vertix is a test unit and the views here are based on my personal thoughts and experience on the product.
It’s been a long way how sports watches has evolved. I just had a stop watch when I was doing 5 kilometers. I upgraded then to an entry level GPS watch when I was chasing sub 1 10K several years ago. After that, I switched to GPS watches with multisport capabilities after doing a few duathlons and chasing my first marathon. I then switched to watch with 14 hours battery life chasing my first and only ultra distance race and international hikes. The thing is, I had different watches at different phases of my running and multisport life over the past decade and it did help me in my athletic goals. I’m a numbers guy by profession and I can be as geeky as I can get when it comes to watches.
I did settle with a full range GPS watch focusing on battery life over the fancier, lighter and higher powered ones because I had all what I needed. Then came, Coros APEX, which I got at a good price and a longer battery life of 35 hours at full GPS. So that’s the selling point of a Coros, it’s a lot cost-effective being new in the market yet its packed with the same features of higher end watches.
Full Review of Coros Apex here: A Closer Look at Coros Apex
I never get to read manuals on how to use GPS watches because that’s my way of testing how user friendly watches are. Coros has its own Coros App I downloaded for my Iphone and it’s easy customizing the watch. Here’s my views and why I choose to set it up that way.
- Page 1: I try to view as much as I can on a single screen with distance, pace, work out time and time of day as my regular. I also usually check on my heart rate for need to manage my efforts and the elevation for climbs.
- Page 2: This is for situations that the distance is crawling slowly because of the technical nature of the trail. I would usually shift to focusing on elevation with me counting down the remaining meters of elevation needed rather than distance. Climbs can keep that heart beat pumping faster so I keep the heart rate to manage my efforts.
- Page 3: This is if I want to focus one lap at a time.
- Page 4: This is when I just want to watch my heart rate.
- Page 5: I usually checked on the gradients on steeper climbs and slow down on steeper section. This is how I manage climbs be conserving energy on steeper parts to be fresher when the gradients are lower.
The Coros App is your link between your watch and your phone. It’s where you can customize your views and training plan. You can also upload routes of your run into your watch, which you could use as a navigation feature. I’ve tried preloading maps into my watch and it will really tell you when you are off the course and how many meters you are away. The Coros App also allows you to send your data (automatically or manually) to Strava or other GPS apps. It’s fast to transfer data as you can send it via bluetooth to your computer.
The only drawback I can see is that it does not have a platform for Coros users to upload data online. Other watch brands have their own community platform where there are leaderboards, route maps or even a chance to create routes. To offset this shortcomings, I do my maps with plotaroute or strava and track my progress on challenges in strava. Well, Coros is a new player but this is something that they can really improve especially with a growing community of Coros Users.
Coros Apex vs Coros Vertix
As you can see, Vertix is a muscular version of the Apex with a bigger built and has a Titanium Bezel and Cover. Both watches uses Sapphire Glass. While Vertix is a lot more durable, Apex is a is lighter by about 20 grams though both watches are lightweight with Vertix at 76 grams. Of course, the biggest deviation would be in battery life with Vertix having a 60 hours at Full GPS vs 35 hours for Apex. I haven’t charged my Vertix since I got it 3 weeks ago and that’s about 70-80 kilometers of distance over that stretch already.
Vertix has an altitude acclimatization index, which I hope to test when I go on hikes above 2000-3000 meters of elevation. Basically, once you’re that high, you need some time to acclimatize and be familiar with the thinner air; else, you can have altitude sickness. I’ve been to several summits above 3000 meters and fortunately, I never encountered altitude sickness
Coros Vertix is Your Ultimate Adventure Watch
Why does battery life matter? I’ve been in multi day hikes. I remember I had to bring my powerbanks before just to charge between hikes. Mount Fuji and Kota Kinabalu were 2-3 days hike and I was charging everyday. Last year at Snow Mountain in Taiwan, I didn’t even bring a charger the whole 6 days I was in Taiwan with 4 of those days I’ve been hiking. It’s a perfect watch for major hikes or those who are into the longer ultra marathon distance.
When it comes to my runs, trails or hikes, it’s always experiential. I love going back to the elevation profiles of each adventure, thinking of ways how to strategize each climb. I’m never a fast runner but I’m always a strategic one. I actually have a motto, “pag di handa, daanin sa math.” True enough, I have the elevation profile and target pace for each section of each of my race. You can have that pre-loaded in the watch.
It’s your everyday watch that can keep track of your workouts, your steps and even your sleep. I’m just glad that even during these times, I was able to somehow rediscover my passion for running and as such you can see a recap of my training for the past few months. I usually run around Zapote, South Ave up until The Rise Makati and Buendia. Coros also gives you a peek at your training load and gives suggestions on spacing your workouts for full recovery as part of the daily recap at Coros App.
It uses a digital knob to start, pause and end an activity and it’s not touch screen. You have to press it a few seconds to activate the digital knob, I guess this is so you won’t accidentally pause or end a workout. It has fast GPS detection. Once you start your activity, it detects GPS and heart rate before you can proceed. This takes just a few seconds. Post run, I usually compare the map generated by Coros with the actual maps and there are no significant deviations. I have a set 5K and 3K maps and it’s practically the same measurement each work out. I’m saying this because Makati sometimes have glitches in the GPS because of the high-rise buildings. So far so good.
I don’t usually do long runs. I actually completed a 75K virtual challenge by just doing 5 kilometers everyday. I’m glad I did it that way because it became a habit. It’s also safer to keep runs short at this time for less exposure outdoors to the virus. I did do a longer 10K and 21K distance this month just to establish longer-term endurance. It’s nice to have Coros to measure that progress as even if I started at an easy pace, I’ve been able to improve pace at the latter part of the challenge.
Coros Vertix has an SRP of P34,000, while Coros Apex has an SRP of P20,250 for 46mm and P17,500 for 42mm at ActivGears.Com. Personally, I’m high on Coros brand being a user for over a year now. It’s not cheap but it’s not as pricey as other brands and you get most of the features you’ll need on your run, hike, bike or adventure. Coros Vertix is perfect for endurance athletes or hikers on multi day hike and those who want would login a lot of mileage. Coros Apex can be a perfect watch for both recreational and experienced runners engaged in both long and short distances.