Coros Vertix 2S vs Coros Vertix 2: choose the right adventure watch for you

If you're looking for a new GPS watch – particularly one for climbing – then the Coros Vertix 2 and Vertix 2S should definitely be on your shortlist, but how do you know which one is right for you? That's where we come in, holding up the two watches side-by-side and comparing their design, specs and features so you can make the best choice.

If you're used to Garmin's naming structure then you may be expecting the Vertix 2S to simply be a smaller version of the original Vertix 2, but it isn't. Instead, it's a slightly upgraded edition, with a new optical heart rate sensor and updated algorithm for improved GPS accuracy when climbing. Coros has also made a slight tweak to the position of the GPS aerial in the case for the same reason.

The two watches have the same list price, but the older Vertix 2 can sometimes be found at a discount from third-party retailers like Amazon. If you've made up your mind, you'll find all today's best deals on both watches above. If not, read on.

Coros Vertix 2S vs Coros Vertix 2: price

The Coros Vertix 2 launched in November 2022, priced at $699. That's approximately the same as the standard Garmin Fenix 7, and puts the Vertix 2 firmly in the premium price bracket for a GPS watch.

The Coros Vertix 2S was released in April 2024 as a direct successor, also for $699. It's not yet received any price cuts, and at the time of writing it's only available from Amazon in the US, and direct from Coros in the US and UK.

Coros Vertix 2S watch in three colors

The Coros Vertix 2S comes in three space-themed colorways (Image credit: Coros)

Coros Vertix 2S vs Coros Vertix 2: design

The Coros Vertix 2 comes in two colors: Obsidian (black) and Lava (orange), each of which comes with a silicone band. Alternative straps are available to buy separately for $29.

the Vertix 2S is available in three: Earth (blue), Moon (gray), and Space (black). Each watch comes with a matching celestial-themed face and two interchangeable bands - one silicone and one nylon. If you want something different, it takes the same 26mm Quick Fit bands as the Vertix 2. It can also be fitted into the same carabiner case to keep it out of harm's way while you're climbing. 

Both watch cases are made from titanium. They are the same diameter (50.3mm), but the Vertix 2S is fractionally thicker (16mm compared to 15.7mm). It's definitely not a difference you'll notice when the device is on your wrist. Whichever you choose, the dimensions are almost identical to those of the Garmin Enduro 2.

The two Coros watches have the same LCD display, which measures 1.4in (35.6mm) diameter and has a resolution of 280 x 280 pixels, topped with a sapphire crystal lens to resist scratches.

Both watches can be operated using a combination of touchscreen and physical controls. A digital crown on the side of the case allows you to scroll through and select menu options, and a small button lets you navigate back. There's also a dedicated backlight button (essential for dark conditions).

The touch controls can be locked during activities to avoid accidental taps and swipes, or all the time if you prefer.

Coros Vertix 2 Carabiner

Both watches can be removed from their straps and fitted in a carabiner case when you're climbing (Image credit: Future)

Coros Vertix 2S vs Coros Vertix 2: battery life

Battery life for the new Vertix 2S is slightly shorter due to its upgraded heart rate monitor, but both watches are impressive and compare favorably to rivals from Garmin and Polar. Official stats from Coros are given in the table below.

Whichever Vertix watch you choose, it can be fully charged in just under two hours.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Battery life comparison
ModeCoros Vertix 2Coros Vertix 2S
Everyday use43 days40 days
Standard full GPS127 hours118 hours
Full GPS with music32 hours32 hours
All satellite systems49 hours43 hours
All systems with music23 hours22 hours

Coros Vertix 2S vs Vertix 2: activity tracking

  • Coros Vertix 2S has new optical heart rate sensor
  • Vertix 2S has improved algorithm for tracking location while climbing
  • Vertix 2S has repositioned GPS aerial

One of the biggest differences between the Coros Vertix 2 and the Vertix 2S is the upgraded heart rate sensor, which features more LEDs and light sensors, and explains the new watch's shorter battery life and thicker case.

The other big upgrade is an improved algorithm for pinpointing your location during outdoor climbing activities, and a slight change to the position of the GPS aerial inside the case. Many GPS watches tend to struggle near cliffs and walls, where radio signals can bounce and line of sight to satellites can be lost, resulting in inaccurate readings, and Coros has aimed to rectify that.

Otherwise, the two watches are very similar. Both have an extensive selection of activity tracking modes, with a particular focus on adventure sports like climbing (indoor, rock, and ice), snow sports, ultra running, and mountaineering

Coros Vertix 2S watch

The Vertix 2S is optimized for outdoor climbing (Image credit: Coros)

Coros Vertix 2S vs Vertix 2: health tracking

  • Coros Vertix 2's new heart rate sensor should improve accuracy

In terms of everyday health and fitness tracking, the Vertix 2 and 2S are pretty much identical, with tools including all-day heart rate monitoring, stress tracking, sleep tracking (including heart rate variability), and on-the-spot wellness checks that take a snapshot of your current heart rate, SpO2, stress level, heart rate, and more.

There's also an ECG sensor to detect potential anomalies that should be investigated by a doctor (though neither watch is a medical device, and can't be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions).

The updated heart rate monitor in the Coros Vertix S2 should feed more accurate data into all of these calculations, resulting in more useful information about your overall wellbeing.

Coros Vertix 2 watch with case

The Coros Vertix 2 comes with a large plastic case. The case for the Vertix 2S is smaller and made from molded pulp (Image credit: Future)

Coros Vertix 2S vs Vertix 2: packaging

  • Coros Vertix 2 is packaged in plastic case
  • Coros Vertix 2S comes in smaller molded pulp/card case

We wouldn't normally consider packaging too much when comparing two watches, but these two watches are an exception. The Vertix 2 comes in a large plastic case, with foam inserts to hold and protect the watch case and strap.

The Vertix 2S still comes with a carry case, but now it's about half the size and made from tough molded pulp with card inserts rather than plastic. It's a more sustainable choice, and the smaller size and lighter weight should made a small dent in the carbon emitted while the watches are transported en masse from the factory in China where they are made.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.