Can the Coros Vertix rival the Garmin Fenix 5

Coros Vertix vs Fenix 5 Plus

Coros, has announced the Vetix this week with a clear target on the likes of Suunto and Garmin. At first glance, looking at the Coros Vertix is the obvious similarities to the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series, but is it all that it seems?

So before we get into the Coros Vertix vs the Fenix 5. Lets just take a quick look at the design and feature set that comes with the new fitness watch.

Coros Vertix design and featuresCoros Vertix design

The Vertix comes in 48mm size watch and comes in four different looks. In terms of materials, they have made the Vertix from titanium with sapphire glass covering its 1.2-inch display. Coros has also included Quickfit style changeable straps.

Coros are releasing an ICE-BREAKER model which features an azure titanium bezel and transparent fibre-case which is hand-assembled.

Pricing for this model is $799 and it won’t be available until later in the year.

For tracking the fitness watch features GPS/GLONASS for mapping your outdoor adventures. On the rear you get optical heart rate monitor, which supports training in heart rate zones. It also includes a host of outdoor-friendly sensors like a barometric altimeter and a compass.

Battery life is huge on the Vertix with the claim of up to 60 hours in full GPS mode, 150 hours in UltraMax mode and 45 days in regular watch mode. I have got to admit these are impressive battery life specs and something that will get heads turning.

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The headline feature on the Coros is the Altitude Performance System. Which collects the data from the onboard pulse oximeter to measure oxygen levels or oxygen saturation in the blood.

This feature is useful to monitor oxygen intake and blood oxygen saturation. Which if left unmonitored, may lead to symptoms related to altitude sickness.

When you reach an altitude above 2,500 metres, the Vertix’s alert monitoring system will kick in. This will offer recommendations on whether to continue your ascent or to focus on resting up before continuing.

While Coros has aimed the Vertix at the outdoor hiking, climber market. It would appear the Vertix is a capable fitness watch with a raft of features.

In terms of other features, the Vertix tracks running, cycling and swimming along with a triathlon mode. There are also navigation features including the ability to import routes onto the device, but no Topo maps like on the Forerunner 945 or Fenix 5 Plus.

You also get ANT+ support on the Coros Vertix. which means you can pair external devices like heart rate monitor chest straps and speed and cadence sensors. I think this is a big bonus if you have already invested in ANT+ devices.

Coros Vertix vs Garmin Fenix 5 Plus?Coros vertix vs Fenix 5 Plus

The Coros Vertix looks like a Fenix 5 knockoff and would suspect Garmin’s legal team will watch this close. However, that being said it is a cheap knockoff. Yes, the outside atheistic’s look great, but the underlying platform and features are lacking.

Then we move onto the elephant in the room and that is price. The Vertix goes on sale on 4 June with pricing starting at $599 up to $699 for the most expensive. So it’s solidly in the same price point as the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus and the Suunto 9. But it lacks the mapping, music and pay features of the Fenix 5 Plus series, not to mention the companion apps and other standout features from Garmin and Suunto.

The bottom line on this, Coros has played this wrong from a price point of view. Outdoor and fitness types have plenty of choice at a similar price. The Fenix 5 Plus along with the Forerunner 945 offer more features from a proven manufacturer. I would even say, apart from the Spo2 sensor, you get better value in the Forerunner 245.

So if you are looking at the Coros Vertix vs Fenix 5, then stick with the Garmin because of the price point alone and lack of features on the Vertix to compete.

Don’t forget to subscribe to read the Coros Vertix review when it’s available. If you have a question or comment, then leave it below.

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  1. Coros may have the wrong price. Time will tell.

    Even if it is the wrong price, economics 101 is easy enough to let them discount the price. Price is much more easily changeable than hardware/software features. though there could be some reputational damage. Although that damage seems to have already been done by others.

    Coros seem to have a highly niche strategy, meaning they are targetting specific market segments and, in the case of the Vertix, I assume they target high-altitude mountaineers. Most people who are commenting (including me) have little idea of what that market segment needs/wants and I SUSPECT that the actual hardware plays a bigger role in the NEEDS than in other segments. People seem to have conveniently forgotten that when Suunto laucnched the 9 model a good amount of marketing was put behind the hardware credentials of the device for extreme environments – so the truth will be in Coros’s specific sales successes (or lack thereof).

    eg a high altitude mountaineer will NOT buy a Forerunner 945, it wouldn’t last 5 minutes.
    eg A high altitude mountaineer is probably wearing gloves and the crown/bezel thing on the Vertix will probably be easier to use than the buttons of either the fenix or S9.

    Similar evidence around this is that they targetted ULTRA runners (apparently successfully) with the Apex, so maybe they know what they are doing more than some people give them credit for.

    knock off: the vertix is good quality hardware. there are some design similarities to Garmin eg strap and charging port but garmin don’t have a crown and the garmin ‘look’ is predated by MANY non-Garmin watches. Garmin do not have a design monopoly on bolt heads and bezel markings.

    yes the platform is lacking a bit but is the garmin platform any good for high-end triathletes? No…it has near zero workout analysis capabilities for a start. I’ve only talked to one high altitude mountaineer about watches and she has near zero interest in the platform but rather DOES have an interest in the instantaneous readings on watch (and a bit with the sp02/hr trends)

    Clearly if Coros are trying to target the fenix 5x plus head on at people that want features then they will lose big time.

    #Discuss 😉

    • Agree, a mountaineer would not buy a Forerunner 945, however they could buy the Fenix 5x Plus with all the same features and more for the money.

      However, Any mountaineer will tell you that they would not leave the wrist based sp02 to chance and would carry a dedicated bit of kit.

      I have a couple of mountaineer friends and not one of them as been interested in even buying the Fenix 5x Plus and use other kit.

      Time will fell with the pricing, but they have gone in at that price and it will be hard to climb down from it and survive.

      I do agree with you, the crown thing does sound good and I do a fair bit of hiking and in the cold it would be useful (maybe)

  2. Spot on with the point about the price! The Vertex is overpriced and lacks features when you look at other watches. $599 for a Coros when I can get a Fenix 5 for $499…. no thanks

  3. I have a Fenix 5 Plus for almost over 7 months, love the device, but it’s full of bugs, the biggest issue i have is the battery drain, I’m currently on their latest v7.1, without any GPS activity, my battery can only last about 7 days, no where close like they claimed 12 days. Ijust ordered one from Coros and going to try it out, and Coros’s watch support chinese character display that Garmin wants to charge extra $150-250 dollars for their region lock marketing…. Come on Garmin, we are in 21st century, or at least offer consumer a choice to buy the language pack to support other languages instead replacing the whole watch… I’m looking forward with the new Coros Vertix and hope they will success which will put more stress to other competitors out there to improve their hardware&firmware faster and better.

  4. Without wishing to start any sort of war, go talk to any bunch of cyclists (particularly mountain bikers) and suggest that Garmin deserve respect because of being proven and reliable and you’ll split the room between people who just bought one and are defensive and people who’ve had too many failed units, non existent support for persistent firmware issues, products deliberately ruined by changed marketing stance etc.

    Garmin have been in the game a long time, but it’s completely wrong to suggest they are some sort of paragon of quality, because they aren’t. They’ve been crying out for decent competition do they can stop phoning it in for best part of a decade now.

    From other, more detailed reviews I gather that COROS’ GPS is on point, as is their hardware but their client software while functional has mistakes in some of the more technical sport science metrics that are unlikely to be noticed by the masses – but that development continues at pace and generally they do what they claim they will. Definitely one to watch, just need to work out if I want to spend the money over the Apex now…

    • The article never suggested that Garmin is the paragon of quality, nor is this a review of any kind. This article was written prior to getting my review unit.

      I do indeed speak to cyclists, every Sunday when I go out on a group ride and very few of them will consider this device or indeed a Fenix. Most of them have a Edge unit or some of them are leaning towards Wahoo as of late.

      The main point of this article was not to slate the Vertix. It was simply to point out the price point this thing has come in at, its crazy. The underlining feature set simply does not support that price point

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Jon Ratcliffe
I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles. I cover Wearables, tech and smart home. My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.

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