COROS Vertix vs Suunto 9 Baro – Review After 3 Months
Well Ive been testing the COROS Vertix here against my trusty Suunto 9 Baro. And Im here today to tell you all about What I have found. Now this is not going to be an exhaustive review of every single feature of this watch because its been on the market for over two years, and there are no shortage of reviews that cover those in detail. Like most premium GPS watches on The market these days, the VERTIX, is packed with features., But none of those matter. In my opinion, if the watch cant perform in two keys areas, which are battery life and GPS accuracy. For me, if a watch cant record an accurate representation of my track and last long enough to do so, then its of little use.. So that will be my primary focus in this video.. I am going to divide this video into three sections. In case you want to jump ahead. First, I will give an overview of the key features that Ive found to be most useful to me.. Second, Im going to do a detailed analysis of the GPS accuracy, comparing recordings to those done on my Suunto 9 Baro on a dozen runs, ranging from 20 to 100 kms. And, lastly, Ill. Give you my final thoughts as well as few areas where I could see room for improvement on the watch in future iterations.. So let me start by telling you a little bit about the this watch as well as the company behind it.
COROS. First entered the GPS watch market with the PACE multisport GPS watch in May of 2018, followed by the APEX Premium later that year. The model that Ive been testing out is the VERTIX which was launched in May of 2019.. This GPS adventure watch immediately began making waves in the industry thanks to its incredible battery life, and I seems to have been positioned to be a direct competitor to the Suunto 9 Baro. Theres, a handy chart on Coross website, comparing all of the specs and features of Their entire line up., But if youre looking for a multisport watch that can keep up with the longest and most demanding ultra distance mountain and trail running activities, then trust me. This is the one.. Having said that, like the Suunto, 9 Baro and other watches in its class, this is not a cheap watch.. It is a serious investment. Note, though, that this blue version, which they call Ice Breaker, is a little more expensive than the other colours by I think 100, because the fiber case is translucent and Im told also hand assembled., But all VERTIX models are equipped with a Titanium bezel and sapphire glass, so the build quality is otherwise the exact same. Like the Suunto 9 Baro. It has a touch screen which, by the way you can disable as Ive done.. It similarly has Bluetooth connectivity. A wrist based heart rate monitor a compass, an accelerometer, a barometer to help provide more accurate altitude readings as well as temperature and a cadence sensor.
. Both watches provide various reports on things like activity, calories, pace, steps, sleep and so on. And, of course, its got an app for setting up and syncing your watch just like the Suunto app, which can automatically sync to a number of 3rd party services like Strava., But Its got some additional features that I love, which the Suunto 9 Baro doesnt.. This includes Blood oxygenation levels. I havent played too much yet with this feature on this watch but measuring blood oxygen saturation is something that Ive done in the past when trekking at high altitude. So I could see this definitely coming in handy the next time: Im, training or racing somewhere like Colorado.. This feature has been added in the brand new Suunto 9 Peak, but isnt available on my Suunto 9 Baro., Its got an autolock feature. On the Suunto 9 Baro. You need to hold down the lock button for 3 seconds to lock it, whereas on the Vertix you can have it lock automatically to make sure you dont accidentally pause your recording. To unlock it. You use the dial. Speaking of which I love this dial.. Its got a nice tactile response, even with gloves on. Its also a lighter, smaller and a little lighter than the Suunto 9 Baro.. The strap has a bit more flexibility in it as well, and I think that women in particular, but really anyone with smaller wrists, will prefer the feel of the Vertix. Its got ANT technology to support older accessories, which was removed in recent Suunto watches.
. I do have an old ANT cadence meter for my bike, which I could see actually using again in the future. Now that I have a compatible watch., You can update the firmware straight from the app again something that has been added to the Suunto 9 Peak, but isnt available in my Suunto 9 Baro, which still requires using the Suunto Link app on my desktop computer. And its Got a cool feature which allows you to stop and then resume later an activity without having to leave it. Paused, like you, would on the Suunto 9 Baro.. This could be useful for multi day events where youd prefer to have a single track instead of a separate recording for each day or even just if youre not yet sure whether youre going to be taking a short break or stopping completely.. Perhaps the main difference, though, between these two watches, is in battery life.. The Suunto Baro 9 has a pretty decent battery life of up to 25 hours at full GPS, but its really easy to extend this while maintaining the highest level of GPS accuracy.. I use a custom battery mode for my longer events with the watch set to Low Color mode, the Display timeout enabled and both the heart rate sensor and touch display disabled, which gets me about 42 hours hours, which is more than enough for a 100 miler.. For a 200 miler or a multi day event, I then just need to charge the watch a couple of times with a battery bank.
, And this has allowed me to record some pretty incredible, looking tracks, including Tor Des Geants, and the Swiss Peaks 360k.. The VERTIX, on the other hand, boasts a pretty incredible 60 hours of battery life in full GPS mode and again, I think you can extend this a little further by turning off features like the heart rate monitor. And while I havent needed to run it continuously. Yet for 60 hours, the extra battery life on this thing really does help just take away the pressure to have to remember to charge your watch all the time in between uses. The average runner could probably go a couple of weeks in between charges. Now lets talk About GPS accuracy, by looking at comparisons of recordings from the two watches. First off my methodology. For each of these runs, I wore my Suunto 9 Baro on my left hand, as I always have, and my Coros VERTIX on my right to avoid any interference between the Two watches. I set the COROS for Right handed Wrist Hand mode and turned off the heart rate, since I wanted to focus on GPS for these tests, but left all other settings pretty much at default.. I kept both watches up to date at all times with the latest firmware, and I always synced both watches with their respective apps before leaving, for my run, to ensure that I had the most recent satellite data.. Both watches were always fully charged and both on the default Best GPS accuracy settings using the Trail Running sport mode.
After each run. I exported the data from the app as GPX files and imported them into GAIA for comparison.. The Coros VERTIX track is in red and Suunto 9 Baro in blue.. All of these runs were done in challenging conditions from a satellite coverage. Stand point including tree cover river valleys and canyons steep slopes and alpine terrain. Theres, very little road running here so its safe to say that I really put both of these watches through their paces.. Overall. There is very little difference between the two tracks, with both watches performing really well., But there were a couple of cases on longer runs where I did temporarily lose GPS on the Coros.. This is a chart showing the distance and elevation gain recorded by each watch on these 12 runs.. In almost all cases, the Coros reported around 5 less distance than the Suunto and the two cases where it did report significantly higher distance were where it had lost GPS. Signal., The difference in elevation was a little less consistent, although in most cases the value from the Suunto seemed to match more closely. With the watches of the other runners, I was with as well as my expectations for a given route.. One thing to note is that this left the Coros VERTIX on its default of whats called 3D Distance mode, which uses elevation gain to calibrate the distance compared to 2D distance.. I originally assumed this would provide better accuracy, but the documentation does say that this is ideal for cases when both speed and elevation gain are both high, like with skiing.
So its possible. This led to some variation in data recordings, although shouldnt contribute to any actual loss of GPS signal where that did occur., It would be, unfortunately, if it did, because I think the majority of users are probably going to just leave. This feature left on and not question it like. I originally did. Now lets talk about a few areas that I see room for improvement.. First up is the GPS. Accuracy. Id have to say its pretty good in most cases, but not great in terms of consistency as youve seen from my results., My Suunto 9 Baro has just been so reliable for me over the past few years. That Im, just not sure, Im ready to make the switch, especially for races where an accurate track is so important for me, despite the huge improvement in battery life., I should point out here that not everyone I know has had such a good experience with their own Suunto 9 Baro, while others have had much better results from the Coros VERTIX. So you might want to take my results so far with a grain of salt.. Next, while you can import GPX files and create routes from previous runs, youve recorded using the COROS theres no route planner in the app itself, unlike the Suunto app., This to me, is the biggest limitation of what is otherwise a really great app.. I find it actually syncs much faster than the Suunto Baro 9, and it actually prompts to sync, if you havent in over a week, to ensure that you have up to date.
Satellite data.. But as I talked about in my video about the apps that I use for navigation and route planning a while back, Ive really begun to rely on the Suunto app to design routes on the fly.. So Id love to see some further development here.. The options for interval training are quite limited as well.. I use this feature a fair bit when doing hill repeats on my Suunto 9 Baro, and I can only seem to access it when using the basic Run mode, but not in Trail running mode. On the COROS Vertix., I did find the interface a little overwhelming and difficult to use at first.. In my experience with Suunto watches over the years, which themselves used to be much more complex, many people arent really willing to spend the time to really dive in and customize features, and they tend to just use the same couple of options all the time. So I think its important to make things as simple and intuitive as possible for the average user, both on the watch and the app., But Im confident this is an area theyll keep iterating on. Id love to see topo maps built right into the watch like on The Garmin Fenix. – This is a feature that was introduced in the Suunto 7 last year, but the drawback with that watch, of course, is its abismal battery life of something like 12 hours., Given the incredible battery on the COROS VERTIX.
If they were to incorporate top maps, I think this would be a game changer that would really separate it from the competition.. Lastly – and this is a very small thing – no pun intended this little cap that cover the charging port is tiny and really easy to lose track. Of., Assuming it is important and meant to keep out debris, then maybe a little flap to attach it to the back of the watch would keep from losing it so easily.. But overall, this is a really impressive watch and I have to assume that both Suunto and Garmin are watching COROS pretty closely, and it will be interesting to see what comes next. Id love to hear about your own experience with either of these two watches.