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More features packed into a smaller unit as Garmin releases Edge 820 computer

It’s been a while since Garmin released a new GPS computer, but today it has added the new Edge 820 and Edge Explore 820 to its range. 

The new Edge 820 is smaller than the old 800/810 but packs in many of the features from the bigger Edge 1000, including full detailed mapping, smartphone connectivity, wifi and incident detection, and a touch screen just like the Edge 1000.

Keep track of your riding buddies

A key new feature is GroupTrack. This is designed to make it easier for cyclists to ride together in a group, allowing you to keep tabs on other people in your group. 

garmin edge 820 2.jpg

garmin edge 820 2.jpg

It’s not always easy to ride in groups, with different fitness and experience levels, and rather than try to keep everyone together, this new feature aims to provide at a glance information on the location of your fellow riders on the road, whether ahead of or behind you.

R_EdgeExplore820_HR_106.1.jpg

R_EdgeExplore820_HR_106.1.jpg

GroupTrack works by allowing you to see where fellow riders are, and even if they’re not in sight (such as over the crest of a hill, for example) they will still be displayed on the map. How useful this feature will be remains to be seen, we look forward to testing it out.

It uses the LiveTrack feature and this is available not only on the new Edge 820 but also the older Edge 1000 and Edge 520 computers.

It’s smaller

garmin edge 820 25.jpg

garmin edge 820 25.jpg

The new Edge 820 is much smaller than the old Edge 800/810 computers. It’s now about the same size as the current Edge 520. It measures 73.0 x 49.0 x 21.0mm with a 2.3cm screen offering a 220 x 265 pixel resolution. It weighs 67.7g.

Improved navigation

Navigation is a key component of this mid-range computer, and Garmin has bolstered the Cycle Map to make it more useful, with bike-friendly trails and points of interest displayed on a 2.3-inch high-resolution, capacitive touch display, that can be operated in the rain.

R_EdgeExplore820_HR_106.5.jpg

R_EdgeExplore820_HR_106.5.jpg

Performance training tools

For performance-focused cyclists, Garmin has added more training tools including VO2 max3, recovery advisor, FTP and watts/kg tracking, performance condition and advanced cycling dynamics4. If you know what any of that means then you probably know how to utilise them.

R_Edge820_HR_202.1.jpg

R_Edge820_HR_202.1.jpg

Extra features

The new 820 computers now bring smartphone-style customisation to the table. They’re  Connect IQ compatible which allows free apps to be downloaded and added to the data fields, with features like social media sharing, smart notifications and live tracking some of the available options.

R_EdgeExplore820_HR_106.7.jpg

R_EdgeExplore820_HR_106.7.jpg

Both devices are compatible with Garmin’s radar-based Varia system as well, a rear-facing radar that will warn you of approaching cars. You can read more about Varia here. 

Extended battery life

A new Battery Save mode is claimed to be able to extend the 15-hour battery life by 50 percent by turning the screen off and only waking it when prompted by the user. 

Prices

The Edge 820 costs £329.99 or £389.99 bundled with a speed sensor, cadence sensor and a premium heart rate monitor.

garmin edge 820 20.jpg

garmin edge 820 20.jpg

The Edge Explore 820 costs £279.99, which does without ANT+ support and some of the performance training features of the more expensive Edge 820.

More at www.garmin.com/en-GB and we'll get a full in-depth review for you soon.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.