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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.

18 comments

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
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Odd that the group tracking will roll out to the 1000 soon, but no plans for the 520. Surely the 520 is the most popular model and if the group tracking is to be remotely useful, you'll need as many people on it as possible. 

 

Hopefully they'll sort themselves out, Garmin have a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot like this.

Avatar
srchar [688 posts] 1 year ago
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unconstituted wrote:

Surely the 520 is the most popular model and if the group tracking is to be remotely useful, you'll need as many people on it as possible. 

The 520 will support location reporting, so 820 and 1000 users will be able to see where other riders are, but the 520 will be hamstrung and unable to view this info.

The 820 looks like a nice unit, but given the numerous problems I've had with my 520 and the useless "support" I've had from Garmin, they won't be getting any more of my money.

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
srchar wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

Surely the 520 is the most popular model and if the group tracking is to be remotely useful, you'll need as many people on it as possible. 

The 520 will support location reporting, so 820 and 1000 users will be able to see where other riders are, but the 520 will be hamstrung and unable to view this info.

The 820 looks like a nice unit, but given the numerous problems I've had with my 520 and the useless "support" I've had from Garmin, they won't be getting any more of my money.

 

Garmin are a lottery, get a refurb on the 520 and cross your fingers. They never admit it, but they have major hardware issues. Had loads of their Fenix 2/3's, FR's, Edge's.. some work well enough, some were a disaster. I've never had a Garmin that didn't have some sort of bug or defect.

 

Take my Edge 1000 at the moment, BT connection to the phone is useless. Never had a single text or call routed to it. Livetracking has never worked, though from what I hear it used to up to a month before I bought it, then it stopped for a lot of guys.

 

Anyway, good that 520's can at least report location, but still.. seriously, they could patch a screen with a basic group map on it.

Avatar
230548 [54 posts] 1 year ago
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good luck with getting live track to work, let alone group tracking, there have been a lot of software updates lately and some where along the line live track just isnt working reliably despite reinstalling the app and double checking all settings are correct. and today it dropped out and then plotted a straight line back to my house strangely enought the time and distance in connect was correct less the drop out . I see from other remarks other people having the same problem and from about a month  ago. I wish strava would do a live track i'm sure it would be more reliable .

 

Avatar
Luv2ride [93 posts] 1 year ago
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I only bought my 520 a couple of weeks ago, so now kinda wished I'd waited a little longer (had no idea this 820 was even planned).  That said my 520 has so far been very reliable, so if the 820 is anything like as good, with those additional features, it should be a great little unit.

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sttuey [15 posts] 1 year ago
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If the 820 doesn't randomly freeze mid-ride like my 810 does, it will be a step up crying

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bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I have to take my hat off to Garmin, I've been predicting their decline for a few years and it's yet to materialise. It's amazing that what is quite basic electronics can still command such a high price. 

I guess I'll wait another year to see if the sports GPS market will be flooded with cheap android clones.

Avatar
CycloTron07 [19 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
bikebot wrote:

I have to take my hat off to Garmin, I've been predicting their decline for a few years and it's yet to materialise.

 

Garmin's ace up their sleeve is that they own Ant+.  So no likely decline for the forseeable future, despite numerous issues.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2009 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
CycloTron07 wrote:
bikebot wrote:

I have to take my hat off to Garmin, I've been predicting their decline for a few years and it's yet to materialise.

 

Garmin's ace up their sleeve is that they own Ant+.  So no likely decline for the forseeable future, despite numerous issues.

Well being an open standard with publicly available profiles and resources, 'own' is probably a bit of an over stretch, but the sooner Garmin and Polar stop the communication interface pissing contest and support both the better for the consumer at least. If the BT SIGs can properly sort out some more sports profiles in any sensible manner soon, and get Polar to perhaps start to migrate away from their private crap, that'd help as well. Personally speaking anyway ..

Avatar
CycloTron07 [19 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
CycloTron07 wrote:
bikebot wrote:

I have to take my hat off to Garmin, I've been predicting their decline for a few years and it's yet to materialise.

 

Garmin's ace up their sleeve is that they own Ant+.  So no likely decline for the forseeable future, despite numerous issues.

Well being an open standard with publicly available profiles and resources, 'own' is probably a bit of an over stretch, but the sooner Garmin and Polar stop the communication interface pissing contest and support both the better for the consumer at least. If the BT SIGs can properly sort out some more sports profiles in any sensible manner soon, and get Polar to perhaps start to migrate away from their private crap, that'd help as well. Personally speaking anyway ..

 

Open to a certain extent anyway...  There is "open" access but it still remains a proprietary standard.

Speaking to some app developers, it seems the best bits are being reserved for those who pay up to be part of the Ant+ Alliance, loose change to big corporations but quite a big ask for start-ups, one-man shops etc.

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Garmin's bike computer market should have been toast but no-one capitalised on it.

 

All it would take is Apple to make a sports model iPhone and Android to follow suit. 

 

Apple are bad at sports though, they don't understand the market. Consumers who want the occasional jog is more their thing.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [1043 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Garmin's bike computer market should have been toast but no-one capitalised on it.

 

All it would take is Apple to make a sports model iPhone and Android to follow suit. 

 

Apple are bad at sports though, they don't understand the market. Consumers who want the occasional jog is more their thing.

Wahoo have made a valiant effort. I really like their equipment and most of it uses Bluetooth LTE which allows decent compatibility. I just wish their RFLKT head display was cheaper and thinner.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [1043 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Garmin's bike computer market should have been toast but no-one capitalised on it.

 

All it would take is Apple to make a sports model iPhone and Android to follow suit. 

 

Apple are bad at sports though, they don't understand the market. Consumers who want the occasional jog is more their thing.

Wahoo have made a valiant effort. I really like their equipment and most of it uses Bluetooth LTE which allows decent compatibility. I just wish their RFLKT head display was cheaper and thinner.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2009 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
CycloTron07 wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
CycloTron07 wrote:
bikebot wrote:

I have to take my hat off to Garmin, I've been predicting their decline for a few years and it's yet to materialise.

 

Garmin's ace up their sleeve is that they own Ant+.  So no likely decline for the forseeable future, despite numerous issues.

Well being an open standard with publicly available profiles and resources, 'own' is probably a bit of an over stretch, but the sooner Garmin and Polar stop the communication interface pissing contest and support both the better for the consumer at least. If the BT SIGs can properly sort out some more sports profiles in any sensible manner soon, and get Polar to perhaps start to migrate away from their private crap, that'd help as well. Personally speaking anyway ..

 

Open to a certain extent anyway...  There is "open" access but it still remains a proprietary standard.

Speaking to some app developers, it seems the best bits are being reserved for those who pay up to be part of the Ant+ Alliance, loose change to big corporations but quite a big ask for start-ups, one-man shops etc.

 

Not sure what  those developers mean by 'the best bits' - the things you get with paid membership are more business oriented (discounts on device certification, marketing an branding assistance, directory listings etc) although there is some technical stuff e.g. access to member only meeting, early access documents, which are mainly of interest to profile development and guidance. More here.

 

https://www.thisisant.com/business/go-ant/levels-and-benefits/

 

I've been an ANT+ adopter and occassional dev for a few years now and AFAICS the actual ANT+ profiles are fully available to free members - i've certainly never hit a bit of functionality/something that wasn't documented. You can use the existing profiles and develop what you like, hardware or software, or do you own protocol like the private ANT stuff that used to be prevelant. The only thing you do need to do if you want to say your application / device is ANT+ compliant (and use the logo etc) is to get it certified* - similar to what you'd have to do with BTLE and others.  For an application on, say, an Android phone using the existing ANT+ stack that would be $50 (free for paid members) - so not so onerous and that's if you want to claim compatibility. Otherwise - just go crack out the docs, code examples and simulator and have fun !

 

 

* For a device you'd also need to get the relevant wireless certification for your country etc, but that's independant of the protocol .

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [639 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

unconstituted wrote:

Garmin's bike computer market should have been toast but no-one capitalised on it.

 

All it would take is Apple to make a sports model iPhone and Android to follow suit. 

 

Apple are bad at sports though, they don't understand the market. Consumers who want the occasional jog is more their thing.

Wahoo have made a valiant effort. I really like their equipment and most of it uses Bluetooth LTE which allows decent compatibility. I just wish their RFLKT head display was cheaper and thinner.

That Wahoo GPS device that's being advertised on Eurosport atm looks very interesting and a good, viable alternative to the Garmin monopoly.

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Wahoo make good looking units. Much fresher looking. Very cool. I'd like one, but I wanted Live Segments and I don't think Wahoo has any unit yet that supports it. Maybe later in 2016 there will be an update.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2009 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Really like the Elemnt - even more since they've dropped the price - and it's dual protocol. Wahoo have some cracking bits of kit IMO.

Avatar
Fish_n_Chips [514 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Mmmm new cycle toy! smiley

 

Me want