review

Garmin Edge 25 GPS computer

9
£139.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Garmin's Edge 25 is the smallest GPS computer we've ever tested, and it's easy to use as well
Weight: 
25g
Contact: 

The brand new Edge 25 is Garmin's smallest ever GPS computer, and along with its diminutive size, Garmin has nailed the user interface, which is a dream to use.

If you don't need route mapping and navigation and just want to track all the important metrics like speed, distance and elevation, the Edge 25 does everything you need.

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It's light, just 25g, and takes up very little space on the stem using the supplied quarter-turn mount that Garmin has been using for years. The 128x160 pixel display is small and grayscale, but it's pin sharp and the new lighter font makes it easy to see at a glance how fast you're riding.

The first screen you see upon powering up the Edge 25 is the Ride screen. From here you can go straight into a ride. If you're cycling indoors, there is a dedicated Use Indoors mode under the Ride Options menu.

From the home screen you can also scroll down to History, Courses and Settings. It's all self-explanatory and you really don't need to consult the manual to find your way around the Edge 25.

There is no touchscreen with the Edge 25, instead navigation is via four buttons on the side of the unit. Each button has a knurled surface making them very tactile and easy to press during use, with or without gloves.

The top left button is your power button, and also acts as a backlight during use. The top right button is the OK button, the lower left button is a back button, and the lower right button is for scrolling down through the various menus and options.

You get three screens during a ride, and you can configure two of them to display a range of metrics. The first screen shows three data fields, with time, distance and current speed the default settings. A second screen shows two data fields, ascent and calories.

Each of the data fields can be changed in the settings menu, but you can't add any extra screens or increase the number of data fields in any screen. If you're a data hungry cyclist then that might be an issue. I found it just fine, with the Edge 25 displaying the essential information I need and want during a ride, and no more.

The Edge 25 picks up a GPS signal really quickly, much more quickly than the old Edge 500 I regularly use. Turn it on, and it's ready to go in an instant, no waiting for it to find satellites.

What the more expensive Edge 25 offers over the Edge 20 is built-in Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity. The former allows you to sync the device with a smartphone and Garmin's Connect app, so you can easily upload rides without going anywhere near your computer.

If you want to pair heart rate, cadence, speed sensors, ANT+ allows you to do just that. The Bluetooth sensor is primarily for syncing with a smartphone, not for use with any of the latest crop of Bluetooth sensors.

Both the Edge 20 and Edge 25 are not compatible with power meters, which does seem a shame. So if you want use power, you're going to have to stick with one of Garmin's more expensive units like the Edge 520 or higher.

While the Edge 25 isn't designed for navigation (the bigger Edge 1000 is better at route mapping), you can download courses from Garmin Connect to the Edge 25 and follow a breadcrumb trail.

That's a feature that existed on the Edge 500, and works reasonably well. It even does turn-by-turn navigation, but there's no base map so you can't make up a route on the fly, as you might with one of the bigger Garmins. For many applications, it works just fine.

The Edge 25 will also do Live Tracking so friends and family can follow your endeavours, along with smart notifications from a smartphone.

Battery life is a claimed eight hours. The longest ride I've done so far was six hours the other weekend, and the battery life symbol still looked very healthy.

Garmin has ditched the mini USB charge port and introduced a new four pin contact system and dedicated cradle. It works really well but it does mean you can't plug an external battery pack into the Garmin for longer rides or multi-day adventures, and you can't charge the unit or read data from it with any old cable you happen to have kicking around. If you lose it, a replacement cable costs £20.

Garmin has become what Hoover is to the vacuum business, a byword for GPS devices. There's a lot more competition in this market with more competitors bringing out GPS computers all the time. The Edge 25 is the best Garmin yet, it's simple and easy to use, it even looks good which isn't a bad thing at all.

As for prices, Garmin is charging £110 for the Edge 20, £140 for the Edge 25 and £170 for the Edge 25 HRM bundle. On paper the Edge 25 compares well with similarly priced rivals from Lezyne, Cateye and Polar, with a good feature set and the most compact size of them all.

Verdict

Garmin's Edge 25 is the smallest GPS computer we've ever tested, and it's easy to use as well

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Garmin Edge 25

Size tested: GPS computer

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Garmin says:

Go the extra mile. Edge 25 captures essential stats from your ride, including time, distance, speed, total ascent and location. When paired with a heart rate strap, it also records your heart rate and heart rate zone so you'll know when you hit your target. Heart rate compatibility also provides more accurate information on calories burned during your ride.

Small, But Powerful

Edge 25 offers all the necessary stats you need to take your ride to the next level. Small in size, yet packed with features such as smart notifications when paired with a smartphone.

Stay on Course

Choose from courses ridden by others or create your own on Garmin Connect, our free online community. Once you choose a course, upload it directly to Edge 25 and follow it to your destination. You can even compete against yourself to make it more interesting.

Ride Faster, Ride Further

Edge 25 lets you know how fast and how far you're riding. When paired with ANT+® sensors�, you can also track cadence, as well as indoor speed and distance.

Live Tracking

When paired with Bluetooth®, Live Tracking lets friends and family follow your ride in real time. Invite followers using email or social media, which lets them view your live data on Garmin Connect.

No Data, No Problem

Edge 25 uses GPS/GLONASS satellites to track how far, how fast and where you ride, even under dense tree cover. Unlike a phone, you can use Edge 25 for up to 8 hours without worrying about data or battery drainage.

Get Connected

Via Bluetooth to your smartphone or with a simple connection to your computer, you can upload your activities to our free online fitness community, Garmin Connect. Here, you can see the path you traveled on a map, analyze it, share it and view more detail.

Segments

Compete against other cyclists on Garmin Connect segments and see your results post-ride on the leaderboard. Includes on-device alerts for segment start/finish points.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Tracks time, distance, speed and heart rate�

Plan, download and follow new rides

Save, plan and share your activities at Garmin Connect™

Water-resistant, durable device

Connected features, for instant data upload and LiveTrack

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Smart design and really well made. Tough and water resistant casing and tactile buttons.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

For recording just the essential ride information, the Edge 25 provides a clear, easy to read screen despite its tiny size. Battery life is good, though there's no option for plugging in an external battery pack.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

It's well made, tough and water resistant.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10

This is the Edge 25's trump card, it's without doubt the smallest and lightest GPS computer currently available.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

It's a tad pricey but it still stacks up well against its rivals when you take into account the features and the compact design.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

For tracking all the essential ride data, the Edge 25 is brilliant. The screen is small yet clear and easy to read, and it takes up naff all space on the stem.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The tiny size.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Lack of power meter compatibility.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Use this box to explain your score

Garmin has become what Hoover is to the vacuum business, a byword for GPS devices. There's a lot more competition in this market with more competitors bringing out GPS computers all the time. The Edge 25 is the best Garmin yet, it's simple and easy to use, it even looks good which isn't a bad thing at all.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

 

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.

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