The Garmin Edge 820 combines the touchscreen of the large Garmin Edge 1000 with how big is the favorite Garmin Edge 520, and more native features than most cyclists will really know what related to – plus the substitute for add a lot more functions and third-party graphic options via Connect IQ apps. Get black Friday & Cyber Monday offers, deals, sales is right here.

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So is this premium-priced unit a best-of-both-worlds Goldilocks solution or a computer that’s caught in no man’s land? I’d argue it is somewhat of both.

I love the simple digital integration – rides upload immediately to Strava via your phone or WiFi, you can view incoming texts and calls, and power meters and heartrate monitors are quickly found and remembered. I appreciate the size for everyday use, however the mapping pales compared to the bigger Edge 1000 and the touchscreen just doesn’t perform just like the smartphone screens to which so most of us have become accustomed. Even though the 15 hour run time may hold true for recording, when working with it to check out a route you’ve got simply a little over four hours prior to the screen goes dark.

You might have the Course Creator offer you options for different length routes. I’m not impressed with that, but I am impressed with the way the unit offers you instructions from any page while you’re riding
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media

Notable Garmin Edge 820 details
200 x 265 pixel display
GPS + GLONASS
Basemap
Customizable display, including while riding
Course to check out or compete keenly against previous activities
Automatic upload to Garmin Connect – and so Strava, TrainingPeaks, etc
LiveTrack and GroupTrack
Power analysis/educated guesstimation like VO2 Max, Recovery Adviser, FTP, etc

Garmin Edge 820 tested video

Encyclopaedia of features and comparison to other Garmin Edge computers
The Garmin Edge 820 has all of the top features of its less-expensive siblings, and also a handful more that center around real-time comparative GPS functionality and personal training statistics.

Garmin’s entry-level units just like the Edge 20 give a wealth of metrics, such as for example speed, distance, elevation, time and temperature, plus all of the standard variations on these such as for example average, total and lap.

Progress to the Edge 520 (which looks quite like the 820, but operates with buttons rather than a touchscreen) and you get all of the standard metrics plus options like Strava Segments, where one can track your progress along your selected segments instantly and compare it to your PR, the KOM/QOM or the optimum time of the individual closest for you on the Strava leaderboard whom you follow.

The 520 also integrates nicely together with your smartphone, in order to see incoming calls and texts on your own Garmin screen and upload rides and never have to plug your Garmin right into a computer. This also lets your rides be tracked by others when used in combination with Garmin’s Connect app.

The Edge 820 includes a few more features compared to the button-controlled Edge 520
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media

I never utilize the Live Track function, but I take advantage of and also have really come to understand seeing texts and incoming calls on the Garmin. (That’s my kid calling – gotta pull over and answer it. Or, that’s just work – ignore it!)

If you are using a power meter, you then have an abundance of options for measurement and analysis: real-time, 3sec, 10sec, Normalized, Intensity Factor, TSS, left/right balance and – for those who have Garmin Vector pedals – time seated vs. periods of the saddle.

The Edge 520 includes a handful of educated guesstimates, including VO2 Max, Recovery Time and Recovery Level. The first takes a power meter and a heart-rate monitor. It’s a novel feature, however, not precisely scientific, as a genuine VO2 Max test measures maximal oxygen consumption. On an identical note, after every ride the Edge 520 lets you know just how many hours of recovery you will need, based on your heartrate through the ride. Again, they are educated guesstimates, not hard-science measurements.

The Edge 820 has most of these features, and also a few more notable ones.

Also available may be the Garmin Edge Explore 820, which is slightly cheaper and doesn’t have the same performance metrics included – no VO2 Max, Recovery time, etc.

Unique Edge 820 features
GroupTrack can be an extension of Garmin’s LiveTrack feature, where friends and family or family can follow you (via your GPS coordinates) on a computer. With GroupTrack, you might have this same visibility, but from your own handlebars. The theory is you could meet up or maybe keep digital an eye on your riding companions. This is similar from what Wahoo introduced using its Elemnt GPS computer.

On the physiology side, the Edge 820 continues Garmin’s quest to place just a little virtual coach into each unit

For GroupTrack to work, friends and family will need to have a LiveTrack-compatible Edge computer as an Edge 520 or Edge 1000 that’s paired with their smartphone and also have their Garmin Connect iphone app on, paired and running LiveTrack. The truth is, this is a major require any normal ride. Or at least it really is for me; I could barely get my knucklehead friends showing up on time, significantly less have their phones configured to my preferences. The point is, when you can get each one of these pieces in place, then you can certainly use your Edge 820 to see their position only a small amount icons on your own map screen. GroupTrack includes a claimed 10 mile range.

I could appreciate how GroupTrack could possibly be helpful in specific situations, like doing a huge tour in a fresh place where in fact the group could easily get split on unfamiliar roads. But again, to get everyone on a single literal page on your own Garmin screen requires getting everyone on a single figurative page with hardware (Garmin Edge computer plus smartphone) and software (Garmin Connect software paired, tethered to the Edge, LiveTrack on and running, contacts invited to become listed on GroupTrack, etc.). It’s a major ask.

The Edge 820 also offers Incident Alert, an attribute that – once configured – can send an aware of your specified contact that you’re down at confirmed location. It appears like a decent idea, nonetheless it turns out a little computer can’t really tell the difference between rattling down a dirt road where in fact the tires take some rough hits, and a crash. When the computer believes there’s been an ‘incident’ – basically, when it’s been rattled hard and stopped abruptly – it’ll offer you a little notification that your emergency contact(s) is/are going to be notified, and you have 20 seconds to cancel the message. In the event that you ignore it through, your contact(s) will receive a message together with your location.

On the physiology side, the Edge 820 continues Garmin’s quest to place just a little virtual coach into each unit. As well as the educated guesstimates you can get on the 520, like V02 Max and Recovery Time, the 820 can provide you around FTP number through auto calculation or by walking you via an FTP test. Both these require the use of a power meter and heartrate monitor.

What’s FTP for cycling?
Navigation on the Edge 820
The Edge 520 enables you to upload routes you create elsewhere, and follow them, using the native basemap. The 820 has this, plus you can even type in an address using the pc itself and create a route. It’s still a long way off from Google Maps – where you could harness the search capacities of Google, surf around, and get routed to where you intend to go – nonetheless it is a step towards being truly a self-sufficient unit.

The truth is, the 820’s 2.3in screen just can’t contend with the 1000 or the smartphone you almost certainly have in your jersey pocket with regards to viewing a map. Yes, you can zoom in and out, but that requires a fair amount of prodding at the computer, and you’re still only looking at a tiny screen.

Garmin claims a battery life as high as 15 hours – when applied to a fresh battery-save mode that keeps recording but only shows a display when the rider prompts it – but I came across battery life when carrying out a route in normal mode to be simply a bit more than four hours. Carrying out a route on the 520 or 1000 also kills a completely charged battery in only over four hours. That is a bummer, because it’s when you’re carrying out a long route on unfamiliar roads when you most desire a GPS device!