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Garmin Edge 800 In Depth Review

What exactly is the Edge 800 you ask?  Well, it’s a new bike computer that aims to provide all of the cycling features you’d expect from the Edge series (ANT+ support, power meter compatibility and configuration, GPS route recording and workout capabilities), and combine it with features from not only the higher end Edge 705, but also from many of Garmin’s outdoor line of products that allow you to include satellite imagery – known as Birdseye Satellite imagery and custom maps, which we’ll get into in a bit.

In effect, this is combing the best of both words – the smaller form factor closer to the Edge 500, but with a higher resolution screen and far more features than the last generation Edge 705 – all with the fill-in features like a touch-screen from the outdoor/hiking units…finally, in a price about half-way in between.

Like all my reviews, they tend to be pretty in depth (perhaps overly so) – but that’s just my trademark DC Rainmaker way of doing things.  Think of them more like reference guides than quick and easy summaries.  I try and cover every conceivable thing you might do with the device and then poke at it a bit more.  My goal is to leave no stone unturned – both the good and the bad.

Because I want to be transparent about my reviews, as I mentioned when I first got the device – Garmin sent me this Edge 800 for a period of 45 days as a trial unit.  Once that period has elapsed, I send the whole messed up box back to the folks in Kansas.  Simple as that.  Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints.  If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon links from this page to help support future reviews.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular athlete out there.  I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background, and thus I try and be as complete as I can.  But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out.  Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

So – with that intro, let’s get into things.


When it first arrives in your hands, it’ll look a lot like this:


After opening it up, you’ll find a box packed with little plastic baggies:


Take those baggies out, and you’ve moved from a large pile of baggies, to a flat surface of baggies:


After removing enough plastic to make a small blimp, here’s the goods:


I’ve gone through and labeled all the different components that came in the box:


Of course, the real center piece is the Edge 800 itself:


Size Comparison and Weights:

The first question cyclists always ask is: How much does it weigh?  Followed closely by…how big is it?  So, let’s start with size.  I put it in a typical Altoids tin for comparison.  If you can’t find an Altoids tin around your pad…I suggest a trip to 7-11.  They have Slurpee’s anyway…


Next up, comparison against the popular Edge 500, and the Edge 705:


And last but not least, the weight test.  I start with the Edge 500, then do the Edge 800 and then the oldest and heaviest of the bunch – the Edge 705.  All figures are in ounces: The Edge 500 is 2.05, the Edge 800 is 3.45 and the Edge 705 is 3.85.


You can see weight-wise it slots in between the Edge 500 and Edge 705 – despite being smaller/lighter than the Edge 705, the screen is actually the same size.

You may be wondering exactly how much 3.45 ounces is.  Well, it’s about the same as two medium sized eggs:


All in all, it’s pretty small and fairly light.  And in my case, I generally reason that if the extra weight is a big deal – I’m pretty sure I could just forgo a few cookies and lose it off of my posterior instead.

Getting it on the bike:

The Edge 800 uses the newer quarter turn mount system that was introduced with the Edge 500 (well, technically it started with the quick release kit on the Garmin 310XT).  This mount system snaps in place using industrial strength rubber bands, and then the unit simply attaches in via a quick quarter turn mount.

This is a huge improvement over the older Edge 705’s mount system…which was a bit of a PITA to say the least.  The older system was susceptible to breakage and especially for mountain bikers –  popping off.  I’ve been using the new quarter-turn mount system for about 9 months now and absolutely love it.  It’s super easy to remove the device, yet, the device is highly unlikely to leave your bike.  I’m relatively certain if you got hit by a semi-truck, the only thing left still in one piece would be the mount/device to your handlebar.

But…the real kicker is that these mounts are cheap – $9 for a box of two of them, a million rubber bands.  Though, everything below is included inbox with the Edge 800 itself – two full sets.


This makes it easy to swap between bikes.  I bought a few boxes of them and put them on all my bikes, and my two turtles.

Here’s a quick video on how it snaps in place:

Garmin Edge 800 mount and bike swapping

Note that I’ve tried it on both a triathlon bike and a standard road bike.  On the tri bike I find it fits best up on the aerobars:


And on a road bike, your standard bar placement works pretty well:


(You’ll notice I have the 310XT quick release mount to the side zip tied, that’s also compatible with the Edge 800)

One question that’s often asked is: “Can I use it for running?”.  The answer is: Sorta.  The Edge 800 will record the GPS information just fine, along with heart rate.  However, it’ll show your speed in MPH (or KPH) and not in the standard Minutes/Mile pace format.  Also, it’s not quite designed for your wrist, but if you pickup the cheap 310XT quick release kit, it’ll snap into that just fine.

Base Cycling Features:

Once you get it all situated on the bike, you may want to pair it to any of your existing ANT+ sensors you have – such as a speed/cadence sensor or a 3rd party power meter.  This only takes a second via the menu system:


Once those are set, it’s time to get rolling.  By default the Edge 800 will utilize GPS to determine speed, distance and other location information.  The Edge 800 uses the same GPS chip as the Edge 500 that came out just later year.  In my experience with the Edge 500, the GPS has no issues tracking in virtually all conditions…from trails to airplane flights.  In my testing with the Edge 800 – the resultant is the same – no issues in tracking.


Below is a page I setup with the information I typically use on a given ride:


And here’s another screen with less information displayed – only three fields (click to expand):


Once you’re riding, you’ll have a number of data fields that can be displayed at any one point in time.  You can set up to 10 data fields per data screen (up from eight), and have up to 3 primary data screens, in addition to map and course based screens.  You can customize all of these screens and data fields however you’d like with the following information:


(Note: These are transcribed directly from the menu’s, expand to actually be readable)

Customizing only takes a second via the menu system.  If you’re interested in what data fields I use, here’s my post on how I setup my Edge for different scenarios from racing to training. You’ll notice the screen is super clear, whether in sun or shade:


And by switching to the larger display fields, you can see it from quite far away:


The Edge 800 supports Auto Pause, which is great for city riding.  Auto Pause automatically starts and stops the timer once you bike speed has reached a given (customizable) threshold.  This is useful if you have a lot of stop lights along the way and get tired of pressing stop/start each time you hit a light.


Note however that it’s generally recommend you turn Auto Pause off if you’re using a Power Meter and analyzing some power-specific workout information such as Normalized Power, where introducing unaccounted for gaps in time can twist your results and artificially inflate them.  Just the way the calculations work.

Like the Edge 500, the Edge 800 also supports a movement warning system that lets you know you haven’t hit start yet, but are moving.  This is especially useful if you don’t use Auto Pause and instead rely on the old noggin to remember to press start after that bio break.


The Edge 800 includes a barometric altimeter in it.  This is standard issue for the Edge line, but isn’t found on the triathlon/running line (Forerunner’s).  Barometric altimeters generally improve elevation accuracy over typical GPS altimeters as they use changes in air pressure versus GPS using a fairly complex triangulation method that’s prone to errors.  The Edge 800 also lets you customize known elevation data points to allow you to calibrate off that data point.  If you’d like a good look at barometric vs GPS altimeters in sport devices, check out this post I wrote up.


The Edge 800 includes a temperature sensor that will display and record temperature along the course of your ride.  While I’m still trying to find a good training reason to have a thermometer, I do like the fact that they’ve continued to include it within the Edge series.


Virtual Partner:

Virtual Partner is a cool feature introduced back a few years ago that allows you to race against yourself.  Basically you set a given speed you want to maintain, and then the Garmin device will show a little person representing that speed.  It’ll also show your progress.  If you’re faster than the ‘little man’, it’ll show that.  And if you’re slower, it’ll show that.  It also shows how far ahead/behind you are.

To setup Virtual Partner, you’ll choose a given speed you’d like to maintain – once done, the Virtual Partner screen will appear.  Below is the configuration screen:


In the Edge 800 though – the user interface gets a significant upgrade which makes it look much much cleaner – complete with nifty animated graphics:



Once you’ve got the basics of the Edge 800 down, you may start to look at planning downloadable workouts.  I often use this feature actually for races more than training.  It helps me to execute on a given race strategy.

You can create workouts using both Garmin Training Center or via the user interface on the device itself.


Once created, you’ll navigate through the Edge 800’s menu system into the workout area, to start the workout:


(Because the unit I have is pre-production, there are a few tiny bugs to be worked out still, like the above HR’s lacking the ‘1’ in front of them, as they should be in the hundreds.)


Once you’ve started the workout, the parameters you’ve specified will be shown on the screen.  Should you stray from the programmed parameters, the unit will beep at you.  The beeping is loud enough that others may believe you’re physically/emotionally harming the unit…so there’s no doubt that you’ll miss the alarms.

Training Indoors:

The Edge 800 supports the ability to train indoors on a trainer, assuming you use the Speed/Cadence sensor and/or Heart Rate Strap.  Any ANT+ speed/cadence sensor will work, though for the purpose of this test, I’m using the standard issue GSC-10 from Garmin.  I’ve manually set the wheel size, but you can also have the unit auto-configure it by doing a quick ride outdoors where it uses GPS to calibrate the size of the wheel.


When on the bike indoors it’s best to turn the GPS off.  While most modern training applications (including all of Garmin’s) easily notice that it should read sensor data over GPS data, some apps don’t.  This means when you go to load your workout, it shows you went a grand total of nowhere…instead of showing you actual mileage that the wheel recorded. Once you’ve done that – simply go to town and knock out your workout.


Once done, you’ll see the same speed/cadence/HR/power data that you would outdoors, all on Garmin Connect.

Touch Screen:

If you’ve read my reviews in the past, you’ll know that I’m generally not keen on touch screens in sports devices.  The reasoning being that in most cases, a combination of sweat and fingers never results in ones desired menu options.  Further more, adding in winter accessories like gloves often makes life even more difficult.

So I was a bit apprehensive when I found out that the unit uses a touch screen.   However, one of the first things you’ll notice is it still retains two key buttons for Stop/Start and Lap/Reset – in addition to a power button.  In my mind, this is a fair compromise.  The two buttons I generally use are these two, and I rarely need to change menu’s very much while riding.

Nonetheless – how well does the touch screen handle?  Well, let’s play around with the user interface a bit going through some of the menu’s:

Garmin Edge 800 Touch Screen Video Clip

As you can see from the short video, the unit is surprisingly responsive and seems to pickup my choices pretty quickly (and correctly).  It’s also fairly easy to use while riding, especially just scrolling through the data screens with a single tap or swipe.

The unit features a screen lock, should you want to lock the touch screen itself. That’s activated via the top left side button:


Of course, a logical question is how does the screen perform if you put on a pair of winter gloves?  Well, I set to find out.  I started with the thinnest pair, and then moved up through the most common cycling gloves to some heavy duty sub-zero style gloves, I then finished it off with a pair of mittens.  Here’s the ever-so-exciting video…try to hold back your excitement while you watch three riveting minutes of glove action – enough to make OJ nervous:

Edge 800 Touch Screen Glove Tests

As you can see, I was able to fairly easily manipulate the menu’s of the device, including both common tasks and those you might need to do quickly – like change display or bike settings.  While there was an occasional ‘typo’, most of those were due to the fact I was trying to watch the lens as the same time.

In short…no problems with gloves.

Mapping via Birdseye Satellite Imagery:

Perhaps the coolest single feature of the Edge 800 is the ability to download Birdseye Satellite Imagery onto it.  Birdseye Imagery is basically the same stuff as you’d get if you went to Google Maps or Bing Maps.  Essentially, the ability to see your house.

The imagery is based on a subscription service, and the price is $29 a year.  This isn’t too bad in my opinion, especially if you use it a lot.  To load the imagery, you’ll utilize a piece of software called Base Camp.  Users of Garmin’s outdoor line of handhelds will be familiar with this software, but for the rest of us runners/cyclists/triathletes – this will be a new piece of software to add to the lineup.


Base Camp allows you to do route planning – focused heavily on off-road routes like hiking trails or mountain bike trails.  But it also has the capability to add in satellite imagery from Garmin’s Birdseye service.

To add imagery, you simply drill down into the area of interest and then choose to send it to the device.  Note, you can’t send the ‘entire world’, as its rather big and won’t fit on a single micro-SD card, but you can select pretty big chunks that you’d ride.



From there you simply right click the imagery in the left pane and send it to the device.  I would show you the final resultant, but unfortunately the pre-production device I have isn’t quite in the position to show it off for today’s post – look for a follow-up post on that.

As noted above, the imagery doesn’t come on the unit itself from the store, but you can add it to your unit for $29 a year.  The only caveat I’ve found is that you can only download so much imagery at a time, and while in the past handheld devices designed for hiking limited how far you could realistically travel – with a bike – you go a lot further.  I tried to capture a 30-mile section of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park and the program had a set download limit of about 105MB, smaller than my area of selection.  For this to be a truly useful feature for cyclists, I need to be able to select an area covering hundreds of miles – even if that means it takes a bit of time to download, and a bigger MicroSD card (or more than one).

Mapping via City and Topo Maps:

In addition to the cool Birdseye Satellite Imagery, you can still use standard issue maps and topographical maps that you can purchase from Garmin.  The more expensive of the two Garmin Edge 800 bundles comes with North America City Navigator.  This is important, because the base imagery that Garmin would otherwise provide isn’t terribly useful and doesn’t have many of the streets that you’d likely cycle on.  For me, it pretty much only had Interstate 95, whereas the City Navigator maps had everything including the alley in my back yard.

You have two options when you by City Navigator – one is to buy the DVD and the other is to buy the SD card.  I was sent the SD card, but I also have the DVD version from when I originally bought the Edge 705.  Both work just fine, though the MicroSD card is certainly quicker.

In the case of the MicroSD card (far easier), you simply slide it in the back slot.  It comes with a regular SD card adapter though if you want to update/add to it on your computer.


Once in the slot the Edge 800 will automatically recognize it and show off the more detailed maps.  Check the below before (left) and after (right):





You can purchase Garmin detailed maps for just about everywhere on the planet, and, with a bit of creativity you can also create your own maps.

Garmin Custom Maps:

In addition to utilizing downloadable/purchasable maps, you can also create your own maps and upload them to the Edge 800 via Garmin Custom Maps.  This is particularly useful if you have maps that contain additional data not found via common providers.  For example, you may have a map that lists all port-o-john’s in your area (any cyclist/runner knows this is important).  However, for my example I simply grabbed the city’s local bike maps and went to town.  Here’s the initial city provided map I started from:


While I won’t detail the process fully as it’s well described here, here’s what the half-way mark looks like:


As I get it all aligned, you can see my city bike map overlayed on the detailed city map.  As you can imagine, this would be incredibly powerful if you have heavily customized maps with waypoints or unique features not normally found on traditional online maps.  For example, water stops, bathrooms, etc.. are all common on race routes, and would be perfect for overlaying into the device.


And finally, once I’ve loaded it onto my actual device and navigating with it:


(At this juncture you may be wondering how I got that clear screenshot…well, the Edge 800 includes the ability to simply tap the power button and take .bmp screenshots)

Pretty cool stuff and really gives you (and even event planners) a ton of flexibility.

The Edge 800 has the same navigational features that you’d expect from a car GPS.  For example, it’ll give you turn by turn directions and show you how far until the next turn:


And you can also go into the menu’s and select POI’s (Points of Interest) – such as food or if you’re feeling tired after that long ride…a hotel.  Or you can simply enter in any street address.  It’s astoundingly quick within the UI, and has auto-complete so that you don’t need to type in the full street addresses or states.


And if you get off course, it’ll re-calculate you’re route for you in seconds automatically:


I’ve put together a short clip showing what it looks like if you’re riding and it’s routing.  You’ll have to excuse some of the focus/bumpiness issues.  I was riding while holding a full DSLR camera in one hand and trying to navigate a time trial bike with the other…while dodging squirrels, cars and small kids.  Sometimes sketchiness happens.

I start off the clip showing destination address entry, and then from there we’ll get into the actual riding:

Garmin Edge 800 On Street On Bike Routing

Yes…I survived the creation of that video – I was pretty happy about that.

Power Meters:

The Edge 800 supports all ANT+ power meters, which includes ones such as the PowerTap Wireless, Quarq Cinqo and SRM power meters.  There are a few more power meters coming in September as well with Interbike that support ANT+.

I use the Quarq Cinqo as my power meter (and love it), which is shown below:


The Edge 800 has a number of power configuration options on par with the Edge 500 and 705.  This includes the ability to set zero averaging for both cadence and power.

CadenceAvg[3] Pwravg[3]

In addition, you can display a number of power-related fields, including all of the following:

30s Avg.
3s Avg.
Power Zone


The recording rate when a power meter is attached is every second, or 1s as it’s commonly written.


The above is an XML snippet showing the 1s recording while a power meter is attached.  Without a power meter attached it defaults to ‘smart recording’, which on this device is averaging a data point between every 1-4 seconds, which appears to be a bit of an improvement from other devices.

ANT+ Scale Support:

The Edge 800 is the first Edge series device to support ANT+ scales.  Past Edge devices haven’t, only the Forerunner 310XT and Forerunner 60 have supported the ANT+ scales that are out on the market.  These scales wirelessly communicate your weight and body fat information to the Garmin device, which in turn gets uploaded to Garmin Connect.  Today’s most common ANT+ scale is the Tanita BC-1000 – which I reviewed back in the winter.


To scan for scales, you simply go into the menu system and select Weight Scale.  From there, it’ll initiate the ANT+ search.


Once it finds the scale, the green scale light will illuminate and you can go ahead and step on it. The scale will take your weight, and then communicate it back to the Edge 800.


The Edge 800 will then upload that data to Garmin Connect, where you can track your weight related information over time.



I typically get into the software a bit more in my In Depth Reviews of products, but I’ll cover the basics here on the first look review.  The Edge 800 connects using a USB cable and shows up like any other mass storage device:



Once connected, you can go ahead and launch Garmin’s free online site – Garmin Connect – to analyze your ride data.  The site will allow you to upload directly from the unit.  The unit itself can record a crap-ton of data.  On my Edge 500 (similar storage size) I have almost a year’s worth of rides on there and I’m only a few percent full.  So no worries about running out of space.


After the upload has completed – and it only takes a few seconds – your activities are shown by date in both a calendar, list and dashboard view.  You can select them to get more detailed information about that activity.


On the left side you’ll see summary information, while on the right you have graphs for each of the major sensor and data types:


Garmin Connect is a good option for beginner to intermediate users looking to analyze their data.  However, for more advanced users I’d recommend a program like WKO+, Sport Tracks, or Training Peaks.  The Edge 800 utilizes the newer Garmin .FIT file format, and all three of those applications (latest versions) support the .FIT file format.  Personally, I use both Sport Tracks and Training Peaks daily.  Training Peaks easily uploads the files using their free Device Agent (or just via the web uploader).

I prefer Training Peaks because of some of the power meter analysis you can do, as well as some of the longer range trending that’s easier/possible to do than on Garmin Connect.  TP has both a free and premium version.


It should be noted that the Edge 800 is also supported via the old school Garmin Training Center (free) – should you want a basic desktop application.  But, Garmin really isn’t updating this app much any more and is only used for some basic functions.

Also note that if you plan to utilize imagery from Birdseye, remember that you’ll need Basecamp – which is also free from Garmin.


Finally, all this stuff works great on a Mac as well, if you’re of that persuasion:



The Edge 800 supports all of the major ANT+ accessories out there.  This means you can utilize any existing Speed/Cadence/HR/Power Meter sensors you have without having to by any new ones.  Plus, any of the non-Garmin ANT+ sensors that are coming out on the market (or already there) are also supported.

Here’s a quick hit list of the major sensors:


This sensor allows you to use the Edge 800 indoors on a trainer, as well as records cadence information outdoors.  Additionally, you can increase your accuracy a hair if you use the speed sensor outdoors (automatically occurs actually).


Heart Rate Strap-

Depending on which version you pickup, the unit will either come with the Premium ANT+ Heart Rate Soft Strap, or it’ll require you to pick on up.  You can utilize any existing ANT+ strap (such as one from an older Garmin unit), but it does have to be ANT+.  Meaning, a strap from a Polar or similar unit won’t work.

Garmin today itself offers two straps – one is the classic strap, and the other is the newer ‘Premium Soft Strap’.  However, an even newer premium strap has also been tossed into the mix.  This one looks very much like the Polar Wearlink Strap and is oddly enough ‘licensed’ from an unnamed organization.  Garmin had no comment on who it was licensed from.


Note that the Edge 800 bundle includes the newer premium soft strap HR monitor, which is different than the older soft strap one.  This new strap may resolve some of the issues of the existing soft strap, but more testing is in order – it will be available as a standalone strap ‘later this year’.  I just wrote up a good post earlier this week on a workaround for the older one, as well as a much longer post on other tricks to try.

Power Meters-

The Edge 800 will pair easily with any ANT+ power meter.  I have the Quarq Cinqo and it recorded data from it without issue.  PowerTap, SRM, and Quarq all make ANT+ compatible power meters.  And there are a few others coming on the market here in the coming weeks leading up to Interbike.  See the previous section on more details on power meter configuration options.


ANT+ Scale (Tanita BC-1000)-


Extra Mounts:

As noted earlier, you can pickup a box of extra mounts for about $9.  This box includes two full sets of mounts, and a million extra rubber bands.  By far, the cheapest cycling product you’ll probably ever buy.


Maps, maps and more maps:

Because the Edge 800 supports both topographical and city imagery, as well as satellite imagery, there’s a ton of different mapping products you can buy for it.  You can also create your own maps using some 3rd party tools.  In my limited time with the product I haven’t had a chance to dig into compatibility quite yet, but I’ll do so for my final in depth review.  In the meantime, here’s the basic different maps offered:

Birdseye Imagery: $29 a year


– Downloadable/DVD/MicroSD card maps: Price varies from $80-$100’s one-time cost



In summary, this device rocks.  It’s everything that most cyclist have been asking for – even if they didn’t know they were asking for it.  I love the new mapping capabilities as it bridges the gap from hard to decipher street maps, to crystal clear satellite imagery.  The ability to create custom maps is really really cool, and I’m looking forward to folks whipping up some relevant maps for cyclists and longer races.  Plus – and perhaps most importantly – my fiancée has immediately decided she wants one…now.

However, I do question the ability for the Garmin Edge series to compete long term with cell phones.  Over the last 12 months the number of cell phone based applications that effectively do large portions of what the Edge 800 does has grown.  While the Edge 800 adds functionality around custom maps and offline caching of large satellite image tile sets that is difficult to find on phones today, it is an area that competitors will rapidly catch up on.  I was hoping that the next generation Edge device would include some sort of connectivity to allow updates to Internet based infrastructure – such as Live position tracking – helping it to compete with phones that also have ANT+ integration.

That said – for a purely dedicated cycling computer, there’s nothing like it today.  And that includes the phone world.  There is no phone/app combo I’m aware of that does all of the features that the Edge 800 does from complex mapping and navigation to ANT+ data integration.

The Garmin Edge 800 will be available in mid-October with the following pricing:

–  Black/White Edge 800 is $449.99 (with AC adapter, quarter-turn Mount, USB cable)
– Black/Blue Edge 800 Performance and Navigation bundle is $649.99 (Adds newer Premium Soft-strap Heart Rate Monitor, Speed/Cadence sensor and City Navigator Maps on MicroSD)

If you’re looking at some of the other Edge series line, I’ve put together this quick comparison chart.  When comparing between the Edge 705 and the Edge 800 – I see no reason to purchase the Edge 705 at this point, and as such, I’ve updated my 2010 GPS recommendations to instead focus on the Edge 800 over the Edge 705.  If you comparing between the Edge 500 and the Edge 800 – they serve two different markets with one focusing on slim and sleek and the other focusing on navigation.

Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated May 27th, 2024 @ 4:26 am New Window
Product Announcement DateAug 26, 2010May 15th, 2024Apr 25th, 2024Feb 20th, 2024Sept 20th, 2023
Actual Availability/Shipping DateNov 2010May 15th, 2024Apr 27th, 2024Feb 20th, 2024Sept 20th, 2023
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYesYes
Data TransferUSBWiFi/USBBluetooth Smart (smartphone)USB, Bluetooth Smart (WiFi on Music ModelsUSB, BLUETOOTH SMART, WiFi
WaterproofingIPX7IP67100m50 Meters50 meters
Dive/Snorkel FeatureNoNoNo
Battery Life (GPS)15 hours15 hoursUp to 118hrsUp to 19 hours21 hrs (just GPS)
Solar ChargingNoNoNoNo
Recording Interval1-Second or Smart1-second1-second1-second, Smart, UltraTrac1s or Smart Recording
Dual-Frequency GNSSYesYesYesNo
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGoodGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoBarelyNoYesYes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoN/AYesYesYes
Voice IntegrationGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Has Mic/SpeakerNoNoNo
Can make/receive callsNoNoNo
Voice AssistantNoNoNo
MusicGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Can control phone musicNoNoYesYes
Has music storage and playbackNoYesYes (music edition)Yes
Streaming ServicesNo (MP3 files only)Spotify, Amazon Music, DeezerSpotify, Amazon Music, Deezer
PaymentsGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNoYesYes
ConnectivityGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingNoYesYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoYesYesYes (with connected phone)Yes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoYesNoYes (with connected phone)Yes
Group trackingNoNoYes (with connected phone)No
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNoYes (with connected phone)Yes
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYesNoNo
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesNoN/AN/A
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesNP onlyN/AN/A
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceYesNoNoNo
Crash detectionNoNoYesYes
RunningGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Designed for runningNoNoYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)N/AN/AYesYES (Also has INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER)Yes
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)N/AN/AYesYesNo
Running PowerYes (Built-in)YesWITH 3RD PARTY APPS
VO2Max EstimationN/A(No for cycling too)YesYesYes
Race PredictorN/AN/AYesYesNo
Recovery AdvisorN/A(No for cycling too)YesYesYes
Run/Walk ModeN/AN/ANoYesYes
Track Recognition ModeYesYesNo
SwimmingGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Designed for swimmingNoN/AYesYesYes
Openwater swimming modeN/AN/AYesYesYes
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingN/AN/AYesYesYes
Record HR underwaterN/AN/AYesYesYes
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AN/AYesYesYes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AN/AYesYesYes
Indoor Drill ModeN/AN/ANoYesNo
Indoor auto-pause featureN/AN/A-NoNo
Change pool sizeN/AN/AYesYesYes
Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsN/AN/A15y/m-300y/m14M/15Y TO 150Y/M13M/15Y TO 150Y/M
Ability to customize data fieldsN/AN/AYesYesYes
Captures per length data - indoorsN/AN/AYesYes
Indoor AlertsN/AN/AYesYesYes
TriathlonGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Designed for triathlonNoNoYesNoNo
Multisport modeN/AN/AYesNoNo
WorkoutsGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYes (via TrainingPeaks & TrainerRoad)YesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesNoYesYesYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoYesYesYesYes
FunctionsGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Auto Start/StopYesAuto-pause/restart (but not Auto-Start)YesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesNoYesYesNo
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoNoNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)NoNoNoYesYes
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoN/ANoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)NoNoNoYEsYes
NavigateGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYesYesNo (but some 3rd party apps can)
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesYesYesNo
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)YesYesMaps but not routableNoNo
Back to startYesTo homeReverse courseYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNo (But can create one-way routes on device)NoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitNoYesYesYesNo
SensorsGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricGPS
Compass TypeGPSMagneticMagnetic-
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyN/AYesYEsYes
SpO2 (aka Pulse Oximetry)YesYesYes
ECG FunctionalityNoNoNo
HRV RecordingYesYes (nightly and on-demand)Yes
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesNoYesYEs
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesNoYesYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesNoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlYesNoYesYes
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationYesNoYesYes
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)YesFTMS (Bluetooth) onlyNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoYesNoNoYes
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)YesNoNoNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYesNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoYesYesYesYEs
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoYesYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoYesYesNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesYesYesYesNo
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoYES (TEMPE)Yes
SoftwareGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
PC ApplicationGarmin Training Center/BasecampNoNoGarmin ExpressGarmin Express
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectYesNoGarmin ConnectGarmin Connect
Phone AppGARMIN CONNECT (IPHONE/ANDROID)YesiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/Android/Windows
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Competitive CyclistLink
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge 800Hammerhead Karoo 3COROS Vertix 2SGarmin Forerunner 165Garmin Vivoactive 5
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

No review would be complete without the Pro’s and Con’s list – so here I present the time honored tradition:


– Easy to use and small form factor
– Compatible with all major online/offline training applications
– Supports ANT+ accessories
– Improved virtual partner feature
– Use of satellite maps
– Creation of custom maps
– Very quick touch screen UI
– You can take screenshots by holding the power key
– You can change the background to both custom and pre-set images


– Wireless data transfer to other units removed
– Unclear on touch screen long term use with gloves in winter
– Not ‘connected’ to the Internet, no options for live data updating (like cell phone)
– Unable to get large satellite map sets onto device due to download limiters set

So with that – start saving your pennies!

Found this review useful?  Here’s how you can help support future reviews with just a single click!  Read on…

Hopefully you found this review useful.  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device.  The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).  As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers an exclusive 10% discount across the board on all products (except clearance items).  You can pickup the Garmin Edge 800 in any of the available colors below. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10BTF at checkout.  By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get a sweet discount.  And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

Edge 800 black/white
Edge 800 in special edition blue/back (bundle)

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit or accessories (though, no discount on either from Amazon).  Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells).  If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.  Though, Clever Training also ships most places too and you get the 10% discount.

Thanks for reading!  And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!

As you’ve seen throughout the review there are numerous compatible accessories for the unit. I’ve consolidated them all into the below chart, with additional information (full posts) available on some of the accessories to the far right. Also, everything here is verified by me – so if it’s on the list, you’ll know it’ll work. And as you can see, I mix and match accessories based on compatibility – so if a compatible accessory is available at a lower price below, you can grab that instead.

ProductStreet PriceAmazon
2013 - DCR - Gear I Use: Bike
2013 Recommendations: Cycling GPS Units
Left/Right Capable Bike Computers
Barfly Tate Labs Road Bike Handlebar Mount
Barfly Tate Labs Timetrial/Triathlon Bike Mount
PowerTap G3 ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)
$790 (hub only)
$790 (hub only)
PowerTap Pro ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3
Garmin ANT+ Replacement HR Strap (for HRM3/HRM-RUN - just the strap portion)
Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (GSC-10)
Garmin City Navigator Maps (Various Countries)
Garmin Edge Series Extra Bike Mounts (2 sets in box)
Garmin Edge Series Mini-USB Car Charger
Garmin out-front bike mount (For all Edge units, 310XT/910XT/920XT with Quick Release)
Garmin/PowerMonkey Explorer Solar Charger (co-branded)
K-Edge Garmin Handlebar Mount X-Large for Edge units (including Edge 1000)
Lifesource UC-324 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale (My recommendation)
Motorola ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (Quick Install) - BEST!
Power2Max ANT+ Power Meter
$970 (no cranks)
$970 (no cranks)
PowerCal ANT+ Estimated Power Meter
SRAM Quarq Cinqo (Original) ANT+ Power Meter
SRAM Quarq Elsa & RED ANT+ Power Meter
$1,600 (with cranks, no chainrings)
$1,600 (with cranks, no chainrings)
SRAM Quarq Riken ANT+ Power Meter
$1,200 (with cranks, no chainrings)
$1,200 (with cranks, no chainrings)
Stages ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Power Meter
Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale

Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful in getting started with the devices.  These guides are all listed on this page here.

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  1. Hilarious. I love reading your reviews. You are straight forward and tell the truth, which is key.

    Thanks for going through the hassel of putting this one together for us!

  2. Excellent review, I had no idea this device was so close to production. A few years back I got one of the first reviews up of the Edge 705, it still gets a lot of hits even now, but your review has raised the bar, I’m not even going to bother :)

  3. The unit sounds nice but now what to do with my trusty 705? :-)

  4. Ray,

    Does the touch screen work while wearing full finger gloves?

    Thanks for another great review

  5. Eli

    Thanks for the great review. I have a 705 now and a few things that may be useful to clarify:

    – Speed of the unit vs the 705. Waiting on the 705 to calculate can be kind of annoying and sometimes lead to wrong turns as it didn’t fully rotate the map as expected

    – what tyupe of touch screen is it? capacitive like the iPhone or more presure based. So will it have problems if you have ful finger gloves on or if your hands are wet. (I know I can’t use my iPhone wel in either of those cases)

    – You said the SD card is faster. Is that just because of setup speed or faster when in the unit?

    – I assume the unit mounts as a drive like the 705 based on your screenshot? How much memory?

    – Any comment from Garmin as to why they took away the ability to send courses between units directly?

  6. Great review Ray. The satellite imagery mapping looks amazing. Wish garmin would make these units at the least WiFi ready so you could just DL maps and updates. Heck give us a browser and we can get full internet access.

  7. Wet my pants :)

    One question, does it support geocaching? I’d like to be able to throw in one of them gpx files and get a list of descriptions, notes, etc.

    Since you said it combines the best of their handhelds and sports, I’d hope geocaching feature is thrown in as a bonus.

    It’ll make the best bike traveling/discovery computer ever!

  8. tms

    Oh well, it was inevitable that shortly after I bought a 705 they’d make a shiny new one like this :P Either way, looks like an incredible unit and possibly enough to consider the upgrade…

  9. Anonymous

    Can you confirm if the mount is interchangeable with the 500? Looks like it, but I want to be sure.

  10. Jake J


    Thanks to you I am broke… Your in depth reviews have led to my purchasing the edge 500, and forerunner 310xt, Garmin should add you to its payroll!

    Once again came through with an excellent product review! Props

  11. Rainmaker, excellent job, thank you :]

    What is the screen resolution of 800? You haven’t mentioned…


  12. Great review as always Ray. I think Garmin priced it pretty fair this time between the stand alone unit of $450 vs $650 for the bundle. It would be interesting to see the compatibility of ANT+ to iPhone & Android mobile devices in the coming months.

  13. Anonymous

    So why would I be interested in updating my 705? Haven’t found any new valuable future!

  14. Do you know if the Edge 800 will work with the garmin footpod?

  15. Have you tested whether the unit still functions while charging with an external USB battery pack?

    Lots of us that do 200+ mile events run them. The last 705 supported this, though the 500 goes into charging mode. If you could give that a test that would be super.

    Thank you

  16. Looks like the Edge 800 is similar to the Edge 500 with respect to not having last lap fields. The Edge 705 has last lap speed, distance, and time fields but the Edge 500 does not. It appears the new Edge 800 also does not have these fields.

  17. durrin

    thanks for a great review, a couple questions:

    -is the edge 800 limited to 3 bike profiles like the 705 is?
    -the 705 has a data field called direction (not heading) which shows a rough directional heading (like N, NW…) and will not show actual heading in degrees unless one is in navigation mode… what about the 800? Can it show heading in degrees in non-navigation mode? Does it have a data field like the rough direction one (I didn’t see it in your outline)?
    -how much internal storage does the 800 have, without a micro-SD card in it?

  18. G’day

    Great review as always. Thanks for you efforts on this one.

    As already asked, also interested in how the touch screen goes with full fingered gloves.


  19. LL

    Great review! I was pretty sure I’d get the Edge 500, but after reading this, I think I’m sold on the 800. Thanks, and keep up the great work.

  20. Thanks all for the comments!


    RE: Touch Screen with full fingered gloves

    Yup! I went ahead and tonight added in a short video showing the use with five different glove types from thing to big fluffy winter ones, to mittens. Works great.

    Hi Eli-

    RE: Speed of the unit

    Way faster than the Edge 705, which I found slow as well. In fact, sometimes this is a bit too fast in some of the UI stuff.

    RE: Gloves

    See above, good to go!

    RE: Wet

    No problems, I used it today on a very hard run, and was drenched – still works fine.

    RE: SD Card faster

    Just from the ‘stick it in and it works’ standpoint, not from the UI perspective, which is the same. Using the DVD just takes longer to setup.

    RE: Drive mounting

    Yes, as a standard drive on both PC and Mac.

    RE: Memory

    The unit has 105MB, of which 12MB is taken for the OS/software. A typical 1h activity takes about 60KB with all ANT+ sensors on (HR/Speed/Cadence/Power). In short, it’s well over 1,000+ hours of recording time. At the end of which, you can simply move the files (.FIT) or just add a MicroSD card.

    RE: Courses-

    No comment, I’ll ask though!

    Hi Wari-

    RE: Geocaching

    I’m not seeing a way to, aside from exact GPS coordinates, but I’ll poke around some more.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Mounts interchangeable with the Edge 500

    Yes, both the Edge 500 and 310XT quick release mounts are all the same as the Edge 800 mounts.

    Hi Szy-

    RE: Screen resolution

    See this great post on all things screen related with the Edge 800: link to gpstracklog.com

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Why to update over 705

    Primarily if you want to use satellite images, or custom maps

    Hi Mike-

    RE: Footpod

    No, it will not pair with a footpod (I tried for fun)

    Hi Colin-

    RE: External Battery Pack

    The Garmin site lists an external battery pack you can buy for the Edge 800. I’ll also dig out my good old trusty AA battery USB one I’ve used in the past and report back.

    Hi Howard-

    RE: Last Lap field

    Yup, I noticed this as well. I’ll ask, I rather like the Last Lap field.

    Hi Durrin-

    RE: bike limits

    Yes, three bike limit

    RE: Heading fields

    Yes, that’s one major change – you can display any field on any screen at any time, no matter what.

    RE: Storage

    See above answer, but 105MB

    Hi Andrew-

    RE: Gloves

    Yup, see post within ‘Touch Screen’ section for the new ‘With gloves’ video and text

    Thanks all!

  21. Eli

    Thanks for the extra details.

    Its amazing the original 705 came with 512 megs and now ships with 1gig while the 800 is around 1/10th the size, guess thats how they cut down on the cost of the unit. Guessing the new fit files are much more efficient then the old format.

    On the 705 I thought only the maps can go there so all your saved data just goes on the internal memory and once that is full you can’t record anymore. On the 800 you can tell it to use the MicroSD card?

    I wonder if the speed of the microSD card matters. Would a faster card make the map act faster as it needs to read all that data off the card?

    Know the max size of the microSD card? 16 gig cards aren’t that pricy

    So I take it the extra speed makes it easy to scroll around the map while biking now? (more like scrolling the map on the iPhone ratehr then all the long delays when scrolling and zooming the 705 map)

    Going by that other review site you linked to the Edge looks like a Garmin Oregon with biking specific data feilds. (Interface elememnts are basically the same and the screen is the same) This would imply supporting unit to unit transfers should be easy as the Oregon supports that functionality.

  22. i was considering the edge 500 – but i may have to think again. thanks for the great review.

  23. wow, Excellent Review

  24. Anonymous

    Thanks for the review. But can I ask a somewhat silly question, but one I would really like to know.

    How well would the touchscreen work if one were to use their tongue or chin?!

    The reason I ask is, with the 705, sometimes I’m descending a big hill, so don’t want to take the hands off, and in the aero position, so my mouth/chin is right on top of the GPS. Then I want to see my max speed which is on a different screen.

  25. Great review…Would you know if it is possible to just “view track” as with the 705 ?

    With GPX tracks it is possible to have sevaral tracks shown at the same time on the 705, and with the 705 a handy alternative to navigation)

  26. Jon

    Can you download a gpx file from mapmyride.com or bikeroutetoaster.com and will it show up in Saved Rides (like on the 705)? Will it give you turn-by-turn directions using the saved ride? What happens if you get off the course will it give you directions to get back on the course? The 705 can’t do this last part.

  27. Thanks Rainmaker, there is one more important thing to check, please :]

    … screen brightness with and without backlight turned on.

    Could you please take a few pictures of screen with different levels of backlight?

    Thanks again :]

  28. Luc


    I’m not sur comparion VS cell phones is relevant. I use and iPhone and battery life doesn’t exceed 3 hours… short for a ride. Dedicated GPS like this one have 15 hours of autonomy.
    This simple point place them far ahead of cellhones.


  29. Jim W.

    Great review, thanks for the info. One question: Can you create routes on a desktop/laptop on Garmin’s Mapsource program then download to the Edge 800? I currently use a eTrex Legend HCX, which works fine, but bulky.

  30. Mike

    Wonderfully comprehensive review.

    Are Custom Maps routable? That is, does the GPS plot routes using the roads and paths on the maps you provide? Is there a way to correct errors on the City Navigator maps?

  31. G’day

    Thanks for the extra details/video on using the Edge 800 with gloves. Good to know it works okay.


  32. Eli

    One thing I just noticed, none of the Edge bikes computers that can do full mapping (605, 705, 800) are compatible with the lifetime map subscription:
    link to buy.garmin.com

    If the 800 seems to be a Oregon based device then is the 800 not listed only because it hasn’t been released yet for them to update the list?

  33. Ray, thanks for your thorough, as always review. It is a pleasure to read your stuff and know that you are truly putting the equip through its paces, vs. just shilling for the company.

    I ride with a Joule because I want the WKO+ kind of info i.e. IF, TSS, normalized power, and VI and it does not seem that any of the Garmin stuff you review has that capability. Am I missing something?

    Perhaps one day you could consider putting the Joule through it paces.

    Keep rocking buddy!

  34. @Mike said, “Are Custom Maps routable?”, answer: Nope, custom maps and the birdseye view are just jpg overlays. You can add them to enhance your map visually.

    Also, based on the Oregon 300 that I have with me, custom maps will not show when in automotive (3D) mode.

    I find custom maps useful for a park I’m exploring, for example.

  35. Maciek

    One of the best reviews of a gadget I’ve seen including paid sources like paper magazines (I’m an author myself). I like your sense of humor. Keep up the good work!

  36. Bill

    Great Review!

    Just had the plastic tabs on the back of my Garmin Edge 500 break off this morning during a prep ride for a Road Race today. Looks like the Edge 800 has the same back which concerns me.

  37. Kevin

    Your video of the auto-routing suggests it is pretty fast, but didn’t give info on how far away the destination was.

    The auto-routing on the 705’s gets to be useless for destinations beyond about 10 km – particularly if it doesn’t have a shortcut/cycleway you use in its map and has to recalculate the route. 705 could take so long it couldn’t keep up with your forward progress and would hang.

    Have you done any evaluation of how the Edge 800 performs in this context ?

    There are also suggestions that the Edge 500 is less accurate where trees buildings etc.,. obscure satellites (compared to 305). Have you compared how the 800 performs with obscured sats compared to the 705s or 305s ?

    Might help to work this out if Garmin could tell us what chipsets 500’s and 800’s use. Do you know if it’s the Sirfstar IV (as in the Forerunner 110) or something else ?

  38. Josh M.

    Thanks for the awesome review! Looking forward to getting an 800!

    One comment: you state “You can see weight-wise it slots in between the Edge 500 and Edge 705 – despite being smaller/lighter than the Edge 705, the screen is actually the same size.”

    Looking at the pictures the Edge 800 definitely has a bigger screen; I looked it up and here are the screen sizes according to Garmin’s site:

    Display size, WxH:
    500 – 1.17″ x 1.44″ (3.0 x 3.7 cm)
    705 – 1.37″ x 1.71″ (3.48 x 4.36 cm); 2.2″ diag (5.6 cm)
    800 – 1.4″ x 2.2″ (3.8 x 5.6 cm); 2.6″ diag (6.6 cm)

    Does that seem right to you?

  39. What does the new soft strap look like around the buttons – is there anything sealing them and preventing sweat from running down to them. I suspect that may be one cause of the problems with the old soft strap when there is a lot of sweat.
    Will you make a test and compare the new and old soft straps regarding HRM problems, the way you did with the Polar strap?

  40. Hello there,
    Please have a look at the size of the digits in a 500 or 800, in any set up: 3, 4 or 8 fields. Do they differ? I would highly recommend Garmin to enlarge their digits. Right now quiet some place is being taken by the description, even when there is 1 item in a row, the description is above the digits, preventing it to enlarge. I hope this can be done with an update. Garmin could use icons for the conventional descriptions that almost everyone uses.

  41. Hi Eli-

    RE: File sizes

    The new .FIT files are much smaller than the older TCX files. Ableit, far less compatible.

    RE: Data storage location

    Yes, on the Edge 800 there’s a menu option for “select a storage location”, and you can choose internal or memory card.

    RE: Card speed

    Doubt it, I think it’s just faster processing. These cards can process pretty quickly now.

    RE: Max size

    No, I don’t know if it’ll accept larger ones. Will find out.

    RE: Scrolling around

    Yup, pretty quick.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Tounge or chin

    It works fine (yes, I just tried it…and sorry Garmin about licking your trial unit). Assuming you have the accuracy, it’ll accept the lick/chin. You can swipe to go to the next screen, which is easy to do.

    Hi Neils-

    RE: View track

    Yes, you can view tracks like the Edge 705.

    Hi Jon-

    RE: Saved GPX rides

    Yup, works the same.

    RE: Off course using GPX

    These GPX files are actually just breadcrumb trails, and not ‘real’ routes, which is why it can’t re-route you back. It’s a million (well, thousands actually) breadcrumbs, and not ‘go to 51st street’ type of thing.

    Hi Szy-

    RE: Backlight pics

    Sure, I’ll take some tomorrow evening and post as part of my Monday comments sweep.

    Hi Luc-

    RE: Battery life

    There are iPhone bike battery cases coming out in the next few weeks that will greatly extend the life of the battery. So, while it’s not a perfect match for everyone now – most cyclist this is targetted at will have rides within those boundaries. That said – I completely hear ya. Today my ride just over 3 hours basically drained my phone.

    Hi Jim-

    RE: Creating routes on Map Source

    Yes, you can.

    Hi Mike-

    RE: Are custom maps routable

    No, they are just JPEG’s. However, it overlays on top of routable maps – so in effect it’ll route the underlying map, while showing the custom map as well.

    Hi Eli-

    RE: Lifetime map subscription

    I’ll ask.

    Hi Al-

    RE: Additional Power Meter Data Fields

    It’s on my list to talk to them about in my next sit down conf.

    On the Joule side, I’m working with Saris to get a unit and hub out to review.

    Hi Wari-

    Thanks for the help!

    Thanks Maciek!

    Hi Bill-

    RE: Plastic tabs

    Actually, it’s a slightly different design. These are screwed into the unit. Though, they take a bit of finagling to get back in the holes – but once in there, it’s snug.

    Hi Kevin-

    RE: Route in Video

    The route I used in the video was from the Western edge of Alexandria, VA to the White House. It was about 10-15 miles away by Bike (actually, it was longer because it used a weird dorked up route). That said, pretty quick.

    RE: GPS Chipsets

    I’ll ask, I was wondering myself. The Edge 500 chipset is far suprior to the 305 chipsets, and I haven’t seen it be any worse – usually better. So far, I haven’t seen any drops on the Edge 800. I spent the day today cycling in the mountains with cliff faces and tons of big trees. No drops.

    Hi Josh-

    RE: Screen size

    Hmm, that does seem right. I’ll correct that snippet.

    Hi Staffann-

    RE: Soft straps

    I’ve been using the new premium SS now exclusively since I got the Edge 800 – including for non-running units. It’s definitely better, no weird HR drops/spikes as of yet – including while cycling in the mountains today with 45MPH descents. Not a single spike.

    Hi Broek-

    RE: Field sizes

    Yes, they differ. If I have less fields, the digits are larger and take up the entire field. You can see that a bit in one of the screenshots showing the temperature.

    Thanks all!

  42. The Edge 705 was extremely slow at picking up routes and routing if you stuck a micro SD card in it and used the SD card to store routes and map data. Did the Edge 800 fix this problem?

  43. Eli

    Thanks for getting all the details

    For the micro SD cards I think what needs to be known is if the 800 is microSD only or microSDHC. Is it formatted as FAT32 or FAT16?

    From a quick online search there are class 2, 4 and 6 micro SD cards out there and they have a big difference in speed:
    Class 2: 8 MB/s
    Class 4: 15 MB/s
    Class 6: 20 MB/s

    Scrolling around the map or changing zoom levels could have that i/o be a bottleneck

  44. Great review – keep on doing!
    What about Garmin dashboards well known from on-trail models in Edge 800?
    link to gpsfix.net

  45. Another great First Look and another toy for the Christmas list. Thanks.

    Just a comment on a seperate subject and something you probably have already picked up. I saw on the photo of the Speed and Cadence Sensor tht you have the little arm rotated so it is facing upwards. I also remember in an earlier post that you had lost one/snapped one off. Maybe these two are conneted.
    The rotation of the rear wheel has the spokes traveling downwards at the point they pass the pickup so if the rear wheel was to flex enough for a spoke or the magnet to touch the pickup the efect would be to drag the little arm into the spokes. If you mount it the other way (Arm down) the effect of any contact would be to flex the pickup away from the wheel and reduce the chance of damage… Garmin don’t make this clear in their instructions but I though it was worth mentioning..
    Again thanks for the great reviews.

  46. Kevin

    Thanks for the very quick feedback – anyone know how to send a pat on the back via the ‘net ?

  47. Trent

    I would agree with Luc about cell phones, and add a few more reasons.

    I haven’t seen a bike mount for my iPhone that you would call low profile. In an accident I would expect most of them would snap off, sending my phone flying in a spectacular fashion.

    I spend three months of the year riding in 35°C/95°F and up weather. Sweat basically rains off me, all the way from the top of my stem to my seat. It can also change from sunny to torrential rain here in 30 minutes (and in the summer, does this almost every day). I haven’t seen a waterproof phone yet, and putting it in a waterproof case would probably make the touch screen quite hard to use.

    And finally, I already have an external battery for my phone, and I still have never gotten more than four hours on a ride with the GPS on, and most all of my weekend rides are longer than that. A bike-specific external batter would just be another thing to mount, screw up in the rain, etc.

    I was totally frustrated trying to use my phone as a GPS bike computer, so bought a Garmin Edge 705 about two weeks ago (yeah, thanks for announcing the 800 a week later Garmin). I’m not frustrated anymore.

  48. Eli

    While I agree that I wouldn’t want to use my smart phone as a bike computer mosly because of battery life. In that the phone won’t last long enough and that if the battery of my bike computer dies it would be annoying but I won’t be completely stranded as my phone still works but if I only have the phone….

    As to the waterproofness the iphone would probably be pretty easy to make water tight as you just need something that completly covers the phones with seals around the screen like the iBike Dash. Don’t think a phone as rugged though and bike computers aren’t mounted on shock absorbing mounts

  49. Great review Rainmaker. I was researching the 705 with a view to buying one when I learnt of the impending release of the 800. I’ll wait for the 800 and buy that instead. One of the constant criticisms of the 705 that I’ve come across time and again in online reviews from owners of the 705 is the woefully inadequate user manual. Have Garmin done anything to rectify this by writing a thorough and complete manual – either a hardcopy that comes with the product or as an online version?

  50. eric

    thanks for the solid review. i’m a long-time garmin user (10+ years, now primarily using the 705, 500 and dakota 20 for different activities).

    anyway, i also checked our your scale reviews (withings & tanita). since i am not sure if i’d buy the edge 800 and i don’t have the forerunners that are supported, would you lean toward the withings over the tanita?

    i’m leaning that direction but keep coming back to the lack of hydration reading on the withings. it *seems* like that would be incredibly valuable, but perhaps it is not crucial. what are your thoughts?

    thank you!

  51. Oliver

    Great review! Love the “you can’t send the entire world as it’s rather big” line :-)

    One feature you didn’t mention is the electronic compass (i.e. an actual compass not the one that derives its direction from gps data) which is apparently mentioned within the garmin press info (and thus a few other sites) but not on garmin.com.
    Can you confirm that the 800 has that feature?

  52. Wok

    Amazing review. There is a reason why Garmin were smart enough to land one on your doorstep.

    Do you know whether there will be a map for Japan? Garmin do have a portable car version available so chances are high… but can’t find anything about one specifically for the Edge 800… yet.

  53. @Wok, if there is a Garmin map for Japan, chances are, it will work with the Edge 705 or the 800. You just need to purchase and unlock it for your unit.

    If you can’t afford the map yet (they are expensive IMO), you can always grab from openstreetmaps generated one, link to garmin.na1400.info which I find useful if I’m going overseas, and cannot find local free garmin maps. Downsides to the openstreetmaps version, is that it may not be up to date (it needs normal everyday people to contribute), and the fact that it cannot render large body of water blue. Other than that, it’s a lot better than the default Garmin basemap.

  54. Anonymous

    Fantastic review, thanks for taking the time.

    You mention setting the 800 to “larger display fields”. I have not found a way of doing this on my 705 but would really like to. Do you know if it is possible? If not this might be a compelling reason for me to upgrade to the 800.

  55. Wok

    @wari… looks like you nailed it. Thanks a lot for the tip. With the exception of the toll roads, there hasn’t been much recent change to the Tokyo and Chiba prefecture street layouts (where I would do most of my riding) so this should be perfect.

  56. Jim

    I love the level sophistication these bike devices have come to. Great review on this one.
    I’ve had a variety of computers since way back in the 1980s and have always had issues with the dam screen reflection. Especially when riding on sunny days and the reflected light off the plastic screen makes reading the information almost impossible. Even worse, it sets off my migraines!

  57. Hi Piaw-

    RE: Slow access

    I put on some routes on the SD card and found it pretty quick.

    Hi Eli-

    RE: SD support

    Still working on that one…

    Hi Mark-

    RE: Dashboards

    In the case of the Edge 800, your dashboards are more of your activity pages. Same rough concept though, and highly custimizable (more than before)

    Hi Nicolas-

    RE: Speed/Cadence direction

    The only reason I do that is that in some cases on certain bikes if I do it down then it catches. But agree, down is ideal from a snapping standpoint (and I’ve done that too…)

    Thanks Kevin!

    Hi Trent-

    Great points – and all pretty valid. The Wahoo and PedalBrain cases are waterproof for the iPhone and just coming out (being shown off at Interbike this week) – but I haven’t got them hands on quite yet…

    Hi Cavasta-

    RE: Manual

    Nothing, the versions we were given only had a brief quick-start paper manual, but the full manual normally in PDF said “Placeholder for manual”.

    Hi Eric-

    RE: Scales

    Go Withings…You won’t regret it. Honeslty with Hydration – it’s too easy to fluctuate and I don’t really both with it.

    Hi Oliver-

    RE: Electronic Compass

    I just turned the GPS off, and then headed outside. Heading shows correctly as I walk around, despite GPS being off.

    Thanks Wari!

    Hi Anon/Richard-

    RE: Larger dispay fields on 705

    To do so, you have to reduce the number of display fields to to an odd number, so that one of the fields is larger (or a lesser number so they are all larger).

    Thanks Jim!

    Thanks all!

  58. As for SDHC support, I really think that the Edge 800 supports it. One of the newer firmware for the Edge 705 is to support cards that are more than 4GB. The 705 also supports long filenames (but I have to verify this on a later post if I got around to play with this).

    One question Ray, which has not been asked here. Does the Edge 800 support non default named images. This is supported in the newer firmwares of the Oregon and the Dakota. Say you are coming to Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand, and you want put in the OCD detailed map from link to malfreemaps.com but do not want to touch your US locked map. In the old devices, you need to name them GMAPSUPP.IMG, or GMAPROM.IMG, and either put it in the SD card, as you know, there can only be 1 file with the name. In the handheld GPS, you can name the file MFM.IMG, and also, download from the openstreetmaps as OSM.IMG.

    With the above funtionality, you can potentially have unlimited maps from all over the world, and don’t have to screw around with the sendmap utility, or the Garmin Roadtrip or Mapsource.

    Another thing to note, why have an electronic compass when there’s no geocaching ability? sigh :(

  59. md3

    Hi, thanks for the great review! How is the screen readability in sunlight compared to edge 500 and 705? Have you pictures to show?

  60. Hi Rainmaker. Thanks for answering all the questions we ask! Here’s another one:
    Do you have any thoughts or details about the accuracy of the calorie counter on the 800 (or, indeed, the 705)?

  61. Eli

    An electronic compass is very useful to prevent the problem caused if you stop at an intersection and because you move over to the side the map is not oriented correctly anymore. This has happened to me a few times and I didn’t realize the map wasn’t facing the correct way so I made the wrong turn :(

    As to calories, every garmin is heart rate based calorie counts. (they really should havethe ability to use the power meter instead) Not sure which support Firstbeat calculations or the ones the use a New Leaf profile.

  62. Anonymous

    Great review! I have been using the gpsmap 60csx for years and it has taken stack after stack after stack on the handlebars of the mountain bike with no issue.

    Any thoughts on the ruggedness/survivability of this unit?

  63. Hi. My name is Miha and I’m from Slovenia. I just want to say that reading of your blog is a pure joy to me.

  64. Hi DC,
    I am from Douglaville Ga and frequent your blog daily. I used the great info from your blog and it aided me in buying a ForeRunner 305. I also use SportTracks. Keep up the good work.
    Jim K



    Great blog. Love it. Greeting from Quito, Ecuador in the high Andes!! Hope to win the Garmin.

    Chao, Pablo

  66. Here’s another unique question to stump you :P

    I’ve got the Bontrager standalone speed sensor on my MTB. I just discovered that while the Forerunner 310XT gladly pairs with this device, the Edge 705 totally can’t ‘see’ it. The Forerunner 405 cannot see this sensor as well, bummer.

    So, does the Edge 800 support a standalone ANT+ speed sensor like the Forerunner 310XT?

  67. Garmin changed the data format of the 500 (I use the 705) which made it incompatible (at least directly) with SportTracks. Does the 800 use the 705 format or the 500 format?

    Also, I found the 500 was awful slow in syncing up with satellites. I’m afraid that if the 800 uses the same GPS, it will be slower than the 705. Have you seen any evidence about the GPS sensitivity of the 800 vs the 705 vs the 500?

  68. Kevin

    Thanks for the detailed review! Looking forward to hearing about recharging while riding–I do ride over 15 hours so this is an important feature for me.

  69. Anonymous

    Thank you very much for such detailed review. I have one question: it is worth (price wise) to buy the bundle with the HR and the power/speed sensor or to buy it separately?

    Many thanks!

  70. 2 questions:
    1) What do you make of the new spec on the Edge 800 re heart rate based calorie consumption?
    2) On power meter specs, Garmin makes a point in comparison with the Edge 705 that the data recording is in 1 second increments. Do you see a difference, and is the power averaging while riding acceptable on the Edge 800? I would think the 1 second data points on power would be fine, but the way Garmin emphasised the change in the specs had me wondering.

  71. Great review. Speaking of power meters, have you read up on the Vector from MetriGear. Check it out at the following link. It’s scheduled to hit the market sometime in 2010. link to metrigear.com


  72. Great review, Rainmaker. Do you know how many hours of data storing is this device capable of? I will go for a trip of 16 days riding (2,500km) and will have very limited access to computer. Do you know if I can save the data on the microSD card? Many thanks! Eryck Machado

  73. Always great in depth reviews here. I bought an Edge 500 after comparing the devices HERE!

    Question about the Edge 800: What about the readability in very bright environment (direct sun)? Compared to an Edge 500? Is it necessary to have the backlight turned on not only in darkness?

  74. Ed

    Can you provide some more details on the backlight. I have a 705 and the problem with that is the backlight quickly turns off , which makes the unit impossible to use in pre-dawn (or after dusk) situations.

    Does the 800 provide a capability to specify how long the backlight remains on or give me any control over this?

    Thanks …. Ed

  75. Anonymous

    Great review. I currently have a 305, and my only major problem is with data evaluation. For example, I can’t compare laps or slide my graphs so I can compare certain sections of data. this was a great feature that polar offered. Is there software that allows me to do better analysis? My hope is that the 800 offers more flexibility.

    Thanks John

  76. @Ed, you can leave the backlight of the 705 to Stay On (it’s on the Settings->Display I believe).

    I do night riding all the time and would leave the 705 backlight to stay on for the rest of the night. Usually 20% brightness is good enough, and does not eat up the batteries on 6 hour ‘expeditions’.

    As for the last Anonymous guy, I’m not sure what polar has, but yes the default Garmin software sucked (newer versions are better though you might like to try that), Garmin Connect website, is well, so-so, believe me when I say that the Edge 800 will not be any different. But I do suggest you take a look at SportTracks if you’re on a PC, or Rubitrack/Ascent if you run a Mac.

    And there are web solutions out there that can rock your socks off, Ray loves Training Peaks (not me), you can look at Strava.com, which provides interesting ride analysis, and another interesting one is ridewithgps.com. There are many choices out there, some better than others, since I’ve not used polar at all, I won’t know if it is any better than what you’ve experienced.

    @eryckmachado, I am sure that you can store more than 16 days, or 2500km worth of data of the primary storage. And if you have access to a computer, you should be able to move the .FIT files over to the SD storage.

  77. Sam Brasel

    DC, your reviews are a marvel to behold. Time and again they make other cycling product reviews look like chump change.

    Regarding the Edge 800, it’s fairly clear in retrospect that the Edge 705 was an attempt by Garmin to get a basic Walter Mitty cyclocomputer out the door in a reasonable amount of time; then their engineers would rest for a few hours and then spend the next 2.5 years developing a premium Walter Mitty cyclocomputer with all the features they wish they could have put into the 705, while also applying what they learned via customer feedback. Take a bow, Garmin; this 705 customer will definitely upgrade to the 800. (Oh, and thanks for adding temperature display and tracking!)

  78. Great Review – thanks a lot.

    I’m also more interested in readability of the screen compared to 705. Specially if device is in my own shadow on a sunny day or in wood on a sunny day and also during cloudy conditions.
    I once compared the Oregon 300 to Colorado 300 and the readability of the Colorado was much better than Oregon’s touch screen…

    Thanks a lot

  79. Ray,

    A couple of quick questions:
    1. If you buy an SD card with the topo maps are the updates free for life?
    2. How accurate is the unit? I know it says “High Sensitivity” but I just wonder how accurate it is because my phone always shows me riding in the river, or over peoples’ houses. And with this how well do all the other units compare if you were to overlay the data from multiple units like the 305, 705, 500, 800 on the same ride?
    3. Does the battery life change significantly when you have all the functions going like, backlight, routing, mapping etc?

    Oh and great review

  80. Couple more comments/questions that I have:

    In previous posts, I don’t remember where, you mentioned that the GPS elevation profile can be off, but when you plug the track into a program, I don’t remember which one, that it can auto correct the elevation using the GPS coordinates and the NASA elevation data. Now, I know the barometric altimeter is more precise than the GPS, but could it be even more precise by using topo maps, or does it just not make much of a difference?

    Last question is in regards to the barometric altimeter again. According to Bernoulli as the speed of a fluid increases, the pressure decreases. As you are going downhill your speed increases, which might increase wind speed over the sensor area which would decrease pressure basically showing that you are gaining elevation. Did you have or do you suspect this could be a problem, and if not how is it overcome?

  81. Garmin acquires MetriGear, adding cycling power to fitness portfolio. This is great news! Hopefully they’ll bring the Vector power gage to market with an affordable price tag to match with the Edge 800.

  82. Anonymous


    thanks for the review, I really like it.

    One question: does the E800 provide an odometer? If yes: can it be set to a specific value?


    Axel (from Germany)

  83. To the Anonymous before me, yes there is an odometer, and yes you can set your own number to it, and three different bikes can have different values set. This is based on my experience with the Forerunner 305, 310XT, and Edge 705. But it does not work like a normal cyclocomputer style odometer. That is, the numbers will only count when you press the Start button. If you don’t record your ride, the odometer stays at the last value.

  84. Anonymous

    @wari: thanks a lot, that’s exactly the information I need (and yes, indeed, the reason I asked is to get rid of my standard cyclocomputer).


  85. Anonymous

    is there comming a nuw edge 805 tot replase the 705?

  86. You can still generate a TCX file from FIT data using Garmin Training Center.

  87. I use the Edge 705, and use Mapsource to create routes when I travel, and navigate using the unit. I previously had a 60csx, and the 705 was never as functional. Has this improved in the 800 over the 705?

  88. Hi Ray,
    a few questions here, with my experience on the 305 then the 705 for the last 4-years making me a bit of a fanatic for these units.

    1. I didn’t see the vertical to next point option in the menu- is it there, and has it got any better (it is a very crude device on the 705 that just gives you difference between your present altitude and the point’s altitude, without taking into account any undulations, or if it is negative or positive).
    2. Is there a paused time screen?
    3. I see you have loaded maps from a DVD to both your 705 and the 800- will the DVD allow more than one unit?
    I might have another few ?.- just got to go right now- thanks for the great review!


  89. Anonymous

    Thanks dude, for the past two weeks I have been tossing up between the 500 and 705………problem solved. Put my order in.
    Thanks for your work

  90. RDS

    1) Is the temp. reading more accurate than the 500s which were usually 10F warmer than actual temp?

    2) Is the routing software any better than the 705s? People have complained it would take them on weird round about routes often ignoring bike friendly streets.

  91. RDS

    1) Is the temp. reading more accurate than the 500s which were usually 10F warmer than actual temp?

    2) Is the routing software any better than the 705s? People have complained it would take them on weird round about routes often ignoring bike friendly streets.

  92. Edge 800 Questions:

    Hi Wari

    RE: Edge 800 supporting SDHC

    Yes, it supports it. I picked up a SDHC card and it reads

    it just fine.

    Hi MD3-

    RE: Readability in sunlight

    I think it’s better than the Edge 500, and about the same

    as the Edge 705…but that’s just me.

    Hi Cavasta-

    RE: Calories

    They’ve improved quite a bit in the last few models (after

    705). I’m planning a whole post talking about which

    models use which calorie calcs. Different models use

    different methods, though the last year has largely


    Hi Anon-

    RE: Ruggedness

    It seems pretty good thus far, I’ve dropped it and other

    random things, without any issue.

    Hi Wari-

    RE: Speed only sensors

    Yes, the Edge 800 sports combo sensors, and speedonly and

    cadence only sensors.

    Hi HMSpain:

    RE: Format

    The Edge 800 users FIT files, like the Edge 500. But

    Sport Tracks 3.0 now supports .FIT files, so you’re good


    RE: Sat pickup

    Strange, I see the Edge 500 faster than the Edge 705. And

    I see the Edge 500 about the same as the Edge 800 – pretty


    Hi Anon-

    RE: Buy combined or seperate

    Generally speaking, it’s cheaper to pickup the extras on

    Amazon seperately.

    Hi Dhartson-

    RE: HR based calorie calc

    This is the same as most of the recent models, so I’m good

    with this. I’ve got a post planned on it soon.

    RE: Power Meters 1s

    Both the Edge 705 (and 500) use 1s recording with PM’s

    like hte Edge 800. No idea why they emphasized it, as

    it’s the same.

    Hi BShimon-

    RE: Metrigear

    Indeed, for more info – see my Metrigear post with them


    link to dcrainmaker.com


    Hi Eryck

    RE: Device length

    A really long time. ;) Wari’s answer is good – about 16

    continous days. Though, with MicroSD cards only costing

    between $10-20 bucks, you make that months upon months

    pretty easily since activities can be recorded to the


    Hi Kusi-

    RE: Sunlight

    See above – better than Edge 500.

    Hi Ed-

    RE: Backlight

    You can modify the backlight setting to ‘Stays on’ in the

    backlight setings (on both the Edge 705 and Edge 800).

    It’s what I use to view on dark rides for the whole ride.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Comparison features

    Garmin Connect is somewhat limited there. Try out Sport

    Tracks instead.

    link to dcrainmaker.com


  93. Hi Stefan-

    RE: Screen readability

    See above…

    Hi Jason

    RE: Topo Map Updates

    No, I believe it’s only the year you buy. But I’m not

    quite an expert on the licensing aspect.

    RE: Accuracy

    Within a few meters, largely, the accuracy of the units

    noted hasn’t changed much – mostly just how quickly it

    picks up, and how well it handles obstructions.

    RE: Battery life

    Not that i’ve noticed.

    RE: Elevation Correction

    Garmin Connect has this feature built-in now. Sport Tracks

    does as well via a plugin. Topo maps are a fair bit

    different in this case, so I think the SRTM data is

    probably more accurate.

    RE: Sensor area

    The sensor for barometric altimeter is within the unit

    itself, so wind speed doesn’t hit it. Based on my

    experiance with both the Edge 500 and Edge 705, it works

    quite well (same design for altimeter).

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Odometer

    Yes, it includes an odometer that you can preset.

    Hi Pierre (anon):

    RE: Replacement of Edge 705

    Yes, Garmin noted at Interbike that the Edge 705 will be

    phased out in the January timeframe.

    Hi Terry-

    RE: Mapsource

    Honestly, largely not. It’s still a PITA to get routable

    data into it.

    Hi Greghad-

    RE: Vertifical point

    Still there

    RE: Paused time

    Not explicitly. You can use ‘Elapsed time’ versus ‘Total

    time’ to get a differential of paused time.

    RE: DVD maps

    I’m not an expert on it, but I believe you can associate

    it to a different device and deregister the other one.

    Hi RDS-

    RE: Temp readings

    I need to do a bit more research there, as I haven’t paid

    much attention other than ‘really hot’ and ‘not as hot’.


    RE: Routing software

    No, in general, that piece still sucks.


    Thanks all!

    And PS – Thanks Wari for helping out on the questions!

  94. Any update with recent fw beta release (if you’ve it) about the implementation of:

    1- Power Zone avg 3″
    2- altitude/temperature correction
    3- IF and TSS

    since Garmin will produce/distribute power meters

  95. Anonymous

    you said the edge800 will support MicroSDHC but you didn´t state what size card you tried.

    I´d like to use a microSDHC of 8GB.

  96. Kim Viner

    Cross posted from 705 review comments

    I have read both your Edge 705 and 800 reviews. Given that the 800 release date keeps slipping and that the 705 (with HRM) can be purchased for about $100 less that the 800 base; would you wait for the 800 or pick up a deeply discounted 705? I’d like to have a working unit (as an upgrade to my 305) before heading south for two months in mid Dec.

    Kim from Laramie WY

  97. Thanks for the review. I smashed my edge 705 during an off-trail mishap mountain biking last weekend. I think it will be worth me holding out for the 800 as a replacement.

  98. Anonymous

    Thanks Rainmaker.
    Loved the review. You really go to town. Top job. I just need to start saving the pennies now so I’ve got another new toy to encourage me to go out in the cold days ahead…
    Michael from London :o)

  99. HI RM- Great informative post. I’m in th emarket for my first bike GPS. mostly want it for the navigation and speed, distance (dont realy use cadence much with my current computer) and I already have a HR polar watch. do you recommend the upgrade with City Navigator Maps on MicroSD. What exactly is that and what does it do?

    Thanks again

  100. Koen

    Ray, can I see the grades with biking?
    Thnaks for the great Review

  101. Lasse

    Does Edge 800 have a Manual Zero -function (like Saris Joule) when used with a Powetap hub?

  102. Hi Andrea-

    RE: Final/beta firmware

    1) Power Zone Avg 3″, no, just 3s power avg, not zone avg
    2) This is barometric based, but you can do altitude correction based on known points.
    3) Nothing on IF/TSS…I wish.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: MicroSDHC

    I used a 16GB chip

    Hi Kim-

    RE: Edge 800 or 705

    Go with the Edge 800, it’s also available now.

    Hi Phil-

    RE: Replacing Edge 705

    Agree completely.

    Hi Michael-


    Hi Akela-

    RE: City Navigator

    Yes, highly recommend it. Now, if you’re fairly techy, you can create the maps for free opensource, but it takes some geek skillz.

    Hi Koen-


    Hi Lasse-

    Manual Zero-

    It has a auto calibration, but I don’t have a PT hub (I have a Cinqo), so I can’t comment specifically if it acts differently in that scenario.

  103. M

    Thanks for the review – answered nearly all of my questions.

    As for the Tempurature I commute daily into work and am really looking forward to knowing the crazy tempuratures I endure through-out the year on my 20 mile commute. (you missed Temp off your chart btw and the Edge 705 doesnt have it)

  104. Jota

    Excellent review!

    Can you ask Garmin to add the geocaching feature? I think it’s the only thing missing in it!

    Can you also tell me if you can follow a saved mountain bike track in a sunny day without using the display light? Or without putting the light on it’s unreadable?

    Thank you.

  105. Anonymous

    Thanks for the great review! Really helpful. Keep going on! Pierre – from France

  106. ProfGruen


    I ve got 2 questions, please:

    1. if you use a Garmin sd card with a puchased topo map in the Edge 800 – how can you extend the internal storage up to 8 GB? Are there 2 SD card slots on the Edge 800?

    2. if you want to overlay a customized map like described in your test – how large can this map be? 5×5 miles?


  107. James K

    Quick question from a newbie to the 800.

    I have the Navigator Europe map on an SD that works with my new 800.

    How/where can I create a route online then load it onto the garmin 800?

  108. Jay

    Since I won’t be cyclotouring again until Summer, 2011 I want to hold off buying the 800 bundle until the latest City Nav maps are issued. When does Garmin release updated maps?

  109. Anonymous


    This was a brilliant review hanks. Certainly helped me to buy the 800. I have two questions.

    1. Mine came with the UK Ordinance Survey. Can I load both the O/S map and the City Map?
    2. Does the 800 work with the free version of SportTrack

  110. Anonymous

    Just reeived my edge 800 and I can;t find the setting to customize data fields. The manual says to go to Menu > bike settings > Datafields. There is no ‘data fields’ manu under Bike settings. Yes, I scrolled :-) Any help is appreciated.

  111. tms

    Great review! I’m looking at making the upgrade from the 705 to the 800 as a friend is interested in buying the former from me, and had a few technical questions:

    – How are the Birdseye/Custom Map tiles loaded onto the device – are they combined into the .img file, or are they freestanding files? I currently use the OSM maps rather than CityNavigator as they allow me to edit the street maps myself (lots of construction around here lately, so Navteq’s map updates take too long to trickle through). Just want to make sure that the system will work with these maps.

    – In the review, you mention a download limit of 105MB for the Birdseye tiles. Has Garmin made any changes to this since then, or is this limit still in place? This feature seems like it would be incredibly useful, but as you say a limit like that pretty much cripples it.

    – Do the Birdseye images have much effect on responsiveness? The 705’s maps were pretty sluggish, so I’m glad to hear that they’ve improved that. Just want to make sure that the satellite images don’t mess that up ;)

    – With the Custom maps, is it possible to work transparency into the images or is it just an opaque layer that obscures the underlying map? Being able to add an overlay for a race course would be quite useful, but totally obscuring the underlying map somewhat limits that. I’m guessing not as that would add a lot of complexity, but figured that I’d ask as that mid-way screenshot you showed had a transparency slider.

    – Currently my 705 is mounted on my stem squeezed between my Aerobar extensions. With the slide to release mechanism this works, but with the quarter-turn release there may not be enough clearance. The new mount appears to raise the unit a little higher so I’m crossing my fingers that that will put the unit above them. If at all possible, could you measure how far above the mounting surface the bottom edge of the 800 lies?

    – Do you know what kind of technology the touch screen uses (capacitive/resistive/etc.)? Given the exposure to the elements, I use a screen protector with my 705 but those can interfere with certain types of touch screens.

    – I can’t quite make out the FCC-ID on the back of the unit in your pictures. If possible, could you provide that as I’m interested to see what the guts of this unit look like.

    Either way, thanks again for all of the hard work you put into these reviews! It’s difficult to find that level of detail anywhere else and it’s a huge help when making decisions like this :D

  112. @tms: Here’s some answers based on what I know with the Oregon

    – When creating a custom map on the PC, the transparency slider is there to help you see if the map is aligned or not. The image is a jpg, therefore there is no alpha channel (or transparent color, in the case of GIF) support. You do however, have layering support. You can layer a custom map in front, or behind the map in the edge 800.

    – Touchscreen: Definitely the old tried and true, resistive touchscreen. Capacitive would suck on the glove test.

    @Anonymous: Data fields – Try looking at the Map screen, or even the bike computer screen and touch the data field and see if a menu or data fields comes up. If not, I have no idea really.

    @James K: Online route creation: Try http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com

    @ProfGruen: There is only one SD slot if I’m not wrong. You don’t really ‘extend’ the memory size, just adding external storage. New rides you record, will not go to external storage, for example, you have to do that yourself on your PC. But external memory supports maps, routes, courses, waypoints, and possibly, even old workouts.
    The custom map only supports images that are max, 1024×1024 per jpg file, with a certain file size restrictions as well. What’s worst is that you can only have 100 of these. I’m not sure if these limits applies to the Edge 800, but I think it does. – link to forums.garmin.com

  113. I like the details in your reviews.
    Can I change the “distance” default to use the wheel on a 800? I (mountain bike) ride with a friend using a 705. Myself and others use the “wheel” for distance using old speedometers. Our “distance” is always higher and I think it is because the wheel is more accurate on tight turns/switchbacks.

  114. Onomastic

    Thanks for your great blog.

    I have received my Edge 800 and used it for a few rides. As a long time 705 user, I have had to work with the courses/routes (tcx, gpx) distinctions. Bottom line is that routes (gpx) do not work very well both because of automatic recalculation of the route and because, even if you turn recalculate off, they take a long time to load at the start of the ride, frequently hanging up the device. Courses don’t have that problem, but you don’t get turn by turn unless you add course points, which can be laborious. You can add them more easily with bikeroutetoaster, but its mapping does not work as well with bike paths as other sites, which don’t add course points automatically. That makes mapping of road and bike path combo routes a bit of a pain.

    From what I can see, the 800 does not accept gpx. Instead, you import tcx files, which are converted to fit files. When I do that and select a course, I get turn by turn. But, if I wander a block or two off the course — typically on purpose — I get a recalculation. I’m not sure, but it appears that the recalculation is an attempt by the unit to get me back to the course point I “missed”. Or perhaps it’s just an attempt to get me back to the start by the shortest route possible — never mind that I was trying to ride a 50 mile loop. Even if I get back on track and am heading home on an out and back, once I’ve been off course even just once early in the ride, the 800 tries to send me home by a different route.

    I’ve not seen any way to turn off automatic recalculation. I can turn off turn by turn, but that is a nice feature to have on if possible, and I’m not sure it would solve the problem anyway.

    Any insights?

    • Dan

      Hello Onomastic,

      I am agonising in trying to find a device which will let me load a course and then follow it on the screen. I don’t need a map, I only need to see on the screen the lines I need to follow. Edge 305 used to do that (I lost it in a crash), Edge 500 is supposed to do it but works very poor; there are times when the course just disappears. The unit is still on, you can see your arrow, you can see the virtual’s partner arrow, but there is no course to follow.

      Have you used this feature in the Edge 800? Is it working well? How about the Auto-zoom? Have you used it, does it work well?

      Thank you,

  115. Hi Rainmaker, Thank you for a really great review of the Edge 800. In your review you say it supports Custom Maps and Birdseye Satellite Imagery, but when I go to these on the Garmin site and look at the supported products list the Edge does not show on the list. Is it that the Garmin site is out of date or have they dropped that support in the Edge?

  116. Anonymous

    a question only:
    does calories evaluation work well?


  117. Anonymous

    Great review. Thanks for taking the time to show all of this in detail.

  118. Just got this spiffy little device. I am quite pissed, however, that the thing does not show a map on the history page. What was Garmin thinking? The Forerunner 305, 310XT, Edge 705, etc all supports showing the map at the history, right down to the lap (granted, the 705 breadcrumbs really sucked). Will this get updated?

    Overall quite happy with this toy, except for that little niggle.

  119. I searched the internet with the hopes of seeing a comparison between the screen of the 500 & the 800. I hate the display of the 500 – my inexpensive Cateye Strada is vastly superior to the 500 in the ability to readily see the screen display under most daylight conditions. An interesting photo would have been all three computers shown side by side with a standard cycling display on the screen. I’m still searching hoping to find the answer to my question, to wit: Does the standard, non color, no map display on the 800 suck as much as the 500 display?

  120. rzn_feanor

    unfortunately still no electronic compass as in 705.
    heading detected only with movement :(

  121. Hi ProfGruen-

    RE: 8GB of storage

    No, there is only one SD card slot – though, it does have a fair bit of space on it even after the maps, so you get some extra there.

    RE: Max map size

    I’d need to do some testing there to find max map size.

    Hi James-

    RE: Route creation online

    Bike Toaster is one option.

    Hi Jay-

    RE: Updated maps

    Every year, typically closer to the end of the year if i remember correctly.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Multiple maps

    Yes, you can if you buy the CD/DVD versions

    RE: Sport Tracks Free Version

    Yes, it works with the free version.

    Hi TMS-

    RE: Max Size

    Still the same as of last week.

    RE: Birdseye images on responsiveness

    No, actually surprisingly quick.

    RE: Transparency

    Yes, you can adjust transparency.

    RE: Quarter-turn

    Yes, it doesn’t fit in certain areas the 705 did (between areobars) due to the quarter-turn. Hence, I’ve put it about 3-4″ out on my aerobar – works fine there.

    I can measure when I return home on Tuesday.

    RE: Screen protector

    It works with it, good there.

    RE: FCC ID-

    Will do when I return.

    Hi Gene-

    RE: Changing default distance

    Yes, no issues, easy to do.

    Hi Onomastic-

    RE: Automatic recalc

    I’m not aware of a way to turn it off. Sorry!

    Hi Mitchell-

    RE: Garmin support for Birdseye

    It’s just a case of the two teams not being up to date, they work fine.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Calorie

    Yes, calorie calculations works fine. See this:
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi Wari-

    RE: Adding map history

    I don’t know, but I know they are continueing to add in little features.

    Hi Sandy-

    RE: Readability

    The Edge 500 and Edge 800 are entirely different when it comes to display. The Edge 800 is far easier/cleaner to read than the Edge 500 – in all lighting conditions.

    Thanks all!

  122. Carl

    Is it possible on Garmin Connect to obtain a summary of the time spent in each of the Heart Rate zones for a specific exercise like on the Polar products. I have just bought an Edge 800 and cant seem to get this data on Garmin Connect. I can get a basic chart that shows HR by zone vs time but from that you dont know how much time you spent in each zone.

  123. This comment has been removed by the author.

  124. Hi will be purchasing one in the new year. can you tell me the difference between the road performance pack and the enduro pack?

  125. @Harry, the enduro pack is probably for MTB users and includes the UK Ordinance Survey maps (1:50K rez), and road performance should contain the city navigator maps.

    @Carl, Garmin Connect does not do breakdown on Heart Rate Zone. The software I used for Mac, Ascent does that nicely, on the Web, Training Peaks does that, but it could be a premium feature if I’m not mistaken. As for PC, Sportstrack might have the feature, if not I’m sure someone did a plugin for it.

  126. ekutter

    Do you have any info on the availability of the new Premium HR Strap? I couldn’t find anything about it on Garmin’s web site nor anywhere else on the web. You seem to have the only info on it here. Do you at least have a part number for it so I could do a decent web search? Thanks for all the great articles. After continuing to use the new one, does it seem noticeably better than the old?

  127. Hi Carl-

    RE: HR time per zone

    Unfortunately, Garmin Connect won’t give you time per zone. Both Training Peaks and Sport Tracks do however.

    Hi Harry-

    RE: Road vs perf

    Sounds like Wari’s got you covered there!

    Hi ekutter-

    RE: Premium HR Strap

    See my FR210 for a bit more info here, but the short version is that I have seen an improvement with the newer Premium HR strap (aka 2010 Premium HR Strap). It seems to resolve about 95% of my issues. I have seen an occasional oddity, but not at all like before – much better.

    It’s now offered with the FR310XT, FR410, FR210 and Edge 800. There is not yet a new part number for it to buy it individually. When I talked with the Garmin team a few weeks ago they noted it should be available ‘shortly’, but declined to nail down a specific timeframe. Earlier they had said by end of 2010 – so I’d guess we’re close.

  128. Hi DCRainmaker,

    Have you had any of the screen cracking/crumbling problems others are reporting on the Garmin forums?

    link to forums.garmin.com

  129. Hi DC,
    apologies if someone has asked this already… but what’s your opinion on the weather-proofness? Here in the Pacific Northwest I end up on some rides in a torrential downpour. I’ve fried several cheap bike computers. Do you think it would handle the rain, or I would I need to bring a plastic bag and shove it in my pocket when the monsoons hit?

  130. Bob

    Great review, but I’m confused about GPX files to follow use in following routes developed by others ((Bikely, Ridewithgps sites) and Garmin manuals are no help. There is no GPS subdirectory (like the 705) to load these into. I loaded a .gpx file to the Courses directory and it doesn’t show up when I hit courses on the unit’s screen (but if I download something from Garmin connect, it doesn’t show up in a file directory, but shows up when you hit Courses on the unit itself. Weird and difficult to work with. Am I missing something?????

  131. Bob

    Good review so I got the Edge 800 for my wife so she could follow routes on tours using gpx files we use on our Edge 705 units. But there is no GPX directory on the unit or option to select routes. I tried loading .gpx files to Courses directory (shows up on computer as there when connected) but when I open Courses on the Unit, the route is not listed. Weird. Is there a way to load .gps routes and follow them like on the 70, which is the best feature on tours – The Garmin manuals just don’t say a thing. Thanks

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  133. Mason

    Excellent review THANKS!

    One quick question my polar HRM is effected when I use it at night with an LED light, would the 800 be effected in the same way?

  134. Joe S.

    So I will be buying either the 705 or 800 this spring…… is the 800 that much different and worth it or go with the 705. I will be only on a mountain bike.

  135. Anonymous

    Thanks for the brilliant review and the time you spent to put this together.

    I have a couple of questions regarding the edge 800.
    I plan to do a tour over 2 weeks. Is it possible to create a route for each day (say 14 routes one for each day) in advance and then select the route depending on which day you are on?

    What size of SD card would i need to store all possible data on it for the 2 week ride plus the city navigator map?

    Can I copy the data and maps from one sd card to a bigger one?

    How long does it approximately take to charge the batteries up again from near empty to full?

    For an answer I would like to thank you in advance.


  136. Tim

    I have a couple questions along the lines of Dominik. I’m interested in doing some MS150 rides, and would like to put them into some type of GPS.

    The 800 seems obvious, but what happens if you go off-course? Does it route you back to the course as needed? If you go off the course, does it just route you to the final destination in whichever fashion it chooses?

    I assume if you just pick a destination, it will calculate the most direct route, not necessarily the route the event is to follow.

    It’s a lot of money – can you use the 500 to do the same thing?

    What about the 310? I’m actually getting into this whole running/riding thing and would like to only buy 1 gps computer in the name of marital peace and harmony.

    If you were to try to run with the 500/800 what about using an iphone type armband case to strap it on?


  137. Hello, Great reviews man.

    I was caught off guard early in your review of the Garmin Edge 800. You say that it can’t display minutes/mile?

    I was going to buy this and use it for trail running whilst holding it in my hand. I called Garmin and asked them what would be best for my needs (trail running, often in new areas, need mapping and sat capabilities and need min/mile pace info on the fly). They told me the Edge 705 or 800 is what I want. I asked them 2 times to be “nuts” sure” if the Garmin Edge 800 did indeed have a minutes /mile display and they told me it does. I may have been talking to a call center technician who may not have all his poop in a pile. Based on the scope of your reviews, I have a good deal of trust for what you say about the features.

    Does anyone have any comments on this or “real” info?

    My email is bryangagner@gmail.com

    Thanks so much and your blog is great.
    Bryan Gagner. from coastal New Brunswick, Canada

  138. Hey, great blog

    Does the Garmin Edge 800 have the ablility to display minutes /mile pace? I called garmin and asked them twice if it did and they said it does. You say it doesn’t and I do trust your indepth reviews.

    Any comments on this would be a great help as I thought I had found my unit of choice.

    Thanks so much
    my email is bryangagner@gmail.com

    Bryan Gagner in coastal New Brunswick, Canada

  139. @bryangagner: Just checked, nope, there’s no pace. There’s no pace on the hiking units either. But you can sort of ‘hack’ it to. That is, set your lap time per KM/Mile, and every time you reached the lap, the 800 will show you the time it takes for that lap.

    @tim, the “off course” behaviour, while I’ve only tried it on the Forerunner 305, it’s just an alert, and on the map you’ll see how to get back to the course, in a Bird’s View kind of way. I might try this on the 800 and see what happens. I usually have no need to follow a specific path, as I know my whole country well (Singapore is not that big LOL)

    @Anonymous: Go to http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com and go wild with the course creator. Download the TCX file generated. Throw them in the /Garmin/NewFiles folder, reboot. The TCX file will be removed, and a new .fit file will be created in /Garmin/Courses folder. Batteries seems to charge up fast (about 2 hours the most)

    @JoeS: The 800 screen is more gorgeous, If you don’t really need routing (a FAIL for the 705 IMO), I think you might as well go for the 705 especially if you are tight on budget. Also, if you go MTB a lot, and you got an 800, I recommend putting some silicone or something on gaps of the display, and the glass breaks when you tried to take off the stucked sand with your nails (I really regret not doing so). I believe the Edge 705 is more rugged, but it is a slower computer.

    @Mason: I don’t see why Polar HRM can get affected with LED lights, but I have no problems with Garmin (ANT+) HRMs.

    @Bob: See bikeroutetoaster, and put all new files to be imported in the /Garmin/Newfiles folder, and yup, it’s not documented. I’ve not tried importing GPX as courses, but I’ve never got a problem with TCX files. I’ll have to try it one day.

    @Alison: See Ray’s post on submerging the units in water, should survive a storm IMO, but hey, if in doubt, a ziplock or a plastic bag will protect your most precious gadgets.

    @Paul: I’m afraid of screen cracks too, so even though I got bits of sand lodged on the side of the screen, I just leave it as is.

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  142. Markus

    Hi. Thanks for the great review/blog. It looks like they’ve fixed a lot of the things in the 800 that I really don’t like about my 705, such as the sloppy placement of road names, the lousy joystick interface, and it looks like it actually has a real compass but I was wondering if someone could clarify a few things.

    1) My 705 sucks at calculating bicycle routes (but, ironically, it’s ok for cars and pedestrians). It often takes me off the more direct roads and onto slower side roads. Rainmaker said it still sucks while Wari said that navigation was a ‘fail’ for the 705, leading to me to believe (or hope) that maybe it’s a little better on the 800. Can someone comment on this? Is the 800 any better at routing or not, even if it’s just a little bit?

    2) The 705 doesn’t do normal GPS stuff like searching for waypoints near your destination/along current route/difference city, etc. or allow you to add a via point. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to find a place for lunch near your destination that’s 40 miles away, but you can’t do it easily with the 705 until you actually get there. Can the 800 do normal car-type GPS searching like this?

    3) The custom map feature also looks nice but does anyone know of a way to incorporate routable bike trails and map fixes into the City Map database? Sorry if someone’s already covered this.

    I had the same problem with my Polar HRM mounted with a Light & Motion halogen light. I don’t remember which Polar model it was but it cost about $150. Anyway, neither the heart rate nor the speed signals were detected when the light was on. I guess the magnetic field from the light’s wire was interfering with the HRM signal or something like that. The problem completely went away when I got my 705. I would assume I would get the same result from the 800 since it looks like it uses the same sensors.

  143. @Markus:
    * There’s no real/magnetic compass on the Edge 800, in fact I’ve not come across any compass interface with it like I see with the 705. Maybe I need to fiddle around with it more.

    1) Routes you get from 800 or 705 will more of less be the same, as it is map related. Here in Singapore we have excellent community maps that are updated too often in fact, and errors are fixed whenever the community inform them. – http://malfreemaps.com You can never really say the same with commercial maps.

    * Also with routes, how good it works for you depends if you choose for time, or distance. If time is a priority, you tend to go the longer way sometimes. And for distance, going thru back alleys may slow you down (or speed you up). I just choose time, and go thru shortcuts when I see fit. And the 800 calculates quickly to the next viable route. It helps if you know your way around, using the 800 just as a suggestion. If you like control of your destination, the I suggest going to http://bikeroutetoaster.com and create your route. Download the tcx file and put it in the /Garmin/NewFiles folder and it will automatically be processed as a course.

    * What’s missing in the Edge 800 (or Oregon/Dakota) that is available on the car nav units is the ability to avoid certain roads by coordinates, or by name. So if a route takes you there, you have to keep in mind not to go there yourself. I’d avoid certain roads where I live as they don’t expect a bike there.

    * What’s also missing from the 800 is the ability to go to a waypoint, via a different waypoint. That is, getting from A to B, but go to C and D to pick up some things first, for example.

    2) You will find that searching for POIs is much improved in the Edge 800. The 705 is not your friend when looking for a place to eat. POI searching works like the Dakota or the Oregon series of product, but not like the Navigation units.

    3) That’s rather advanced, but it involves playing around with MapSource, and buying the DVD version of your maps (not the microSD card version). It is one whole topic that justifies the purchase of a brick like manual.

  144. Great review….thanks. I have a microsd card with City Navigator maps that I use on my Garmin 605. Can I use it for the 800, or will I need to buy a new one?

  145. David

    Great review. Everything I wanted to know. I think i’m sold. One question, though. Is there any navigation capability without buying the bundle? Or is it ready to go with maps and downloading routes from mapmyride or another mapping program like that/entering an address?

  146. Spikey

    Hi there
    Great review and interesting q & a’s that follow but can’t find an answer to what is probably a too basic question. I’m in Perth, Western Australia so I presume I can get maps for this part of the world but my question is whether after riding on bush (off-road)tracks and getting lost, I can change the display to be able to follow the route I have just ridden to find my way back to where I came from?



  147. great review… do you (or any commenter) have any idea of “crash worthiness” of the unit? I just got one for my wife’s b-day… the thing works great… (road biking) but we’ll be using it on mtb trails as well, and she is definitely worried about crashing with it… our Polar s720s have been super tough for the last 7years of mtb use, never really had any issues with them… but the edge 800 certainly seems more delicate (touch screen and all)… so, what’s the consensus? besides “try not to crash”? does anyone know if there are any aftermarket cases, maybe like something used for a smartphone?

    thanks in advance…


  148. Excellent review my friend, great website in fact, I am now following on here and on Twitter now hoping for more excellent reviews to follow … This particular review has sealed the deal for me, I shall be buying the Edge 800 now where before I was just toying with the idea of just getting the Edge 500 … Thank you for suh a well detailed and insightful write up. Excellent.

  149. hey thanks for a grat review.

    I was just thinking.
    If you where going go out and buy Edge 800 or 702, what would you rather buy ?
    I am thinking more for just navigation when I am going out on my bicycle and not so much for training

  150. Anonymous

    Just in case you are interested, someone’s stealing bits of your reviews

    link to chainreactioncycles.com

  151. Hi Paul-
    RE: Screen cracking

    I haven’t seen it myself yet – but I’ve heard of a few cases. Sorry!

    Hi Alison-
    RE: Weather proofing

    Check out this post a short bit later on submerging the Edge 800 – video and all:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi Bob-
    RE: Courses

    Hmm, strange. Have you tried importing it in via GTC first and then transferring it to the Edge? That’s what I do, quick and easy.

    Hi Mason-
    RE: LED Light effect

    No issues at all, I use an LED light at night w/o issue.

    Hi Joe-
    RE: Edge 800

    Given the prices are largely the same, I’d go 800. Functionality wise, the biggest difference is quality of maps and ability to import Birdseye Maps (Satellite). It’s also noticibly faster.

    Hi Anon/Dominik-
    RE: Routes per day

    Yup, no problem.

    RE: SD Card

    Really depends on how much terrain your covering. But even a few GB one should be more than sufficient. Given they only cost $10-20 – I wouldn’t worry too much.

    RE: Batteries

    Empty to full is about 2 hours if I remember correctly from Friday when I did that.

    Hi Tim-
    RE: Going off course

    It’ll warn you your off course. If it’s on a routable map, it’ll re-do the route, else it’ll give you a compass.

    RE: Destination Finding


    RE: Edge 500

    No, it doesn’t route on maps, only point to point, or following courses – which are breadcrumb like. Same with the 310XT

    RE: Running with it

    Pickup the FR310XT Quick Release kit, which works just fine for the Edge 500/800 for running. It locks in using the quick release system.

    Hi Bryan-
    RE: Minutes/Mile

    Correct, only MPH or KPH. It’s a highly requested feature for runners who want to use it.

    Hey Wari-

    As always – thanks for all the answers – appreciate it!

    Hi Howard-
    RE: Navigator Maps

    Should work just fine.

    Hi David-
    RE: Nav w/o bundle

    Yes, but it’s very very very basic – only major roads. Kinda useless honestly.

    Hi Spikey-
    RE: Routing back on track

    Yes, the feature is called ‘Return to start’, and it’ll route you back over the same track home.

    Hi Peter-
    RE: Crashing

    It’s pretty durable, I’ve dropped it a number of times and it hasn’t died yet.

    Hi Ben-

    Hi Olafur-
    RE: 800 or 705

    I’d go with 800, simply due to the clearer screen.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Stealing

    Thanks for the heads up, I’ll be pinging them on Monday – I appreciate it!

    Thanks all for stopping by!

  152. Anonymous

    Thanks for the great review… any word on a part number for the HR premium soft strap?

  153. Ivar


    From the Netherlands: thanks for the great review. I bought the Edge 800, heavily influenced by your review. I am still not disappointed and do not expect to become that. I hope Garmin realizes the value of people like you. Big complement!

  154. Ray,
    Thank you for the detailed review!
    A couple things that were not clear to me:
    You mention:
    “The Edge 800 has the same navigational features that you’d expect
    from a car GPS. For example, it’ll give you turn by turn directions
    and show you how far until the next turn”

    However, you also state that unless you have ‘North American City Navigator’
    the base imagery isn’t terribly useful.

    It sounds like an expensive addon is required to use this
    device for navigation.

    I am mapping out some routes in France for a trip this summer and am considering
    getting a device that will give me turn by turn directions (like a
    tom tom or car gps). Sounds like this device wont do that without ‘European City Navigator’
    which is $103 CDN

    Just wondering if you could confirm this device is not going to navigate
    for you without the extra navigator package for the geography you


  155. saunaking: I’ve had luck with the World Routable Map for Garmin from the openstreetmap guys. Depending on where you are going, it may or may not be useful to you. In fact, going further distances on a non popular area might lead to route calculation. But it’s 100x better than the base map, if anything it will be as useful as a paper map: link to garmin.na1400.info

    As for spending that $103CDN, it’s up to you really. Most car rental companies would allow you the use of their GPS unit for an extra $12-$15 a day, which is overly excessive IMO. But if you’re there for 2 weeks, then the $103 would pay for it and earn you some.

    I’d stick with OSM as I love the adventure, but hey, if time is money…

    As for OSM, the thing gets updated when someone feels like it, and Garmin maps are updated yearly. Sometimes the OSM maps are better. Since the Edge 800 allows for named maps (you can name the osm one to OSM20110308.IMG for example), instead of the old days where you need to name one map GMAPSUPP.IMG and GMAPPROM.IMG or some such, you can put as many maps as you want in the SD card. I have more than 10 of them at the moment, and I can choose between one or all at the same time, and I’ve never paid for my maps.

    As for navigational GPS, you have to note that the Edge does not speak to you like conventional GPSes, it just beeps.. I love it a lot more than an annoying “recalculating” shout.

  156. I’ve just looked up France in OpenStreetMaps, and all I can say is that the details in some cities are just… WOW.. I can’t verify this to be true as I’ve not been there. But the level of details just amazes me. @Saunaking, you might want to take a look if it covers what you’re looking for, and since it’s free, it couldn’t hurt.

    I looked in my area in Singapore, and while the level of detail is not as amazing as France, it has been significantly updated since the last time I visit it.

  157. Anonymous

    Great job. Q: Does the 800 have the same limitation as the 500 in not being able to display all prior lap histories on the device, i.e can we review all prior lap (interval)data on the device rather than just the very last lap as is the case with 500. Thanks

  158. Yes you can view previous lap, but you have to press Start/Stop (but not reset) to see the previous laps in the History section.. Some of the values are a but wonky, like Max and Avg don’t work I think.. But time info is OK.. Need to verify, but yes, the current firmware supports it. But could be improved.

  159. Pedalhead

    All my workouts are power based, I’m looking for help in understanding the use of the edge 800’s power zone alerts. I want to have an alert’s for each zone when im under or over the min max for a zone during a workout.
    Example the first step of my work out will start with an interval and selected power zone #3. The second step kicks off with power zone # 7, and then zone # 5 and so on until the training session is over. Can I set up power zone alerts for zone 3, 7, 5 power zones and get power alerts for all these power zones I have selected for a workout? Heck I want to have power zone alerts for all 7 power zones so what ever power zone I use when building a workout I hade an audible feedback, keeping my eyes on the road where they should be. Thanks…

  160. Anonymous

    Question there seems to be no answer to (that I can find):

    What type of map files can you UPLOAD onto the Garmin Edge 800??

    For example if I want to map a ride from scratch (using mapmyrun/mapmyride for example) can I export the ride I just created on that computer (XLR File i think its called) and have my garmin edge direct me??

    Is there another/better way to create a route from scratch on the PC and upload it onto the garmin 800 that I am unaware of??


  161. @Pedalhead: You can create such workouts on the device itself, or the easier way is to use Garmin Training Center. But hey, if ad-hoc is your thing, then you can definitely use the Edge 800 (or 705 as well). However, I missed the simple workout functionality of the 705 where I can specify: Do 40km in 1:15, for example (boo!) Can’t win them all.

    @Anonymous: I’ve tested TCX courses created by BikeRouteToaster, see for example: link to bikeroutetoaster.com

    I’ve not tried MapMyRide yet, but if it does produce TCX file, it should be ok. You might want to try if it works with a GPX file though.

    You put the file in :\Garmin\NewFiles and when you power on the Edge 800, it will import the file and dump it in the Courses folder. A.TCX, will become A.fit, and the A.TCX file will be deleted.

    You can dump it in the SDCard, or Garmin main memory. I just put it in the SDCard and it works for me.

  162. You can see my review of the edge 800 with screen shots and setup link to gearmasherz.blogspot.com

  163. Anonymous

    Great review! Quick question. Is it possible to customize the visible fields on the navigation page? For instance, if I download a route to the 800 and I begin navigating, can I change the fields which are shown on the turn-by-turn page? If not, will the turn-by-turn directions overlay over the 3 customizable screens? What I’m interested in is knowing my speed, cadence, and HR while also being able to navigate without changing screens constantly. I hope so!

  164. Great review and useful questions/answers. Can’t work out if my query is dealt with so here goes:
    I get freaked out at the idea of getting lost, so won’t ride alone. My IPhone runs out of juice too soon to usefully use and I can’t preload a route anyway. I use a Polar setup at present for heart rate cadence distance elevation etc, but it’s not MAC compatible, and my pc is about to die. I would like to buy a garmin gps and have been researching the 305 705 and now the 800, as I understand they’re all compatible with my iMac.
    I would like to use bikehike.co.uk to plot a route on my MAC, upload it to a (to be purchased) Garmin and then use it to do the route I’ve plotted (and get all the other info I get with my polar kit). Ive tried dowloading gpx files to my Mac and they automatically covert to xls files which is no good to man nor beast (nor cyclechick).
    I also really need it to quickly and easily recalculate to put me back on my route should I stray, but I’m not clear if the Garmin just recalculated to take you home. A friend has a 705 and it doesn’t seem to keep up-we have overshot a turn before it thinks we’ve reached it.
    Also, can it broadcast where I am and plot it in realtime to a website so that people can see where I am at any given
    time (for rescue purposes, and also I’m doing l’etape in
    July and all my friends would like to track my progress from
    the safety of the local pub).
    So, I need it to be easy to use (I’m not very techie), easy to set up (plug and play for cadence and speed sensor and uploading/downloading maps and data), Mac compatible, easy, accurate and quick rerouting and ideally a ‘where am I now’ broadcast facility (is there such a thing anywhere else?).
    Many thanks in advance!

  165. Hi heared some rumours thst there is a edge 805 out soon is this true. If so do I wait or should I buy the 800 now I have saved up my pennies.

  166. thank you for this review, and the others of your site…..there´ve been very helpfull.

  167. Great review, the best I’ve found so far.

    I’ve become quite obsessed about the battery: is it an integrated battery as in the Edge 500? will my 800 die when the battery no longer charges to an acceptable autonomy?

  168. JPVeloCT

    Rainmaker: Thank you for all your effort! Based on your excellent review and answers to these many posts, I’ve just clicked through your Amazon link and purchased the Edge 800 with all it’s goodies.

    @Rodolfo: The Edge 800 has a Lithium-Ion battery that is not user replaceable. It is good for a few hundred charge cycles, at which time the unit needs to be sent back to Garmin to be replaced for just under $100. Grey lining to this otherwise silver cloud.

  169. Sven

    Very detailed review, like many others you got me running to the store…

    However, after using the Edge 800 for a few weeks I am mostly disappointed. One thing you should clarify: It does not have an electronic compass. Only recognizes a heading while its moving. I have no idea how you came to the impression that it does have a compass, unless you have different hardware for testing then everyone else.

    Other than that missing feature, the units regularly forgets the time of day and only updates it when it gets satellite reception. Sometimes fields in the bike computer display a different quantity than what I set after powering off and on. Eventually it now freezes when trying to reset the trip data.

    Mostly dark clouds for me, although I agree that it would have a lot of potential with the touch screen which is a huge improvement, if everything would work as advertised.

  170. Another thanks for your great review. I just bought the 705 vs 800 because of cost and the first day out discovered I had downloaded the wrong map for the ride…and my friend with an iphone had to bail me out because poor resolution on the 705!!! Now I will sell and purchase the 800. How embarrassing to have a tool that couldn’t help me see the big picture, literally. Fine in other respects, though.

  171. Another thanks for your great review. I just bought the 705 vs 800 because of cost and the first day out discovered I had downloaded the wrong map for the ride…and my friend with an iphone had to bail me out because poor resolution on the 705!!! Now I will sell and purchase the 800. How embarrassing to have a tool that couldn’t help me see the big picture, literally. Fine in other respects, though.

  172. Great review and detail. Very helpful. I am moving to Tokyo and wonder if mapping will work there. Any ideas? The 800 is key since I need the gps to get out of the city on longer rides and compare rides.

  173. Awesome review! I didn’t see where you mention how durable the 800 is copared to the 705 (did I miss that?). How (tough) is it for MTBing? How is the screen and case in case of a fall? Mudd, dirt, water etc.? I’ve heard the (touch) screen is fragile compared to the 705. I use my 705 for both MTB and road riding (love it!) but am consindering upgrading. My main complaint on the 705 is the time it takes to calculate data (saved rides etc.). ugh!!

    Again, over-all great review and thanks for posting. Happy riding!

  174. Anonymous

    Great review, I have decided to save a bit longer for the 800 over the 705.
    I was wondering though if I buy it in Europe will I still be able to get GPS signal in Australia?

  175. David


    My question is more about navigation than about biking…is it possible to see your breadcrumbs or historic breadcrumbs and your actual position on the map? My question is because I have Garmin Oregon for hiking,and I’d like to know if I can replace it for Edge 800,and use it for the bike and for the mountain hiking…
    Thanks and congratulations for an awesome review!!

  176. Anonymous

    Great review, thanks for taking the time to share it. I am sold and want to buy the Garmin edge 800. Am I’m a little late and possibly a newer one is coming out soon? Any help would be great.


  177. Jeff698

    I just wanted to commend on the battery life on the 800. Mine is pretty new but the battery died from a full charge after about 4 1/2 hours riding, 6 1/2 total hours on a ride the other day.

    I was pretty frustrated until I realized that I had left the backlight feature set to 100% and ‘always on’. I’ve since turned it to 0% and done a 4 hour ride with barely a dent in the battery indicator.

    So, if you’re finding the battery drains much faster than you’re expecting, check your backlight.

    Take care,

  178. Problem with the Edge 800…

    If you turn on “Auto Pause” and also use “Auto Scroll” the unit sticks on the map screen after a few minutes. It continues to update the map screen and to record data but you can’t see the data pages.

    Garmin says they’re looking in to it…

    Anyone else have the issue? I can repeat it 100% of the time.


  179. Anonymous

    Can the micro SD card with maps on it be moved from a 705 to the 800?

  180. In response to David:179

    I experience the same problem with my 800 unit getting stuck on the map screen while riding. It happens every time I ride but the time it takes to get ‘stuck’ varies. I didn’t equate it to the autopause/autoscroll, but yes, i have both of those enabled. Sometimes I can touch the screen to make it autoscroll, other times when I come to a stop, it will give me the Menu option, and sometimes I have to turn it off to get off the map screen. Is your solution to turn off auto-scroll?

  181. Anonymous

    In your edge 800 review you say:

    Additionally, you can increase your accuracy a hair if you use the speed sensor outdoors (automatically occurs actually).

    However earlier in your review you explain that the GPS will automatically determine distance when in use (overriding the sensor I presume).


  182. Anonymous

    I have been using the Garmin Edge 705 about 2 years now and found that it regularly records corrupt data which can be fixed by editing the xml file of the ride. Really annoying! Now I’ve read that this particularly happens when using the device under wet circumstances…and so happened today: rain during my ride, data corrupted. (again).

    Does the Edge 800 have the same ‘feature’?

  183. Scruffy_Nerfherder

    Another stellar review (as usual).

    I actually own an 800 and have found it to be yet another step forward, perhaps more accurately a leap forward, from my Garmin 500 (which was a quantum leap forward from my Mavic WinTech Ultimate).

    However, I do have a question that no one at Garmin, or on the forums, seems able\willing to answer.

    QUESTION: Is there a way to change the default Garmin logo, displayed when the unit powers on, to a customized image?

    It may seem trivial but it’d be a nice little tweak to have something more personal than the Garmin logo greet me each time I power on. I’ve tried editing the default images (via Photoshop). I’ve tried removing them and replacing with same name images. Nothing seems to work. I’m beginning to wonder if the logo(s) are somehow hardcoded onto the NVRAM or ROM.

    Thanks again for a far greater than in-depth review!


  184. Anonymous

    Hi, I bought the Edge 800+ largely based on your review. I’d spent a lot of time elsewhere but it was your input that sold me. And I’ve been back to refer to it several times now that I understand better what you were saying. Invaluable -particularly since there’s very little guidance in the material that comes with it or is on the website. Installing things upside down on a velomobile trike presents some ‘issues’.

    I wonder if you know if there’s a way to run with speed and not cadence. I’ve taped the cadence magnet to the rear wheel since it’s obviously impossible on a trike to have it close to the cranks. I haven’t exhausted my efforts, but i don’t think I can have speed without the other sensor there even if it’s sending nonsense info back.

    I bought mine via your portal to Amazon but it was a Marketplace reduced price unit so i hope you got some credit.

    thanks for your work. Have you done any updates?

  185. instead of one more admiration hymn just very well done in the name of Polish bikers. But what has happened to the red ‘compass” arrow that was much more useful on “return to the start” than the map, especially with bad lighting? that is the only thing I will miss (but badly)form 705. Any comments?

  186. spyfox

    I am installing my Garmin edge 800 and I don’t have a magnet to put in the wheel.I was looking at your photos of what was in the box and I don’t see a magnet either.Was there a magnet in your box, or was the magnet I see on your bike from a previous install ?

  187. (First off, huge thanks to Wari on answering questions. I’ve skipped the ones he’s answered already)

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Customize display fields on nav page

    Yup, you can just hold down to customize them. Just did it this past weekend during century ride with maps.

    Hi Teresa-
    RE: Best bet for not getting lost

    Yes, the Edge 800 is an upgrade to the Edge 705 in this case and does perform a bit better. Hope your July ride went well!

    Hi Harry-
    RE: Edge 805

    I doubt we’ll see an Edge 805 this summer. I could see a replacement for the Edge 500, but don’t think we’ll see a successor this summer to the Edge 800.

    Hi Pepi-

    Hi Rodolfo-
    RE: Battery

    Yes, integrated like the Edge 800. If you reach end of life on battery, you’d have to pay the Garmin fee for out of warranty support (usually $80), if beyond the warranty period.

    Hi JP-

    Hi Sven-
    RE: Electronic compass

    Thanks for the clarification there, good to know.

    Hi Janelle-
    Hope it’s been going good since then! Thanks!

    Hi Masumi-
    RE: Mapping in Tokyo

    If you purchase maps for Tokyo, or if you use Openstreet (see above from Wari), then it’ll work great.

    Hi Jef-
    RE: Durability

    I haven’t had any problems yet, though I’ve heard occasional reports – but no different than occasional breakage issues than the Edge 705.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: GPS signal in other countries

    Yup, I’ve used mine all over the world.

    Hi David-
    RE: Breadcrumbs (historical0

    Yes, it shows your past path.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Newer Edge 800

    No, nothing planned that I’m aware of. It only came out last fall and usually Garmin goes on a two year cycle.

    Hi Jeff698-
    RE: Battery life backlight

    Funny you mention that…I just had the same happen to me last weekend before I realized it at about the same moment. I too had mine turned all the way up for photo shots. Doh!

    Hi David-
    RE: Bug with auto pause

    Have you tried the lastest firmware update?

    Hi Anon-
    RE: SD card from 705 to 800

    Yes, no issues there. I do that.

    Hi Anon/Phil-
    RE: Speed sensor

    Sorry, I was referring to the fact that the Edge 800 will show speed sensor data over GPS speed data on the display itself.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Corruption

    No, the Edge 800 is much better with this. If you haven’t upgraded the Edge 705 firmware though, ensure you do – most of the corruption issues have been solved for about a year now.

    Hi Scrufy-
    RE: Changing logo

    None that I’m aware of. Sorry! Thanks for the comments though!

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Running with Speed

    I wish there was…and I know a lot of others do as well. Sorry!

    Hi Rush-
    RE: Red Compass

    Hmm, haven’t heard anything about adding that back. You can adjust the backlight though in bad lighting situations to make it more clear.

    Hi Spyfox-
    RE: Magnet

    Indeed, the magnet is not inclued unless you have the version with the speed/cadence sensor. Your local bike shop will probably give you one if you swing in and ask. Most bike shops have a drawer full of them, any brand will work.

    Thanks all, and sorry for the delay here – been a bit of a crazy few months with wedding and honeymoon, just getting a chance to catchup on all the past comments.

  188. HI There! Big fan of your Blog and awesome reviews! (Everyone says the same but I hadn’t since is my 1st comment so.. Big THKS from my side for what u do for all of us).

    Now.. my question is.
    With the EDGE 800, while riding using the “street to street” navigation, what happens with all the other fields of very important info? Cadence, Speed, Power ??
    If I’m on a new route and need this directions is great, but I STILL would like to keep track of my progress, speed etc.. are these fields visible? or navigation view can it be customized for me to still keep track of my progress?


  189. Rob

    Each week as a group we do plenty of climbing and when I check my elevation I usually have between 5,000-6,000 ft. Many of the riders in my group have pre Edge 800s Garmins and they always have approximately 10% more in elevation. Our mileage is the same but the elevation is different. Any ideas?

  190. Rob

    I love the 800. Each week as a group we do plenty of climbing and when I check my elevation I usually have between 5,000-6,000 ft. Many of the riders in my group have pre Edge 800s Garmins and they always have approximately 10% more in elevation. Our mileage is the same but the elevation is different. This has happenens on all rides.

  191. I’m contemplating something like the 800 for my bike to go with the 610 for running (I know, I could get the 310XT and do both with one, but…)

    Is it possible to use the same heart strap with both? Or would that require two separate straps?

  192. staten

    I have been using the Edge 800 for about three months now and love it with the exception of one thing. In the past month, the unit will stop recording data during a ride. The mph will drop to zero and the unit stops collecting. I do have it set to auto pause. I have two bikes I switch the unit between and it happens on both. Both have cadence and speed sensor. Any thoughts?

  193. Anonymous

    Hi, great review. I just bought an EDGE 705, yes the old model. I got a refurbished unit (incl. cadence, HR) with full one year GARMIN warranty for 299 USD. This might be an alternative for all GPS enthusiasts who want to save some money.

  194. Anonymous

    Hi there,

    first off all have to say you are doing a great job with your reviews, the most useful I have seen so far!

    I have a question and would like to know your opinion on this. No need to talk about the usage of this device on the bike…But would you suggest to go for the Edge 800 for crosscountry skiing for example? Here I find it to be a bit big… Would u use it for running at all? I think I should rather go for the Forerunner 310 instead, since I dont need the navigation that much. Or do you think the Edge 500 would fulfil my needs?

    Thanks in advance



  195. Bjørn

    Hey DC!

    I own an 705, and I find the grade function to be a little slow.. Often the grade of the hill showing on the 705 greatly behind “real life”.

    Is this function better on the 800?

  196. Great review! Just read about the Virtual Racer feature on the Garmin 910XT. Any idea if they’ll add that feature to the 800?

  197. Anonymous

    Very good stuff – Thank you so much – By far, the most useful review on this device.

    Question about price:
    The bundle unit ($649) seems to be more expensive than the separate components ($449 Base Unit + Premium HR + cadence + map SD)…
    I am missing something here ?

    Also why would Garmin go through the trouble of making to different casing for the edge 800 (Blue and white)?

    Question is: are the main units (blue from the bundle and white from the basic package) any different?

    Many thanks again – Nico

  198. Thor

    Hi Ray,

    I have a Edge 800 but i have some problems:
    – it takes quite long to find a gps signal when swithed on (a lot longer than my friend s 705).It seems like the gps signal from his 705 is stronger than the 800. When we stop to have a cofee the edge 800 loses signal a we go inside, the edge 705 still receives signal.
    – if i m on a road with a lot of trees (as a while ago climbing in spain) speed drops. It s really annoying as auto pause started a couple of times (auto pause is set at 5km/h!).
    – calorie counting is a joke. I have 140cal after a 2h30min climb. Is it possible the 800 resets the calories after auto pause or after start/stop.

    Thanks for your answers!

  199. Fred Deutsch

    Just a few post-purchase comments that might be helpful:

    1. I like to place my unit on the top of my stem, but the rubberized “O” rings aren’t large enough. A trip to the local hardware store found many sizes of rings, including the exact correct size necessary to attach to the stem.

    2. Garmin’s City Map product does not allow for transfer between units. My intention was to physically remove my SD card from my 705 and insert it into my 800. After a call to Garmi customer support, I learned I need to purchase a second City Map product.

  200. pgk

    Trying to decide between the Edge 800 and 705 for my husband for Christmas. Given that there is a $200 difference, would you say it’s worth spurging for a Edge 800?