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Hands-on with Garmin’s new Edge 820 with mapping


Today Garmin announced their latest cycling computer – the Edge 820.  Well, actually, they announced two cycling computers: The Edge 820 and the Edge Explore 820.  The Explore is simply the dumbed down version of the 820.  While the Edge 820 is basically an Edge 520 and Edge 1000 that’s had a baby that’s smarter than both of them.

I’ve been using a nearly-final Edge 820 for a short bit now, and so I’ve got some preliminary thoughts on how it works.  But I’ll also dive into how the various models are different and some of the minor nuances that might not be so apparent.

Wait…what’s that? You said you subscribed to Garmin’s YouTube feed and a month ago you got a sneak peak about the Edge 820 before they realized following their summer solstice morning after party and delisted them?  No worries – now I’m here to explain all!  For realz this time.  Let’s get started.

(Oh, as the title suggestions…this isn’t a review. I haven’t used the device long enough. Come back in August for a full in-depth review.)

What’s new & different:


As regular readers of my preview posts (what happens prior to an in-depth review), I’m a fan of using bulleted text and simplicity to cut through all the marketing fluff.  Let’s start by talking about what the Edge 820 is in most basic terms:

The Edge 820 is an Edge 1000 in the shell of an Edge 520, except that it’s got a new personality (user interface) and a number of new software features found on neither the Edge 520 or Edge 1000.  Oh, and it can stalk your friends for you.  No really, it can.

As you can see below – the Edge 520 & Edge 820 are identical in outer shell size (though differ in buttons):


Here’s precisely what’s new on the Edge 820 (and if it’s found on other Garmin units):

– Adds in Group Tracking (stalking your friends)
– Contains full/detailed mapping/routing (like Edge 1000)
– Contains 16GB of internal storage (no micro-SD card slot though)
– Adds in phone-based audio prompts (like Garmin wearables)
– Adds in Incident/Emergency Detection/Notifications (like Edge Explore 1000)
– Adds in new Stress Score (seen on wearables)
– Has WiFi (on Edge 1000, but not Edge 520)
– Has a touch screen (like Edge 1000)
– Has a cool new ‘Battery Save mode’ (never seen before)

So are there any things not found on the Edge 820 that are on the Edge 1000?  Just a few:

– Doesn’t have landscape mode (for rotating screen)
– Doesn’t have the micro-SD card slot (for more than 16GB of maps)
– Has a smaller screen than the Edge 1000

And…that’s it.

As for the Edge Explore 820, here’s how it’s different than the base Edge 820:

– No WiFi
– No Ambient Light Sensor
– No ANT+ Power Meter or Shifting Support
– No Structured Training Support (i.e. structured workouts)
– No advanced metrics like performance indictor, FTP, etc…

Most importantly though is that you can easily play the $100 game between the three most popular units:

Edge 520: $299
Edge 820: $399
Edge 1000: $499

Super simple math.  I mean, as long as you ignore the Edge 20 at $129, Edge 25 at $169, the Edge 820 Explore at $349, the Edge Explore 1000 at $449 or any of the other Edges out there.  Let’s just keep focused on the Big Three above.  Mmmk?

What’s that? You want a 15 minute overview video instead of text and pictures? Hmmm…ok. Seriously, I don’t know how this ended up as 15 minutes – but it covers everything under the sun on the Edge 820. You’ll be able to be a product support technician for Garmin after this:

Diving Deeper on the New Stuff:


By and large the unit has virtually all the same features you’ve come to expect from the Edge series.  So it’ll of course use its internal GLONASS capable GPS chipset to track your rides, and it has a barometric altimeter for proper elevation record keeping.  And it’ll allow you to do Strava real-time segments as well as connect to ANT+ sensors like power, heart rate, speed, cadence, eTAP/Di2/etc…  And then all of that is uploaded to Garmin Connect wirelessly via Bluetooth Smart or WiFi (or, via USB cable).

That’s all the baseline things found on all the new Edge units these days.  Instead, for now let’s focus on what’s new here – starting with the most obvious – the user interface.  You’ll see it’s quite changed:


Now the differences are actually interesting – it now looks a lot more like the past Edge Explore editions with a simplified user interface.  You’ve got essentially three core paths to take: Just ride (top option), navigate somewhere (lower left), and training (structured training options).

You’ve still got settings of course – which is accessible via the lower left taskbar area.  And then on the lower right you’ve got dramatically increased prominence of Connect IQ (the 3rd party app platform).  Also, you can still swipe down from the top to get status information like WiFi/GPS/Bluetooth/Sensor connectivity states.

If you want to change activity profiles, you can do so by simply tapping the left/right arrows at the top.  The default activity profiles align to Train, Race, and Indoor.  With the indoor option turning off the GPS automatically.  You can create and customize your own activity profiles.  These control things like data fields and settings for that ride.  So you might have a different one for mountain biking than touring or racing.


Next we’ve got the addition of Group Track.  The idea behind this is that you can see your pre-established connections (friends in Garmin Connect lingo) on your unit in real-time as they ride.  Garmin put together an entire (well shot) video showing how one friend stalks two others and then joins them for the last portion of the ride.  It’s a cool concept, albeit one that Wahoo introduced with their ELEMNT.


Since I don’t have any other friends with Edge 820’s in the area yet, you’ll have to settle for Garmin’s screenshot on this and how it looks on the unit itself:


Now what’s interesting here is that there’s actually two options in the menu for Group Track, as seen below.  Funny…given there’s no running wearable in the Garmin line-up that supports the just announced Group Track.  Looks like Garmin is giving a bit of a hint on where things are going.

[Update] However, it may just be because Garmin states that any device that has Live Tracking capability (which is basically every Garmin device for the last 3ish years) can participate in broadcasting its position.  It’s only the Edge 820 (for now) that can see it.  So if your friends enable live tracking with their device/app – it’ll show up on your screen.


Speaking of places they’re going – it’s the Edge 1000.  That’s the only other device Garmin has committed to bringing Group Track to.  And even then, it won’t be until later 2016/early 2017.

Next we’ve got incident detection.  This was introduced last year on the Edge Explore 1000, and it allows you to specify emergency contacts that can be notified in the event you crash.  It uses a combination of accelerometers and seemingly GPS data to determine whether or not you ran into a camel.  If so, it then gives you a 30-second countdown to cancel the notification of your emergency contacts:


It contacts them via text and e-mail message, like below (my phone left, her phone right):

2016-07-12 19.16.08 IMG_9700

Now in my experience with the almost-final device, it seems to trigger some false positives – of which The Girl was not pleased about.  For example it triggered as I simply slowed at an upcoming stoplight/sign.  Also while I was just holding the bike taking a picture.  On the first, I had seen the countdown warning from 30 seconds – but of course had decided to take a picture of the screen.  Turns out though that you need to not only tap the button, but then release and long hold again to validate you’re OK.  By time that happened I ran out of time, which resulted in this near immediate freak-out message from her:

2016-07-12 19.16.53

So…on one hand, it works well on the notification part (remember it uses your cell phone for the cellular network).  On the other hand, I hope false positives aren’t as common as I’m seeing them on this beta device – else people will just disable it.

Next, we’ve got a nifty battery saver option.  This is kinda like the battery saver feature we’ve seen on some cell phones lately, which will help you eek out the last little of your ride when battery power gets unexpectedly low.


Once enabled it’ll turn off the screen, but still notify you of various events such as upcoming turns and incoming messages.  You can configure these within the options.  The important thing here is that it’s still recording your ride/sensor data behind the scenes.  It just turns off the display to save battery, increasing battery life by about 50%.

Garmin-Edge-820-Battery-Saver-2 Garmin-Edge-820-Battery-Saver-3

I’d be remiss to not mention mapping with the Edge 820 – after all, that’s a key reason (if not THE major reason) you’d get the unit.  But in many ways, the mapping is pretty close to what you’ve seen before in Garmin units.  With the Edge 820 it uses the internal fully detailed mapset that’s found on the 16GB of internal storage (it still has 6.1GB free though, and about 2GB unusable space for overhead).

For starters you’d tap the navigation menu option from the home screen, which brings you here:


You’ll see that you can load saved routes (from Garmin Connect), or simply enter in an address somewhere.  You can also search for points of interest and then do things like have it create a random bike-friendly route for you.  That feature has been previously found on some past units and is handy if you just want to go ride something new and different.

Garmin-Edge-820-POI Garmin-Edge-820-Round-Trip-Routes

Once you’ve selected the route it’ll begin loading it (calculating).  On my non-final unit this process took about 90 years, though Garmin says the units being shipped should be dramatically faster and take about 1 minute to calculate/prepare about each 20 miles of routing.


Once it’s done it’ll give you turn by turn directions using true street names (not just generic turn left/right).  If you’re on a regular data page it’ll pop-over a small text box at the bottom with the turn direction, distance, and street name:


Meanwhile, if you’re on the map page you’ll see your route (both the future and the past), and you can also tap to bring up a cue sheet of all turns on the route:


Garmin also says it’ll automatically recalculate routes if you miss a turn, though for some reason that wasn’t working on my unit.  Otherwise, it worked just fine for me in terms of routing through/across Paris.

In relation to this is the new feature for getting audio prompts, which was introduced on the wearables last fall.  This allows you to pair to your smartphone, which in turn will use the speaker/headphones to give you additional stats and in the case of the Edge 820 – directions.


Again to be clear here – the Edge 820 is NOT pairing to Bluetooth headphones directly.  Instead, it uses whatever audio device your phone has (the speaker, wired headphones, wireless headphones).  On the Garmin Connect Mobile app, you can configure the different options:

Garmin-Edge820-Audio-Prompts2 GarminEdge820-Audio-Prompts

Oh, and in case you were wondering about that touch screen – it works just fine in rain or with gloves.  Yesterday gave me ample opportunity to test out the rain compliance.  Pretty much every time I brought out my camera it dumped on me.


Here’s a video of the touchscreen I shot while the sky was crapping on me:

(Uploading…please hold)

Last but not least, Garmin has ‘normalized’ the different personal metrics on the Edge 820, bringing in some of the additional stats found on a variety of Garmin units over the past year.


So while we’ve seen FTP and Recovery Advisor features before on the Edge series, we haven’t seen the Stress Score before – which is now seen here:


This feature does require a heart rate strap though – so just keep that in mind.

There’s undoubtedly a bunch of smaller new tweaks/features that I didn’t list here as I may not have found them all yet.  But I do cover a few more within my exceedingly long YouTube video in the earlier section.

What’s in the box:


Ahh yes, the unboxing.  This time I’m giving such lurid details to you in two different flavors: Video and photos.  The unboxing video is down below, where I also compare sizes with units including the Edge 520, Edge 1000, Polar V650, and Wahoo ELEMNT.

But first, a quick unboxing gallery of the standard base edition of the Edge 820:

And if you’re now looking for a much longer version of that, here’s my unboxing video along with a detailed size comparison of the Edge 820 to the Edge 520, Edge 1000, Polar V650 and Wahoo ELEMNT.  Sorry about the slight echo on the audio, my microphone port on my phone broke, so my lav mic didn’t pick up properly.

Product Comparisons:


I’ve added the Garmin Edge 820 to my product comparison tool which means you can compare it to other items I’ve reviewed or had hands-on time with.

If you want my full product comparison tool, you can use that here and make your own comparison charts with any products in the database (like the Wahoo ELEMNT or Polar V650).  For the purposes of this post, I’m just using the Edge 520/820/1000:

Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 26th, 2018 @ 12:25 pmNew Window
Product Announcement DateApr 9, 2014July 1st, 2015July 13th, 2016
Actual Availability/Shipping DateMay 2014July 31st, 2015Mid-July 2016
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB, Bluetooth, WiFiUSB & Bluetooth SmartUSB, Bluetooth, WiFi
Battery Life (GPS)15 hours15 hours15 hours
Recording Interval1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerYesYesYes
Quick Satellite ReceptionYesYesYes
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceYesYesYes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoNoNo
MusicGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Can control phone musicNoNoNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneYesNoNo
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesYesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesYesYes
Group trackingYesNoYes
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoYesYes
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Designed for cyclingYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYEs
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesYes
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceYesYesYes
Crash detectionNoYesYes
RunningGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Designed for runningNoN/ANo
VO2Max Estimation(CYCLING YES THOUGH)(CYCLING YES THOUGH)(Cycling Yes though)
Recovery Advisor(CYCLING YES THOUGH)(CYCLING YES THOUGH)(Cycling Yes Though)
TriathlonGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Designed for triathlonNoN/ANo
WorkoutsGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesYesYes
FunctionsGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Auto Start/StopYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesYesYes
Virtual Racer FeatureYesYesYes
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesYesYes
Day to day watch abilityNoN/ANo
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoN/ANo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoN/ANo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoN/ANo
Weather Display (live data)YesYesYes
NavigateGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)YesYes for maps (but not routable)Yes
Back to startYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationYesNoYes
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesYesYes
SensorsGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometric
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyNoN/AN/A
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYEsYEs
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesYes
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableYesYesYes
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlYesYesYes
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationYesYesYes
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)YesYesYes
ANT+ Remote ControlYesYesYes
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoYes
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)With appsWith appsWith apps
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)YesYesYes
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNo
Compatible with Firstbeat HR toolsNoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
PC ApplicationGarmin ExpressGarmin ExpressGarmin Express (PC/Mac)
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin Connect
Phone AppiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android/Windows PHone
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save with the VIP programLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Europe (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge 1000Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 820
Review LinkLinkLinkLink

Remember that you can create your own product comparison charts using the full product comparison tool here!

Wrap up & Availability:


I think Garmin has a pretty solid unit on their hands here.  I suspect there’s a lot of people that have been waiting years for an Edge 520 sized device that does true routable mapping.  And, for that unit to be far more affordable than some of the craziness of the past mapping units.  At $399, that’s finally getting to that ballpark.

The group track could be cool once it reaches critical mass.  Garmin plans to expand it to the Edge 1000 (but oddly not the Edge 520) later this year or early 2017.  Which, is a heck of a long ways away.  Still, better than not I suppose.  In my case, I didn’t have any other friends nearby with Edge 820’s to try it out…so I’ll have to wait a few weeks for that to occur.

It’s nice to see the incident detection shift from the niche Edge Explore series into the mainstream units (Edge 820).  However, in my rides thus far, I’m seeing some false positives that aren’t really explainable.  I know the technology has been in place for almost a year now on the Edge Explore 1000 – but that’s just not a unit I’ve really spent much time with.  So it’s hard to say if my limited issues were just one-offs or more common.  Still, I know that The Girl does appreciate the idea of getting a notification if something happens – especially given I live/ride in a foreign country.

Finally, when it comes to availability – Garmin is following the same model that they did with the Forerunner 735XT two months ago: Immediate availability.  Units should be shipping from select retailers by the end of the week, or Monday at the earliest.  So that’s good news.  No long waits required.

Oh, it should be noted I don’t expect to see an Edge 1000 hardware refresh this year, there’s just no reason to do so.  They’ve kept continual software updates on the unit and there’s basically no competition in that portion of the category.  Thus no reason for Garmin to rev a new hardware platform.  And of course, with the Edge 520 being out precisely 1 year, there’s no reason to revamp that either.

With that – thanks for reading and feel free to drop any questions below!

FYI on pre-orders:

Clever Training US now has stocks of base Edge 820’s arriving on Friday or Monday.  For the bundle versions (with sensors and stuff), those won’t be in stock till early August or so.  The Edge Explore 820 will also be in stock Friday/Monday depending on whether the UPS man gets distracted with Pokémon Go.

Clever Training Europe is expecting stock of the Edge 820 in mid-August for both the bundle and base versions.

By using Clever Training you help support the site!  Plus, they’ve got a pretty sweet US VIP program here to get points back, and a European discount code here.

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  1. Scott

    Merry Christmas to me! Lost my 520 a few weeks ago (stupid me left it on top of my car) and have been trying to hold out for this. 😀

    • Adam Wenborn

      Oof, you have my sympathy. I did this with a pair of Oakley sunglasses that were only two rides old… it hurt.

      I just try to pretend it never happened.

    • SeanSensei

      Just did this to my GoPro. Mixed up the rubbish bag with the supplements and GoPro bag..

    • Wouter

      I did the same thing a week ago with my 810, bummer. But there is the 820 and 1000 to consider. I had a 1000 two years ago and it kept running out of battery all the time. I ride long. The 810 would outlast it by 2-3 hours. So has the new 1000 (is there is new 1000?) a battery save mode like the 820? Not being able to finish logging your long ride is a major drawback.

    • Phil B

      No new 1000. the 820 looks like its the best of both worlds. i may well get one…

  2. Ian Marchant

    Oooh… Now I have another thing to lust over.

  3. Ed

    Err, 1 minute of loading for 20 miles of routing? I’ve loaded up 500 mile routes quicker on the 810 – is that a worst case scenario?

    • Adam Wenborn

      Are you talking about loading up 500 miles of a pre-plotted route (e.g. from Garmin Connect or a GPX file) or asking the Garmin to do 500 miles of route generation?

      I think Ray’s “1 min per 20 miles” comment is referring to the latter and obviously there will be a huge difference between the two.

    • When I clarified, it was to be the ‘norm’. Seems kinda long to me.

    • Ed

      Yep, pre-plotted route. I guess it’s because the maps are on the internal memory maybe?

  4. Adam Wenborn

    Awesome! This is exactly what I want to replace my aging Edge 800, well done Garmin!

    I have two quick questions:

    (1) Is it possible to reach the bottom-mounted with the older Garmin Out-Front Mount that positions the unit level with the stem? Those new ones that sit up in the wind look atrocious. I’d guess that the casing of the 820 is a fair bit smaller than an 800, so it should leave a little gap there, right?

    (2) Any idea on UK pricing and/or availability? I fear my wallet is going to take a hammering with the weak pound at the moment, damn-you once again Brexiteers!

  5. nico

    Just thought about which device to buy and now the market has emerged…
    Should it be the ELEMNT and their (hopefully soon) GoPro integration or the new Edge 820?
    I think the GoPro part would be nice

    • John

      I bought an Elemnt last week and I’m over the moon with it. Turn by Turn works fine on downloaded routes and the whole thing is so easy to setup. Wahoo are really on the ball will regular updates and bug-fixes, which is what persuaded me to get the Elemnt instead of waiting for this. No doubt the usual Garmin bugs will be about for a year before they sort it. I can’t afford to wait that long.

      Ive had a Garmin Vivoactive since Christmas and since some latest updates on it the thing has gone backwards. I just don’t trust Garmin anymore to sort things out.

      Also the Elemnt is much cheaper than this 820.

    • Sebdef

      I have the exact same question. Noone seems able to answer that import question 🙂

    • Juan Osorio

      I also would like to try the Elemnt. I bought the 820 and the fact I can not pair it with my other bluetooth sensors is really the most stupid think I can see in technology in recent years. The device has a bluetooth radio but they do not support bluetooth sensors for $399, it is like Garmin want to piss their clients

  6. Kevin

    When will Garmin finally put in music controls in their cycle GPS? Am I the only one that wants to swipe past certain songs on the trail?

  7. Andy

    Does this look like the end of the line for the 810 sized model?

  8. Typo “early 2016” in the text.

    Although I wouldn’t expect a 1010 this year my money is on CES in January for that announcement. With the interface change and the age of the 1000 this seems a no brainer to get a bigger screen device in the range and round out the complete refresh. Garmin seem very much to have grasped modern programming practices these days and are finally able to move software between platforms easily, so refreshing the bigger hardware platform would appear a much less costly thing for them to do.

    Great to see an Edge 820 at last, I’ve certainly been waiting for this one a long time and the 810 is feeling sluggish next to the various other devices in my toy box. Let’s hope they don’t have the odd bugs that the 810 has that we’ve all just learned to live with 🙂

  9. Circe

    Hi Ray, have you planned an “in depth review”? No review for egde unit (or bike computer in general) in the last year… Why?

    • Yes, I plan an in-depth review in August.

      Also, I did a Wahoo ELEMNT In-Depth Review a few months ago.

    • Paul S.

      When you do the full review, could you put some contour maps on it if you have them and take a picture? I’d like to see how they look on the screen. I usually use my TOPO 24k US maps on my devices.

    • Dan

      Is it August yet? I’m looking for the full review.

      I’ve had my 820 for over a month and love except for one thing: the touch screen. It works great unless: 1) It’s raining 2) It’s high humidity (and not raining) or 3) you’re using it and have sweaty fingers (that never happens because you guys don’t sweat while riding, right?) If you leave a sweaty streak on the screen, it thinks you’re randomly touching the screen and phantom touches do all sorts of weird things. Imagine handing your device to to a 2 year old and telling them to touch and play with it as much as they want.

  10. Brad M

    Ray – if you had to choose either the Garmin 820 or the ELEMNT, which would be your choice as all around best device?

    • My all-arounder was/is the Edge 520 mainly becaues of size. I don’t actually use mapping a ton, but I imagine I’ll probably slowly transition to the Edge 820 over time for one unit when I do want to map something.

    • John

      Size wise the Elemnt isn’t as big as people are making out. When i got it out the box i was expecting a house brick after all the moaning and whining people on here had mentioned about it. Instead its not that much bigger than a 520 comparing it to a friends.

      A whole lot better too in my experience.

  11. Randy

    What are the differences between the Edge 820 and the Edge 820 Explore models?

  12. Manny

    If I purchase US version will it be easy to transition to Europe maps? I want to buy now to use but moving to Germany soon. Thanks

  13. Lukman Nurhakim

    I was expecting at least a picture of the Garmin 820 with its maximum number of pages. Cos thats the screen view that I will be using most of the time…

  14. Francesco

    Hi Ray, thanks for the great review (as usual)… I found a small mistake in the product comparison chart…you put N/A for VO2MAX ESTIMATION, RECOVERY ADVISOR in the Edge 1000 column.. but it’s a Yes..at least mine got those functionalities 🙂


  15. Here is me hoping that some more features make it to the 1000. I am thinking about:

    – Group Tracking (this is apparently confirmed)
    – phone-based audio prompts
    – Incident/Emergency Detection/Notifications
    – Stress Score
    – Battery Save mode

    Though the incident detection might require accelerometers that the Edge 1000 probably doesn’t have. But if it is as unreliable as stated I can live without it 🙂

  16. Patrick Utrecht

    So is the option “surprise me” available on this unit. Is that what you meant with the ‘garmin generated routes’?

    And oh yeah there’s a date mistake in the diving deeper section where you refer to the edge getting the group track stuff in late 2016/early 2016, I suppose you meant 2017 for the early one.

    Nice preview!

  17. Steven

    I wish they brought group tracking to more devices, even if they only support sending their positions. Lots of people with 810/800/5xx that I would love to see on my Edge 1000 when they bring that feature there. I can understand doing away with the SD card as that was a major cause for instability, but I need more than 8GB of storage. Finally I wish they made an adventure edition that was twice as thick, with the balance being extra battery to quadruple battery life.

    • Wouter

      Agreed on the battery life. Ideally the 1000 could be their next target for a thicker and also bigger screen model, the case could be the same size with the bigger screen. Just look at phones, there is no reason to have this much wasted space wound the edge. A lot of riders are older and need a bigger screen. We’re older, slower but we go all day, so please give us a screen we can see and a loooong battery life. That battery saver feature on the 820 is almost the only reason for me to get an 820, but dangit they made the screen smaller!

  18. Mj

    Is it possible to upload open source mapping to the 820?

  19. Nathan Budd

    It seems odd that they’re not going to add group tracking to the 520.

    I can see why the want to distinguish the 820, but you’d think that people with the 820 would at least be able to track people with the 520.

    • Paul S.

      It may be something like it’s sending “X is on this road”. For the 520, the map is just a picture it shows. It has no idea that the picture contains roads, etc, so it has no idea where or what “this road” is. The 1000 and the 820 both understand the map.

    • Tom

      +1 to this – the utility of the group tracking feature is critically dependant on other people I ride with having it. Even if non-mapping devices like the 520 can’t be configured to *show* the group tracking data, at least adding the ability to transmit their position to 820/1000 users in the group would go a long way.

      I quite often use my Edge 1000 to navigate for the group, and being able to see where everyone is would be hugely useful (see when gaps get too big and we need to fall back, catching people missing turns, etc.). None of them have 800 or 1000 series devices (nor much interest in them), however, so without this expanded wider it’s utility is pretty much moot – adding transmit only capacity to the 520 (extra points for the FR920) would change that. Once they see it working, I can imagine it might convince a few of them to consider upgrading – but I can’t show off a feature I can’t use.

    • Brief update on this topic from the folks in Kansas:

      Garmin states that any device that has Live Tracking capability (which is basically every Garmin device for the last 3ish years) can participate in broadcasting its position. It’s only the Edge 820 (for now) that can see it. So if your friends enable live tracking with their device/app – it’ll show up on your screen.

    • Adam

      That’s very good to know.

      Just out of interest, how often does the live tracking feature send out update on location? I presume it’s not just constantly streaming second-by-second updates up to the Garmin servers for your entire ride?

    • Vito

      it should be every 30 secs

  20. Peter

    While I really like my Wahoo Elemnt (especially since the recent updates have fixed a ton of problems), this 820 looks really good and I kind of regret my Elemnt purchase right now, or maybe it’s just my lust after new gadgets lol.

    I’ll just console myself with the fact that’s its $70 more expensive and I’m poor right now. That should work.

    • John

      You will feel a whole lot better when people start moaning about the 820 having bugs that won’t get fixed anywhere near as quick as Wahoo are doing.

      At the end of the day it just comes down to a black and white screen or a colour one. Everything else is pretty similar to the Elemnt.

    • It’s similar in terms of basics, but not actually that similar once you dive into features. Things like structured training, FE-C control, and even how it handles mapping/routing/navigation. It’s just a question of whether those are worth $70 to some folks.

    • Paul S.

      Elemnt is not an navigation device. The 820 is. If you don’t need a real map based navigation device, then an Elemnt is fine. If you do, then there’s little choice. You need a Garmin. Unfortunately. I’d love for someone to give Garmin some competition, but the ELEMNT can’t do what the 820 (or 705 or 800 or 810, etc., etc.) can.

  21. Sean Ormerod

    1. Being the same size as the 520 would this unit fit onto a K-Edge for the 510 or would there be an issue with the buttons along the bottom?

    2. Would it not be possible to allow the group feature to just work through the phone data? meaning If you’re running live track or even tracking through Wahoo that it could all link together? This would make more sense seeing as groups may not all have 1000 or 820 or even Garmin. Plus the live track already exists along the product line and I assume (maybe wrongly) it’s through this that it all communicates?

    • Brent

      The K Edge mount does not allow enough space to press the bottom buttons on a 520 but the is a K Edge XL available.

    • John

      I have the smaller version of the K-Edge combo mount (Garmin up top, GoPro Session underneath) with the 520 and it does work for me. Probably depends on the particular handlebar/stem clamp combination. A bit cramped, possibly, but I actually prefer it. The Stop/Start button is neatly tucked away but can be (intentionally) pressed while riding. I never use the lap function so I’m just as happy to that I wouldn’t inadvertently hit that. I’ll post pictures later if I remember.

  22. Iker

    I love my 520 for functionality, specially after the connect IQ apps put some life and color onto the displayed info. But I still think that it does have a mediocre screen with poor readability in many light conditions, aggravated by a relatively small size. I rarely use maps on the 520, and it would certainly not be my primary choice on a screen to navigate. Is the 820 any better on resolution or readability? I don’t see Garmin discontinuing a range of larger navigation-oriented devices, be them 820-XL or 1020

    • Don Rose

      I recently returned an Edge 520 after trying it out on a few rides because the screen was less readable than my much older Edge 500. So I am also interested in resolution and readability of the 820 vs 520 and 500.

    • I think it’s going to come down to personal preferences.

      For my eyes, the Edge 520 is perfectly readable and I like the screen quality. So given the Edge 820 looks identical in that department, I’m good with that too.

      But again, my eyesight tends to be pretty good, so that may be a factor.

    • Steve

      how does the 820 screen compare to the 510? I end up running the backlight on the 510 all the time because the screen is hard to read for me otherwise.

    • GianKam

      Readability is my #1 concern with the Garmin Edge 1000. When I ride I use contact lenses and at 48 it means I lose close range eyesight.

      Garmin might say that I need to fix it… but I believe that a proper usability review of the whole Edge UI could bring lots of improvements without having me going through surgery. A lot of UI elements have not been thought for “mobile” usage, when gloves and difficult vision are at play. Small text when it could be bigger, small controls (I’m thinking at the quick settings pull down… tiny text and impossible to use with gloves).

      Also configurable colors and configurable elements size could improve life of the users. Color of the current navigation track, its size.

    • Phil

      If readability is your main concern you should really try the Elemnt. It has a high contrast black and white display that is very readable in all conditions.
      And you can zoom in and out of data fields with the press of a button, showing your most important fields MUCH bigger.

      As a bonus, often overlooked:
      The LEDs on the side I use to show my heart rate zone. This works so well that I very rarely use the Heartrate data field anymore,since I know where I am due to the LEDs without even looking at the display.

      Major drawback compared to the Edge 800/820/1000: no navigation on the fly. But I don’t use that anyway, I had this in the past and the routes it would choose were sometimes ridiculous to ride with a bike, especially when mountain biking it is useless.
      But you can use your phone to plan a route on the fly and transfer it to the Elemnt. It just won’t do recalculations on the fly if you leave the preplanned route.

    • ndr

      If you can use your phone to plan a route then it’s way better than Garmin because with Garmin you cannot do this 🙁
      You need a PC to upload a tcx file or create a course.
      I am still looking for any solution to upload new routes to Edge 520 when I am on vacation with no access to PC.

  23. Benny Maidenberg

    whats the estimate Garmin product lifecycle by and between 2 versions. in other words, when do we expect to see the next version of the EDGE 1000?

    To be honest, i find th escreen size compellign as per the 1000, but i am concernd that in 6 months the replacement is issued (considerign its on the market ofr 1.5 years now).

  24. Rich Hill

    Very excited about this!

    Please could you elaborate on “the internal fully detailed mapset”, what comes loaded by default? How easy is it to add or change locations? Will these need to be purchased from Garmin or do you think it’ll be compatible with existing free solution you wrote about here: link to dcrainmaker.com

    Many thanks!

  25. Peter

    Looks like Garmin are still working on the user manual, I bet that hasn’t happened before 😉

  26. This is really the unit I think most road cyclists have been waiting for, a 500 form factor with the features of the 800. The 1000 always seemed like an odd duck. I ordered via clever training.

    • Bob

      The 500 is smaller. The 820 is more of an 800 form factor with features like the 520, 810 and 1000.

      See link to dcrainmaker.com ; compare the 500 and 510. The 510 is “a fair bit larger than the Edge 500, and just a hair bit smaller than the Edge 800/Edge 810.”

  27. hermanni

    Ah, garmin keeps on pumping out shoddy features instead of fixing old broken ones (bug free TBT navigation, anyone?). Incident/crash detection that sends out messages when you slow down at a stoplight fits the bill perfectly.

    • Adam

      Is there a reason why “product weight” isn’t included on your product comparison tool?

    • Never really thought to add it.

      In my in-depth reviews I have a dedicated weight section – so things usually are covered in detail there. Though I’d agree it’d make my life a heck of a lot easier to just put it in the tables…

    • pete

      I totally agree. I am currently on an European holiday and constantly arguing with my 810.
      If I don’t navigate or touch the screen it’s fine.

  28. The Real Bob

    I guess I am an odd duck. I have the 520, coming from the 305, 705, 800, and I really don’t like the approach to go to a smaller screen. I find the larger screen way more useful. I was hoping they would have a category with a larger screen, yes larger than the 1000. I run 8 fields at a time and the 520 screen is a bit cramped.

    Am I the only one that wants a larger screen device?

    • Hi, I also like a larger screen, which is why I have a couple of Edge 1000s. Helps someone with a bit older eyes to see the stuff!

    • Rob

      I was using two 8xx for a while (until the power button on the 800 failed completely) and it was great being able to have map plus 6 stats up at once. I think this, while more expensive, is preferable to ever increasing screen size. An 820/520 combo might be ideal, or 1000/520?

      Do we know which phones are compatible with the call/text notifications? I’m always surprised at
      how useless Apple are on this stuff.

    • Jman

      Nope, not the only one. I would like larger screen too. And not tall but wide. SRM PC8 would be the perfect form factor…

  29. Psychotext

    I wonder if this actually does have the same battery life as the Edge 1000 (battery saver aside). In my experience the battery on the 1000 is complete garbage. Even with everything turned off (including the backlight), I’m lucky to get 8 hours out of it when I’m using it for routing. Hell, the other day I got the low battery message at about five and a half hours, though that’s unusual, it’s normally a bit better than that.

    I’d really have hoped they’d have improved it for the 820, but I’m guessing that they made the screen smaller (improving battery life) but also made the battery smaller (reducing battery life).

    As another poster said, they should really make a touring version that has double the battery life so you can get a decent amount of usage out of it for bigger days out (battery saver wont help me in the slightest as I use for mountain biking… no turns to warn about).

    • Jason Molenda

      I’ve had an Edge 1000 for nearly two years. I get almost exactly ten hours of use before the battery goes. I leave bluetooth/wifi/backlight enabled (backlight set to turn off after 30s or 60s I forget). I was on a 9.5 hour ride last weekend and got home with 5% battery left. For longer rides I bring a little portable recharger. I live in a warm area (California); being in a colder climate would impact battery life. Maybe your unit’s battery isn’t in the best condition, what you’re seeing is a bit different than what I consistently see with mine.

  30. Joe E

    No mention of Varia Vision compatibility that I saw, but assuming it works with Varia Vision?

    • Joe E

      Garmin site says it is compatible with Varia Vision.

    • Gabe

      Are you talking to yourself again? 😉

      Speaking of the Varia vision i’ve seen them floating around for $250 used on ebay. Tempted to throw down on it. You seem to be a fan. Still a fan?

  31. Stef

    Does the 820 will have the option for the scale like the 800?

  32. Bob Goodman

    Ok. This could be the final straw for me and the edge 1000! How could it be that the same company that pumps out weekly fenix 3 software updates will take half a year to add features to their “flagship” device? Features that are available on lower lever devices and not in the 1000……. unbelievable!

  33. David Horn

    Do you think Garmin will have fixed the mapping problem where it gives up on generating route guidance after about 30 miles?

    • Do you mean?

      A) Routing on a route over 30 miles (never seen this)?
      B) Creating a round trip adhoc route over 30 miles (haven’t tried)?
      C) TBT after the 30-mile marker failing (I haven’t personally seen this)?
      D) Something else?

  34. Ricky K

    Nice been waiting for this one, needed a 520 with More memory and maps 🙂
    Group tracking does actually sounds like alot of fun when you are racing at training 🙂
    IM getting one as soon i find a store in europe 🙂

  35. Hi All-

    A quick update that Garmin sent over regarding group track.

    Garmin states that *any device* that has Live Tracking capability (which is basically every Garmin device for the last 3ish years) can participate in broadcasting its position. It’s only the Edge 820 (for now) that can see it. So if your friends enable live tracking with their device/app – it’ll show up on your screen.

  36. Ricky K

    is the lap and start Icons on top over the actually buttons clickable or just shows where the buttons are ?
    Cause i can see as many as me having a mount that doesnt lift the gps over the bar, it could be hard to push the buttons ?

  37. William

    Wahoo ELEMENT vs Garmin 820

    Ray what do you see as the best product right now?

    What are the main benefits to the ELEMENT that the 820 doesn’t have?

    And likewise the 820 have but not the ELEMENT?

    Someone mentioned a GO PRO update to the ELEMENT do you know anything about that?

    Thanks ray! About to buy one thru Clevertraining and appreciate your input.

    • John

      • Elemnt is much cheaper.
      • Elemnt screen is clearer.
      • Elemnt battery life is longer (I’ve had 13hrs out of mine and thats following a route with sensors, Di2 sensor and a phone attached)
      • Elemnt does fit in a Garmin mount (I’ve got mine in a standard Garmin one due to having flat aero bars)
      • Elemnt Turn-by-turn works (a lot of people complain Garmins doesn’t)
      • Elemnt has visual LEDS which you can program for HR, Power or Speed. Also has visual LED’s for turns.
      • Elemnt allows you to have 6 data fields on the map page. Garmin only 2.
      • Elemnt-you can zoom in and out on the magnification of data so can have less or more data fields per page.
      • Full whole world mapping.
      • Wahoo constantly fix any little bugs and make improvements to the software (theres been 3 updates in the last month alone). Garmin not to much.

      • Not a colour screen. (assuming you want colour)
      • Not a touchscreen (assuming you want touchscreen. My last gps had it but I’m not missing it on the Wahoo)
      • Cant input a Postcode to navigate too. (Though in reality, i had this on my last gps and used it once in 3 years. Generally you either know where you’re going or you’re following a pre-planned route anyway. But knowing Wahoo it wouldn’t surprise me if they introduce this at some point)
      Not much else i can think of.

      Garmin 820:
      • Colour screen (assuming you want it)
      • Touchscreen (assuming you want it)
      • Ability to put in a postcode to navigate to

      • No doubt it will be buggy and take ages to get fixed.
      • Turn by turn is unreliable.
      • Mapping probably won’t be the whole world like the Elemnt.
      • Battery will probably be less than the Elemnt.
      • No visual LED’s.
      • Have to scroll between mapping page and data page to see more than 2 data fields on the map page.
      • Expensive and unlikely to drop in price for a while.

    • cycloscott

      John, sounds like you’ve got an Elemnt. Do the maps include contour lines like on a topo map? I’m especially interested for mtb rides. It’s unlikely I’ll use it much for precofigured routes, but being able to see elevation of trails while on the fly is super handy.

    • John

      As far as I can see they don’t show contour lines on the map but then I’ve never tried it for MTB trails so its possible it might. There is a full elevation page with a graph at the bottom showing you what you’re currently on and the elevation that you have done so far (graphically).

    • cycloscott

      Thanks John. With the Garmins, I at lest have the ability to load up my own maps from OpenSteetMaps. Sometimes it’s really nice to know that given an option of 2 trails, one of them is just kind of rolling, while the other climbs straight up and over a hill. One of the Wahoo folks mentioned on their group forum that they may document how to sideload your own maps on the device.

  38. Seb

    Do you think this uses the same GPS chipset as the 520? I find it’s ok on open ground but as soon as I get on a wooded hillside it’s less accurate than my aged Edge 305!

    If the 820 is unlikely to be an improvement in this regard would you be able to recommend me the most accurate GPS unit available, in your opinion. A Suunto Ambit 3 Peak?


  39. DK

    Thanks for this first review.

    I bought the 520 a year ago hoping that there would not be too much of a difference with the 820.
    To me the difference is such that I am still (more than) satisfied with my 520.
    The only thing I really miss is a bit bigger internal memory that the 820 now has..

    (Maybe you could include the internal memory size in the comparison chart as (I think) it is an important difference.)

  40. Nicolas

    Hi Ray,

    Curious about map detail: I struggle on the 1000 with too much detail being shown if I want to show small roads (the “grey” ones, for on the fly route selection). The screen becomes unreadable.

    Any idea if it’s possible to strip out certain details from maps to make them more readable (like rivers, dirt paths, forests, etc.). On other units the “custom” view doesn’t do anything.


    • Meredith

      It is possible but to do it but need a map without all the detail you don’t want. This means finding a suitable map from somewhere or creating your own from OSM data. I create my own for this very reason (and to have a colour scheme I prefer). There are several sources of OSM maps for Garmin units and maybe one is already suitable for you.

    • The Edge 820 does allow you to change the level of detail within the activity profile for map settings. I haven’t done a complete side by side test of each level, but I had it initially set it for less, and it was very spartan. Then I set it for the most dense, and it was super-detailed as seen in the videos.

    • Nicolas

      @Meredeth: thanks for the tip – would you have a suggestion for a site or software to do so?

      @Ray: I found that the detail level basically decides how much you see at which level, but does not allow to discriminate between different types of information. It would be really useful if it was possible

    • Meredith

      For downloading maps there is link to garmin.openstreetmap.nl which has a couple of different map options or maybe Velomap. Both of those use OSM data and are worldwide. There is also TalkyToaster maps but you have to pay for those except for some UK maps.

      I create my own maps by downloading my country’s data from Geofabrik, strip out the data I don’t want with OSMFilter, and use MKGMap to create Garmin maps from the OSM data. It took a good bit of trial and error to work out the command line parameters and map style parameters though. Now I’ve worked that out it is pretty quick to create a custom map.

  41. As you write there is no need for an Edge 1000 Update, I got one. Bit for racing sometimes something simple like the Edge 25 would be fine. But they dont operate with powermeters , and I have got on 3 of my bike one. Will there be an update?

  42. Mark Middleton

    Been waiting for this. Going from an 810 so an easy decision for me. Pre from CleverTraining for UK. All good. Looking forward to using the Xert apps on it and BSX insight. And Trainer control etc. Looks like a good write up as usual. And the video was great to see as i usually just expect photos so excellent addition. Keep up the great work. Thanks Ray.

    • Mark Middleton

      Actually picked up one this morning so playing with it tonight. Excited and giddy. Love cycling gadgets.

  43. DT Mueller

    Perfect replacement to my trusty 800. I’m a Clevertraining VIP and can’t seem to get the 10% discount to show up though. Is there a trick?

    • Unfortunately with Garmin products and new Garmin imposed restrictions they can’t discount 10% anymore. However, you’ll now instead get 10% back via points, which you can spend immediately. If you were already a VIP member, I think you also got some starter points in there too in your account.

      Thanks for the support!

    • DT Mueller

      Ordered. Probably along with 50,000,000 other people. Everyone’s been waiting for this.

    • Thanks for the support!

      I heard just as I went out for my run that CT has sold through their Friday arrivals allotment already. 🙁 The website would have reflected the delivery date based on your order.

  44. Pat

    Several years ago, I bought a 705, and about 2 weeks after that the 800 was released.

    Two weeks ago I bought the 1000 and guess what?

    Apart from the size factor not sure it will do anything more (at least that’s what I am telling myself)

    I needed a replacement so couldn’t wait ; but spooky.

    I do feel Garmin target my buying habits.

    • My website is aimed exactly at this scenario. It isnt reliable as I get no inside information, but if I did (like Ray) I wouldnt be allowed to say anything anyway. Instead it’s based on release patterns and rumours to give you some idea of how likely a device is to be replaced soon. In the case of the 820 it has been expected for ages and we’ve known for a couple of months that it was imminent. The 1000 is what we politely call “stable” too and will probably be replaced early next year. Take some comfort in the word stable though, Garmin almost never release devices with fully working firmware so the 1000 might be the better option for training this summer while the 820 settles in 🙂

  45. krull_etc

    Are you surprised that Garmin still isn’t supporting bluetooth smart powermeters? It seems like they’re letting Wahoo have a leg up by not supporting both.

    • Not surprised (they own ANT+), though, I think longer term it’ll hurt them as it gives Wahoo that little in for now.

    • From that perspective it may hurt garmin but supporting BLE may hurt ANT+ even more

    • I’m surprised that BLE power meters still don’t support multicast. Im even more surprised people are still demanding support for an inferior protocol based seemingly on familiarity with the Bluetooth brand. The only advantage to Bluetooth is phone support for the sensor, and thats not an advantage related to the 820 🙂

    • Yeah, at this point it’s those companies own fault. BT 4.1 included multi-master sensor support (which came out almost two years ago), yet nobody implemented it – even Polar who chairs the Sports BLE SIG. They just announced further enhancements to that for BT5, but the absolute soonest we’d see that hit devices is late Q1 2017 (based on chipsets becoming available in theory around the new year).

      But again, like before that requires companies to actually support it.

    • Add to that the issues with each sensor being just a little bit differently implemented with Bluetooth and the Ant+ standard just seems like the right answer. Has anyone ever sold an Ant+ sensor that didn’t just work with all head units and watches? It’s only a standard if things are interoperable, and Bluetooth sucks balls in this respect, it always has. As it stands in 2016, BTLE and Ant+ are both open standards, use the same chipsets, same radio, same power draw, different messages but Ant+ is consistent, stable, has more features, more sensor types, wider adoption in the sporting industry and meets more sporting use-cases.
      Has to be said, the real question isn’t why Garmin don’t support BTLE but why Suunto dropped Ant+ and Polar sided with BTLE which has given them nothing but pain. Yes, Garmin are using private Ant for their shiny new toys like running dynamics, but so could anyone else if they innovated…

  46. Sean UK

    Nice post!

    One question…I was thinking about buying the 820 Explore and in your review you say that it doesn’t have wifi, but on Garmin’s site it says WIFI compatible. Can you confirm this please? If it does have WIFI, the only differences are lack of power meter compatibility, advanced metrics or light sensor (I could live without these)? Thanks!

  47. Nice writeup. Small error although it might not be yours, Garmin’s web site says the 820 has 16 gigs of memory.

    Any chance you could mount a 820 next to a 1000 and maybe a 810? That way you can show the speed and any differrences in starting a route (calculation time) and speed of the map screen changing as you scroll or the map just moving from the bike moving. There are times when my 810 seems slow so wondering how much speed improvement there is.

    Do you know if the 820 has a magnetic compass so it can route like the 920xt? On the 920 on a route when moving up on the screen is the direction I’m moving but when stopped it uses a magnetic compass. The 810 doesn’t have thatso is annoying at a intersection when its not always easy to tell the orientation of the map.

    How much memory does connect IQ get? 520 level or 1000? Maybe more?

    • Mine has 8GB on it, so I suspect the 16GB is wrong.

      I actually did create a video showing the calculating of a route, but after validating with Garmin last night that the unit I have didn’t have a fix for the speed, I held off on posting until I get the right version (it was taking forever, as noted above). Once I do get either a software/hardware fix for that, I’ll post up a navigational video (it’s too bad, the rest of the video is done).

      I’ll find out about CIQ.

    • Or the prerelease hardware has less available memory?

      For map speed, its more then just calculation time, its the other lags that can make navigation more annoying and if you shoot side by side you don’t have to time it all. Guess it would be easier if garmin posted cpu type and mhz

    • Ok, they reached out and then I triple-checked. It does indeed have 16GB space, 6.1GB is free on my Euro unit (might vary in other regions), and about 2GB is used for some system stuff that it’s shown.

    • So your unit came with less built in storage then final production units? Or does yours have an 8 gig map?

    • No, my brain skills were limited.

    • Matthew


      So do you think the final production unit will have ~14GB free (the 6.1GB yours show + the additional 8GB the production unit has)?

    • Yes, it will/does. Though, it may differ slightly in different regions, as I was using a European model. So the exact map space used (out of the 14GB) will vary in the US or Australia for example.

    • Any update on the memory (ram) that a connect IQ app can use? As in which category does it fall under:
      – 520 with navigation so same connect IQ limits as the 520
      – Same limits at the 1000 (almost 4 times the amount of ram to use)
      -With the 1000 being out more then 2 years ago maybe they have better tech in the 820 allowing this to be the more powerful edge unit meaning it has more CPU power and memory available then the 1000 until the 1000 gets replaced

    • Regarding Connect IQ:

      “The 820 has the similar CIQ stats as the Edge 1000 (128 KB data fields, 1 MB widgets/apps)”

      I asked about CPU type changes, but as expected the above is what I get (Garmin rarely releases CPU/chip/etc… specs).

    • Thanks. Wouldn’t expect them to release full specs but figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Guess it could be useful if someone wrote a benchmark app to try and see how the performance is different between devices. I mean currently there doesn’t seem to be any cpu or memory limited apps so in terms of Connect IQ the 520 and the 820 are the same now but guessing things may change with the 820 having 4 times the space to work in.

    • Matthew



  48. Carl J Licari

    Too bad they can’t get Live Tracking to work again instead of concentrating on new products. It used to work fine until a either a firmware update (Edge 520) or Garmin Connect software update has causes it to fail shortly after starting a ride. As an older rider (64 yrs) who rides alone on country roads in Texas it was the main reason for purchasing the Edge 520. My wife tracks me along whatever route I take that day for my safety and her peace of mind. Was it functional on the Edge 820?
    C’mon Garmin, it’s been weeks since it worked, get it fixed!

    • I haven’t tried a Live Tracking session yet, it’s on my to-do list.

    • Carl J Licari

      Thanks for the quick reply.
      I’ll be very interested to hear. …and Garmin has admitted knowledge of this issue and said engineers are working on it.

    • Iker

      Always ride with LifeTrack on (best half’s requisite) and no problems whatsoever, it was broken by Garmin connect updates a few times last year but rock-solid for a few months already. I recommend that you update and troubleshoot / get support.

    • Carl J Licari

      Software and firmware is current. Garmin told me last week they know there is a problem and they’re working on it. Yours is working fine? Can you tell me what FW and SW versions you have loaded?
      Thx Carl

    • Chris S

      I have big problems with live tracking as well. I use it on every ride at my wife’s request but very often, sometimes several rides in a row it doesn’t function at all or stops working mid way through.

      At this point she understands that the feature is crap, but it was quite worrying for her the first few times.

      I assume that since garmin has pumped out a new device I’m not going to see any stability improvements via firmware updates down the road.

      I think garmin makes great hardware, and they’re the clear cycling computer leader but I’m determined to buy something else next time around.

    • Carl J Licari

      It’s very frustrating because it has worked so well in the past. I agree, if this isn’t straightened out very soon I’ll be done with Garmin as well.

    • Andrew

      Interesting you mention that. I have a forerunner 620 and found that live tracking also doesn’t seem to work lately either. The link sent to recipients doesn’t work until after I finish the workout. For me the only change to happen recently is updating the Garmin Connect app on my phone. (Forerunner 620 firmware hasn’t updated in a while).

    • Have you all complained to garmin support? If they don’t know lots of users are having problems they won’t know they need tto fix it

    • Carl J Licari

      Not only have I complained, Garmin support is on my email list in LiveTrack that sees every ride and just well it is NOT working.

    • I’m pretty sure someone sending them a live track invite would just get ignored. You have to actually go through normal support line (their phone number or the web form)

    • klaus

      Live Tracking with iOS is not working since some weeks.

      link to forums.garmin.com

    • richard

      yes the live tracking got worse over the past two months coinciding with a whole raft of software up dates and now i have not been able to make it work for bout 3 weeks despite reinstalling the app and double checking all my garmin 520 setting and repairing with the iPhone

    • Matthew

      I have an 800, and my wife tracks me using Find My Friend. So when I upgrade to the 820, what would be the benefit of having her use Live Tracking in place of Find My Friend?

    • Brian Harris

      I’ve had a 520 for a bit over 2 months and never gotten a live tracking session to work until this past Saturday.

      I have reached out to Garmin several weeks ago and was also given the ‘known’ issue response. When I didn’t work again Friday I replied back to see if they have an ETA. I saw an update to Garmin Connect Mobile over the weekend, and my Saturday session seemed to work (at least at the end of the ride it presented a track that looked like what I had done, instead of the typical ‘signal lost, reconnecting’ error).

      So maybe they did get it working…

  49. Daniel

    Out of interest, would you replace an 810 with this? Im tempted but can you start a ride and then halfway through a ride start a workout?

    Not being able to do this is my biggest bugbear with the 810.

    • Thomas Wylie

      Why don’t you just create a workout where the first segment is an “until lap button press one”? That was you can ride as much as you like and then just press the lap button to start your workout?

    • Thomas Wylie

      Sorry that should be *is an “until lap button press” one?*

  50. Doug Curtis

    I’m wondering if there are technical or hardware reasons that some of the features of the 820 couldn’t eventually come to the 520 or is it a marketing reason? I know the user interface can’t change due to the touch screen verses buttons, but group tracking, stress score and battery saver might be possible/desirable.

  51. Kioseus Znook

    Ray, any chance of a Connect activity to have a look at? Cheers.

  52. Battery Life? I love my Edge 1000, but get crappy battery life. Even with all the power saving items dealt with, I only get 12.5 hours. That is with wifi off, BT off, GPS without glonass, dim screen, no mapping etc. I still only get 12.5 hours.

    Can I expect more battery life than that on 520. 1000 advertises 15 but that is certainly Not correct in my case.

    And, I have tested this battery life many many times and I frequently do very long rides up to 24 hours.

    • I haven’t had a chance to test the battery life. Will do once I’ve validated I have a ‘final’ unit.

    • Ian s

      I think to be fair to garmin a 12.5 HR battery life probably meets 98% of the use cases. I’ve done one longer ride in the last 12 months where I just plugged a sub battery pack in at the lunch stop and it gave more more than enough charge to see the day through. To get a bigger battery life than that they would need to increase the unit size which would be disadvantageous to the vast majority.

    • I agree 12.5 hours would be great but with everything off can make the device less then useful. At a minimum the screen needs to be readable(so possibly backlight must be on), and be doing navigation (I know on the 810 having the device in map view kills the battery much faster).

      If you don’t want navigation why get the 820? So testing should be done with all functionality working to see what is the longest ride I can do without caring about the battery and limiting the functionality available to me.

    • odrion

      While testing battery life, please check if unit can be charged (eg from powerbank) during recording trip. This can be solution for longer trips.
      Some Garmin units couldn’t do that. Only charging up while track was on pause.

    • Derkk von Moock

      Ray, I dont know if you read comments to old ones. But do you know if there is the ability to charge the 820 while working like the 800. It means is there place to put the USB cable while beeing mounted on the front out stem? Does it work while beeing charged?

    • Yup, you can use a USB power source and ride/charge concurrently.

    • Changren Y.

      The Garmin Out Front mount that comes with the Edge 820 allows the micro USB port to be accessible. If you are planning on using other type of mounts, you may want to check for clearance. These are the third party mounts that i think will not allow you to charge the 820:
      – K-Edge Fixed Garmin Stem Mount
      – K-Edge Adjustable Garmin Stem Mount
      – Bar Fly Direct MINI stem mount
      – Bar Fly Direct MAX stem mount

  53. Wojciech

    Please do check what type of GPS chip is used in 820. Is it same as in 520 – MTK3333?

  54. Gabe

    Well the leaks were real – so How is the smaller screen size for navigation compared to the 810?

    i’m using the 1000 now and it’s rather large. I would like to downsize to the 820.

  55. Keith Wakeham

    Love to see a section on screen viewability. The colour screens used in a lot of these devices tend to be really poor from my experience. Dissappointed with every colour Garmin product. The old b/w stuff was infinity better to see in bright conditions but lacked resolution and good mapping wasn’t possible due to lack of res and colour . The 520 was a marginal improvement over 510 due to the lack of plastic resistive digitizer but initially made the 520 feel like a downgrade. Sounds like guts of a 1000 in a 520 + digitizer.

    Turning on the back light helps but kills the battery very quickly.

    Everything used to be transflective in the 90s. And now only speciality screens are. Early iphones were transflective and offered very good daylight viewability compared to a lot of the sports devices.

  56. Matthew

    Hi Ray – Fantastic review, or pre-review.

    I Have a question on maps, Owning an 800 then an 810, I have purchased before the Garmin OS Maps

    link to buy.garmin.com

    These maps live on an SD card I plug in for Mountain biking. I am pretty super sure the map files are locked to the SD card, is there a way to put these maps on, (Obviously legally) or do I have to purchase a digital download version again?

    I guess a second follow up question thinking about it, is would these maps be compatible with this device?

    Many Thanks

    • I think if you call Garmin they can do some sort of move between devices. I vaguely remember doing that for some maps a summer or two ago that I bought.

      The maps would be compatible in theory. Also, failing that you can see if what you want is available for free via the usual free maps option: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Matthew

      Thank you very much for your reply.

    • Steven Down

      I corresponded with Garmin over transferring OS maps from the 800 to the 820 and had this response:

      “Unfortunately as the Edge 820 has no micro SD card slot you cannot use these maps with that device. Due to copyright reasons we are also unable to perform a transfer of the maps.”

      That pushes the price of the unit up by £200!

      I’ll keep on nursing my 800 along…

  57. Jean-Christophe

    Dear Ray. Thanks for the review. Could you maybe describe the difference in mapping/routing functionalities between a 810 and the new 820? Thank you in advance.

  58. Steven Down

    Hi Ray,

    I have two queries about the unit.

    1) My current 800 shipped in the UK with a micro SD card with Ordnance Survey mapping. DO you know if I will be able to get that on the 820 without paying for a new licence?

    2) My 800 and my Stages power meter don’t like to keep in constant contact. The thought of a bluetooth phone connection added to the mix makes me wonder if they’ll fall out for good? It would be great if you could test for that when you give the unit the full shakedown.

    Many Thanks

  59. Martin

    Hi have you noticed any gradient reading lag on the 820? On the 520 i tried it was way behind the actual slope i was riding. The old 705 i had seemed pretty accurate as did the 1000 i tried for a bit. Read a few comments on other sites about the 520 lag though, and if its similar innards in the 820 i wondered if it had the same lag.

  60. Niels

    What about openstreetmap?
    Is it possible to transfer these maps to the internal storage and get them to work?

  61. Daniel

    Hi Ray, Is it possible to load OpenStreetMap generated map onto the 820 ?.

  62. Is the phone notification support on the Edge 820 similar to the Edge 520’s where it’s only TXT and calls, or more like the recent Garmin watches where you can configure which app notifications are displayed on it in the Garmin Connect Mobile app?

  63. Karim

    Hi Ray
    Love you’re blog. 2 questions:
    1. Do you know or have a link to preorder the garmin 820 from REI? I know you had a relationship with REIbefore but stuff in the past; and
    2. So recently I was riding in rural PA and was involved in a hit and run…there was no cell service so is it safe to assume that my wife would not have been notified?

    Thanks. This new device is exactly what I am looking for…form factor and feature set.

    • Thanks Karim!

      1) Yup – REI link here: link to dcra.in

      2) Correct, in that case it wouldn’t have worked. Now what would have been interesting is whether or not it would have queued the message upon reaching service (i.e. in an ambulance). The text message to The Girl came from ‘Garmin’, and not from me. Meaning it was routed through a service by the looks of it, which means there may be some sort of store/forward going on.

      Thanks for the support!

    • JoshR

      The REI link says “This product is no longer available.” ???

    • Weird, totally gone. Historically speaking if REI can’t fulfill an item within 30 days, they’ll pull listings/orders. That may be the case here.

    • Bart

      The link was up for just a short time I was able to pre order but today I received a cancellation order. I called the customer care line and this was the reason they gave, Garmin missed the date that the units were to arrive so REI in turn cancelled their order with Garmin and took the link off the web site and cancelled all of the pre orders. I was told it might go back on the web site August 16th sounds like REI is tired at looking bad because of missed ship dates. I could tell from the call there is tension between Garmin and REI.

    • karim

      The other interesting thing is that the website lists the 820 Bundle and the Explorer version of the 820 but NOT the stand alone regular 820 unit?? Granted it says they are out of stock and will ship within 30 vs “This product is no longer available.”

  64. Tim

    Any changes to strava live segments? Still have the 100 segment limit?

    • Jeremy

      I’d also like to know the same. Garmin’s said they basically pulled the 100 number out of a hat as being reasonable, without taking up too much memory. With the 16GB on the 820, this seemingly shouldn’t be a consideration anymore. Hopefully Garmin will remove this arbitrary limit.

  65. Eli Selzer

    A quick question regarding routing/TBT as I try to decide if I need a true cycling computer. I’ve been using my 920xt with quick release as my computer for a while now and it largely suits my needs. However, I recently took place in a large city ride where I was provided a route/cue sheet via RideWithGps. I converted this course to a FIT file using an online tool I have tested in the past and loaded this file on to the 920. Despite taking a small eternity to load before the start of the ride, everything started out working fine. I got turn-by-turn notices accurately and consistently for the first 5 miles. At that point, I got an off course warning (I was on a river bike path, no way to be off course without going for a swim) and all hell broke loose. The course suddenly started cycling through all of the turns/points in rapid succession until it reached the end. I suspect this was a result of it being an out-and-back course, but with the magnetic compass and directional awareness, I still feel like it shouldn’t have happened. At the end of the day, I my 920 had crashed, lost all ride data, and I had to do a full system reset to get it working again.

    My question is whether a cycling computer with routing would actually correct issues like this, or whether it is something inherent in the course/GPS tracking? Or I guess if anyone has encountered anything similar or has any suggestions, it would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Paul S.

      RideWithGPS is a kludge. It enables devices that aren’t map based navigation devices, like you’re 920xt, to pretend that they are.

      The 820, like the 705, 800, 810, 1000, and Touring, are full cycling navigation devices. You can put routable maps on them and they understand the maps. All by themselves, without the help of something like RideWithGPS, they can navigate roads and give you turn-by-turn directions. HOWEVER… these are Garmin devices. Garmin only really cares about navigating a car from point A to point B. They do that very well (I own two Nuvis and my Honda Pilot has a built in Garmin GPS). But cyclists typically regularly do things like start and end a route at the same point, have loops in the middle of a course, have out and back segments, etc. These they don’t handle as well. The fundamental problem is that they (to varying degrees) become confused as to which way you’re going on the out and back or loop segments. So one typical problem is that you start navigating too near the start point and the thing decides that you’ve finished the route when you’ve barely started because start and end are the same, and from them on will desperately try to make you U-turn or do a short loop back the way you came. This Garmin has never really figured out, and it’s never seemed to me that they want to. I’ve owned a 705 and currently use an 800 (and judging from what I’ve read, the 800 is the closest thing to a perfect cycling navigation device that Garmin has ever produced; the later ones have more problems), and they both have their navigation quirks, which you need to understand to use them effectively.

      But, unlike you’re 920xt, the 820 can show actual maps, and if you use the UI to have you taken to the nearest Starbucks, it will do that very well, routing you along roads in the shortest distance. Your scenario of an out-and-back, however may not work so well. (Typically what you’d do in that instance is to set up a route to take you to the end point, and then when you get there reverse the route and follow it back as a separate navigation step.)

    • Peter

      RideWithGPS is fine, you can place custom course cues where you want them with the text you want, not only at turns. It will also do a fine job of routing trails with it’s trail layers and has an excellent Mobile app with offline maps, Airplane mode is good. It is the Course FIT file creation that needs some care, CourseTCX2FIT and RTWtool will do a nice job of creating a reliable course for your Garmin’s NewFiles folder. Out-and-back is no problem, the cues do not depend on an underlaying map, the shape of the course or compass direction. You don’t have this level of control over cues when relying on the routing function of a cycling computer. What you get is what the computer thinks you should have, that could be Tour de Garmin.
      I have found the extra resolution of the 520 (same as 820) isn’t any more readable than the 510 once on the bike.

  66. zach

    Why don’t units like these support Bluetooth Smart sensors? I just bought a wahoo speed sensor and cadence use them with a Garmin bike cpu once I have the extra cash for the purchase. Now I have to sell the Wahoo sensors in order to get ANt+ sensors?

    Is there a work-around that’s worth it? Or just get new sensors when I’m ready for the cpu?

    • roger

      Zach your wahoo sensors also broadcast ant+ so not to worry, I also still like my new elemnt…r

    • Moshe C

      roger that roger

    • wojciech

      AFAIK, Wahoo speed/cadence sensors use dual radio technology BT nad ANT+ at the same time. No need to worry here. I use wahoo blue sc spd+cad and tickr sensors successfully with edge 520. No issues there.

    • OC

      Current Wahoo BlueSC sensors are indeed BT and ANT+ but previous generation with exact same name were BT only. Not sure how long ago Wahoo upgraded the BlueSC. When I started tracking rides with my fenix 3 instead of my iPhone I had to buy the newer BlueSC. Wahoo did give me a 20% discount when I told them why I was buying the “same” product again.

  67. Garminero

    Don’t worry, LiveTrack will not work and will fail as usual… it’s almost a month that IOS users cannot use it because it stops about 15min. after starting (or it’s not starting at all).
    They will fix it soon (they told it about two weeks ago) and on next random update will break it again as it happened in the past.

    It’s a completely SHAME, Garmin.

    • klaus

      You are so right.

      Garmin is great in breaking features with Device and App Updates.

    • richard

      I thought it was just me Garmin do not seem to want to address the issue (to busy adding extra features ) to worry about whether the updates are causing other stuff to crash. i think it is such a good feature as you say SHAME Garmin

    • Mike

      Hi Garminero,
      So Garmin devices in general work better with Android than with IOS?
      If so which smart phone around 300€ is ideal to connect with the 820?

    • I wouldn’t say that (and in fact, historically the opposite’s been true). I think the issue here is more just for whatever reason Garmin broke a release of the app. Would be interesting to see if yesterday’s iOS update fixed things.

    • Mike Louvranos

      Hi Ray
      Thanks for the one more time great review!
      How soon are you going to make the in depth review?

      P.S as soon as possible pleeeeeease!

    • My guess is mid-August, maybe sooner. I need to get a final-final unit, to resolve the odd ‘Calculating Route’ issues I’m having (it takes almost longer to calculate the route than to ride it). But in the meantime, I’ll be using it for testing everything else.

      Folks following along on Twitter today may see me live broadcast/track my afternoon ride in the next hour or two. link to twitter.com

    • Recently new connect IQ functionality came to android first

    • For those curious – it seemed that the Edge 820 did Live Track my ~70min ride today just fine (using iOS with the latest version of the app). You can see that Live Track session here, for another 15 hours or so till it expires: link to twitter.com

  68. Neil Glessner

    You mention “phone-based audio prompts (like Garmin wearables)” Which wearables have this? I don’t see any options for audio prompts on my VivoActive HR

    • If you go on your Garmin Connect Mobile app:

      Garmin Devices > Your Watch > Device Settings > Audio Prompts

      I don’t remember off-hand wither the Vivoactive has it, but most running watches since last fall do.

    • Neil Glessner

      Bummer, doesn’t appear that the Vivoactive HR has this. Fingers crossed for a firmware update I guess…

  69. Jeff

    Does the 820 show phone call and text message notification like the Fenix 3?

  70. randy

    Can you opt for Open Street Maps even though there is no micro SD slot?

  71. Carl Philip

    Battery life with power meter would also be interesting!

  72. C. Robinson

    Argh! I had no idea this was on the way; I finally caved an bought a 1000 just over a month ago. This looks like exactly what I wanted – full maps, GLONASS & GPS, and all in a small form factor. 🙁

  73. Moshe C

    It appears garmin connect app/service is slowly being moved away from as strava is taking over.
    I’m wondering if strava will make an app that allows your location to go through the 820 for group riding, like live locations on their phone app?
    Also will garmin put out an update for the 810 for connect iq or the like (meaning ability to add apps to the device)?

  74. richard

    well i wish garmin good luck with the group track which i presume relies on Live tracking which has steadily become terrible and for the last month i cannot get it to work at all and i’m seeing other people saying the same thing, this is with a 520 unit bought less than year ago, everything else works fine and i was having about 90% success rate with my live tracking, i should add i live in the south of the uk so signal is usually ok. I have tried everything i can think of from reinstalling the app.and double checking all the settings on the garmin. There have recently been a lot of updates i suspect somewhere along the way a glitch has been caused. Such a shame as for people who ride alone this is great as your partner can always check on your position. Perhaps strava could develope something similar(without the glitches)

  75. Karim

    thanks for clarifying that there is 16gb of storage—thats great news…curious if you could ask your friends in Kansas if it is the same processor cpu as the 520/1000…i would hope that it was updates as that tech moves and matures very quickly… a few extra gigahertz would help, my current garmin lags on up coming turns and directions (or it seems to struggle)…


  76. JM

    Can you control your smart trainer from it – can I ride previously ridden routes on my trainer?

    • Gabe

      i dont get how this works.. So on the garmin edge 1000 – i select the power # i want – shouldn’t the device make the trainer pedal at the target power #? Sort of how Trainer Road works with smart trainers.

      I have a vortex smart btw – it works – changing resistance, workout plans, follow previous activities, etc.

    • (Reminding me that I need to put together a post on how FE-C works…)

      There’s different modes with it, but in a nutshell you’ve got:

      A) Follow a course (like Kinomap, except from your Garmin)
      B) Set a given wattage level (i.e. 300w)
      C) Set a given resistance level (non-wattage based)


    • Gabe

      So i tried this again. I set the wattage but the resistance didnt go up.

      does the trainer max out at the “targeted wattage?”

      i prefer the Trainer Road method where it changes the resistance to match the targeted power.

    • Hmm, if you set 500w (for example), the trainer will hold 500w. If you try and go above that, then it’ll basically pull you back to 500w. It may briefly allow you to sprint beyond that wattage threshold, merely because the trainer doesn’t perfectly keep up with shifts.

      I often use the Edge control of my FE-C trainers to do interval workouts.

    • Gabe

      This power value doesnt seem to be working for me on the edge 1000 nor the edge 820.

      Would you be able to test it on the tacx vortex smart?

      Also i’m getting cadence drop outs every now on then on my edge 820.

      So far i do like the edge 820 over the 810. WHen it works it just works faster.

      I hope people aren’t expecting a massive upgrade. this is a very incremental bump over the old 810.

    • I can test it when I get back at the end of the weekend.

      I actually did test that mode yesterday on a few other trainers for my FE-C piece. I tried it on some unreleased stuff and it worked without issue (using both an Edge 820 and 1000).

      But I can validate with the Vortex Smart when I return.

  77. pawel/sport/tourist

    Still map+ only 2 squares of data ( for ex. power + pulse) .???

    ( Don’t understand why old Garmins like Etrex 30 ,Dacota… have map+4 squares and every new Edge unit only 2 )

    From my point of view it disqualify Edge .

  78. Jim


    Since most of the improvements in the 820 appear to be software, will it be possible to upgrade the current 810 to 820? If so how and will there be a charge?

    • Garmin hasn’t really offered any hardware upgrade programs unfortunately.

      And I wouldn’t expect any further software updates on the Edge 810, aside from the odd bug fix or extension for other Garmin hardware (i.e. lights like we saw).

    • Jim

      Thanks for the reply.
      BTW I invested in the Garmin Varia. Can’t say enough good things about it. Improves awareness and safety especially in city traffic and country single lane road descents. Real good addition to make cycling safer and more enjoyable. Thanks Garmin.

    • Even if you assumed it was easy for Garmin to just update the software on the 810 to gain the functionality of the 820 it still wouldn’t really work. The hardware cpu/ram of the 810 is much older and slower so couldn’t really run the new code as the cpu couldn’t keep up and it would run out of memory. Plus the screen size is different and the code is hard set to that screen size. Cell phones can deal with all of that by having way more abstraction in the applications which makes it easier to write apps that run on lots of different devices but also adds way more overhead which means much worse battery life.

  79. Brad

    Thanks for the great review, Ray. How did you find the operation of the touch screen? I had a 510 but never found the touch screen to work very well and was happy to go back to buttons on the 520. Is the 820 touch screen more responsive and accurate than the 510’s?

    The one thing I wish Garmin would add like Wahoo is the ability to configure from my smart phone. It’s very tedious to set up from the unit itself.

    • It worked well for me. About the only area that was finicky was trying to type in an actual address for navigation. Perhaps my fingers are just too fat…or French street names are too long.

      But I suppose I do that once in a blue moon.

  80. Neal

    Will there ever be a Garmin Connect IQ app for Pandora? If I could control Pandora through the Garmin – volume, station, skips that would seal the deal for me to finally upgrade my computer.

  81. Stef

    Are we going to be able to upload a map of Europe if we already have the North American map into the Garmin 820?

    I heard that we will have to purchase the maps from Garmin?

    Thank you

  82. Dannybuoy

    Seriously though. When are Garmin going to invest a bit of money in to some decent UX and UI design. Their interfaces are so behind the curve. My Edge 810 drives me mad. I had scientific calculators back in the 90s with more panache than Garmins.

    • Paul S.

      What they really need with small devices is voice control, but that may be asking too much from Garmin.

    • Jean-Christophe

      What’s the most surprising is that they don’t have a clear line on this. None of their model has the same UI, We could have expected that the 820 would share some UI with the 520, but it appears that they moved back to something close to the “old” touring units. Every time you change to a different device, you have to search for your usual options.

  83. ZachE1

    Can you Bluetooth “pair” a phone to both the Garmin and to a wireless headphone at the same time? My understanding is that Bluetooth allows only one pairing at a time.

  84. ben

    Has Clever Training sold out of their allotment already? I see the delivery date for a “base unit” as mid-to-late-August.

    I would love to know about battery life vs Edge 510, 520. I’ll probably upgrade from a 510 just for the maps, though.

    • Indeed unfortunately (for the Friday deliveries). About 2 hours or so ago now I think.

      They’ve put in a ‘safe’ date for further until they can either wrangle other units out of Garmin or get clarity on the next shipment.

  85. Heiko

    i guess the screen resolution is exactly the same as 520? And i hope that the touchscreen layer does not decrease readability/contrast significantly. Ray, can you confirm that?

  86. James

    Ray, thanks for the mini-review. Since you have a direct line to Garmin, will you please ask them the status of the LiveTrack fix? Everyone (incl. myself) has reported it is no longer working since the latest firmware update. I’ve received an email that they are working to solve the issue, but it’s been months! I would want some assurance it will be fixed before I purchase the 820. Thanks!

  87. Frank

    Hi Ray,

    Many thanks from Ottawa, Canada for this other great review. Greatly appreciated as always. I have been looking for a while to upgrade my Edge 500 with the 810. Not really interested in the 1000 because of its gigantic size. I did not made the move since I wanted to wait (until today) for Garmin to confirm rumors on the release of the 820 and see the upgrades.

    Here is my question. No info has been release today by Garmin about the price/availibility date of the 820 for the small canadian market. Online web sites and some LBS have however started offering good discounts on the Edge 810 (stand alone device and bundle box).

    Usually, I wait for the latest product for the upgrades and new features. Espacially because of the already included full map functions that are way ahead in the case of the 820 if you ask me. I also like the new training features but the 810 would have most of what I am looking for.

    In this regard, is it worth to wait for the 820 or just go with the discounted 810 and upgrade its mapping functions with Open Street Map as you suggested in the past?

    Again, many thanks! 🙂

    • I personally wouldn’t buy an Edge 810 as a long-term item at this point, just too much potential on the 520/820/1000 platforms in terms of app development.

      It’s one thing if you got an incredible deal on it and were treating it as a stop-gap, but otherwise, I’d focus my money elsewhere.

    • Remy Wetherup

      gpscity.ca has the 820 available for preorder

    • Frank

      Thanks for the info. Greatly appreciated! 🙂

  88. Brad

    Hi Ray, great initial thoughts. Any word on battery life? I have a 520 (moved from a 510) and the battery life isn’t great (around 10 hours with BT off/ 10% screen brightness and 4 ant+ sensors connected / power/radar/speed and heart rate) the 510 was much better (around 15 hours) I presume with more features and routing they would have put a bigger battery in this device??

  89. Omar


    One question I have is how is the usability of the buttons with the unit mounted to an “out-front” mount that is not an official Garmin one (K-edge, Barfly, Fizik, etc). I use the Lap button quite a bit when doing hill repeats as well as long flat segments. Having the Start/Stop and Lap buttons on my current 810 seems ideal since I use a Barfly out-front mount. it appears that switching to the 820 (or 520) could result in reduced functionality in reaching those buttons easily. What has been your experience with this? Is there enough room between the bottom of the device and the stem/handlebar to be able to push those buttons? (especially after finishing a zone 4 climbing effort or a zone 5 flat section).

  90. Jeff C

    Just purchased one through Clever Training. Where can I get a silicone protector for it? Maybe use the one for the 520?

  91. Malcolm


    Currently using an Edge 800, with the prior style Garmin speed/cadence sensors. Will they work with the 820?


  92. Scott

    Is there an improvement in bluetooth connectivity?
    Personally across two 810’s and three phones (2 x iphone 4s’s & 5c) the connection is highly unstable dropping in and out constantly. Yes, I’m at the point now where I have it off to remove the annoying notifications. Live track became useless and syncing the rides takes a couple of go’s due to disconnects mid sync.

  93. Terry

    Ray, how did you find moving back to touch screen after using the 520? I quickly got used to the 520 over the 510 and not sure I could or would switch back although auto route calc would be nice and I like my new gadgets!

  94. Allan

    Ordered an Edge 820 today, then canceled the order after I made an interesting discovery…

    The new Garmin Oregon 700 for “Hiking” looks like it’s actually going to better fit my needs for cross-country cycle touring. It’s surprisingly complete, housed in a compact/rugged package that’s compatible with AA batteries, has the display size of the Edge 1000, and even has Connect IQ.

    Haven’t seen one in the wild yet — but looking at the manual, I see automatic Activity uploads to Garmin connect, Auto-laps, heart rate training zones, calorie counts, etc. The available data fields appear to include most of the fitness-related choices, and I think I noticed round-trip routing in a German You Tube video.

    No power meter, Varia, workouts, or FE-C support unfortunately. But I do like knowing I can wander off and find a Geocache during a rest stop on a multi-day tour…


    • Peter

      The Oregon specs do look good, could be just what I need too, thanks for the post.

    • Patrick Utrecht

      Oregon 700 can be great as well. You can customize a lot on it, but you probably will lack a lot of the advanced sport features. I’m still cycling with the Oregon 600 but it will not allow my wahoo cadence sensor to pair. Maybe this won’t be an issue for the 700, I’ll have to try that out once it’s available.

      So yeah if you prefer a more all-round model, dont mind the extra weight and the loss of workouts / power meter you get a great device. In fact the only real new thing over the 600 is the auto-routing – round-trip option and Connect IQ. So I’m gonna have to think long and hard which it’s gonna be for me, the 1000, the 820, or the oregon 700.

  95. Troy


    In addition

    Interesting. You can also add a HR sensor and Cadence sensor if needed. If I remember from reading before

    Just not sure about a speed sensor. Speed calculated from GPS

    Still, very nice option though. Humm??

  96. Cindi West

    I have the 810, in a nutshell what would I get with the 820 that is significantly different?

  97. Nic Zuraw

    Good article, but hard to read with the new blog style post. The text is strung out in long one liners with tiny photos interjected. I had to shrink the browser window to read it properly

  98. Kirk Chen

    How many data fields are supported while in the Map screen? I’m thinking I’d like to display cadence and speed while using the map. Thanks for your excellent reviews!

  99. Matt Haigh

    I’m struggling to justify junking my 800 for any of these *10/*20 models.
    The size doesn’t bother me, the phone connectivity/live segments aren’t critical for me.
    I already get all the data I need for in-ride and post-ride analysis.
    Battery life of the 800 at about 8hrs covers all the rides I’m likely to do.

    • likepend1

      I’m in the same boat. Find it hard to spend 400$ on a features i barely use (since the Edge 800 is still going strong. Never had a single problem over the years).

    • Rob

      I have to say, the 810 is a lot nicer to use than the 800. Especially the auto-sync over Bluetooth.

  100. pavlinux

    Edge 820 support: HRV-recording, ANT+ weight scales (like a Tanita BC-1000)

  101. Erik

    Wo would the route finding option create the same routes garmin connect would? Because that tried to send me over gravel roads several times and sometimes even throws some stairs in there. As there is not option to only want to ride on streets in garmin connect I just fear that I would pay 100 dollar for an option that I would really like to have but would be far from optimal.

    • Paul S.

      That all depends on the maps that Garmin Connect uses, and I doubt they’re the same as the ones they put on their devices. If you use Garmin BaseCamp on a computer to create routes, you can ensure that you’re using the same maps as the ones on the device (the simplest way is to simply plug the device in and select its maps). Then the route that is constructed in BaseCamp, including avoidances (no gravel roads, etc.) should be the same as the one the device would calculate on it’s own.

  102. Frank

    Great preview. If you had a choice of the Edge 1000 or Edge 820 for the same price of $400, which would you choose? Which would be the better value?

    Seems one gets bigger screen and expandable memory with the 1000, but the 820 has crash detection, emergency messaging, and audio thru a phone.

    • Personally I’ll go with the smaller sized Edge 820, purely because of the size. Plus, with 14GB of internal space, there’s more than you could ever really use for maps.

  103. Pete C

    Hi Ray, great review as normal. I have a question regarding Strava live segments. On the 810 I can see all of the live active segments displayed on my map all of the time, on the 520 I cannot, I have to search and show them on the map individually. Does the 820 display the live segments on the map like the 810?

  104. Yancey Arrington

    Still no support for recording PM calibration values within the ride file??

  105. Scott E

    Question, is the audible TBT cues louder than that of the 1000?

    Subjective feedback would be great as it would be too much effort to scientifically test.

    Dang 1000 gets drowned out just by road noise.

  106. Markus

    Nice preview!

    This unit might replace my Edge 800 which has problems with elevation accuracy on rainy days. Riding up some hills, the 800 then shows a negative angle of inclination and other funny things.

    I wonder if the 820 has these problems, too…..

    So I hope you have some opportunities to test the 820 in the rain until before writing your in-depth review. 🙂

  107. xander

    Sigh, still consistently avoiding Bluetooth smart support for hrm & power meters… When are they ever going to learn?

    • Why should they support BLE when almost everyone has ANT+ devices and they own ANT+? Thats like complaining that Apple still isn’t supporting Android

    • Steve

      Agreed. Plus, I think BT is rubbish for sport sensor purposes. I love that during races I can have both my tri watch, and a bike computer, picking up my ant+ sensor data. Completely impossible with BT due to the one device restriction on BT sensors.

    • While I’d love to see Garmin support dual sensor types, these days virtually all sensors are dual anyway.

      In fact, aside from Polar’s power meter – there’s no BLE-only power meter that I’m aware. Everything is dual. Heck, and even Polar’s partner (Look) gave up and started making their own dual ANT+/BLE power meter.

    • Alexey Goloviznin

      Unfortunately or hopefully Power2Max, Rotor power, older Quark is not BT enabled:-(

      And as Powermeter is very expensive tool and not changed frequently – ANT+ is a must…

  108. Axel

    Zooming in/out while in map screen is the only thing that annoys me on the 520…too many buttons need to be pressed…and no indication that Garmin will improve this through a FW update…(although it would be really simple: long pressing the up/down buttons toggles them into zoom in/out).

    So how is map zoom implemented in the new 820?


  109. Norman

    Awesome gadget! Bought it two months ago and I’m still obsessed with it.

  110. John

    Ray, I’ve been reading the 820 manual while I wait for my CT pre-order, and it seems to imply that a speed sensor takes priority over GPS for speed/distance recording:

    “About the Speed and Cadence Sensors

    Cadence data from the cadence sensor is always recorded. If no speed and cadence sensors are paired with the device, GPS data is used to calculate the speed and distance.

    Can that be right? I thought it was the other way around on the 520? Modern GPS has to be more accurate than wheel revolutions x estimated wheel circumstance…

    • Yup, that’s correct. All Garmin devices work that way. The application is more towards mountain biking than road cycling, where switchbacks and such make it such that often times wheel-speed (which is basically perfect) is better than GPS speed/distance.

    • Mike Robinson

      Wahoo ELEMNT is the same – speed sensors take precedence over GPS.

      A properly calibrated speed sensor is more accurate than GPS. Take a look at how a GPS route can wander all over the place when in an area with restricted line-of-sight such as a city with tall buildings or a road with tree cover.

    • John

      Thanks, Ray. Turns out I didn’t realize that I had my 520 set to automatically calculate wheel circumference. Will that pick up changes in real time? I have a gravel bike that takes both 700c as well as fatter 650b wheels, will the 820 setting pick up that change without user intervention?

    • Are you swapping the speed sensor between bikes?

      I’ve never quite tried that, since my bikes are all road/tri with the same wheels.

    • Paul S.

      If you are using the same sensor for the two wheels, you’ll probably be unhappy with the result. Just go out and buy a separate sensor for both the 700c and 650c wheel. There’s no way for it to know that you’ve swapped wheels unless there’s a different sensor until you’ve travelled enough for it to notice a discrepancy, and I doubt it’s actually looking. Recalibration on my 800 seems to be completely random, and there’s no “recalibrate” button to hit on either that or my Epix.

      Generally I’ve found it best to keep manual control of the wheel size, just to prevent weirdness when the device I’m using randomly decides to recalibrate and gets it wrong, as it will every now and then.

    • Glen

      Are you referring to swapping the swapping the wheel sensor from bike to bike? I’ve done that for 2 years now between mtb, gravel bike, and road bike on my old 510. That’s why I have all 3 bike profiles loaded on my Garmin, and simply pick which bike I’m riding. Works awesome.

    • Paul S

      You don’t say which “my Garmin” it is, but I’m betting it’s an older model with actual bike profiles. Newer models that are sensor pool models attach the wheel size to a particular sensor rather than a particular bike. So swapping a sensor from bike to bike means it uses the wrong wheel size for all but one of the bikes (unless, of course, they all have the same wheel size).

      The sensors are cheap, and if you have multiple wheels and multiple bikes you can afford multiple sensors as well.

  111. John

    Also, on the Edge 820 product page, under Cycling Features, what do they mean by “multiple bike profiles”?

    • Dmitry V.

      Different wheel size, for use on road and mountain bike?

    • Jean-Christophe

      Yes. It also allows to have different sensors on different bikes.

    • Paul S.

      They’ve brought back bike profiles? On an 800, you select a bike profile and that selects a group of sensors that the device should pair with (if you have the wrong profile selected, it won’t pair with the wrong sensors). It keeps separate total odometers for each bike profile.

      I’m surprised that the 820 isn’t a sensor pool model, since current Garmins all seem to use sensor pools, where it pairs with whatever sensors are available at the time. My Epix is a sensor pool device.

    • No bringing back of bike profiles, simply activity profiles and the ability to assign mileage to a given sensor.

      Said differently: It’s the exact same as Edge 520/1000/etc…, it’s just that the wording got mixed up on Garmin.com.

    • Jean-Christophe

      I would like to have a bike profile linked to the equipment listed in Connect. That would automatically select the right equipment based on the activity type (MTB, Road Bike, Touring with kids…)

    • Raul

      Just ?? the wording…… Very stupid! How can a company like this have an organisation where this is possible?? When I was mr. Garmin some managers would be sacked!!!

    • I’m confused. What are you upset about?

    • Jean-Christophe

      Dear Ray,
      Is it similar as the Fenix 3 where you can give a nickname to your ANT+ devices?

    • Yup, no problem naming ANT+ devices.

    • Raul

      Not upset no, flabbergasted yes! Garmin is not exactly a small family business is it? Mistakes like this should never be made. Matter of check doublecheck. Something that’s not yet invented in China, BTW. Is pd still based in North America???

    • Sorry, I guess I’m saying I’m really not clear on what you’re talking about. What feature is broken that you’re flabbergasted about?

    • I’ve been testing my new Edge 820 with my 2 bikes. It’s a replacement for my Edge 810 The BMC TMR02 has a cadence sensor and the BMC GF02 Disc has a Cadence/speed sensor.
      I have set up an activity profile for each bike. When I swap bikes I need to swap the activity profile then swap the active cadence sensor.
      There is about a 3kg difference in the weight of the 2 bikes. There is nowhere to add the weight of the bike on the Edge 820, I wonder how this affects the calorie calculations?
      I think I prefer the ease of the 810 where you could select the bike then select race or train activity screens. Now I need to have 4 activity profiles (train and race for 2 bikes) then select the sensors.
      The separate profiles have their own odometer.

  112. Alexey Goloviznin

    Hi Ray,

    About Stress Score, recovery time and VO2Max:

    1) VO2Max estimation – only with powermeter?
    2) Stress and recovery – will it take into account data from other wrist device we are using for running? E.g. 235/735?

  113. flobble

    It *looks* like the device uses the same FirstBeat HRV based measurements as the Fenix3 (and others). Are you able to confirm? Having consistent metrics available on both my bike and my wrist would be quite helpful (but having different ones would be just confusing).

  114. Mark Hewitt

    The live track is all well and good but it does depend on everyone using Garmins. Could the likes of Garmin and Wahoo not get together and create a common standard to allow riders from all types of device (including phones) to appear.

    • Adam

      Considering that Garmin dominate the bike computer and wearables market by a fair margin, I’d say it’s not really in their interest to open it up. They can use a private platform as a carrot to lure people away from the competition, whereas an open-platform is essentially an open-invitation to use someone else’s products.

      The point about smartphones is valid though and I’ve thought for a couple of years now that Garmin could really benefit from rebooting their Garmin Fit app. As Strava/MapMyRide/Endomondo have shown, smartphone apps are the gateway for a lot of people into GPS sports tracking and a lot of people new to running/cycling/whatever will baulk at the idea of spending $100+ for one of Garmin’s baseline bike computers or running watches; a decent, free smartphone app would be a way of getting people into the Garmin ecosystem right from the start.

  115. Dmitry V.

    Thanks for great review!

    Well, this becomes interesting, as Edge 1000 is available on Amazon UK for the same cost, or even slightly cheaper.

    CleverTraining UK, Edge 820 – £329.99
    Amazon UK, Edge 1000 – £318.47

  116. Bruce

    Hi, great write up as always, for 15+ hour rides with the 800 I use a powermonkey but can’t use the stem mount as the port is too close to the bar. Does the 820 battery port allow for greater access with a stem mount ? Might be an issue if you hit a bump as it’s vertical plug in.

  117. Jim

    Would you recommend 820 over the 520? I recently got a power meter and want to use some of the Garmin IQ apps for training. I currently have a 510 and was thinking about the 520 until I heard about the 820 being released.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    • I’d say you’d really want to think about whether you’ll use the more advanced navigational features or not. The group track and incident response stuff is a bit of a cherry on top, but I suspect for most people it won’t be a deal breaker.

    • Hamish

      So if you just want to follow a course you’ve designed on Ride with GPS, and not actually choose your destination on the bike computer itself, is the 520 enough? Apart from limited storage for maps.

    • Paul S.

      Depends on what you want out of it. You’re riding along following your RIdeWithGPS route and you come to a “Road Closed” sign. What are you going to do? A navigation device like the 820 will be better able to help you out of a situation like that. If you don’t think that’s going to happen, then you can certainly follow RideWithGPS routes on a 520 (or a Fenix 3 or an ELEMNT) without difficulty.

      The 820 has navigation capabilities that the 520 doesn’t. Whether you’ll ever need those capabilities is a question only you can answer.

    • Alex

      Yep. And for a lot of users exception situations like road closures can be addressed using the smartphone which you’ve still got in your pocket. Once you’re back on your route you can switch back to the 520.

    • Gabe

      i had a 510 and moved to an 810.

      i liked the larger screen but most of all i really appreciated the navigation.

      I am terrible with directions. And honestly yes we have cellphones but we all know what a pain in the butt that is to use while cycling. don’t say mount it on your bars 🙂

      I like creating new routes on strava then sending them to the garmin device which will navigate me through. It helps visiting new cities too which i do with my bike.

      SO i highly recommend a navigation device over a non-nav version if you are one willing to explore new areas.

    • John

      Something else to consider if you don’t need on-device navigation, there will be a lot of used 520s on the market in short order.

    • Paul S.

      It always amazes me that people think there’s cell service everywhere.

    • Some of us are spoiled

    • John

      Paul, no, cell coverage isn’t everywhere (certainly not on many of the backroads where I ride) but there are plenty of apps with downloadable maps. Lots of options.

    • Hamish

      I’ve had an 800 since it came out in 2010, and rarely used it for that. The screen really isn’t good enough (size and resolution) to look for alternative routes easily. It’s much easier to stop and pull out my phone.

      Also I’m often riding Audax/randonneur events where I need to follow the exact course. Some of the Edge units have a hard time being told NOT to re-route me!

  118. Konrad

    Hi, seems to be a great device! Do you know if the sensors of the 520 are compatible with the 820?

  119. Michael Valcenat

    *Sigh….. I just got the 520 a week ago… And I had a tough time choosing between it and the 1000…

  120. Terry

    Second time lucky, Ray, how did you find moving back to touch screen after using the 520? I quickly got used to the 520 over the 510 and not sure I could or would switch back although auto route calc would be nice and I like my new gadgets!

    • No issues at all, feels pretty natural. But then again I’ve also been using an Edge 1000 with three Edge 520’s lately while capturing power data, so, kinda used to having to mix it up a bit.

    • Ric Liang

      Ray, in the winter, with gloves on, I suspect using the touch screen would be a problem(?). Also I occasionally run with my 520 in my pocket and HRM strapped on. Would the touch screen get “pressed” constantly in my pocket and have different settings activated or worse the device paused or stopped? I’m thinking like pocket-dialing your smartphone.

    • Stephane L.

      Right now, it doesn’t seems to have a “locl screen” option. But, it will certainly be added soon…


    • Stephane

      In fact, i find how to lock screen.
      When you start an activities, long press on power button allow you to lock the touch screen witch is very good and i’m please with.


    • John

      This device does not work with gloves. I just got off a ride while using winter gloves, and they were useless. My 520 worked 1,000 times better.

    • Eli

      link to youtu.be

      But that was without using the increased sensitivity setting

  121. Paul

    Hi Ray,

    Does this 820 have the cycling dynamics visualizations that the 1000 has for the Vector pedals? I’m referring to the circles and other graphics for torque, effectiveness, etc.


  122. Paul

    Hi Ray,
    Great review. Can’t wait to get my hands on one.
    I have some OS map files on a memory card, do you know if I could place these on the internal memory and use these instead of the Garmin maps?

  123. Lewis

    How does the touch screen on the 820 compare with the 510? Is it the same? I actually quite like the button controls of the 520

  124. Robert Conn

    Hi Ray

    Love your reviews. One question – given the loss of the SD slot can I still use my Garmin Discoverer detailed ordinance survey maps if I copy them onto the device? They’re tied to the specific Garmin SD card they were provided on.


  125. funkright

    I waffled, but bought one. Why not. The iPhone was just to big 🙂

    • funkright

      Though it has yet to arrive I am happy to have bought it. Went on a 125 minute ride today with almost a full iPhone and arrived home with 3% left. Only using Wahoo app with BlueSC and Polar HRM strap. Garmin should be considerably better and have TBT navigation ?

  126. Karl

    You need sensors and such for vo2 max?

  127. Panggu

    Can the Edge 820 notify me when there are Pokemon nearby?

    • Sean Ormerod

      LoL… I can see this becoming a feature given the craze though maybe instead of the group track the setting could be an alert for groups hunting Pokemon

  128. michael

    Hi Ray. Thanks for all the years of truly helpful information. Looking forward to reading the full review of the 820. I’m hoping your full review includes a comparison of the 820 with the Elemnt wrt TBT. Secondly, does the WiFi functionality give you the ability to download a ride from RideWithGPS (say out in the field just before the start of a ride)? Does it allow you to share your ride with other 820 users out in the field (say before the start of a ride)? Thanks,

    • Troy

      ” Secondly, does the WiFi functionality give you the ability to download a ride from RideWithGPS (say out in the field just before the start of a ride)?”

      I was curious on this feature as well?
      If it’s possible at all

      Wahoo E has this feature

    • Wahoo only gets you rides that are attached to your account, you can’t just search for a course. so no ability to share with others at a ride start

      The 820 and 1000 has Unit-to-unit transfer (shares data wirelessly with similar units) but don’t know if it works between 820 and 1000 or just similar units. Ray?

  129. Poul

    Also in Denmark the 820 is more expensive than the 1000. The 820 costs USD 585 and the the 1000 costs USD 535.

    Which of the two would you then recommend.

  130. Group Ride looks like a lot of fun.
    But at least here in Germany the nice routes are mostly in “Edge-Land” or worse. 🙁

    So batteries are draining or you’ll loose half your mates due to bad coverage.

  131. George

    Great review! I enjoyed the video, would be nice to include one in each post 🙂

  132. Is the Edge 820 also capable (as the 810)to connect with the Tanuta BC1000 scale?

  133. Bart

    I wonder if mountain biking will give a lot of false positives? it states in the literature that its best suited for road use.

  134. BigCol

    Howdy fella- another great review 🙂

    Took delivery of my 820 today – a lot of playing already 🙂

    A couple of issues already:

    1 Doesn’t appear to be any way of viewing weather on the device?
    2 Can’t get alerts to work from iPhone for missed calls or texts – tried everything!
    3 Cannot pair with android phone – connect mobile says need updated version of connect mobile – but according to play store I have the latest version!!


    • BigCol

      Also – the IQ button on the home page doesn’t do anything other than give you a message to go to the connect mobile app (contrary to what is written in the manual)!!!

    • 1) You need to pair both the standard and BLE portions of the phone to see weather
      2) It sounds like you don’t have the BLE portion paired (which then matches what you see on #1)
      3) Hmm, not sure there, only been using iOS
      4) Right, you need to use your Garmin Connect mobile app to install apps/data pages/etc… (or use Garmin Express on a desktop).

    • Colin Woodward

      Thanks 🙂

      1) and 2) – I’d paired both BT and BLE but no joy. Restarted iPhone and tried again and all is well 🙂 now – alerts coming through and weather is now there on the drop down.
      3) I tried pairing through BT settings without first going through the app and it now works fine, but even though they’re connected and working as required if you go to the app and try to ‘add 820’ it says I need an update! Bug in S/W then!

      Thanks for help 🙂


    • My android keeps notifying me that m 920xt needs an update so not sure how much I trust that part

    • Yeah, the whole dual pairing thing (legacy BT & BLE) on the Edge series continues to be perplexing to me. After all, none of the Forerunner/Fenix/etc need the dual pairing. Before my review I’ll try and get a reason why the new Edge units are still using it, as all it causes is confusion (heck, even mine was all dorked up today and I had to reset it).

    • …though, to be fair, mine being dorked up appeared mostly because I had it paired previous to it being announced, and then once announcement happened the app didn’t really know what to make of it and didn’t see it officially as an Edge 820. So I can’t really blame them there.

    • jford

      Hey BigCol, any luck with your android device? I can only seem to figure out how to pair using BT (can’t ever see a BLE device). I’m using a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, android 6.0… I would think this should be quite easy.

      Anyways, quite a bit annoyed that I can’t get notifications or weather updates (got rained on today).

      Hoping you have some advice for a fellow!



  135. Bsquared

    Ray, the Edge 520 map refresh rate has been getting slower and slower with each new firmware release. Like others reporting the issue on Garmin forums, I’ve followed Garmin’s advice and deleted previous rides.

    Back in 2015 I was exporting courses from RWGPS with TCX Course option “Notify before turn?” set to 30 meters, and map refresh rate was very good and it was easy following a course. However since 6.00 firmware I’ve increased the setting to 60 and now 120 meters with 6.20 firmware. Starting to seem that new features in latest firmware are impacting core functionality.

    Very sad that 520 with latest firmware is now almost too slow for navigating a course in hilly neighborhoods. Would appreciate you looking into this issue in your upcoming review of 820 (and 520). I work in the embedded electronics industry and it sure seems like Garmin under spec’d the CPU in the 520, naturally I’m concerned they’ve done the same with 820.

  136. Mike Real

    Great review Ray. I ride with a BikeTag and I do not have any of the false positive issues you described here. Also, since the BikeTag is automatic, I never have to start, end or recharge it. It just works…and cost way less than a Garmin.

  137. Ric Liang

    Another great review Ray. Thanks! Right now from what I can see, there’s no silicone case yet available for the 820. I have one for my 520 and it’s saved it a few times already. Undoubtedly Garmin will have a $12 case in future.

    It’s interesting that they went back to the touch UI, because I thought the pro peloton riders didn’t like it, that’s why the 520 is without touch. I wonder in the winter if there’s enough functionality without having to wear screen-sensitive gloves. They seem to be flip-flopping on touch/non-touch.

    For me, it’s not worth upgrading my 520. If something should happen to it, then the 820 would be a definite consideration.

    • Ric Liang

      I wonder if the Ride Recovery calculation is improved. The one on the 520 is useless. I rode a 175mile ride with 9,000feet of climbing and it said I had a 19-hour recovery. Other 2 hour rides say I have a 72-hour recovery period. How they calculate seems so off the mark.

    • Garmin has been very consistent. Map models after the 705 have touch, pro peleton rider don’t use navigation but navigation is much easier with a touch screen

    • Stephane

      Totally agree with you.
      I’m riding with Polar V650, Wahoo Elemnt and now Garmin Edge.
      The main reason that i have sell my Edge 520 was the lack of touchscreen in map panning.
      That will be the main reason for selling the Wahoo Elemnt too.
      Polar V650 is hard to play with screen zoom, and harder during riding!!! And the screen is too dark….
      So, i’ve good faith in the 820. I did received it yesterday and will try it more today and later this week.


  138. Oliver

    Is now receiving of WhatsApp messages possible?

  139. Sebdef


    Great review. If you could compare the 820 vs the ELEMNT vs 1000 which would you buy and why?
    What are the key differences between the wahoo and garmin? Thnx

  140. RonV42

    Great review. I don’t see me using many of the new features in the 820 so I will stick with my 810. I have 5 states of maps loaded on the SD card along with my 500+ routes, and 3 years of ride data. I don’t think the 820 would handle this very well. But I do see that Garmin is going the way all the “toy” vendors are going. Most items will be stored in the cloud and retrieved with connectivity. Me I don’t like it but that is the direction.

    • The 820 is no more cloud based then the 810. Sure it links to the cloud better and is easier to update the maps from the cloud but everything the 810 does locally the 820 does as well

  141. Jan

    Hey Ray, Tried transferring some topo maps to my new 820 using MapInstall and it didn’t work. Have you found a way to transfer maps to this device?

  142. Kevin Lynch

    How does the 820 handle bike profiles? I use my Edge 800 on 5 different bikes, so I’m wondering how the different bikes are handled with the 820.

    • No bike profiles anymore, but rather a sensor pool concept. So bike sensors automatically pick up and it just handles it for you seamlessly. You can specify odometer distances on a given sensor.

      If you want different settings for different types of rides, you can create activity profiles with names of your choosing.

    • Alexey Goloviznin

      And if I’ve got a bunch of bikes with sensors and want to ride my Road one while at the same time a friend of mine takes my MTB and we start riding togeather?

      With 800 I just choose my Road one and all other sensors are not connecting to it.

      How will it work now with 820?

    • The Edge 820 (like most other recent Garmin devices) will simply prompt you as to which sensor to use if it detects duplicates on at the same time.

  143. Patrick Herlihy

    As a randonneur/audaxer, I do multi-day rides and I’ve held onto my dear old Garmin 800 because it can record a single 1300+ km / 800+ mile ride in one go and can be recharged on the go from a USB battery or even from my dynamo hub without missing a single pedal stroke.

    Some newer Garmins reboot, or loose an active track when plugged into power; can you check that in your tests? I assume asking you to test it on a 600+ km ride might be asking a little much 🙂

    • Yup, all Edge units support external power (except I think the basic Edge 20/25 units).

      All Forerunner units did until around 2012, then they stopped for about three years, and then basically everything after late 2015 does again. It’s random, I agree.

    • Raul

      It seems devices react differently upon connecting it to an external power source.
      These are the variants:
      1. works on e.p. yes/no
      2. when making connection while device is on it will stay on yes/no
      3. same while a reg is on its way this will go on/pause/be deleted (never heard about this one)
      My experience with 800 & 810 is they stay working and registering.

    • Ric Liang

      I got myself an On The Go (OTB) USB cable and it works like a charm. Nothing is reset. Can plug into portable USB battery or wall outlet and not have existing activity stop. Got mine for $1.99

    • Hamish

      You’re very lucky, because plenty of us audaxers have had the 800 crash consistently after 400km+ of recording.

    • I don’t trust any Garmin to record more than 200km in one go. I stop and reset each 200km and then stitch the files back together when you get home using https://www.fitfiletools.com

  144. Asaf

    Hi Ray
    Can you please add to the comparison table another field called “time to charge”? I find there’s a great variance in charging time, when sometimes one product may be fully charged in half the time another one takes. It may sound like a small thing, but I believe user experience is highly affected by it. It’s the kind of thing nobody cares about when he reads about the product features, but truly appreciates once using (Personally, I’d rather have a fast charging option than a long lasting battery).

    Maybe you thought about it already, but gave up since charging time is affected by the charging source/other variables? Perhaps it’s possible to establish a standard for charging condition.

  145. Alan

    Question for Ray and the group: moving from old cateye to a computer that can capture power data. Backcountry has the 810 for $250, vs the $400 for the 820.

    I have a TERRIBLE sense of direction, so nav is important to me.

    Is that enough of a price differential to make it worth getting the 810?
    (bearing in mind Ray’s comment that he doesn’t see the 810 as a good long-term investment because of app development for 520/820/1000 platform).

    Need to decide today pretty much because moving to France next week.


    • Paul S.

      The thing that concerns me at the moment about the 820 is the reports I’ve seen that you can’t use MapInstall (and BaseCamp?) to install maps, either previously owned Garmin’s or OSM. I haven’t seen whether or not the “gmapsupp.img” trick works. If I were moving, I might at least wait to get one where I was going rather than buying one now, just to make sure that you don’t wind up with a unit with the wrong maps that you can’t easily replace. Personally at the moment this is the reason that the 1000 is still my “buy one” device if my 800 suddenly breaks.

    • I’ll play with it later tonight and see if I can reproduce/move/etc…

    • Xavier

      Have you successfully install OSM “gmapsupp.img” into the Edge 820 and get it working?

    • Zachary May

      Thought I would respond here since I’d been searching for it myself. I’ve been using the 820 for a few weeks. I have the US version. I’m leaving for Greece in a few days and just downloaded a IMG file from Openstbreetmaps (OSM) for all of Greece. I just moved the filed into the \Garmin directory, as that was where all of the other map files are loaded. I confirmed that it was active by going into Activity Profiles, Navigation, Map, Map Information, and I saw the new file loaded onto the device as enabled. I then looked at a Course I made in Greece, and sure enough, the map detail showed up where it hadn’t previously. No issues here.

  146. Mike Louvranos

    A quick question which garmin ‘a edge is the most reliable and hi end despite the 1000?

  147. Would you suggest upgrading from the Edge 810?

    • Mike Louvranos

      I don’t know at first I wanted to buy the 810 but preferred the speed cadence sensor than the magnet. Also I did not like the buttons on the 520. I considered a lot the wahoo elemnt. When the 820 released it was great but all these reports for bugs and all other stuff don’t know the 1000 is very expensive for me.

    • I would be careful on some of the ‘bug reports’, as both here and on the Garmin Forums, it was cases of user error…

    • Mike Louvranos

      I am waiting for your in depth review to clear everything and like the most of us I trust you 100%. Just don’t go easy on them.

  148. Jack Reeve

    Looks like a good update!

    Will this be compatible with Bontrager’s ANT+ enabled lights range?

    • In theory yes, as the Bontrager lights respect the ANT+ Lighting specs, as does Garmin’s unit. I haven’t validated it in person yet though.

    • Pat

      I have the 810 with the latest firmware, and it indeed “mostly works” with my Bontrager front and rear light and I would assume it will be similar with the 820. When I say “mostly” I mean that it will turn them both on when the unit powers on, and turn them both off upon power off. They also appear in the menu with battery status. The parts that don’t work:

      1) The lights always turn on in the “constant on” mode. I use the lights during daytime training rides so I have to manually change over to blinking mode

      2) You can’t change modes via the Edge (or at least I am unable to do so)

      3) I can’t seem to get the “Light network” to reliably work with my Garmin Varia. Ideally everything would turn on and off with the Edge, but the Varia declines to participate in the party 95% of the time, and it’s inconsistent what causes it to work when it does function as expected.

      My sense is that the ANT lighting protocol is still too manufacturer dependent, and you don’t get 100% of the Bontrager functionality when connecting with an Edge at this point, nor do I foresee any great urgency for Garmin or Bontrager to encourage consumers to stray outside their ecosystem.

    • Very nice write-up on where it does/doesn’t work. Appreciate it!

  149. markt56

    So, the group tracking seems like it could evolve into a great feature.
    I assume it will require a paired cellphone?

  150. DavidKroter

    Hi DC, during a route guidance, segments are active?. In 520 is not possible. And other important thing, the Processor of this 820 is faster than 520 or is more or less the same chip. In smartphones the specifications announces the micro in the machine but in GPS I have never seen this. Thanks a lot. Good job.

    • There is a benchmarking connect iq app: link to apps.garmin.com

    • Bsquared

      Regarding processor and performance, in comments above I mention that map refresh rate performance has become very poor on Edge 520. There are several active threads on the Garmin Edge 520 forums about map refresh rate. With 2015 firmware the 520 performed well, however with the latest 6.00 and 6.20 firmware the map refresh rate is very bad. It is now difficult to navigate in neighborhoods or on the trail. Deleting older rides from 520 helps, but map performance issues remain. No problems with using 520 to show speed/cadence/other data, the problem is with maps. There was a recent issue with Live Tracking on iOS, and that was fixed last week with an updated Garmin Connect app on iOS.

    • The main draw of the 820 over the 520 is mapping so wouldn’t you expect Garmin to make sure mapping is functional?

      As the the 520 maps, try lower detail maps. I know full detail OSM maps on my 705 worked incredibly slow but was perfectly fine on my 810. I’m not saying garmin shouldn’t try and fix it but it can be a workaround for now.

      BTW any chance you can run that benchmark app on your 520?

    • davidkroter

      Thanks for the Info.

    • Karim

      In theory the bump in memory (total 16gb) should help with performance and refresh but I am also curious if they upgraded the CPU or processor speed….

    • Rob

      Memory storage

  151. JJ Romano

    Anyone knows any online shop in the US currently stocking the Edge 820? I’ve seen in Performance Bike but they have the most stupidest rule not to ship to hotels (I have a friend currently in the US and he was able to get it for me…).
    Thanks in advance!

    • Bart


    • JJ Romano

      Thanks Bart, I have also checked with them but is showing out of stock. Still looking for other retailers!

    • Bart

      Its just showed up on REI’S page again good thing is they wont charge you until it ships they have not received their first order yet so I bet they ship fairly quick.

    • JJ Romano

      Yeap, that’s a good point, trouble is I live in Chile and I have friend over just for the week – so only worked for me with actual current stock.
      I’m afraid I will have to wait for Garmin Chile to start selling it here.

    • JoshR

      Excelsports.com shows them as in stock.

    • JJ Romano

      Thanks for the tip JoshR, I ended up going for the Bundle that have just appeared in stock in CleverTraining, just joined the DCR VIP program while I was there 🙂 Should be on my friend’s hotel by Thursday.

  152. Brian Harris

    Just ordered mine. And then a new pair of sunglasses – which were $60 less thanks to VIP program. Thanks Ray!

  153. Patrick Boisvert

    Hi, Is there an audio prompt for the Varia Rearview Radar ? Hearing the bip through headset would be awsome !

  154. gaijin

    Pre-ordered my 820 from CT – looks like early August delivery.

  155. Bill

    :Has a cool new ‘Battery Save mode’ (never seen before)”

    Edge 1000 has this feature. It clears the screen, displays a Battery Low message, and shows map when turns come up.

  156. simon

    re: bluetooth connection to the phone….on the Fenix 3 with IOS you get all the notifications that appear on your iphone, on the Edge 520 you only get texts and calls

    does the 820 do other notifications too ?

    I’m assuming it doesn’t have the music control function of the fenix 3 either ?

  157. Sean Ormerod

    Due to a K-edge fail my 510 is dead any idea when these will be available in Canada?

    • Stephane

      I ordered mine last week from Clevertraining and get it yesterday, i’m from Quebec, Canada.

    • Thanks for the support Stephane!

    • Sean Ormerod

      How much was duty?

    • Stephane L.

      it cost me an other 80$…
      Yeah… That make a very expensive gadget…
      Time will tell if it earn it!


    • Sean Ormerod

      I think that will still work out cheaper then Canadian retail. I have ordered from CT before and they’re great just their web site shows it as available mid August and I need something now as mine is deadsville!

    • Stephane L.

      yeah, i saw that during the first day. Since i ordered mine very soon in the morning right after Ray’s post, it was ok. Few hours later, it said august availability.

      Good luck!

    • Changren Y.

      I ordered mine (base unit only) from CT on 7/13, received an update from CT yesterday to expect the delivery in early August. To my surprise, CT shipped it out today.

  158. Gabe

    Got my 820 – it’s tiny compared to the 810!

    Anyone else having auto brightness issues?

    I applied a screen protector and I don’t think it’s playing nice..

    Anyways testing it out today!

    PS Ray – Live tracking must be coming to running watches too! Very ?
    I see that the 820 gives me the option to broadcast my “run” and/or “bike” is that a bug or do people run with their edge devices?

  159. Peter C.


    Your reviews are as always awesome. Ordered mine through CT. Early August arrival. Looking forward to this

    Thx again for your unbaised reviews Ray

  160. Stephane

    I did received my new Garmin Edge 820 and it looks terrific!
    Did a indoor ride this morning and continue to setit up.
    Few glitch with connect iq datafield but not sure if it me or the Edge.

    Will have an Elemnt to sell soon! 🙂

  161. Jan

    Anyone figure out how to install additional maps onto this device?

  162. Ben

    Would this be a viable alternative to a Spot device in terms of being able to one-way communicate with folks off the grid in emergency situations?

    • Not really unfortunately.

      Spot doesn’t rely on cellular networks, it uses direct satellite connectivity (so it works virtually everywhere).

      Whereas the Edge 820’s functionality for emergency relies upon cellular networks. So the Edge 820 is great if you crash somewhere and are unable to call for help (it will activate/etc…), assuming you have cell coverage. Whereas the Spot is better if you’re just in a bind in the wilderness without cell connectivity but can still signal for help.

    • Spot can do movement alerts but has a 30 min delay as it doesn’t sense shock:
      link to faq.findmespot.com

  163. Greg

    I like the audio alert feature notifying the user wearing a headset. I am hard of hearing and cannot hear the beep from the Garmin 520 using the Varia Radar. I just turn that option off. On the 820 I am wondering if this kind of alert is available as audio? I don’t think I saw the option on your alert screen you provided. Wasn’t sure if that was an option elsewhere. Possibly something us deaf/hard of hearing riders may come to appreciate. Even vibration alerts from phone too may be helpful. Anyway, your input would be great!


    • Changren Y.

      @Greg: I tested this a few hours ago. The Varia radar alert does not utilize the Audio Alerts feature so it’s still coming out of the bike computer instead of your smart phone.

  164. A couple of us have the Edge 520.
    It DOES connect Bluetooth to power meter (Stages), Cadence sensor (Garmin) and HR monitor (Garmin).

    • Paul S.

      No Garmin sensors use Bluetooth. Garmin uses ANT+. To my knowledge, no Garmin device will use Bluetooth for sensors, although many use Bluetooth to connect to phones.

    • Paul is correct.

      With Stages however, you get dual ANT+/BLE on every unit transmitting concurrently. So you’re actually connecting to the ANT+ signal there.

      More and more sensor companies are moving to dual, which is by far the best solution for consumers.


    • My error! All three Garmin Speed, Cadence & HR are ANT+
      My Stages power is Bluetooth though (as well as ANT+ as you say).

      I had terrible drop out of Stages data for many many seconds at a time before the latest firmware update. Still doing it, less often.

      Having used 520 for a few moths, I think the CPU is underpowered, essentially not fit for purpose – Garmin should limit screen data to maybe 6 items (more items, more dropout). Similarly a friend who has 3 sensors compared to my 2 gets more dropouts.

      Using the map screen you can see sluggish.
      I use just map on screen, a friend has data overlaid and it regularly freezes up.

      I was using a smart phone with Cateye before Garmin, which is the way to go IMO and get phone to do the work. Most people have smart phones these days. Only reason i changed was due to latest Cateye not working with my Moto G and Cateye JP weren’t much help (i.e. see supported phone list, which was small and Sony (i.e. JP) biased).

    • Any chance you’re on a tri bike with the Stages? There’s some known issues with drop-outs there. It can also happen on a road bike, but it’s super rare.

      (Fwiw, I use 5-8 data fields on 3xEdge 520’s and haven’t had them lock up/freeze).

    • Standard Stages arm on a vanilla carbon road bike.
      The two of us 520 users always have Bluetooth on, connected to phone; maybe that is the issue?

      I also forgot to mention woeful lack of flash for maps, which in this day and age isn’t on as flash chips so cheap.

      Feel the design compromised – tried to cram too much into the space perhaps, whereas maybe 5mm wider in width length would have allowed more circuit board real estate to have more flash etc.

      Also don’t like placement of buttons – easy to press wrong ones when gripping (one at front edge and one at rear edge might work better than two at rear edge?

      Will have to save for 820 and get my 520 flogged on fleabay 😉

    • Thanks for the Stages link; never thought firmware was in flash (as an IT person, should have guessed). Have downloaded Android app and updated firmware. Will let you know if improved.

      My 520 has had 3 or 4 firmware updates from factory and had an issue the other day when added another data field on display, locked up average readings and after ride found hadn’t recorded whilst averages blank. Think I will factory reset unit under the current firmware and start again, as maybe some data structures corrupt.

      My friend has found an issue with routes – seems 520 needs rebooting twice after uploading to get it to find route, else hangs finding route. I didn’t have that issue on my 520. Inconsistent bugs hard to track down!

    • Paul S.

      “Inconsistent bugs hard to track down!”

      I think that may be Garmin’s official motto. If not, it should be.

    • @Eli
      Thanks again for the heads up link.
      Went for first ride today with Stages on latest firmware (2.0.79, 29th March 2016).
      No dropouts! 🙂
      Didn’t check what version it was on originally (from factory) before the upgrade, sorry.
      Took 15-20 mins to flash (left it updating whilst I got on with other stuff).

  165. randy

    Is the map actually useful or is it too small to read? I have an 810 and the screen size is just ‘ok’.

    • Randy

      I can answer my own question now. We just received stock not too long ago. The map is pretty much useless at that size. I’ll go with a 1000 or a discounted 810 to replace my defective 810. Wish there were other comparable alternatives to Garmin.

  166. Adrian H

    Any idea if this is able to track different bikes and maintain odometer information like the 510 does? I would like to upgrade to some of these newer feature but I ride several bikes and like to keep track of them separately.


  167. Can you please give me one-liners for what you mean by these two navigation features?
    1) Follow GPS track (course/waypoints) — Do you mean ‘provides generic turn left/right directions’ or simply showing where you are on route or something else?
    2) Markers/waypoint direction — What does this mean, as distinct from #1?

    Super useful blog. Great stuff. Thanks!

    P.S. “Hello!” from Seattle :-).

    • Paul S.

      1) Nowadays, there’s no distinction between a course or a route, but you can still toggle between them. Create a route somehow (I typically use BaseCamp) and put it on the device. You can now either 1) have it put the course as a line on the map but otherwise not bother you unless you leave the course, when it will complain and route you back to the course, or 2) treat it as a route and have it give full turn-by-turn directions (“left on Main Street”) with prompts and little close up maps shown at the turns.

      2) Choose a point of interest (say, Starbucks). Ask the device to route you there, much like a car GPS or a phone. It will use the maps to give you turn-by-turn instructions from where you are to the point you chose.

    • Thanks for your help, Paul.

      I’m reasonably familiar with mapping capabilities and am just trying to understand how to interpret Ray’s labels for features.

      What you say about #2 makes sense, except that I interpreted the “routable” in “Routable/visible maps” (a third navigation feature) to encompass the ability to auto-route to a POI. If #2 means (as you say) the ability to auto-route to a specific POI, what does “routable” in “Routable/visible maps” mean in contrast? Thanks …

    • Paul S.

      It seems to me that routable maps in that table means that the 820 can use routable maps (in fact it comes with them), where the maps contain metadata that allows the device to understand the map as more than just a picture. For example, I’m not sure if you can put routable maps on a 520 (City Navigator or TOPO 24k or routable OSM maps), but it wouldn’t make any difference because the 520 does not understand the metadata; it simply treats the map as a picture that it’s supposed to show a small part of depending on its GPS location. It doesn’t understand that the picture contains roads, etc. The 820 and other navigation devices do understand that. So you can put routable maps on an 820 (well, it’s a little unclear right now whether you can put additional maps on an 820) and understand them. You can create courses (series of waypoints, possibly well spaced, just enough to outline the course you want to follow) and it will navigate the courses based on the maps along roads (it’s not just a track, a dense series of short line segments that are navigated straight line point to point like most of Garmin’s wrist based devices can do), following the roads. It can also use the map to direct you to a particular point along roads; with non-navigation devices, they can sometimes point you in the straight line direction to a point and tell you how far away it is, but don’t know that there are favored directions (roads) that should be followed. It’s all a set of capabilities based on the routable maps that the 820 and other navigation devices have and the 520 and ELEMNT, for example, do not.

  168. Joe

    As much as I wish the size was ever so slightly bigger, Im getting this to replace my edge 520 just so I can store all my maps on it and not have to change mapsets every couple rides when I go to a new place. Thank goodness they upped the internal memory.

  169. Dan Dumbacher

    Is the 820 able to control the Wahoo Kickr trainer so that you can simulate rides from the 820 on the Kickr?

  170. Funkright

    HELP please 🙂 Bought the Garmin Explore 820 by accident, instead of the Edge 820 that I thought I’d bought (it was my mistake). Just wondering if the differences are that substantial and if I should return and try to find the Edge 820. Just average middle aged cyclist upgrading from my iPhone to this. Any insight would be great. Thanks!

    • funkright

      upon further review of the article I noticed the breakdown. Can’t say I saw it the 1st time, but it was there the next time I looked. I’ve bought the 820 Edge and it’s on its way, to arrive Monday.

  171. Celia

    So will group track come to the 1000 I have now as a firmware update, or will there be a new 1000 computer?

  172. Changren Y.

    Is the touchscreen on your Edge 820 too sensitive? I can activate the touchscreen on mine without physically touching it. This is causing some problem as I am selecting the wrong menu accidentally and it is quite difficult to scroll through the quick menu without closing it.

    • Changren Y.

      Ok, Garmin calls the “quick menu” the Connections Screen.

    • No issues at all either unexpected touches. I’ve ridden in the rain a fair bit with it, and haven’t seen anything like that. Also dripped plenty of sweat on it, especially last two days in Alps.

      That said, in general with past Garmin touch devices when I’ve seen something like that it’s one of two things:

      A) Display is damaged
      B) There’s something ‘stuck’ on the display that then is easily ‘irritated’ by rain/sweat and triggers false-positives. Something is usually like a gel or other goey whatever. Try and wipe down the screen lightly with soapy water and ensure there’s nothing on it. Else, probably would need to have Garmin swap out the unit*.

      *Casual reminder/tip for Garmin unit swaps: You can have them do what’s called a ‘cross-ship’, which means they send you one a few hours after you get off the phone, versus waiting for yours to arrive to them. All you need to provide is a credit card, which eventually they’d charge if you didn’t return your other one. This is notable when in cases like now where the Edge 820 is in super-high demand and getting a new unit from a retailer is really tough.

    • Changren Y.

      Thanks. The Edge 820 is brand new out of the box. I’ll contact Garmin. I posted the question on the Garmin forum as well and looks like I’m not the only one with this issue.

    • Stephane L.

      I know what you mean, it does same for me.
      But i don’t find it to be a problem. Since, it doesn’t change page or anything else when ridind… And when is just for setting, you can pay more attention…

      I’ve try yesterday to operate it with mountain bike glove, and it works pretty well!!! I was very surprise for the good reaction and usuability it provide without removing glove. It need adaptation but that something that i’ve controlled pretty quick…


    • Bart

      You are not the only one, if i bring my finger straight down to the display very slowly when I get about 1/8″ away the screen activates. The one thing I haven’t tried yet is with gloves.

    • Changren Y.

      During a ride when I’m just swiping from screen to screen, it’s not a problem. Accessing the Connections Screen, however, is an issue. The Connections Screen pops out when the top part of the screen is touched but because the touchscreen can be activated by just hovering over it (it will activate with my finger about 5 mm from the screen), more than half the time, I’m inadvertently closing the Connections Screen or selecting the incorrect sub-menu because my finger is hovering above the screen.

      Contacting Garmin support at this point is a waste of time. I was told they are not aware of this issue. When I mentioned DCR did not have this problem, he told me DCR was probably using non-production unit and so it didn’t exhibit this problem, implying that every production Edge 820 has an overly-sensitive touchscreen. I was told there’s nothing Garmin could do for me at the moment. What a load of BS.

    • I don’t know about this specific issue but this is very poor thinking:
      “Contacting Garmin support at this point is a waste of time. I was told they are not aware of this issue. ”

      For any product from any manufacturer, if they don’t know about a problem they have no ability to fix it. Contact support, if they can’t help you right then they can at least start tracking the problem and if enough people have this problem they can devote people to look into fixing it. No company has unlimited resources so they will fix the major problems first and a problem they don’t know about can never be a major problem.

      (if all production 820s have this problem they can tweak the firmware of the touch screen controller but if they think the touch screen is fine or only impacting 1 or 2 people they won’t bother as there are issues impacting lots more users)

    • Stephane L.

      yeah, but carefull, it’s not all people who find that inconvenient…
      Like i said, i find it working well for me like that!
      Not because it’s not convenient for some that it is for everyone! They have to make this part of thing too.
      I would not like them to change it for what it concerns me.

      That remember me a feature that was working well on the Fenix/Epix (don’t remember) and after some complain about it, they change it and has more complain after about the change!!!

      But i do understand your point; this Garmin support guys is incompetent.

    • Changren Y.

      @Eli: I agree. People should contact Garmin with the hypersensitive touchscreen issue.

    • Jeremy

      I also agree. I found this really annoying and wrote Garmin about it. Perhaps they can create a sensitivity slider so people can dial it in how they’d like, and with screen protectors (if those will make a difference).

      I never thought I’d miss the buttons on the 520, but when it comes to the back and forward buttons (right side), those are the ones I miss most.

      I suggested to Garmin that a tap and hold (for something like 3 seconds), could be a good solution to get people back to the home screen without having to hit the back key tons of times, like is required in some cases).

    • JZ

      I have the edge 820 since 2 days and sensed the same sensitivity issue with the screen. Dry outside, screen clean, nothing on and a) very late responses on touching and b) lots of time my finger even 10mm away it already reacted, which is kind of a problem as the screen is very small – most problem to touch the right field on the keyboard.
      In addition, I sensed the following issues – will browse though later on anyone else spotted it:
      1) WiFi doesn’t work – you can register your WLAN, it just accepted one for me, but when trying to connect it losses the same moment it got it. Worked finally ok on the Edge 1000 I still have here
      2) Very annoying – issues to connect with the Shimano D-Fly wireless sensor in the back of my bike. I have the sensor in the seat post of a BMC Teammachine SLR01 as I had with edge 1000 (no issues there), but now hardly connects and drops out within a second. Seems a bit more stable with the sensor in my BMCGF01, but still didn’t easily connect. No issues with other Garmin sensors.
      3) Takes ages to calculate routes – feels like more than 5 times longer than edge 1000, regardless whether you just build the route based on a ride, or you take one copied in from the edge 1000 (distance was around 80-100km, waiting time about 5 minutes!!!, edge 1000 less than 1min)
      4) Very late response to swap between bike profiles and then remembers when you tried without a timely response by changing seconds later 2-3 times… This is annoying as hard to set up fast for a ride
      On the positive side – battery has improved, and display is sharp and good to read at the smaller size. I hope these other things can be resolved soon with a software update.

    • Tom

      I bought a production unit 820 and because if the highly sensitive touchscreen I lost a century ride. I am finding that the screen wll activate with out touching it. It is quite agervaiting to say the least.

  173. Jeff

    I’m currently using the Edge 800. When using a created route that crosses through the same intersection or has loops, it will direct me to turn each time I pass through it and then proceed to read off route for awhile until I’m past the turn far enough. Will the 820 reroute me back to the turn or back to another part of the loop? Has Garmin fixed this issue with their mapping when following a created route? The reroute sounds great but only if I can control when it does it and set parameters of how it reroutes me.

  174. Sharon Shachar

    Hi Ray. Question about battery life. I have the Edge 1000 and the battery has never lasted more than 10 hours of GPS use. As i am doing longer races this year that will require over 12 hours of use – did you check the actual battery life of the 820? is it really 15 hours? Thanks.

    • Jon

      I rode today with the 820. Started with 100% and ended with 74%. Elapsed time was 4:18:26 with moving time of 3:06:27. The first 2:11 I had nothing extra turned on. The last 2:07, I had on bluetooth with live tracking turned on as well as text and phone notifications. No backlight and using GPS and GLONASS. Results may vary per user, but that looks decent to me.

    • Which view were you on? With the 810 at least if you have it in map mode the battery use is much higher then in the number view mode. Were you doing any navigation?

    • JZ

      Agree – battery seems better than edge 1000 and the functionality is good.

  175. Gabe

    Some Issues Out of the Box

    • Gabe

      Can’t Cancel Strava Segments
      Navigation Takes a While to Load
      Over sensitive touch screen
      Screen light does not turn on when getting an alert
      Bug where direction notification pops up causes the screen from refreshing (ie power data, cadence, speed, etc.)

      All this i imagine can be resolved soon

      BTW love the power meter calibration notice – no need to dig into the menus to calibrate !

    • Nick

      What software version do you have?

    • Gabe

      the latest firmware – 8.3? i dont have it on me now at the office. I regularly run Garmin Express as of yesterday.

    • Stephane L.

      2.30 is the latest FW.


    • Jeremy

      Gabe, I’m running a Stages power meter and am having issue with it dropping out frequently and intermittently. Are you using a Stages?

      P.S. I’m using the same mount, in the same place, on the same bike, as I used with my 520 (which had no issues).

    • Gabe

      yes running 2.30 firmware

      No powermeter drop outs. link to strava.com
      did you remember to change your crank length?

      i am getting cadence drop outs – anyone else ?

      I would get drop outs if i had conflicting crank lengths wearing my fenix 3 watch and garmin.

      BTW is everyone getting notifications? ie texts emails etc? mines arent showing up and im paired with the bluetooth functions
      The live tracking works! my gf uses a vioactive hr. Of course her livetrack died and i no longer could see her. a

    • With cadence drop-outs, one thing to validate/check for is if other things on the ANT+ channel drop at the same time (i.e. HR or power). Typically when all ANT+ channels drop it’s due to overuse on the comms chip. In the earlier Edge days, that was sometimes more of a hardware thing when BT was running concurrently.

      As for BT functions, for smart notifications you need to validate the unit is paired on both BT classic and BT Smart. So dual pairings.

    • Albert

      To be precise… in order for SMART notifications to work (e.g Call & Text notification) you will need to:

      1) Enable bluetooth on your Edge 820. Stay in the Bluetooth settings menu so you can see the whats going on next.
      2) Go into your phone’s Bluetooth menu and look thorough the devices detected.
      3) Pair with your Edge 820 by selecting “BT_Edge 820”
      4) Launch your Garmin Connect App
      5) Go back to your phone’s Bluetooth menu and again look thorough the devices detected.
      6) Create a second bluetooth connection by pairing/selecting “BLE_Edge 820”
      Almost immediately on your Edge 820 bluetooth settings menu, you’ll see the Call/Text Notification menu appear.

    • JZ

      I have the edge 820 since 2 days… This is my little collection of “not working as expected”:

      1) WiFi doesn’t work proper – you can register your WLAN, it just accepted one for me, but when trying to connect it losses the same moment it got it. Worked finally ok on the Edge 1000 I still have here
      2) Very annoying – issues to connect with the Shimano D-Fly wireless sensor in the back of my bike. I have the sensor in the seat post of a BMC Teammachine SLR01 as I had with edge 1000 (no issues there), but now hardly connects and drops out within a second. Seems a bit more stable with the sensor in my BMCGF01, but still didn’t easily connect. No issues with other Garmin sensors.
      3) Takes ages to calculate routes – feels like more than 5 times longer than edge 1000, regardless whether you just build the route based on a ride, or you take one copied in from the edge 1000 (distance was around 80-100km, waiting time about 5 minutes!!!, edge 1000 less than 1min)
      4) Very late response to swap between bike profiles and then remembers when you tried without a timely response by changing seconds later 2-3 times.
      5) Sensed a serious sensitivity issue with the screen. Dry outside, screen clean, nothing on and a) very late responses on touching and b) lots of time my finger even 10mm away it already reacted, which is kind of a problem as the screen is very small – most problem to touch the right field on the keyboard.

      Not to forget, there are some positive “signs” as well:
      – Battery seems improved
      – No BT connection issues with iphone 6/6s
      – Great screen visibility of map, routes and data (seems well improved)
      – No issues spotted with any “Garmin own” Ant+ sensors

  176. Omar


    Any chance the audio alerts work with Varia Radar?

  177. Albert

    For those who are wondering whether free downloaded OSM works on Edge 820, I was able install “gmapsupp.img” into its internal memory and it works. See my post (#754) in link to dcrainmaker.com.

    • Paul S

      In the Garmin folder there should be a file GarminDevice.xml. Inside it, it will tell you what files the device will handle and where it expects them to be. If I try to post the xml here it will get butchered because it looks too much like HTML, but on my Epix, it says for supplemental maps it looks for gmapsupp.img, while for “NMaps”, it looks for any file with the .img extension in the Garmin folder. This, I believe, is the entry which allows the Epix to use and display an arbitrary number of maps. (I don’t have a gmapsupp.img, but I do have, among others, “Topo U.S. 24K Northeast.img”, and the Epix displays and navigates with that properly.) I’m curious whether the 820 has the same entries.

  178. Rick H

    Forgive me if I’ve missed it, but will the 820 import TCX (&/or GPX) files & convert them to FIT internally like earlier 8XX models? I’ve heard in discussion elsewhere that the 20/25 will only accept FIT files & wondered whether this was the way thing were going or whether it is just part of the reduced feature set of the 20/25s.


  179. gusy

    is possible to connect the Edge 820 with garmin application on the phone?

  180. jwilli

    I’m an idiot, okay now that we have that established, I cannot seem to get Garmin Express to recognize the 820 on my Mac. Also, I would like to load my older routes and don’t see a way to do that. On my 800, when it connected a pop-up would appear on my Mac and I could drag .gxp files to the “new-file” folder. When I connect the 820 I get no such pop-up and it doesn’t show up in “FINDER”.
    Any ideas?

    • Paul S

      I’m away from my Mac, so I’m doing this from memory, but see if the 820 shows up in your USB tree. Apple menu -> About this Mac -> System Info If it’s not there, it could be the Mac, the cable, or the 820.