Thee Garmin Edge 820 certainy is a much more managable size compared to the Garmin Edge 1000. It holds many of the same features too. The screen is a good size and the mapping is great, although if you do go off course it'll try get you back to it as quick as possible. It'll want to basically take you back to where you left the preterminded route and will scream at you until you do so - unless you get back on course. Finally the screen just can't be ignored, in recent weeks every ride has been damp and seen the screen fail to work properly.
Packed full of features
Easy to read screen
Touch screen isn't great when wet
Navigation struggles when you go off route
The Garmin Edge range is held in high regard among cyclists and the launch of the brand new Garmin Edge 820 was a hugely anticipated one. All the abilities of the Garmin 1000 but in a more manageable and user-friendly size, lighter too with a 2.3-inch high-res screen, what’s not to love?
Read more: Gamin Edge buyer's guide: everything you need to know
Key new features on the Garmin Edge 820 are GroupTrack that allows you to see other users and users to view your ride live, which is handy when waiting for a mate who’s late or just to spy on others (you need to sign up to it and only your connections can see your rides).
Built-in incident detection is also included which sends out alerts when you’ve had a spill out on the road, automatically messaging your next of kin (or whoever you’ve set it to be). It actually does work as it kicked into action when I crashed racing this year! It does have a cancel button so not to scare anyone if all is ok!
Maps are good, with turn-by-turn navigation that I found really easy to use. You can have it on in the background too and it’ll change screen with directions automatically so you don’t have to keep referring back to the map screen to know where you are going, a good addition.
Overall battery life is top notch. Something much improved over the 1000. With maps and other external devices attached I could get at least eight hours out of it. Without mapping I can almost get four training rides out of a single use. Battery save mode is good too, giving me an extra two hours on my ride by powering down the screen during my ride.
Hardware typically is robust and stylish and being small doesn’t clutter or look out of place on the bars, stem or out-front on a mount.
However, the big let down is the screen. It’s been discussed by a number of us here at Cycling Weekly and it’s rubbish. When it’s wet you won’t be able to operate it properly at all, with or without gloves. It discarded one of my rides when I wanted to save too, highly annoying.
Garmin has tried to solve this by giving the user three sensitivity options, which sadly hasn’t helped too much. Get the screen sorted Garmin and you’re onto a winner!
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Symon Lewis joined Cycling Weekly as an Editorial Assistant in 2010, he went on to become a Tech Writer in 2014 before being promoted to Tech Editor in 2015 before taking on a role managing Video and Tech in 2019. Lewis discovered cycling via Herne Hill Velodrome, where he was renowned for his prolific performances, and spent two years as a coach at the South London velodrome.
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