The Garmin Edge 820 has ANT+ sensor compatibility, map support and turn-by-turn navigation. It also features a bright color screen and a touch interface. Like the other bike computers in the Garmin Edge line, the Edge 820 can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The Garmin Edge 820 is our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner.
The Edge 820 provides all of the standard bike GPS information, displaying speed, distance, altitude and time during your ride. It pairs via Bluetooth with your smartphone, and then your smartphone pushes the ride information to Garmin Connect, Garmin’s online cycling community. This is a much better way to upload ride data than you’ll find with competing bike GPS units, which use USB cords to transfer data.
This device is compatible with ANT+ sensors that detect heart rate, pedal cadence and pedal power. Other than basic speed and distance data, these three metrics are the most important for training. The sensor information will be transmitted to the bike GPS through ANT+, so you can view it in-ride. It also gives you advanced performance monitoring options for VO2 max, Strava live segments, recovery advisor, FTP and advanced cycling dynamics. Incident detection, when paired with a smartphone, is possible with accessories like Varia Vision, Varia smart bike lights and rearview radar.
The cycling computer will also send data through Bluetooth to your smartphone, which will then transfer the data to the Garmin Connect website. Post-ride, you’ll be able to see the metrics along with a map of where you rode and your basic speed, time and distance data.
The Edge 820 is small but still a bit clunky at 2.4 ounces. It has a 2.3-inch color screen and uses a touchscreen interface that works in the rain and even if you’re wearing gloves. The 820’s screen has a resolution of 200 x 265-pixels, which is decent, although nowhere near the clarity and precision of a smartphone’s. However, it gives you the ability to manually adjust the brightness of the display whenever you want, for added visibility. Its battery life is rated at 15 hours, which is the second-best battery life of any cycle computer we tested.
The Garmin Edge 820’s software is intelligent, and the interface is intuitive and simple. You swipe left or right on the touchscreen to navigate through different data fields, and if you hold down a data field you can select which metric it displays. The Garmin Connect app makes it easy to upload ride data to the Garmin Connect website, because it uses your phone’s internet connection to upload wirelessly.
The Edge has LiveTrack, which allows your family and friends to monitor your ride. They’ll see you as a moving dot on a map on the Garmin Connect app or website. This feature lets loved ones check on you during your adventurous rides, or even cheer you on in a race.
The device also has map functionality and comes preloaded with simple maps so you can start navigating immediately. You can view additional data along with your route like city and street names, and it can provide turn-by-turn navigation. It also gives you the option to create courses or even share them with friends or other riders.
Garmin has a well-deserved reputation among consumers for offering generous manufacturer support in case something breaks or there are other issues. The company offers live chat, phone and email support so you can contact representatives easily in case of a problem. There is also a YouTube channel with tutorial videos. The unit comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
The Edge 820 offers excellent and powerful functionality for a cycling computer, and it can even give you turn-by-turn navigation – a rarity in the bike GPS industry. The Edge 820 has the capacity to store 200 hours of your cycling history data, just 20 more than the next cheapest Garmin model. It’s still an excellent choice at the manufacturer’s price point, and it will likely be the only bike computer you’ll need to buy for a long time.