#TeamGarminMTB reviews the @GarminSA Edge 820

The Edge 820 is the latest addition to Garmin’s well-known Edge cycling unit range. It slots into the current Garmin range just below the top of the range Edge 1000, but above the Edge 520. It’s the successor to the Edge 810 and, before that, the Edge 800 which means it has some huge shoes to fill.

Let’s start with the looks of this little beauty:

The Edge 820 has the same physical dimensions as the Edge 520 (7.3cm x 4.9cm x 2.1cm) and the same screen size. Being a touch screen device the unit has a clean look with only 3 external buttons.

Here’s what’s new on the Edge 820

– Group Tracking
– Full/detailed mapping and/or routing (like the Edge 1000)
– 16GB of internal storage (no micro-SD card slot though as is found on the Edge 1000)
– Phone-based audio prompts (like Garmin wearables)
– Incident/Emergency Detection/Notifications (like the Edge Explore 1000)
– Adds in new Stress Score (as seen on wearables)
– Wi-Fi (as found on the Edge 1000, but not the Edge 520)
– A touch screen (like the Edge 1000)
– A cool new ‘Battery Save’ mode (never seen before)

It’s also worth mentioning that Garmin’s new range of traffic-sensing devices like the Varia Rearview Radar and the Varia Smart Bike Lights are compatible with the Edge 820.

Returning features

ANT+ connectivity (for connecting power meters, heartrate monitors, cadence sensors and more), Bluetooth connectivity for smartphones (for call and message notifications, and for using the Garmin Connect Mobile app), the combination of GPS and GLONASS (for establishing a satellite connection in a matter of seconds), and a huge range of cycling metrics.

Strava Live Segments also return, having debuted with the Edge 520.

LiveTrack rider tracking is also back and playing a bigger role than before.

Here are more details on the new and existing features

GROUPTRACK

GroupTrack is an extension of Garmin’s LiveTrack feature that allows a rider’s friends and family to follow them (via their GPS coordinates) on a computer. With GroupTrack, you can have this same visibility, but on your handlebars. The idea is that you can meet up or just keep digital track of your riding companions.

For GroupTrack to work, your friends must have a LiveTrack-compatible Edge computer like an Edge 520 or Edge 1000 that is paired to their smartphone. The Edge 820 user can then see them on their own device screen. Blue dots on the map indicate that the rider is moving while a red dot indicates they’re stationary.

INCIDENT DETECTION

Another new feature on theEdge 820 is Incident Detection. The 820 has a built in accelerometer that can detect a collision. When Incident Detection is set up and a collision occurs, the rider’s emergency contact(s) will be notified via email and/or text message with details of the rider’s location.

How to setup up Incident Detection? The first time you connect your Edge 820 and smartphone via Bluetooth and open Garmin Connect Mobile you’ll be prompted to go through the setup routine and pick emergency contacts from your phone’s contact list. Agree to the terms of use, fill in some basic info and the feature will be on standby whenever the phone and Edge are connected via Bluetooth.

STRAVA

The Edge 820 also comes with Strava Live Segments which gives real-time tracking of your favourite Strava segments while you are riding them. You can set the default to show the time of your friend just above yours on the leader board, your PR or the current KOM/QOM for the section.

MAPS

As with the Garmin Edge 1000 and Edge 520, the Edge 820 features mapping functionality. But unlike the Edge 520, the Edge 820 can calculate routes on the device itself. You can identify a point on the map that you want to get to and it can calculate a route complete with turn directions and road names. Should you take a wrong turn, the device can also re-route you.

Round-trip routing comes across from the Edge 1000 and remains an attractive feature, particularly if you’re looking to explore some new roads. Simply tell the Edge 820 how far you want to ride and it will calculate several loop options for you, starting and finishing at a location of your choice (including your current location).

There’s also the ability to follow a Course by transferring a GPX or TCX file from Strava (or your navigation platform of choice) to the Edge 820. The turn-by-turn navigation is excellent. You’ll get a couple of visual and audio signals when the next turn is approaching, and it’s always easy to tell which way you need to go.

Wi-Fi

The Edge 820 (and the Edge 1000) can connect directly to the internet via Wi-Fi, whereas the Edge 520 cannot. This allows you to seamlessly sync your riding data to training platforms such as Garmin Connect and Strava.