Garmin Edge 820 is the latest cycling computer of the Garmin collection, put on the market in July 2016. The 820 is small, perfectly functional for cyclists and has some interesting new features. Especially GroupTracking is revolutionary. With its size of a Garmin 520 and all the navigation options of the 1000-edition, Garmin has launched a great new model. There are some features, for example the insensitive touchscreen, which we hope to see improved with software updates in the near future.
The touchscreen on the 820 is new and that results in fewer buttons alongside the computer. Therefore the newest model in the Edge-series definitely gets thumps up for its appearance. Though, the touchscreen does not function properly, definitely not like your smartphone. It feels like going a few years back in time when trying to swipe from left to right on the Garmin. It reacts relatively slow, even on the high-sensitivity setting. When scrolling through the data fields one sometimes need a little bit more patience than used to in the modern digital era.
Garmin Edge 820 combines the appearance of the Edge 520 and the navigation possibilities of the Edge 1000. Of course, the Edge 820 is compatible with all ANT+ sensors, your smartphone and Bluetooth devices. The number of connections does influence battery life. When only recording your route and using the navigation, it is possible to ride for around thirteen hours. The energy saving mode, one of the new features of the Edge 820, can be turned on when the battery life goes below 15%. In that case you will be able to ride for three more hours before the Garmin switches off completely.
Another new feature is GroupTrack. This is quite a revolutionary renewal. Via Garmin Connect, the Edge 820 connects with your training partners. If you make a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone, you can see your companions on the Edge 820-map. They should be riding within a radius of sixteen kilometers. Especially in the mountains, where everyone rides its own pace, this new feature is great.
Next to GroupTrack, the Garmin Edge 820 has the LiveTrack-feature. Family at home can follow you live when you go outdoors. Of course this feature is meant for safety, but theoretically it is possible for your partner to open a cold drink just before your arrival.
For cyclists with a power meter, the Edge 820 also facilitates new possibilities. It can coach you during FTP, VO2max and other tests. For those who do racing the 820 is a great bike computer as well. It is possible to adapt all data screens according to your preferences. During races, for example, it is possible to see speed, heart rate, power output and cadence, while recreational cyclists can add up to eight more fields during riding. When finished, the Garmin Connect smartphone-app can help you analyzing your training.
Garmin Edge 820 is currently can be found for 339,- euro on the market. The Edge 820 with heart rate-, cadence- and speed-monitor costs 60,- euro more.
Written by Sjors Beukeboom, who is racing for De Volharding Team in Netherlands. Sjors is current Dutch National Champion for students and also the journalist. Stage winner of Tour de Madagascar says he loves descending even more than climbing.