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Garmin today introduced a new fleet of cycling products, the Garmin Edge 520 Plus, which, as its name suggests, is an evolution of the best-selling Edge 520 introduced almost three years ago.
Garmin is having a hard time keeping up with product developments, especially in the cycling unit segment where they have no real competition. Yes, there's Polar, Wahoo, Lezyne, Sigma... but let's face it, Garmin has a big advantage not only in terms of the number of products but also in terms of wide distribution.
Their real competition is themselves and every time they launch a new product they must be careful not to step on the high-end product or future additions to the market. This new Edge 520 Plus must therefore bring some novelty with respect to the Edge 520 (which it does not replace but complements), but at the same time it must not endanger or place itself above the Edge 820 and not to mention the Edge 1030, devices that are much more expensive and which must continue to offer some representative difference.
What's New in Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Let's get straight to the meat. What does the "Plus" designation bring to Edge 520?
- Adds a complete map for navigation, similar to what its big brothers offer
- With a complete map, it also adds the possibility of navigation with an early warning turn
- Advanced navigation also allows you to highlight the route at any time, or return to the start before the end of the route
- Added cross-device messaging functionality first introduced with Edge 1030
- It also receives the GroupTrack feature that premiered the Edge 820
- New remote display mode to show the information of the Fenix 5 and Forerunner 935 on the screen
As you can see, it's not a lot of things. In short, it adds practically the same navigation possibilities as the Edge 1030 with some small differences that you'll see later on.
So, what are Edge 820 and Edge 1030 still superior at? Well, I'll tell you that too.
- Navigation, while advanced, does not have the same possibilities - it cannot take you to a specific address, it does not have a database of points of interest (although there is a new Connect IQ application) and it does not have the most popular route feature (which the Edge 1030 does)
- Lacks WiFi connectivity, Edge 820 and Edge 1030 do
- Can't connect with Bluetooth sensors (Edge 820 can't either), Edge 1030 can
- It does not have a touch screen (depending on who you ask, this can be a good thing)
- Does not have the new performance metrics that were released with the FR935 and Fenix 5.
As you can see, there is a certain balance on the part of Garmin to make a renovation of the Edge 520 and not to step beyond what is necessary. Such renovation is only to move the same product in the market and refresh it a little (as Polar did with the M460).
Garmin Edge 520 Plus, Availability and Pricing
The new Edge 520 Plus is "for now". As for the price, I only have the official one in the USA that will be $279, which in principle will be 299. That will be the price of only the device, additionally there will be other packs that include other accessories, leaving something like that:
- Garmin Edge 520 Plus, device only: $279/299
- Garmin Edge 520 Plus with silicone case and MTB holder: $329/349
- Garmin Edge 520 Plus with speed, cadence and pulse sensor: $379/399
My opinion of the Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Garmin has included in the Edge 520 Plus the only feature that I miss in the Edge 520 from three years ago. The navigation it incorporated, while sufficient, was quite basic and above all the device was quite lacking in memory.
It's a good upgrade because for a small amount of money we get a more complete device. But we are talking about PVP which, unlike in the U.S., in Spain is not "locked in" by the manufacturer. This means that when Edge 520 Plus is launched on the market at its recommended price (which never drops in the first few months), it will do so for the same amount or be a little more expensive than some existing offers for the Edge 820This is where Garmin has the problem due to the number of devices it releases. Proof of the limited novelty is that most of the Garmin press release covers details on Connect IQ applications that are not unique to the model, but will be present across the entire Edge 520/820/1000/1030 range.
In addition to navigation, there is another interesting feature on the Edge 520 Plus that Garmin has not yet talked much about, namely the remote display function. This is something that was already planned in the ANT+ profile developed for Varia Vision Thanks to this mode we can have a main device recording the activity and use the Edge exclusively to show it. When can this be interesting? For example in a triathlon competition, being able to see the details on a larger screen and comfortable to read, but without having to start and record an activity independently.
And with that... thanks for reading!