Garmin Edge 820, GPS cycle computer with navigation | Full analysis


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One year after the introduction of the Garmin Edge 520 (to replace the 510), the Olathe people are doing the same with the 810. The new Edge 820 can be defined quickly: if you put an Edge 1000 and an Edge 520 in a shaker (mixed, not shaken), what would come out is an Edge 820. Keep in mind that in addition to receiving the genes from both parents, the child has come out smarter than its parents and offers qualities you won't find in either of them.

Before passing with the full test, please note that the unit of the Edge 820 under analysis has been kindly provided by Garmin. This unit, once the work with it is finished, will go the opposite way to me and will be returned to its origin. There is no compensation from the brands to have a more or less favourable opinion of a product (come on, they don't give away a product in exchange for one of my analyses). And you will say... then how is all this managed? Easy, thanks to youBecause if, after reading the complete test, you decide to buy the Edge 820 and you do it through the links I provide here, you will contribute with a small commission paid by the sellers (at no cost for you). This is what allows the website (and rewards in part my many hours spent on this work). So if you like what you see here and you want to keep seeing it, you know what you can do.

And after we clear it all up, we go with the full analysis.


You can get the Edge 820 in two "different flavors". First you can buy just the device (along with a few mounts). Then there's a complete kit that includes cadence, speed and pulse sensors. In this case, we're dealing with the basic version, the one where you're the one who puts in the rest of the sensors.


Regardless of which version you've purchased, when you open the box all you'll find is the Edge 820.


But if you shake the box a little like an apple tree, everything inside will start to fall out. Specifically, in addition to the Edge 820, you'll have the instruction manual, the front mount (along with installation tool and adapters for different handlebar thicknesses), a strap to secure the unit to the handlebar (designed more for MTB than road use), the microUSB cable, two traditional mounts and two rubber sizes for each.


But it's the Edge 820 you're most interested in, right?



On the bottom of the unit you'll find the same two buttons as on the Edge 820. On the left is the lap marker button and on the right is the start/stop button. Garmin has repeated the location of these buttons, which is criticized by current Edge 520 users. Depending on where you place the device, it's not the most comfortable place to operate them. For example, with the K-Edge Advanced Mount there is only a little more than 1 cm of space between the device and the handlebar.


But looking at it from the side, it totally changes. And there are no buttons here.


Well, just one, the one you'll use to turn the Edge on and off.


On the back there is not much to highlight. You can see in the center four small holes, behind which you can find the barometric altimeter. And at the bottom, behind a rubber cover, the microUSB connector to charge it. It will also serve to synchronize it, but since you have the possibility to do it through Bluetooth and WiFi I don't think you use that port much for anything other than charging.


Here you can see the port after lifting the lid.


As you can see, everything reminds me of Edge 520. How is it different from this one? Well, let's see it before we get down to business.

Main differences with Edge 520

Garmin Edge 520 820

As you've seen in the photos, the new Edge 820 is remarkably similar to the Edge 520. So much so that if it wasn't for the different colors (instead of the white frame, it's now silver and black), it would look like the same device from a distance. But after you get closer, you'll begin to notice the differences, which are far more than you might think at first:

  • The screen has the same quality and resolution as the Edge 520, but in the case of the Edge 820 it is touch-sensitive.
  • Moving through the menus without the keys makes the initial screen different and also provides shortcuts to navigation, training and Connect IQ applications (on the 520 these options are buried in the different menus).
  • In addition to synchronizing via Bluetooth, it also supports WiFi.
  • It has a light sensor, which allows to vary the intensity of the backlighting.
  • Point-to-point navigation, similar to that found on the Edge 1000. A major improvement over the 520, which only allows you to follow previously designed routes from your computer. This allows you to make roundtrip routes and plan your routes without depending on a computer.
  • So, with point-to-point navigation capability, you have more memory on the device. 16GB so you can have all the maps you need (compared to just over 100MB available on the Edge 520).
  • Recovery status and stress test.
  • New GroupTrack function.
  • Battery saving mode.
  • Accident detection mode.

As you can see, there are many differences. What about the comparison with Edge 1000? Well, there aren't many changes. Edge 820 has no microSD memory expansion slot, the screen is slightly smaller and has no landscape display mode. That's it. So unless you need the Edge 1000's display, this 820 will be a much more reasonable choice.


The biggest difference between Edge 520 and Edge 820 is undoubtedly route navigation, which is likely to be the differentiating feature that will make you decide between one model or another. If you don't need advanced navigation, Edge 520 is more than enough. However, if you love exploring new routes all the time, then you should opt for the 820. And the additional features of the latter will be welcome, but I don't think having a touch screen, WiFi sync or GroupTrack will make you opt for the more advanced model.

The Edge 520 has navigation, but out of the box it's not as functional. Nor does it have the same memory capacity to store maps. You can follow previously created and synchronized routes and, depending on the service you use, even with turn signal. But there's no way to create a route directly on the unit.

Garmin Edge 820 - Navigation

This is where Edge 820 stands out, offering the same navigation capabilities as Edge 1000 and other navigation-focused Garmin devices. When it comes to navigating a route, we have different options to do so:

  • Navigate a route created from Garmin Connect or downloaded from another service
  • Create a trip to one or more destinations
  • Return journeys (creating an automatic route from a target distance)
  • Navigation to POI (Point of Interest), addresses or saved locations

But let me explain briefly what each of them entails.

Navigate a created route

The first option it offers is to navigate a route that you have created in Garmin Connect before. You simply create your route by selecting the different points you want to go through and using the different options it gives you when creating a route.

Garmin Route

Once created you can send it to the device through the USB cable, through Bluetooth with the mobile phone or connecting to a WiFi network. In the device you can find it in the navigation menu, and before starting to navigate you can check all the details (to confirm that you have the body to do it). In my case it's easy, because my test route is as simple as going for an ice cream.

Garmin Edge 820 - Navigation

This is not the only thing you can check, it is also possible to access the map in case you have to check if there is pizza next to the ice cream.

Garmin Edge 820 - Navigation

You can also see the altimetry profile (the ice creams are always higher, it is colder).

Garmin Edge 820 - Navigation

And from that point on, you can start sailing, and Edge 820 will let you know when a turn is coming.

Garmin Edge 820 - Navigation

The warnings do not only appear on the map screen, but also on any other data screen you have configured, so you don't get lost even if you are training.

Garmin Edge 820 - Navigation

If you stray off course, Edge 820 recalculates your route to show you how to get back on it (something you don't have on 520, for example).

Garmin Edge 820 - Navigation

And in case you have planned to go to a different point and you prefer to skip it and go on to the next segment of your training, it will also understand and will continue once you have rejoined the route later. Therefore it is not essential to go through each and every point you have planned, if you change halfway through the route there is no problem.

Of course, both in this option and the ones below, the instructions shown on the screen are exactly the same. The only thing different is the way to create the path.

Create a trip to one or more destinations

What you saw in the previous point is for routes created from Connect, but you can also do routes from the Edge 820 itself. In this form of navigation you can plan a whole day's ride by visiting different points on the same route. Simply add destinations to the list and when you're done the computer will create the entire route.

Garmin Edge 820 - Multi-Point Track

When creating the route, you can edit different options in the settings to prepare it, for example whether it is road or mountain biking or items to avoid such as motorways.

Garmin Edge 820 - Path Points to Avoid

Therefore, simply indicate where you want to go and if you intend to pass through a halfway point before arriving.

Return journeys

The next option is the creation of return journeys. You go out on the road with your bike knowing that you have to do a workout of approximately 70 kilometres, but you don't know where to go. So you simply select the option and ask it to find you routes of a certain distance with a series of parameters. After a couple of minutes it presents you with three different options with the distance to be covered and the amount of positive metres you will have to climb.

Garmin Edge 820 - Navigation

You can see details of these routes before selecting them, such as the map or the altimetry profile.

Garmin Edge 820 - Navigation

The usefulness of this function depends on your location and the number of possible routes you can explore. It is also not intelligent, so it cannot interpret whether the route it is sending you on is badly paved or at a certain time there is a lot of heavy traffic.

I don't think it's an interesting option to use regularly near your home, since you can surely think of dozens of different routes for a given duration, but if you're on vacation in an unknown place it's a pretty interesting option.

Navigation to POI or addresses

Finally, you can navigate to a specific address or point of interest, such as the nearest supermarket. You select the location where you want to go and it will calculate the route for you below. This is similar to the method of creating a route, but obviously you are only entering one location

Garmin Edge 820 - Journey to POI

These are the different navigation options it offers. In short, possibilities similar to those you can have with a portable car navigator. The main difference from the simplest model is that in the Edge 520 you can only follow previously created point routes and it does not know how to interpret whether you are driving on a road or not; it is simply point navigation. In the 820 it is much more complex and it knows that you are on a street and not on a roof, that the next turn you cannot take because it is a forbidden direction and that to get to the other side of a river you need to use a bridge.

As for the time it takes to create a route I find it variable. Sometimes it is reasonably fast (always taking into account that you do not have a smartphone in your hand, we are talking about one or two minutes). But at other times it can take forever. I guess it depends on the complexity of the area and the number of roads and possibilities to get to a point. Of course, the calculation time is limited by the possibilities of the device, whose computing power is quite far from what a mobile phone or a computer could offer and that the processor is quite limited to provide a respectable autonomy.

What you should be clear about is that when you start navigating you should be clear about what you are looking for (approximately), because if you start looking for one route, then another, then another... you better be having breakfast at 7 in the morning with time to spare, because you can end up getting desperate.

And another important point is that when tracing a route you do it stopped. I have tried to make routes while I am moving and then we are not talking about one or two minutes, we move to the category of "eternity".


If navigation is the main feature that separates the 820 from the 520, GroupTrack is the main new feature when compared to the rest of the range. It's a new feature that debuts with the 820. In essence it's taking the already classic LiveTrack feature a step further, allowing you to see on your Edge 820 screen where your friends or group members are so you can catch up with them.

And you might ask yourself... how the hell does Edge 820 know where your group members are? Well, they'll have to activate the LiveTrack feature on their devices. And that's the first point to make.

While virtually any Garmin device from the last 3 or 4 years has LiveTrack functionality, only the Edge 820 can display the position of those devices (to which the Edge 1000 has recently been added through an upgrade).

Therefore, in order to make use of the feature, each of your group mates must enable the LiveTrack feature on their device. In Garmin Connect, there is an option that you can enable to share the position for GroupTrack. This is true for any device that supports LiveTrack (in the case of the example, a Forerunner 230).

Garmin Edge GroupTrack

Only after this process will you be able to see their location on screen and go to meet them, either by hunting them or intercepting them somewhere along the route (which you must know beforehand, of course).

Garmin has improved the function and is adding the ability to enable the LiveTrack option automatically on every output. At the moment the devices that can do this automatically are the Edge 520, 820 and 1000. On clocks, the Forerunner 735XT supports it as well, while the Fenix 3 will probably receive it on the next update.

So with those devices you don't even need to remember to activate the option in each output, you can have it enabled by sending session data to your contacts or simply sharing the position for GroupTrack.

Garmin Edge GroupTrack

On the Edge 820 you can add a GroupTrack display to the training profile. When one of your Garmin Connect contacts initiates a LiveTrack session, you will see a notification at the top of the Edge and it will appear in the list of available contacts. In this case, "my other self."

Garmin Edge GroupTrack

You can see that basic data on the activity of each of these contacts will appear, such as the speed at which it is moving and the distance it is located (in a straight line, without taking into account detours, bridges or rivers). Clicking on the name of the contact podhen you will see its location on the map, represented by a red circle and a letter with the initial of the name. In the image you can't see it very clearly, but if you look for the "E" next to the main road, it won't be difficult to find it. At the top of the screen you will also have the previous data of distance and speed.

Garmin Edge GroupTrack

And to make it easier for you to see, I leave you the rendered image of Garmin. You can clearly see the members represented by circles with letters and your location would be the blue arrow.

Garmin Edge GroupTrack

You can also see your contacts on the map screen, in case you are navigating a route for example. You will have to enable this in the options.

Garmin Edge GroupTrack

And you can select which contacts you want to see: those who are riding bikes, those who are running or both.

Garmin Edge GroupTrack

What you won't be able to see is where they're heading. The only thing you'll be able to do to catch them is to pedal faster than them.

Incident detection

This feature (which was introduced with the Garmin Edge Explore 1000) allows you to select a number of emergency contacts in Garmin Connect. In the event of an accident, you will receive an SMS message along with the location where the incident occurred.

This selection is made from the Garmin Connect mobile application, and you can select contacts from your phone's address book.

Garmin Edge 820 - Incident Detection

Of course, you need to carry your mobile phone with you, because communication is done through it. Anyway, I think most of us go out with our phones (at least on our bikes) in case we have any incidents, so I don't think it will change your training much.

Once activated and with the contacts added, you have nothing more to do. In fact, it would be best not to have to test the function. But in case something happens, at least I will explain how it works.

The detection is made by combining GPS data with data from the internal accelerometer, to identify that it was not a simple braking but a more serious incident.

In the test time I didn't have any false detection, not even forcing emergency braking from more than 40km/h. For the test I had to simulate a fall.

I say simulate because I had two options: Reach cruising speed and pull the bike to see how the detection responds or simply do the drop simulation by launching the Edge 820 from the bike.

As suggestive as the first option sounds... I finally opted for the second one. So after reaching a generous speed, I simply threw the Edge on a soft surface (yes, like a grenade).

Two seconds later both the Edge and the mobile phone started emitting continuous alarm sounds, which are intended to be located both to the bicycle and to the cyclist.

And it is important to locate both, because after a fall they can be separated from each other (e.g. fall down an embankment), and you may not be seen but the bike is.

An accident detection message will appear on the Edge's screen and a countdown will begin indicating that your emergency contacts will be notified unless you cancel, for which you have 30 seconds.

Garmin Edge 820 - Incident Detection

If you do not cancel the notification, a text message will be sent to the emergency contact notifying them that something has happened, along with the location coordinates and a link to Google Maps.

Garmin Edge 820 - Incident Detection Garmin Edge 820 - Incident Detection

Meanwhile, your phone will indicate that the emergency notification has been sent, and provide you with a button to send a message to let you know that it was a false alarm (which is the message you'll see above) or that it was just a silly fall without major damage.

Garmin Edge 820 - Incident Detection Garmin Edge 820 - Incident Detection

I haven't been able to test the function in MTB with similar jumps and impacts, so I don't know to what extent it can trigger false warnings, but at least on the road I've only seen it work if forced.

And again, to send the notice, you must have your phone with you, because communication with the Garmin servers is through the phone.

Battery saving mode

The battery saver mode is another new feature on the Garmin Edge 820. And in its own way, it's actually a pretty cool feature. I don't think it's a valid option for everyday use, but there will be times when it makes a lot of sense.

Garmin Edge 820 - Battery Saver

By default it's off, so the Edge 820's behaviour is traditional, you turn it on and you have information on screen at all times.

If you activate it, the Edge 820 will automatically turn off the display, but of course it continues to function normally.

Continue to record data from GPS and all connected sensors, and the screen will automatically turn on for various notifications that you can configure within the options of this mode.

Garmin Edge 820 - Display Activation Alerts

The display will turn on for 15 seconds (if you have selected it) to alert you of return data, phone notifications, navigation turn alerts, etc. You can also turn it on at any time simply by tapping on it.

This mode will increase the battery life to 50% as it dispenses with one of the things that most affects battery life.

I don't think it's the ideal mode for every day, but long routes with the group where it doesn't matter the power, speed or distance? I think it's a fantastic idea.

Edge 820 Basic Operation

So far, I've tried to focus on those specific features that differentiate the Edge 820 from its more direct rival in the Garmin range (the 520), rather than focusing on it as a regular analysis, because in its basic aspect both are the same.

However, I don't want to end without reviewing the main functions of the 820 as a cycling computer.

In its basic configuration and its day-to-day operation, everything is the same as in the case of the Edge 520, so if you want more details about a specific function, it is best to that you're going to review this one's test.

On the Edge 820 the configuration of different activity profiles is similar. It supports different profiles, and can have different configurations depending on whether it is training, competition, indoor use with a roller, etc. Normally the requirements in each of these areas are different, so you will want to have different configurations.

By default you have three profiles that you can edit, delete or add different ones.

Garmin Edge 820 - Profiles

For example, in my training profile, I like the basic screen to have almost all the information to be able to see it at a glance.

Time, speed, distance, and in small data about power, cadence and pulse. But it has nothing to do with my profile to compete, where what matters most is to see power data.

Garmin Edge 820 - ProfilesOn the Edge 820 the configuration of the different screens is much faster, thanks to the use of the touch screen.

Simply click on the field you want to change and select it from one of the different lists of possibilities it offers.

Garmin Edge 820 - Configuring Data Displays

It's very, very extensive; in the Edge 520 test you can see all the data you can include which I won't put here so as not to make it too long.

It also offers the same possibilities of adding other additional screens, taking into account that the map and navigation screen obviously has much more detail than the lower model (although you know you can replace the base map and put a more detailed one).

Each of these screens can be activated or deactivated according to the profile, so if you want to have the height profile in the training profile but not in the running profile, you can do it without any problem. And the same with the rest of the options, such as configuring the use of GPS or GPS+GLONASS, alerts, etc.

Garmin Edge 820 - Configurations

In short, the basic operation is the same, but the difference is in the way you interact with the equipment. While on the Edge 520 everything is menu driven through the buttons, on the Edge 820 it is faster and more intuitive. Not only in selecting or changing the data screen, but also in how you access certain menus.

For example, to enter the status page instead of pressing the button, you must slide up and down. Or if you want to cancel a segment of Strava, just press a circle with an X.

Not to mention the map page, where you can scroll much more easily with a simple tap of your finger.

But how does the touch screen work?

So here we come to the first problem, and that is that depending on what occasions the touch screen can be a problem.

Just take a look at the Garmin forums to find many screen complaints oversensitiveSometimes the screen would be activated simply by having your finger close to it but not pressing it. Or a drop of sweat, or a rain while you are riding your bike.

Any one of those things can make the computer behave like it's crazy... which can be annoying.

Garmin Edge 820 - Rain and Display

Garmin has tried to solve this problem, and version 4.20 includes the option of being able to define the sensitivity of the touch screen.

Garmin Edge 820 - Display Sensitivity

The three options try to address precisely the problems mentioned above. The high option improves performance when wearing gloves, medium is a valid value for day-to-day use and the lowest option prevents sweat or rain from putting "pressure" on the screen.

Garmin Edge 820 - Display Sensitivity

And we still have the shortcut menu available, but instead of having to press a key to access it, you'll have to slide the screen up and down.

Garmin Edge 820 - Advanced Menu

Here you have access to the most common functions, without having to enter menus to find each setting, for example changing the display sensitivity or checking which sensors are connected.

There is another function present in the Edge 820 that is not in the 520, and that is the possibility of regulating the brightness automatically thanks to a light sensor.

Garmin Edge 820 - Auto Brilliance

However, this mode does not allow you to carry the screen without lighting and have it automatically illuminated at sunset or when entering a tunnel.

The backlight will always be on, but you can vary the intensity of the backlighting, which can be a drain on the battery, but is certainly much more comfortable.

Indoor roller training

ANT+ FE-C roller compatibility was first introduced on the Edge 520 and later on the Edge 1000.

What is the purpose of the FE-C control? It allows you to remotely adjust the resistance of the trainer. Of course, your trainer must be "smart", so it must also have ANT+ FE-C support. If you only have ANT+ 1TP10, you will be able to see speed, cadence or power data, but not to vary your resistance.

Using it is very simple, just add the roller like any other sensor.

Garmin Edge 820 - ANT+ Roller

It's the same protocol used by applications such as Bkool and Zwift simulators, but brought to your device's small screen, so from the Edge 820 you can perform the same operations you do from your phone or computer when you're training, such as calibrating it.

Garmin Edge 820 - ANT+ Roller

In the "Training" menu you will find the submenu ANT+ Roller, where 1TP10After choosing the different modes of use it allows you toGarmin Edge 820 - ANT+ Roller Menu

Here you can choose from the different options presented:

  • Follow courseAllows you to perform an activity you have downloaded (from a race or from Garmin Connect), simulating elevation changes.
  • Follow an activityYou can select a route you have done and relive it. In my experience it does not offer a very satisfactory performance due to the changes in altimetry, giving continuous "jerks" in the resistance.
  • Follow a trainingYou can do a training session that you have created from Garmin Connect, for example an interval session in which you set a certain power for a defined time. The roller will automatically change the resistance.
  • Adjusting resistance10 points of resistance that you can select, and you can play with changing the bike to increase or decrease the cadence (or power). It's like selecting a certain incline.
  • Adjusting powerThe power of the roller: You select a certain power and the roller will maintain it, regardless of the development chosen.

Garmin Edge 820 - ANT+ Roller

Of those five options, the last one is the one I use most often, because of the ease of doing interval training without having to prepare it beforehand.

Garmin Edge 820 - ANT+ Roller

You simply select a certain power and the roller tries to maintain it by adjusting the resistance automatically.

And if you set up a workout in Garmin Connect and synchronise it, the Edge 820 will ask the roller to go through each and every stage you've marked, blocking a certain power if that's the case.

FE-C Roller Training

It's a long thing to prepare while sitting in front of the computer, but infinitely more comfortable when you're sitting in the saddle.


The Edge 820 has a Bluetooth connection, which will be used to receive notifications from your phone, synchronize activities upon completion, and for LiveTrack and GroupTrack functions, so for all information displayed on your route, such as weather information.

Garmin Edge 820 - Weather

And to reiterate, all those functions offered in real time need mobile connectivity, both classic and new incident reporting or GroupTrack.

In terms of user experience, once paired with the phone, it has always worked perfectly. Whether it's displaying on-screen notifications (only SMS or calls, no emails or other applications that might distract you more than necessary) or synchronizing activities, I have never had a bad connection.

It also offers WiFi connectivity, so if you have an Internet connection wherever you store your bike, your activity will be synchronized when you arrive. It also allows you to download updates (both routes and device firmware) so you don't have to connect it to your computer at all.

Garmin Edge 820 - WiFi

In fact, in all these weeks of use I have not been able to do so, performing all the settings and synchronizations directly wirelessly.

Even network configuration can be done from the device, including entering the network key.


So if you don't have a computer at home, this is another important reason to opt for the Edge 820 instead of the 520.

My opinion

The Edge 820 is a logical step in Garmin's cycling product range. The work ahead was simple, as it simply had to be equipped with extra features over the Edge 520And starting with navigation, which is where the most economical model limps most.

Garmin Edge 820

Garmin not only adds navigation, but also takes advantage of the new model to present an interesting option such as GroupTrack, although it still needs a little more time to become something to take advantage of. Undoubtedly the new LiveTrack startup setting that has been incorporated into some devices will help, because it eliminates the most uncomfortable step of all (remembering to start the activity when you begin training), but I think it takes time for the idea to penetrate more among users.

Battery savings may not be a determining factor in your choice of Edge 820, but it is an addition that can prove very interesting on more than one occasion.

Other features such as WiFi, light sensor and incident detection round out a package that fits quite well in the Garmin range. What doesn't convince me is the touch screen - not because of its operation, but because of its usefulness. There are times when it's very convenient to control, such as when setting up data screens or operating the main menu. But there are other times when I miss the buttons on the Edge 520 a lot.

Whenever Garmin launches a touchscreen device, I always ask myself the same question: why do you have to choose between touch and buttons? I'd like to have both options.

Finally we have the speed when moving through the menus or to calculate a route directly from the device. Accustomed as we are to mobile devices that are tremendously fast, it is hard to get used to the "relaxation" with which the Edge 820 takes everything, but it is a necessary toll to pay to get a reasonable battery life. There could be a more powerful processor, but it would be detrimental to battery life (and price).

At this point I'm sure there's a question still haunting you: 520 or 820? The answer would narrow it down to navigation. I'm sure the Edge 520 will satisfy the vast majority of users, but if you do frequent navigation routes and want the turn signals and other features it offers, then the Edge 820 is the option to choose.

There are other features that differentiate them, but if navigation is secondary for you I don't think they are enough to justify the price difference.

Buy Garmin Edge 820

If you like the tests I perform and want to collaborate with the site to help it continue to perform tests as extensive as this one (and as you can guess, they carry  many hours of work), all you have to do is buy your Garmin Edge 820 - or whatever you need - through the links I provide, and I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

And don't forget to share the test with your friends, besides helping me your friends will be tremendously grateful to discover this site.

I want to remind you that there are two versions available. You can find the Edge 820 that I have discussed in this test and a slightly cheaper version, the Edge Explore 820. I don't consider it interesting because it cuts out many of its features (and the price difference doesn't justify it). These are the features it lacks:

  • No WiFi available
  • No ambient light sensor
  • Does not support advanced training (creation and tracking of intervals, etc)
  • No connection to power meters or electronic switches
  • There are no advanced metrics such as FTP calculation, VO2Max, recovery time, etc.

As for the Edge 820, there are two ways to buy it. The first and less expensive way is to buy just the device. You can use your current sensors, as long as they are ANT+ compatible.

Check the price on Wiggle


The second option is interesting if you don't have sensors. It includes a pulse sensor, a speed sensor and a cadence sensor.

Check the price on Wiggle


If you do not currently have any sensors, the pack may be an interesting option because it lowers the price of the sensors compared to buying them individually. But if you already have ANT+ sensors (whether they are from Garmin or other brand), just buy the cyclocomputer.

Thank you for reading and collaborating!


Operation - 8.5
Connectivity - 10
Design, finish and comfort - 9
Autonomy - 9
Applications - 9
Price - 7



User Rating: 4.02 ( 6 votes)

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. For me, being the Garmin 1000 currently on the market and with a lower price, the 820 doesn't make any sense, it doesn't improve at all. Besides, the Garmin 1000 doesn't look like a screen to me, it looks like a correct size display, which also being much slimmer, looks very well fitted and nice than the rest of the 800 or 500 range.
    The one I'm looking forward to is the GArmin 1010 or 1100. Let's see if Garmin learns from the mobile manufacturers and adjusts the frames a little bit, because the design is super wasted, and technically seen with today's mobiles, it would be super easy.

    I've tried the grouptrack feature twice, and it doesn't quite work. Lately the livetrack works great though.

  2. Hello: I have a question regarding connectivity, I already bought a polarity (H7 polar) heart rate monitor tape to synchronize with my phone, my question is: Could this tape be used with the Garmin Edge 820, or would I need a specific Garmin tape?
    PS: The blog is great and helps many of us. Congratulations!

  3. Hello 820 brings the Trainning Effect as the Forerunner 230 ?...I don't find that option that I can see working out, it only gives me the recovery time once the session is over.

  4. Hi Eduardo. Great articles, as always. One doubt: I have the Edge 1000 for about a year and a half and I was assuming that not 1TP10I could control the hardness of my bkool roller because the ANT+ protocol was not compatible with FE-C or something like that .. this has really changed? I'd be happy for you. Thanks!

    1. Yes, the Edge 1000 was updated to offer FE-C, so you can use it with the roller without any problems

  5. Good I bought a Garmin Edge 820 recently, I am trying to know my VO2 max but it asks me to connect the cardiac band (I have it) and a power sensor (I don't have it) is it necessary the power sensor or only with the heart rate the device I can take it out. and well for the automatic FTP it asks me the same and when I want to do the FTP test I need the vo2 max. please podrias me a little guidance

    1. Both VO2Max and FTP require a power meter, without which it is impossible to obtain the data.

  6. Good I bought my 820 in December and until last week it has worked very well, when following a navigation track, it got stuck, I pressed 20sec the power button and it responded again, when loading the session I noticed that the altitude and the accumulated profile as well as the profile drawing was totally wrong, I have formatted from factory, I have put the Navigation-options-altitude option, putting the altitude of my other Garmin and nothing, the profile and % screen marks what it wants.

    Can you help me,?

  7. hello
    first of all, congratulations on the website.
    I wanted to ask you if you know how to fix a mistake I have with the garmin 820. It marks the accumulated altitude, which is always 50 meters too high.
    thanks and a greeting

    1. It is not a fault, it is the normal operation of a barometric altimeter. Note that the recording depends on the atmospheric pressure, if there are changes in this, the altitude varies.

  8. Hello!
    Congratulations again on your great work.
    You keep comparing this 820 with the 520, but I don't see any reference to the 810.
    Could you clarify for me the main differences between 820 and 810.
    And if it's not too much to ask, I'd love to hear your opinion of touring plus.
    I want it mainly for MTB navigation.

    Thank you very much in advance for everything.

    1. At a basic level it is similar, but in the rest it is more advanced. Smaller but with more screen resolution, much lighter, GLONASS, Bluetooth, advanced functions for power meter, drop warning. The only thing you have lost is the possibility to use external memory card.

      As for the Touring plus, I have no experience with it, but except for a good offer, there is little difference in price compared to the possibilities it reduces (the same as with the Edge Explore 820).

      1. Hello again Eduardo!
        First of all, I want to thank you for your answer and for your magnificent work, whenever I have a technological-sports doubt the first thing I think of is you.
        I'll be clearer:
        I am looking for a cyclo-computer to navigate and investigate routes mostly by mtb through Malaga and Granada, which if I get lost will give me options to return home without having to go back the way I was going.
        I'm looking for something that gives me this, but the cheapest possible, the 820 is perfect, but it's going to be too expensive, so I'm looking at other options like: 810, touring plus,... I'm open to other brand options
        I want it as cheaply as possible, but I don't want to make a mistake and buy something that later doesn't meet my needs.

        Thank you very much in advance.

        1. For price and possibilities, the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt You get a new product, with guaranteed future updates (something that neither Touring Plus nor Edge 810 will have) and with maps based on OpenStreetMaps.

  9. Hello,

    Congratulations on the article, it couldn't be clearer. One question, can the 820 be used for hiking, otherwise what would be the right one for clicks and hiking?

  10. Hi, Thank you very much for the article. I have the normal Fenix 3, which I use for running and mtb riding mostly. But I was looking for a little gadget like this for MTB, to take me around and get me out of difficulties... I was between the edge 820 and the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt (I don't know what difference there is with the previous Elemnt). Which one do you recommend?
    A salute and thank you again.

    1. To buy NOW, the Edge 820. No stock of the Bolt for a while... (I lie, I just saw that they're for May 15).

      The ELMMT and Bolt are the same in software, the new one is simply smaller.

      The price of the wahoo is unbeatable, but the advantage of the 820 is that you can synchronize your workouts on the same platform that you already use with the Fenix 3.

      1. Thanks for the answer. When you point out the RideWithGPS,
        Is the device unable to guide you on a set route without going through that software?
        I use the with the Phoenix 3 is the same thing?

        1. No, I am referring to indications such as "at 300 meters turn right" or, third exit of the traffic circle.

          1. Okay! does that, too.
            Eduardo, if I buy the product from, you know if the warranty is 2 years or 1 year for being a foreign website.
            Thank you very much !

          2. The European warranty is 2 years throughout the EU. Anyway, since the price of Wahoo devices is "locked in" by the manufacturer, I would opt to purchase directly through them. And remember that if you make the purchase through the links I provide, you will be helping the web 😉.

          3. Hi. If I can help, I'll be glad to help.
            But I had opted for 820 and on the page (which is English), it is 300 euros.
            My question was, as the UK was the site, if the warranty was 1 or 2 years.
            But if you tell me that UK is also 2 years, then it's 2 years guaranteed.

            Do you have a link to


          4. Of course! Here it is. 😉

            Yes, the two-year warranty is at the European level, so there is no problem, and Garmin Spain does not apply any measures against European devices either.

          5. Excuse me, send me also the wahoo bolt, which is that I have not just decided, are 60 euros of difference, which bring me by the street of bitterness!

            I'm sorry about the firecracker!

            Thank you very much.

          6. Don't worry about it, Here's Wahoo's..

            Indecision is normal, it's not a small investment and it's something that will stay with you for many years...

        2. Hello!
          Forgive me for intruding in your conversation, but I'm following this post and I found what you say about or RideWithGPS. I'm a Phoenix 3 user myself, but I have no idea how those pages are used or what they're for. Could you explain something to me?
          I'm also behind getting the 820 or a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.

          Thank you very much in advance.

          1. Basically, it is for creating navigation routes with an early turn signal.

  11. Hello
    Does the 820 have a removable battery?
    The 1000 connects to strava?
    Good job on the analysis. Helps us a lot to decide.

    1. No, there is no such device with a removable battery, they are all internal.

      At the software level, Edge 1000 and Edge 820 are the same. Only the screen size changes.

      By the way, you have the Edge 820 right now on sale at Retto.

  12. Hello,
    An easy question. My Garmin 820 when climbing steep ramps, above 10-12% the tilt indicator gives me 0.0% 2%... etc, nothing close to reality, and when you go back to ramps below 10% it already gives correct values again.
    Have you encountered that problem?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Well, I think I've seen more than 10% earrings on the screen, but the truth is that now I wouldn't know how to tell you exactly... But it's something I don't know about.

  13. Hi, I'm torn between the edge 820 and the edge explore 1000. I want it to do and look for roads and mountain routes. Which one do you recommend?
    And another question, I have a Vivoactive HR, could I use the pulse sensor of the Vivoactive HR, which is a wrist unit, to connect it to the cycle computer?
    By the way, the analysis of both the computer and the cycle is very complete

    1. About the Vivoactive HR, you could use it, but you know that the optical sensor is not very fine in cycling... At the moment it could be a solution, but I would think about a chest sensor later.

      1. The truth is that I have not had any problems with the optical sensor and the chest sensor is that I can't get used to it.
        I'll listen to you and take the 820. Thank you very much

  14. Hi, I'm thinking about buying an Edge 820, but I have doubts, because I also want to use it for running, I had thought that I would take the Fenix 5, but I don't know how it behaves in cycling when it comes to viewing maps and navigation, mainly I do mbt. What do you recommend? Thank you.

    1. Well, I'm not sure about using an Edge to run... As you can, but it's certainly not the most comfortable thing in the world, and if it's going to be something regular I'd opt for a watch much sooner.

  15. Hi, I was looking for an ANT+ FE-C roller compatible with the Edge 820, which one(s) do you recommend?

    1. Any roller with ANT+ FE-C will be compatible with the Edge 820. The difference between the two is more in the construction, silence, data accuracy, etc. For reference, I use a Tacx Satori Smart

      1. Hi. I've been looking, and although the link name indicates Tacx Satori Smart, the link goes to Tacx Vortex Smart
        The difference is over 100 euros...
        My question is: Do both serve to follow a route of the garmin 820 and that it adjusts the resistance according to the route you are following?
        Thank you!

        1. The one I recommend is the Vortex Smart, which is the one I use most regularly. Good value for money. The Satori Smart is cheaper, but also more basic. For example it doesn't have the automatic resistance adjustment, which the Vortex does.

          1. They are very similar. The only difference is that Bkool does not transmit speed and cadence through ANT+. It does through ANT+ FE-C, but if you connect a device without FE-C (for example, a watch) you won't have any of that data.

          2. You're a crack! Thank you very much.

            I have the FENIX 3 too, which I understand you say, would not collect speed and cadence information with the BKool.

            Thank you very much Eduardo!

    1. Both 15 hours, although the Edge 820 has an UltraTrac mode that supports 24 hours. But the mode you want to use is the normal one, so count on those 15.

  16. Hi, Eduardo, I really liked the report and I'm about to get some candy.
    Two questions
    -1 Can I use the 820 for road cycling and mtb with navigation function on both bikes?
    -2 the theme of the maps works by downloading from the application and it goes under ...
    Thank you and a greeting

    1. Yeah, no problem you can use it on two bikes.

      The Edge 820 maps are pre-installed, there is no need to buy anything else, and if you want, you can install OpenStreetMaps

  17. Good morning Eduardo, I read your article looking for information because I can't find in the garmin 820 the option to configure several bike profiles. something that my old route partner had, the 510. is very useful when using several bikes (the road bike, the mtb) and at the end of the year have your data on how many miles you have accumulated with each of them.

    1. The new models do not have bike profiles. They were mainly used to differentiate sensors, but now they are all on the same menu. There is no longer any separation between different bikes.

  18. Hi, thank you so much for your blog. I'm really hooked on this information.

    The doubt is that I enter in loop with garmin 820 or 520 I do not finish deciding, the main doubts are...touch screen 820...I do not know what opinion you deserve but it creates many doubts to me...h the other subject is the navigation... with the 520 for example I could follow routes btt by mountain with the application wikiloc? I use so much the one of highway as mtb...and I do not know if I would be worth the 820 as far as navigation if the 520 allows you to follow routes with precision.

    I'm sorry, but it's money and I don't want to be wrong.

    Thank you.

    1. Personally I stick with the Edge 520's buttons above the 820's display. For some things it's very practical, but in regular use I prefer the touch of the button.

      With both models you will be able to follow navigation routes downloaded from Wikiloc. The difference is that in the Edge 820 you will be able to have complete maps (for example complete Spain) and in the 520 only of your province and little more, having to change it if you go to another place.

      The Edge 820 also allows for point-to-point navigation directly from the device (like the in-car navigator).

      If you're going to do a lot of sailing, the Edge 820 may be a better fit for your requirements (or the Edge 1000 that's on sale today).

      1. Hi! Thank you for this extensive and interesting article. I am interested in a Garmin for mtb navigation. I have a Polar RC3 heart rate monitor. You know if they are compatible and if they can be used simultaneously.
        A salute!

        1. You can use both at the same time, because they are not compatible in any way and therefore do not interfere in any way.

  19. Hi, congratulations on the website. I have a Specialized turbo cam and it has cadence and power sensors. Is it worth buying the garmin ones or will the ones on the bike go the same way? Thank you.

    1. Even without knowing the ones that equip the bike I will tell you that if it works is similar, so if you already have them it is not worth spending money on others.

      1. Hello
        I have a question between 820 and 820 explore. I just want to make new routes and download them from Wikiloc, would I be able to use the explore?

  20. hello Eduardo, great your analysis of the product!! congratulations and thank you very much! my doubt is whether to buy this 820 or the 1000, for both the model explore, in principle the 1000 is superior, but has been on the market for some time, that is a drawback? the main use of the gas is for Mtb and my main need is to follow tracks previously downloaded, which one do you recommend, right now I found them with 100 euros difference ... thanks!

    1. The difference is the size and that the Edge 1000 allows for external memory, while the Edge 820 has internal storage. In terms of software they offer the same.

      The truth is that the Edge Explore 820 it's pretty cheap...

  21. I have a quantifier bracelet and I would like to know if you can connect the heart rate monitor to the Edge 820 so I don't have to use the chest one

    1. If it emits ANT+ pulses, it could. But I don't recommend it, because when cycling, the data from optical sensors on the wrist are not accurate.

  22. Hi Eduardo. Congratulations on the work you're doing... it's level 10. One question, how's the battery on the 820? The 1000 tell me friends who have it don't go over 5 or 6 hours and I need more, I need at least 8 or 9 hours to follow tracks downloaded from Wikiloc and I don't know if the 820 will give me that much autonomy.
    Thank you very much.

    1. About 15 hours with GPS use, the same as the Edge 1000. If they have that kind of battery performance it's probably because it's already starting to degrade, because they certainly shouldn't have problems.

      1. Ok, so I did the right thing by buying the 820. I bought it with your link, all help is little for such a job.
        Thank you very much.

  23. Hi Eduardo, I was thinking of buying an 820 or 520 plus taking advantage of the black friday and the truth is I'm in a mess, I do not know which one to get, they are practically in some places at the same price. I do not know if the 820 is an "old" model and is going to be replaced but I opt for it. The preferred use is to follow mtb tracks. I would appreciate your advice

    1. Yes, I already published it yesterday in the article on Black Friday. Remember that you have the possibility to get the refurbished Edge Explore for 175

  24. Hi Eduardo great article. But I have some doubts ...... I have the 810 which would be the predecessor to the 820 and in the connectivity issue if it is much better the 820 (WIFI, route tracking, emergencies, ANT + on rollers .....) but in navigation is? the screen is smaller, has no SD slot but if it is true that the internal memory is large (currently with 8Gb card I'm fine). It would be nice to make a comparison of the two.

    Thank you very much.

    1. Yes, the maps are more current and the processor speed is higher. And the internal memory is more than enough.

  25. edu, good afternoon I just bought a garmin 820 and it is proving very difficult for me to climb a route on Sunday to the strava, you could tell me how it is done thanks

    1. If you activate Strava synchronization from your profile it will be sent automatically each time you complete your workout, otherwise simply download the activity from the export option and upload it to Strava.

      By the way, if you are still in the window of returning the Edge 820, do so and buy the new Edge 530 because he's so much better at everything.

  26. Good morning, Eduardo:
    First of all, congratulations on your work and your website.
    Yesterday my "old" Edge 800 died doubly. The touch screen has been "dumbed down" and when trying to reboot the computer (10 sec), the power button also broke. Come on, that repairing it, assuming Garmin's ST supports it, is going to cost me more than a new one.
    If I found an 800 like it I would settle for it, but it is out of print. I see that the 820 (and the 830 I see on the way) are different.
    I worry about 3 things in new ones:
    1) In the 800 I use a memory card with the base road map. I see that they now have more internal memory but are the maps now incorporated in the equipment itself (Spain, Europe, ...) can other maps be added?
    2) Does the ANT+ connection still have the option compatible with TANITA scales? ("search for scale"). It is important, because I don't have specific reader for the TANITA and besides not having heart rate monitor and GPs, I can't use it.
    3) Is the base of the equipment the same as that of the 800? In other words, are the supports I have compatible with the 820?
    The other sensors (cadence, speed and heart rate monitor I understand, so I would save them)
    Thank you very much.

    1. The Edge 830 is now available, you can see the proof here:

      - All the maps of Europe are on the device itself and more can be added.
      - I have no knowledge of how the Tanita scale synchronizes, but there is no possibility of adding sensors that are scales in the Edge.
      - The stand is Garmin's classic quarter turn.
      - ANT+ sensors are all compatible.

  27. Thank you very much, Eduardo.
    I just ordered your link. I'll have it home by the 24th.
    I've opted for the 830

  28. Hi, I bought the GARMIN EDGE 820. I have updated the preinstalled maps: INTL STANDARD BASEMAP, NR; GARMIN CYCLE MAP EU, NORTH EAST, 2019.10; GARMIN DEM MAPEU2017.20; GARMIN G-EOCODE MAP EU 2019.10; GARMIN CYCLE MAP EU, SOUTH WEST, 2019.10; . My question is: Do I leave all of them active or just one? and IF ONE, WHICH ONE?

    1. You can have them all active because they are maps that complement each other (several layers).

  29. Helloo!!!

    Thanks for the review, I have the Edge 820, overall I'm happy, for MTB it gets lost at times and is a bit slow.
    Now I have connected it to a smart roller the Zycle ZPro and it goes very well, the only thing I thought that in one of the screens I would get the map of the gpx that I have loaded and that would indicate at least where I am located, since with the sensors it indicates the distance traveled, the profile of the height etc ... I have tried it both with the Indoor profile (gps off) and the one I use in the outputs (gps on), I have also searched in IQ Connect and in the store I do not find anything that does what I am looking for.
    Also cool, because it tells me the difference in meters and time compared to the day I made the track and the height profile shows two points, one for the roller and the other when I made the track, .... would be great for me to see a screen with the map, the loaded track and two points; one corresponding to the data of the roller and the other to the track itself that will always go slower, as you go chatting or looking at landscapes .... or you get off to pee XDD

    thanks again

  30. Hello I have a gamin Edge 820 and something particular happened to me, it happens that the battery lasted me just 2 hours approx. and I decided to take it to a cell phone technician to change the battery, after that the gamin entered a hidden menu or service and I can not find a way to get it out of there, I tried turning it off and on in various ways with the other buttons but nothing.
    Thank you very much for your help.

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