Garmin Edge 1030 top 7 features, is it worth the money to upgrade

Garmin Edge 1030 released as an upgrade to the Edge 1000

The Garmin Edge 1030 has been released after much speculation and leaks over the last few years and the big question on everyone’s lips is the device really worth the money to upgrade. At £499 / $599 it’s a big ask if you already have an Edge 1000 or an 810 that works well. Garmin has released 2 variants of the Edge 1030, one being a standard edition that includes the Edge 1030, charging cable and various mounts and the second being the performance bundle which includes all of the above, but including a Heart rate monitor and Cadence sensor. The big surprise to me is that with the performance bundle you don’t get the battery pack which is an optional extra with both additions.

Garmin Edge 1030, 3.5' GPS Cycling/Bike...
304 Reviews
Garmin Edge 1030, 3.5" GPS Cycling/Bike...
  • 3.5” bike computer with comprehensive navigation, performance and cycling awareness Features. 3Rd-party app access: via connect IQ, including preloaded Strava and training peaks
  • Trend line popularity routing uses billions of miles of Garmin Connect ride data to Show the best on- and off-road routes

Check out the review: Garmin Vivosmart 3 review

Garmin edge 1030 box 4

Garmin Edge 1030 top 7 features

As with any new device, it will come with some new features to tempt consumers to upgrade and the big question is,  are these features enough to push you to upgrade to the Garmin Edge 1030. I will discuss the top 5 features in my view and I will also give an opinion if this feature will be rolled out to other Edge devices.

Garmin Edge 1030 battery life

Garmin promises a 20-hour battery life and this is a great upgrade from the Edge 1000 and will interest those that are into long distance cycling. You can also expand the battery performance by using an external battery (sold separately). I want to point out I have never had an issue with my Garmin Edge 1000 with battery performance, but the longest distances I have done is about 100km so for some it maybe a problem

Will this feature arrive on other Edge devices? 

Simply put… no, it won’t. But I have an inexpensive solution in the form of an Anker charging bank and a USB cable. I have used this many times with the Garmin Virb and managed to keep it running for over 3 hours when out riding.

Garmin edge 1030 back sealed

Garmin Edge 1030 connectivity

The Garmin Edge comes with the normal ANT+ connectivity which allows you to connect to a whole host of ANT+ enabled devices and if you have already invested heavily in the Garmin sensor range so this will be welcome news, but no surprise of course. The biggest change here is the addition of Smart Bluetooth connectivity and this will allow you to connect other Smart Bluetooth sensors

Will this feature arrive on other Edge devices?

No it won’t I don’t think for Smart Bluetooth, but I don’t think you are missing much unless you have a sensor that is smart Bluetooth, but given most decent sensors are ANT+ it’s not a massive improvement.

Garmin Edge 1030 TRENDLINE popularity routing

Garmin has launched a new feature with the Edge 1030 and they are calling this TRENDLINE popularity routing. The claim made by Garmin is that the data to power this new feature is based on billions of user riders and will give you a route based on optimal data and real world user information. Whilst you will not see much difference between the Edge 1000 and the Edge 1030 as it’s a data driven feature you might not appreciate the routing capabilities.

Will this feature arrive on other Edge devices?

I think not, this will be a USP for the Edge 1030 and if it did it would not be for some time and only the Edge 820

Garmin Edge 1030 maps

Essential reading: Garmin Vivosmart 3 review

Garmin Edge 1030 comes with Preloaded apps from Strava, TrainingPeaks

While the Edge 520 and 820 can use Strava Segments for real-time tracking of your performance versus your PR, your friend’s PR or the KOM/QOM, the Edge 1030 adds the latest Strava Routes Connect IQ app that lets you download routes you have on Strava and navigate them. This is a really useful feature and the turn by turn navigation works with them also, so this will mean no more downloading Strava routes and importing them into Garmin. The other thing I really like is the ability for the device to pull Strava live segments whilst you are out riding and this is done via your smartphone if you have taken it with you. Just one point to note that these features require a Strava premium subscription.

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The TrainingPeaks CIQ app automatically loads each day’s workout onto the computer if you are a TrainingPeaks subscriber following a training plan. This is handy if you are religiously following the plan, but you can’t jump ahead or back to other workouts; only that day’s workout shows up. This is a useful app, however, I am more excited about the Strava app updates

Will this feature arrive on other Edge devices? 

Both the Strava and TrainingPeaks apps are available for Edge 820, 520 and 1000 right now to download.

Garmin edge 1030 screen

Garmin Edge 1030 rider to rider messaging

The Garmin Edge 1030 will also feature rider to rider messaging and this will work by pairing a smartphone. It will not allow you to write messages, but it will allow you send pre written messages to other riders who have a Edge 1030. I would have thought that Garmin would have allowed you to edit the pre written messages or even send messages with your location and estimated ETA. I am sure this will come with an upgrade in the future, but it’s a very good start

Will this feature arrive on other Edge devices?

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Whilst I have doubts it will, I do think Garmin will need to roll this out (if they can) to other devices in order for this feature to have a chance of taking off.

Garmin Edge 1030 advance performance features

Just like the Garmin Fenix 5 series, the Garmin Edge 1030 will also include advanced performance data in the form of training load and training status. This will cover key areas like VO2 max, training load, recovery time and when pair with other Garmin products such as the vector 2 or the new vector 3 pedals this device will really be a great device for training and gaining meaningful training insights. However one of my biggest bug bears is that Garmin doesn’t link the data across devices that support this such as the Fenix 5 and the Edge 1030.

Essential reading: Garmin Vector 3 pedals released

Will this feature arrive on other Edge devices?

Garmin launched this feature with the Fenix 5 series this year and have been promising a roll out to Fenix 3 HR devices and it has not happened yet. I doubt it will be rolled out to other Edge devices and if it does then I suspect the Edge 520 and 820 will only benefit.

Garmin Edge 1030 cycling safety features

Garmin has been steadily moving in the direction of cycling safety for a while now with the Varia series that includes the Varia radar light which I personally use all the time. Garmin has now included incident detection which is included in a number of other Edge devices. The incident detection will detect if you have come off the bike and will alert a preset contact of this incident which will include the recorded location, this feature does need an active Smartphone data connection to work.

Will this feature arrive on other Edge devices?

Well, you already get integration for Varia with the Edge 520, 820 and 1000 and incident detection on the Edge 520 and 820 and the 1000 explorer. So whilst I am saying this is one of my top 6 features as I am all for cycling safety, you already get this on a number of devices.

Garmin Varia light on a bike

Essential reading: Garmin Fenix 5x review

Is the Garmin Edge worth the money

Looking at the Garmin Edge 1030 features that have been launched with it, I am not sure it is a worthy upgrade over the Edge 1000 or if you already own a 820. I am very interested how testing this new device pans out and I am going to really give the battery life and other features more testing, but if you are looking at a Garmin Edge device then, other options like the Edge 820 or the Edge 1000 which has been reduced in price is a good alternative.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think?

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  1. I have an Edge 820 – it reads data from the Varia Rear Radar, but no audible, either from the device or though Connect on my smartphone to headphones. Does the 1030 provide any audible feedback from the radar?

      • Commenting to your post below (Yes the 1030 does have audio feedback. I am surprised the 820 does not. Have you turned off audio prompts?”), I have not turned off audio prompts. It beeps when I turn it on, but not when the radar picks up a car. Do you know if the 1030 audio is specific when the Radar detects a car? Better yet, does it give the beep audio to headphones through Connect, like it does with directions for navigation?

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Jon Ratcliffe
I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles. I cover Wearables, tech and smart home. My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.

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