Garmin has announced two new models of GPS-based cycling computer: the Edge 820 and the Edge Explore 820. Both share the same body and internals, with the Explore 820 offering slightly less features for a lower price.
So what’s the big deal? The Edge 820 is really the star of the show and it takes the bulk of the features from the Edge 1000 and crams them inside a body the same size as the 520. It’s not a perfect migration, the SD-card slot has been lost and the screen is smaller, but it’s pretty much all there.
What is brand new is the GroupTrack feature, which allows you to see fellow riders on the map. The idea being that if you lose sight of each other, maybe on a group ride or in a new city, you can still see each other’s locations on a map. Garmin hasn’t stated what devices this will work with, or whether this feature will be added to older units through a firmware update, but like the Live Segements feature we assume it will be compatible with the current units. The 820s also gain the emergency contact feature that first appeared on the Edge Explore 1000 last year.
Battery life for both units is claimed to be 15 hours, which is very respectable. The new units also have a ‘battery save’ mode that turns off the screen as the battery gets low but still records the riding data. Garmin claims the battery life is extended by 50% when battery save mode is engaged. ANT+, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity remains the same for the Edge 820, while the Explore 820 does not have this connectivity. There’s also connectivity for the Varia suite of products.
The Edge 820 is priced at £329.99, or £389.99 with the bundled speed, cadence and heart rate sensors. The Edge Explore 820 is available for £279.99