Garmin’s Edge 820 is a power-packed computer that manages to squeeze lots of new features into the body of their Edge 520In some respects, it is the precocious love child of the Edge 520 and the Edge 1000.
The super-short version is to tell you it’s like the 520 but with mapping. That’s not fair, as there is so much more going on, from training metrics to connectivity.
It has both a touchscreen and buttons for navigation. The touchscreen has been improved to work in the wet and with gloves. The brightness adjusts automatically thanks to an ambient light sensor, which is not only easy on your eyes, but also saves battery power.
The buttons and screen give you easier access to the metrics you’re looking for. In addition to the usual metrics (power, cadence, heart rate, and the derived metrics, assuming you’ve paired your ANT+ devices) and speed and distance thanks to GPS, there is an on-board V02 max calculation, and a recovery monitor metric, telling you how you’re doing. You customize the screens so you can find the data you want in the way you want. You can also download extra apps from Garmin that are free and further customize your unit.
The 820 is programmed with cycling-specific maps. It will help you find the good roads to ride-you can ask it to find a route to your destination for you. You can also program the route, and even program intervals along the route
The smartphone connectivity is where Garmin is going gonzo. When you’ve paired your phone with the unit, there is a whole new world of features. It can find Strava segments for youIt can find your cycling pals on the road. It can tell you when things are happening on your phone. There’s WiFi, too.
There’s even a built-in incident-detection monitor. It’s an accelerometer that can then tell your phone and send an alert to someone if it detects something gone wrong. There’s even an override that appears on the screen to call off the alert.
The 820 goes even further. It pairs with Garmin’s Varia radar warning system and Garmin’s Virb camera. It can talk with ANT+ equipped stationary trainers, too. And you can upload the data to Garmin Connect, then Strava or any third-party analysis program. And it connects to Shimano Di2 via Shimano’s D-Fly, and SRAM’s eTap.
The Edge 820 standard version comes with two standard mounts, an out-front mount, a USB cable, a tether, and paper manuals. As the 820’s base uses the same quarter-turn mounting system as other Garmin products, there are a host of ways to attach this Garmin to your bike. The Bundle adds a premium heart rate monitor strap, cadence sensor, and speed sensor. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery will last up to fifteen hours on a charge while using the GPS. And when it gets low on battery life, it partially shuts down to keep recording, but the screen mostly turns off.