The grey, black, and silver case measures 6.0-inches tall, 2.6-inches wide, 1.2-inches thick and with…
Best Garmin Edge 820 Black Friday Deals 2021
Many cyclists have a love-hate relationship with their Garmin Navigation devices. Love, because they permit them to ride complex routes in unknown territory while collecting data about distance and speed, plus geekier pro metrics such as for example cadence and power with accessories. The hate sets in if they don’t work as they’re supposed to.
I believe I’ve sworn within my Garmin a lot more than any other device, which taking into consideration the relatively limited time I spend using it in comparison to a smartphone or notebook makes it an extraordinary obscenity magnet.
They are inclined to freezing mid-ride, failing woefully to accumulate your ride data and on the whole doing a variety of random things. A few of these issues can be deposit to user error or loading buggy routes, however when you’re 50 miles from your home, up a mountain and/or the rain is biblical the Garmin takes the blame.
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So when Garmin announces a fresh model, cyclists vacuum up the reviews hoping to learn that this may be the One, the Garmin to get rid of all Garmins, the Garmin that never crashes and doesn’t send you five miles up 7% gradient and then beep and instruct you to “Make a U-turn”. Could its latest model the Edge 820 be that elusive Garmin?
After owning the 810 for two years, it has liberated my road cycling. By using Strava you can plan routes and ride solo for 100km or even more without recourse to check on your phone or paper map and without making an incorrect turning.
Routes planned on the 810 and 820 are another story, sending you down unpaved roads, rocky bridlepaths and midnight canal paths.
Is it faulty, or maybe terrible?
Sadly my high expectations for the 820 were immediately dashed. The first 820 I tried performed so erratically that I returned it because I thought it had been a faulty unit. The touchscreen was so sensitive that it had been possible to activate it without touching it at all, which meant judging the proper amount of touch necessary to get it to accomplish everything you wanted was tricky and frequently required several attempted touches to attain the most mundane of actions.
Moreover, the battery level indicator on the machine was unreliable, claiming 100% battery after a 160 km ride. And there is the pre-planned route navigation that could only give text-based prompts. When approaching a junction the 810, in comparison, displays a map showing the route through it – that is particularly useful at any other thing more complex when compared to a crossroads.
The 810 gives clear directions, sometimes the 820 doesn’t bother
I quickly uncovered I wasn’t alone in having problems with the 820. A colleague who’d bought one described himself as attempting to throw it from the medial side of a mountain on multiple occasion.
He said: “Trying to make utilization of it while moving is nearly impossible with gloves on, as a result of poor touchscreen and multiple stab attempts at the screen required. It’s utterly useless when the screen is wet, regardless of touchscreen sensitivity. It changes data fields with rain droplets (or sweat when on the turbo).”
At this time I looked at a number of the other reviews online. If the screen was that bad surely the cycling press would discussed it. Velonews said “The touchscreen worked flawlessly, even coated in rainwater” and Road.cc said it used special touchscreen gloves so that you can operate it but didn’t seem to be to believe this inconvenient.
The grandaddy for reviewing fitness tracking devices (yes, there is one) is named DC Rainmaker. At the moment Mr Rainmaker has only published a “Practical” review which contains his “preliminary thoughts” after using the 820 for a “short bit”. Nevertheless, “just in case you were wondering about this touchscreen – it works just fine in rain or with gloves” he writes.
However, numerous commenters on DC’s piece had a different connection with the screen. Changren Y said “I could activate the touchscreen on mine without physically touching it”, while JZ said that they experienced “a significant sensitivity issue with the screen”, and Jeremy said he “found the touch interface frustrating and inaccurate some (not absolutely all) of that time period”.
Reading user reviews on popular online cycle store Wiggle make similar points. Currently there are 12 reviews, three which are 5 star verdicts – however one is compiled by a Wiggle employee.
Big step back
While I was looking forward to an upgraded 820, I learned that the map prompts feature have been dropped from the 820, which is bit such as a car satnav only displaying text instructions – would you take into account that an improvement?
Garmin Edge 820 review map Photograph: Ian Tucker/The Observer
The written text instructions are OK when you understand roughly where you going already – maybe when you’re re-tracing a familiar route – however when riding a fresh course they are generally not reliable enough.
The reason being many roads have two names – such as for example “TRADITIONAL” then one less generic; many roundabouts have phantom exits; main roads sometimes have lots not really a name; many junctions aren’t neat right angles, they are more slalom-like – each one of these conditions can confuse text-driven instructions.
You can flip to map view manually, but going for a hand off the bars at speed, trying to brake and/or when approaching other traffic is dangerous and, as we’ve established, the 820’s touchscreen is well, touchy, which means this action may not perform as expected.
Etc a 160km ride around Kent I came across leaving the machine on map view the complete time was the only method in order to avoid missing a turning. You can customise the map screen to add several items of additional data, such as for example speed, distance or period – but if you’re hungry for metrics such as for example your heartrate, power or est