Interbike 2010: Close Up Look at New Garmin Edge 800 GPS Cycling Computer

Garmin introduced their new Edge 800 cycling computer in August, just before our review of the Edge 500 posted, taking the miniature GPS bike computer game to a whole new level.

We put some hands on it at Interbike and played with the screen, and it’s nothing short of awesome.  Where the 500 lacks real time mapping and route planning (and a color screen and touch-screen interface), the 800 has all that and a familiar swipe movement recognition to switch between screens.

The new Edge 800 comes in two forms: As a standalone unit if you’re upgrading from another Garmin and already have all the accessories, you can get just the computer for $450.

If you’re starting from scratch and want the heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor, you’ll want the Performance and Navigation Bundle, which includes those accessories plus a MicroSD card with full color U.S. Maps for $650. Compared to adding those items a la carte later, the bundle is a much better deal.

The only downside of those either/or packages is color selection…see why (and other pics and info) after the break…

The base unit is black with white trim (above) and the bundled model is black with blue trim (top). Supposing you want the bundle but really, really want the white model, you can buy the Nav MicroSD card for $100 and the heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor would be $120 to $130 more.  Or, if you want all black, get which ever model you want and buy a $10 black silicone cover they have coming out soon.

The touch screen is glove friendly…letting you either push the onscreen buttons or swipe across to change screens.

Both units come with base maps built in to show roads and lakes, etc. With the Performance and Navigation bundle (or just by buying the chip), it’ll do turn by turn directions with beeps to signal a turn (no voice prompts). The maps follow along as you ride, just like on their Nuvi car GPS systems.  The actual screen colors are much more vibrant than what’s shown here, my camera didn’t like the bright screen against dark background, so colors are washed out.

The mini-USB port connects it to your computer to sync with the desktop app and/or Garmin Connect, the online training program you can set up for free. Another big upside to the 800 is it’ll Garmin’s new Basecamp to create a route and upload it to your unit and view it as you ride, which saves time versus the old method of creating a route via two or three third party software programs then porting it over to your unit.

The Edge 800 will be compatible with their new MetriGear Vector power meter pedals when they come out, along with any other ANT+ accessory.

Starts shipping in early November.

Comments

thomek - 10/05/10 - 1:00pm

“versus the old method of creating a route via two or three third party software programs then porting it over to your unit” ???????
in old units 605 and 705 just create route in Garmin Mapsource and upload it to gps unit, no third party programs and porting…. maybe You mean non vector based maps????

givemeyourshoes - 10/06/10 - 1:13pm

This seems like exactly what I want. I love the Garmin system I have for my car. The only problem I see, is that the screen is most likely going to be VERY hard to read in direct sunlight. And how weather proof is this thing, I live in Portland, OR and ride in the rain all the time?

James - 11/12/10 - 1:21pm

i’ve just bought this new Edge 800 – and have fallen in love. it is awesome, the touch screen is very fast and even works when wearing gloves. love it love it love it.

Here is my review of it:
http://www.bicyclecenturytraining.com/blog/garmin-edge-800-review/

Serge - 03/16/11 - 5:53pm

Je viens d’essayer mon nouveau egde 800 et je trouve que le fond de l’écran est très sombre, les numéro sont dure à voir. J’ai téléphoné à garmin il ne semblait pas trouvé de solution aux problème à part de laisser la backlight “ON” en tout temps. Est-ce que vous expérimenté le même problème et quel solution avez-vous trouvez. Merçi.

Serge

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