We put some hands on it at Interbike and played with the screen, and it’s nothing short of awesome.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.