Garmin Edge 800 – First Impressions

I’ve finally bitten the bullet (what on earth does that mean really?) and bought a Garmin Edge 800.  I’ll probably post more about it over the months but here are my first impressions

  • It looks a whole lot more modern that the 705.  It’s smaller and more compact, yet has a larger screen.  An extra tenner seemed worth it to buy the silicon sleeve and a touchscreen screen-protector.
  • In the box are the usual things – 2 bike mounts, heart monitor strap, map card, cadence sensor, charger, usb cable and NO MANUAL.  This is contained either on the Garmin website or on the device itself in a documents sub-directory.
  • Plugging into my Mac, first impressions were not good.  The Mac did not recognise the device and therefore didn’t mount it.  Great start.  A quick google and it seems this was a “feature” with v2.1 software.  Turning the 800 off, holding down the reset button and plugging it into the USB port forced the Mac to mount the device.  Garmin updater then updated it to v2.2, which does allow the device to be recognised.
  • It features a new sub-directory structure.  GPX files are dropped into a “New” directory and automatically converted by the Garmin.  Hopefully this should make transferring plotted rides easier but that remains to be seen.
  • The touchscreen is good and allows space for more data than the 705 on the training screens – up to 10 data items.  However, on the map screen it only allows up to 2 data items as opposed to the 4 I had on the 705 map screen.  Don’t understand this as the screen estate was smaller on the 705 and was still usable.  A welcome addition to the data items available is the air temperature.
  • The 800 features a new twisting bike mount that feels a whole lot more secure than the 705 cable tie mount.
  • Out on the bike it performed as expected.  The screen was visible in differing light and the additional size of made the map easier to follow; the route guidance working well.
So my early impressions are good.  The 705, despite its quirks, provided great service navigating me all over the country for thousands of miles.  Hopefully, the 800 will do the same.
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5 comments

  1. Steve · June 20, 2011

    I love my Edge 800. I got a Garmin Edge 800 Screen Protector from xoskins on it the first day I had it. I never used a screen protector on my 500, but this ones screen is so big I figured I had better. You should check it out.

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  2. Pete · June 21, 2011

    You had any experience with the Garmin 500?

    I have been eyeing up the 705 or 800 but not sure that I need the maps. If I was still in the UK I can see how it might be useful but back NZ I know my way around pretty well.

    Going with the 500 would let me record my trips and use it as a cycle computer.

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    • Ade · June 21, 2011

      Hi Pete – no idea about the 500 other than I think you can record all your ride data so would be very useful for that. You could also always get an 800 without an additional map and then if you travel and need it you could just get the map. Cheers

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  3. chris · June 23, 2011

    “Bite the bullet” literally comes from when doctors used to perform operations on soldiers and gave them a bullet to bite down on because of lack of anaesthetic.

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  4. Pingback: Garmin 800 file transfer tips… | Ade's Road Cycling Blog

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