Apr 30, 2019

The new Garmin Edge 830

What makes the Garmin 830 different from the 530?

Garmin just announced the new Edge 830 bike computer, completing a major update to their entire lineup of popular ride-tracking devices. It was unveiled on the same day as the new Edge 530, a model that shares a great number of features and capabilities. In fact, when you look at them side-by-side, the two seem almost identical physically. So, what exactly makes them different from one another, and why does the Edge 830 cost $100 more?

The face of the Garmin Edge 830 compared to the face of the Garmin Edge 530

Aside from the protruding side buttons, the Edge 830 looks nearly identical to the Edge 530

One of the main points of differentiation is how you control the device. The new Edge 830 features a touchscreen as the primary way to interact, whereas the Garmin 530 can only be controlled with its six hardware buttons. If you're the type of person who prefers using a touchscreen, the new Edge 830 may be the better choice for you.

Even though the touchscreen is the primary way to control the Edge 830, it has three physical buttons. A button on the left side can be used to power the unit on and off, to enter and exit sleep mode, and to lock the touchscreen. The bottom right of the Edge 830 feature a dedicated Start and Stop button, and the bottom left features a dedicated Lap button. Incidentally, if you've ever pressed your Lap button at the wrong time and wished you could correct it, SportTracks gives you a way to easily edit lap button data

The sides of the Garmin Edge 830 compared with the sides of the Garmin Edge 530 bike computers

The other way that the new Edge 830 differs greatly from the new Edge 530 is navigation. If you want to be able to enter in an address and have your bike computer provide you with turn-by-turn navigation instructions, you are going to want the Edge 830 — because the Edge 530 cannot do this.

In addition to inputing known addresses, you can also search the Edge 830 for Points of Interest (POI), and then get turn-by-turn navigation instructions to the location of your choosing. The Edge 530 doesn't have this searching capability, but you can select POI's from its map and get navigation instructions that way.

The major differences between these two new bike computers ends there. If having a touchscreen is important to you, then the additional $100 difference in price may be worth it. If unhindered navigation abilities are important to you, than the Edge 830 may be the better choice. If neither of these needs apply to you, then the new Edge 530 is likely the better choice.

We covered the announcement of the Garmin Edge 530 bike computer in a separate post, and took a close look at all of the improvements and new features. Since every single new feature and improvement is also found on the Garmin 830, you can check out that post to learn more about it. Here's a quick summary of these new features:

  • Improved battery life: 15 hours on the Edge 820, 20 hours on the 830
  • External Battery Support: works with the Charge Power Pack
  • Screen is larger: 830 screen is 2.6" (63.5 mm), 820 screen is 2.3" (58.42 mm)
  • Improved internals: the processor is twice as fast as the last generation
  • Bluetooth Smart fitness sensor support: works with Bluetooth heart-rate monitors, etc.
  • Built-in WiFi: sync new workouts automatically
  • ClimbPro: informs you of grade and other real-time hill climbing data
  • Eat and Drink alerts: help you stay properly hydrated and fueled
  • Power Curve charts: similar to the Critical Power charts in SportTracks
  • Extended Display Mode: displays workout data from watch, ideal for triathletes
  • Forksight: a helpful mountain biking navigation feature
  • MTB Dynamics: new metrics for Grit, Flow, and Jump
  • Altitude and Heat Acclimation data: help you understand how you're performing
  • Crash Detection: automatically notifies your emergency contacts
  • Built-in bike alarm: sounds when it detects motion, sends notification to your phone
  • Find My Edge: records GPS location of device when loses connection with phone, can activate a beeping sound when in Bluetooth range

Closing thoughts...

In a way it seems like Garmin wasn't sure if they should make a device that was primarily touchscreen controlled, or if they should make one that only had buttons. Instead of committing to a decision, they simply made both. Whatever the reason may be, it's nice to have more options. Both the new Edge 830 and the Edge 530 are compelling new cycling trackers, and the fact that they both automatically send their workouts to SportTracks means you can't go wrong with either one. ;)

Article written by Sam Mallery, Director of Marketing, Zone Five Software Inc.