Garmin Edge 520 vs 520 Plus – Detailed Comparison

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With decades of experience in engineering products to provide people with products to maintain an active lifestyle, Garmin always values the bond that the products make with the customers.  

After noticing the huge impact that the Garmin Edge 520 had made in the world of cycling, Garmin rolled out an upgraded version of the same – The Garmin Edge 520 Plus.

What’s New in the Garmin Edge 520 Plus

Featuring a similar design and same seven button layout for controlling the device, the Edge 520 Plus is loaded with safety and navigational features which were only present in the higher end models before its release. Carrying on the legacy set up by the Garmin Edge 520, the highlighted add ons that the Edge 520 Plus brings to the table are :-

  • Significantly improved mapping support
  • Turn by turn navigation and route recalculation
  • Preloaded Connect IQ apps such as – TrainingPeaks, Yelp, TrailForks
  • GroupTrack and Rider Alerts
  • Rider to Rider messaging
  • Trendline Popularity Algorithm
  • Extended Display mode for Garmin FR935/Fenix 5 integration as a secondary display
  • Updated Strava Segments

Garmin edge 520 | Check Price & Reviews

Garmin edge 520 plus | Check Price & reviews

Differences Between Garmin Edge 520 vs Garmin Edge 520 Plus

The below chart compares the Garmin Edge 520 and Garmin Edge 520 and highlights the differences in both models of the series :-

Differences Between Garmin Edge 520 vs Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Differences Between Garmin Edge 520 vs Garmin Edge 520 Plus
FeatureEdge 520 PlusEdge 520
Mapping and Navigation
Garmin Cycle MapComes with preloaded mapNo preloaded map
Route recalculationCalculates the shortest route to destination while also alerting the rider when they stray off courseNo route recalculation or rider alert feature
Trendline Popularity AlgorithmSuggest the best possible route using the Trendline Popularity algorithmDoesn’t use the Trendline Popularity Algorithm
Turn by turn navigationProvides turn by turn directions with the help of preloaded mapDoesn’t come with turn by turn navigation capability
Design and Functionality
Data fieldsSlightly different data page/field layout than the Edge 520Colorful high resolution screen with customisable data screens
Weight2.2 oz (63 gms)2.1 oz (61 gms)
Button layout and controlsSeven button layout with no touchscreenSeven button layout with no touchscreen
Extended DisplayExtended Display mode for Garmin FR935/Fenix 5 integration as a secondary displayNo
New Applications
Strava segmentsStrava 2.0 (Updated Strava Segments)Preloaded Strava segments
TrailForksPreloaded TrailForks AppDoesn’t come preloaded but can be downloaded from Garmin Connect
YelpPreloaded Yelp App which can be used as a Point of Interest DatabaseDoesn’t come preloaded but can be downloaded from Garmin Connect
Best Bike SplitPreloaded with Best Bike Split AppDoesn’t come preloaded but can be downloaded from Garmin Connect
TrainingPeaksPreloaded with TrainingPeaks AppDoesn’t come preloaded but can be downloaded from Garmin Connect
Connectivity and Safety
Rider to Rider messagingFeatures Rider to Rider messagingNo Rider to Rider messaging
GroupTrack and LiveTrackFeatures both GroupTrack and LiveTrack with capability of adding upto 50 riders in GroupTrackFeatures only LiveTrack
Incident detectionBuilt in Incident detectionDoesn’t come with built in Incident detection
General features
Battery LifeImproved Battery life than the Edge 520Battery life upto 15 hours (depending on usage)
HistoryCan store upto 200 hours of riding historyCan store upto 180 hours of riding history

Garmin edge 520 | Check Price & Reviews

Garmin edge 520 plus | Check Price & reviews

Comparing the Edge 520 VS Edge 520 Plus

Comparing the Edge 520 and Edge 520 Plus
Comparing the Edge 520 and Edge 520 Plus

NAVIGATION

The race in which the Edge 520 Plus beats the Edge 520 by quite a distance is when it comes to the navigational features. The much-liked Edge 520 unit has been equipped with attractive features like pre-downloaded map, route recalculation and turns by turn direction giving capabilities.

The Edge 520 allows saving a waypoint that either comes in your most preferred route or your favorite stop in the hills. However, with the help of Connect IQ features like Yelp and TrailForks you can find points of interest (using the Yelp database) and even discover the favorite mountain trails that riders use in the area directly from your Edge 520 Plus on the handle of your bike.

With the Trendline Popularity algorithm which is specific to the Edge 520 Plus amongst the two, the device analyses rider data in the area and suggests the best possible route that is tried and tested by all of your riding companions in the area.

There’s more…

Another brilliant addition to the list of upgrades is the turn to turn navigation that the Garmin Edge 520 Plus provides with the help of Garmin Cycle Map. It also alerts the rider whenever the rider misses a turn or goes off the course. In case you decide on getting back early then the Garmin Edge 520 Plus will simply recalculate your route and provide you with the best route back home from that spot.

DESIGN

In terms of the design, the Edge 520 Plus is almost the same as the Edge 520 and has seven control buttons as the Edge 520 with both having a display screen size of 2.3” diagonally. Both the models of the series have a high-resolution color display while the Edge 520 Plus has slightly different data field layout than the Edge 520.

Many riders prefer using buttons during a ride over a touchscreen because of its ease of use specially with moist fingers or gloves during challenging rides. Professional riders live and ride through sweat and these devices are only designed to push them to their limits without offering even the slightest bit of inconvenience.

The Edge 520 Plus also features a new extended Display mode for Garmin FR935/Fenix 5 integration as a secondary display which was not present in the previous Edge 520.

The IPX7 standard waterproof computers are powered by rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries and weigh around 60 grams (Edge 520 Plus heavier by 2 grams). The aerodynamic form factor is intact and the almost perfect screen size on the handle can be optimized to view up to 10 data fields at a time.

CONNECTIVITY

The Edge 520 has LiveTrack that lets your closed ones to keep a track on your whereabouts while you are peddling your way to the top. The new GroupTrack capability in the Edge 520 Plus enables you to keep a track on the positions of your riding buddies.

The upgraded model also comes with Rider to Rider messaging with which you can text your friends directly from your Garmin device saving you the hassle of taking out your phone and messing up the screen from your sweat.

Connecting your smartphone to the computers gives you access to text and call notifications on the device. By pairing them with ANT+ sensors like Heart rate monitor and power meters, you can analyze vital data about your training like VO2 max estimates, Functional Threshold Power and targets for the ride. The Edge 520 Plus gives you notifications the moment you hit a certain target to let you know that you are right on track.

The Edge 520 Plus is also compatible with Varia smart lights and bikeradar which when combined with the built-in Incident detection creates a safer riding environment for the rider so that they can only focus on the road in front of them.

Connect IQ apps such as Best Bike Split and upgraded Strava segments in the Edge 520 Plus is pre downloaded to aid the rider in comparing and competing against others as well their own personal best.

HOW TO DECIDE: GARMIN EDGE 520 OR GARMIN EDGE 520 PLUS

In order to stay competitive in the market and producing the best companions for people who like to compete and stay fit, Garmin upgraded its star product – The Garmin Edge 520.

The result…

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus with all the excellent data and performance measuring features of the Edge 520 and jazzed it up with exquisite navigational features with a preloaded base map and latest training apps like TrailingForks, TrainingPeaks, Yelp, and Best Bike Split for riders in all terrains.

The Edge 520 Plus is priced only 50 dollars above the Edge 520 and is exactly what it sounds like – The Edge 520 with additional features. It is a smart choice for riders who prefer to have the best in the class navigational device in their arsenal along with all the data metrics for tracking their performance.

In case the navigational features are not that necessary for your training and you are comfortable with downloading the routes prior to going on the ride then the Edge 520 has everything you need at a lower price than the Edge 520 Plus.

However, if you are an explorer and love riding on brand new destinations and exploring new routes then the Edge 520 Plus is the bicycle computer that was specially upgraded for you.

Garmin edge 520 | Check Price & Reviews

Garmin edge 520 plus | Check Price & reviews

More info
GeneralEdge 520Edge 520 Plus
Physical dimensions1.9” x 2.9” x 0.8” (49.0 x 73.0 x 21.0 mm)1.9″ x 2.9″ x 0.8″ (49.0 x 73.0 x 21.0 mm)
Weight2.1 oz (60 g)2.2 oz (62.5 g)
Water ratingIPX7IPX7
Batteryrechargeable lithium-ionrechargeable lithium-ion
Display size1.4” x 1.9” (35.0 x 47.0 mm)1.4” x 1.9” (35.0 x 47.0 mm); 2.3″ diagonal
Display resolution200 x 265 pixels200 x 265 pixels
Colour displayYesYes
Battery lifeup to 15 hoursup to 15 hours
High-sensitivity receiverYesYes
Maps & Memory
BasemapYesYes
Waypoints/favorites/locations200200
Routes0100
Historyup to 180 hoursup to 200 hours
Sensors
GPSYesYes
GLONASSYesYes
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Daily Smart Features
Smart notificationsYesYes
VIRB® Camera RemoteYes
Training, Planning and Analysis Features
Customizable data pagesYesYes
Auto Pause®YesYes
Interval trainingYesYes
Advanced workoutsYesYes
Auto Lap®YesYes
V02 maxYes
Virtual PartnerYesYes
Auto scrollYesYes
Running Features
Foot pod capableYes (optional)
Cycling Features
CoursesYesYes
Time/distance alerts (triggers the alarm when you reach goal)YesYes
Compatible with Vector™ (power meter)YesYes
Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible third-party ANT+™-enabled power meters)Yes (records data approx. 1 per second)Yes (records data approx. 1 per second)
Garmin Connect™
Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyse, categorise and share data)YesYes
Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to Garmin Connect)YesYes

Additional Feature Comparision

Garmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 520 plus
Compatible with Varia™ bike radar and lights: yesAlerts (triggers alarm when you reach time, distance, HR, calories goals): yes
Edge® remote compatibility: yesCompatible with Varia™ bike radar and lights: yes
LiveTrack: yesLiveTrack: yes
Advanced performance and power analysis, including new Time in Zone, FTP tracking, cycling-specific VO2 and recovery and cycling dynamicsAdvanced performance and power analysis, including new Time in Zone, FTP tracking, cycling-specific VO2 and recovery and cycling dynamics
Bike trainer profile for compatible Turbo trainer data display and controlBike trainer profile for compatible Turbo trainer data display and control
On-device segment compatibility for dynamic and engaging in-ride competitionOn-device segment compatibility for dynamic and engaging in-ride competition
Operating temperature: -20°C to +55°COperating temperature: -20°C to +55°C
Connected features via a smartphone: yesConnected features via a smartphone: yes
Compatible with Garmin Connect™ and Garmin Connect™ Mobile: yesIntegration with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting: yes
Compatible with VIRB® action cameras: yesWeather alerts: yes
Integration with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting: yes¹ Advanced workouts require a Garmin Connect account
Weather alerts: yes
Preloaded Garmin cycling map: no
Wi-Fi® compatible: no
Round-trip routing: no
Route planner: no
Advanced workouts require a Garmin Connect account

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