Garmin Edge 520 vs Garmin Edge 820 – Full Comparision


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Helping people in making the most of their time spent in pursuing their passion is what Garmin wishes to deliver with each of its products. Fortunately, in the world of bicycle computers, the Garmin Edge series has proven itself time and again to be a valuable companion to the riders. 

Products like the Garmin Edge 520 helped in establishing a connect with the community and understanding their exact requirements. Ultimately, it led to an upgrade in the form of – The Garmin Edge 820.

The Garmin Edge 820 was launched after a year of launching the Edge 520 and is priced at around 40 dollars over the later. In a nutshell, the Garmin Edge 820 comes with some extra features like a touchscreen in addition to the already wide range of features offered by the Edge 520. 

What’s New in the Garmin Edge 820

The Garmin Edge 820 looks quite similar to the Edge 520 and has a screen of the same size – 2.3 inches diagonal. With the addition of Garmin’s trademark safety and navigational features like a preloaded Garmin Cycle Map, the Edge 820 is equipped with everything that the Edge 520 is already capable of and more. Some of the most profound additions to the list of offered features are :

  • Touchscreen and a 4 button layout
  • Garmin Cycle Map – Improved navigation with turn by turn directions
  • Ambient light sensor
  • GroupTrack – See other riders in your Group when connected with Garmin Connect
  • WiFi connectivity – By downloading the Garmin Express app
  • Built in incident detection

Comparing Garmin Edge 520 vs Garmin Edge 820

Garmin understands that the requirements of one rider may be different from everyone else. For example, you might be focussed on improving your performance more than exploring new tracks to ride on or vice versa.

The Edge 820 is a higher end model than the Edge 520 and it entirely depends on the expectations of the user to decide if the edge 820 is worth spending the extra bucks for. Below is a head to head comparison of both the models for your reference:

FeatureEdge 820 (Photo)Edge 520 (Photo)
Mapping and Navigation
Garmin Cycle MapComes with preloaded Garmin cycle mapNo preloaded map
GPS enabledYesYes
GLONASS enabledYesYes
Point of Interests (POI)Allows to access general points of interests with the help of City NavigatorNo POI’s
NavigationOnce a destination is chosen, it will guide the rider to the locationRequires the rider to upload a breadcrumbs course and cannot guide the rider to the selected location on its own
Turn by turn navigationProvides turn by turn directions with the help of preloaded mapOnly for courses already downloaded from Garmin Connect
Additional MapsYesNo
Rerouting capabilityReroutes when you stray off trackNo rerouting capability
Round trip Course creatorThe device automatically suggests up to 3 ride options on entering a starting point and distanceThe device automatically suggests up to 3 ride options on entering a starting point and distance
Route PlannerYesNo
Design and Functionality
Weight2.4 oz (68 gms) 2.1 oz (61 gms)
Display Resolution200 X 265 pixels; color200 X 265 pixels; color
Screen2.3 “ diagonal2.3 “ diagonal
Button layout and controlsFour button layout with touchscreenSeven button layout with no touchscreen
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” (4.9 x 7.3 x 2.1 cm)
Customizable Data screensYesYes
Ambient light sensorScreen responsive to ambient lightNo
Temperature displayRecords and displays temperature on the rideRecords and displays temperature on the ride
WaterproofYes. IPX7 ratingYes. IPX7 rating
Barometric altimeterYes (provides ascent and elevation details)Yes (provides ascent and elevation details)
Training Features
Training CalendarAllows the user to access the training calendar on the device created on Garmin ConnectNo 
Strava Real Time segmentsYes (Requires Strava premium membership)Yes (Requires Strava premium membership)
Advanced training featuresAllows user to calculate and keep track of valuable performance metrics like VO2 max estimates, Functional Threshold Power, lactate threshold and Time in Zone (requires to be used with a HR monitor and a power meter)Allows user to calculate and keep track of valuable performance metrics like VO2 max estimates, Functional Threshold Power and Time in Zone (requires to be used with a HR monitor and a power meter)
Stress ScoreYes (requires Heart Rate Monitor)Yes (requires Heart Rate Monitor)
Courses and advanced workoutsCreate courses to compete against your personal best or a set targetCreate courses to compete against your personal best or a set target
Indoor trainerCompatibleCompatible
Automatic syncAutomatically transfers ride data to your computerAutomatically transfers ride data to your computer
Recovery AdvisorYes.Yes
Virtual partnerYesYes
Auto Scroll, Auto Pause, Auto LapYesYes
Connectivity and Safety
WiFi connectivityYesNo
Connect IQCompatible with Connect IQ featuresCompatible with Connect IQ features
ANT+ sensors (Power meter, Heart rate monitor, speed and cadence sensors)Compatible with ANT+ sensorsCompatible with ANT+ sensors
Smart notificationsCan be paired with a smartphone for smart notifications on the deviceCan be paired with a smartphone for smart notifications on the device
Shimano Di2 connectivityAfter pairing the Edge 820 shows the gear information on the screenAfter pairing the Edge 520 shows the gear information on the screen
VIRB controlYesYes
GroupTrack and LiveTrackFeatures both GroupTrack and LiveTrack with capability of viewing riders using GroupTrackFeatures only LiveTrack
Incident detectionBuilt in Incident detectionDoesn’t come with built in Incident detection 
Compatibility with cycling awareness productsCompatible with awareness products like rearview radar and smart bike lightsCompatible with awareness products like rearview radar and smart bike lights
Social media sharingYesYes
General features
Battery LifeBattery life up to 15 hours (depending on usage)Battery life up to 15 hours (depending on usage)
Battery save modeYes. Increases battery life up to 50% (Ultratac setting)No
HistoryCan store upto 200 hours of riding historyCan store upto 180 hours of riding history
Memory card slotNo. 16Gb of internal memoryNo
Weather alertsYesYes

Differences between Garmin Edge 520 and Garmin Edge 820

Even though both the bike computers occupy very little space on the handlebar, display accurate performance metrics, offer best in class training features and have a delightful display screen capable of displaying smart notifications from the phone, they are different in some of the aspects as mentioned below:

Navigation – Garmin Edge 520 vs Garmin Edge 820

When the Garmin Edge 520 was released it didn’t come with a preloaded map. This was flagged by many users who love to explore new trails and would have loved if their Garmin already had those areas built in.  As a result, Garmin worked on the request and made the newer Garmin Edge 820 capable of delivering exactly what was required – Preloaded Map and awesome navigational capabilities

The Garmin Edge 820 gives turn by turn navigation to a saved location or even a location you just selected without having to upload breadcrumbs or download routes like the Edge 520 for turn by turn navigation.

Another interesting and super helpful feature that the Garmin Edge 820 provides is its capability of route planning and round trip routing which allows the device to recalculate a route if you stray off the course. As soon as you miss a turn, the device will try and alert you with beeps that you have missed the turn. If the rider chooses not to return back to the track then the device will automatically calculate the best possible route and display it.

New maps can also be added to the Garmin Edge 820 which was also not possible in the earlier models. Overall, the Garmin Edge 820 is created by taking all the advanced performance measuring metrics of the Edge 520 and adding flown blown maps to it with some additional features sprinkled over it.

Design – Garmin Edge 520 vs Garmin Edge 820

The Garmin Edge 820 shares the compact structural design with the Edge 520. The high-resolution display in both the models is flaunted by the 2.3-inch widescreen. However, the Edge 820 has a 4 button layout and offers a touchscreen as compared to the Edge 520 which offers a seven button layout for controls and does not feature a touchscreen.

The reason why the Edge 520 featured a non-touchscreen design over the Edge 510 was because of buttons are easier to use with gloves on and moist hands. The touchscreen provided in the Edge 820 performs better than the previous models even when used with gloves. With the Edge 820, the riders also have the option of controlling the device using the four button layout if they prefer that over the touchscreen

In terms of the weight of the models, the Edge 820 is a bit heavier than the Edge 520 (by a minimal amount of 7 grams). However, this difference is minimal and is highly unlikely to make a difference in performance and speed while training. The aerodynamically engineered form factor and compact design of the Edge 820 easily fits on the handlebar with the help of a standard quarter turn mount like the Edge 520.

The menu screen in the Edge 820 is a much more simplified version of the Edge 520 and contains the most important options on the home screen like Train, Navigate, Training and a Connect IQ widget unlike the Edge 520.

Features – Garmin Edge 520 vs Garmin Edge 820

Training and Performance measurement

One of the major reasons behind the trust that Garmin has been able to build among riders is the accurate tracking of training data, analyzing it and delivering precise insights. The Edge 820 and the Edge 520 both offer customizable data screens for displaying performance metrics like speed, cadence, power, distance and Heart rate (when paired with a heart rate monitor).

The Edge 820 has WiFi compatibility and can connect to various sources using WiFi which is not present in the previous models including the Edge 520.

The advanced cycle computers also help users with performance analysis tests like FTP, calculating VO2 max and provide with recovery data along with interval training options and advanced workout capabilities. In terms of training data tracking and monitoring both the devices are at par with each other with the exceptions of stress scores, lactate threshold and conducting performance condition which can only be performed by the Edge 820.


The Edge 820 comes with the option of GroupTrack in addition to LiveTrack, which allows the rider to have a look at the positions of his fellow riders on the track which is of tremendous help when deciding to meet at a specific point. The Edge 520 only features LiveTrack which allows only them to be visible to riders having the GroupTrack feature on their handlebars.

Incident Detection

When the Edge 520 was launched it didn’t have the Incident detection which is built in the Edge 820. However, the updates filled this void in the Edge 520 and now it is equipped with the Incident detection feature just like the Edge 820 which alerts friends or family in case you run into an accident.

Battery Save Mode

When you are so close to beating your personal best and are still going like a champ, the last thing that you want to see is the battery dying off in the middle of the road. In order to avoid situations like this, the Garmin Edge 820 and Garmin Edge 520 both have a battery life of up to 15 hours.

However, the upgraded Edge 820 has a Battery Power Saver mode also known as the UltraTac setting which allows the device to save power and increase the battery life up to 50%. This comes in handy when you forgot to charge the device and left for the day. 


The Edge 520 has cemented its name as one of the best bike computers according to experts and happy customers since its release. 

Then why release the Edge 820?

While the Edge 520 is more than capable of capturing and analyzing all the important performance metrics and aiding riders in getting better every day, the Garmin Edge 820 brings in a whole new experience of exploring new segments with its navigational features that were not included in the Edge 520. 

For riders who are always looking for a new adventure in previously unexplored tracks preloaded maps and accurate navigation is a no brainer. Add to it the rerouting capability and turn by turn detailed navigation and alerts on going off course are of tremendous help in riding through new areas. 

In a nutshell, if you want your Garmin device to prompt you directions without having to worry about downloading maps for exploring new areas, prefer to use a touchscreen in addition to buttons and measure performance metrics like a professional then the Garmin Edge 820 might be worth spending the extra bucks for. If you can do with downloading maps from the Garmin connect app before riding a new track and are more interested in measuring and analyzing performance data of each ride then the Garmin Edge 520 should do the trick.


!!! Check out new Garmin Edge Explore Review !!!

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