In this post I compare the Garmin Edge 810 cycle computer with its older relation, the Edge 800.
The older model is still being made by Garmin, and is available for less of your hard-earned Dollars/Pounds/Other (delete as applicable) than the newer 810. It certainly remains a viable choice for all your cycle GPS-ing needs.
I’m guessing you’re eager to know the difference between the two models and whether that justifies the step up in price. Let’s dive in.
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What Do The Edge 800 and 810 Have In Common?
In short, a lot.
The Edge 8xx series is at the top of Garmin’s range of cycling GPS devices. The 810 is the most expensive (the slot previously occupied by the 800), the 800 is second on the list.
The Edge 810/800 performs all the functions you might expect of a bike computer with GPS. It tracks your location, in order to provide you with a data on the ride (speed – current and average, distance travelled, calories burned) as well as via download to your computer, or app of your choice, after the ride has finished.
The 800/810 also lets you know how high you’ve climbed (or not) using the inbuilt barometer, and displays any data that’s coming in from other (ANT+) sensors that you might have secreted about your person or on the bike (heart rate monitor, speed/cadence sensor, power meter).
The key feature of both the 800 and the 810, versus say the Edge 500/510 (Garmin’s mid-range device) is the ability to display maps on-screen, whilst out on the ride. There is a basic map built into the device. You can buy additional more detailed maps for countries where you plan to ride.
They’re twins. At least when it comes to their vital statistics. They weigh the same (3.5 oz or 98 g, since you ask) and their dimensions are the same.
The main reason you’d buy either the 810 or 800 versus the 510 is for the maps, so you’ll be interested in the screen display. Pattern alert – the screen is the same size on both 8xx devices (colour touchscreen), as is the resolution (160 x 240 pixels).
I think it’s fair to say that Garmin are using the same case to house both the 800 and the 810 (although the 810 does sport a funky design around the – wait for it – … edge of the case… yak yak yak!).
The Main Difference…
… Seems to be the price. This table shows current prices for each standalone device (i.e. not packaged with a heart rate strap and the bike speed/cadence sensor) on Amazon in the US and in the UK.
|Links for US & international readers||Links for UK readers|
|Edge 800 (GPS device only)||
|Edge 810 (GPS device only)|
If I had any computing skills, I’d be able to tell you that the price differential right now is [blargh – computer says no].
Sadly I have no such skills, so I’ll use my trusty calculator to tell you that the difference at the time of writing (February 2014) is $153 / £98.
The Real Main Difference
The newer Edge 810 features all the smartphone connectivity stuff that was introduced by Garmin in this generation of devices.
Like the 510, you can pair the 810 with either your iPhone or an Android phone of your choice. You can then upload ride data straight to your phone (and then onwards to whatever apps you use) – you no longer need to connect via USB to your computer.
Working the other way, you can download route maps to your smartphone, wherever you are, and then sync them with the 810.
The 810 being able to communicate with your smartphone means you can be ‘live tracked’ whilst you’re out on the bike. You can invite people (your spouse? friends? the police?) to follow you in real time, with your progress marked on a map on Garmin’s website (‘Garmin Connect’).
So Is The 810 Worth Paying Extra For?
If the connectivity features really get your juices going (or you have an overbearing partner that needs to know where you at any given moment), then you’ll get value out of paying the extra money.
For me, the 810 is very similar indeed to the 800. I find it no hardship to use a USB cable to connect my Edge to the computer and download my data (disclosure: I have an Edge 510, but the logic still applies). Personally I like to play around a bit on Strava after I’ve downloaded a ride – looking at segment times, zooming in and out on the map. All of this is easier on a computer rather than a mobile device.
The difference between the 810 and 800 is a lot smaller than that between the Edge 510 and 500 (where at least there was a jump up from a monochrome to a colour screen).
All else being equal, I recommend you go for the 800 and if you have any cash left over, purchase the bundle with the heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor, or an extra map.
If You Found This Review Useful…
… I would love it if you purchase your chosen device through one of the links below. It won’t cost you anything but I’ll get a small commission. Happy cycling!