For reference prior to this review; I have owned a Garmin 200, 305, 705, 800, Etrex 10, and a Dakota 20.
The Gorilla firm kindly offered the loan of a Garmin 1000, which could prove dangerous to the wallet, but can it sway a very satisfied user of the 800.
There’s a ton of stuff to babble on so in case of boredom I’ll bullet point my observations. Good first;
- Reports are that it’s huge, well putting it straight onto the same clamp in place of the 800 on the stem the contrast is not that striking to me. What is in your face though, is the size and clarity of the screen. The Edge 1000 has a resolution of 240 by 400 pixels, whereas the older Edge 800/810/Touring are only 160 by 240. The size of the screen has grown from 2.7” to 3.0”
- There’s a chunkier nicer look to the font for the data fields too.
- The map screen is GREAT in direct sunlight, no more diving into shade to check a map location.
- Activity Profiles, you can set up different modes which then automatically apply many unit settings in one touch. This is great so you can have different data fields and navigation setups for example racing (i.e lots of lap data fields, auto lap on and no map), or for on the turbo (Lots of power/ cadence data & turn off the map), or big rides (Turn Auto pause off, lots of waypoint and navigation data), or even set up for use as a car SatNav.
- You could set up a new profile just to test the effect of the mass of different navigation and map text display options, then if it all goes wrong just go back to your tried and tested profile in one click.
- This thing locks onto satellites in a flash, it really is a fast starter full stop. Even better one touch of the power button mid ride puts the unit to sleep for those cafe stops. From sleep it returns to action in a blink of an eye.
- I got full satellite connection with an accuracy of 76ft on my sofa at home, never seen that before, and I can’t even get a phone signal.
- The pre installed open source map for the UK version is full Europe wide and for road use is very clear and uncluttered with a ton of Points of interest included for food, hotels, etc Europe-wide (I’ve used this often on a Garmin Oregon unit) The map contains many footpaths and bridleways but it’s not as comprehensive as OS maps, but it does contain a lot of other layout details missing on OS. I will be getting a copy of the open source mapping for my 800 for now (loading free maps information)
- I loaded GPX routes for Spain and Italian Alps and everything on the map looked as I remembered it.
- When navigating on a user installed GPX route the clarity of directions on screen are superb. A solid white line points the way with very clear turn directions. The auto zoom in zoom out function is instantaneous and has no delay when returning to the map screen like I’ve seen on all other units used. It will auto transfer from a data page to the turn direction map and back too, like that.
- You can view the map in 3D and if you add several routes and colour them different; they show up well on the map as alternatives.
- The lap data display when you press the lap button is much clearer than the eye squinting tiny option of the 800 and others I’ve owned.
- Pair with your phone (Friends I-phone 5 tested mid ride, with Garmin connect App) and it will display phone call announcements on your screen while riding. It also came up with a local weather report shown in the photos.
- Garmin connect on the phone then loaded all the rides and passed them onto Strava, if you have that option selected. I then did a search of local segments (Garmin connect ones, NOT Strava) and loaded one to the Edge1000. Then when I was approaching that segment it gave me a get ready message, then a GO message as the display changed to just highlight you and your virtual partner battling it out, very cool.
- Hold your finger on any data field and that field can be changed on the fly, saves having to go into the setup menu.
- Hold a finger on the screen and a status menu allows for a quick view of satellite strength, time and temperature and a quick home screen button.
- Swipe down from any screen for a quick view and control of brightness settings, sensors, GPS, wireless and WiFi switch on buttons. Good addition to save endless trolling through menus.
- I created a route using waypoints, I tested it with one I’ve previously done from Harwich ferry to Northants. It came up with a very good route, better than I’d seen on my Oregon and pretty fast too. (hint turn re-calculate off if you ever follow a route like this)
- The calendar view of your rides in History is very good. It provides a quick view of a ride summary in calendar format.And as this has 2GB of memory spare you could leave a ton of rides on here before bothering to clear them out. (The rides records function would be very valid the more you left on)
- Let’s say you are doing the Flyers TT, you know you did a good time 2 months ago. On the night you go to the calendar, quickly find the ride and then view it. Confirm it’s the one and press make course, you then race yourself using virtual partner and instantly see where you are quicker or slower; Simples!
- When you finish a ride you hit the stop button and an END ride screen prompt/button appears. You can power down at this point to continue later no problem which is good. But when you finally hit END ride it then offers you two big buttons, Discard ride or Save ride. Thankfully it requires confirmation before deleting, and even at this stage you can still go back and carry on with the same ride; good options there.
- The altitude readings looked pretty reliable, but then I didn’t ride this in heavy rain, the usual killer.
- I can’t comment on the speed or cadence sensors as they don’t interest me. Check out this very in depth review for further info on the accelerometers used.
- Charging. On charge from a USB port at 500mA it charges about 10% every 20 minutes. It was noticeable that the unit still showed a draw of 250mA despite the on screen display showing 100% charged. At this point it is in mass storage mode with just the charging screen up. So I left it for longer to check further. it took a further 2 hours to drop to 80mA which must be what the screen display is using at that point. So if you want a proper full charge don’t just rely on the 100% screen indicator, leave it on charge overnight.
So lets get to the crux of my test, how long does the battery last?
Firstly how do Garmin get away with continuously exaggerating their battery life in their specs. My 800 can do 12 hours plus no problem, with many users doing long sportives I think that’s a good bare minimum expected.
I set up a profile and made sure it had the bare minimum turned on. No back-light at all, no Bluetooth, no WiFi no sensors at all, minimum screens. I then did a succession of rides and did the bare minimum with the unit in between rides except for a phone pairing test near the end, a good indication of what a basic user would do for one long ride.
The result is shown left (clicky bigger) after just under 9 hours the battery indicator was at exactly 0%. I took a few more screen captures just before it then shut itself down.
There is a battery low warning at 20% which still allowed for a good 90 minutes of riding no problem as well as the ride download function.
- Initially pairing with a phone using Bluetooth was a pain. A previous user had paired a phone and untill that was deleted there was no chance, or warning messages. As soon as it was deleted the connection and setup was instant. Does this mean you cannot pair to multiple devices, phone, tablet etc.
- For the waypoint route (route planner) I created there were then no options to save and name the route, or start another without deleting the created one. This is a very bad operational bug that surely a software revision will fix.
- The photos here are taken with the screen capture function (which all Garmin units have). On the Edge 1000 they use the lap button. This is fine when sitting still, but during a ride it also triggers a lap time, well it is a lap button. This means you can end up with tons of laps registered when you just want a screen shot. Maybe a longer press for a true lap if this function is enabled.
- The default route colour of dark blue is poor, too easy to confuse with rivers. Where as the breadcrumb light blue line is super clear and easy to see.
- It would be nice if the ride summary or the records pages could be user defined; Personally I don’t work in kilometers so a 40K record time is pointless to me, similarly I don’t care about calories burnt. I’d like the option to change these.
- Cost, it has to be a consideration, but as I only buy the base units, and the mapping is included it is not to bad.
Overall do I want one; oh yes! for me the clarity of the screen is the big seller as I use these a lot for navigation rather than training data. The full customisable profiles, and the ability to download rides while on holiday away from the PC are a big seller too.
That battery life could be the deal breaker for many; It’s easy enough to hook up to a reserve battery pack, or a dynamo output for epics, but I can see target users with Bluetooth enabled to their phone, speed and heart rate sensors in use, draining this bad boy in under 5 hours.
Check out the tons of screen shots, I’ve to show you many functions and menus in use. (click for bigger)