Edge 520 Plus vs Edge 520 What’s Changed and Australian Release
Australian Price and Availability
Garmin has officially announced the Edge 520 Plus, this has come alongside the announcements for the Edge 130 (completely new range) and the new RTL510 rear-view sensor. The Edge 130 is an all-new product series while the Edge 520 Plus is an upgrade on an existing model specifically focusing on mapping, navigation and performance/training features. You can buy the Edge 520 Plus (device only) for $449 AUD, and the current ETA is Late April/ Early May. There are an additional two bundles including the Edge 520 Plus, I’ll outline all packages below and what’s included in the box:
Edge 520 Plus (Device Only) - $449 AUD, Expected Late April/ Early May – Box Contents:
- Edge 520 Plus, Flush out-front mount, Standard mount, Tether, USB cable, Manuals
Edge 520 Plus Sensor Bundle - $499 AUD, Expected Late April/ Early May – Box Contents:
- Edge 520 Plus, Flush out-front mount, Standard mount, Speed sensor, Cadence sensor, Premium Heart Rate Monitor, Tether, USB cable, Manuals
Edge 520 Plus Mountain Bike - $599 AUD, Expected Late April/ Early May – Box Contents:
- Edge 520 Plus, Mountain bike mount, Standard mount, Edge remote, Silicone case, Tether, USB cable, Manuals
What’s Changed - Edge 520 Plus vs Edge 520
This isn’t an entirely new product like the Edge 130. The Edge 520 plus is a software upgrade to the Edge 520 basic model. Thankfully the pricing point is pretty reflective of this at $50 more expensive than the RRP of the Edge 520 basic. The major differences are as follows:
- Full mapping support (turn by turn navigation, route recalculation, trackback)
- Rider to Rider messaging
- Trendline Route planning
- Rider alerts
- Extended display function for Garmin Forerunner 935/Fenix 5 integration as a secondary display – according to Garmin this will also be available for Edge 820/1030
There are a couple other minor changes that I didn’t mention but will be on the spec sheet at the end of this article. The significant difference here is the full mapping/navigation support this brings this unit much closer comparatively to an 820 or even 1030 in functionality.
Design and Functionality
The Edge 520 Plus does not have touchscreen functionality relying on button navigation, the buttons work the exact same way as they did on the 520. Upper left-side (Backlight control and Power on/off), Both left-side bottom buttons move up or down through menus. The top right-side button is the select/ok button for menus, and the bottom right-side button is the back button for menus. The bottom left button is your lap button, and the bottom right button will instantly open the ride activity menu.
As this is an upgraded unit, not a new unit, it doesn’t come with WiFi functionality which isn’t a major problem but might be unexpected as this is technically a ‘new’ product. It also doesn’t pair with Bluetooth cycling accessories, interestingly the unit does have Bluetooth functionality (what it uses to pair with your phone), but this connectivity does not allow for Bluetooth power meters, etc. to be connected.
The Edge 520 plus still comes with your helpful cycling metrics like functional threshold power (FTP) and VO2 Max along with some focused-on training and recovery. Garmin has also included GroupTrack, LiveTrack and Incident Detection. Group track can be used to send messages to other riders that are paired with you via GroupTrack should you, or they fall behind momentarily or need to change a tyre. LiveTrack can be used by your family to keep an eye on your cycling route progress. Finally, incident detection is a Garmin safety function that when activated will send a message to selected contacts with a pre-set message, this might be helpful should you run into a bit of trouble.
Getting into the meat of this article the navigation side of things for this unit is impressive. Now allowing for full mapping support really makes this bike computer more attractive and viable. What effect this will have on Garmin’s top tier units is still undecided. Obviously, those devices still have some exclusive features like POI’s databases, address routing, Bluetooth connectivity, but the gap between the 820/1030 to the Edge 520 plus is now much smaller.
Speaking of no address routing, Garmin has allowed a pretty nifty way around that with waypoints. You can save a point on your device, like a café you regularly stop by on your cycling route. Then label that waypoint whatever you want (example Chill Café). After that whenever you’re out cycling, you can tell your bike computer to navigate you back to that waypoint with full turn by turn navigation. Unlike some other bike computer units, if you miss a turn or try to take a shortcut, the route won’t completely lose its place instead it will first attempt to put you back on the route or recalculate the new route. You also have access to the back to start feature as an easy way to get back to where you started if you’re on an unfamiliar route.
Another feature that has been gaining a lot of popularity is Garmin’s trendline popularity routing. Traditionally Garmin will navigate you via the shortest distance possible. Popularity routing allows you to select a route to your destination that you know is tried and true but other cyclists.
The Edge 520 Plus is exactly what it sounds like, an Edge 520 unit plus a couple of extra features. Granted these features are pretty significant like full mapping support and navigation guidance. Overall, I think Garmin has priced this unit competitively, and it can definitely be considered an upgrade to the previous iteration. However, if mapping and navigation support doesn’t matter to you, then I would not recommend this device as those features are basically the only things that set it apart from other units like the Edge 130 or old Edge 520.
Garmin Edge 520 Plus (010-02083-20) - Available here along with compatible accessories
Garmin Edge 520 Plus Sensor Bundle (010-02083-21) - Available here along with compatible accessories
Garmin Edge 520 Plus Mountain Bike (010-02083-22) - Available here along with compatible accessories
Specification Comparison Edge 520 vs Edge 520 Plus
|General||Edge 520||Edge 520 Plus|
|Physical dimensions||1.9” 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)|
|Weight||2.1 oz (60 g)||2.2 oz (62.5 g)|
|Battery||rechargeable lithium-ion||rechargeable lithium-ion|
|Display size||1.4” x 1.9” (35.0 x 47.0 mm)||1.4” x 1.9” (35.0 x 47.0 mm); 2.3" diagonal|
|Display resolution||200 x 265 pixels||200 x 265 pixels|
|Battery life||up to 15 hours||up to 15 hours|
|Maps & Memory|
|History||up to 180 hours||up to 200 hours|
|Daily Smart Features|
|VIRB® Camera Remote||Yes|
|Training, Planning and Analysis Features|
|Customizable data pages||Yes||Yes|
|Foot pod capable||Yes (optional)|
|Time/distance alerts (triggers the alarm when you reach goal)||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible with Vector™ (power meter)||Yes||Yes|
|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™ compatible (online community where you analyse, categorise and share data)||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to Garmin Connect)||Yes||Yes|
|Additional||Compatible with Varia™ bike radar and lights: yes||Alerts (triggers alarm when you reach time, distance, HR, calories goals): yes|
|Edge® remote compatibility: yes||Compatible with Varia™ bike radar and lights: yes|
|LiveTrack: yes||LiveTrack: yes|
|Advanced performance and power analysis, including new Time in Zone, FTP tracking, cycling-specific VO2 and recovery and cycling dynamics||Advanced 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 control||Bike trainer profile for compatible Turbo trainer data display and control|
|On-device segment compatibility for dynamic and engaging in-ride competition||On-device segment compatibility for dynamic and engaging in-ride competition|
|Operating temperature: -20°C to +55°C||Operating temperature: -20°C to +55°C|
|Connected features via a smartphone: yes||Connected features via a smartphone: yes|
|Compatible with Garmin Connect™ and Garmin Connect™ Mobile: yes||Integration with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting: yes|
|Compatible with VIRB® action cameras: yes||Weather alerts: yes|
|Integration with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting: yes||¹ 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|
|¹ Advanced workouts require a Garmin Connect account|