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Cycling GPS, Featured, What's New

Edge 520 Plus vs Edge 520 What’s Changed and Australian Release

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Posted: 20/04/2018 at 4:11 PM   /   by   /   comments (0)

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.

 

Edge 520 Plus left-side

Edge 520 Plus Front

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.

 

Edge 520 Plus VO2 Max Screenshot

Edge 520 Plus Weather Screenshot

Edge 520 Plus Screenshot

Navigation

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.

Edge 520 Plus FrontSpeaking 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.

Summary

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)
Water rating IPX7 IPX7
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
Colour display Yes Yes
Battery life up to 15 hours up to 15 hours
High-sensitivity receiver Yes Yes
Maps & Memory
Basemap Yes Yes
Waypoints/favorites/locations 200 200
Routes 0 100
History up to 180 hours up to 200 hours
Sensors
GPS Yes Yes
GLONASS Yes Yes
Barometric altimeter Yes Yes
Daily Smart Features
Smart notifications Yes Yes
VIRB® Camera Remote Yes
Training, Planning and Analysis Features
Customizable data pages Yes Yes
Auto Pause® Yes Yes
Interval training Yes Yes
Advanced workouts Yes Yes
Auto Lap® Yes Yes
V02 max Yes
Virtual Partner Yes Yes
Auto scroll Yes Yes
Running Features
Foot pod capable Yes (optional)
Cycling Features
Courses Yes Yes
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™
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
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