Look & Feel
The Garmin Edge 800 is a "navigator" for the use of cyclists. This device is quite small which can be useful as well as making it harder to see when cycling on rough terrain. It is about the size you may expect a mobile phone to be, almost exactly the same as my orange vegas which is slightly larger than a keypad phone but smaller that an iphone. The screen is very clear and very easy to see in bright sunlight. It can be difficult to use on occasion as you cannot see very far left or right on the screen that can only be mounted upright, it would be so much better if it could just be used at a right angle. I only purchased the "basic" package which simply has the device loaded with the basic maps and the handle bar mount. A more expensive package would have wireless speed sensors, a heart rate monitor and would be loaded with ordinance survey maps.
As there are no wires the installation of this device is as simple as screwing the mount onto the handlebars. Setting up the device itself is fairly difficult, and being a man i left reading the manual to the last resort but still found it un--helpful.
Navigating with this device is pretty good as it provides turn by turn instructions and the screen can be customized to display more or less information. Unlike a car satnav though it does not provide a 3d view, but a satisfactory top down 2D view that is clearly marked. The destination or postcode can easily be programmed in and is accurate unlike a model my friend has which has a tendency to take him to the street next to his destination rather than his destination. The GPS sensors are also very fast to respond.
This device has a timing view and a navigation view, one providing distance, average speed e.c.t It also displays the current temperature and the navigation view being self-explanatory. You can customize the view as i said above to display as much or as little info as you with.
I have experimented with the feature where you can create your own route and save it, if you wish to avoid particular routes or something but i am content with the auto-navigation. There is also fitness programs which can be used to race yourself over a certain route, there is also an interesting feature where it displays a virtual marker for you to race against even if you haven't rode the route before, and you can set the markers speed and try to keep up.
This device also has some interesting online software that uploads all of your activities onto the website and you can view what you have done. You can also use the computer software to create custom routes and download them to your device.
I payed in excess of £270 for this device and the more expensive models can be over £300 so the cost could be an issue. Overall this device is very user friendly and is full of useful features, a very handy addition to a cyclists kit! The battery life is also very good, it claims to last 15 hours but i have never left it that long without a charge.