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Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

09.11.23 09:02 49Text: Erwin Haiden (translated by AI)Photos: Erwin HaidenEnormously helpful and versatile, the Garmin Edge 840 impresses not only during the initial setup, but also surprises in the long-term review with many new and useful features.09.11.23 09:02 272

Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

09.11.23 09:02 272 Erwin Haiden (translated by AI) Erwin Haiden
  • AI generated translation
  • AI-generated translation refers to the process of using artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning models, to automatically translate text or speech from one language to another. These systems, such as neural machine translation models, analyze large datasets of multilingual content to learn patterns and associations between languages. The generated translations are based on statistical probabilities and context learned during training.
Enormously helpful and versatile, the Garmin Edge 840 impresses not only during the initial setup, but also surprises in the long-term review with many new and useful features.09.11.23 09:02 272

When it comes to my tours and photo assignments, one thing I can't do without anymore is my Garmin Edge. Because of all the useful tools in my bicycle drawer, the Garmin Edge 840 is not only the most versatile, but also one of the most helpful in case of emergency.
This is due to the incredible range of functions and the now excellent mapping material that is available right out of the box and can be accessed at any time without hassle - including elevation data, mountain classifications, and route planning.

  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

 After a long season in use, it's time for a preliminary conclusion 

NoSanes Interim Review

As a first-generation Garmin user (looking at you, Edge 500) and regular user of the Epix and Instinct watches, I thought nothing from the Garmin GPS universe could surprise me anymore. But with the Edge 840, Garmin has done just that - with a mix of highly specialized functions for bikers on one hand, and the refreshingly modern and simplified user interface on the other.
I would like to share a few of my highlights along with the experiences of the last few months in my report.

  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
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  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

Surprisingly simple setup

The first positive surprise concerns a point that has been criticized for years. Never before has it been so easy to set up a new Garmin device. Using a QR code, the Edge can be paired with Garmin Connect on a mobile phone. After that, you are immediately asked whether you want to transfer the activity profiles and sensors from another device (e.g., the previous model).
I do both, and just a few seconds later, the new 840 is essentially the same as my old 530. If you want to change a particular data field, activity profile, or certain pages, it's very easy to do via the touchscreen - or remotely through Garmin Connect on the mobile phone.

  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

This is important because the configurability of Garmin devices has always been very high, and the Edge 840 continues this tradition. Just the different map views, from shading, level of detail, classic, MTB, or high contrast... to the map display of segments and elevation profiles - it can make you dizzy.
The additional and quite clear configuration via Garmin Connect makes things a bit easier.

  • Profile transferred: Profile transferred:
    Profile transferred:
    Profile transferred:
  • Sensors transmit:  Sensors transmit:  
    Sensors transmit:  
    Sensors transmit:  
  • 3D shading of the map3D shading of the map3D shading of the map
    3D shading of the map
    3D shading of the map
  • many detailsmany detailsmany details
    many details
    many details
  • simple setting of pointssimple setting of pointssimple setting of points
    simple setting of points
    simple setting of points
  • Customizing the data fields on the phoneCustomizing the data fields on the phoneCustomizing the data fields on the phone
    Customizing the data fields on the phone
    Customizing the data fields on the phone
  • the connection with and integration of Komoot is also ...the connection with and integration of Komoot is also ...
    the connection with and integration of Komoot is also ...
    the connection with and integration of Komoot is also ...
  • excellently solved. This allows planned tours to be quickly and easily adopted.excellently solved. This allows planned tours to be quickly and easily adopted.
    excellently solved. This allows planned tours to be quickly and easily adopted.
    excellently solved. This allows planned tours to be quickly and easily adopted.

The first and for me most important app on the Garmin is Komoot. After all, I plan most of my tours and adventures through this platform.
Here, too, the pairing works with a simple code, without the need for entering email addresses or complex passwords. That's exactly how it should work, and in the end, the entire initialization and setup of the Edge 840 only takes a few nerve-sparing minutes. No comparison to previous installations!

  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • slim profileslim profile
    slim profile
    slim profile
  • Operation also works with glovesOperation also works with gloves
    Operation also works with gloves
    Operation also works with gloves
  • Display is always easy to read thanks to auto-brightnessDisplay is always easy to read thanks to auto-brightness
    Display is always easy to read thanks to auto-brightness
    Display is always easy to read thanks to auto-brightness

The Edge 840 (without Solar) is the best of all Edge devices

Before purchasing, like most people, I was faced with the decision: Edge 540 or 840, with or without solar? After some research, my choice fell fairly clearly on the 840 without solar for the following reasons:
For me, the operation via buttons is important, but unlike its predecessor, where you had to choose between touchscreen or buttons, the 840 offers the best of both worlds. It seems that during the development of the menus and operability, the touchscreen functionality was given priority, but everything really works both ways, either directly via the display or via the control buttons. Apart from the price and the marginally brighter display, there's actually no reason to opt for the 540 anymore.

On the subject of solar, the experiences of various colleagues also match my own assessment. Having worn a Garmin solar watch on my wrist before, I know: With simple, relatively power-saving watches like the Garmin Instinct Crossover, the solar exposure can be enough in power-saving mode to operate the watch virtually indefinitely; at least it significantly extends the battery life. However, with the Edge 840, the energy required is so high that the solar version, with full sun exposure over hours, only extends the total battery life by a few percentage points. Therefore, for me personally, the 840 without solar is the best choice.

  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
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  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

Technical Specifications and Highlights

A table says more than a thousand words - at least, if it's longer than a thousand words. But see for yourself. The range of functions of the Garmin Edge devices has become so extensive that a detailed presentation of all the possibilities would simply be too much. Therefore, I will focus on a few new features and highlights that I would like to explain to you in more detail.

Tech Specs General

Dimensions 57.8 x 85.1 x 19.6 mm
Weight 85 g (BB scale)
Waterproofing IPX7
Touchscreen
Wristband Material Silicone
Display Size 66 mm (2.6-inch) diagonal
Resolution 246 x 322 pixels
Battery Life Up to 26 hours
Sensors Gps
Glonass
Galileo
Barometric altimeter
Gyroscope
Accelerometer
Ambient light sensor
Multiband GNSS
Magnetometer
Connectivity Bluetooth, ANT+, WLAN
Smart Features Connect IQ (downloadable display designs, data fields, widgets, and apps)
Connect IQ store on the device
Receive Smart Notifications
Weather
Real-time settings synchronization with Garmin Connect Mobile
Music functions
Virb remote control
Smart trainer operation
Safety and Tracking Features Emergency assistance
Livetrack
Group Track
Group Ride (Cycling)
Messages from rider to rider
Incident detection (including off-road)
Edge search
Bike alarm
Weather alerts
Inreach compatible
Training, Planning, and Analysis Features Customizable data pages
Downloadable training plans
Daily workout suggestions
Primary and secondary training goals
Auto Pause
Interval training
Advanced workouts
Auto Lap
Vo2 max
Training Status
Training Load
Training Load Focus
Real-Time Stamina
Cycling capability analysis
Course requirement analysis
Training effect
Recovery advisor
Virtual Partner
Virtual Racer™
Segments
Auto page switch
Physio Trueup
Unified training state
Outdoor Recreation Features Climbpro Ascent Planner
Climbpro with planned routes
Climbpro without planned routes
Cycling Features Courses (to compete against previous activities)
Time or distance alarm (when you reach a preset value, an alarm sounds)
Bike map (routing-capable road maps for cycling)
MTB dynamics
Compatible with Varia radar
Compatible with Varia bike lights
Compatible with power meters (with third-party ANT+ power meters)
Course creation on the device
Position search on the device
Power guide
Trendline Popularity Routing
Popularity heatmap
Bike dynamics compatible
Integrated Trailforks trail data
E-bike routing
Connectivity Edge remote control
Varia remote control
Electronic shifting ANT+
Shimano Di2 Synchro Shift integration
External display (a Garmin watch can share data pages with the Edge)
Prices € 499,- (MSRP Edge 840)

€ 399,- (MSRP Edge 540)
€ 499,- (MSRP Edge 540 Solar)
€ 599,- (MSRP Edge 840 Solar)

My personal favorites include, for example, the ambient light sensor, which always ensures the perfect display lighting and thus readability, the integration or control with the Di2 shift levers, the new Climb-Pro features, the font and presentation of the maps and elevation profiles, the virtual partner, the back-to-start navigation and Connect IQ including Komoot, Strava, and Trailforks.
But the battery life has also significantly improved compared to its predecessors. The theoretically up to 26 hours in GPS mode and up to 42 hours in power-saving mode are, in my experience, realistic values. On my longest rides, after 10-14 hours on the bike, I still had 40-50% battery capacity remaining.

 Always present, without screaming for attention 

In daily bike life, the Edge 840 is conspicuously inconspicuous thanks to all its features.
  • 85 grams on the Bikeboard scale85 grams on the Bikeboard scale
    85 grams on the Bikeboard scale
    85 grams on the Bikeboard scale
  • the new font significantly increases readabilitythe new font significantly increases readability
    the new font significantly increases readability
    the new font significantly increases readability
  • the map display leaves little to be desiredthe map display leaves little to be desired
    the map display leaves little to be desired
    the map display leaves little to be desired
  • extensive accessories even in the standard version
    extensive accessories even in the standard version
    extensive accessories even in the standard version

Surprisingly large: The Garmin Offline and Online Universe

The offline program of Garmin, as an established and innovative hardware manufacturer, now encompasses a wide range of devices: from watches that can be combined with the Edge, to power meters and indoor trainers, to the latest generation of Varia lights with radar and camera, or the Powermount for external power supply.
The Varia rear light as a safety feature is a great thing. Not just because you can see approaching vehicles on the Edge display if you wish, but mainly because the light pulsates and thus stands out clearly in traffic.
Anyway, solid hardware has always been Garmin's great strength.

As far as software is concerned, it looked a bit different for a long time. Garmin was always somewhat behind compared to the most modern sides of the industry and the user interfaces of many competitors. Garmin Connect was initially received rather critically. But this has changed due to a significantly improved update policy and especially the massive integration of the community.
Not only does Garmin Connect now offer more and more functions and interaction à la Strava, but in my opinion, especially the active maintenance of the support forums has led to a massive improvement in quality. It seems that the Garmin developers are very open to the problems and wishes of the community and power users in their in-house support forums, and I get the impression that a lot of feedback and good ideas are being absorbed and implemented from there.

  • Display of the last climbs at dusk (Dark Mode)
    Display of the last climbs at dusk (Dark Mode)
    Display of the last climbs at dusk (Dark Mode)

Surprisingly good: Installed maps are getting better and better

An absolute highlight for me now are the pre-installed Garmin maps. In the past, outstanding map material was often something you had to go through free third-party providers like openmtbmap or openfietsmap to get, but the currently pre-installed Garmin maps leave little to be desired.

The Edge 840 and its peers now have top-notch map material including contour lines along with elevation data. This allows for precise elevation calibration at the start of a new activity on one hand, and on the other hand also previews including elevation gain for unknown climbs in the vicinity or at any location on the map - and that's Europe-wide (routing-enabled cycling map for Europe and Trailforks are pre-installed with purchases in Europe).

  • Standard Map ViewStandard Map View
    Standard Map View
    Standard Map View
  • here the climbs in the areahere the climbs in the area
    here the climbs in the area
    here the climbs in the area
  • with detailswith details
    with details
    with details
  • Category 1 ClimbCategory 1 Climb
    Category 1 Climb
    Category 1 Climb
  • long-awaited and practical feature: with the button at the top rightlong-awaited and practical feature: with the button at the top right
    long-awaited and practical feature: with the button at the top right
    long-awaited and practical feature: with the button at the top right
  • can the view of the elevation profile be changedcan the view of the elevation profile be changed
    can the view of the elevation profile be changed
    can the view of the elevation profile be changed
  • Scrolling and searching the map also works very well with gloves on
    Scrolling and searching the map also works very well with gloves on
    Scrolling and searching the map also works very well with gloves on
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

The map can be supplemented with all kinds of information. You can choose between 3 display modes (Standard, High-Contrast, and MTB) if desired, overlay a 3D shading, display climbs (category HC and 1-5), color-code streets and paths by popularity, mark busy roads (red dashed) or display segments.
New with the Edge 840 is the option to display up to 4 (previously 2) data fields on the map screen. Thanks to newly designed menus, accessing most settings is now context-related and largely where one would intuitively expect them; in my eyes not quite perfect yet, but a significant improvement over the previous models.

However, the real highlight is the information drawn from the map data, which by now allows for quite solid routing (from MTB to Gravel to Road cycling) and also provides very accurate elevation profiles, with which you can quite well estimate what to expect on the rest of the route - which brings us to the next point.

  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

 Gimmicks, or what? 

my first thought during the presentation

Surprisingly useful: New features like Climb Pro without a route

I love Climb Pro on planned routes because, unlike the stubborn summing and interpolating of altitude data that comes from the barometer, Climb Pro works with real data, with the waypoints and altitude points of a track. Thus, from a covered distance difference, there necessarily results a corresponding altitude difference, and thus a meter-accurate countdown of the altitude meters.

But how good and useful can such a feature be when you ride into the blue without planning? I was very skeptical, but this function has turned out to be extremely practical. Here is a small example from our work and cycling routine...

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"""Δs ⇒ Δh 

Precision of Climb Pro in a nutshell
  • here begins a category 3 climb, the preview in the elevation profile
    here begins a category 3 climb, the preview in the elevation profile
    here begins a category 3 climb, the preview in the elevation profile
  • Climb-Pro + Map during the ascentClimb-Pro + Map during the ascent
    Climb-Pro + Map during the ascent
    Climb-Pro + Map during the ascent
  • the two screens (map + profile) can also be displayed separately for the sake of claritythe two screens (map + profile) can also be displayed separately for the sake of clarity
    the two screens (map + profile) can also be displayed separately for the sake of clarity
    the two screens (map + profile) can also be displayed separately for the sake of clarity

Last week, I went out to take photos with NoPain. A little afternoon spin, not too far away from the office near Ternitz was the plan. Unfortunately, at the original starting point, we couldn't find a suitable photo spot, which leads us directly to Plan B. So, we cross the S6 on our way towards Türkensturz and park our car in a bend after Gramatl, feeling like somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
Bikes unloaded, rolling downhill and a few hundred meters further, the Edge 840 shows me a category 2 climb on the display. A little more than 400 meters of elevation gain fits perfectly into our photo-hunting scheme.

What follows is a marvelous climb over a lonely asphalt lane. First through a forest with autumnal colors, then a fantastic view towards Wiener Neustadt, bordered by Seebenstein Castle on one side and Anninger, Lindkogel, and Hohe Wand on the other.
On the Garmin display, I can see the remaining elevation gain next to my current position, as long as we continue following this climb.

At the end of the climb, it starts to drizzle slightly. The dance of the clouds around us bodes nothing good. So, we decide to end the shoot and return to the car by the fastest route. "Back to the start" on the Garmin 840 means not "the same way", but the shortest route.
As expected, it's basically downhill according to the Garmin, and we follow - as so often - the purple line on the display. The descent also offers a few views into the wonderful autumn landscape as a highlight, some nice bends, and at the end a little gravel passage that spits us out right in the bend in the middle of nowhere, where our car is parked. Our small, fine, perfect round was complete!

 Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in a curve past Gramatl 

the little Garmin adventure into the unknown begins
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • that we without the new Climb-Prothat we without the new Climb-Pro
  • would not have experienced, magnificent viewswould not have experienced, magnificent views
  • a simple and spontaneousa simple and spontaneous
  • Route planning on the deviceRoute planning on the device
  • with ideal completion thanks to the "Back Home" functionwith ideal completion thanks to the "Back Home" function

The photos above are from the adventure that we would not have experienced without Climb Pro. In short: Magnificent views, simple and spontaneous route planning on the device with an ideal completion thanks to the "Back to Start" function.

The text provided is an HTML iframe embed code for a tour from the website Komoot and is not in German or any language that needs to be translated. It is a code snippet used to embed a map or tour from the Komoot platform into a webpage. Therefore, the text should be left as it is.

  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

Make a Wish and Outlook

My list of wishes for Garmin has actually become significantly shorter with the 840 because this device has improved my most important previous criticisms such as software and usability for the first time. The appearance of the menus, data fields, map, and elevation profile is now designed to be much more beautiful.

Yes, the dimensions have changed a bit. Nevertheless, I still consider the size of the Edge 840 to be something like the sweet spot between readability and style.
If I could wish for something, it would be a display with higher resolution and smaller bezels. I also hope that Garmin continues to work consistently on software improvements to make the usability even simpler despite the ever-increasing number of functions - the direction is right, but there is still a little room for improvement.

As far as product and pricing policy is concerned, I would personally prefer a cost- and performance-optimized Edge (without solar) rather than having to choose between four different devices that are more or less similar in design but, of course, compete with each other in terms of unit numbers and thus production costs.

  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

Conclusion

Garmin Edge 840
Model Year: 2023
Test Duration: 8 Months
Price: € 499,- RRP
+ Touch and Button Operation
+ Usability
+ Map Material
+ Robustness
+ Connectivity
+ Functionality Range
+ Climb Pro
BB-Verdict: The Swiss Army Knife for the Bike Handlebar

In my opinion, the Edge 840 is by far the best bike computer on the market. No other device is so packed with features, so individually customizable, versatile, and compatible with diverse hardware from third-party providers.
In the past, this went somewhat at the expense of simple usability, but those times are mostly over with the new interfaces.

Thus, it is also a very clever move by Garmin to combine a touchscreen with an alternative button operation, which greatly simplifies the operation, especially considering the nearly endless range of applications.
Small details like the ambient light sensor (which was also present in the predecessor) or the new Climb-Pro might seem nice at first, but then turn out to be real game-changers in everyday life.

Long gone are the times when a bike computer with a spoke magnet measured speed and distance - it's unbelievable how far the technology has advanced by now.
The new Garmin Edge 840 is a real all-round computer in a mini format. Training control, tour planning, performance measurement, navigation aid, emergency assistant, messenger, very detailed Europe map with elevation data, plus a well-readable color display with adaptive lighting, power sensor and radar integration, light control... the list of functions, as well as the battery life, keeps getting longer.
Thanks to the active Garmin community and the attentive ears of the programmers, all this is by now also a very positive experience on the software side with the Garmin Edge 840.

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  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review

For my bike tours, photo safaris, and gravel adventures in familiar or unknown terrain, the Garmin Edge 840, like its predecessors, is a real enrichment and indispensable for me.
The biggest plus point compared to its predecessors, in addition to the map, is the now greatly improved usability, which thanks to buttons, touchscreen, and optimized user interfaces is much smoother than before.
For me, the Garmin Edge 840 is currently the undisputed benchmark when it comes to compact GPS bike computers on the market.

 Benchmark for compact GPS bike computers 

NoSanes Conclusion
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  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term ReviewGarmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review
  • Garmin Edge 840 Long-Term Review