The Garmin Edge 800 is Garmin’s latest GPS enabled cycling computer. I decided to pick one up last fall when they came out, after being the satisfied owner of two previous Garmin cycling specific models. (Edge 305 and 500) Garmin tends to always release new products in the Edge line with beta quality firmware at best, which I totally understand. However; the Edge 800 firmware can’t even be called beta, its more like alpha at best. I’ve owned the Edge 800 now for 5 months, and Garmin has had one lousy update. All of the rave reviews somehow missed the major bugs with some of the most basic use cases for the Edge 800.
One of the most basic features of the Edge 800 is the ability to give you turn by turn directions with a map card installed. Plot your course on mapmyride.com, export it to the Garmin, and you’re on your way. Amazingly, this feature is completely broken with the Edge 800. Turn by turn directions do not work without doing a laborious workaround.
Another basic use case that’s completely broken with the latest Edge 800 firmware update is plugging your device in to a computer. With the 2.1 firmware version, plugging the Edge 800 into a mac does not initiate USB drive mode. The workaround is to hold the reset button while plugging in the USB cable, then releasing the reset button.
How such a bug got through the most basic level of QA is beyond me. Many users are experiencing rides where suddenly the Edge 800 reports that they went 3000+ miles. I experienced this the bug the other day ruining the data from my ride.
I think the Edge 800 has a lot of potential, but the current firmware is just too buggy to actually recommend the device at this time. Garmin’s lack of timely updates to their flagship cycling device is simply inexcusable.