Garmin has just introduced new Edge 605 and 705 versions of its popular combined bike computer and fitness units. The new products have addressed some of the drawbacks of the previous Edge units but Garmin is now facing stiff competition from Satmap’s Active 10 handheld device. The question is: can the new Edge models rebuff the Satmap challenge?
Both the new Garmin Edge units are slightly bigger than their predecessors, but much improved. The 605 will cost £270 and the 705 is £330. A larger 2.2in colour LCD screen displays accurate and usable mapping data, while a new ‘clickstick’ helps for gloved button pushing and navigation through the functions (speed, time, distance, grade, GPS position, elevation, and optional heart rate and cadence on the 705). Unlike the old units, both street maps and Garmin’s own topographical maps can be bought on SD memory cards.
The new features are a definite improvement over the previous units, which had smaller greyscale screens that held back their navigation usability out in the wilds, and restricted their appeal to the serious athlete requiring precise training data.
However, the new Garmins won’t come with OS mapping compatibility. The new Satmap Active 10 system (www.satmap.com), on the other hand, is a honed outdoor GPS that features plug-and-play ease with OS SD cards (both 1:25k and 1:50k) and will appeal to the majority of riders looking for an easily useable system. It’s not perfect, and it lacks any of the fitness or bike computer functions that the Garmin Edge offers, but as a straight GPS navigation device for the wilds it is currently the benchmark.
So will the Edge nudge out the Satmap? Garmin has yet to release the products for in-depth testing, but as soon as they’re available we’ll bring you the test. In the meantime, log onto www.garmin.com or contact EVO Distribution on 0870 740 9040 for more information.