I’m not going to give an in-depth review of the Garmin Edge 800 – DC Rainmaker already has it covered. Most reviewers conclude it’s a great device and I mostly agree, except for the very fragile screen that is prone to scratches and cracks.
- Touchscreen is very intuitive and a pleasure to use.
- Touchscreen works suprisingly well; the virtual buttons are large and precise even with mittens at -20°C.
- The unit is very reponsive (much more than my Nuvi 550).
- Excellent bike mount, very secure, can’t imagine how the unit would ever fall off a bike.
- Quick satellite acquisition and great reception even in the woods.
- Custom maps created in Google Earth!
- The touchscreen is extremely fragile and succeptible to chips and scratches. I’m not sure if this is an early production issue but the edges of the screen can easily be chipped with minimal pressure from a fingernail. I found this out while trying to remove a piece of debri stuck between the screen and outer bezel (strangely enough there is a 1/2mm gap between the two). When pressure is applied to the screen around the edges, it chips. The screen is also easily scratched and already has several hairline scratches from my gloves. I don’t know how the screens are manufactured but if they are cut to shape, the stress from cutting might be weakening the stuctural integrity of the plastic around the edges. I called Garmin (stellar customer support by the way) and they are replacing the unit at no charge. I asked them if the screen was more fragile than other models and the technician didn’t seem to think so. I hope Garmin is aware of the issue and has corrected it on current and future production units. If the screen itself cannot be strengthened, the outer bezel overlap should be increased to cover the edges of the screen by 1 mm to remove the gap. This would prevent dirt and debri from accumulating in the gap in the first place. If you must clean it, gently use the edge of a piece of paper to get inside the gap, then rinse or blow it clean (disclaimer: Garmin rates the water resistance as IPX7 – your mileage may vary). I would also recommend a protective film but again be careful with the amount of pressure when applying it.
If your unit has suffered from a chipped screen like mine, please leave a comment below with your unit’s serial number or simply send me an email at . With your help and feedback we’ll have a good idea of what range of units were affected.
Although the Edge 800 is a fantastic device, I have a hard time recommending it until the screen issue is resolved. The Edge 800 is meant to be used outdoors on road and mountain bikes, but the screen is VERY fragile and can’t take the abuse even from the slight pressure of a fingernail. I’ve only used it for 10 days commuting to work. What will happen when I take it mountain biking and skiing?
Garmin customer support so far has been second to none. My Nuvi 550 was destroyed on a cycling trip to Italy last fall when the Garmin scooter/bike bracket snapped; Garmin warrantied both the bracket and GPS no questions asked.