My best bicycle purchase this season. Navigate Garmin Edge Explore - Review

Ok, the best bicycle purchase was Lemon (and it was five times cheaper than Garmin), but it was the Garmin Edge Explore navigation that led directly to the purchase.

But in order not to be very excited, at the beginning list of minor and major offenses Explore. And what just irritates me.

Why does it turn on when charging?

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

Yes, a trifle. Yes, it irritates every time. What is going on?

After connecting to the power supply Garmin Edge Explore ALWAYS decides to run. ALWAYS. This means that I have to wait a long time - it is not a speed demon - until it starts completely and I can turn it off. So instead of just for a while before driving, just plug it into the cable and leave it calmly, I have to stand and wait. Otherwise, yes, it will load, but at the same time it will be discharged, even if searching for a GPS.

What does it make sense? I do not have a clue. Maybe in combination with a Garminian powerbank attached to the bicycle handle, it would have hands and legs. But here - definitely not.

12 hours without recharging? Yes, but do not count so much always

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

According to the official specification, Edge Explore is able to withstand up to 12 hours in the recording mode. And yes, it is true, but assuming that we limit ourselves only to the recording of driving, we will reduce the maximum intensity of the backlight, and we will disconnect the smartphone from the navigation and we will not connect any accessories.

If, on the other hand, we intend to use navigation intensively, connect a heart rate sensor (Bluetooth / ANT +) and plan a longer trip, so let's take a powerbank with us to recharge the Edge Explore.

In the case of the majority of my longer trips, the battery in the Garmin navigation system lasted for about 5 hours, with the phone connected, the heart rate sensor, the radar and active route guidance, as well as the backlight set at minimum. At my unbelievable speeds, I managed to drive 100 or 120 km without much of a problem with the battery, but 170 km at the end consisted mainly of stops for loading the navigation.

And here another drawback - Edge Explore does not have any option of fast loading, which would allow to solve this problem a bit. So if we want to drive really long distances, it's better to read the price of the dedicated Edge powerbank series (abstract, but it's probably the only convenient solution), or look at Edge 530 (maximum 20 hours of registration) or 830 (also 20 hours) ).


Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

Fortunately, in most cases, Edge Explore is satisfyingly fast. Not fast, but smart enough to get through the menu, maps or other interface elements, do not get irritated. However, there is one place where Explore is simply a mule and you can not call it differently.

This place is a function of determining a random route based on the parameters we set (distance, direction), as well as the so-called popularity maps Garmina. The solution itself is great and I use it passionately whenever I go out on a bike and have no idea where to go.

The problem is that the calculation of each of the three proposed routes takes ages. Imagine this situation: we go out on a bicycle, we are fully prepared, the bike is armed, ready to ride, just turn off the pedals. We ask Garmin to show us where to go, let it be light 50 km. And we wait.

We are waiting.

We are waiting.

We are waiting.

We are waiting.

We are waiting.

The day changes into the night.

We are waiting.

We are waiting.

We are waiting.

Summer turns into autumn.

We are waiting.

We are waiting.

Garmin: I prepared the first suggested route for you.

And you can not see her anyway, because to get to know her, all three must be loaded.

Surprisingly, there are no problems when converting routes on a regular basis - this task is carried out instantly.

PS Apparently, Edge 530 and 830 have significantly accelerated the calculation of these routes.

Do not dare to throw in for long courses

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

Courses , i.e. after garminowego - records of routes that we want to follow. And clear - in the case of standard or slightly longer routes (up to 200 km), loading rates works fine (although it should be faster anyway), but ...

... one day I suddenly discovered that a wonderful bicycle route R9 runs through Wrocław. Without waiting too long, I decided to download her record from the web and rip it to my bike navigation. The entire R9 route is about 1800 km - I did not want to divide it into episodes, because I'm never sure which way to go and how far I will go, so storing it in one piece made a lot of sense to me.

And that was a mistake. It was a terrible mistake. I could repeat the previous game from "Czekamy" here, but it was only fun once. However, dropping all R9 to Edge Explore (ok, he warned that this tour is a bit too long for him), it was not fun anymore.

First, I waited a moment under the house for the conversion to begin. Then I decided to move, hoping that the conversion would end in a moment. Half an hour later, loading continued, accompanied by the permanent suspension of the device. Eventually, something loaded up there and somehow even worked, but ...

Exactly - but. We have 2019. I understand that routing a bicycle route can be quite complicated. That calculating each turn may take a while. But any application on my phone loads this route in several seconds. Any navigation application in a few seconds will give me a route from Wroclaw to the end of the world.

There is absolutely no justification for the fact that Edge Explore can not handle loading a 2 MB file. There is no end.

No altimeter and other small items

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

All the time I'm not sure if the altimeter (other than based on GPS - such as in Edge Explore) is actually such an expensive component, or just a marketing operation. Nevertheless - in Explore it simply lacks it.

There are also no - but obviously - any training functions. This is not the end of the cycling computer as 1030 or 530. This navigation that case also allow us to monitor heart rate and term, but eg. Without power or without any structural training. Do not count on Stravy or Garmin segments (although they are in the summary in Garmin Connect). And that does not bother me.

However, the fact that Edge Explore is so non-sporty, that it does not add its brick to the training load monitored in Garmin Connect, is a bit disturbing. Having the Forerunner 945 and wanting to monitor this aspect, I have to ride Explore and 945 in hand to get a full picture. It is a pity that you can not change Explore for a larger screen to 945 ...

But these are small things that probably will not affect those who plan to buy Explore.

Now let's get to good things, because there are definitely more

Or at least they are much more important. Order - random.

Size, size, size

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

At first, I was not sure if I was doing well by buying Edge Explore. In the end I used to drive with a phone with a 6.5 "screen and cosmic resolution, and change to 3-inches and 240 to 400 pixels.

However, I immediately appreciated the ultra-compact dimensions of the Edge (105 x 55 x 22 mm). It does not get distracted while driving, it does not take up too much space for transport, it does not bother you, and in addition ... it fits almost anywhere when assembling on a bike and you can put it perfectly as you want. For example, now I have it mounted on lemondce - a big phone that I would not have mounted.

Ba, now I would not have anywhere to mount the phone, so it goes in a backpack bag and I forget about it completely while driving. Ok, not really, because Explore shows me all notifications from it on my screen.

Screen, screen, screen

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

Paradoxically, it was the biggest disadvantage of driving with a phone (outside the battery). A big and beautiful screen will not do anything if you can not see it in the full sun.

There is no problem with Edge Explore. Very easy to use, color display (touch, no buttons, except the most basic) is impressively readable even in the most difficult lighting conditions. And even ... without turning on the backlight for more than 10-20 percent. Yes, due to the not very outstanding battery, this kind of economical backlight is permanently on. And I almost never regret that I did not set it higher .

Ok - when I enter the shady areas, the screen becomes a little too dark, but it can be experienced.


Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

So that's why I bought Edge Explore. And when someone asks me if I would buy it today, after traveling about 2000 km with it, I would reply - yes, definitely yes.

Navigation - using pre-installed maps (you can upload your own, there is a total of 16 GB of memory) - it works in most cases simply great. Maps are presented in a clear manner, information about upcoming maneuvers is well in advance (with an additional audible warning), and avoidance settings (eg dirt roads or main roads) work properly. I have never even seen the Edge Explore guide me so that I was not able to cross a given route or ... I would not like to do it.

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

The praise applies to each of the navigation modes. Is it navigation to the indicated point or address (it can be done while driving, from the device level), whether when calculating the route from the application level, whether automatically generating a loop, or when determining the return route, or when following the routes ridden to the device .

In each of these cases, we deal with a real turn-by-turn navigation, with street names, maneuvering messages and even bonus warnings with sharp turns.

It may sound trivial and highly advertised, but I did not drive too much before buying Edge Explore. After buying it and discovering the navigation, which itself deals with running me to the goal, and I only have to wave my legs, suddenly riding a bike has become one of my favorite activities.

Determining the route, determining the loop

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

I have already mentioned this before, but it definitely deserves additional recognition - also because many people have asked about this function.

Yes, Edge Explore can calculate a route to any point or address on the map, or to one of many POIs. It works the same as in car navigation, that is, we enter the address, click and already - we have a calculated route taking into account our route preferences, after which we will be taking a turn after the bend to the destination.

Initially, I thought that I would not use this function too often because the screen is too small to view the map out of curiosity. With time, however, I began to drive more and more often on the principle of "travel along the known route to the point A, and point B I will choose from nearby by the method at random". Possibly "I'm going 30 km ahead, and then I draw what's next". I Edge Explore works in such a great application, but unfortunately I managed to find a few gaps in its data - for example, the Okołomilicka town of Nowy Zamek is probably too new for Garmin's map and it simply is not there. Well - not everything can be found on all maps.

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

Determining the loop, in turn, works exactly as I described earlier - we ask the distance and eventually the direction, we get three proposals, choose one of them and ride - we enjoy the trip, without thinking whether to turn right here, left, or maybe go straight .

I love and regularly use, even if not all three proposals are attractive.

Ps. Of course, in each mode of route calculation, you can choose which bike to move, which will change the way you set the route (eg road bike, etc.). It is a pity that you have to change it in the settings, and not, for example, on the route calculation screen. Edge Explore also does not have different driving profiles, so if you have a mountain bike and road bike - you will have to click on it.

Data fields

Yes, your own screens for full configuration are only two (i.e. less than in better models), but for recreational driving it is enough.

The more so because we can place almost any parameters on these screens - from clichés, such as the current speed, to the hour of sunrise or sunset.

You can upload your own maps

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

Default Explore comes to us with maps for our region, but it's no problem if we're going anywhere. All you need to do is download OSM maps, download them to memory and activate them in settings.

What are we losing? Mainly the Garmin popularity map and associated route options. But that's probably not much in return for being able to use navigation without additional fees.

Detection of accidents

The principle of operation is simple - if the accelerometer in the device detects very, very rapid braking (and probably stopping it after), it will send to the previously defined contacts information that something could have happened to us and it is worth checking.

I tested (happily only in the laboratory ) and it works as well as possible, with the option of canceling from the screen if the alarm is false. I only wish that I would never have to use this function in the actual need.

Price (and summary)

Garmin Edge Explore - recenzja. Dobra nawigacja GPS na rower

Ok, Edge Explore is not cheap, because it costs about PLN 1,100 at this moment. However, this is less than the Edge 520 Plus (no touch screen, no route determination from the device), Edge 530 (similar restrictions, even higher price), 830 or 1030 not to mention.

Ba, Edge 1030, which I tested about a year ago, costs exactly the same as ... two Explore. At the same time - if someone is looking mainly for navigation and will survive shorter routes or powerbank in a backpack - it is definitely better to invest the additional PLN 1100 in a bike or something else. I had 1030, I used it intensively, and after switching to Explore I do not feel much difference. Of course, in relation to my needs, and those in the bicycle edition are rather less sporting (for now).

There is not much on the occasion of such a typically navigational competition for Edge Explore. There are Mio in several varieties , but there in turn - at least in the tested model - the standard screen did not speak to me at all. You can also navigate the phone , but this in turn has a number of other disadvantages,

On the other hand, if someone is looking for basic training functions, he will not find them in Edge Explore. It is a bicycle navigation, trimmed as much as possible from all additions except those focused on leading from point A to point B.

It suits me best. But if someone likes to chase on segments or use power measurement - it's better not to go to the store for Explore.

My best bicycle purchase this season. Navigate Garmin Edge Explore - Review


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