Author Topic: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?  (Read 19917 times)

Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« on: 04 April, 2022, 12:15:40 pm »
Any thoughts on suitability for either of these (or other*) for rides <200km, and what mapping is best/do people use?
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #1 on: 04 April, 2022, 12:45:11 pm »
Coming from an eTrex 30, the 32x has a disappointingly murky screen (it's higher resolution but basically unreadable without the backlight unless the sun's at the right angle).  But I expect the Edge has one of those too.  Other than that, it's just a storage upgrade to a proven model: Runs forever on AA batteries, you'll never forget to 'start' the ride and it doesn't understand what a cadence sensor is.

Mapping wise, https://www.openfietsmap.nl/ seems quite good.  Though I miss the simplicity of City Navigator maps for road use.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #2 on: 04 April, 2022, 01:03:19 pm »
I've had no issues with the 530, battery life is very impressive, from a 100% charge I don't think I've seen it <70% at the end of a 100km. Screen is pretty readable in all conditions I've encountered.  I looked long and hard and decided I didn't need the touch screen and the ability to rank my performances by what I had for breakfast that morning. 

It's a perfectly good GPS that has a decent battery life.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #3 on: 04 April, 2022, 01:26:55 pm »
I use open street map source data for my mapping on my eTrex. 

ETrex is for pre planned rides really , following a fixed line on the mapping.  The edge does turn by turn I think.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #4 on: 04 April, 2022, 04:33:54 pm »
Thanks all.

I've had no issues with the 530, battery life is very impressive, from a 100% charge I don't think I've seen it <70% at the end of a 100km. Screen is pretty readable in all conditions I've encountered.  I looked long and hard and decided I didn't need the touch screen and the ability to rank my performances by what I had for breakfast that morning. 

It's a perfectly good GPS that has a decent battery life.

How do you find it on the go - for say zooming in & out of the map using the buttons?
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #5 on: 04 April, 2022, 04:34:53 pm »
Yes, Edge 530 does turn by turn nav
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #6 on: 04 April, 2022, 04:36:32 pm »
Thanks all.

I've had no issues with the 530, battery life is very impressive, from a 100% charge I don't think I've seen it <70% at the end of a 100km. Screen is pretty readable in all conditions I've encountered.  I looked long and hard and decided I didn't need the touch screen and the ability to rank my performances by what I had for breakfast that morning. 

It's a perfectly good GPS that has a decent battery life.

How do you find it on the go - for say zooming in & out of the map using the buttons?

TBH I don't really bother, I set it at a zoom level that I can use while riding, I only zoom in/out when stopped.  Takes a couple of button presses but not too bad.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

JonB

  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #7 on: 04 April, 2022, 06:01:42 pm »
I used an etrex 30 for years and then bought a 530 about 2 years ago. I was very happy with the etrex and still have it but had fancied a cycling specific unit for a while, the battery life was a significant factor in the decision making as I wanted something that would cover a 200km without needing to be charged. I've been pleased with it, it's very easy to use and the screen is clear, it adjusts the backlight according to the external light, so go into a tunnel and it lights up. I only use a very small proportion of its features and almost none of the training ones but that's fine. I've not had it crash although there is an issue with rides over 500km where it stops giving turn by turn instructions but still shows the route on the map (there is a separate thread on here about that) but that's probably fixable by splitting the route into parts.
I don't think it's great for zooming on the move, or even when stationary, if you're trying to look at alternative roads/tracks then I prefer the etrex.
So much easier uploading and downloading rides (no cables needed) and much less of a faff than the etrex (no need to split routes because of the 10,000 track point limit, downloads long rides as one rather than splitting them, Strava etc recognises the recorded elevation data so no need to mess around with text files).  Having said all that if I was going on a tour I think I'd take the etrex or take both.
Battery life isn't what it was when I bought it although it will still comfortably do a 200 (Saturday's took me 10.5 hours and I had 39% battery left). Last summer I bought the Garmin battery pack which fits in the out front mount, it's ridiculously expensive but works very well and extends the life considerably.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #8 on: 04 April, 2022, 06:06:14 pm »
Thanks.  Wondering how easy it is to run the 530 off a powerbank if needed.  Also, if you upload a track to follow, does the 'turn by turn' directions stay strictly to your route. ie does not adopt autorouting if it 'decides' the track is 'suboptimal' based on the mapping..?
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #9 on: 04 April, 2022, 06:41:14 pm »
Thanks.  Wondering how easy it is to run the 530 off a powerbank if needed.  Also, if you upload a track to follow, does the 'turn by turn' directions stay strictly to your route. ie does not adopt autorouting if it 'decides' the track is 'suboptimal' based on the mapping..?

I don't run off a powerbank, but run off the feed from my dynamo light no probls, if so it's generally happily sitting around 99-100%.  Turn by turn stays on course unless you deviate and you can set it to automatically reroute you back onto the course.  There is also a feature that allows autorouting from point A to B, or another that says "give me a 30 mile circular ride" neither of which I have used yet.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #10 on: 04 April, 2022, 08:55:16 pm »
Cheers.  Apparently the 530 comes preloaded with routable mapping - any good?
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #11 on: 04 April, 2022, 09:36:19 pm »
It's all OSM-derived these days, so the differences are mostly aesthetic (routing is going to be a bit hit-and-miss regardless, due to OSM's inconsistent categorisation of paths).  I think the OpenFietsMap rendering is prettier, but Garmin's is perfectly decent.

No reason you can't have both and switch between them.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #12 on: 05 April, 2022, 01:52:31 am »
I have no experience of the Etrex but have had over the last 10 years a Garmin Edge 200, 510, 520 & for the last 15 months a 530. The headline reply is that I am completely happy with the 530. Its best features are the very good screen & exceptional battery life. The screen is super clear & readable in full sunlight or part shadow, I never use backlight during the day and 10% is adequate at night.  I don't use any BlueTooth (Phone) or Wi-Fi connections while riding, have a Speed and a cadence sensor, follow a course but without "Turn Guidance" and I get between 40 & 50 hours of battery between charges (if mostly day use). The Speed sensor is recommended as it stops the GPS position from "wandering" when stopped.

Turn Guidance can be an issue as it plots its own route on the device using your loaded course as a "recommendation", they will mostly correspond (depends on the map) but I prefer to be 100% certain so turn the "Turn Guidance" off and just follow the displayed route on the map supplemented by "course points" for turn warning, distance to next course point etc. This also saves a potentially longish "calculation" phase at the start and uses less processing power and therefore battery.

While "completely happy" I might have been better getting the 830 as the touch UI is easier to use especially for map zooming / panning and there are a few functions not on the 530 as they did not provide a button driven interface for them (eg you can modify the horizontal scale on the elevation profile screen but NOT the vertical scale but you can on the 830). Being a more "mature" rider I can also "see" the advantage of the larger 1030+ screen but they are a fair bit more expensive.

The other consideration, (and I have NO special knowledge), is that the 530 & 830 were released in April 2019 and on past device releases they could be due for a replacement 540 / 840 in coming months.

I also only use 20% of the features and disable / turn off as much of the "other" stuff as possible. (unless you really want to know how long you remain air borne during jumps then enable "hang time"!

PS They are not very intuitive, have a lot of user interface oddities and can have a long learning "curve", the Garmin Forums are helpful, less so the Garmin "Help" Desk. VELOGPS have many very helpful short videos on the 530 & 830 (and other Garmins)
https://www.youtube.com/c/VELOGPSTHEINNERTUBE/videos
including 530 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi9abV7-S3c
& 830 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z771IpF1KWM

Good Luck

JonB

  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #13 on: 05 April, 2022, 09:26:13 am »
if you upload a track to follow, does the 'turn by turn' directions stay strictly to your route. ie does not adopt autorouting if it 'decides' the track is 'suboptimal' based on the mapping..?
My experience has been that the 530 keeps to the plotted route which tends to be via RWGPS whereas I abandoned using the turn by turn function on the etrex because of this issue (I figured out the fix for this with YACF support (think it was Kim) but it felt like too much of a faff so I stuck with using tracks and no turn instructions and that was fine).
The one thing I find slightly odd about the turn by turn instructions on the 530 is that you can't rely on them to alert at junctions, sometimes it will pop up for a sharp bend in the road but at some junctions especially those where you might go straight on at a crossroads you get nothing but I keep it on map screen so it's not an issue and it does alert for most of them. I don't think this is an issue with the unit, maybe linked to the mapping or the way that a route is plotted.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #14 on: 05 April, 2022, 10:22:08 am »
The one thing I find slightly odd about the turn by turn instructions on the 530 is that you can't rely on them to alert at junctions, sometimes it will pop up for a sharp bend in the road but at some junctions especially those where you might go straight on at a crossroads you get nothing

That’ll be related to the inconsistent mapping mentioned above by Kim. All to do with how Joe Public labelled the roads when updating OSM. Plus how Garmin processed the labels / tags when creating their mapping from it.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #15 on: 05 April, 2022, 12:30:57 pm »
Thanks all - helpful. 

I suspect that e.g. veloviewer exploring tracks (?), may be too much of a challenge for the Edge 530/830 'turn by turn' to cope with; with the 'actually I carry on here for a bit longer' scenarios...  Tempted by the Edge 830 & touch screen ease of use, and more of my riding probably in the the dry.  Although I find the Etrex (Vista HCx) buttons & toggle easy to use even with gloves, the 530's number of buttons/incr complexity may be trickier.  Guessing the 830 chews more power with bigger screen. 
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #16 on: 05 April, 2022, 07:27:33 pm »
The other consideration, (and I have NO special knowledge), is that the 530 & 830 were released in April 2019 and on past device releases they could be due for a replacement 540 / 840 in coming months.
Yes, I was hoping there'd be some new models out by now, and everyone would be selling the Edge 530 off cheap.
Now £180 from Amazon, best price I have seen so far.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #17 on: 06 April, 2022, 03:06:52 am »
  Guessing the 830 chews more power with bigger screen.

No, the 830 is the same size as the 530, I suspect the hardware is identical except for the touch screen vs extra buttons.

The 1030+ is the larger one but it also has a bigger battery, Garmin quotes 24hr battery life for the 1030+ vs 20 for the 530 & 830 but experience indicates double these are common (with minor saving measures). There is a "battery save" mode on all three that also prolongs battery, it implements some of the settings I use manually, I haven't used this yet. Garmin has been converging the software on the X30s for the last half dozen releases (couple of years) to reduce development and support efforts but clearly there are differences due to touch and button interfaces.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #18 on: 06 April, 2022, 10:50:48 am »
Thanks.  I'd not really considered the Edge 830, but will take a closer look. 
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #19 on: 06 April, 2022, 12:54:21 pm »
I suspect that e.g. veloviewer exploring tracks (?), may be too much of a challenge for the Edge 530/830 'turn by turn' to cope withscreen.
Deals with it just fine. At least, when you meticulously design your track at home to zig-zag through the tiles (with an occasional dead end) you'll get good turn by turn instructions. Sometimes the turn by turn confuses me, for example with "turn left in 200m to XYZ street" when you're already on XYZ street and its just a bend in the road.

IMO the increase in usability of the touch screen is well worth the additional cost of the 830 (I own both). It's only in "real" rain when it falls flat. Tip: when it starts raining for real, zoom to the level you need for navigating (for me that's 200m or 300m) and lock the screen. And bring a small cloth to dry the screen afterwards (be sure to keep that cloth dry!).

Battery life of my 3 year / 30k km old 830 is still sufficient for a 9 hour tile hunt.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #20 on: 06 April, 2022, 02:09:50 pm »
Useful - thanks  :)
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #21 on: 06 April, 2022, 02:30:49 pm »
Meanwhile, turn-by turn on the eTrex means auto-routing.  As I've said before, it's absolutely fine for finding an address amongst a twisty maze of one-way streets in a town centre, or for getting you to the nearest railway station when your bike ride goes wrong.

If you want to follow a pre-planned route on an eTrex, your options are pretty much:

1) Navigate a Track.  It will appear as a blue line on the map, and you can follow it manually.

1b) Have a Track set to be displayed without navigating it.  It will be whatever colour you like, and you can follow it manually.  You miss out on some trip computer stats.

1c) Use proximity alarm Waypoints with descriptive names for turn instructions, in combination with a Track.  Bullet-proof to follow, assuming you don't go off-route, but a *lot* of work to create and manage.

2) Navigate a Route in 'off-road' mode.  As (1), but with tighter routepoint limits.

3) Navigate a Route in 'follow road' mode.  The device will plot a route between each routepoint using the map, and give you turn-by-turn instructions.  The problem is that if you want it to follow specific roads, you have to put work into positioning the routepoints to game the algorithm (typically, placing points in the middle of sections of road you want to use).  This is subtle, and only about 95% reliable, due to differences in the algorithms used by Basecamp[1] and the device.  There's also a limit of 50 routepoints for auto-routing, so you need a separate Route for every 100km or so.


My preferred approach is to combine (1b) with (3).  That way I get prompts at junctions, but can see when it's trying to lead me astray.


[1] For this to stand a chance of working, you pretty much need to be using Bascamp and the exact same map as the device will be following.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #22 on: 06 April, 2022, 04:32:57 pm »
Thx Kim.
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #23 on: 08 April, 2022, 11:50:48 am »
Well, picked up the Edge 830 in the end; not road tested it yet.

Bit of a culture shock compared to Etrex Vista HCx, with all the syncing to Garmin Connect,  Ridewithgps, & Strava (free only atm).  Everything seems to filter through the android apps, so don't think there's a direct connection to PC, apart from USB cable(?) Nice to be able to directly access routes in rwgps, which is generally where all my tracks were filtered through before anyway.  830 screen a bit bigger than HCx; a bonus.   Edge comes with 'out front' mount (good nitto noodle fit), and a couple of 1/4turn silcone band mounts.
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #24 on: 08 April, 2022, 04:04:28 pm »
My 1030 connects to my PC via wifi as well as via the Garmin Connect app on the phone. I don't think I need the phone to be present for data uploads to happen, but I do for wifi downloads of routes.