Uploading Rides is easier on the Edge 25
As with many of the newer Forerunner and Vivofit models, the Edge 25 can connect wirelessly to a compatible smartphone* through the Garmin Connect app. Typically, as soon as I’ve completed a workout on the Edge 25, it’ll push it to my phone and upload onto the Garmin Connect dashboard before I can take my shoes off!
The Edge 20 comes without this connectivity, meaning you have to resort to the cable in the box to upload your rides (This method also works for the Edge 25). It’s not a problem if you decide to upload a few rides in bulk as both devices can store 10 rides in their history before overwriting the older efforts.
*The data upload works on iPhone and Android smartphones which have at least Bluetooth 4.0. If using an Android device, you need at least Android 4.3 as your operating system.
Smart Notifications on the Edge 25
Another feature on the Edge 25 using Bluetooth is the ability to display call and text notifications from your smartphone whilst exercising. Might be handy if your phone is tucked away in your cycling jersey pocket and you know someone is calling. Rather than stopping to check, you can have a quick glance at the Edge 25 to see if it’s important.
LiveTrack not available on the Edge 20
For Edge 25 users, before you start a ride you can send a link over email or Facebook/Twitter so loved ones can see where you are on Garmin Connect. When I’m out riding for a couple of hours, my girlfriend gets worried over my safety so I showed her this tool and it gave her a bit of reassurance that I hadn’t been hit by a car and was moving fine.
LiveTrack displays a map of your route so far as well as graphs of elevation, speed and pace metrics. There’s also a pinpoint of your current location, so if your bike fails on you or you’re all out of energy, you could use LiveTrack (and a little begging) to ask to be picked up by car.
Edge 25 pairs with other sensors.
As well as Bluetooth, the Edge 25 also packs ANT+ technology inside its petite shell, giving you access to wirelessly connect up heart rate monitors, and speed and cadence sensors. Great news if you want to enrich your workout data with an extra layer of context. As a bonus, HR data such as beats per minute and HR Zone can be shown on the Edge 25 in real-time whilst you exercise.
Note: You can’t connect Bluetooth sensors up to either Edge as this functionality is only for connecting to your smartphone.
Longer battery life on the Edge 25
On Garmin’s website, they state the Edge 25 has a 10 hour battery life. On the Edge 20 product page, this is a reduced 8 hours. Now I don’t quite have the endurance to test this out on a single ride, but I know for some cyclists on a long cyclosportive those two hours could make the difference between a fully tracked ride, and a flat battery when you’re a few miles away from the end.
I imagine when these timings were tested, they looked purely at GPS usage. The Edge 25 needs this extra battery juice when you consider it also connects over Bluetooth and ANT+ which will add drain the battery faster when used. The extra two hours, make sure you still get a reasonable ride time on a single charge.
Both cheap. Garmin Edge 20 cheapest.
For Garmin cycling GPS units, these two models feature at the budget end meaning they’re much cheaper than the likes of the Edge 1000. Expect to pay around the $130-160 mark, with less connectivity features on the Edge 20 it’s no surprise you’ll find it up to $30 cheaper than the 25.
…And What’s the same?
The connectivity options are the biggest difference between the Edge 20 and Edge 25 as they control the features mentioned so far. That said, there are still plenty of things you can do on both devices. Here’s a quick round up of what’s the same…
Both the Edge 20 and 25 are GPS and GLONASS enabled meaning they can measure distance accurately.
Set time or distance alerts so you get splits throughout your ride. I set a 5 mile split so it gives me a quick notification if my pace is dropping as I get further into my ride.
Create a Course on the Garmin Connect website (not app) and you can download it to the Edge. As you ride it, you’ll get alerts on the directions you need to take and if you stray off-course. Can be useful for trying a new route, but on British roads it gets confused over corners which aren’t 90 degree turns.
With the display being so tiny, it’s useful that the Edge devices can continuously scroll through all the pages, so you can view all the necessary metrics without raising a finger off your handlebars.
Set a pace before your ride, and you’ll get a comparison of how far or behind you are from your target time and distance.
Say you stop for a quick refuel, you can set either Edge unit to stop the clock until you start peddling again.
Round-up: Garmin Edge 25 vs Garmin Edge 20
These cycling GPS units are affordably priced compared to other Garmin devices and are reliable enough to track your bike ride. If you see yourself using more than one of the connectivity features to your smartphone or an ANT+ sensor, it’s worth paying a little extra for the Edge 25.