Also see my comparison between the Edge 520 Plus and the Edge 530 which are ‘current’ devices available.
The new Garmin Edge 520 (full review here) is the latest in line of the 500 series, following the Edge 500 and the Edge 510. Garmin worked on improving the device and in this blogpost I’ll explain the differences, improvements and compare the features. The 510 is still available for purchase but obviously will get less attention from Garmin and it’s resellers in the future.
Looks & Specs
At first glance you’ll notice that the Garmin 520 is actually smaller than the 510. But don’t let the body fool you, the screen is actually larger and besides being larger it also has a higher resolution (and more pixels per inch). But besides this, Garmin managed to make it lighter by 20 grams.. This is quite nice, the 510 is not heavy, but every gram counts, right? So where did the weight go? Maybe by dropping the touchscreen. Yes, the 520 lacks a touchscreen and has more buttons again, like with the Garmin Edge 500. The choice might be the right one, while touchscreens are nice, they don’t work well for people in the ‘rougher’ climates. Rain will make them hard to operate and gloves make it nearly impossible, unless you have a pair of fancy “smart-gloves”.
|Spec||Edge 510||Edge 520|
|Screen||3.5 x 4.4 cm||3.5 x 4.7 cm|
|Resolution||176 x 220 px.||200 x 265 px.|
|Dimension||5.2 x 8.6 x 2.4 cm||4.9 x 7.3 x 2.1 cm|
|Weight||80 gr.||60 gr.|
|Battery Life||20 hrs||15 hrs.|
As far as I can tell, all the features present in the 510 are available in the 520, except for the touchscreen, if you aren’t sure, drop a reply below (or ask me on twitter/instagram or facebook) and I’d be more than happy to find it out. But the 520 does pack a bit more added goodness. So, since the announcement of the 510 (January 2013) Garmin has been busy. Besides slimming the body and shaving of weight, some new features are added:
- Strava Segment integration
- Maps & Routes (including turn notifications & instruction cards)
- Support for 3rd party maps (e.g. OpenStreet Maps)
- Smart Notifications from your phone
- Recovery Time Estimate
- VO2 Max Estimate
- FTP Estimate & Testing
- HR-Zone time
- Support for the Garmin Varia bike lights & radar
- FE-C Trainer control via ANT+
As you read in the paragraph above, the new Edge 520 has direct support for strava segments. If you want to attack a certain segment the 520 will give you a heads up when you’re approaching it. Counting down the distance and a ‘GO’ when you come to the start of the segment. If you have the time, which I doubt, you can see your status on the device, giving you time behind or ahead on your live segment. And obviously, you get a little crown when you take a KOM! (or QOM!). If you’re not a big Strava fan, or your local roads are dominated by the pro field (the downside of living in the Netherlands…), you can of course completely ignore the whole Strava integration.
In the box
The Garmin Edge 510 and Edge 520 both come in two varieties. One is the stand alone device and the other is a bundle option. In the following table you see what you get.
|Item||Edge 510||Edge 520|
|Mounts||standard||standard + extended out-front|
|HRM||Premium HR Strap||Premium HR Strap|
|Speed/Cadence||1 sensor||1 speed, 1 cadence|
Both devices are completely compatible with ANT+ heart rate, speed and cadence sensors so if you already own them, just the device will be enough.
Which one to buy?
While I can’t look in your wallet, I would seriously consider the Edge 520 unless you’re really fond of touchscreens. There are more options available for support in the future and the general availability is better (obviously, the 510 will be phased out and some places have very similar prices). If you have any specific questions you can’t find, drop them below and I’ll be glad to answer them!
If you like my reviews and comparisons, please use the links if you plan to buy one. I get a small fee for your purchase and that helps me maintain the site. So here are the latest prices:
Garmin Edge 520 Prices
End 2019 Update: With the old 520 having sparse availability I’d recommend going for the 520 Plus.
Just a note about the “links to buy” in this article, as they are sponsored. I do look for the lowest price I can find at the time of writing in a handful of stores, but by using the links I earn from qualifying purchases made through these links.