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I used both bike computers for some time, so I summarized their pros, cons, and differences in this article.
The main difference between Edge 830 and Edge 1030 Plus is that the 1030 Plus has a larger 3.5″ display while Edge 830 only has a 2.6″ display. 1030 Plus has longer battery life (24 vs. 20 hours) and a few extra features, including workout suggestions, navigation to points of interest, etc.
So, is the 1030 Plus worth paying more? I think so.
Below, you will find out why.
Edge 830 vs. Edge 1030 Plus Basics
Here is the summary of the main differences between Garmin Edge 830 vs. 1030 Plus.
|Feature||Garmin Edge 830||Garmin Edge 1030 Plus|
|Mounts in the box||Out front mount|
|Out front mount
|Dimensions||50×82×20 mm |
|Claimed battery life|
Real battery life¹
|Buttons||Easy to press||Easy to press|
|Smart navigation (rerouting)||Yes||Yes|
|Connectivity||ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi||ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
|More info||Garmin Edge 830 Review||Garmin Edge 1030 Plus Review|
Check Price (Amazon)
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¹Based on my unscientific testing – multiple rides with multiple connected sensors (HR, power meter, radar) and navigation turned on during about 30% of rides. Auto brightness on.
²Almost 2-year-old device. I bought the Garmin Edge 830 second-hand, based on the battery life results, it was probably older than 2 years.
Let me now explain them in depth.
Edge 830 vs. Edge 1030 Plus What’s the Same?
Edge 830 and 1030 Plus are similar to a large extent. They have the same:
- box contents (mounts, tether, charging cable, documentation)
- pairing process
- water resistance (IPX7)
- safety features
They are both used by pro and amateur cyclists and belong among the most popular bike computers.
Edge 830 vs. Edge 1030 Plus Features Comparison
Below, I compare these two bike computers’ most important features and differences.
Physical Dimensions & Weight
Garmin Edge 830 is smaller, lighter (79 vs. 124g), and more suitable for daily riding or racing.
Edge 1030 Plus belongs to the largest head units you can buy. It has almost the same form factor as the Edge 1040. It’s great for longer trips and bike touring.
These two differences can be a dealbreaker for some people, depending on their riding style.
However, I also recommend considering the:
The display size is the most significant difference between Edge 830 and 1030 Plus.
1030 Plus has one of the largest displays (3.5-inch) of all bike computers. It dwarfs the 830 2.6-inch display.
The larger display is better for navigation or browsing maps, for example. However, Garmin doesn’t allow you to set more than 10 data fields on 830 and 1030 Plus. Given the larger display on 1030 Plus, its data fields are larger and easier to read.
The readability in direct sunlight, responsivity, and brightness of both displays are the same.
I prefer a smaller form factor for training and racing because of its compactness, but I can imagine people with poorer eyesight or enthusiasts may prefer the larger screen of the 1030 Plus.
Winner: Garmin Edge 830
Control & User Friendliness
Both these bike computers feature a touchscreen display supplemented with three physical buttons. Their user interface and menus are the same.
My main complaint about the touchscreen displays is their reliability in non-ideal conditions.
For example, if it rains or I wear full-finger gloves, I need to perform certain actions multiple times. Don’t take me wrong. They work surprisingly well (better than Karoo 2), but not 100%.
Or, when I ride with my hands in a TT position, I sometimes accidentally press the screen and dive into menus. Yes, I can lock it, but it’s an additional action I don’t have to do with button-based bike computers.
Winner: It’s a draw
The battery life is an area where the 1030 Plus has an edge. Garmin claims it can last up to 24 hours of ‘heavy’ use.
I got about 18 and a half hours with a connected Varia radar, HR sensor, and power meter, and navigation turned on at about 30% of the rides.
I would need to reduce the display’s brightness to squeeze more out of it. I used the ‘Auto’ setting that increases the brightness in direct sunlight.
Edge 830 should last up to 20 hours. My unit lasted about * hours (with the same sensors and auto-brightness).
The battery life of both head units is pretty good compared to other alternatives, considering both bike computers I tested were more than one year old.
Winner: Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
Maps & Navigation
Garmin Edge 830 and 1030 Plus can provide turn-by-turn directions, recalculate your route when you go off-course, navigate to POI, etc.
Both computers provide alerts about dangerous turns, navigate you to a starting point, etc., and come with preloaded Garmin Cycle Maps.
Unfortunately, you have to download maps through the Garmin Express desktop app. You can’t do this via a smartphone app like Wahoo ELEMNT computers.
The Edge 830 offers 16 GB of internal memory. 1030 Plus doubles that. But, unless you are a frequent traveler, 16 GB should be enough for you because it allows downloading multiple regions.
Winner: Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
Garmin Edge bike computers offer many features. To name a few:
- ClimbPro shows stats about the upcoming climbs based on a pre-planned route. This feature is helpful for climbers and riders who want to better pace themselves in climbs.
- MTB Dynamics measures your jumps, grit, and flow. It’s useful mainly for mountain bikers.
- Incident/crash detection detects if you crash and notifies your emergency contacts.
- Virtual Partner that you can use for pacing yourself.
- 1030 Plus can suggest workouts (and rest days) based on your activities.
Both head units can display Strava live segments, are compatible with apps like Trailforks, and you can customize them with 3rd party apps from the Connect IQ store.
1030 Plus has richer features, but let’s be honest, will you all need or use them?
Winner: Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
Total score: Garmin Edge 830 (1) | Garmin Edge 1030 Plus (3) It’s a draw (1)
Edge 830 vs. Edge 1030 Plus FAQ
Price aside, Edge 1030 Plus mainly offers a larger display that’s great for browsing maps or navigation but too large for day-to-day use, in my opinion.
99% of other features are the same. 830 only lacks the daily workout suggestions.
Considering often discounts on the 1030 Plus, which can lower the price to a sub $400 territory, I think it’s a much better deal than the 830 for a similar price.
But, consider your riding style. Edge 830 will suit the needs of most riders. It’s more compact and suitable for day-to-day riding. The 1030 Plus is overkill for most riders who don’t leverage the larger screen.