2/2024

Garmin Edge 530 vs Garmin Explorer: In-depth Review

When it comes to choosing the right cycling computer, it can be a daunting task with so many options available in the market.

Two of the best options are the Garmin Edge 530 and the Garmin Explorer. Both these cycling computers offer a range of features that cater to different types of cyclists.

In this article, we will compare the Garmin Edge 530 and the Garmin Explorer to help you decide which one suits your needs the best.

is the garmin edge 530 worth it

Cycling has now become a sport and a form of exercise and recreational activity for a lot of people, be it the young or old.

With a quick and easy-to-use GPS cycling computer, cycling is made a little bit better and less dangerous.

You don’t have to worry about taking the wrong turn, or losing your way when cycling. There are a lot of connected features in this device that help the rider stay in touch with other riders and even their family and friends.

This also helps you log rides into various ride apps, navigate and even measure your riding performance. All these features in one GPS bike computer are simply handy, to say the least. 

Now, with all these features available in modern GPS bike computers, you might be indecisive about which to buy.

In this article, we would be comparing two devices to see which is much better and which we recommend buying.

These two bike computers are both from the same brand, Garmin, and this product line releases devices great for navigation and bike touring.

They are one of the best when it comes to the bike GPS market and the Explorer and Edge 530 are some of the best products in the market which are used by pro cyclists and normal people alike. 

Garmin Edge 530 vs Garmin Explorer

So, what are their key differences? And how do they compare to one another? Some comparisons between these two amazing bike computers are;  

Edge ExplorerEdge 530
Display size3.0” (76 mm) diagonally 2.6” (66mm) diagonally
Display resolution 240 x 400 pixels 246 x 322 pixels 
Basemap Yes Yes
Weight116 g75.8 g
Battery life 12 hours 20 hours
GPSYes Yes
Ambient light sensorNo Yes
Group live track Yes Yes
Included componentsMounting hardware, documentation, Edge Explorer, micro-USB cable.Edge 530, standard mount, flush out-front mount, tether USB cable, documentation. 
Special feature12-Hour Li-Ion rechargeable battery, varia smart light, and radar compatible customize with connecting IQ Apps Garmin cycle map with trend line routing, rider-to-rider messaging, and built-in GPS.Bluetooth
Bike alarm No Yes

Garmin Edge Explorer 

This Garmin product was released in 2018 and as soon as it came out, it was all the rage.

It is a very small bike computer and extremely portable when riding, but some people might say it is not big enough to have comfortable viewing of the map on the screen.

This feature is a 50/50 one as some individuals love bike computers with smaller screens, while others prefer the screen to be bigger so the map can be seen clearly.

The Edge Explorer has a touch screen with a resolution of 250 x 400 pixels which is not the sharpest in any bike computer, but the colors of the screen make up for this.

For a Garmin product, it is very affordable, especially with all the notable features it was released with like the complete navigational system. 

The routing and navigation on the Edge Explorer are so great that it gives you turn-by-turn directions making sure your ride is as seamless as possible.

You can upload your personalized routes like your home and office into this device as it comes with an internal storage of 16GB mainly for maps.

One major downside about this amazing product is that you cannot check back to see how you’ve been doing as there are no performance metrics on the device. Also, there is no light sensor or Wi-Fi connectivity.

Still, it comes with a lot of needed and helpful features like how it supports external sensors. 

Pros 

  • Very affordable
  • Turn to turn navigation system

Cons 

  • No WiFi connectivity 
  • Supports only one user

Garmin Edge 530 

A year after the Edge Explorer was launched, the Edge 530 was also launched causing a slight uproar amongst avid users.

This bike computer is pretty small and although it is not the smallest, it is not the biggest device either.

The display which is 246 x 322 pixels is not the clearest in the market, but it is clear and sharp enough for you to easily navigate when cycling.

This bike computer is very user-friendly and straight to the point so you don’t have to worry about the technicalities that might come with it because there aren’t any.

Unlike its predecessor, the Edge 530 does support Wi-Fi connectivity as well as Bluetooth, which a lot of users loved.

Garmin also put in a lot of work with this new device when it came to the map interface. It comes with a full navigation system and some tweaks that were not included in the previous model. 

But one major downside that this has over the Edge Explorer is that it is not a touchscreen.

Instead, to navigate, you’ll have to keep pressing buttons which in all honesty seems pretty stressful. This was one feature that users continuously complain about because how user accessibility was not thought of during the design process.

Furthermore, a feature where you’re informed when you’ve reached your destination or when you’re close to your turn was added which proved very helpful.

With the new rate of bike theft, it was very thoughtful that Garmin added a bike alarm system to their new device as this helps prevent bikes from getting stolen.

Other features we loved on the Edge 530 includes; 

  • A Find my Edge feature which helps cycles find their Edge when they mistakenly drop it somewhere or are looking for it. 
  • A mobile app that provides the cyclist with exact coordinates of routes. 
  • A feature that gives you suggestions for clothing depending on the weather and distance of the trip when you select a route. 
  • Performance measurements which the former model failed to provide and so many more. 

Pros

  • Good price
  • User-friendly interface
  • Performance measurement 

Cons

  • Lack of touchscreen 

Both bike devices are great and extremely well designed, but for mapping, 530 takes the lead as it has a faster processor which makes the experience seamless and quick.

For performance metrics, the 530 has it and the Barometric Altimeter is the star and the Edge Explorer is no match, and for the display, the 530 is brighter and sharper than its counterpart. 


Conclusion 

All in all, we can’t accurately say which model of the Garmin product is better as they each have their pros and cons and it depends entirely on the individual.

However, for a better and more seamless experience, we would recommend the Edge 530 device.

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