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Touchscreen or not?

Old 07-25-21, 02:02 PM
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one4smoke
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Touchscreen or not?

Garmin 830 or 530? Why or why not a touchscreen?
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Old 07-25-21, 03:05 PM
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Chuck M 
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I got the 530 for the buttons because I didn't like how my Apple Watch and a Garmin watch with touch screens worked when sweaty. While I knew I wouldn't sweat on the Garmin Edge like the watches, I ride in the rain often and expected it to be frustrating to use when wet. I don't know if I was right or not but I'm happy with the 530.
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Old 07-25-21, 04:49 PM
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If navigation is important to you, the touch screen helps that. I've never really had an issue with the touch screen (with the 1030 and 800). Note that you can lock the screen (which disables the touch screen).
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Old 07-25-21, 05:08 PM
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I used a Garmin Edge 500 for over 10 years. Buttons were fine to do the few things you could do on it. I got an Edge 530 last year. Buttons require too much effort and taking your eyes off the road too much to get to many of the newer things I'd like to do with it occasionally while riding. I might get used to it. But I'll recommend a touch screen.

I don't know about the Edge 830, but my son had occasional issues with sweat getting on his Edge 820's touch screen and it not responding. I think Garmin got most of the issue fixed in several software updates. But he says the touch screen on his new Edge 1030 plus is so much better. And the 1030 seems to have better processing power so you don't get as many delays with things like scrolling around on the map or sending the ride to Garmin.
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Old 07-25-21, 06:21 PM
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For the same $400 spent on a 830, You can get a Hammerhead Karoo 2 that uses a touch screen and has 4 buttons that allows complete functionality. I'm very impressed with mine after 6 weeks of use.
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Old 07-27-21, 11:15 AM
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I have the 830 and find the touchscreen to be very good. I had a 820 and found that touchscreen to not work well so almost considered getting the 530 with buttons when upgrading. I'm happy that the 830 touchscreen is much improved. My hesitation with the 530 buttons was on the sequence of different button presses to move about the different screens.
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Old 07-27-21, 11:58 AM
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With the Garmin sale on the 530 through the end of the month, if the 830 touchscreen was worth an extra $100, is it now worth an extra $150?
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Old 07-27-21, 12:26 PM
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Maps without touchscreen = barely worth having.
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Old 07-28-21, 06:17 PM
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Tough call. When my hands are sweaty, especially if I've been drinking electrolytes, I get a lot of touchscreen glitches with my phones and other touchscreen devices. Makes it tricky to use the two-finger or three-finger options to zoom in/out with maps, or snap a screenshot.

My bike computer is pretty simple, GPS but no navigation aids or maps. It's strictly button-operated. If I did use a full featured navigation computer I'd prefer it retained at least some button controls in case I couldn't operate the touchscreen with sweaty mitts.
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Old 07-29-21, 06:57 PM
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After a few years with the 520 I went through the touchscreen debate and talked myself into the 830. Over the last two years I've had zero (that I can recall) issues with screen sensitivity, even when I dumped my water bottle on it by accident. And I agree with Seattle Forrest - I can't even imagine scrolling or zooming through a navigation/map screen with buttons, something I do frequently. And the ease of getting to options, setting, etc. Heck, just swiping to change screens on the ride is a major advancement - no fumbling for buttons, I can switch screens without even looking at the unit until I'm ready to take my eyes off the road. Honestly, I can't imagine going back to straight buttons at all, any more than I can imagine going back to a non-touchscreen phone. Is it worth the (now) $150 extra? That's tougher, but I would probably choose the 830 over the 530 again even with the extra $50 off. Obviously, YMMV...

edit: one downside is fingerprints on the screen. I often take my unit off to rub it on my shorts to clean the screen, otherwise I get glare. So that's a downside, but it doesn't come close to offsetting the upsides in my opinion.
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Old 07-29-21, 09:56 PM
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I had an 800 for 10 years. That thing was ancient, but the touch screen worked fine. Rain, gloves, whatever. It's not a smartphone. Probably the extremely low resolution of all Garmins helps with that, good phones have more pixels per inch than the 830 has total. The things you're touching aren't as small. Drops of water or sweat on the screen don't make it go crazy the way they do with a phone either.

My Garmin watch has routable maps, but no touch screen. Interacting with maps with buttons works, but holy crap it's tedious to zoom in and out and scroll and really get value out of them. The point of buying a bike computer is being able to use it on the bike instead of having to stop and get out your phone. So it makes sense that it should be easy to use quickly with as little of your attention as possible. And touch screens are for sure the way to go for that with mapping.
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Old 07-30-21, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Tough call. When my hands are sweaty, especially if I've been drinking electrolytes, I get a lot of touchscreen glitches with my phones and other touchscreen devices. Makes it tricky to use the two-finger or three-finger options to zoom in/out with maps, or snap a screenshot.

My bike computer is pretty simple, GPS but no navigation aids or maps. It's strictly button-operated. If I did use a full featured navigation computer I'd prefer it retained at least some button controls in case I couldn't operate the touchscreen with sweaty mitts.
They almost always have a power button. Most of the newer Garmin Edges can be up and running in seconds. So just like Windows on a PC, re-start it. That frequently cleared up the stuck screen supposedly due to sweat or water on my son's Edge 820. But still annoying.

And the 820 didn't restart quite as quick as the 530 or 1030 we have now, but it was quicker than my 500.
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