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Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1030 Plus comparison: differences, which one to choose?

by Philippe Baudoin © Copyright (published 29/07/2020)
Garmin Edge 1030 versus 1030 Plus Comparison

The 2 best Garmin bike GPS computers compared. The choice depends mostly on the targetted budget.

The Edge 1030 Plus is the new 2020 top-of-the-line GPS bike and mountain bike computer, one of the best on the market today. More than just an upgrade of the Edge 1030 (dating from 2017), it features better components and more comprehensive functionality. But should you pay 100 € (or even 150 €) more for this? It all depends on the sport practiced (cycling or mountain biking) and the usage. Comparison of the 2 models and our opinion to help you make the right choice.

If you don't have time to read our full comparison, go straight to our review of Garmin Edge 1030 versus 1030 Plus: which one to buy?

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Garmin Edge 1030 and 1030 Plus: 2 high-end GPS bike counters with mapping

The Edge series is a range of GPS bike and mountain bike meters offering complete tools for cyclists, touring cyclists, mountain bikers or sportsmen training on a home trainer or spinning.

The Edge 1030 (released in 2017) and Edge 1030 Plus (released in 2020) are the most complete high-end models in the series today. They offer a large touch screen, color mapping of roads and bike paths, access to heat maps (the most frequently used routes in the Garmin community), powerful navigation tools (round trip generator, back to start, navigation to a given address, voice guidance, etc.), athlete assistance and performance tracking tools, safety features and advanced connected features.

Here's a small overview of these 2 excellent bicycle GPS. We compare these 2 models below. You can also go directly to our review of the Edge 1030 versus 1030 Plus: which one to choose?

Garmin Edge 1030: an aging GPS at a more affordable price

Garmin Edge 1030 and map

The Garmin Edge 1030 is a high-end GPS computer with a large touch screen (89 mm in diameter versus 66 mm for Edge 830, the model just below in the range) and ultra-complete features for cycling. It includes colour mapping of roads and cycle paths in Europe (or the country or continent of purchase) and advanced functions for the bike (GPS navigation, training and performance monitoring tools including bike and mountain bike dynamics, physiological measurements, connected functions, assistance in the event of an incident, etc.).

Since the release of the Edge 530 and Edge 830 models in 2019, it has lost some of its panache. Even if most of the new functions brought to these recent models (ClimbPro, MTB dynamics, hydration and nutrition monitoring, bike alarm, etc.) could be integrated by a software update, the integration of the Trailforks application and mountain bike data have not been added and the hardware part is a bit old-fashioned (slower processor, poorer GPS reception, less sensitive screen). That's why our preference was for the model just below, the Edge 830, more complete and less expensive but with a much smaller screen as well.

Buy Garmin Edge 1030
 

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus: the model of excellence but more expensive!

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus and map

The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus is the latest high-end model released in June 2020. It has all the same features as the Edge 1030 and the latest additions to the Edge 530 and Edge 830 models (twice as fast processor, better display, better GPS chip, Trailforks integration and data from nearly 300,000 ATV trails in more than 120 countries). In addition, it offers some exciting new features, including improved battery life, double memory capacity (but no more SD cards), daily training suggestions and some interesting new features.

The Edge 1030 Plus is therefore the most complete version currently available. It's the best of the range at the moment, waiting for the next generation, the Edge 1040.

The main differences between Edge 1030 and Edge 1030 Plus

Edge 1030 Plus inherits both from

  • hardware enhancements to the Edge 530 and 830 models released in 2019: higher quality and more sensitive screen, processor twice as fast, GPS chip with better sensitivity and less power consumption.
  • new features that will not be carried over to Edge 1030, including the integration of the TrailForks application, its data and functions (ATV tracks, ForkSight function) and some new features that we describe later.

Note that a big update was done in 2019 on Garmin Edge 1030 (versions 8.00 and 9.00) to incorporate most of the new features offered by Edge 530 and Edge 830, including: ClimbPro, feed and hydration monitoring, feed and hydration alerts, MTB dynamics, temperature and heat acclimatization assessment, bike alarm, "find my Edge" feature, and a few others. A logical alignment that was initially missing in Edge 1030 (hence our preference at the time for Edge 830).

Among the "real" new features of Edge 1030 Plus are the daily training suggestion, improved autonomy, doubling of the memory capacity (but you lose the SD card), integration of North American and African cycling maps (for Europeans), route recalculation in case of leaving the planned route (to return to it), improved "back to start" function. Garmin is also adding a function to transfer the setup from your old Edge to the new one (sensors, profiles, data fields), making configuration much easier and faster (this function will be added to Edge 1030 at a later stage).

We list in the table below the main differences between the 2 models. You will find them detailed and more complete later in this article.

ModelEdge 1030Edge 1030 Plus
 Edge 1030Edge 1030
Price499 €599 €
Weight123 g124 g
Screen size3.5"
(88.9 mm)
3.5"
(88.9 mm)
Screen definition282 x 470 px282 x 470 px
Touch screen
New generation screen 
2x faster processor 
Memory16 GB32 GB
Micro SD card
 
High-sensitivity GPS receiver 
GPSGPS, GLONASS, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Galileo
Autonomy20 h 24 h
Colour mapping (roads and bike paths)EuropeEurope, USA, Africa
Trailforks data (mountain bike trails, difficulty) 
ForkSight 
Mountain Bike Dynamics
Re-route calculation in case of route exit 
Returning to the starting point earlier than expected 
ClimbPro
Power monitoring
Heat and altitude acclimatization
Follow-up+Smart hydration & nutrition alerts
Suggested daily training 
Setup auto transfer from old to new Edge
New pause-route option 
Improved LiveTrack
Find my Edge
Garmin Edge 1030 and 1030 Plus Compared: key Differences
Functions already integrated    
Functions that will be integrated in a next update

 

Design and technical features: a major difference

The Edge 1030 Plus benefits from new components, the same ones that equip the Edge 530 and Edge 830. This is a significant improvement that alone justifies the 100 € difference between the two models.

On the one hand, the screen is of better quality. The one of Edge 1030 aged badly with visible imperfections around the screen (halo effect). It is also more sensitive, making it easier to navigate, especially in the rain and when wearing gloves.

The new GPS receiver (Sony brand chip instead of Mediatek) consumes less power and captures the GPS signal better, which is an advantage in places with poor reception.

The latest generation processor is twice as fast as the Edge 1030 (it has the same processor as the old Edge 820 model).

The memory has been doubled. The memory has been doubled from 16 GB to 32 GB, allowing more cards to be stored in the device. The Edge 1030 Plus also comes with a map of the USA and Africa, in addition to the map of Europe. However, the SD card, which was used to expand the memory when needed, is no longer offered on the new model.

Finally, Garmin opted for an all-black GPS instead of black and white for the Edge 1030. It's a matter of taste here.

ModelEdge 1030Edge 1030 Plus
 Edge 1030Edge 1030
Price499 €599 €
Size (mm)58 x 114 x 1958 x 114 x 19
Screen size3.5"
(88.9 mm
)
3.5"
(88.9 mm
)
Resolution282 x 470 px282 x 470 px
Touch screenYesYes
Colour screenYesYes
New generation screenNoYes
GPS chipMediatekSony
High-sensitivity GPS receiverNoYes
2x faster processorNoYes
Weight123 g124 g
WaterproofingIPX7IPX7
Memory16 GB32 GB
Micro SD slotYesNo
No. of courses100 courses100 courses
HistoryUp to 200 hoursUp to 200 hours
Nb of waypoints200200
Garmin Edge 1030 and 1030 Plus compared: design and technical features

Improved autonomy

Autonomy is an important parameter for cyclists and touring cyclists who practice long rides or for outings over several days. The new Edge benefits from a 24-hour autonomy in GPS mode compared to 20 hours for the old model, i.e. 20% more.

A power saving mode doubles this autonomy. Garmin plays notably on 2 parameters. The frequency of recording data from sensors and GPS on the one hand (activation of the intelligent mode which focuses on key points, such as changes in direction, speed or heart rate. The accuracy of the recorded data is therefore reduced). Switching off the screen on the other hand (you have to touch it to switch it on again).

Garmin Charge battery on its support
Garmin Charge is an external battery compatible with the 2 models presented in this comparison. It connects under the Edge bracket and doubles its autonomy.

For longer battery life with no data loss, Garmin offers the Garmin Charge&trade, a sealed external battery (IPX7 standard) to be plugged under the Edge bracket. This solution doubles the autonomy. Of course, the Edge can also be recharged during a break or between two outputs via a standard phone charger (not supplied).

ModelEdge 1030Edge 1030 Plus
GPS training mode20 h24 h
Energy saving mode30 h36 or 48 hours
Garmin Charge™ External Battery CompatibleYesYes
Autonomy with Garmin Charge40 h48 h
Garmin Edge 1030 and 1030 Plus Comparison: battery Life

Sensors: a new GPS chip

Both devices carry the same sensors (barometric altimeter, barometer, compass, accelerometer) except for the GPS chip: Edge 1030 Plus is equipped with a Sony chip (instead of Mediatek), the one that already equips recent Edge models. This chip is more sensitive (so the signal is better received) and uses less energy.

The 2 meters are compatible with most external sensors and offer the protocols ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart. You will be able to connect a heart rate monitor (cardio belt or armband), speed, cadence and power sensors but also control a Shimano Di2 derailleur, a VIRB camera, a home trainer, some electric bikes or connect Varia products (Vision, radar, lights).

ModelEdge 1030Edge 1030 Plus
Barometric altimeter
High-sensitivity GPS receiver 
GPS systemsGPS,
GPS + GLONASS,
GPS + Galileo
GPS,
GPS + GLONASS,
GPS + Galileo
Speed sensor compatible
Rate sensor compatible
Power sensor compatible
Compass  
Thermometer  
Shimano Di2 compatible
Home trainer compatible
VIRB camera compatible
Varia compatible (lights, radar, vision)
External sensor compatibilityANT+, Bluetooth SmartANT+, Bluetooth Smart
Garmin Edge 1030 and 1030 Plus Comparison: sensors

Mapping and navigation: more maps and new functions

Edge 1030 Plus includes maps of roads and bike paths in North America and Africa in addition to the maps of Europe offered on Edge 1030 (for a device purchased in Europe). So you can now travel farther with your Edge.

Garmin also introduces 2 other interesting features:

  • Pause-route option: it allows you to pause the navigation, for example if you need to temporarily leave the route for a detour (such as a detour to refuel or to visit a place spotted during the trip). This mode stops the recording as well as the repeated beeps that remind you that your are out of the planned routed.
  • Route re-calculation: if you leave the planned route (or disable the pause after you have departed from it), the Edge 1030 Plus now provides a way to get back to it as easily as possible, either by retracing your steps, taking the best direct route back to the point where you left the route, or catching up with the shortest route, even if it's not at the point where you left it.

On the Edge 1030 Plus, the back to start function now makes it possible to return earlier than expected, i.e. before finishing the route.

Of course, both devices include popular routes (routes frequented by members of the Garmin community also called heat maps), navigation functions to follow a route previously loaded into the GPS meter from the Garmin Connect interface with indication of dangerous turns, voice guidance (requires a connected smartphone).

TrailForks maps with blue, red, black tracks
TrailForks data integrated in the maps allow to select an ATV track according to its difficulty.

The other important new feature of the Edge 1030 Plus, at least for mountain bike fans, is the integration of Trailforks data, which means almost 300,000 mountain bike tracks and their level of difficulty. There are also Trailforks functions:

  • WorkSight : this function displays the next intersections and the position of the ATVist within the trail network. It activates automatically when you stop riding.
  • Trail Planning: a function that allows you to search for a trail in your region by specifying a difficulty level.

This integration was not done on Edge 1030 for licensing reasons. Edge 1030 Plus can finally benefit from it.

The 2 counters benefit also from MTB Dynamics that are functions to help the rider in his outing: evaluation of the difficulty of the track (Grit function), evaluation of the fluidity or quality of a descent (Flow function), counting of the number of jumps (Jump).

For climbers, the ClimbPro function is available on both counters. It had been integrated on the Edge 1030 shortly after the release of the Edge 530 and 830 models. It displays the altitude profile of the course, shows the percentage of average slope, the remaining elevation difference to climb, and the distance to the summit. The profile is divided into coloured sections according to difficulty. The cyclist can thus easily analyse the difficulty of the slope and manage his effort accordingly.

ModelEdge 1030Edge 1030 Plus
Bike and mountain bike specific:  
Color mapping (Garmin Cycle Map)
Mapping availableEuropeEurope, USA, Africa
Turn-by-turn guidance
Popular routes (heat maps)
Round trip generator
Navigation to a given address
Navigation to POIs (restaurant, hotel, etc.)
Back to the start
Back to the improved start 
Pause-route 
Recalculation of the route when leaving the programmed route 
ClimbPro™ function (profile, elevation, etc.)
Mountain bike specific  
Trailforks data (mountain bike trails and difficulty) 
Trailforks functions (ForkSight, Trail Planning) 
Garmin Edge 1030 and 1030 Plus Comparison: mapping and navigation

Training tools: a new daily training suggestion function

Daily training suggestion and power developed
The Garmin Garmin bike and MTB GPS meters are a great way to improve your performance.

The 2 GPS-counters all offer advanced performance analysis functions (race metrics, physiological measurements, cycling and mountain bike dynamics). The many new features on Edge 830 were integrated shortly afterwards on Edge 1030 and are of course available on Edge 1030 Plus: MTB dynamics and metrics, power monitoring, estimation of heat and altitude acclimatization and VO2max evaluation taking these factors into account, feed and hydration monitoring and alerts.

The Edge 1030 Plus offers a new function daily training suggestion. It's like a coach suggesting day-to-day workouts, depending on the fitness level assessed on the basis of recovery, sleep quality and training load over the last 7 days.

 

ModelEdge 1030Edge 1030 Plus
SportsCycling and mountain bikingCycling and mountain biking
Bike and mountain bike specific:  
Suggested daily training 
Calories burnt
Cycling dynamics
Power display
Power curve over several days
Heat and altitude acclimatization
Intelligent hydration alerts & nutrition
Hydration and nutrition monitoring
Download of training plans
Interval training
Advanced Training
Performance Measures :  
- VO2max
- FTP
- Aerobic training effect
- Training Anaerobic Effect
- Recovery time
- Training load
- Training status
- Training load target
- Effort Score
- Fitness
Personal Records
Virtual partner
Virtual racer
Segments (Strava, etc.)
Mountain bike specific  
Mountain bike dynamics (difficulty, downhill fluidity)
ATV metrics (jumps, etc.)
Garmin Edge 1030 and 1030 Plus compared: sports functions

Security, support and connected functions : enhanced LiveTrack

Here again, the Edge 1030 has been aligned with the Edge 830 and therefore offers the same functions as the Edge 1030 Plus, including (among the recently added functions): access to InReach satellite communication beacons, the "Find my Edge" function, communication between cyclists from the Edge, incident detection (collision, fall) and assistance in the event of an incident, bike alarm (motion detection and alert on Smartphone), data sharing between 2 Edge.

The LiveTrack function has been reviewed and improved (new interface) on all Edge models. But that's not all: the people you invite to follow you on the Internet will now be able to see your planned route (in addition to your position on the map). This enhancement, already built into Edge 1030 Plus, will be available on Edge 1030 later on.

ModelEdge 1030Edge 1030 Plus
Live Track
Group Track
Garmin Connect Compatibility
Smartphone notifications
ANT+
Bluetooth Smart
Cardio belt compatible
Shimano Di2 compatible
Compatible with cadence and speed sensor
Power sensor compatible
Data sharing between 2 Edge
Incident detection
Incident assistance (SOS call)
Find my Edge
Bicycle motion alarm
VIRB remote control
Live Track: view of the scheduled route
Garmin Edge 1030 and 1030 Plus compared: support, security, connected features
Functions already integrated  
Functions that will be integrated in a next update

 

Edge 1030 versus 1030 Plus: our opinion and which one to choose?

Edge 1030 Plus: the best choice without hesitation

Weather display

Between the 2 models, if you don't look at the price, there is no hesitation, it is the Edge 1030 Plus that you have to choose for the simple reason that it is the most complete (functions and cartography) and that it has better components (processor twice as fast, more sensitive and better quality screen, more sensitive GPS chip).

For mountain bike enthusiasts or pros, it embeds the Trailforks application and mountain bike data (nearly 300,000 mountain bike tracks and their difficulty in more than 120 countries!). Its autonomy is better. Of course it does not offer an SD card but its memory has been doubled (32 GB instead of 16) and that is enough. The choice is therefore easy if you don't look at the budget.

Edge 1030 for tight budgets, depending on what you are looking for

Power display

If your budget is tight, the Edge 1030 is still a great bike GPS meter and the current price drop and ongoing promotions are a great opportunity to purchase one at a reduced price (see below). It benefits from almost all the features of the new model. Apart from the daily training suggestion (which won't interest all cyclists), the new Pause and route recalculation functions, which are certainly useful, the other new functions should be integrated soon. Of course, if you purchase Edge 1030 now, you won't benefit from the automated setup transfer from your old Edge to the new one, as the function is not yet available on Edge 1030, which is a bit of a shame. You won't benefit from the new hardware either (processor, display, GPS chip and memory), but that's not necessarily a big issue.

However, if you ATV or plan to use your Edge in Europe and the United States, the Edge 1030 Plus is a better choice, despite the higher price. For frequent or professional use, you will also be more comfortable with this new model. Edge 1030 Plus has faster response times, especially for route planning. If you're riding in the rain or with gloves on, you'll appreciate the quality of the new and more sensitive display. In areas with weak satellite signals, you'll have a better chance of receiving GPS!

If compromise is difficult, maybe look at Edge 830. It offers similar features to Edge 1030 Plus, including ATV data (TrailForks), it has the same components (screen, GPS chip, processor) and it's cheaper than Edge 1030! On the other hand, its screen is much smaller. Read our detailed review of the Edge 830 and our comparison between Edge 830 and Edge 1030.

In order to help you in your choice, we propose you the summary table below.

FeaturesEdge 1030Edge 1030 Plus
 Edge 1030Edge 1030
Price499 €499 €
Value for money
+
++
Recommended sportsCycling, mountain biking, bicycle tourismCycling, mountain biking, bicycle tourism
Autonomy
++
+++
Interface fluidity (response time)
++
+++
Screen quality
+++
++++
GPS chip sensitivity
+++
++++
Why choose this modelVery complete at a still affordable priceBetter screen quality
High-sensitivity GPS chip
Better fluidity
Better autonomy
Mountain bike tracks and their difficulty
USA cycling maps
Garmin Edge 1030 or 1030 Plus: how to choose?

Garmin Edge 1030 and Edge 1030 Plus: where to buy it?

You can find these bicycle GPS on the Internet (see below) or in specialist shops. Sport Passion and its partners offer you discount vouchers.

Buy Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

Merchant
Price (from)
 
Lepape
599 €
569.05 € (*1)
Alltricks
599.99 €
539.99 €
Materiel-Velo
599.95 €
539.99 €

(*1) Discount of -5% on this product with coupon code 5A15 !

Buy Garmin Edge 1030

Merchant
Price (from)
 
Amazon
599 €
527 €

Commercial links. Prices are not contractual. Please visit the merchant site.

Philippe Baudoin
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