Top critical review
Good, but not perfect
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2021
I was on the market for a simple GPS unit that would display some basic info during my MTB rides. I looked at cheaper options, including XOSS G+ and IGPSPORT iGS10, but eventually ended up buying the Garmin Edge 130 Plus for the following 3 reasons:
1. Ability to customize the display and show all and only the parameters useful to me (speed, distance, ride time, time of day, total ascent, total descent)
2. Ability to display notifications from my phone (text, whatsapp, incoming calls)
3. Ability to load a GPX track and follow it (basic navigation), useful if you're trying a new trail you have seen on Trailforks or Strava, or a friend shared with you.
Overall I'm happy with the purchase, it does what I need, but I took away 2 stars for the following reasons:
1. Price. Yes it does more than the other GPS units I mentioned, but it does cost 4-5 times more. The Edge 130 is definitely overpriced at $200.
2. Complexity. Sometimes, more is not better. I have no use of all the fitness functions, like schedule, workouts, racing segments, training calendars, VO2 Max, recovery time, IQ features, hydration, heart rate zones, power zones, challenges, health stats, performance stats, courses, segments, laps, and so on... they simply add complexity in the menus of the device and - particularly - in the app. At the very least, give us the option to completely hide/disable those functions. I do acknowledge that for some people these are important features, but I think they are overkill on a small unit like this.
3. User interface / buttons. For whatever reason, they are not intuitive. It's also a consequence of having too many options, but the basic functionalities (start/pause/stop/save) should ALL require 1 push of a button, not more. Example: to start a ride you need turn on the unit, then press the start button once, confirm or select the ride type (Road/Commuting/Mountain, etc) then press again to start the clock. Another example: to save a ride, you press the start/stop button, then scroll down to Save Ride and press again. Last example: to turn it off, you need to press the power button, then again confirm power off. How about using long press a shortcut? Long press start = start a ride with the previous settings. Long press stop = save the ride. Long press power = power off. It's not that complicated, is it???
4. No user-replaceable battery.
[UPDATE 04/26/2021] I've been using the Edge 130 for a while now, and decided to add back 1 star. It works really well, and buttons are starting to make sense. Navigation is excellent, despite the small screen: I create my courses in an external GPX editor, import them into Garmin Connect and finally load them on the Edge (I do all this on a Windows PC, with the Edge connected via USB). When you're following a course, you can zoom in/out and the unit will keep that zoom level for the entire ride. This is very useful for mountain biking, as the default zoom level doesn't provide nearly enough detail when you're on a trail.
Back to 3 stars. The Courses page on the Edge 130, for some mysterious reason, cuts the course names after 16-17 characters, instead of using the full width of the (already small) screen. If you have several courses, it becomes difficult to distinguish them if the names are cut short, so you need count the characters when you name your courses, and resort to abbreviations (e.g. "Blk Mtn 2 Hdgs - S" instead of "Black Mountain to Lake Hodges - Short". End of the world? No. Annoying? A bit, yes.
I reached Garmin Support and - long story short - I could not get them to move from the "it works as intended" response, which of course completely misses the fact that, the way it was intended does not really work well.
I suggested to use the full width of the screen (duh) and possibly to add right-to-left scrolling when a course is highlighted, so that even longer names could be displayed in full. Nothing, it was like speaking to a wall.