Garmin Edge 1040 vs 840: Which Is Better (For You)…?

I can compare the brand spanking new Garmin Edge 840 and the somewhat less spanky but still very cutting Edge 1040 in about 9 words.

The two key differences are:

  • Screen size; and
  • Cost

If you want more display acreage and you have pockets that are shallower and arms that are longer than mine, buy the 1040. Otherwise, it’s the 840.

So this is a short post.

You’re welcome and see you next week. Try the veal.

But the Google-gods won’t shine their search engine glory lens on this derisory effort, so here’s a few more words in your eyeholes…

(Also here’s the video version of this post in case you’d prefer to ‘consume’ it in tele-youtube-able format):

The Edge 1040 and 840 Are Both Top End Bike Computers

In fact they’re the tippiest of the toppiest.

The 1040, launched in June 2022, is Garmin’s flagship Edge model. The 1040 was the first Edge to feature Garmin’s significantly improved user interface (reducing the user of menu after nested menu) and includes all the sophisticated training, safety and navigation features that our tiny little humanoid brains could comprehend.

Garmin Edge 840 vs 1040

The Edge 1040 was also the first cycling GPS to feature solar charging, if you were prepared to pay a soupçon more for that option.

The Edge 840, launched in April 2023, is basically all of that, just in a more diminutive form factor (or, to non-purveyors of wank words, ‘it’s smaller’).

It shares essentially of all the same software features as the 1040, along with the updated and improved UI. It also has solar glass as an option. Like the 1040, it comes blessed with a holy USB-C charging aperture.

But wait. Before you think the 840 brought nothing to the relationship, we should talk about ClimbPro.

ClimbPro On The Edge 1040 and 840

ClimbPro is the dedicated screen that pops up on Edge devices when you are… er, climbing.

In previous versions of the feature, after you had uploaded a route to your device, the Edge would identify any climbs and present interesting stats about each one (gradient, length, metres ascended, time in the ‘death zone’).

Edge 1040 vs 840 ClimbPro

Whence riding one of these climbs, the ClimbPro data screen would pop up to show progress and, importantly, ‘please, Mercx, [gasp] HOW MUCH IS FUGGING LEFT?’.

The Edge 1040 and 840 still have all the existing ClimbPro fandango but now you don’t need to be following a route to see it. As you free ride around, the 1040/840 will attempt to identify climbs in realtime and show the ClimbPro screen whenever you’re on one.

Edge 840 finds local climbs

This enhanced ClimbPro feature, which excites my innards in a manner that should disturb you, came pre-baked into the Edge 840 at launch, with a firmware release up-jizzling the 1040 software at more or less the same time

(UPDATE: ClimbPro vEvenBetter has now been added to the 1040 as part of a standard firmware update so you don’t need to sign up to the beta programme to get it. However, you will need to update to the latest, and a lot larger, maps using Garmin Connect on a computer and a USB cable…).

So sure, ultimately there’s no difference between the two devices on the ClimbPro front, but I like to think of it as the 840’s small contribution to velo-manity.

Garmin Edge 1040

Garmin's brand new tippity-top of the range bike GPS. The Solar option recharges whilst you ride. Super powerful with an easier-to-use UI than Garmins of old.

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But you came for a comparison. And a comparison involves differences. So here are those differences.

The 1040 is Bigger (And Heavier) Than the 840


Some devices are bigger than others. Some devices’ mothers are bigger than other devices’ mothers.

There are miniscule differences in width (the 1040 is like 1.5mm wider) and depth (I don’t know, a micron?). Lengthwise we’re talking just over 3cm (in imperial, just over a choad).

Edge 840 in out front mount

There’s no downside in the 1040 being bigger. It’s sleek and svelte (if those things are different). Compared to other touchscreen electronic devices (let’s call them smartphones), it’s downright mini.

And I will not accept, not even from you, Cartwright, that the extra 45g weight bestowed upon the 1040 makes any difference to anyone’s riding performance ever. Get down to 5% body fat and then we can talk.

Which Means The Edge 1040 Has Space For A Bigger Display

The 1040 has a 3.5” display (I think they express these things as the diagonal length from corner to corner) whilst the 840 measures 2.6”. I think these screenstats are the same as 1030 Plus/830 equivalents (I guess I could check…).

Neither display is particularly ‘high def’. I could be mixing apples with hand grenades here but whilst the 1040 sports a 282 x 470 pixel resolution, the Hammerhead Karoo 2 (which definitely does sport a high resolution screen) crams 480 x 800 pixels into its 3.2” screen.

Edge 1040 in out front mount

Anyway, the 1040 and 840 are equivalent in terms of resolution, the 1040 just has more screen ‘real estate’ – by my calculations, 67% more.

Whether you need that extra screen space is up to you.

Those looking for larger font size should definitely choose the 1040. With the same number of fields on the data grid screen, the figures on the 1040 are noticeably larger and more visible.

Or you can choose to display more fields without the same reduction in font size. (To be clear though, both the 1040 and 840 display a maximum 10 fields on a data screen. The 1040 doesn’t get more.)

Keen navigators, attracted by ‘molto map’ can also make the case for choosing the 1040.

Everyone else will be driven by desire (aren’t we all…).

The Mount Cleat Type Thingy…

… as we highly-unqualified bike mechanics call it, is different.

On the 1040 it’s machined metal, presumably aluminium, and, I have to say it, rather bling.

Edge 1040 back

The 840 has the standard plastic version, albeit high quality plastic (yes, my history degree involved a materials science component).

Both cleaty-cleats include the electrical contacts that allow holy communion with Garmin charge power pack.

Whilst We’re Talking About Feelz (And Lookz)

The 1040 overall seems a bit more high end (I mean, I guess it is).

As well as the aforementioned (and somewhat surprising) aluminium mount fitting (the 1030 Plus relied on good ol’ plastic), it has a two tone (black and grey) case design, unhelpfully hidden in my photos by the stout rubbery sheath that comes with the 1040, gratis.

The Start/Pause and Lap buttons on the front edge of the (Edge) 1040, and the charging port cover betwixt them, have a gun-metal grey, metallic vibe to them (whilst of course actually being good ol’ plastic).

Staying on the topic of buttons, the 1040 sticks with the historic Garmin touchscreen approach of sporting only three buttons (the two on the front edge, plus the On/Off button on the side). The 840 has gone a bit novel by adding the extra four buttons seen on non-touchscreen devices like the Edge 530 and now the 540.

Edge 840 touchscreen

So, if there are times, or conditions, when you can’t, won’t, simply WILL NOT! (ahem) use the touchscreen, then the buttons can be used to do the equivalent task (scroll through menus, select an option, call in a tactical air strike).

Battery Life (Don’t Matter…)

It’s seems some of the 1040’s extra heft accommodates a larger battery. So, unlike me, it goes for longer.

Garminstats, based on their ‘demanding’ scenario – loads of sensors; super-duper satellite tracking; notification overload; and, er, messing around with it a lot – claim a 1040 battery life of up to 35 hours, sans-solar, and up to 45 hours avec du soleil (with solar…).

The 840 claims up to 32 hours with solar and up to 26 hours.

So there’s a difference, but let’s have some contextual intercourse.

Edge 1040 vs 840 course summary

The equivalent claim for the 830 was ‘up to 20 hours’ and the 1030 Plus is-was up to 24 hours. Neither of the devices I own feel like over-demanding plug-cravers.

I think we’re in the territory where the battery life differences don’t matter a great deal to the vast number of riders (and, yes, I agree that you are a special snowflake and not in that vast number, but let’s get naked together bear with me).

There will always be some riders that need a very long battery life. Even for those guys, both the 840 and the 1040 give over 24 hours – more with the solar option – and they can always supplement with a charge power pack. Maybe they can persuade themselves that they need the 1040 to minimise charge anxiety.

For those of us in the remaining 99%, we’re surely at levels here where can’t notice the difference. I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, never mind whether I was annoyed the last time I had to charge my bike GPS.

So, for me, the excellent battery life box is ticked for both, and it’s not really a factor that drives my choice of which to buy.

Should You Buy The Solar Version Then?

You know, to go the whole hog?


Best case, the solar option adds 10 hours (that’s on the 1040; for the 840, Garmin-specs claim an additional 6 hours). But I don’t live in the sunny uplands of ‘best case’. I certainly don’t ride in them.

The 1040 non-solar option gives 35 hours of battery juice (supposedly).

Edge 840 solar screen display

Even allowing for a bit of promo-exuberance and battery degradation over time, that’s a million more hours than I need before having to plug it in to charge.

So, for me, solar re-charging doesn’t pelvic-nudge the needle with sufficient thrust to justify the extra cost and the slight impact on display visibility.

Just my john-thomas worth. Your solar gain will of course vary.

(Of course, I bought both the Edge 1040 and 840 in solar versions because I am a grade A pork-whistle).

Are There Alternatives to the Edge 1040 and 840?

Of course!

You could buy one of the older generation Edges, the 1030 Plus or the 830.

Both are available at reduced prices and do 95% of the things that you’ll realistically use on the 1040/840 (4% equates to the older route-based version of ClimbPro; 1% to ‘miscellaneous’).

I’ve got both and I like both (here’s my recent review of the Edge 830). I probably wouldn’t have bought the newer devices if it wasn’t to feed the ever-hungry maw of this bike-tech half-a-blog.

Here’s a comparison of the Edge 1040 and 1030 Plus, if that’s a route you’re considering.

Aside from that, if it’s touchscreen you’re after, I’d be considering the Hammerhead Karoo 2.

The battery life is a mere fraction of the Edges (albeit fine for my distances) and it doesn’t have the on-device training science-wizardry, but the matte colour touchscreen is beautiful and the user interface just about shades the 1040/840, even despite recent improvements to the latter.

As we move to non-touchscreen alternatives, we’re straying from the market segment that Garmin is targeting with the 1040 and 840. Nonetheless, if you want to go there, my pick of the button poppers is the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2, which you can read about here.

So Which Should You Buy?

Well, Ray over at DC Rainmaker says that the new 840 occupies the sweet spot in the tenderloin of the Garmin Edge range.

Who am I to disagree with the Sage of Amsterdam?

In this case, I’ll play the devil’s avocet.

You should buy the 1040.

Edge 1040 on bike

Revel in the larger screen size.

Bask in the warm glow of ‘more map’.

Know that you have the toppest of the tippy top bike computer in the world.

Garmin Edge 1040

Garmin's brand new tippity-top of the range bike GPS. The Solar option recharges whilst you ride. Super powerful with an easier-to-use UI than Garmins of old.

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If you click this link and make a purchase, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Edge 840 course demands

(And once you’ve tried that idea on for size, accept that you perhaps don’t want to spend a million billion dollars, and plump for the smaller but still immensely powerful 840).

Monty - Sportive Cyclist
Monty is an enthusiastic road cyclist with only moderate talent. He started Sportive Cyclist in 2013 to record the journey to his first 100 mile ride, the RideLondon 100. Over time the blog has expanded to include training advice, gear reviews and road cycling tales, all from the perspective of a not-very-fit MAMIL. Since you're here, Monty would also like you to check out his YouTube channel. Also, Monty really needs to stop referring to himself in the third person.

3 thoughts on “Garmin Edge 1040 vs 840: Which Is Better (For You)…?”

  1. Why not buy the Garmin Maps 67? Bulky but but buttons no touchscreen which is hopeless in wet conditions.
    Can you make a comparison to the 1040 please

  2. The main advantage of small size of 840 is ability to set it up on handlebar or stem. And it will not look bulky there. I know many people who like small head units, because they don’t look on screen while ride a lot.
    But there are some issues with tooo small font size on several fields for 840, and it is really Garmin UI issue. Because bolt 2 with smaller screen does not have any unreadable fields like 840.

    So really 840 screen is usable, but needs some careful fields setup, some of fields will be useless due to small elements in it. I’m talking about native garmin fields now. So I can say that garmin optimisation for 840 is not perfect. I appreciate the button interface in 840, but again, I believe it is not a user requested feature, but just optimisation of development.

  3. Great article but next time when you compare 2 devices that differ only on size, please photograph them with same menu so we can really understand the difference.
    Thank you.


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