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Garmin releases new Edge 1040 and 1040 Solar cycling computers

Garmin 1040 Solar
(Image credit: Josh Ross)

Today Garmin launched the Edge 1040 Solar and Edge 1040 cycling computers. This marks the first update since the Edge 1030 Plus two years ago. At that time, Garmin was bringing the Edge 1030 into line with the rest of the Edge lineup with the addition of the Plus moniker. Today's announcement brings an update to the top-of-the-line slot in the Edge lineup and this time it leads the product category with new features and a new style.  

The headline feature of the new 1040 model designation is the battery life. The Garmin Edge 1030 plus already easily outdistanced the competition but the new models extend that advantage even further with two options for the flagship model. The more affordable option is the Edge 1040 with expectations of 35 and 70 hours for standard and battery saver mode respectively.

Those looking for even more impressive numbers now have a completely new model to turn to as well. The flagship Garmin Edge 1040 Solar also includes solar charging and the ability to extend battery life by as much as 42 minutes per hour during daytime riding. That boosts the quoted battery life numbers to nearly double that of the previous model at 45 hours in standard mode and 100 hours in battery saver when riding in sunny conditions. Compatibility with the Garmin Charge Power Pack remains, which will push those numbers even higher. 

Getting those impressive numbers doesn't require a size penalty either. The new units are in fact slightly smaller and battery size has actually seen a reduction from 1900 mAh down to 1800 mAh. The CPU and screen remain mostly the same too, so the improved performance comes via software tuning. Garmin says the new software architecture allows it to optimise and improve battery life performance while also boosting performance overall.

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar detail of newly redesigned quarter turn mount

The exterior of the Garmin Edge 1040 series remains almost identical to the previous generation with the exception of the back and the new metal mount.  (Image credit: Josh Ross)

In terms of hardware improvements, the exterior remains very recognizable. USB-C replaces the outdated micro-USB charging port and the outer casing is ever so slightly thinner. At the front, the design language remains the same with solar panels replacing the bezels above and below the screen on the Edge 1040 Solar. Flip the units over and there's now a newly strengthened metal quarter-turn mount insert to ensure safety over rougher surfaces. 

Another hardware update is the move to multi-band satellite connectivity. While the Edge 1030 plus already took advantage of additional satellite constellations outside of the US-based GPS system, the Edge 1040 series adds multi-band connections. Practically speaking that means we should expect better coverage in situations where sky visibility is a challenge. Perhaps more useful though is higher precision for more accurate speeds and elevations and faster acquisition times so you can get moving with less delay. 

Software updates

Along with the hardware changes, there are software-based improvements across the board. For those that are already Garmin users, setup continues to take less than five minutes. A few clicks and all of your previous settings pull through and you are ready to ride. For those that are starting new, or anyone who needs to make a change, there's now far more integration with the Garmin Connect phone app. It's possible to customise the data screens through the app, similar to functionality from Wahoo, or with long presses on the device screen. 

On the mapping side, much of what we've come to expect from the Garmin Edge map experience has remained unchanged. Turn-by-turn navigation is as good as always with the ability to pause when it's time to explore and Trendline popularity data is on tap for route suggestions based on billions of miles covered by Garmin users. For those heading farther offroad, there continues to be Trailforks integration as well. On top of those details, there are now also searchable points of interest on the map. 

In fact, with most software features we see a similar strategy: features you expect are there and work in the way you've come to expect but there's now added functionality. You can still leverage the Garmin ecosystem to gain insight into training suggestions and status but now the 1040 series offers even more. The Cycling Ability feature helps you classify your strengths as a cyclist and compare your cycling ability to the demands of a specific course so you can focus your training and improvement in the right areas. While real-time stamina gives guidance for pacing during a ride and Power Guide recommends power targets.

One area that's truly new is an updated, and customisable home screen. The screen that greets you when you turn on your Edge 1040 series computer is now a wealth of information that's completely customizable. Either through the Garmin Connect app, or directly on the unit, you can re-order, add, or remove a series of data widgets referred to as glances. 

For those wondering, new software features will not be coming to older devices. While it may take only a few minutes to set up the new device, it will require a purchase to get the updates even if they are fully software-based. 

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar home screen detail

The home screen is no longer just a placeholder. Customise the information you'd like to see at a glance. (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Price and Availability

  • Pricing: Edge 1040 Solar - £629.99 / €749.99 / $749.99 / AU$1299.00, Edge 1040 Non-Solar - £519.99 / €599.99 / $599.99 / AU$999.00
  • Unit dimensions (WxHxD): 2.3” x 4.6” x 0.8” (59.3 x 117.6 x 20.0 mm)
  • Display size: 3.5” (88.9 mm) diagonal
  • Display resolution (WxH): 282 x 470 pixels
  • Display type: Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
  • Weight: Standard - 4.4 oz (126 g) Solar - 4.7 oz (134 g)
  • Memory/history: 64GB / 32GB and 200 hours of activity data

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Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutia of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 137 lb.
Rides: Orbea Orca Aero, Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Trek Checkpoint, Priority Continuum Onyx