The Xplova G3 aims to deliver GPS performance monitoring, route planning and navigation at a bargain price – £200 less than Garmin’s Edge 800 and £55 under its 705.
Compared to the 705 – its head-on rival – the G3 is only 9g heavier, has near-identical dimensions and the same size colour screen.
Although low mounting and vague engagement don’t inspire confidence, it stays in place, even on bumpy roads. Satellite acquisition is fast and tracking accurate and consistent. Synching with the heart rate strap and speed/cadence sensor is excellent.
It’s easy to customise the eight data fields, but there are no programmable heart rate zones. And although ANT+ compatible, power data is limited to a simple sliding-scale display.
There’s no scope to monitor power levels or set power training zones. The pre-loaded map is basic but you can import routes from web-based Open Street Map titles.
The Smart-Sign feature is a neat one, too, every turn being greeted by a beep to determine whether you’re on track – or not. You can download and analyse your ride with the X-Tracks software. It’s comparable to Garmin’s Training Centre but, frustratingly for our Apple acolyte tester, isn’t Mac compatible.
If you can afford the significant extra spend, it’s a no-brainer: go for the far sleeker, more powerful and versatile Garmin 800. If you can’t, we believe the Garmin 705 has the edge (excuse the pun) on looks, training functionality and brand clout. But it’s good to see companies like Xplova keeping Garmin on their toes and driving the cost of GPS units down.