With the Bryton S series of GPS computers, Bryton is aiming to not only offer a better value than other GPS computer brands but also directly compete with them in terms of features and quality. The flagship Rider S800 is the latest edition to the S series and is one of the sleekest cycling GPS computers Bryton has ever produced. Bryton offers the S800 in two variations, the $399.95 standard version and the $479.95 bundle version that includes sensors. Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy a large 3.4” color Memory in Pixel (MIP) touch screen with a claimed 36 hour runtime. Additionally, the S800 features the Climb Challenge functionality to view detailed climb information and Cycling Dynamics Support for full graphical data analysis. The S800 also boasts the new Group Ride and Group Chat feature, that allows you to see participants on your ride on the map display in real-time and chat with them from the headunit.
The flagship Bryton S800 combines an impressive 3.4” screen with a variety of premium features such as Climb Challenge and Group Ride / Chat.
|Retail Price||$399.95 / $475.95 (Sensor Bundle)|
|Rating||9.0 / 10|
|Measured Weight (in g)||102 (headunit) / 30 (out-front Mount)|
|Likes||+ Large display|
+ Highly customization data and graphical displays
+ Responsive touch screen and intuitive menu layout
|Dislikes||– No color options for accent ring|
– Screen colors aren’t as vivid as the S500
– Bryton Active app can be clunky to use
|Where to Buy (US)||Bryton|
The S800 comes in a simple Bryton branded cardboard box with specifications printed on it. A cardboard divider on the inside separates the GPS computer from the rest of the accessories. Inside you’ll find:
- S800 GPS computer
- Bryton metal sport out-front mount + Allen key
- Plastic handlebar bike mount w/ multiple O-rings
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Instruction manual
- Silicone computer cover
- Screen protector
With the sensor bundle version, Bryton also includes a heart rate monitor, speed sensor and cadence sensor inside the box. Although we were impressed with how many items are included in the relatively small box, the packing itself was a bit sloppy with each item simply placed in separate plastic bags.
As with all Bryton computers, the S800 uses Bryton’s quarter turn style mount attached to the base of the GPS computer. It’s nearly visually identical to a Garmin quarter turn style puck but uses thicker tabs that unfortunately make it incompatible with Garmin mounts. Bryton includes two options with S800 for mounting – their metal out-front Sport mount as well as a simple plastic handlebar mount. The Sport mount is an aluminum one sided out-front mount that is well designed and places the S800 directly in front of your stem. It’s impressive to see Bryton include the mount with the computer as it retails for $29.95 alone. Bryton also includes a simple O-ring style handlebar mount for placement on your stem or handlebar. Note, Bryton also sells a $12.95 adapter to convert either the S500 or S800 to a standard Garmin mount which we highly recommend if you have an existing Garmin style out-front mount you’d prefer to use such as the Topeak UTF Mount.
FIT & FINISH
The combination of the thin profile and large 3.4” touch screen makes the S800 visually quite impressive. It’s one of the largest computers Bryton has offered to date and with the white accent (note, there are no color options currently available) can easily be confused for a Garmin computer. One reason for the confusion is that the S800 lacks Bryton’s signature beveled corners and opts for a more common rounded appearance. It’s an interesting design deviation from the S500, Rider 750 and even Rider 320 computers which all share the same beveled corner designs. That said, It’s hard to miss the Bryton branding on the screen and the big white lettering front face of the computer.
At 3.4” inches the display is on par with the $600 Garmin 1030 Plus and even offers many similar features. Thanks to the larger display the proportions of bezel to screen are thinner, something we disliked with the S500, and contribute to the premium look. The MIP (memory in pixel) screen has great contrast and visibility in the sun and low light but does sacrifice some brightness compared to the S500. Compared to Garmin or Wahoo computers, the S800’s screen can look a bit dull even with brightness set to maximum. Otherwise, the touch screen is responsive and supports gestures to quick switch pages or return to the home page.
The S800 supports a wide range of customization and displays to satisfy even the pickiest cyclists. As you would expect the S800 can connect to smart trainers, support workouts, navigation, radar support and even gear indicators for the latest drivetrain variations. Rather than going through each and every feature we’ll highlight some of our favorites below. Note, many of these are shared with the S500 and have been extended to the Rider 750 as well.
Climb Challenge: Whether you’re exploring a new route or a familiar favorite, the climb challenge feature can be quite fun to use. Bryton automatically marks start/ends of a climb based on elevation change for user created or uploaded routes. Using the app you can also adjust the start / end positions to fine tune it before downloading it to the S800. A special “climbing” page on the S800 allows you to see ride stats and a color bar altitude graph. As you approach a climb, the page will count down the distance to the start of a climb. Once you’re on the climb, the altitude graph zooms and the remaining distance and altitude to the end of the climb are shown.
The Climb Challenge feature solves the “are we there yet” question when you’re climbing and lets you pace your effort. Although the feature itself isn’t groundbreaking, for example Garmin already offers ClimbPro with similar functionality, it’s great to see on a Bryton device and has been implemented well. Our only complaint is that adjusting the start/end positions on the Bryton app can be a bit time consuming as you have to click through each climb and start/end position individually to adjust them.
Navigation: The S800 also features a full color map and navigation feature that allows you to either navigate along preset routes or search for points of interest. With preset routes, you can create routes directly through the Bryton Active App’s interface on your phone, 3rd party links (Strava / Komoot / Ride With GPS) and even from previous recorded rides. Uploading the routes to the S800 is as simple as connecting the Bryton Active app and pressing the upload button in the app. The S800 shows turn by turn for the route that is visible on any display page as popups on the bottom. This is an intuitive design as it shows indicators and distance remaining to the turn which are easy to follow. If you accidentally stray off the route, the S800 can also reroute you back if the Bryton App is connected.
Live Tracking: If you’ve got a significant other at home wondering where you are or trying to meet up with friends mid-ride, the Live Tracking is a useful feature. Using the Bryton Active app you can send an email to a list of email addresses that allow them to view your GPS location, speed, and route progress once you start a recording. The link opens a page on the Bryton website with a simple map view and data display underneath it. It even displays the last update time on it which is helpful if you ride in areas with poor GPS coverage. Although it’s a very useful feature for safety or locating friends on a ride, you have to set up the tracking before you start a recording. There is no way to send links mid-ride or adjust the email list so you’ll need to plan ahead.
Explore: This is another interesting new feature that allows you to generate a route on the fly from your current location based on an input desired distance. Bryton uses a software called GraphHopper to generate upto 3 route options based on your distance criteria. On paper, this is a great way to discover new routes or explore a new destination. For our coastal location, we found the Explore feature didn’t work well and wasn’t able to find the popular side roads. We expect this feature will improve over time and likely works much better in more central locations though. Until then we’d recommend using cycling heat maps from Strava or explore local bike club website for fun routes.
Group Ride / Chat: One of the exclusive features for the S800 is the new group ride and chat feature. Using the Bryton Active app you can select a route and invite other riders to join the ride. For each person in the ride, you’ll visually see their position on your map display and have the ability to send chat messages directly from the GPS computer or the Bryton Active app. It’s a great way to coordinate a group ride and monitor time / distance gaps between people. While it’s a first for Bryton, the feature is quite similar to the Garmin GroupTrack feature and at this time is only available between S800 computers. As we don’t have a second S800 at this time, we weren’t able to really evaluate the feature for ourselves. However, we’re excited to give it a try in the future as it’s an exciting feature to see on a Bryton device.
The user interface of the S800 is primarily driven through the touch screen interface. Although the display does not support multi-touch inputs such as pinching or zooming, the overall design is well laid out and intuitive to use. As with the S500, the touch screen is quite responsive and a big improvement over the Rider 750. There are also four physical buttons on the device, two on each side that have limited functionality such as powering on/off, lock/unlock screen, increment lap, switch display screen and start/pause an activity. Each button is clearly labeled and has limited functionality which makes it easy to use. However, you will need to use the touch screen to navigate through the menus and select items.
The overall menu layout is very similar to other Bryton devices with three bike profiles, configuration menu and multiple data page views. With the larger screen size of the S800 all the font sizes are quite large and the data display pages can support an impressive 10 row layout. That means you shouldn’t really need more than one or two pages as you can place data fields and graphical views all into a single page. The new Explore and Group Ride/Chat features are all stored under the “Course” option from the main screen and are easily accessible. Nearly every page can be customized from the data views, quick status as well as the Climb Challenge view through the device or app.
BRYTON ACTIVE APP
As with any new device, you’ll need to use the associated app to access all the features. In this case, Bryton offers their own Bryton Active app on both Android and IOS devices. Thee app itself is well laid out with four primary tabs: activity view, courses, user profile and device manager. Within the activity view you can analyze your previous rides and see your mileage totals per week. Under courses you can setup routes, navigation, workouts as well as setup the group ride/chat options. Bryton offers a number of third party importing options to setting up routes or workouts but offers simple interfaces to create them directly in the app. The user profile page lets you set you heart rate / power thresholds, weight as well as third-party linking. Finally the device manager page allows you to fully configure the S800 from data page layouts to settings.
Most people will primarily use the Bryton app to link to third-party services such as Strava to auto sync ride data or upload routes / workouts / group rides to the device. The app is also a faster way to configure the S800 as you can quickly setup data screens or configuration options. We’d also recommend using the Bryton app to change the bike profile names as the S800 does not have a virtual keyboard. Although the app is well designed, it’s clear Bryton doesn’t have the resources or polish you’d find on Strava or Garmin apps. That means some of the messaging is a bit confusing and you’ll occasionally get some non-translated notifications. The app also requires setting the location permission to always on, otherwise it will continually prompt you to update it.
Overall, we found the Bryton S800 to be a sleek and feature-filled cycling GPS computer. As the flagship model for the S “sport” series, the S800 has a thin and premium visual design. The 3.4” MIP screen is large with excellent clarity in the sun or in low light situations. Although its not as vivid as the S500’s smaller screen, thanks to the size you setup each page to display up to 10 rows of data as well as a variety of graphical views. The S800 also introduces a number of new features such as Cycling Dynamics pages to analyze power and pedal data as well as the exclusive Group Ride / Chat feature to coordinate with other riders. While the S800 still offers the value Bryton is known for, the larger size and additional features mean it offers even better features than other cycling computers on the market.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Bryton. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.
5 Replies to “Bryton’s new flagship GPS computer”
The truth about Bryton cycling computers is the devices are great value but the app makes them very difficult to recommend.
My partner and I have a couple of different models, and we both find the app infuriating to use. It’s buggy and unreliable and tarnishes the user experience.
There is no way I would ever spend Garmin level money on a Bryton unit, not until they improve their app. There is no point recording your rides if you can get them off the unit seamlessly.
Stop developing new hardware Bryton. Fix the app and make it working properly for all your devices!
I have started using my entry level Garmin Forerunner watch more purely because I know when I’ve finished and saved my ride it will be sent to my phone without any hassle.
Thanks for sharing – I definitely agree that the Bryton Active app needs some refinement. It’s easy to accept for $100 computers, but with the $400 S800 they’ll need to improve the user experience. I’m surprised you’ve had so many issues though, if you just want to upload rides to Strava / third party sites you should only have to link the account once and connect the app to sync activities.
Nick – totally agree with you about the app. It’s really buggy and I absolutely hate using it. It completely detracts from using the S800 which is otherwise a pretty decent piece of kit.
What about data capture? Watts recording issues as reported for the 500, sticky watts
Good question. We’ve seen some of DC Rainmaker’s data that shows the sticky behavior. The S800 is very similar to the S500 aside from the group ride / chat feature so I expect the issue maybe still present there. However, Bryton likely has already fixed the issue with software update or has something in the works.