Bryton is not a name that springs to mind when you think of the best cycling computers (opens in new tab), so much so that this particular model was boxed up with a casquette, bidon, a pair of cycling socks and a waterproof case for your phone presumably with the purpose of increasing brand awareness.
Plugging in into the USB-C charger it switched on quickly and then you’re prompted to download the Bryton Active app. This is where it went wrong…
Bryton Rider S800: set-up
The Bryton Active app feels unfinished, the user interface is unattractive compared to those of the market leaders and it’s difficult to navigate.
Pairing the head unit to the app was a difficult process in itself, taking a long time for the two to find each other. Navigating around the app was tricky, with a lot of ‘non-obvious’ menu names not making things easier.
For example, when trying to change the data fields seen on the head unit for my interval session the menu title for this within the app was “Grid Setting”. Once my ride was done, it took an age to sync – and this is something that has not improved with subsequent rides such that now I just plug it into my laptop to get the data.
Mapping and navigation
The mapping function was fine, though again somewhat ruined by the difficulties with the app. Getting routes from the app to the head unit is a lot of faff – any data sharing between the two seems to take multiple attempts and be very slow. Due to the huge screen, the maps functionality on the head unit is quite good – it’s clear what kind of roads are which and the turn by turn navigation is great. It includes features like auto-rerouting and route retracing too.
The main redeeming factor of the Bryton S800 is the touchscreen – it’s huge. It’s 8.6cm along the diagonal which did make it look a bit silly between my 36cm bars but these are admittedly on the narrow side.
Once you’ve figured out how to change data fields, these are numerous. The colours are bright and clear – swiping between screen options is quick and easy.
The screen makes use of, according to Bryton, Memory In Pixel technology (MIP). This is a battery saving bit of tech – the idea being that only pixels which need to be refreshed are updated each time the screen changes such that no power is diverted to refreshing pixels that remain the same.
Battery life and charging
Bryton claims a 36-hour battery life for the Rider S800 which is impressive for a device with a bright screen and while I’ve not been on a 36-hour ride, it does seem to never lose power. This battery life is due to the MIP screen technology.