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Garmin echoMap 50s Review

Overall Rating3.893.893.893.893.89
Garmin echoMap 50s has an average rating of 3.89 out of 5 based on 9 user reviews.


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When it comes to choosing depth sounders and GPS, the top three choices are Garmin, Humminbird or Lowrance. Compact fish finders are the affordable alternative to 12-inch monsters that are very expensive. Garmin has been a market leader in marine GPS and handheld GPS technologies. The Garmin echoMAP 50s is an affordable combination of a well-calibrated depth sounder and GPS and is ideal for smaller craft.

What the Eye Can See

The echoMAP 50s features a conveniently sized 5-inch VGA screen that displays crystal clear images by day or night. With a 480 x 640 pixel resolution, its screen size is the perfect balance between the Lowrance Elite 5 DSI that offers a 480 x 480 pixel display and the Humminbird 788ci HD Combo with a 640 x 640 pixel display screen. The display has a split-screen zoom, sonar and GPS that are now standard features on most fish finders. The device is waterproof and has a net weight of 1.6 lb., making it durable and heavy enough to be mounted on a bail mount or flush mount.

Finding Fish

The Garmin echoMAP 50s excels at its primary function of finding fish. This makes it a popular choice among professionals. The echoMAP 50s combines two patented technologies—Ultrascroll® and See-thru®—that allow a user to see fish targets easily even at high speeds and see fish that are under cover in the depths. These technologies make the echoMAP 50s far more accurate than comparable Humminbird and Lowrance devices. In conjunction with other technological advancements such as automatic gain control, a feature that optimizes the signal and results in lower display clutter, fish identification and real-time transducer tracking, the echoMAP 50s displays accurate readings and identifies fish targets with ease. However, the 10Hz chart plotter and satellite receiver are the most popular features of this device. The satellite receiver works with multiple networks including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo2, and QZSS2. The Garmin echoMAP 50s has slots for Dual microSD cards but it’s incompatibility with BlueChart g2 Vision, Garmin’s own auto-guidance chart solution is a noticeable drawback. Nonetheless, this fish finder offers a stunning array of features for an eminently affordable price tag.

The Garmin echoMAP 50s operates at a 200/77 kHz frequency setting and provides accurate tracking up to a depth of 1900′ in fresh water and 700′ in seawater. This depth is nearly 500′ more than the Lowrance Elite 5 DSI that costs nearly $50 more than the echoMAP 50s. This fish finder also has a fresh water operating depth that is 400′ more than the Humminbird 788ci.

Overall, the Garmin echoMAP 50s is a high-performance device that outshines most other fish finders in its class. This is a testament to an innovative combination of GPS technologies and engineering that emphasizes substance over style.getbestprice

Garmin EchoMAP 50sRaymarine DragonflyLowrance Elite-5 HDI
Screen Size5 in5.7 in5 in
Screen Resolution480 x 640 pixels 640 x 480 pixels480 x 480 pixels
Display TypeColor VGAColor VGA256 Color TFT
Imaging2D2D and Down Imaging2D and Down Imaging
Transducer TypeTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling Motor
Transmit Power500W (RMS) / 4,000W (peak to peak) 500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
250W RMS, 30,000W Peak to Peak
Sonar Frequency 200/77 kHz 200 kHz Sonar/350 kHz Down Vision (50/200 kHz or 83/200 kHz) 2D
455/800 kHz Down Scan
Maximum Depth1,900 ft fresh water / 700 ft salt water 600 ft in both DownVision and Sonar modes1000 ft/2500 ft 2D
300 ft Down Scan
GPS Antenna TypeInternalInternalInternal
Waypoint Storage50003000 3000

User Reviews

Posted by BassHunter

  • 55555

I have just installed this unit on my 1999 Alumacraft Magnum 165CS. I had a chance to use the new fishfinder once, it delivered what I expected. The display is crisp, I especially like the split screen feature. The user manuals are not very useful, but the install was easy anyway.

Posted by Ken H.

  • 55555

I’m very happy with this fishfinder. It’s very accurate both as the GPS and the sonar. This is unit you can trust to show you fish and the GPS is spot on too. I’m a Garmin user now, no more Humminbird.

Posted by Woody

  • 44444

Make sure you order a map card when buying this unit. The background maps are completely useless. The GPS itself is very accurate and fast which is what you would expect from Garmin. The sonar is okay, it uses the same transducer as the old echo fishfinders.

Posted by ravon edmondson

  • 44444

Ive had the echomap 50s since september 2013. I love it. Theres only one drawback. It doesnt have topomaps for the lake i fish. Its really dissappointing. I suggest you call garmin to check on your area before you buy. My area includes lake james lake rhodhiss lake hickory lookout shoals all in eastern north carolina. I fish lake hickory 95% of the time in friday night tournaments. I really need that topomap. Right now i still have my humminbird 587ci to rely on for my maps. Only thing humminbird has over garmin but i need it. Recon it is what it is

Posted by ravon edmondson

  • 11111

Well i have made my decision after contacting garmin by phone ive not gotten any answers except we are sorry. One gentelman told me he would take my gmail address and have tech support contact me. That was 4 weeks ago. Havent heard a thing. Oh well. Sold my 50s today for half the price. Took a lose but wasnt what i needed. Gonna take a look at lowrance. My brother has been lowrance customer for 35 years. Lesson learned.

Posted by Milo

  • 55555

The screen on this unit is very bright and vivid when compared to other brands. Also, sonar seems to be very accurate. This was an upgrade from an older Lowrance sonar and I’m glad I switched brands.

Posted by DeepAnchor

  • 55555

I had to replace my old Garmin 441 and decided on echoMap 50s. Didn’t see the need for downimaging because I think it’s over-hyped. This unit is an improvement over 441 in every aspect – the screen is much better, the sonar is way more powerful and shows much more detail, GPS is more accurate and it has many other features that 441 didn’t have. I’m very pleased with this purchase.

Posted by Bay Breeze

  • 55555

I upgraded from a Garmin GPSMAP 441S to get better sonar. The previous unit’s performance was lackluster. This one has a better display and better performance all around. I went ahead and bought the v2 upgraded maps to unlock more advanced features. The included costal database from Bluecoast is pretty good though if you are looking to save a few dollars.

Posted by CaptSpike

  • 11111

Don’t waste your money. Though the unit performed well I found the mapping on the particular lake I was fishing horrible. I pulled it off my boat and am now searching for it’s replacement.
mapping was bad.

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