Top Five Fishfinders

RankModelRatingMore Info
1Raymarine Dragonfly4.714.714.714.714.71
2Garmin echo 551dv4.84.84.84.84.8
3Humminbird 859ci HD DI4.64.64.64.64.6
4Garmin echoMap 70dv4.754.754.754.754.75
5Humminbird 698ci HD SI4.334.334.334.334.33

Lowrance Elite-7 HDI Review

Overall Rating3.643.643.643.643.64
 

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Vendor Price
WestMarine $769.99
BassPro $799.99
Sears $738.70
Cabelas $699.99
ISave $699.99
TigerGPS $799.99
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For navigators of waterways of the world, Tulsa, Oklahoma based Lowrance introduces its Elite-7 Hybrid Dual Imaging (HDI) series, otherwise known as the Lowrance Elite-7 HDI. This device incorporates GPS capabilities with course plotting to make navigation and on-water pilotage an intuitive and effortless process. Like all electronics of this sort there is a slight learning curve that once over makes using the device a simple process. Lowrance offers Elite-7 at a very attractive price – you get 7 inch display, broadband as well as DSI for the price not much higher that Elite-5 DSI which is a 5 inch, DSI only model. Humminbird 858c DI that has very similar specs to Elite-7 is about twice more expensive.


In the Elite series, the 7 HDI part of it, Lowrance introduces a new Lowrance HDI Skimmer® transducer design that allows the unit to interface in most steering rooms or boat control panels. Along with this HDI Skimmer panel, Lowrance outfits the unit with its Broadband Sounder technology so not only is the device a perfect navigation tool it becomes a highly sophisticated fish finding piece of electronics. The new motherboard and processor allows users to gain clear views of fish, bottom surface, obstacles and details underwater in real time clarity. The Lowrance Advanced Signal Processing (ASP) means not having to fiddle with dials and controls manually to get the maximum performance out of the unit. This is a great new feature for anyone who wishes to spend more time boating and fishing versus playing with the electronics.


To really take full advantage of the mapping, plotting and exploring functions of the Elite-7 HDI Lowrance designed it so it would take Micro SD cards. These Micro SD cards get used to display Navionics® Gold and HotMaps® Premium, Fishing Hotspots® PRO, and Lake Insight and Nautic Insight PRO cartography available online or through certified dealers. This means that the Elite-7 HDI can be used with any available electronic map for North American fishing or boating waterways. Lowrance has worldwide SD cards for those who live or fish outside North America making the Elite-7 HDI a world-opening navigation device.

Deep water boaters like those on the Great Lakes, oceans and coastal regions or in the shipping lanes should use the Elite-7 HDI with the 50/200 kHz Skimmer® transducer packs. These packs are specifically made for such purposes and provide real time and updated data as it becomes available to organizations such as NOAA and the US Coast Guard. A variety of the transducer packs allow customization of the Elite-7 HDI via 83/200 kHz operation plus Downscan Imaging (455/800kHz) for depths to 1,000 feet; HDI Skimmer with 50/200 kHz operation; Downscan Imaging (455/800kHz) for depths to 2,500 feet. This opens up more and more waterways for safe navigation.

Lowrance stands behind and backs its products with a full, no-questions-asked one-year warranty. Service packages are available at time of sale or up to 90 days post purchase. These plans extend the service and warranty up to three-years. As of December 2012 the prices for the Elite-7 series between $449 up to $889, depending on packages selected and external accessories in the package deal. All Lowrance devices must be purchased through a certified and authorized dealer to ensure quality service and knowledgeable sales staff of the products. The Lowrance Elite-7 HDI represents a huge leap forward in waterway navigation, plotting and fishing finding. You can get a great deal on Lowrance Elite-7 HDI here.

 
 

Lowrance Elite-7 HDI vs Humminbird 598ci SI vs Humminbird 858c DI

Lowrance Elite-7 HDIHumminbird 598ci SI Humminbird 858c DI
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Screen Size7 in5 in / 127 mm7 in
Screen Resolution480 x 800 pixels640 x 640 pixels480 x 800 pixels
Display Type16-bit color, Full VGA SolarMax™ PllusTFT256 Color TFT16:9 Color TFT
Imaging2D and Down Imaging2D and Side Imaging2D and Down Imaging
Transducer TypeTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling Motor
Transmit PowerMax 250W RMS
30,000W Peak to Peak analog equivalent
500W RMS
4000W Peak-to-Peak
500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency 50/200 or 83/200 kHz 2D
455/800 kHz Down Imaging
83/200 kHz 2D
455 kHz Side Imaging
200/455 kHz 2D
455/800 kHz Down Imaging
Maximum Depth1000 or 2500 ft 2D
300 ft Down Imaging
1500 ft 2D
100 ft Side Imaging
600 ft 2D
250 ft Down Imaging
GPS Antenna TypeInternal, high-sensitivity GPS+WAASInternalInternal
Waypoint Storage300025003000
Routes1005050
Plot TrailsUp to 100 trails - up to 10,000 points / trail50 w/20,000 points each 50 w/20,000 points each
Base MapExpanded U.S. BaseMap or Insight USAHumminbird ContourXDHumminbird Contour XD
MSRP$699$899$1199
ReviewsReviews

User Reviews

  • 55555

I bought the fishfinder a few days ago and I was able to try it a few times since then. I’m blown away by the capabilities and I can’t believe it only costs $699. my old Hummibird 858 cost me more when I bought it a few years ago and had half the features.

  • 55555

I’ve had my Elite 7 for about a month now. User interface is very intuitive, you can change from maps to down imaging to 2d scan with one click. With the 7-inch screen everything is readable even in the split screen mode. It comes preloaded with a good topographic map. I will buy another one for the front of the boat because of the great price.

  • 55555

It was backordered everywhere I checked, I had to wait 4 weeks before I got it. Seems that this is a very popular model and Lowrance is not keeping up with all the orders. Now I can see why – this fishfinder is awesome. Down imaging is excellent. The triple screen mode is a great feature. Very user friendly. By far the best fishfinder at this price.

  • 55555

I had Elite5 and I was quite happy with it. The only thing that was missing was larger screen and split-mode display. When Elite7 came out I knew I had to buy it. This unit is very easy to use especially if used Lowrance before. No need to get of the chair, you can see everything clearly on the huge 7 inch screen. I simply love this fishfinder.

  • 55555

I’ve been doing a lot of research before I decided to buy Elite7 and I make the right choice. It really is a great unit, it’s remarkable how the technology progressed in the last 10 years. The best part about this unit is the 480×800 display and the price. I wish I could get Elite-7X without GPS but there were non available when I was shopping.

  • 22222

My Elite 7 HDI is the biggest piece of junk I have ever owned in a fish finder. It has not worked right out of the box and has major software problems. The down scan never worked at all and the software would not go to what ever I selected it just went to where ever it felt like. Lowrance customer service is even worse. There idea of customer service is give me another $50.00 and I will send you a unit that may work. I asked to speak to a supervisor and the answer to that was someone would call with in 48 hours. My last comment to them was “your on a out of business plan and if you want to know what customer service is call Humminbird”.

  • 55555

This unit is absolutely awesome. This is my first GPS and down imaging fishfinder and love it. You don’t to drive back and forth to find your spots, GPS coupled with sonar will put you right where you need to be. You can see clearly what’s below, you’ll have no problem finding fish with this unit on your boat. Look it up on Amazon, much better price than other sites.

  • 55555

I have had the Lowrance Elite 7 HDS for over four months now. Have not had a single problem with it. The installation of the transducer is obviously critical and I wonder if the people complaining about scanning quality have simply not followed the excellent instructions that come with the unit. My Lowrance rocks. I hope to grade up to a 10-12 inch touch screen unit next year. A rotating knob to zoom in or out would’ve been brilliant.

  • 11111

I bought a Lowrance Elite 7 HDI from Maple Leaf GPS in Canada last summer with the gold card for more detailed Canadian maps. The GPS worked fine and made our trips so much more interesting but right out of the box the unit would fail to display the depth or give us a picture of the bottem, no matter what depth. It worked for about ten minutes and then displayed nothing but noise. Tried different mounts for the sensor, nothing worked. So Maple Leaf asked for the unit back and we sent it to them. that was almost 8 months ago and since then we have had nothing but excuses as to why they won’t fix it under warranty or refund the purchase price. I have pretty well given up on this but would like to warn others about my experience. Live and learn, I guess. Stay away from Maple Leaf GPS.

  • 11111

I have a Lowrance Elite 7 HDI Gold. It has never worked right. Install was perfect but the sounder has never worked right out of the box. GPS was not the best even with the nav gold chip. Trying to get Lowrance to fix is like trying to pull teeth. This is a bad joke and not cheap. It’s back to Humminbird, they’re the best and no hassles.

  • 11111

HAVE HAD about 4..5 people try & help me set up this unit not done yet. Not a unit for a 1st time user, wishin I didn’t buy it..don’t always listen 2 salesmen, this has cost me a lot of fishing time. Still waiting for the rebate also.

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