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Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS Review

Rating
4.2/5
 
Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS has an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 based on 10 user reviews.

HumminbirdHelix7SI

Vendor Price
BassPro $699.99
Cabelas $699.99
WestMarine $699.99

Humminbird has recently released the Helix 7 series. The technology is a step up from the 5 series and provides anglers with brighter, clearer, faster and bigger images. The Helix 7 is appropriate for fresh or salt water use to depths ranging from 150 to 1,500 feet. The user-friendly, clearly marked buttons and ready out of the box format is designed to accommodate all anglers whether you have experience operating the devices or you are a complete novice to the concept.

Helix 7 Key Features

While the new Humminbirds have a lot in common with their Helix 5 predecessors, there are some differences. The Helix 7 SI GPS comes equipped with down-imaging, side-imaging and SwitchFire sonar technology. The larger seven-inch screen is ideal when using split-screen views of the water depths. A single card slot accepts your choice of optional AutoChart®, AutoChart Pro®, and Navionics® Gold/HotMaps cartography.

Bonded Glass Display

The Helix 7 features the larger display in 800×480 pixel resolution seen in 256 colors and equipped with LED backlighting. While the Helix 5 display had a plastic lens, the Helix 7 has a bonded glass cover, which enhances overall protection while providing a clearer image. The view is also not hampered by direct sunlight. The landscape design of the screen also enables anglers to take full advantage of split-screen images, which is a vast improvement compared to attempting to use the function on a limited square screen.

Upgraded Mounting

The Helix 7 has an easy, sturdy gimbal mounting bracket that is an improvement on the quick mount/quick disconnect feature that is available on previous series. The device is also easily installed in-dash if desired. The overall measurements of the unit are 10.54″w x 5.8″h x 3.68″d.

Upgraded Memory

Equipped with double the board memory, the Helix 7 creates maps and refreshes the screen faster. This improvement ensures that maps continue displaying real time images while boats cruise through the water without having to deal with annoying screen lag. The sonar returns on the new series are also faster and more efficient than what is provided by the Helix 5 series, which also adds to the clarity and continuity of the image.

Side Imaging

The innovative technology offers a 180 degree side-to-side aspect on what lies beneath the water’s surface. This type of imagery might be compared to what one might see if flying overhead in a plane. However, the images are presented in greater subsurface, three-dimensional, monochromatic detail. Through the use of the XNT 9 SI 180 T transducer, a thin sonar beam emitted at 455kHz sweeps outward 240 feet on either side of the boat and receives returning pings. As the boat moves forward, the sonar detects each spatial change. The image displayed is then a compilation of signals that offer a comprehensive view of the lake bottom. The technology also enables the user to magnify certain areas of the screen and mark specific GPS locations directly on the screen. The images reveal contour changes and fish location in such great detail that some compare the view to a live camera feed. The image produced is also not dependent on the clarity of the water.

Down Imaging

Down-imaging technology provides a view of the underwater environment that might be compared to entering the water’s edge via scuba gear and taking in the sights below. The images are created via sonar waves emitted at 455kHz in thin slices. When the waves hit solid objects they return to the transducer at various times. The return signals then transform into a visible three-dimensional, monochromatic image in photographic clarity in real time. The images include solid terrain features, vegetation and the location of fish. Anglers also have the opportunity to visualize their fishing line and lures.

SwitchFire Sonar

At either 83 or 200kHz, the sonar emits impulses that create a two-dimensional multi-colored display that includes water depth, temperature and turbulence read-outs. In clear mode, the signals are void of noise that often occurs in agitated or shallow water. The distortions are caused by particles or other water column clutter. Max mode provides a glimpse of thermoclines and water currents in addition to terrain features, fish representations and lure presentations.

Drawbacks

The Helix 7 cannot be connected to other Humminbird units. Another drawback is the fact that Helix 7 doesn’t provide 800 kHz frequency for down-imaging and side-imaging. But overall, for the economical price, the device is well worth the money. Similarly equipped units from other manufacturers cost hundreds more. If you’re looking for a mid-range fishfinder and you don’t need networking, Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS should be at the top of your list. You can get a great deal on Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS here.

 
 
 Garmin echoMap 73sv Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPSGarmin Striker 7sv
garmin_echomap_73svhumminbirdhelix7SIgarminstriker7sv
Screen Size7 in 7 in 7 in
Screen Resolution480 x 800 pixels480 x 800 pixels480 x 800 pixels
Display TypeWVGA display 256Colors TFT display WVGA color
Imaging2D, Down Imaging, Side Imaging2D, Down Imaging, Side Imaging2D, Down Imaging, Side Imaging
Transducer TypeTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling Motor
Transmit Power500 W (RMS)
4,000 W (peak to peak)
500W RMS
4000W Peak-to-Peak
500 W (RMS)
Sonar Frequency 77/200 kHz
50/200 kHz available with the 74sv model
83/200 kHz 2D
455 kHz Side Imaging and Down Imaging
Traditional: 50/77/200 kHz
CHIRP (mid and high)
DownVü: 260/455/800 kHz
SideVü: 260/455/800 kHz
Maximum Depth 2,300 ft at 77 kHz freshwater
1,100 ft at 77 kHz, saltwater
1500 ft 2D
100 ft Side Imaging
2,300 ft freshwater
1,100 ft saltwater
GPS Antenna TypeInternalInternalInternal
Waypoint Storage50004500N/A
Routes10045N/A
Plot Trails50,000 points; 50 saved tracks 50 w/20,000 points eachN/A
Preloaded MapsLakeVu HDHumminbird ContourXDN/A
MSRP$999$699$499
ReviewsReviewsReviews

User Reviews

Posted by Willy

  • 5/5
5

This is my first side imaging/down imaging unit and I’m still learning to use it but I love it so far. With the basic, $50, single beam fishfinder I wasn’t able to catch any fish and now I know why – you need to find structure in order to find fish. I haven’t used side image much so far I’m mostly in down imaging mode but I can see a big difference already. You need to get a Navionics card, the preloaded map is not very useful but I guess that’s expected in this price range. All in all – a great fishfinder.

Posted by James DeCosta

  • 5/5
5

I’ve only used it twice but it has exceeded my expectations so far. The images are crisp and the GPS is accurate. I’m using Lakemaster Plus maps, I highly recommend them, they are much better than pre-loaded maps. The unit even has a setting for ice fishing but I’m not going to be able to use it here in Florida.

Posted by born2fish

  • 5/5
5

I bought this unit as a replacement for a black-and-white Lowrance. What a difference! The target separation so much better than my previous fishfinder. I can see the screen clearly even when it’s sunny. When installing make sure there is at least 15 inches distance between the propeller and the transducer, otherwise you may end up with interference.

Posted by Tim

  • 3/5
3

Unfortunately this unit didn’t live up to my expectations. The graph produces, nice, sharp images but what I don’t like is that the refresh rate. It’s not able to keep up with the boat at 20mph or higher. Another annoying thing about it is that I can’t zoom-in when in split screen mode (chart/sonar), it works in sonar view only. It’s a decent fishfinder especially considering the price but it does have its drawbacks.

Posted by Dale B.

  • 5/5
5

I really like this unit after using it for a few weeks. The screen is big and bright (they really need to get rid of those large digits on the side, they take up too much space). The images are crisp and very readable, it’s seems to be spot-on when it comes to locating fish. Make sure you get a Navionics and Lakemaster chip for your area, the preloaded maps are useless.

Posted by JL

  • 5/5
5

I’ve had my doubts before buying this unit. I’ve never used a side imaging fishfinder before and I’ve heard they difficult to read. It turns out this unit is very user friendly and easy to use. I’ve been on the water with it only 4 times but I feel like I have a good handle on the side imaging part. Finding structure is so much easier with side imaging.

Posted by JH

0

I purchased this unit yesterday along with the lake master sd card. When I put the lake master sd card in, it didn’t want to go in straight so I turned it over and it wouldn’t even start to go in, so I turned it back over and gently pushed it in as straight as I could and it got stuck. I tried using tweezers to pull it out with no luck. So I tried a small screwdriver and the card started breaking apart. Ugh!! I called customer service and was ask to ship the unit to Humminbird. They were nice and the hold time wasn’t that long. They told me about a 4 to 5 day turn around once they receive the unit. Cost me $40 to ship it with insurance. Really sucks that I spent $900 yesterday and today I’m having to send unit in. I hope they can fix it and will replace the lake master card. I might have ought to stuck with lowrance. If they they don’t I’ll never buy one of their products again.

Posted by ruthy

  • 1/5
1

have had my sounder only six months has never worked properly used four times sent it back for repairs today never buy another one stick to what i know works next time

Posted by Philip Elrod

  • 3/5
3

Got a gift of Helix 7 SI/GPS. I like the way the unit looks with a big bright display. It took ALOT of work to get it to be as efficient as my old Lowrance X135 and I’m still not sure…I use a drop shot and vertical techniques most of the time. I’ve had the unit for almost three months and I just figured out how to adjust it so I could see my drop shot fall to the fish or structure and it is still not consistent. Sometimes the display is pixelated and does not seem to be able to keep up with the data forming the display…This happens even when the boat is still. The alarms do not work properly…especially the fish alarms and symbols. I’ve owned a Lowrance HDS 5 and 7 and this unit acts just like they did. It is a different kind of view than the older units and it takes time to get used to it. There is no ping speed adjustment. I called Humminbird and they kept saying adjust ping speed and sensitivity. Even updating the software did not give me the features they said should be present. Their customer service is not run by fishermen…only people reading the manual and using data they’ve heard before. I’m sending the unit back to Humminbird so they can check it out to see if it is defective. I was assured that the unit would not be tested on the water…but they have ways of seeing if it is functioning correctly. The unit was about 600 dollars new. It should be able to outperform any expectation from a person who is used to an old x135. I’ll keep you updated on the outcome of this little adventure…

Posted by Bob McCallum

  • 5/5
5

Bought this unit last spring it has worked flawlessly for me in fact I now have 2 of them one in the bow and one in the stern

Posted by Jack B.

  • 5/5
5

This time I did my research before buying, and it led me to the Helix 7 SI. Out of the box, I was pleased with it. Humminbird has designed a unit that’s very easy to use. The buttons are simple and easy to learn, and the screen is impressive with it’s clarity and bright colors. I’m happy that I forked over a little more money to get the bigger screen. Mounting was a breeze. My old fish finder’s down-imaging isn’t nearly as good, but I’m thinking about installing it along the side of my boat. For now, I’m still putting the Helix 7 through its paces. And so far, so good.

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