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Lowrance Elite-4 HDI Review

Lowrance Elite-4 HDI has an average rating of 4 out of 5 based on 12 user reviews.



Lowrance Elite-4 HDI is a new generation of compact fishfinders ideal for kayaks and small boat where room for mounting electronics is at premium. Despite of its small footprint Elite 4 HDI has almost all the features found in the larger Elite HDI models, yet it’s moderately priced. It will be a very popular model among those looking for smaller, budget priced units.

Elite 4 HDI has a 4.3 inch LED-backlit display containing 70% more pixels and 36% more usable screen area than its predecessor – Elite 4 DSI. Unlike its predecessor, the Elite 4 HDI supports both Broadband Sounder and DownScan Imaging. The “traditional” 2D sonar can reach deeper and it’s more useful when locating fish, while the downscan displays structure and the bottom with nearly photographic quality. The Downscan Overlay feature is supposed to reveal additional detail by merging the greyscale down-image with the color display of the broadband sounder.

Network connectivity is provided through NMEA 0183 port, NMEA 2000 is not supported. Elite 4 HDI has IPx7 waterproof rating which means that it can withstand total immersion. Advanced Signal Processing feature minimizes the need for manual settings adjustments. The multi-window display allows for a quick and easy choice of pre-set page layouts, and the page selector menu now allows for quick access to all features using only one’s thumb for navigation.

High-definition mapping has been made easy with the built-in GPS antenna and preloaded map with over 3,000 U.S. lakes and rivers. Optional chart upgrades are available from Lake Insight, Navionics Gold, HotMaps Premium and Fishing Hotspots PRO. Insight Genesis allows users to create their own maps from the sonar data. The TrackBack feature gives the ability to review recorded sonar history and pinpoint fish locations quickly and easily.

Elite 4 HDI comes in many different versions ranging in price from $149 for 4x HDI fishfinder only version sold with no transducer to $469 for the fishfinder/GPS combo with 50/200 kHz + 455/800 kHz transducer and Navionics Gold maps. You can get a great deal on Lowrance Elite-4 HDI here.

 Lowrance Elite-4 DSILowrance Elite-4 HDIHumminbird 398ci SI
Lowrance Elite 4 dsilowrance_elite-4-hdihumminbird398si
Screen Size3.5 in4.3 in3.5 in
Screen Resolution320 x 240 pixels 480 x 272 pixels320 x 240 pixels
Display Type16-bit color TFT16-bit color TFT256 colors TFT
Imaging2D, Down Imaging2D, Down Imaging, Downscan Overlay2D, Down Imaging, Side Imaging
Transducer TypeTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling Motor
Transmit Power300W RMS
2400W Peak-To-Peak
350W RMS
2800W Peak-To-Peak
500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency200/77 kHz

200/50 kHz with an optional dual frequency transducer
83/200 kHz 2D
455/800 kHz Downscan

50/200 kHz 2D
455/800 kHz Downscan
with optional dual frequency transducer
200/455 kHz 2D
455/800 kHz Side/Down Imaging
Maximum Depth1750 ft300 ft Downscan
750 ft 2D

2000 ft with optional dual frequency transducer
1500 ft 2D
100 ft Side/Down Imaging
GPS Antenna16 Channel InternalInternal high-sensitivity WAAS + EGNOS + MSAS (optional external antenna)Internal
Waypoint Storage3,0003,0002,500
Plot Trails100 trails, 10,000 points / trail100 trails, 10,000 points / trail50 trails, 20,000 points / trail

User Reviews

Posted by basstracker

  • 5/5

This was a replacement for my old Elite-5 DSI. It has a bit smaller screen than Elite-5 but it does have dual imaging which makes it easier to understand the sonar output. The price was 1/3 of what I paid for Elite5 DSI so this is great value. I was able to use Navionics maps from Elite5 but I had to replace the transducer. I’m still having the same issues with interference that I had before, that’s probably my fault though.

Posted by John from AK

  • 5/5

This is a great unit if you don’t need a big screen. The display is bright and it has all the features of bigger units at a fraction of the price. The preloaded maps are not that great so you might consider getting the Gold version that comes with Navionics maps if you need to use GPS.

Posted by Anonymous

  • 5/5

I have a black and white Mark 4 at the console of my boat and I put Elite 4 HDI at the bow. The transducer is mounted to the trolling motor, I used the existing mounting bracket from my old X50DS. The Elite 4 has a color screen that is larger than Mark 4. It’s a much better unit even though the price is about the same.

Posted by Cape Cod Angler

  • 5/5

Excellent fishfinder for a kayak. Very clear display. Down imaging is nice but I use the traditional sonar most of the time. Easy to setup and use.

Posted by CTBass

  • 5/5

I got the 4x version because I don’t need GPS. This is a perfect unit if you’re looking for an affordable fishfinder that will help find structure and fish. I used the DSI view to find structure and the regular sonar to find fish. Locating fish is super easy especially with the use of fish icon and alarms. The unit draws very little power from the battery.

Posted by eric

  • 2/5

I am use to either a fish symbol or boomerang symbol for the fish. With these DSI units all I pick up and can barely see are very small dots for the larger lake trout that I go after. In daylight I also find it very hard to see potential fish hits because of the size of the image. These units are easy enough to use but they have capabilities that are seldom of much use to any fishers that I know of. Give me a unit that shows depth, structure and fish period.

Posted by Dan Burns

  • 1/5

Flush mounted in our boat and went fishing this am. Unit worked great for the first hour then the screen locked on the start-up page. Called Lowrance from the boat and they walked me trough the reset process, no luck. My choices are buy a blank micro chip and download a software upgrade. If that fails, I need to uninstall from the dash and send it back for repair. Five days of vacation left and no GPS/sounder. Really disappointed.

Posted by gabullet72

  • 5/5

I’m pleasantly surprised with the quality of the down scan image on the unit, I didn’t expect a $300 fishfinder to be able to show this much detail and clarity. This unit is great for finding structure. This unit requires a bit of learning before you can use to its full potential but it’s great when you get familiar with it.

Posted by spinningreel

  • 5/5

This fishfinder works as advertised and works very well. The detail in the downimaging mode is excellent. I can even count branches on the submerged trees, I didn’t expect to see that much detail on this smaller screen. I did have one problem with it but it was my fault – I shut it down using the power button and had a problem bringing it back up. I had to call the Lowrance support and was instructed to always use the Power off option in the menu. Elite 4 HDI is a solid product backed by a solid customer service.

Posted by Explorer

  • 5/5

Elite 4 HDI is worth every penny. I put it on my Hobie kayak, the installation was easy because the kayak is designed for this type of fishfinder. It’s great to be able to see ship wrecks on the map as well as the sonar at the same time. It’s also great to be able to see fish on the screen, target it and then catch it.

Posted by NoMoreLowrance

  • 1/5

Worst purchase ever. if I could give it a zero I would. Lowrance has the worst customer service in the industry. The unit would freeze up constantly. Was told I needed a software upgrade. The software upgrade required an microSD card size difficult to obtain. Tried to upgrade software with three separate cards, did not work. Lowrance finally agreed I needed to ship it in for repair. They expected me to pay for that! long story short, I returned it to Bass Pro, who gave me full credit, and I bought a Garmin. Why Lowrance allowed such a buggy, poorly engineered unit to be sold is beyond me.

Posted by Ali

  • 4/5

I installed this fish finder on my 5 meter buccaneer. Before the install the NZ maps were fried after I tried to do an update which it’s asks you to do however navionics to their good name let me get a replacement at the shop same day it dried. Other than that with one adjustment to the transducer as well had it on slightly wrong angle all the fish suddenly appeared underneath! Misses out on a star due to the dodgy map issue which is well known on the internet post the fry up. It excellent customer service still says this is a good unit for the price. Next gen will no doubt allow transmit to an ipad or remote device as some newer kits allow but that’s technology for you!

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