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Lowrance Elite-5 HDI – Review

Lowrance Elite-5 HDI – has an average rating of 2.75 out of 5 based on 12 user reviews.



The Lowrance Elite-5 HDI features Dual Hybrid Imaging. This is a combination of two technologies, which are Downscan Imaging and Broadband Sounder. These technologies offer fishermen a great view of the water column and everything that’s in it.

The Broadband Sounder Technology is built into the new skimmer transducer which makes it easy to track lure action and mark fish arches. This can be done while the Downscan Imaging offers lifelike views of the details of the bottom and structure. Boaters can use the Downscan Overlay to layer the view from the Downscan Imaging system over the Broadband Sounder for an excellent view that clearly exposes and separates the surrounding structure from fish targets. Also, using the rotary knob on the Elite-5 HDI, the overlay transparency is easily changed and completely adjustable. This fishfinder also has a TrackBack system that permits fishermen to review fish targets, transitions, and structure by scrolling back the recorded sonar history. Anglers don’t have to circle back and retrace their path because the TrackBack system can pinpoint locations.

The chartplotter capability features a highly accurate built in GPS antenna as well as a detailed map of the US with over 3,000 rivers and lakes in addition to coastal contours upto 1,000 feet. The new online Genesis map creation service permits anglers to create their own high resolution, custom, contour vegetation and bottom hardness maps from the sonar logs that are recorded with this chartplotter feature.
The five inch color display has high resolution and a user friendly menu system that offers fast access to all features. There are many different display options and many different configurations of chartplotter, imaging, and sounder screens. While live chart and sonar are displayed, anglers can even choose a multi window.

The HDI 50/200 kHz Skimmer transducer is great for Great lakes and deeper coastal locations. The HDI 83/200 kHz option is best applicable to fishing inland. The HDI 50/200 kHz and the 83/200 kHz Broadband Sounder will reach respective depths of up to 2,500 and 1,000 feet. The depth capability of DownScan Imaging is up to 300 feet. Transducer accessories that are optional include a trolling motor flush mount and adapter kits as well as many bronze thru hull HDI transducers.

The Lowrance Advantage Service Program provides a one year limited warranty and the Elite-5 HDI series can be bought from authorized Lowrance distributors and dealers throughout Canada and the US starting in August 2013. You can get a great deal on Lowrance Elite-5 HDI – here.

 Garmin EchoMAP 50sRaymarine DragonflyLowrance Elite-5 HDI
Screen Size5 in5.7 in5 in
Screen Resolution480 x 640 pixels640 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 Frequency200/77 kHz200 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 water600 ft in both DownVision and Sonar modes1000 ft/2500 ft 2D
300 ft Down Scan
GPS Antenna TypeInternalInternalInternal
Waypoint Storage500030003000

User Reviews

Posted by catfish

  • 3/5

This is a good fishfinder. Split screen feature is nice but it’s not very readable when you have all three views displayed at once. I should’ve bought HDI 7, bigger screen and higher resolution are definately worth the price difference.

Posted by Sean T.

  • 5/5

This fishfinder is very to install and use. I like the split screen feature – displaying both broadband and downimage at the same time. I bought the Gold Charts bundle and I was surprised to find out that you can’t update the maps that come with the unit. You can update the card only if it was sold separately. It’s not likely I’m going to need an update but it would be nice to have that option. Other than that – a great unit.

Posted by dave haylock

  • 1/5

Very disappointed with this unit, hopeless at speed and doesn’t show fish.

Posted by Jig Man

  • 1/5

After the first 5 hours of using this unit, it got stuck on the initial logo screen and would not respond to any input. This was out on the ocean, good thing I had my iphone with me. I got a replacement unit but it was having the same problem. I called the technical support and they explained that I have to cold boot the unit to get it work after the problem occurs. Looks like it’s a known software bug why can’t they just fix it!!

Posted by Charlie Carter

  • 4/5

This is a great unit for people who fish mostly in large open bodies of water. The fish finder, sonar, and GPS all work as expected. My only problem is with the charts. The included charts are next to useless for finding your way through the small waterways and bayous common to Louisiana where I do most of my fishing. I upgraded to the Insight pack and had no luck with it either. The Navtronic card made it workable but still not the quality of maps I was looking for. Other than the mapping issues this is a solid unit that will serve most fishermen well.

Posted by Trevor Sherwood

  • 5/5

I got this sonar/Gps for my pontoon boat. So far it has done everything it says it would. It is easy to use with the included manual. Everything works well even when moving. The only thing I wish it had is a bigger display. I am happy with my purchase and would make it again.

Posted by JBL

  • 5/5

My mechanic installed this for me since I am not very good with things like that but the unit itself is great. He commented on how much he liked these in particular when I brought it to him for the install. It is good to get a personal recommendation from a friend to go along with all the online reviews. I am satisfied with my purchase and give it my seal of approval.

Posted by Pete

  • 1/5

The power plug on my 2010 unit sun rotted so I sent it in for repair. They just sent a new unit so I had to update the transducer/power combo at $100 and lost all my info and tracks. The new unit does not work well with the old fish n chips Navionics card so now I have to update that as well. For the money, I should have just started over with a all new and different chart plotter.

Posted by NoMoreLowrance

  • 1/5

Froze up repeatedly. never marked a fish on the 200 Hz cone all day although I saw hundreds on the 83 Hz. Yes I know the cone is wider, but you would think I would be fortunate enough to go directly over at least one fish. had to use the restore function as least 4 times to get the unit working again. Lowrance support told me the software release on my unit was buggy and full of problems. I followed their instructions for updating their software from their site and it would not work. Took it back to Bass Pro for full refund and bought a Garmin for the first time. Lowrance has the worst customer service in the industry. They expect you to pay to send the faulty unit they sold you in for repairs.i

Posted by Roger Parlett

  • 1/5

elite 5-hdi Unit freezes up- tech service says to reboot–now i have to reboot on every trip wondering when it will fail—way too many features-I just want a simple graph that is dependable– would not buy Lowrance again- manual is way too complex

Posted by James Hansen

  • 5/5

I bought my Elite 5-hdi two years ago and haven’t had any problem with it. I credit it with my improved success on the water, especially for Walleyes. I’m still learning about all the things it will do, though most of the bells and whistle are just that-bells and whistles that I will probably never have much use for. Still I consider it the best money I ever spent on the water. Hopefully it will last many more seasons

Posted by Nor cal

  • 1/5

Very disappointed…. worked great while it was working. But I have had 2 units fail after only a few times out. First unit got stuck on start up logo. Second unit screen will flash but does not start up.
Would not buy another Lowrance product.

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