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Lowrance Elite-7 HDI Review

Lowrance Elite-7 HDI has an average rating of 2.93 out of 5 based on 14 user reviews.



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 HDIHumminbird 598ci SIHumminbird 858c DI
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 PlusTFT256 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 Frequency50/200 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
Plot TrailsUp to 100 trails - up to 10,000 points / trail50 w/20,000 points each50 w/20,000 points each
Base MapExpanded U.S. BaseMap or Insight USAHumminbird ContourXDHumminbird Contour XD

User Reviews

Posted by L. Sok

  • 5/5

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.

Posted by MarkFL

  • 5/5

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.

Posted by Mr Bass

  • 5/5

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.

Posted by Roger

  • 5/5

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.

Posted by J Hughes

  • 2/5

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”.

Posted by Adrian Elderhurst

  • 5/5

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.

Posted by Dave

  • 1/5

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.

Posted by Anonymous

  • 1/5

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.

Posted by Lloyd Hudey

  • 1/5

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.

Posted by jpw

  • 1/5

Purchased the elite 7 for gps and depth finder. The boat is used in the ocean off the coast of maine. The depth finder is pretty much useless regardless of where the transducer is installed. In my area, depth is a concern where it can change quite quickly. Yes, i can use the maps but one of the reason i purchased was for a digital depthfinder. Would not buy anything from this company.

Posted by Jim D.

  • 2/5

Good fish finder but sneaky company. Somewhere in the fine print it says that the transducer is not included. This is something companies usually list in bold, in the description. I called customer support and they wanted a 20% restocking fee to return it. So I just bought a transducer form a third party. Lesson learned. Always know exactly what you are getting in the box before you order.

Posted by Derek Ohren

  • 2/5

After waiting a year to afford one ,I fitted while boat out of water turned it on when in the harbour seemed to work fine took it out to deeper water checked a few settings again worked fine.
Took the boat out for first trip again everything was ok, I got to my mark changed a page to get a more detail bottom reading lost the depth and sonar reading this didn’t come
on again until later after I turned the set on and off but then it never kept it reading,so not a good first time experience, I’m hoping it will be me that’s doing something wrong.
Brought from Hudson in hamble, I fish off the south of the IOW in the UK.

Posted by Mike Jones

  • 4/5

Bought the Elite 7 HDI back in 2013 and has worked well except it turns off on its own occasionally. GPS works good, Broadband is good as well as DI.
Loses bottom when running on plane but may make another transducer adjustment.
May look to get one without DI for my bow.

Posted by Jawbone

  • 2/5

I have an Elite 7 DSI. All updates have been done. I use a Navionics Premium micro sd card for mapping. While running down the lake the gps mapping is slow and cannot stay up with the boat. Lowrance tech support really sucks and cannot tell me why it is slow. I have read other post where users say that the processor is too small to handle the Navionics card data. Another way for Lowrance to make a dollar. Cheap out on the processor. They say the unit will handle the Navionics software. I say BS. Lowrance needs to do the right thing and change the processor on all the units that have been sold. But we all know that will not happen with Lowrance. All they want to do is sell you another unit and not fix the problem. All they do is support the pro fisherman to sell their products.

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