The differences between personal and marine electronics continue to fade as manufacturers take inspiration and technologies from the smart phones that are an increasingly significant part of our lifestyles. The electronics we want on our boats are becoming more connected to the technologies the cloud provides access to, and we see the benefits in not just increased performance and user-friendliness, but in the flood of data we have even out on the water. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Simrad GO7 XSE.
If you’ve been using the same old fishfinder for years, you might be astonished by what you get in today’s technology products, and at a price that may be even cheaper than yesterday’s models, especially considering what you get in return. Upgrades are always crucial to better performance, and if you want to maximize results from your fishing excursions as well, it’s time to upgrade your fishfinder.
The XSE looks like the standard 7″ screen you’ve seen before, but inside there’s state-of-the-art marine technology. Generally priced at $549 and up (depending on the transducer bundle you choose), the Simrad GO7 XSE can fill the role of a stand-alone plotter/fishfinder with a variety of useful features, all packed into one compact display. The XSE uses a bright multi-touch LED screen with a format that’s easy to navigate and retains clarity even in direct sunlight. Throw in high-speed 10 Hz GPS, StructureScan hi-def, CHIRP sonar, autopilot, built-in Echsounder, GoFree Wi-Fi capability, and SonicHub 2 audio integration, all powered by Simrad’s new TripIntel trip computer, and you’ve got a powerful unit that will satisfy most any need you can conceive of getting from a fishfinder.
TripIntel provides a number of useful features for planning your routes. It can calculate fuel needs, even when updated with detours, tide levels, and maintain an archive of previous trips with all the captured data on routes and performance for reference.
The XSE also allow engine monitoring by connecting to NMEA2000-compatible sensor devices to track information such as speed, fuel flow, fluid levels, and more.
Simrad’s GO5 through GO7 models provided numerous features with user-friendly interfaces, but the XSE has optimized all of that. It’s advantage over the standard GO7 lies in the HEROIC tablet-like interface, and in the XSE’s ability to utilize the new TotalScan sonar skimmer transducer. This allows readings as deep as 1,000 feet using short pulse lengths and wide-frequency band detectors. Another unique advantage is the Cruise Charting View feature, integrating navigation data with maps to create a single screen with plenty of useful charting information. The GO7 XSE’s Navionics cartography supports a number of platforms including C-Map Max-N, NY Digital Charts, and Insight Genesis.
The XSE offers touch-sensitive controls that mobile device users will find familiar, integrated with an intuitive menu navigation that requires no special instruction. Starting from the home screen, a simple tap allows boaters to select or create waypoints, pinch to zoom, and drag across charts. Customizable layouts and adjustable split-screens allow users to adjust the environment to their particular tastes without sacrificing quick access to functions like DownScan imaging or ForwardScan sonar. Distinctive, captioned icons make the XSE remarkably easy to use for a fishfinder and plotter with so many extras.
Anglers can couple the built-in sounder with the proper transducer to track depth precisely and in real time in order to detect shoals. The GO7 XSE records the navigation routes and makes them available for recall, including the depth info, to make it easier to return to favorite spots. ForwardScan coupled with the HD imaging allows you to view photo-quality images of the sea floor around the boat and to track marine targets even in deep water.
However, NOAA charts are not supported. Neither does it have Ethernet compatibility, neglected in favor ot the newer Wi-Fi, which may make it difficult to use with older legacy equipment. Another complaint has been the quality of the bracket mount. But those relying on the flush mount and updated technologies will find the XSE has little to complain about.
|Lowrance Elite 7 Ti||Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS||Simrad GO7 XSE|
|Screen Size||7 in||7 in||7 in|
|Screen Resolution||480 x 800 pixels||480 x 800 pixels||480 x 800 pixels|
|Display Type||WVGA color TFT LCD||256 Color TFT display||WVGA Color TFT LCD|
|Imaging||2D, Down Imaging, Side Imaging||2D, Down Imaging, Side Imaging||2D, Down Imaging, Side Imaging|
|Transducer Type||Transom Mount/Trolling Motor||Transom Mount/Trolling Motor||Transom Mount/Trolling Motor|
|Transmit Power||500 W (RMS) |
4,000 W (peak to peak)
|500 W (RMS)|
|Sonar Frequency||(50/200 or 83/200 kHz) + 455/800 kHz||83/200 kHz 2D|
455 kHz Side Imaging and Down Imaging
|Traditional: 83/200 kHz|
CHIRP (mid and high)
DownScan: 455/800 kHz
StructureScan: 455/800 kHz
|Maximum Depth||1000 ft||1500 ft 2D|
100 ft Side Imaging
|GPS Antenna Type||10 Hz Internal high-sensitivity WAAS/EGNOS/MSAS||Internal||10 Hz Internal|
|Waypoint Storage||3000||4500||10,000 points total combined waypoints / route points|
|Plot Trails||100 trails with up to 10,000 points per trail||50 w/20,000 points each|
|Preloaded Maps||Insight USA||Humminbird ContourXD||N/A|