Review: Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS

Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS

Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPSThe HELIX 7 SI has become one of the most versatile Helix devices that Humminbird has built. With the amazing 7 inch glass screen and handy features such as Side-Imaging and Down-Imaging sonar technology, in addition to the traditional Dual-Beam Plus. Not only that, but also this unit features one of the best GPS mechanisms in fish finders. Fishers all over the world were already anxiously waiting around for the great 7 series. Mainly because of the technological breakthrough in performance and functionality that made the Helix 7 become a major upgrade from the 5 series.

Now, Helix is providing all anglers, regardless of experience, with crispier and clearer images that are extremely fast to load. You can use the Helix 7 SI both in fresh or salt water conditions from 150 to 1500 feet depth range. It is very easy to operate, beautifully designed and with user friendly buttons so you will be able to use the device straight out of the box. Just plug the unit in and start fishing! The Helix 7 SI is built to satisfy all levels of needs. You can be certain that Helix 7 will always provide you with crystal clear, easy to read picture of what is going on under you boat. It basically contains everything you need, big 7 inch widescreen, Side Imaging, Down Imaging and very accurate GPS.

Check the Latest Price on Amazon!

KEY FEATURES

  • 7 inch 256 color HD TFT Glass Screen
  • 800×480 pixel resolution
  • Built-in accurate GPS with UniMap
  • Power output 500W RMS and 4000W PeaktoPeak
  • Down Imaging technology provides fantastic detail 100 feet deep
  • Side Imaging technology to cover even wider area 100 feet deep
  • DualBeam Plus down to 1500 feet
  • SwitchFire adds more viewing customizing
  • 1 micro SD card slot

The Display Screen

This Helix 7, as the name suggests, features 7 inch diagonal LCD backlit display with 800×400 pixels resolution. One of the major step-up of the Helix 7, from the Helix 5, is the glass screen. The Helix 5 fish finders all include a plastic screen while the Helix 7 SI has bonded glass display that was built with enhanced protection in mind while still delivering stunning graphical picture. The display contains LED backlit so you will have crystal clear image, from all angles, without any glare from the sun. The widescreen feature will enable you to use the split screen function to the fullest extend to help you read all the data you want on just one screen.

Side-Imaging

The SI stands for Side Imaging technology that provides 180 degree view from both angles of your boat, so you will have pretty clear image (180 degrees) of the activity, structure and weeds below your boat. You will be able to view the image in 3D monochromatic detail. At 455kHz the transducer fires sonar beam 240 feet side-to-side of the boat and bounces back up when it hits an object or the bottom to give you all the information you need in a graphic-like picture. You can also take advantage of the option to use the magnifying technology and magnify selected areas of the screen. Also, with he GPS you can jot down specific GPS locations directly on the screen. You will be able to identify fish, see structure and plants in a stunning detail both in salt water and fresh water condition.

Down-Imaging

With regards to the Down Imaging, the Helix 7 SI makes use of the Side Imaging beams to generate one beam for Down-Imaging. What the Down-Imaging technology gives you is a view of the environment below the water surface in stunning detail. We are not talking about 2D dots scarred around the screen but rather a graphic view below your boat. As with the Side-Imaging, the sonar beam is fired down at 455 kHz and bounces back to the transducer with 3D picture-like information of everything below the water surface making it super easy to identify fish and read structure. Obviously, both the Side-Imaging and the Down-Imaging solutions provide crisp , photo-like image resolution that makes it faster and easier to view how the bottom is shaped, all structure and of course, identify fish quickly!

GPS

The Helix 7 SI includes built-in GPS and offers extremely fast and accurate data using Wide Area Augmentation System technology (WAAS). In case you need to save waypoints, tracks or routes then you can store up to 2500 waypoints or 45 routes with 50 waypoints each. You can also make use of the trackplotting feature that allows you to save up 20000 tracks and finally, you are able to conveniently see how fast your boat is sailing.

Mapping

The Helix 7 SI GPS is equipped with the traditional UniMap. Bear in mind that with UniMap you won’t be getting detailed maps. It will cover your basic needs and if you are not on the look-out for detailed information about your whereabouts, UniMap will work just fine. You will be supplied with all US rivers, lakes and coastlines and if you want to upgrade later on, you can easily do so as the unit is compatible with almost any map package, like Humminbird mapping, Navionics Gold, AutoChart, AutoChart Pro, and Lake Master. All these mapping packages are obtainable in micro SD card that you just plug into the Helix 7 and install.

More Navigational Features

The Humminbird Helix 7 has a number of other navigational operations that I need to point out. For example, the Drift Alarm that offers you the choice to pick out a perimeter to alert you with an alarm if your boat happens to drift off course. Then there is the Off Course Alarm that offers similar functionality but the alarm will ring if you divert from previously plotted track. Lastly, you have the Bird’s Eye View element that delivers a three-dimensional view of your location, accompanied by a POV (Point-of-View) both behind and above your watercraft making it very easy for you to get an idea where you are located.

PROS

  • Crisp and clear images on the Glass-Bonded Display
  • Clear readable information in any weather condition with the Backlit feature
  • Side-Imaging makes it a lot easier to find structure
  • Down-Imaging technology brings fantastic detail
  • Micro SD card slot
  • Easy customize the view with SwitchFire Sonar
  • Accurate built-in GPS
  • Ice-fishing setting
  • Very user friendly

Cons

  • Current owners state that the built-in map lack detail
  • Does not include NMEA 2000 port

Check the Latest Price on Amazon!

Final Thoughts

The Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS is a great fish finder and navigation unit. Although current users are not happy with the out-of-the-box mapping, you can easily upgrade to more detailed and advanced map. The UniMap will do just fine if you can settle for just the basic. One of the best features of this fish finder is the Side-Imaging technology that offers you wider angle along the side of your boat. Despite the UniMap “issue”, the Helix 7 SI GPS offers great bang for your buck because of the powerful sonar and the Imaging (SI and DI) features. Furthermore, fish finders that are similarly equipped from other providers will cost you a lot more. Therefore, in case you are looking to purchase a good fish finder and you do not mind to use UniMap (or you want to upgrade the map later), you should consider to invest in the Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS.