Being the one to invent the first ever sonar device in 1957, Lowrance has been regarded as the leader in marine electronics. They are continuously redefining marine electronics through ways that no one ever thought possible. From the simple innovation of scanning the sea below to help people find more fish, they have since moved on to broadband sonar, trackback, and even navigation through 4G radar systems.
With numerous industry awards for such innovative excellence, Lowrance continues to stick with their goal of giving the most benefits to their loyal customers. It is no secret that Lowrance also has the best customer service customer satisfaction that shoots way above the roof.
As of writing, Lowrance celebrates 50 years of tremendous hard work as they continuously strive to provide ultimate marine gadgets with high performance features without a ridiculously steep price tag. Check out the different Lowrance Marine GPS Series which have become ultimately popular over the years.
This is crowd favorite as the series boasts of the most affordable prices without really sacrificing any of the functionalities that Lowrance Marine GPS has been made famous for. It offers maximum viewing visibility with brighter displays, Trackback feature, one-thumb operation using the Smart Menu, automatic and advanced signal processing which basically lets the user see what is down under almost instantly, and endless navigation capabilities.
With this series, one has more charting options as this has a built-in GPS antenna and a microSD slot. It even has an Advanced User Mode which lets one fine tune controls for better viewing depending on the water condition.
The brighter display is attributed to the high resolution of 480 x 480 pixel Super Twist LCD which separates target even in direct sunlight. It is also equipped with an adjustable bright white LED screen and keypad which works perfectly for those dark nights.
Coming with a new case and mounting design, this is specifically designed to be easy-to-use even with just one hand. This Mark Series is actually released along with the other affordable series – the Elite. The Mark Series comes in six different models.
The Mark-5x and Mark-5x Pro are offered at the same price of $159 at Lowrance’s website for some unknown reason. However, if you are to choose from the two, you better go with the Mark-5x Pro which promises better viewing and a more optimized automatic mode for high performance fish and structure finding.
The Mark-4 and Mark-5x DSI are also offered at a slightly higher price of $199. Despite the same price, the two differ in terms of screen size. The Mark-5x DSI comes with a high detail of 5 inches or 12.7 cm display that comes with sunlight enhanced viewing properties. The Mark-4, on the other hand, comes with only a 3.5-inch or 8.9 cm screen.
Lastly, the Mark-4 HDI and Mark-4 CHIRP both come at a price of $229 which is the most expensive in this series. Comparing these two, the Mark-4 HDI seems to be the common favorite among customers. They both have the same screen size of 4.3 inches but the Mark-4 HDI offers Hybrid Dual Imaging, Broadband Sounder, DownScan Imaging, built-in GPS antenna, and high-definition mapping.
This is where the standalone fishfinder and combo models can be found in varying screen sizes. Most of the Elite Series feature CHIRP which is considered to be the new sonar standard not just for targeting fish but for marking depths as well. Compared to the Mark Series where only one model, the Mark-4 CHIRP, has this kind of technology, most of the Elite Series has this.
The great thing about CHIRP is that it uses multiple frequencies at once which ensures accuracy and sensitivity to everything that is under. More than that, this can be used on inland lakes, coast, or even on open water deep-sea saltwater trips.
Being the goal oriented company that they are, Lowrance was able to incorporate this great CHIRP technology into the devices at the lowest cost possible. Compared to other brands that use the same technology, you will find Lowrance Marine GPS products the most affordable and practical.
If you want the best and the latest of the Lowrance Marine GPS and money is not of a real concern, you can choose between Elite-9 and 9x. Both comes at 9 inches and effectively combines the benefits of CHIRP sonar and DownScan Imaging. The result of course is impeccable view of everything that is under the boat. More than that, these two have the capability of superior noise rejection for a clearer view of the targets. However, this would cost you anywhere from $999 to $1,199.
If you want a more affordable but still feature-packed Lowrance Marine GPS units from the Elite Series, check out the Elite-7 and 7x CHIRP Models. They both sport a 7-inch screen with the same CHIRP Sonar with DownScan Imaging and Broadband Sounder. They even come with a detailed U.S. Map. Additional options are the Gold models that come with the famous Navionics Gold Cartography.
Lastly, the Elite-4 and 4x CHIRP and Elite-5 and 5x CHIRP Models are basically the easy-to-use fishfinder/chartplotter models which are considered to be the most affordable in the whole Elite Series. Aside from the screen size which is relatively smaller, these surprisingly still have the CHIRP Sonar with DownScan Imaging with a detailed U.S. Map. Price varies from $249 to $469.
This is definitely one of the most affordable series among all the Marine GPS devices of Lowrance today. Given that this is the series to be first introduced, it definitely needs some catching up with the latest technology. And so, Lowrance took a large step towards technology and updated the HDS Gen2’s user interface and features.
What everybody loves about this is the fact that the screen can be split from one to four panels which makes dovetailing way easier and more comfortable. Cherry on top of this already great feature would be the customizable options.
Clarity is unquestionable with a Super VGA 600V x 800H resolution while the Broadband Sounder is now built-in. Just like the new GPS watches that are quickly gaining popularity today, the HDS Gen2 series comes with a trackback feature which basically shows one his/her starting point. One can even make markings on areas you find interesting or areas you would want to go back because of something underneath.
Another great thing about this so-called “most basic” among the Lowrance Marine GPS is its capability to pair or communicate with each other. Let us say you and your friend are going on an exploration together and you both have this unit but have different maps or waypoints downloaded. You can easily share it with one another by joining the two units together.
For a basic Lowrance Marine GPS, the HDS Gen2 exceeds all expectations with more capabilities. Critics are biased to the HDS-8 Gen2 as most find it the one with the best sonar. It is currently priced at around $1,200. The HDS-10 Gen2 is more expensive at just a little below the $2,000 mark.
If budget is of concern, you can check out the HDS-5x Gen2 and HDS-5m Gen2 which are the most affordable at around $450 and $500 respectively. The more advanced HDS-7 Gen2 on the other hand is priced at approximately $850.
HDS Gen2 Touch
If there is a Lowrance Marine GPS unit that totally redefines ease of use, it has to be none other than the HDS Gen2 Touch. It is equipped with a four-channel sonar, advanced sonar control features, Trackback view, DownScan Overlay, Insight mapping, and built-in GPS antenna.
The thing that most customers love about this is the easy-to-use touchscreen. This is actually the first among the Lowrance Marine GPS devices. Basically, it has all the features that we have mentioned above in the HDS Gen2 Series except that it has got these amazingly wide touchscreen options. One can choose from 7, 9, and a whopping 12-inch touchscreen all for your viewing, navigating, and fishfinding pleasure.
Because of all these, the HDS Gen2 Touch has the largest display that Lowrance created to date. Despite all these new and exciting features, this still has what was thought to be revolutionary features such as StructureMap Capabilities and Broadband Sonar.
There are five different devices listed under this series – the HDS-7m Gen2 Touch, HDS-7 Gen2 Touch, HDS-9 Gen2 Touch, HDS-9m Gen2 Touch, and HDS-12 Gen2 Touch. The latter of course comes with the highest price of approximately $2,700 while the most affordable would be the HDS-7m Gen2 Touch at roughly around $900.
This is basically a fishfinder/chartplotter that is said to be revolutionary given that it is sort of the combination of the touch interface of Gen2 Touch and the keypad look of other ordinary Gen2 models. Hence, the number 3 given that this is supposed to be more advanced than those two.
Critics say that the HDS Gen3 is without a doubt a state-of-the-art gadget which comes with integrated StructureScan and CHIRP Broadband sonar which works together simultaneously in contrary to other gadgets today where one would have to choose between the two functionalities. In addition, usability, viewing, and operation are greatly improved if we are to compare this to the previous models. It now comes with a highly responsive touch screen and/or a keypad depending on one’s preference.
Other new features are the dual card slots and video input which we have never seen in Lowrance before. Wireless connectivity is integrated for GoFree wireless and other Lowrance applications.
There are three different types of gadget in this category – the HDS-12 Gen3 which is the most expensive at above the $3,000 range as it has all the latest technologies in navigation and leading edge fish-finding capabilities, the HDS-9 Gen3 which is somewhere in the middle at slightly higher than $2,000, and the HDS-7 Gen3 which is the least expensive at only around $1,200.
As a result of all the features indicated above, the HDS Gen3 can perfectly perform all sorts of fish finding and structure imaging. Critics are quite torn about the capabilities of this HDS Gen3 and the recently released Elite series which will be discussed further below.