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Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP G2 Review

The technology behind the Humminbird Helix 7 G2 shows improvements over the 1st generation series. It works faster, and provides brighter, clearer images. It's ready to go right out of the box, with clearly marked buttons and a user-friendly display. The Helix 7 was designed to be useful even for those who've never used a fish finder before.
Humminbird Helix 7 Review

Features:

Display

The Helix 7 works for both fresh and saltwater anglers at a depth of up to 1,500 feet. The most notable difference over the Helix 5 is the larger seven-inch screen. This and a landscape orientation allows better viewing of features like the split-screen display. It's still 800x480 pixels and 256 colors. Along with the bigger images comes a much better screen. The 5 series had a plastic lens, where the 7 is bonded glass. It not only makes for clearer images and more scratch-resistance, but minimizes glare in the bright sun. 

GPS

Most versions of the Helix 7 come with GPS Chartplotting and UniMap capability. Only the CHIRP DI G2 and SONAR G2 do not have this useful feature. With other models, GPS features can be expanded through a card slot that accepts AutoChart Pro®, AutoChart®, and Navionics® Gold/HotMaps that some experienced anglers might be familiar with. 

Mounting

Another improvement is a simple, sturdy, pivot mount that provides better support than the 5-series mount with its quick disconnect feature. The new Helix 7 device is bigger, at 10.5"x5.8", but installs easily in-dash, as well.

Memory

The Helix 7 also has twice the memory. This allows faster mapping and screen refresh. Maps can now keep up with real-time display of images while the boat is moving, without any disappointing screen lag time. The Helix's sonar return is also faster than the old series, which helps add more consistency and clarity to what you see on the screen.

Side Imaging

SI technology gives a 180-degree view of what lies under the water to either side of the boat. With the Helix 7, those images come from 455kHz pings that reach 240' out from either side of the boat; each return signal is built by the display into a "slice" of what's around the boat while it's moving. All the slices are reassembled into a 3-D view. The 7-series images are so crisp and contoured that they provide photo-quality images of fish or obstacles, regardless of water quality. Users can also zoom in for a magnified view, or mark the GPS location of any objects showing on screen. 

Down Imaging

The Helix 7 uses the same technology to provide the quality images of fish, bottom terrain, vegetation, rocks, and whatever else might be directly below the boat. This unit's display is so detailed that you'll be able to follow lines and see what fishing lures your buddies are using.

SwitchFire Sonar

This technology emits pulses at 83 or 200kHz to determine water depth, temperature, and turbulence, and report them in multi-colored display. The Helix 7 has two modes - Clear and Max. Clear cuts out the distortion noise caused by particles or debris trapped in eddies or current, while Max actually lets you examine those currents. You can also see fish and bottom features with SwitchFire, albeit in two dimensions.

Versions

Humminbird had the foresight to provide several different features sets (and price points) for the needs of a wide variety of anglers. All of them include the much-improved 7" color screen.

  1. HELIX 7 CHIRP SI GPS G2N - GPS Chartplotting with UniMap ; CHIRP Side Imaging/Down Imaging/DualBeam PLUS Sonar with Networking
  2. HELIX 7 CHIRP DI GPS G2N - GPS Chartplotting with UniMap ; CHIRP Down Imaging/DualBeam PLUS Sonar with Networking
  3. HELIX 7 CHIRP GPS G2N - GPS Chartplotting with UniMap ; CHIRP DualBeam PLUS Sonar with Networking
  4. HELIX 7 CHIRP DI GPS G2 - GPS Chartplotting with UniMap ; CHIRP Down Imaging/DualBeam PLUS Sonar
  5. HELIX 7 CHIRP GPS G2 - GPS Chartplotting with UniMap ; CHIRP DualBeam PLUS Sonar
  6. HELIX 7 CHIRP DI G2 - CHIRP Down Imaging and DualBeam PLUS Sonar
  7. HELIX 7 SONAR G2 - DualBeam PLUS Sonar

Conclusion

With excellent sonar technology, and a great new screen to display it, the Helix 7 display and ease of use are on a par with any fish finder out there. Considering the range of options, fast processing, and the fact that it's a few hundred dollars cheaper than most similar brands, the Humminbird Helix 7 is definitely worth a try.


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