There aren’t any significant differences between the older HELIX 5 DI model and the new HELIX 5 DI G2. However, since Humminbird brought a new generation of HELIX 5 units, they also released a Down Imaging and a Sonar Only unit. Therefore, since it’s a newer model, the G2 will probably replace the older HELIX 5 DI unit.
With regards to the specs of this unit, the HELIX 5 DI G2 is a standalone fish finder. However, it does offer two types of sonar: 2D and Down Imaging. It comes with the same transducer as the HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2, the XNT 9 DI T, only this unit does not have CHIRP technology. Its sonar can use dual frequency 200/455 kHz for 2D, and 455/800 kHz for DI.
For the 2D traditional sonar, the transducer uses two conical beams, with a coverage of 28° for 200 kHz, and 16° for 455 kHz. On the other hand, for Down Imaging, the beams are not conical, but thin, similar to the beams of a scanner. They do offer a wider coverage, though, 45° for 800 kHz and 75° for 455 kHz.
The system’s depth capability with the included transducer is 350 ft for DI and 600 ft for 2D. Also, the recommended vessel speed for a maximum of returns and the best clarity is up to 6 MPH. The system should be able to maintain a bottom reading and lock at speeds up to 30 MPH.
This Humminbird fish finder does offer several sonar-related functions, such as Selective Fish ID+, Real Time Sonar, Ice Fishing Mode, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm, and SwitchFire. Here’s a short explanation for each one of these functions.
The Selective Fish ID+ function replaces the regular fish arches on the 2D sonar with fish icons, also indicating the depth of each fish target close to it.
SwitchFire is basically a quick filter, offering a Max Mode and a Clear Mode. Max Mode offers maximum detail, up to the point where you can see your jig on-screen. Clear Mode takes out as much clutter as possible, focusing only on the biggest fish targets.
The Real Time Sonar is a vertical flasher which can only be used in 2D mode. This function focuses on the return of the most recent sonar echo. The Circular Flasher mode, or Ice Fishing mode, puts all the sonar information in a circular diagram, showing the fish targets and your jig as colorful segments. The Fish Alarm is only available when Fish ID is used and has several settings depending on the size of the fish you’re tracking. And finally, the Depth Alarm will notify you when the depth is equal or less than the value that you have selected.