The difference between the HELIX 10 SI GPS and the HELIX 9 SI GPS covers quite a bit more than just the 1″ difference in the display diagonal. The HELIX 10 also comes with the HD transducer, and it’s 800 kHz capable right out of the box. Evidently, there’s much more to say about this unit, so let’s start with its sonar capabilities.
First of all, this unit uses three types of sonar technology: Side Imaging, Down Imaging and 2D sonar. Unfortunately, it’s not CHIRP capable. So, in case you’re looking for a Humminbird CHIRP unit, a ION or ONIX model is the one you should put on your list. It’s capable of 50/83/200/455/800 kHz frequencies, and comes with the XHS 9 HDSI 180 transducer which covers the 83/200/455/800 kHz frequencies. But in case you would want to use a 50/200 kHz transducer for deepwater fishing, this unit is compatible with various models.
The XHS 9 HDSI 180 includes a transom mount, and is also temperature capable. For the 2D, 83/200 kHz frequencies it uses conical angles of 60° and respectively 20°, while for for Side Imaging is uses two thin beams of 86°, one on each side, for 455 kHz, and two of 55° for 800 kHz. Down Imaging features three modes: narrow, medium and wide, also using thin beams, fan shaped, just like the beams of a scanner.
Side Imaging and Down Imaging are great to use for structure observation and better understanding. They’re also great sonar technologies to tell fish apart from structure. Also, Side Imaging offers a huge coverage, with a maximum of 480 ft. side-to-side (240 ft. on each side).
The 2D standard sonar also has several useful functions. For example, Fish ID+, RTS, Circular Flasher, or SwitchFire are great functions to have on the water. On top of that, this unit is capable of recording and rewinding sonar. Recorded sonar can be used with AutoChart to modify maps. Or simply, by recording sonar you can save a lot of time by just reviewing a certain spot on screen, rather than turning the boat around to re-scan that particular area.
In terms of sonar, the HELIX 10 SI GPS is also capable of 360 Imaging. However, in order to use this sonar technology, you will be needing the appropriate transducer.
Regarding the unit’s GPS function, just like the other HELIX units, the HELIX 10 series features the Humminbird Precision GPS internal antenna, which offers quick locks and accurate results. This unit comes with the built-in ContourXD maps, maps that cover more than 3,000 U.S. lakes, offering contour lines and information regarding access points, markers, interstates etc. However, this unit is also compatible with Lakemaster and Navionics charts, including Navionics Platinum+. But one of the best parts regarding this HELIX 10 model is that it’s AutoChart capable, being able to use maps created via AutoChart.
Last but not least, in terms of navigation, this unit can record up to 2,750 waypoint, 45 routes, and up to 50 retraceable tracks (20,000 points each). It’s also AIS, HD Radar and i-Pilot Link capable.
With regards to the control unit, the first aspect to mention is the huge, 10.1″ display, with a 600 x 1024 pixel matrix and a 65,000 color TFT depth. The unit’s display is LED backlit, offering excellent readability in direct sunlight. It’s IPX7 waterproof, which means it can survive incidental water exposure and even immersions.
The unit offers superior connectivity features, including Ethernet, NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 ports. It also has two microSD card slots. This aspect is actually great, because you don’t need to swap cards if you’re using a data card for waypoints and sonar recording, and a card with superior charts.
Finally, just like the HELIX 9 units, this particular unit offers wireless control. A small remote is supplied with the unit, thus, you can control several functions of the unit with that particular remote, such as marking waypoints, creating i-Pilot Link Spot-Locks, adjust zoom on the maps or sonar, navigate through menus and more.