Lowrance Elite-5x HDI Review



Lowrance has done it again with their new Elite-5x HDI series that combines the best of Lowrance technology into one amazing fish finding package.

If you have ever used Lowrance before, you know how good their DownScan Imaging is, and you also know how good their traditional Broadband Sounder is.

The new HDI technology(which stands for Hybrid Dual Imaging) combines both of those into one high-resolution package!

elite-5x hdi

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This baby has a power rating of 250W, and Lowrance boasts that you can see as far down as 1000 feet at 50 kHz. That’s an impressive number! Since most fish can be found much shallower than that, the Elite-5 HDI is your one-stop solution, showing you crisp, clear details of the bottom, structure, and schools of fish on its 5 inch, high-res color display.

The Lowrance Elite-5x is the GPS-free version of its brother the Elite-5 HDI. If you already have a chart plotter or your budget is a little tight, the 5x is a good choice. The new HDI series is also the recreational angler’s version of the higher end HDS series. If you are looking for performance but don’t want an entire computer(figuratively) on your boat, the HDI is the way to go.


The Elite-5x HDI is a great fish finder for the fisherman that wants all the features that come with more expensive models, like combo broadband and high-res SONAR, but in a compact and economical package. It can be used with boats of all sizes, too: from kayaks all the way to bass boats and rigs.


The HDI series has an amazing feature that combines the benefits of DownScan and traditional SONAR. DownScan is primarily used to find structure – it’s not very accurate for spotting individual fish. For that, you are better off with traditional SONAR.

The Elite-5x HDI has bridged that gap with DownScan overlay – now you can see one screen that shows bottom and structure with DownScan images – so you can see every tree, rock, and submerged object for what it is – and it will also show suspended arches from traditional SONAR, which are most likely fish.

This way, you can catch those sneaky fish that are hiding deep inside cover – which you couldn’t have normally seen with either a traditional or DownScan SONAR.


Before, to really get optimal readings, you had to manually adjust and tweak the settings on your fish finder. It was a process of trial and error. Lowrance Elite-5x HDI units have something called Advanced Signal Processing Technology which automatically judges the readings it’s getting and adjusts the SONAR settings itself so you can see fish, structure and the bottom with greater clarity.

If you missed something, use the Trackback feature to scroll backwards into SONAR history to see what was recorded so you can study the readings more carefully.

Since all the keys are on one side, you can easily use this unit with one hand so you can keep your other hand on the wheel or on the motor.

The generous 5 inch screen also lets you split the screen into multiple panels, so you can see DownScan and broadband SONAR all on one page, side by side.

Elite-5x HDI Specifications:

  • Display: 5″/12.7cm Full VGA SolarMAX PLUS Color
  • Resolution: 256-color TFT 480 x 480
  • Backlighting: Fluorescent cold cathode
  • Power Output: RMS (PTP): Max 250W RMS, 30,000W Peak to Peak (analog equivalent)
  • Languages: 30
  • HDI Operating Frequencies: (50/200 kHz or 83/200 kHz) + 455/800 kHz
  • Operating Voltage: 12 vDC (10-17 vDC min-max)
  • Media Port: One (1) microSD slot
  • Languages: 30
  • Output Power [kW]:12 W (0.9 A @ 13 vDC)
  • Memory Card Capable: Yes
  • Warranty: One year

Elite-5x HDI Sonar 

  • Depth Alarm: Yes
  • Sonar Frequencies: (50/200 or 83/200 kHz) + 455/800 kHz
  • Shallow Alarm: Yes
  • Temperature Readings: Yes
  • Transducer Type: Multiple selections Lowrance and Airmar® Max Depth Per Transducer Type
    • DownScan Imaging: Max 300′ / 91M @ 455/800 KHz
    • Broadband Sounder: Max 1000′ / 305M @ 83/200 kHz
    • Broadband Sounder: Max 2500′ / 762M @ 50/200 kHz


    • Waterproof Standard/Rating: IPx7
    • Product Width: 6.9″ 174mm
    • Product Depth: 2.5″ 63mm
    • Product Height: 5.4″ 136mm

Elite-5x HDI Power Supply (Supply Voltage): 12 vDC (10-17 vDC min-max)

Networking Connectors 
NMEA Output: NMEA 0183

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