Garmin Echomap UHD2 Review

Garmin Echomap UHD2 Review

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Garmin has given the Echomap series of fish finders another significant refresh. The Garmin Echomap UHD2 units offer some interesting upgrades over their predecessors, including new transducers, and more features, and they look great.

There are now five UHD2 units to choose from, ranging from 5-inch to 9-inch models, all with touchscreens, improved connectivity, sonar, and more. Keep reading to learn about these improvements and if the UHD2 is a good buy for you.

Echomap UHD2 Series Overview

Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD2 93sv with GT56 Transducer, 9" Touchscreen Chartplotter, Garmin Navionics+ U.S....
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD2 73sv with GT54 Transducer, 7” Touchscreen Chartplotter, Garmin Navionics+ U.S....
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD2 63sv with GT54 Transducer, 6” Touchscreen Chartplotter, Garmin Navionics+ U.S....
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63cv, Keyed Chartplotter with U.S. LakeVü g3 and GT24UHD-TM transducer
Display:
9.0″ (1024×600)
7.0″ (800×480)
6.2″ (800×480)
7″ (800×480)
Transducer:
GT56UHD-TM
GT54UHD-TM
GT54UHD-TM
GT20UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
CHIRP 2D/CV
Maps:
Navionics+ Inland
Navionics+ Inland
Navionics+ Inland
Navionics+ Inland
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
Check Price at:
Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD2 93sv with GT56 Transducer, 9" Touchscreen Chartplotter, Garmin Navionics+ U.S....
Display:
9.0″ (1024×600)
Transducer:
GT56UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
Maps:
Navionics+ Inland
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD2 73sv with GT54 Transducer, 7” Touchscreen Chartplotter, Garmin Navionics+ U.S....
Display:
7.0″ (800×480)
Transducer:
GT54UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
Maps:
Navionics+ Inland
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD2 63sv with GT54 Transducer, 6” Touchscreen Chartplotter, Garmin Navionics+ U.S....
Display:
6.2″ (800×480)
Transducer:
GT54UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
Maps:
Navionics+ Inland
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63cv, Keyed Chartplotter with U.S. LakeVü g3 and GT24UHD-TM transducer
Display:
7″ (800×480)
Transducer:
GT20UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV
Maps:
Navionics+ Inland
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
Check Price at:
Check Price at:

What’s New with the Echomap UHD2?

The UHD2 lineup appears to have been almost totally redesigned outside and inside. With a new body and more powerful processors, there is a lot to like, especially with the UHD2 93sv.

  • Redesigned Housings – Fresh new looks, same keypad with a touchscreen interface.
  • More Pixels on the 9-inch – Increased to 1024×600 from 800×480.
  • Upgraded Processors – Snappier responses to button presses.
  • Increased Power Draw – The typical max current draw has nearly doubled.
  • Different Transducers – Only the 93sv comes with the best GT56UHD transducer.
  • Wireless UHD2 Connectivity – Share sonar, waypoints, and routes with other UHD2 units.
  • Wireless Force Connectivity – Control your Force motor through your UHD2.
  • 5cv Replaces 4cv – 4-inch models are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Current Draw UHD vs UHD2

If you use a small secondary battery to power your Echomap with a Livescope, it’s good to note the UHD2 has a significantly higher current draw, both in the “Typical” and “Max” usage scenarios.

Most people won’t have an issue, but it’s worth checking if your battery can handle the increased power consumption.

ModelCurrent Draw – UHD2Current Draw – UHD
93sv1.7-3.5A1.0-1.5A
73sv, 73cv1.5-3.2A0.8-1.25A
63sv1.5-3.2A0.7-1.25A
53cv1.0-1.5An/a

Other Important UHD2 Features

Here are the most important features that are new with the Echomap UHD2 series:

Ultra HD Transducers

The UHD2 fish finders come with either the GT56, GT54, or GT20 UHD transducers, depending on the model. The new transducers offer several significant upgrades in performance.

  • Adds MHz Frequencies – The GT56UHD transducer adds 1.0 MHz frequency to the existing 455 and 800 kHz. The GT54 operates at 1.2 MHz and 455 kHz. While it is a great addition, it is not quite to the level of MEGA Imaging.
  • Increased Power – CHIRP sonar increased to 350 W (from 250 W), and the ClearVu/SideVu increased to 500 W (from 350 W). This means stronger pings and stronger returns for increased clarity on the sonar returns.
  • Narrower Beamwidth – The beam widths on the ClearVu and SideVu have been halved from 2 deg to ~1 deg, meaning finer detail on your scans.

Preloaded Maps

All the Echomap UHD2 units ship preloaded with Garmin Navionics+ charts and a 1-year subscription to updates and downloads. Not having to make an extra purchase for lake maps is a fantastic benefit of Garmin products.

Livescope Compatibility

Live forward-facing sonar has exploded in popularity, and the Echomap UHD2 series is the most affordable option for getting set up with the Panoptics Livescope system.

The UHD2 are not the most powerful units, so power users may want to jump up to the Echomap Ultra or GPSMAP series.

Note: The 53cv and 73cv versions are NOT compatible. You need a SideVu capable version to use Livescope.

Force Trolling Motor Compatible

With the launch of the Force trolling motor, Garmin users can now enjoy the linking capabilities that Humminbird & Minn Kota users have enjoyed for years. Here is what you can do by linking up an Echomap with the Force:

  • Create Routes to Waypoints – Use your Echomap chartplotter to create a step-by-step route, a waypoint, or a series of waypoints.
  • Does NOT follow Contours – Minn Kota owns the patent on this feature; Ghost and Force owners will not have this capability.
  • Follow Tracks & Routes – This is the poor man’s version of following contour lines. You drive around to create tracks and save them, and they can follow them with your Force and Echomap later. Alternatively, you can create routes out of a series of waypoints and use the Force to follow.

Quick Release Cradle Mount

The 93sv, 73sv, and 63sv models feature a quick-release cradle to mount the unit. The design is more robust on the UHD2, hopefully reducing the number of “unplanned dismounts” that have been known to happen in previous generations.

Tilt in and latch the unit in place, and you’re ready to go. Similarly, at the end of the day, you can release the cradle and transport or store the units with ease. No messing with knobs or connectors to remove your unit is a nice thing to have.


Echomap UHD2 93sv Review

The UHD2 93sv is the clear winner in this series. It is the most powerful, has the biggest display with the most pixels, and the best transducer. At just a few hundred dollars more than the 73sv, it’s clearly worth the upgrade if you are smart.

Top Features

  • High-resolution 1024×600 pixel display.
  • Has the best transducer available in the box.
  • Livescope compatible.
  • Wireless sharing with UHD2 units.
  • Networking connection for a full boat network.

Sonar

The 93sv is now the only model in the series that gets the GT56UHD-TM transducer in the box. This transducer unleashes “megahertz” SideVu and ClearVu sonar frequencies that provide the clearest imaging Garmin offers.

GPS & Maps

The 93sv comes preloaded with Garmin Navionics+ contour maps (44,000 lake maps, many with 1-foot contours) which is basically a $150+ value when you consider what a Navionics map card would cost you.

You can also upgrade to Garmin Navionics Vision+ in either a downloadable update or an SD card. You’ll gain more lakes with 1′ contours plus relief shading and other high end mapping layers.

Navionics+ allows you to highlight any depth zone you want using the Shallow Water Shading and Depth Range Shading. These tools are excellent in helping anglers quickly find similar lake structure and put together patterns.

  • Memory: 1 MicroSD slot
  • Mapping: Preloaded Navionics+ contours, Quickdraw live mapping

Echomap UHD2 73sv/63sv Review

The UHD2 73sv and the new 63sv are value packed units. Both come with the same awesome touchscreen/keypad combination as the 93sv but at a lower price. It is pretty amazing touchscreen fish finders can now be had for right around $1,000!

Touch is great for quickly dropping and editing waypoints but can sometimes be cumbersome in the rain or cold. Fortunately, Echomap UHD2 also has keys to work alongside touch, which I think was an excellent choice for user experience.

The 73sv and 63sv also have both Wi-Fi for sharing sonar and data with other units. Wireless makes updating with the ActiveCaptain mobile app a breeze. There is one microSD card slot for saving recordings, waypoints, and Quickdraw data.

You can now network Echomap UHD2 and other fish finders using Ethernet networking cables. Sharing waypoints and sonar data is easier than ever, which is always an appreciated feature.

Sonar

Unfortunately, the transducer with UHD2 has been downgraded from the GT56HW-TM to the GT54UHD-TM. The difference is the frequencies. The GT56 operates ClearVu and SideVü imaging at 1000/800/455 kHz frequencies, whereas the GT54 only operates at 1200/455 kHz.

Yes, both transducers have megahertz imaging quality, and high wide CHIRP sonar, all major upgrades from prior Echomap models. However, the 1200 kHz has proven to be inferior to 1000 kHz in terms of image quality. Upgrading to the GT56 is possible, but it’s an extra purchase.

Amazingly, both units are compatible with Livescope and Livescope Plus transducers, should you want to add one down the road.

Note: Consider adding a GT8HW-IH in-hull transducer and Y-Cable to get 2D depth readings while running the boat on plane.

GPS & Maps

Like the 93sv, you get all the preloaded goodness of Navionics+ mapping, as well as QuickDraw live mapping capability.

Echomap UHD2 73cv/53cv Review

The 73cv and 53cv are the ClearVü only fish finders. Both models are keypad-operated with no touchscreen. Both units have a MicroSD card slot, and amazingly both have Wi-Fi capability.

Sonar

Besides the touchscreen, the other major difference is the transducer. Both the 73cv and 63cv bundles include the GT20UHD-TM transducer, which is capable of CHIRP traditional sonar, and CHIRP ClearVü sonar in 455/800/1000 kHz frequencies.

Unfortunately, this is also a downgrade from the GT24UHD-TM transducer that ships with the older UHD 73cv. They probably do this for cost and to encourage you to upgrade to the 93sv.

GPS & Maps

These units have the same great Garmin Navionics+ maps already loaded into memory. All you have to do is install the fish finder and go. If you enjoy making your own maps, Quickdraw is at the ready. Save sonar recordings and waypoints on the single memory slot.

  • MicroSD: 1 Slot
  • Mapping: LakeVü HD contours, Quickdraw

More Features to Consider

Navionics+ Mapping

Garmin has released the Navionics+ series of preloaded maps, covering 44,000 bodies of water, depth shading, shallow water highlight, and a cool Auto Guidance that calculates routes based on desired depth.

The fish finders discussed in this review are comparing the US and Canadian versions that ship with inland Navionics+ maps. For Coastal maps, just change the last digit to 4 (Example: 94sv). Likewise, for the Worldwide Basemap, change the last digit to 2 (Example: 92sv).


Touchscreen with Keypad

The 93sv, 73sv, and 63sv each have touchscreens. Slowly but surely, touchscreens are making their way down into the mid-priced fish finders. The Lowrance Elite FS and Raymarine Axiom are the only other 7” and 9” units with a touchscreen. Echomap UHDs also have keys to work alongside touch, which I think was an excellent choice for user experience.


Networking

The 93sv, 73sv, and 63sv UHD2 are networkable thanks to an Ethernet port. You can connect two units with a Garmin Marine Network cable, or you can connect multiple Garmin products with the GMS10 Network Port Expander hub and network cables (all separate purchases).


Wi-Fi Connectivity

With the addition of Wi-Fi, that leaves Humminbird with the only units without wireless connectivity on their lower-priced fish finders. You can download maps and software updates as well as connect to your smartphone apps and messaging.

UHD2 fish finders can share sonar and data wirelessly with other UHD2 units, as well as control a Garmin Force trolling motor.


ActiveCaptain Mobile App

This new app is your link to accessing more maps and software updates. The app lets you update your maps or purchase new ones whenever you need them. You can upload, save, and share your Quickdraw map data and connect with the community to download other user maps. You can choose to get your texts and phone calls displayed on the screen (why you would want that, I don’t know).


Mounting

The Echomap UHD2 comes standard with two styles of quick-release mounting options – Bail Mount or Flush Mount.

  • Tilt & Swivel Bail Mount – The 6 and 7 sizes utilize a plastic bail mount that both swivels and tilts. The bail mount has a convenient cradle that allows quick removal of the screen for storage.
  • Tilt Bail Mount – The 9 comes with a fixed, tiltable bail mount. Both the 7 and 9 have secure twist-lock cable connections. The fixed bail also has a quick remove cradle.
  • Flush Mount – The flush mount utilizes the cradle, a gasket, and some hardware to securely mount the unit to a dash plate.
  • Cradle – The cradle allows you to quickly mount and dismount the unit. The cables connect to the cradle, and the cradle connects to the unit with a secure latch mechanism.

In the Box

All Echomap UHD2 fish finders come with these basic items. Keep in mind for a complete install, you may need to purchase additional cables and accessories.

  • Transducer
  • Power + Data Cable
  • Bail Mount & Quick Release Cradle
  • Flush Mount Kit
  • Protective Cover
  • Mounting Hardware
  • User Manual and Documentation

Is the Garmin Echomap UHD22 a Good Buy?

Should you buy an Echomap UHD2 fishfinder? If you are looking for megahertz imaging, touch screens, networking, and the option to add a Livescope transducer, the Echomap UHD2 is among the most affordable units you can buy.

Echomap UHD2 units, especially the 93sv would make a great primary or secondary locator for a bass boat or crappie fishing and would even be great on a kayak or johnboat.

  • Upgraded Transducers with MHz imaging
  • Ability to add on a Livescope System
  • Link to Force Trolling Motor
  • Affordable Touchscreens
  • 44,000 Lake Maps Included
  • Networking & Wi-Fi

There are a few drawbacks to consider with the Echomap UHD2. There are better fish finders for imaging, like the Helix MSI units, and they also come with two card slots for maps and recording at the same time.

Also, if you plan to run LiveScope, know that the UHD2 is the least powerful compatible unit. Many anglers have commented on how their Livescope looks better on the Echomap ULTRA and GPSMAP units.

  • Better Side Imaging with Humminbird
  • Limited to 1 MicroSD Slot
  • Not as powerful as the Echomap Ultra

Bottom Line: The Echomap UHD2 fish finders are a great buy. The new transducers provide high-quality CHIRP sonar, plus megahertz ClearVu and SideVu imaging. Add in touchscreen functionality and the ability to add a LiveScope, and these units offer tremendous value. No other fish finders currently can offer so much technology and capability for a comparable price.

*Last updated 2024-06-17 at 03:35 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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