Garmin Echomap UHD Review

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With the new UHD models, Garmin has given the Echomap series of fish finders a significant refresh. There are new transducers and loads of new features in these units, and they all look great.

There are five Echomap UHD units to choose from. The addition of touchscreens to the 7 and 9-inch Echomap UHD units is a substantial upgrade to the series. The old square 5-inch has been replaced by a widescreen 6-inch unit. Only the Echomap 43cv remains mostly unchanged.

We sifted through the details to give you a full overview of these new units. We’ll start with an overview comparison then dig into the individual models.

Echomap UHD Series Overview

Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 93sv with GT56UHD-TM Transducer, 9"" Keyed-Assist Touchscreen Chartplotter with...
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv with GT56UHD-TM Transducer, 7"" Keyed-Assist Touchscreen Chartplotter with...
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73cv, 7" Keyed-Assist Chartplotter with U.S. LakeVü g3 and GT24UHD-TM...
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63cv, Keyed Chartplotter with U.S. LakeVü g3 and GT24UHD-TM transducer
Display:
9.0" (800x480)
7.0" (800x480)
7.0" (800x480)
6.2" (800x480)
Transducer:
GT56UHD-TM
GT56UHD-TM
GT24UHD-TM
GT24UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
CHIRP 2D/CV
CHIRP 2D/CV
Maps:
LakeVü HD G3
LakeVü HD G3
LakeVü HD G3
LakeVü HD G3
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 93sv with GT56UHD-TM Transducer, 9"" Keyed-Assist Touchscreen Chartplotter with...
Display:
9.0" (800x480)
Transducer:
GT56UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
Maps:
LakeVü HD G3
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
View on:
Compare:
Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv with GT56UHD-TM Transducer, 7"" Keyed-Assist Touchscreen Chartplotter with...
Display:
7.0" (800x480)
Transducer:
GT56UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV/SV
Maps:
LakeVü HD G3
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
View on:
Compare:
Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73cv, 7" Keyed-Assist Chartplotter with U.S. LakeVü g3 and GT24UHD-TM...
Display:
7.0" (800x480)
Transducer:
GT24UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV
Maps:
LakeVü HD G3
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
View on:
Compare:
Unit:
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63cv, Keyed Chartplotter with U.S. LakeVü g3 and GT24UHD-TM transducer
Display:
6.2" (800x480)
Transducer:
GT24UHD-TM
Sonar:
CHIRP 2D/CV
Maps:
LakeVü HD G3
Livescope Compatible:
Quickdraw:
View on:
Compare:

*Last updated 2021-04-13 at 18:30 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

New Echomap Features

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

GT56UHD-TM Transducer Ultra HD Transducers – The UHD fish finders now come with the new GT56UHD-TM and GT24UHD-TM transducers. The new transducers offer several significant upgrades in performance.

  • Adds 1.0 MHz Frequency – The new GT56UHD transducer adds 1000 kHz frequency to the existing 455 and i800 kHz. This is Garmin’s answer to Humminbird’s MEGA imaging. While It is a great addition, it is not quite to the level of MEGA Imaging just yet.
  • 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 beamwidths on the ClearVu and SideVu have been halved, from 2 deg to ~1 deg, meaning finer detail on your scans.

Livescope Compatible – Live forward-facing sonar has exploded in popularity, and the Echomap UHD series is the most affordable options for getting set up with the Panoptics Livescope system. The UHD are not the most powerful units, so power users may want to jump up to the Ultra or GPSMAP series.


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 Saved Tracks – This is the poor man’s version of following contour lines. You drive around to create tracks, save them, they can follow them with your Force and Echomap later.


Echomap UHD 93sv/73sv Review

The new UHD 93sv and UHD 73sv come with an awesome touchscreen/keypad combination, with similar MSRP to previous versions. It’s pretty amazing touchscreen fish finders can now be had for around $1,000!

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

The 93sv and 73sv both have Wi-Fi connectivity for simple updating and connection to the new ActiveCaptain mapping app. There is 1 microSD card slot for saving recordings, waypoints, and Quickdraw data.

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

Sonar

The transducer has changed from the GT52HW-TM to the superior GT56UHD-TM. The difference is in the new 1000 kHz frequency in addition to the 455 and 800. The Echomap now has megahertz imaging quality, high wide CHIRP sonar, all major upgrades from prior Echomap models.

The SideVü imaging, in particular, will benefit greatly from the higher frequency, and you still get the bright CHIRP imaging out of the new transducer. You also have the ability to connect a Panoptix Livescope transducer down the road. Here are the frequencies of the included transducer:

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

Both SideVü units come preloaded with LakeVü HD G3 contour maps (17,000 HD lake maps 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 LakeVü HD Ultra in either a downloadable update or an SD card. You’ll gain 4,000 more lakes with 1′ contours.

LakeVü HD G3 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 structure and put together patterns.

  • MicroSD: 1 Slot
  • Mapping: Preloaded LakeVü HD G3 contours, Quickdraw live mapping

Echomap UHD 73cv/63cv Review

The 73cv and 63cv are the ClearVü only fish finders. The 73cv is also a touchscreen with a keypad, while the 63cv is keypad only. 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 GT24UHD-TM transducer, which is capable of CHIRP traditional sonar, and CHIRP ClearVü sonar in 455/800/1000 kHz frequencies.

GPS & Maps

These units have the same great LakeVü HD G3 maps already loaded into memory, all you have to do is install the fish finder and go. If you like to make 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

Echomap Plus 43cv Review

This little depth finder is packed with features. For an affordable price, you get mapping, CHIRP sonar, Quickdraw, and MicroSD storage. This is a great option for a small boat or kayak fish finder.

Sonar

The only problem with the 43cv is the included transducer (GT20) isn’t as good as it could be. You’ll have to buy it without the transducer and get the GT22 to get all the High Wide CHIRP sonar capabilities.

  • 2D Sonar: 77/200 kHz (with bundled transducer)
  • ClearVü: CHIRP 455/800 kHz

More Features to Consider

Mapping – Garmin has released a new LakeVü HD G3 series of preloaded maps, covering 17,000 bodies of water, depth shading, shallow water highlight, and a cool Auto Guidance that calculates routes based on desired depth.

The fish finders in the table are comparing the US versions that ship with inland LakeVü HD maps. For Bluechart G2 maps (Great Lakes and Coastal) just change the last digit to 4 (Example: 94sv). Likewise, for LakeVü HD Canada maps, change the last digit to 5 (Example: 95sv).


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


Networking on 93sv/cv and 73sv/cv – The Echomap UHD 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 sold separately).


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.


ActiveCaptain Mobile App – This new app is your link to accessing more maps. 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 UHD 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.

What is in the Box – All Echomap UHD 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 UHD a Good Buy?

Should you buy an Echomap UHD fishfinder? If you are looking for megahertz imaging, touch screens, networking, and the option to add a Livescope transducer, the Echomap UHD are the most affordable units you can buy. Echomap UHD units would make a great primary or secondary locator for a bass boat, crappie fishing, and would even be great on a kayak or johnboat.

  • Upgraded Transducers with MHz imaging
  • Add on a Livescope System
  • Link to Force Trolling Motor
  • Affordable Touchscreens
  • 17,000 Lake Maps Included
  • Networking & Wi-Fi

There are a few drawbacks to consider on the Echomap UHD. 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 UHD is the least powerful compatible unit. Many anglers have remarked how their Livescope looks better on the Echomap Ultra and GPSMAP units.

  • Better Imaging with Humminbird
  • Limited to 1 MicroSD Slot
  • More Power with the Echomap Ultra

Bottom Line: The Echomap UHD 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 are a tremendous value. No other fish finders currently can offer so much technology and capability for a comparable price.

 

*Last updated 2021-04-13 at 18:30 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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