Lowrance Elite-4 HDI Review

Lowrance is one of the world’s best brands in marine electronics. It’s been on the market for ages, producing reliable products packed with advanced features.

The Elite 4HDI is one of its newest fish finders in the Elite series. It’s a great choice if you’re looking to improve your performance without as much hassle or struggle.

It features valuable things like Broadband Sounder, Hybrid Down Imaging, Downscan Imaging, high-definition mapping options, and a GPS antenna, among other stuff.

On top of that, this one is easy to use even if you don’t have any previous experience with fish finders.

Stay tuned as we break down all the good and bad in our Lowrance Elite 4 HDI review. We’ll cover everything from benefits to downsides, so it’s easier for you to decide if this is the right fish finder for you.

HDI Technology

The Elite 4 HDI is the newest addition to the Lowrance HDI family. HDI stands for Hybrid Down Imaging, which is a technology that utilizes broadband and downscan sonar.

It offers enough power and is ideal for getting a more detailed image of what’s out there. On top of that, the technology requires only one transducer.

You can adjust the operating frequency to fit your needs and fishing conditions. For example, freshwater fishing requires either 83 or 200 kHz, while saltwater needs a frequency of 50/200 kHz.

The technology makes it suitable for kayaks and small boats. In addition, it helps beginners who don’t want to spend too much time hassling with equipment.

Display

One of the best things about it is the brilliant LED-backlit display. It makes everything visible, even if you’re in the sun.

It’s slightly bigger than the previous Elite-4 fish finders, so you’re now getting an increased screen area. While this makes it easier to read all information, it also helps to use the split-screen feature.

Everything displayed is clear and easy to read, which is especially important if this is your first fish finder. It’s resistant to scratches and dust, and you can easily wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth.

Split Screen Viewing

Since it has a larger display size, you can use the split-screen viewing with ease. The 4.3-inch display allows you to see up to three window screens at a time.

It makes it more convenient to use the device since you can see different data at once. This way, you can compare the readings easily to figure out what’s under the boat.

This helps beginners as much as experienced fishermen by making it easier to use and read.

It’s a highly functional feature that’s rarely included with fish finders in its price range. However, the device itself is still quite compact and easy to carry around.

DownScan Overlay

Lowrance Elite 4 HDI has DownScan overplay that combines the perks of DownScan and traditional Sonar. It helps find structure, show the bottom, and identify things like trees, rocks, and other submerged objects.

One screen will show the structure using DownScan images, showing you different objects located under your boat. Suspended arches shown from traditional Sonar are most likely fish.

The technology allows you to spot and catch the fish that hides deep. You would probably not see it using a traditional Sonar or DownScan, so this feature makes quite a difference.

It might take a while to get the hang of, but in reality, it’s quite a simple and hassle-free feature.

Configurations

Configurations are always something you should pay attention to when buying a fish finder. Luckily, it’s always been quite easy with Lowrance devices, especially the newer ones.

This one offers a few configurations for you to pick from based on your needs and preferences at a time. Here’s what you get:

  • no transducer
  • 50/200/455/800 kHz transducer
  • 83/200/455/800 kHz transducer
  • Gold Charts & 50/200/455/800 kHz transducer
  • Gold Charts & 83/200/455/800 kHz transducer

Choosing between these configurations is up to you, so make sure to think about what you need from your fishfinder.

Powerful GPS Antenna and Accurate Mapping 

Elite 4 HDI comes with a powerful GPS antenna that can easily pinpoint your location. In addition, it comes loaded with US maps, over 3000 lakes, and over 10000 coastal areas.

If that doesn’t sound like enough to you, you can go for the Elite 4 HDI Gold that’s packed with Navionics Gold maps, more contours, and additional data.

Having accurate mapping makes all the difference in how easily you can navigate different waters. You even have the option to save maps, routes, and points of interest. This helps to prevent getting lost when navigating some waters for the first time.

Its powerful GPS antenna is partially what makes it as costly since most affordable fish finders often lack this feature.

Insight Genesis

Insight Genesis mapping allows you to create your map, which is ideal when fishing in a smaller body of water. Unfortunately, waters near a smaller community usually don’t have detailed maps, so making one yourself is the next best thing.

All you have to do is enable the finder’s Sonar recording to the memory card. Then, criss-cross the area you’re interested in mapping and save the date you’ve collected.

Once you’re done, upload the maps into the Insight Genesis software and let it process the collected data. Once that’s completed, you’re free to download the maps onto your memory card, loading them into your finder.

The process is quite simple but crucial for mapping contours, bottom composition, and vegetation.

Ease of Use

As we said, Elite 4 HDI is among the best options for beginners, thanks to its user-friendly interface. The device is easy to use as it has a simple page selector menu, making it easy to switch between screens you want to work with.

It comes with the brand’s Advanced Signal Processing technology that automatically sets the Sonar signal. This gives you the best possible picture without you having to do anything since the adjusting is automatic.

Experienced anglers usually prefer to do this manually, but having the automatic feature makes a huge difference when avoiding small inconveniences and tweaks.

It always works to give you the best image so that you don’t struggle with it yourself. Plus, it’s easy to set up and carry around since it’s pretty compact and lightweight.

Pros:

A high-powered unit works excellent even in the deepest waters

Full-color HD screen

High-speed processor

Side imaging

Down imaging

Ipilot and autopilot compatible

Integrated GPS saves space in your boat

Cons:

Some businesses sell this fish finder without a transducer

Some customers had software issues after only a few uses

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it programmable?

As we said, it comes with an automatic feature that most programming for you. Unfortunately, although this is perfect for beginners, it can be annoying for experienced anglers who love setting things up themselves.

Luckily, you can switch to manual programing. It allows you to choose your settings and screens to customize everything to your needs and preferences.

Does it show water temperature and speed? Does it have fish and depth alarms?

Lowrance Elite 4 HDI shows the water temperature and speed as it calibrates the data from the transducer temperature sensor.

It also has an alarm that goes off when the fish icon appears on display. This serves to ensure you don’t miss any fish even if you’re not looking at the screen.

Can you use the display in single-view, i.e., GPS only or fish finder only?

You can use the display in single-view or spit screen, depending on your needs and preferences at the time. In most cases, using a split-screen is helpful as you can see more information at once.

However, some people find this overwhelming and prefer single-view screens. You can switch between the two as you like.

Can I learn how to use the unit on the web?

The best way to learn how to use it is to test it yourself. Trial and error are by far the most efficient for learning how to use a fish finder.

However, you can also check the user manual provided by the manufacturer. It usually includes all the information you should know about the device. If you didn’t get one, you could probably find it on the internet.

You might want to check some online tutorials if you’re after a more detailed guide.

Final Thoughts

This Lowrance fish finder is among the most user-friendly models from the Lowrance Elite series. It’s compact, lightweight, and easy to use regardless of your skill level and experience.

It shows a wide range of information you’ll find helpful when fishing. It shows the bottom structure, fish, trees, rocks, and everything else that impacts your performance.

And, while it has a few automatic features, you can switch it all to manual if you like. This way, you can play with the settings to find what suits your needs the best.

Hopefully, our Lowrance Elite 4 HDI review helped you understand why it’s so popular and sought after in the fishing community.