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Launched in 2014, the 899ci HD SI Combo fish finder from Humminbird was one of the best Side Imaging fish finders at that time. Although it was discontinued, it may still be available on certain sites. If you’re looking for a fish finder with side-scan view technology, that’s priced under $1,000, this model is exactly what you’re looking for. Its performance is almost similar to the way more expensive units in the 1100 series. The only major difference between this unit and the 1199ci HD SI Combo, for example, is that this one is smaller. For reference, this is the Humminbird part number 409150-1.
Key Features and Specifications
- Screen: 7″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, color TFT, with backlight
- Sonar: Side Imaging, Down Imaging, DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire
- Depth Capability: 150 feet (45 m) for Side Imaging and Down Imaging, 1500 feet (457 m) on DualBeam
- Frequency and Coverage: 200 kHz / 20° and 83 kHz / 60° for DualBeam Plus, 455 kHz / 85° (on each side), for SI. The Side Imaging can extend up to 240 ft (73 m) on each side of the boat, for a total of 480 ft (146 m) of coverage
- Transducer: Transom XNT 9 SI 180 T
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 10-20 VDC
- GPS: Internal, Precision
- Maps: ContourXD
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 45, 2,750, 50 (20,000 points each)
These are just the core specifications for the 899ci HD SI Combo. But there’s much more to know about it. The first aspect that must be mentioned here, regards the SI and DI sonar. This unit comes with a transducer for this type of technology, and you don’t have to pay extra for it.
The SwitchFire feature is great to have as it increases your control over the 2D classic sonar view. There are two modes: MaxMode and ClearMode. MaxMode offers superior detail, while ClearMode acts as a filter for sonar returns, focusing only on fish and structure. So, in case you’re fishing in deeper waters, that the SI and DI modes can’t scan, you’ll still get a pretty good idea whether there are fish in a certain spot, or not.
Another sonar feature for this fish finder is the Selective FishID+. This sonar view will display a fish symbol over each return interpreted as fish. It’s a feature that can be more helpful in certain cases than the traditional standard sonar view. This feature comes with an alarm function that can be set for specific fish sizes.
Sonar recording, Screen SnapShot, and Freeze Frame are functions this unit comes with. They are extremely useful for a better observation and reexamination of certain fishing spots, structure or fish returns caught by the sonar. Like most other units offered by Humminbird, the 899ci HD SI has Temperature Alarm but also offers the Temperature Graph.
This unit is compatible with 360 Imaging sonar technology, however, a transducer for this type of technology is not included. You can purchase it additionally, though. There is also the upgrade possibility with a 50 kHz transducer for deepwater use, increasing its depth capability up to 3,000 ft (914 m), and its power output to 1,000 Watts (RMS). QuadraBeam Plus sonars are also a viable option for this fish finder.
When it comes to navigational options, this Humminbird unit, there are plenty of possibilities to increase it’s effectiveness. For starters, if has a dual SD card reader, for Navionics Gold and HotMaps, but this unit is also Navionics Platinum capable. NMEA 2000, i-Pilot Link and HD Radar are also supported by this unit, but not included.
What’s Best About This Humminbird Unit
The highest strength on the list for this fish finder is the fact that you will get a medium-sized head unit, including both High Definition SI and DI, at an excellent price, under $1,000. It’s a fish finder with cutting-edge sonar technology, for savvy anglers. Especially Side Imaging is one of the most useful sonar capabilities a fish finder can have. This outstanding piece of sonar technology will help you locate much more fish than standard sonar.
You’ll get plenty of navigational features. Also, in case you want to boost the performance of this unit, there’s quite a variety of options available. You can add 360 Imaging, you can upgrade your maps to Navionics+. NMEA 2000 and Radar 2 are also available options.
The standard transducer that comes with this unit, although it offers excellent Side Imaging and Down Imaging returns, it’s not the HD one. In other words, with the standard transducer, you will benefit from SI and DI, but not in HD mode. However, you can get a considerable discount for the HD transducer, if you don’t open the transducer package when you open this unit’s box, send it back to Humminbird, and ask for an XHS 9 HDSI 180 T transducer model.
One of the major drawbacks of this highly advanced unit is that it doesn’t come with a hard copy of the manual. Learning how each function works may take some time, and a printed copy of the manual can always help when on the water. However, the manual can be found online for free in PDF format. You can upload it to your phone, or print it.
The Humminbird 899ci HD SI Combo is an excellent fish finder and chartplotter, with one of the best quality/price ratios that you can find. The Side Imaging will detect any fish it can reach, with pinpoint accuracy. This way, you will know exactly where to place your bait or lure, and any fishing day will have to offer a much higher number of catches. Plus, it makes a great navigational tool, providing you with state of the art GPS technology, and detailed maps for over 3,000 U.S. lakes.