In this post, we’re going to compare the Simrad GO5 XSE 000-12675-001 and the Lowrance Elite-5 Ti 000-12423-001; both these part number systems include the TotalScan transducer, so they have pretty similar fish finding capabilities. However, there still are several differences between the two fish finder and chartplotter systems, so we’re going to try to cover as many of them as possible here.
Simrad GO5 XSE – Short Description
Simrad GO5 XSE is a touchscreen unit, featuring a WVGA color TFT display, 5-inch in diagonal and with a pixel resolution of 800H x 480V and LED backlight. It has a built-in Wi-Fi module, which makes it easy to connect to GoFree cloud services in order to upgrade charts, download charts, and benefit from many other features. It also has Simrad SonicHub®2 & Bluetooth® Audio Integration.
This Simrad fish finder unit packs quite a few superior types of sonar, including StructureScan (SideScan, DownScan, ForwardScan) and 2D broadband CHIRP sonar. As we’ve mentioned above, the unit comes with the TotalScan transducer, which allows you to use the 2D broadband CHIRP sonar, DownScan, and SideScan. In order to use the ForwardScan feature, you’ll need a different transducer. With the included transducer, the unit can use a CHIRP frequency range of ~83 kHz for Mid CHIRP and ~200 kHz for High CHIRP, while for StructureScan (DownScan and SideScan) two frequencies are available, these being 455/800 kHz.
The unit has an impressive range of navigation features. To begin with, it integrates a 10 Hz GPS receiver and comes with a base version of Insight charts, which are slightly better than the Lowrance BaseMaps, as they offer a little bit more detail than just the land-water boundaries. It offers NMEA 2000 Engine Monitoring and Instrumentation, Cruise Charting View, TripIntel technology… Read Full Review.
Lowrance Elite-5 Ti – Short Description
As opposed to the older Elite-5 units, the Lowrance Elite-5 Ti is a touchscreen unit. However, it does have several keys on the right side, unlike the Simrad GO5 XSE which has an interface just like a tablet. Its display is WVGA color TFT, features an 800 x 480 pixel matrix layout, with a 16:9 aspect ratio and LED backlight. It has one microSD card slot, NMEA 0183 connectivity, and also has a built-in Wi-Fi module that allows you to connect to GoFree services.
The unit’s sonar capabilities are basically the same as for the Simrad unit, but without the ForwardScan capability. It has StructureScan and 2D broadband CHIRP sonar, and the included TotalScan transducer makes available the broadband CHIRP sonar, SideScan, and DownScan. The available frequencies are 83/200 kHz for the 2D sonar, or Mid/High CHIRP, while for StructureScan (DownScan/SideScan) the system can use 455/800 kHz.
When it comes to navigation, this Lowrance unit also features a 10 Hz internal GPS and has an enhanced version of the Lowrance Basemaps, which is quite a bit better than the old basic charts. These provide a bit more detail than just the boundaries between the water and land. But nonetheless, the unit is capable of using various other charts from Navionics and C-MAP… Read Full Review.
Sonar. Although both units come with the same transducer, the TotalScan model, which makes available 2D CHIRP (High/Mid), DownScan and SideScan, only the Simrad model is capable of ForwardScan. However, keep in mind that in order to use this type of sonar technology you will need a ForwardScan capable transducer. The included TotalScan transducer doesn’t support ForwardScan.
Charts. Both units come with a version of basemap charts. However, the Simrad Basemaps seem to be a bit better and clearer than the improved Lowrance Basemap charts. The pics below should help you make a better idea about them.
Navigation functions. The Simrad GO5 XSE offers several navigation features that the Elite-5 Ti doesn’t have. The most important ones are TripIntel and Cruise Charting View. TripIntel gives you the possibility to plan safe and enjoyable trips, along with making smart decisions regarding fuel consumption, future tide levels, etc. Cruise Charting View brings together crucial navigation data and charts in one easily readable display allowing you to edit on-screen data items.
AIS capability. An AIS unit connected to your fish finder unit via NMEA can offer data regarding close-by or approaching vessels. Only the Simrad GO5 XSE supports AIS units, the Elite-5 Ti doesn’t. If you want a similar unit that supports AIS, you’ll have to go with the Elite-7 Ti.
Weather data. The Simrad unit includes weather functionality that allows you to view forecast data overlaid on the chart. This helps to gain a clear understanding of the weather conditions that are likely to appear. The system supports weather data in GRIB format, available for download from various weather service suppliers. The Elite unit doesn’t have this feature.
Sonic Hub 2 and Audio Integration. The Simrad unit gives you the possibility to stream music from Bluetooth devices, play MP3 files from a USB flash drive, or listen to the SonicHub 2’s built-in AM/FM radio. The Elite-5 Ti unit doesn’t offer this feature.
NMEA 2000 vs NMEA 0183. Both units have two connectors on the back, one for the transducer and one for power/NMEA. The Simrad unit has an NMEA 2000 connector, while the Elite-5 Ti has an NMEA 0183 connector.
MicroSD card reader location. Both units have a microSD card reader unit for chart upgrades, software updates, etc. However, the location of the card slot is different. For the Simrad unit, it is on the back, while for the Lowrance unit is on the front, under the rubberized Lowrance logo.
Side by Side Comparison
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According to our analysis, the Simrad GO5 XSE is a better unit, as it offers a few extra features. But nonetheless, the Elite-5 Ti is also quite a capable and versatile unit. They essentially have the same sonar and chart capabilities, so if you’re not interested in the extra features that the Simrad unit has, the Elite-5 Ti is also a good choice. Their price is similar, ranging between $500 and $600, depending on the retailer.