Coverage & Depth
40° @ 83 kHz
20° @ 200 kHz 240 ft.
GPS: N/A Mapping: N/A
Although the Vexilar SP200 has been around for more than a few years, it’s still available at the moment, and still one of the best basic fish finders. Similar to the Garmin Striker Cast, it does not include a head unit. Instead, it uses your smartphone or tablet to display the sonar data.
Key Features and Specifications
- App: SonarPhone
- Sonar: Dual-beam
- Frequency and Coverage:
40° @ 83 kHz
20° @ 200 kHz
- Depth Capability: 240 ft. (73 m)
- Transducer: Dual-beam, SPTB01
- Broadcasting range: 300 ft. (91 m)
- GPS: N/A
- Mapping: N/A
T-Box unit and transducer construction
The Vexilar SP200 T-Box fish finder includes a small sonar black box (the T-Box), and a standard dual-beam transducer. These are pretty much all the items included. The T-Box features two connectors, one for the included transducer, the other for the battery. A battery is not included with it, though. It requires a 12-volt battery or power source to function. It also has an On/Off switch and LED light that will flash intermittently when the box broadcasts WiFi signal.
Both the T-Box unit and the transducer feature casings made of durable thermoplastic material. Both require permanent installation. The casing of the T-Box unit has several side screw holes which allow you to mount it on a boat. The transducer comes with a transom mount which also needs to be installed on the boat’s hull.
The transducer has 25 ft. (7.6 m) of cable. It has an internal temperature sensor and the SonarPhone app can indicate the water temperature at the transducer level. The transducer can also be mounted in-hull, but this way it won’t show the water temperature. Also, Vexilar strongly recommends mounting the transducer on the boat’s transom via the included mount, so that it can provide the best sonar returns. If mounted in-hull, it may not work at its full potential.
The app required to sync your T-Box with your smartphone is called SonarPhone by Vexilar and is available for both Android and iOS devices. You can download it for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. It includes 17 language options: English, Spanish, German, Polish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, Russian, Italian, Czech, Danish, French, Swedish, and Greek.
The app’s interface is very easy to use. It comes with a set of digital buttons that emulate the interface of a standard fish finder head unit. It has navigation arrow buttons (up, down, left, right), a zoom button, a beam selection button, a menu button, a sonar pause button, and an escape button.
It’s important to mention, though, that the T-Box unit creates a WiFi hotspot. Once you connect your phone to this WiFi hotspot, you won’t be able to use the internet on your phone for as long as you’re connected to it. But on the other hand, the signal is slightly better than for other similar fish finders that use the Bluetooth connection.
The broadcasting range of the T-Box sonar unit is approx. 300 ft. (91 m). This being said, as long as your phone is within this range, it should be able to pick up the sonar date from the T-Box unit.
Sonar features and functions
First of all, the T-Box offers dual-beam sonar and uses two frequencies: 83 kHz and 200 kHz. The transducer uses conical beams with a coverage of 20° @ 200 kHz, and 40° @ 83 kHz. The maximum depth range can be achieved with the 83 kHz beam and it is approx. 240 ft. (73 m). The sonar is a single-pulse type; it does not have CHIRP technology.
The SonarPhone app makes available quite an impressive range of sonar features and functions. The sonar window provides several readings, including depth, gain level, depth scale, water temperature, and the selected beam angle.
In terms of sonar features, the app offers quite a few. To begin with, it has a Fish Icon function similar to the Selected Fish ID+ available with Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2. This replaces the fish arch echoes with fish icons which makes them easier to distinguish. There are three sizes for the fish icons which give you an idea of the side of the detected fish. The Fish Icon function also shows the depth of each fish next to it; this feature can be disabled.
Another function is Real-Time sonar. This appears as a vertical flasher on the right of the standard sonar view. It indicates the most recent sonar echo or differently put, what is in the sonar cone at the current moment. However, it’s important to mention that, unlike the Deeper app, the SonarPhone app does not offer a circular flasher mode for ice fishing.
A Fish Alarm and a Depth Alarm are also available. The Fish Alarm can be configured to sound for different sizes of fish. The Depth alarm can be set in a range of 1 – 99 ft. The manual recommends not to use it for shallow water navigation, though. Other notable features and readings are Split Zoom, Bottom Lock, Noise Rejection, Surface Clarity, Battery Indicator, Auto Depth Range, Sonar Speed, and more.
- Includes both sonar box and transducer;
- Transom mount for the transducer;
- The transducer can also be used in-hull;
- Temperature sensor built-in transducer;
- Free SonarPhone app;
- Easy to use interface on the app;
- WiFi connection (slightly better than Bluetooth);
- Dual-beam sonar (83/200 kHz);
- Excellent depth range (240 ft.);
- Excellent WiFi broadcasting range (300 ft.);
- Fish Icons, A-Scope, Split Zoom, Bottom Lock, Auto Gain, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm, Noise Rejection, Surface Clarity, Auto Depth Range, and more.
- You can’t use the internet (or the GPS) on your phone once you connect it to the WiFi of the T-Box sonar;
- A battery is not included (12 V battery required);
- No Circular Flasher function.
The Vexilar SP200 T-Box Smart Sonar includes a small sonar box and a dual-beam transom transducer. It uses your smartphone or tablet as the receiver for the sonar data, via the free SonarPhone app. It offers dual-beam (83/200 kHz), with a max. depth range of 240 ft. It has a fairly decent range of standard sonar features including Fish Icons, A-Scope, Bottom Lock, Split-Zoom, Auto Gain, Depth and Fish Alarms, Surface Clarity, and more. In all, it’s an affordable fish finder, great for small boats or kayaks.