Humminbird is a well-known brand that offers a variety of fish finders and sonar systems. Two of the best Humminbird fish finders are the Helix and Solix. This article aims to compare these two models and highlight their features to help you make an informed decision.
I only considered the Helixes that support the Mega SI Plus in this comparison. This is to ensure that we are comparing apples to apples with regard to features, price range, and the like.
Screen Size and Resolution
Humminbird Solix units come in three sizes: 10-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch. All units include Mega SI Plus and its various features such as DI Plus, DI, CHIRP sonars, mapping, and more.
The Humminbird Helix with Mega SI Plus is supported by 8-inch, 9-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch, giving you many options in the screen size category.
All the Solix units come with a resolution of 1280 by 800. The Helix 12″ and 15″ have the same resolution as the Solix, but the 10″ has a resolution of 1024 by 600, and the 9″ and 8″ have a resolution of 800 by 480. The Solix 10″ has a better resolution compared to the Helix 10″.
Another notable difference between the two models is the display. The Solix series features a touch screen, whereas the Helix series does not. The Solix series allows you to use both the touch screen and the keypad and toggle switch, with the cross touch interface that allows you to fine-tune things quickly and navigate between screens faster.
Both Solix and Helix offer different display options. With Solix, you can use the four-pane feature, which includes chart 2D, side imaging, and down imaging. On the Helix, you can only get the three-pane feature. The Humminbird Helix series allows you to adjust the split position, whereas the Solix series does not. However, the Solix series allows you to navigate through screens quicker.
The Humminbird Helix and Humminbird Solix are fish finders with similar sonar capabilities. Both devices have factory defaults, similar color palettes, and use mega imaging with the same frequencies. The difference between the two devices is that the Solix offers more customization options and has the ability to quickly switch between different frequencies. The imaging quality was found to be very similar between the two fish finders.
Solix units have built-in Wi-Fi while the Helix G3 series does not have built-in Wi-Fi. However, the Helix G4N series does have built-in Wi-Fi, which is an upgrade on the new G4 series.
The joystick located in the middle of Solix is considered to be a quicker navigation than the cursor pad on Helix. The Solix series G2 and G3 have the built-in NMEA 2000 connection, while the Helix 3 series does not. However, the Helix 4 series does have that built-in NMEA 2000 connection.
One of the key differences between the Humminbird Helix and Solix is the way they can be networked. All Solix series (G2 or G3) are networkable without any additional worries. However, to network a Helix unit, it needs to have an “N” at the end (for example, G3N) to make it part of a one-boat network.
The Ethernet adapter cable needed for the Helix units is the AS EC QDE, which allows you to plug in the Ethernet cable to the unit. The Solix series, on the other hand, has a direct Ethernet connection and does not require any additional dongle or adapter cable.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a fish finder is the power draw. The power draw is the amount of power your fish finder requires to operate. The power draw on a Solix 15 is 4.56 amps, the 12 is 2.88 amps, and the tens are 2.4 amps.
The power draw on a Helix 15 is 3.5 amps, the 12s are 1.75 amps, and the tens are 1.2 amps. The storage area of your battery compartment could determine your choice in picking your unit, as in some cases, the Solix 10 has a power draw of 2.4 amps while the Helix 10 has a power draw of 1.2 amps.
When it comes to purchasing a fish finder, one of the factors to consider is the cost. The Helix 8 and Helix 9 are the most budget-friendly options on the list, costing $1,200 and $1,500 respectively.
On the other hand, the Helix 10, Helix 12s, and Helix 15s are comparable in size to their Solix counterparts, with each Solix costing an additional $500. The Helix 10 costs $2,000, the Helix 12 costs $2,500, the Helix 15 costs $3,000, and the corresponding Solix options cost $2,500, $3,000, and $3,500 respectively.
The Humminbird Solix is a squared-shaped device that features a clean and tight appearance when flush-mounted. It is equipped with a knob for zooming, plus and minus buttons, a joystick, and other buttons for navigation and menu options. The touch-sensitive screen is easy to manipulate, and the entire surface is seamless, making it easy to clean. The device also has SD card slots and a power button.
The Humminbird Helix 12, on the other hand, has a rounder body shape and a slightly thicker body. The screen is clean and easy to install, with recessed corners that make it easy to clean and free from water spots and splashes. The zoom-in and zoom-out controls are located on the right side, and the control pad on the left is great for navigating through the menu options. The “View” button allows for easy switching between views, and the “Go To” button and “Mark” button are great for navigation and marking waypoints. The Helix also has three quick-link buttons for frequently used views or menu options, and the SD card slot is located on the left and bottom of the three buttons. The power button is located on the bottom.
Helix vs Solix – Which One Should You Buy
When deciding between the two brands, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
If you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend more than $1,500, the Helix 8 and Helix 9 are excellent options.
However, if you have a higher budget and prefer the touch screen options, the Solix may be the better choice.
For anglers who want to network multiple units, Solix offers a direct Ethernet connection, whereas Helix requires an adapter cable.
On the other hand, Helix units have a lower power draw and can be chosen based on the size of the storage battery compartment.
Ultimately, the choice will come down to the angler’s individual needs and preferences, with Solix being a better option for those who value convenience and speed, and Helix being a better option for those who want a lower power draw and prefer to use a cursor pad for navigation.