When Lowrance launches a new mid-range unit, it is a big deal. Forums and Facebookgroups light up with questions on the new stuff, differences towards the old stuff and questions on compatibility. As usual, we in Team Colibri will try our best to sort that out, both on a technical level and with a more practical in-your-boat approach.
So here we go, the outgoing Elite Ti2 versus the new and shiny Elite FS. What sets them apart?
|Elite FS versus Elite Ti2|
|Elite FS has cabled ethernet.|
|Modules, StructureScan 3D and SonarHub.|
|New placement of the GPS-receiver.|
|A brand new button right there.|
|Lowrance Elite Ti2 left, HDS Gen 2 Touch right.|
|Comparison of Lowrance screen-resolution.|
As you can see from the comparison, screen-resolution is the same on both the entry-level Hook Reveal, Elite Ti2 and Elite FS. It is worth noting, that this is the same also with the other major brands. In fact, several brands have the same resolution on their top-end units in 7 and 9 as Lowrance uses for the entry-level and mid-range. HDS Live simply has excellent screen-resolution, while Elite FS is following the same line as the competition. Elite FS is by no means "bad", HDS is just "excellent".
With added functionality comes software that supports such functionality. With cabled ethernet comes support for modules, with full NMEA2000 comes support for autopilot. With Elite FS being brand new, it will probably be supported with software-updates the next 2-3 years, while Elite Ti2 has most likely seen its last update.
Networking is a big thing with Elite FS, probably THE biggest difference versus Elite Ti2 for most users.
|Elite FS does it, Elite Ti2 does not.|
For anglers fishing deep, Elite FS now supports up to 1000W (RMS) 2D-transducers. Elite Ti2 was limited to 500W, you could still use popular 1000W-transducers like TM185 and B175 but you could not fire them at full power. With Elite FS, these fantastic transducers can now be used to their full potential for power. What is yet to be explored, is to test if the processing of the 2D-signal on Elite FS has been beefed up as well. With Elite Ti2, there was a noticeable difference in sonar processing for 2D versus HDS, and we are curious to see if that is the case for Elite FS as well. Watch this space for more information on that, as we will be testing Elite FS with several transducers through 2021, also in deep water and with Airmar TM185.
|Airmar TM185HW and Lowrance HST-WSBL.|
In parts of the world where Lowrance uses "proper" preloaded mapping (like in the US), another big difference between Elite Ti2 and Elite FS, is that these preloaded maps have been updated to the latest standard, the same as HDS Live.
Let us start with what has not changed. Active Imaging was one of two big differences between Elite Ti and Elite Ti2 (the second was WIFI-networking of two Ti2s), and the two Active Imaging transducers continue with Elite FS. The "all in one" transducer Active Imaging 3 in 1 (SKU 000-14029-001) will be the go-to transducer for most users of Elite FS, just like it was for Elite Ti2. For users wanting to combine a shoot-through like PD-WBL (SKU 000-0106-73), Active Imaging 2 in 1 and a Y-cable will still be a very good choice. (More on the difference between those transducers in THIS article).
But with support for 1000W and modules, we will probably see users going all the way on StructureScan using StructureScan 3D (module and transducer) for the best range possible, especially the guys fishing saltwater as SS 3D "punches" through saltwater better than Active Imaging does with better practical range and more detail, both for SideScan and DownScan. Anyone regularly fishing deeper than 40-ish meters will benefit from SS 3D and Airmar versus the classic AI 3 in 1.
While it is nice to see Lowrance open up their middle-range for anglers venturing into open water, what everyone is looking for is aimed more towards the shallow-water angler, ActiveTarget.
|ActiveTarget and Elite FS in forward view.|
For the first time in Lowrance-history, they now have a high-resolution live-sonar to offer their customers, and Elite FS supports it. (Elite Ti/ Ti2 does not.) ActiveTarget has three types of view, here is a brief look at the three:
|ActiveTarget Forward view|
|ActiveTarget Down view|
|ActiveTarget Scout view|
ActiveTarget can also provide simple 2D at 200kHz and downscan (at unknown frequenzy), but while it can provide that you should expect that similar functionality from 83/200-HDI will be better.
While sonar-nerds will probably debate the difference between Garmin LiveScope (LVS32) and ActiveTarget, we will keep it simple and claim that they do the same. From what we have seen so far, the difference between the two are so small that they are merely for theoretical discussion. Indeed well played by Lowrance, but they are a couple of years behind Garmin in this game, and a "Gen 2 LiveScope" can again tip the scale in favor of Garmin. That is the joy of fierce competition.
To sum it up.
- You want ActiveTarget.
- You want (or have) an autopilot for your outboard.
- You want (or have) a 1000W 2D-transducer.
Looking for more "VS-articles"?