Solix and Helix are currently the top and most popular Humminbird fish finders on the market. Many anglers may not know the difference between the two models, so in this post, we will take a deeper look at both models and their features, so you can determine what one suits you the best.
Humminbird Helix vs. Solix series: Key Differences
The Solix and Helix units are very similar in many functions and features, but the screen design is one area where there is a stark difference.
To keep it short and to the point, Solix models have touchscreen capabilities, while helix versions do not.
This makes the Solix more intuitive when selecting modes and changing settings, but there is also a minor downside, which is really more of an annoyance.
Touching the screen on a regular basis with damp and wet hands that are typical of fishing means that the screen will get smudged quickly, and with the sun glaring on the screen, it can be difficult to see the graph at certain angles.
Both Helix and Solix models have the same exact display sizes, but there are differences in the screen’s actual resolution.
Solix models have a higher screen resolution when compared to the helix models. The Solix has a 1280×800 resolution, while the helix has a 1024×600 pixel resolution.
Screen view customization
A big advantage of the Solix over the Helix is the screen customization option. If you want to put multiple applications on one screen, you have the ability to do so.
While this in and of itself isn’t groundbreaking, as the helix and other Humminbird models can use split-screen to show things like GPS and sonar on the same screen, the Solix allows you to resize the application size.
For instance, you can have the main screen show side imaging, with a quarter of the screen showing the GPS contour map in the top right corner, and the down imaging screen taking up a small portion in another corner, and you can simply use your fingers to resize any screen at any time.
Solix units feature transducers that are fully grounded. The grounding of the transducer cuts back on the noise that comes back with sonar returns. This results in higher quality sonar returns overall.
Helix models do feature transducers that are partially grounded, which still helps quite a bit with the unwanted noise that can accompany otherwise crisp and clear sonar returns.
Humminbird Helix vs. Solix Series: Similarities
As mentioned earlier, both Solix and Helix models have many features that are close to the same or, in many cases, identical. Let’s take a look at the features found on both models.
Down imaging is very similar to the classic sonar we have become familiar with for decades now, but with massive improvements.
Down imaging is extremely clear and features high definition. Tree branches, fish, and rocks are all clear and present, with the ability to even see fish in and amongst a tree limb and branches.
You can even see your lures in many cases, particularly when vertical jigging, as well as see in real-time the fish that is closing in on your presentation.
Side-imaging was a real game-changer when it first appeared in sonar units and has become a feature of sonar units that many anglers simply can’t live without.
Side imaging directs the sonar beams to the sides of the boat instead of the traditional sonar which images directly below the boat in a conical shape, allowing you to see structure, weedlines or even fish to your left and right, as well as down.
This feature is great for mapping out weed lines or any type of structure, which you can then set waypoints to by putting the cursor directly over the object in question, which will automatically be put on your GPS map, making waypoint dropping incredibly efficient.
CHIRP is the standard sonar picture that many anglers who haven’t experienced down imaging are likely to be familiar with.
CHIRP features varying colors indicating weak to solid readings and structure like tree branches looking more like blobs than tree branches in many cases.
CHIRP sonar can still be very effective and even advantageous to use in many cases, and both the Solix and helix units have CHIRP sonar applications.
GPS and Mapping:
Both the Helix and Solix have identical GPS and mapping features and base contour maps.
They can both accept either lakemaster or Navionics aftermarket mapping solutions, and it would be a very wise choice to use these instead of the base contour software, as its base contour mapping is much less accurate.
Popular models: Solix Series
The 10 and 12 models of the Solix depend on the screen size of either 10 or 12 inches. Everything else in terms of features and functions is exactly the same.
Along with the touchscreen features, you get both side-imaging and down-imagining along with full GPS functionality along with the option to use Navionics or Lakemaster map cards.
CHIRP sonar is also included, of course, so if you find yourself in situations where CHIRP is more advantageous to use instead of down-imaging, you have the option.
All Solix units have the touchscreen feature along with the customization features of applications on the screen.
- Interactive UI
- Side-imaging, down-imaging, GPS
Popular models: Helix Series
The Helix 5 CHIRP DI is a smaller-sized helix with a 5-inch screen, making it great for anglers who fish from kayaks or canoes.
It still has many of the great features that Humminbird is known for, such as CHIRP sonar, down-imaging, and GPS.
The Helix 5 can also accept the Lakemaster and Navionics map cards to provide an accurate bathymetric mapping of the bodies of water you are fishing.
- CHIRP sonar
The Helix 7 has a 7-inch screen and features the same as other helix models, with CHIRP, down-imaging, and GPS, but this particular model has another feature added.
The Helix 7 CHIRP MSI features mega side-imaging. Mega side-imaging is the standard side-imaging that you would find on other Humminbird units, but mega side-imaging provides anglers with crisper, clearer, and sharper imaging to help you pick out fine details.
You still get GPS and down-imaging with this model, and you also get the mega down-imaging with this model as well.
- Mega side-imaging
Final thoughts on Humminbird’s Solix and Helix ranges
The Solix and Helix models by Humminbird are similar in some ways and very different in others. The Solix is the top-of-the-line sonar unit offered by Humminbird, and as a result, it has a few more bells and whistles, but both units work very well on the water.