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Garmin VS Lowrance

Old 07-06-2014, 07:07 PM
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Default Garmin VS Lowrance

I'm looking for gps/ fish finder combo and my head is spinning. I think I have it narrowed down between the garmin and lowrance. I fish mainly marshes and coastal louisiana from grand isle to Venice. Any one have any suggestions? Mainly looking for gps and depth finder, not really interested in side scan and down scan. Which one has the best mapping software? I generally know where I am going, but sometimes all of the marsh looks the same. I had some people tell me lowrance and others garmin. Just really want some input from those who use them daily. I'm looking for at least a 7" but wouldn't mind having a 10" screen. Any help is appreciated, Also, I'm starting to get into hunting Venice. Does either of these have a integrated radar or have the option to add radar?
Old 07-07-2014, 05:10 AM
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Garmin 741xs, 840xs and 1040xs would all be a good choice especially with the new xHD radar.
Old 07-07-2014, 05:19 AM
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You can get a chip from standard mapping that had the same detail as their printed maps. But only for lowrance. I have the chip in my garmin but for certain areas the detail isn't great.
Old 07-07-2014, 05:23 AM
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Your choice will come down to which brand's interface you like best because they are otherwise equal performers.
Old 07-07-2014, 08:04 AM
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Have a look at Simrad NSS Evo2 as well. This can be considered to be an upgraded Lowrance HDS Touch with the addition of a rotary knob and a different user interface (both are coming from the same company, Navico, and are sharing software platform but not user interface).

NSS Evo2 has a faster processor and an improved fishfinder (CHIRP).

First generation NSS8 which is currently sold with huge discounts is also worth considering.
Old 07-07-2014, 11:52 AM
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What sort of budget are you working within? What brands have you used in the past? Are you a touch screen or a buttons guy?
Old 07-07-2014, 07:37 PM
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You really can't go wrong with either brand. They both support radar. I have two Lowrance units and I am very pleased with my equipment. From what I have heard, Garmin has the better sounder (but Lowrance now offers a chirp unit as well) and Lowrance has the better mapping software (Navionics). They both offer touch units in comparative sizes. It will really come down to price and comfort between brands for you. Either way, both good brands.
Old 07-08-2014, 07:18 AM
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The best thing to do is go to your nearest dealer and play with them and see which one you like navigating through the screens and options the best. They're both (Garmin and Navico products) great units. It will also boil down to how much you want to spend, generally speaking the Lowrance is a little less expensive than the Garmin or Simrad Evo's (talking 7"-9" touch screens) with equivalent features but the HDS Touch's have been out a little longer too allowing them to be sold for a little less, but it's not an inferior product at all. I say go play with each of them and let that help you decide. Then call Gil
Old 07-08-2014, 08:01 AM
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FURUNO and you're not wrong
Old 07-08-2014, 12:14 PM
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Mahimahi99 is right.. Go to your local dealer and find the marine electronics section. Just stand there and demo each one. Don't look at the prices or you might cut one out that would have been your winner.

After you narrow it down then look at prices. Garmin & Lowrance make good units. I see both of them every where. For me Garmin won. I wanted good maps with depth shading, the ability to interact with the unit via wifi and a decent fish fish finder. I went with a echoMap 50dv. The echoMap 70dv with touchscreen was my winner but I couldn't drop 1K on a gadget for a 16ft boat.

Now check the manufacturers sites! Both Lowrance and Garmin had rebates on several different units.
Old 07-08-2014, 12:27 PM
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I have owned both and kick myself for getting rid of my lowrance. Mapping is much better then the garmin along with fish finder in my opinion.
Old 07-08-2014, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. I like the touch screen just didn't know how it would hold up after a couple of years. I'm looking to spend around $1,200-1,500. I think in going to go with lowrance if they have better maps.
Old 07-08-2014, 07:26 PM
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I've had my HDS Touch for going on two seasons now, and I have had no problems with it, but I am pretty anal about keeping it clean during and after every trip. I don't think you'll be disappointed with an HDS Touch unit.
Old 07-09-2014, 08:33 AM
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I installed a Garmin 1040xs at the beginning of the season, and I really like it. As an avid fisherman in the south, I cannot get my mind around the touch screen units. My hands are constantly covered in sunscreen and fish/bait. I can just imagine my FF/GPS being covered in gloop by the end of the day. I prefer the keyed chartplotters.
Old 07-09-2014, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by slimjim7 View Post
I installed a Garmin 1040xs at the beginning of the season, and I really like it. As an avid fisherman in the south, I cannot get my mind around the touch screen units. My hands are constantly covered in sunscreen and fish/bait. I can just imagine my FF/GPS being covered in gloop by the end of the day. I prefer the keyed chartplotters.
I prefer garmin to lowrance as I am more familiar with Garmin. However I must say that it is much easier to clean my touch screen than it was knobs of my previous non-touch screen unit
Old 07-09-2014, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by iFishMD View Post
I prefer garmin to lowrance as I am more familiar with Garmin. However I must say that it is much easier to clean my touch screen than it was knobs of my previous non-touch screen unit
I also found the touch screen was easier to clean than the non-touch screen when it got wet.
Old 07-09-2014, 12:21 PM
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The only people worried about dirty touch screens are those without touch screen experience
Old 07-09-2014, 12:43 PM
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Exactly abbor, it's funny to hear people at the store when we show them the touch screens and hear them say things like "Well if I have water on m,y fingers the screen will go crazy!" not true at all, nor is it a problem if you have fish slime on your fingers, the screens wipe clean with no problem at all!
Old 07-09-2014, 08:21 PM
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Do not forget about the reliability and customer service of the brands. With everything being "equal" (and I question that), these other factors come into play. When I bought my Garmin 1040xs, I was dead set on a new Lowrance. That was until I was told that out of 10 units returned for repair, most were Lowrance. This was a combination of all brands. As for customer service, you can search on here and read all you want about how bad Lowrance's customer service can be. I personally do not have experience with either Lowrance or Garmin customer service, but there plenty of stories about them on here. Just do a search.
Old 07-09-2014, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by FishLife View Post
Do not forget about the reliability and customer service of the brands. With everything being "equal" (and I question that), these other factors come into play. When I bought my Garmin 1040xs, I was dead set on a new Lowrance. That was until I was told that out of 10 units returned for repair, most were Lowrance. This was a combination of all brands. As for customer service, you can search on here and read all you want about how bad Lowrance's customer service can be. I personally do not have experience with either Lowrance or Garmin customer service, but there plenty of stories about them on here. Just do a search.
Well my Garmin 741xs was in for repair within a month of getting it. But all the repair discussions are very subjective on this forum since to really calculate repair return rates - you need to get the data from the big guys -

Defective Units / Sold Units * 100 = defect rate.

And Lowrance does sell a LOT of units... They might even have a slightly higher return rate than Garmin - but I still think we are talking peanuts in difference - if it is 1-3% it is normal. Higher than 3% not super (Then we are at Samsung Rates) - Higher than 6-8% - then we are at ACER levels.

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