Helix Versus Solix – Battle Of The Humminbird Sonar Fish Finders

Serious anglers might already be familiar with Humminbird - their sonar fish-finding devices are some of the most popular on the market.

Since their early days as Techsonic Industries circa 1971, they have refined and developed their technology with the latest and greatest innovations.

Launching in 2015 and 2017, respectively, their Helix and Solix series of products have proved especially popular amongst anglers worldwide.

While they might look similar, the two ranges differ in some subtle and more significant ways, which might impact which one is right for you.

Allow us to guide you through those distinctions, as well as review some of their bestsellers and help you figure out which one to invest in.

Let’s get started, so you can head out and cast a line sooner rather than later.

At A Glance - Quick Comparison Chart

Helix 12 Chirp MEGA SI+ GPS G4N

Helix 15 Chirp MEGA SI+ GPS G4N

Solix 10 Chirp Mega SI+ G3

Solix 12 Chirp MEGA SI+ G3

Size (inches)

12.1”

15.5”

10.1”

12.1”

Resolution

HD (1280X800)

HD(1024x600)

HD(1280x800)

HD (1280x800)

GPS

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Side Imaging (SI)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Down Imaging (DI)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

FullTransducerGrounding

No

No

Yes

Yes

Touch Screen

No

No

Yes

Yes

Key Pad

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Screen View

Fixed

Fixed

Custom

Custom

Network Connectivity

Optional

Optional

Yes

Yes

SAR HawkCompatible

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Key Differences - Is Solix Better Than Helix?

Screen

First things first, the Helix line automatically finishes in second place when it comes to customizing your screen’s layout. Unlike Solix, all of the models’ screens are fixed and can’t be amended to your preferences.

On any Solix you pick up, however, you can choose whether mapping or sonar data is displayed most prominently on the screen and in what combination. Down, Side or 360, it’s entirely up to you - even dictate the size of each window to suit you. 

As seen in the table, you can find products from both lines in similar sizes, from 10 to 15 inches; the display quality on Solix models is slightly better. Most Helix devices are 1024x600 pixels, just pipped by their 1280x800 pixel screens.

Similarly, the Helix range is controlled solely by a keypad, while all Solix devices are equipped with intuitive touch screen capability. It’s not too big of a deal, but if you like being able to adjust the display with a swipe of your finger, it’s a handy addition.

Imaging

As evidenced by the table, all Humminbird devices are capable of Down Imaging - this is implemented across all of their products, given the technology is quite old in the angling world.

That said, only newer Helix models and all of the Solix lineup are capable of Side Imaging as well - if the product is listed as SI+, then it can perform Side and Down Imaging without any fuss.

Some of the fancier Solix models can provide what’s known as 360 imaging, providing a complete view of your surroundings that’s incredibly valuable to anglers who utilize sonar.

Grounding

Although all Humminbird finders are grounded to an extent, only the Solix transducers are fully grounded. This additional protection prevents unpleasant signal noises, as well as providing sonar images that are of better quality and higher clarity.

A Closer Look - Models From Each Range

OUR TOP PICK

Pros:

  • Integrates with Minn Kota motors/Cannon Optimum Downriggers for simplistic connection and unlocking additional features
  • Includes charts for 10,000+ lakes and continental US coast all as part of your purchase
  • Wired and Wireless connection via Bluetooth and Ethernet to suit you
  • Mega Side Imaging, Mega Down Imaging = coverage up to 200 ft below the surface, below and either side of the boat

Cons:

  • It does not have a touch screen
  • Not HDMI compatible

After a total overhaul of their existing Helix 12 design, this bad boy is now equipped with Mega SI and DI for the ultimate widescreen sonar exploration. Boasting crystal clear images, Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, and AutoChart Live maps of your fishing spots, you’ll be the envy of every angler. You’ll also find all the usual Humminbird features as standard, from Wifi connection to internal GPS.

EDITORS CHOICE

Pros:

  • Mega SI+ and DI+ as well as MEGA 360 imaging for the fullest view possible
  • Ethernet, WI-FI, Bluetooth, and Dual MicroSD for ultimate connectivity
  • Soft-touch keys to easily navigate through different screens
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP Sonar with highly detailed views, including a wide and narrow mode

Cons:

  • It does not have a touchscreen
  • Not HDMI compatible

Wielding an almighty 15.4-inch display, that’s not the only thing MEGA about the Helix 15 reimagined. Also, rocking MEGA SI+, DI+, and Dual Spectrum CHIRP, it’s an impressive product due for release soon (how soon we don’t know)  and could be worth the wait if you decide to hold off on purchasing. It’s equipped with everything the HELIX G4N’s can do, plus One-Boat Network compatibility. 

BEST VALUE

Pros:

  • Cross touch interface and soft-touch key buttons for a versatile navigation
  • High definition display shows your images with impressive clarity
  • Wireless integration via WIFI and Bluetooth for hands-free use
  • The brand new dual-core processor allows you to work more efficiently, thanks to an incredibly responsive user interface

Cons:

  • Smaller than other devices

By uniting the very best in technology (like MEGA Side, Down, and Wide Imaging) with an ultra-clear Cross Touch display, you can fully customize to your heart’s content on the Solix 10 Mega G3. Generously sized with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, get multiple technologies in one go, using a convenient sidebar menu to access whatever you want quickly.

RUNNER UP

Pros:

  • High definition 1280x800 pixel Cross Touch display, plus buttons so you can touch or press depending on preference.
  • Ethernet networking, i-PILOT link, WIFI and NMEA 2000, as well as Bluetooth - all of the connections you could want
  • Fusion Radio capabilities - control your stereo and volume via the device - zone dependant.
  • Customize your screen via an intuitive interface and combination menus all your own for the ultimate personalized experience.

Cons:

  • On the very expensive side

Like its slightly smaller sibling, the new Solix 12 is a fantastic combination of the very best in cutting-edge fish finding tech and ease of access. Bigger and better, this model is two inches bigger, so that ultra-clear Cross Touch display gets to shine, and you can stretch out your windows as big or as small or as you like. With all the features you’d expect from a Humminbird device and more, it might be a pricy investment, but for pro anglers, it’s certainly worthwhile.

Conclusion - Which Should I Go For?

You may have noticed this, but most differences between the Helix and Solix ranges are quite superficial. Touch screens, higher resolution, and full transducer grounding are all well and good but not entirely necessary.

What we mean by that is, you’d probably be happy with a product from the Helix lineup if you’ve never tried sonar before or when you’re not looking for 4K Ultra Imaging and a display to rival your TV at home.

Upgrading to a Solix is nice if you can afford it, and those subtle differences and slightly larger improvements (depending on which model you opt for) will certainly improve the overall quality of your fishing experience.

That being said, t probably won’t revolutionize your whole life. So don’t beat yourself up if a Helix is the best you can do for now. Either way, you’re guaranteed a well-made, reliable product you’ll be pleased you picked up.