Review: Lowrance HDS-9 Gen 3

By: Jack Murphy

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

The Trade-a-Boat crew try out a new Lowrance HDS fish finder / GPS combo unit — although there's so much more to this marine electronics unit than meets the eye.


  • Users can create, upload and share contour maps from their personal sonar readings, using Insight Genesis.


  • Gen 3 features a range of improvements over Gen 2, including a faster processor, integrated touch and button, dual SD card slots, and much more.


  • Lowrance Gen 3 price starts from $2199 RRP for a HDS-7 inch unit.


Lowrance HDS Gen 3 fish finder

New Lowrance HDS Gen 3 marine electronics feature a raft of improvements and upgrades over Lowrance HDS Gen 2. Upgrading a Gen 2 unit to Gen 3 is easy; pretty much just unscrew the unit, plug in the new Lowrance Gen 3, and screw it back in.


New features

The Lowrance HDS Gen 3 fish finder and GPS combo has numerous improvements over HDS Gen 2. Available in HDS-7, HDS-9 and HDS-12 units (7, 9 and 12-inch models respectively), it comes standard with Lowrance StructureScanHD and DownScan Imaging fish finder capability.

The touch functionality and button have been integrated into the one unit, and the Gen 3 now has a faster processor than its predecessor Gen 2. Pinch-to-zoom is integrated into the new unit, and overall operation is more responsive, meaning easier navigation.

Another improvement is an upgraded display. The Lowrance HDS Gen 3 now has an LED backlight built into the back of the display screen, improving vision in direct sunlight. It also has a 10Hz GPS receiver built into the unit (the Gen 2 had an 8Hz unit) and you can simultaneously operate CHIRP sonar and StructureScan.

The HDS Gen 3 now has a dual SD card slot, which means you can run two cartography cards at the same time. For example, you could run Navionics or C-MAP or Insight Genesis (see below) side-by-side.

Lowrance HDS Gen 3 is readily compatible with Lowrance NMEA2000-compatible devices including Lowrance Broadband Radar, VHF, SonicHub, the recently released Lowrance SmartSteer autopilot, and more. All devices are readily compatible and can be operated from the screen.

Yet another feature built into Lowrance Elite and HDS sounders is sonar TrackBack. This allows the user to cycle back through sonar history, find a spot, and save it as a waypoint.


What is Insight Genesis?

Insight Genesis is a feature from Navico, the parent company behind Lowrance, Simrad and B&G marine electronics.

Insight Genesis is a map creation tool that allows users to create maps based from personal sonar readings. Lowrance says Insight Genesis now supports the use of sonar recordings in High Chirp mode, in addition to the existing support for 200 kHz sounder logs – eliminating the need to switch sonar recording formats to generate custom maps.

Navigating and charting options can be enhanced on a PC and users can publicly share collected data using Insight Genesis Social Map. Community-uploaded contour data maps and charts can be searched and downloaded for personal use.


Lowrance HDS Gen 3 Price

  • Lowrance HDS-7 Gen 3 price: $2199
  • Lowrance HDS-9 Gen 3 price: $3299
  • Lowrance HDS-12 Gen 3 price: $4499


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