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Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 Review

UPDATED Jul. 2020
Brand: Humminbird
Model: Helix 5
Our Score: 7.9/10
Table Of Contents+
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The Helix series features an assorted lot of fish finders/chartplotters, including a regular model with just a sonar and GPS but also units with Down and Side Imaging. To avoid potential confusion, in this review, we will focus on Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2 (model number: 410210-1).  

This unit comes with a CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS sonar and precision built-in GPS chartplotting capabilities with preloaded Anima cartography as well as target separation of 2.5”. Keep reading this Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 review to learn more about the fish finder itself and whether it is a good fit for you.

Hummingbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 on white background

Pros & Cons

Pros
    • DualBeam Plus sonar  
    • SwitchFire 
    • CHIRP technology 
    • 1,500ft capable transducer
    •  
    • Built-in precision GPS 
    • UniMap charts 
    • AutoChart live 
    • MicroSD slot and NMEA 0183 port 
    • Upgradeable software 
    • Gimbal mount 
Cons
    • Limited GPS capabilities 

Specifications

SpecificationsHumminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2
TypeDown Imaging
SonarDualBeam Plus with SwitchFire
TransducerTransom XNT 9 20 T
Display (size, resolution, backlit, color)5″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, 256 color TFT, with LED backlight
Dimensions7.6 x 4.6 x 3.3" / 19.3 x 11.7 x 8.4 cm
WeightNot Specified
BatteriesLi ion
Depth Capability1,500 feet (457 m)
Frequency200 kHz / 20° & 83 kHz / 60°
Power Output500 Watts (RMS)
Power Input10.8-20 VDC
GPSNo
MapsNo
Routes, Waypoints, TracksNo
WaterproofIPX7
Wi-Fi ConnectivityNo
MicroSD card slotNo

Display/Screen

Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 features an ultra-bright 5” LCD display with a pixel matrix of 800 x 480 and 256 colors. The screen features an LCD backlight, which additionally helps with direct sunlight and during the night. The screen is about as big as a display on your average smartphone and the overall layout is done much better than with some similar Garmin or Lowrance devices. This also allows for a better viewing perspective in the split-screen mode. Helix 5 does not feature the touchscreen technology, so it is operated by a keyboard located on the right side of the screen. 

Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 has an IP-X7 waterproof rating, which means it can handle accidental splashes, heavy rain, and submersion in 3.3ft of water for up to 30 minutes without any negative consequences. However, note that it has not been tested against the entry of solid objects like dirt or dust. The package comes with a gimbal-type mount, but there is also an in-dash mounting option. 

Sonar/Transducer

As already mentioned in this Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 review, the unit comes with a CHIRP sonar, which ensures better target separation and bottom lock but also removes excess clutter and allows for the ping to go deeper. The unit covers 50/83/200 kHz frequencies, but the provided transducer (XNT 9 20 T) cannot hit the lowest ping, so you will need a 50/200 kHz capable transducer in order to utilize the lowest frequencies.  

Hummingbird-Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 behind the sides

The provided transducer uses conical beams with an angle of 60° for 175-225 kHz and 20° for 75-95 kHz. If you upgrade the unit with a more powerful transducer, the low CHIRP frequencies will be modulated between 28-75 and 130-250 kHz. XNT 9 20 T also comes with a temperature sensor and can reach 1,500ft. You can extend the depth capability of the unit to 2,500ft if you upgrade it with a deep-water transducer.  

Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 does not have Down or Side Imaging, just the traditional 2D sonar. Having said that, we are talking about DualBeam Plus that is capable of scanning the water under your vessel with both beams at the same time. Also, the underwater structures and fish arches will be depicted with different colors depending on which beam hits them.   

Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 also provides you with numerous standard sonar functions, including Selective Fish ID+ with 3 fish alarms (large/medium, large, and all fish), sonar recording with rewind function, SwitchFire, Circular Flasher, Bottom Lock, and Real-Time Sonar (RTS).  

Navigation

Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 is one of the most budget-friendly models in the Helix Series, which means it comes with the most basic package when it comes to chart packs. It features the UniMap charts, which means you will have access to inland lakes and rivers as well as the US coastline at 30m per pixel.  

Hummingbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 sideview

The charts include streams, lakes, ocean, and clear boundaries between water and land. However, do not expect any ultra-detailed representations. You also have the option of the so-called “Bird’s Eye View,” which is basically a 3D view of your current location. Bottom line, Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 is an excellent tool for fishers who need basic GPS functionality without anything extra. 

Alternatively, you can upgrade the unit with the LakeMaster (PLUS), Navionics +/Platinum+, and SmartStrike cards. It is also AutoChart Live capable, but only if you equip it with the Navionics or LakeMaster charts chip. You can also use the Zero Lines chip for zero-line contours of most bodies of water in Canada and the US.  

The built-in GPS module offers quick fixes with an accuracy of 2.5m that can be further enhanced by EGNOS, WAAS, and MSAS. It also measures the speed of your vessel and saves up to 2,750 waypoints, 47 routes, and 50 tracks with 50,000 points.  

Networking

When it comes to connectivity options, Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 features a microSD card reader with one slot for sonar recordings, chart upgrades, software updates, and snapshots. Note that Humminbird releases new software updates every couple of months, so make sure your device is always up-to-date. Apart from this, the unit also comes with the NMEA 0183 output.  

What's In The Box

    • Humminbird Helix 5
    • Mounting bracket
    • Installation hardware
    • Transducer
    • Documentation

Humminbird Helix Series Overview

In this Humminbird Helix series overview, you can check out some of the most important features of other models from the series to determine if any of them is a better fit for your needs.

Model
Type
Sonar
Transducer
Display
Price
Humminbird HELIX 12 ReviewHumminbird HELIX 12 Read Review
Type
Down and Side Imaging
Sonar
Dual-Beam Plus and CHIRP
Transducer
Transom XHS 9 HD SI 180 T
Display
12” 16-bit TFT screen, 1280 x 800 pixel matrix , LED Backlight
Price
Helix 10 CHIRP Mega Si GPS G2N reviewHumminbird Helix 10 CHIRP Mega Si GPS G2N Read Review
Type
Down Imaging and Side Imaging
Sonar
MEGA Side Imaging, MEGA Down Imaging, CHIRP Digital Sonar DualBeam Plus
Transducer
Transom XM 9 20 MSI T
Display
10.1″ diagonal, color TFT, 16-bit color range, 1024H x 600V pixel matrix, with LED backlight
Price
Humminbird Helix 9 Si GPS Read Review
Type
Down Imaging and Side Imaging
Sonar
Side Imaging, Down Imaging, DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire
Transducer
Transom XNT 9 SI 180 T
Display
9'' diagonal, 65,000 color TFT, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, with LED backlight
Price
Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP Si GPS G2 ReviewHumminbird Helix 7 CHIRP Si GPS G2 Read Review
Type
Down Imaging and Side Imaging
Sonar
CHIRP DualBeam Plus, CHIRP SI, CHIRP DI
Transducer
Transom XNT 9 SI 180 T
Display
7' diagonal ultra-wide, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, 16-bit color, color TFT, with LED backlight
Price
Hummingbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA-G2-ReviewsHumminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 Read Review
Type
Down Imaging
Sonar
DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire
Transducer
Transom XNT 9 20 T
Display
5″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, 256 color TFT, with LED backlight
Price

Verdict

As already stated in this Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPA G2 review, we are talking about a pretty basic fish finder/chartplotter combo that is, however, one of the best models in its price range. It comes with a DualBeam Plus CHIRP sonar, built-in GPS, UniMap charts, and XNT 9 20 T transducer. On top of this, it also features AutoChart Live and can be upgraded with numerous popular charting options.  

Bottom line, it provides excellent value for the price and should be more than enough for casual inland and even off-shore fishing trips, especially if you pair it with a bit more powerful transducer.   

Our score: 7.9/10