Lowrance HDS 12 Review

  • By: fishlovers
  • Date: July 15, 2023
  • Time to read: 3 min.

The Lowrance HDS-12 which happens to be one of Lowrance’s top fish finder devices making it a go-to purchase for beginners and professional anglers. It comes with an array of advanced and unique features making this quite pricey device worth every penny. In this article we shall discuss the highlight features of the Lowrance HDS-12.

LOWRANCE HDS-12 Features


 The wide 12-inch display screen, with multi-touch highg resolution imaging. It also comes with buttons on the  side panel if you aren’t a huge fan of touch-screens. The device comes with a pixel matrix of 1280×800 AT 16:9 ratio with WVGA color and TFT LCD, making the split-screen feature much easier to use. 

The LED back-lit optically bound LCD screen makes viewing under bright sunlight a bit easier and clear. The display makes it comfortable to be viewed in a pitch black surrounding or when the sun is at its brightest without much strain to use. The wide display and high resolution make the Lowrance HDS-12 one of the best displays amongst fish finder devices.

The waterproof rating in IP-X7, so the unit should have no problems handling water splashes, heavy rain, and even complete immersion in 3.3ft of water for half an hour.


Lowrance HDS-12 comes with StructureScan/SideScan , DownScan and CHIRP technologies. The HDS12 Gen 3 uses StructureScan HD, which is noted for having remarkable clarity. It can also integrate directly with the DownScan to further enhance images. The 83/200 transducer is used along with to get a 600-feet look surrounding the boat. Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3  does not come with a transducer, needs to be set up separately.

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The StructureScan transducer needs to be installed in order to view underwater structures and landmarks along with the CHIRP technology. The CHIRP sonar covers 83 and 200 kHz while StructureScan operates at 455/800 kHz.  

CHIRP sonar uses multiple frequencies and their interpretations to give a detailed, high-quality image of fishes and other underwater structures, objects, etc.

The maximum depth Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3 can reach is 750ft, but pairing it with a high-quality StructureScan transducer will allow for a full 180° view, which is ideal for ice fishing

The above features along with DownScan enhances the image quality and gives a 180 degree view, helps find the best fishing spots quicker, saving your time.


The base version of Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3 comes with Insight USA maps, with a built-in 10Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver (16 channels) that allows you to pinpoint your current location in addition to measuring the speed of your boat. The device is also compatible with Navionics Gold/Platinum+/NAV+, C-MAP (MAX N and MAX N+) .

The chartplotting function allows you to create up to 3,000 waypoints with 100 routes and 100 trails (10,000 points per trails).  

The Insight Genesis app also enables you to create personal maps of your favorite fishing hotspots and locations.  

It is also equipped to measure the speed of your boat, updates position rapidly , allows access to other maps when connected through WiFi and also has provisions to save your maps via the microSD card that comes with it.


Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3 features Ethernet ports, Bluetooth, a microSD card reader, and the NMEA 2000 port. The internal memory of the unit is 7.8GB with up to 32GB in two microSD card slots. 

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Even though there are numerous overlays and imaging types and mapping features, they all load and work smoothly. Delays are rare and you’ll have no problem moving from one tool to another.



  • Multi-touch screen 
  • CHIRP/broadband sonar 
  • Integrated StructureScan functionality 
  • High-precision GPS 
  • LED backlight 
  • Compatible with numerous maps and charts 
  • Ethernet and Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Dual microSD card slots 
  • NMEA 2000 port


  • Expensive
  • Does not come with a transducer


The Lowrance HDS-12 is a quality fish finder/chartplotter device, the best go-to option if you already have a pre-installed high end transducer or about to purchase a good quality transducer. The advanced GPS features with potent chart plotter, Sonar capabilities, remarkable networking options, preloaded with Maps, compatible with all premium mapping purchases. 

The unit is much faster than Gen2 devices and cuts any potential lag to zero while providing you with crisp high-resolution images. . With Full Boat Integration, you are able to control the boat and all electrical systems right from the fish finder. Although the price might be a bit on the costlier side, it truly is worth every penny for it comes packed with useful unique features.

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