Simrad NSX review

I HAVE been using Simrad, more specifically the NSS range in my boats since 2015. Now, I’m certainly no tech guru but I have always found the Simrad gear extremely user friendly. I feel like even the most inexperienced user could navigate their way through settings and use the unit on full auto and be more than happy with the performance of the unit.

Recently, I installed the new NSX unit in my centre console. The unit would be replacing an older NSSevo2 that was in the boat when I purchased it and would be dash mounted next to a new model NSSevo3s, which I thought would be great test for the unit as I really like my evo3s and has been faultless to date. When I initially received the new unit, I was concerned with the fact that it was a full touch screen. Fishing predominantly offshore in a centre console has taught me that touch screens are not always the best option. Wet hands often cause the unit to not respond as well as it should. The use of additional buttons and dials are generally the best options when battling the elements. In saying this, I have been pleasantly surprised with the NSX. I’ve found the new unit’s touch screen far more responsive and far less effected by water when using controls and scrolling through menus. In my opinion, one downfall is that the NSX and the NSSevo3s are not currently compatible. The positive behind this, however, is that as each unit works independently if there was a problem with one unit on a trip or somewhere remote there is no way it can impact the other unit. Navico has assured me that in future software upgrades the two units will be compatible and, in the meantime I can easily transfer marks via SD card.

I will often jump in my boat before a trip to the Barrier Reef, turn my units on and search the areas I’m looking at fishing on my relief shaded C-Map charts to find any likely looking ridges or lumps that might hold fish. Doing this on my new NSX unit before my latest trip I couldn’t help but be amazed by the lightning-fast processor in the new unit. I could easily drag my screen around and thoroughly search over the reefs off Queensland’s Central Coast. I actually felt more like I was using a tablet rather than a sounder. I’ve also found this really handy navigating through narrow channels at night or in low light conditions, the chart updates so quickly I feel like I’m right on top of my boat’s location at all times. I’m running the C-MAP Reveal X card in my NSX and the detail is the best I have ever seen. It features the most in-depth high-res bathymetry down to a one-foot level of detail and has custom depth shading. If you are anything like me and love to get away to reefy locations in Central or Northern Queensland, this card is absolutely priceless. The C MAP Reveal X has been recreated for the NSX platform. When data is updated, it is a seamless update. This means only the area data is updated, not a complete map update which is a much smaller file.

The chart also has auto routing. When navigating towards a waypoint the unit will auto route you to avoid any hazards that might be in the area. The NSX is also compatible with pulse compression Halo dome radars and Simrad auto pilots.

In my eyes, one of the NSX’s best features is that it comes standard with an active imaging 3in1 transducer. This is a massive stand out feature as very few high-quality units come with a transducer. Even though the NSX comes with the active imaging 3in1 transducer it still has a 1kw output and suits a wide range of 1kw transducers. This fact alone makes this unit extremely attractive to a boaty of any level. I run my unit with the active imaging 3in1 transducer and with the drag and drop screen customisation I can easily run a screen set up that suits my application at the time. I usually split my screen into three, with the top half of the screen split into two halves with a down scan on one side and either a chart or a standard sonar screen on the other side. I run the chart screen and have zoomed right in tight when looking for fish and working an area. I run the bottom half as a left and right SideScan and with this display setup I feel like I am seeing everything in casting distance around my boat. A feature I would like to see that could help to improve the unit when side scanning, is to be able to touch on a fish or some form of structure and be able to zoom in on that item. The NSX has an activity bar down the right-hand side of the screen which shows the recently used screens this allows you to switch applications instantly, this is one very cool feature!

In summary, the NSX has a clean and sleek appearance and would fit perfectly in the dash of any vessel. Although, not the cheapest chart plotter/sounder on the market, this unit is at a great price point and suits a novice or the most experienced ocean goer. In my opinion, the NSX is a worthy investment that not only comes with great features but also boasts Simrad’s legendary reputation for reliability.

NSX Features

* Built in GPS aerial

* Compatibility with a range of radars and auto pilot systems

* Active imaging 3in1 transducer with high resolution images to 300 feet below and 300 feet either side of your vessel

* 1kw output

* Simrad’s fastest ever auto routing

* Recreated C MAP card to NSX’s android technology

* SolarMAX IPS touch screen, which is viewable from any angle even in direct sunlight and through polarised lenses

* Easy to use set up wizard with app integration

NSX Pros

* Lightning fast processor speed

* Highly responsive touch screen

* Activity bar down side of screen to easily change between applications

* Sleek and clean appearance

* Active imaging 3in1 transducer included

* SD card and chart card port located out of weather especially when dash mounted

NSX Cons

* Not compatible with other Simrad models (as aforementioned, this will be rectified in future software updates).

* Unable to zoom in on items whilst side scanning.

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