Humminbird 597ci HD DI Review

  • Display
  • Sonar
  • GPS
  • Ease of use
  • Price

The Humminbird 597ci HD DI is one of Humminbird’s premier products, a fishfinder marketed as one of the best in its class due to a high resolution colour display, excellent GPS tracker abilities, good usability and the latest features from the Humminbird brand, including Downscan Imaging. Its abilities are impressive, making it one of the best units currently available in the fish finder market.


Humminbird 597ci HD DI ReviewThe Screen

The 597ci HD DI comes per standard with a 5-inch screen which is right in-line with similar units. Where it makes a crucial difference though is the screen resolution. Similar units tend to have a resolution of 480 x 480 pixels. The 597ci HD DI manages to have one of 640 x 640, which makes the detail available so much finer to the yeye.

The colour palette available is also excellent, with the screen showing 256 colours which allows for easy distinguishing between the features located below you in the body of water. As noted by several user testimonials, the units ability to distinguish between structures, objects and fish makes the screen light up, often providing you as an angler with several objectives to look at whilst not being distracting.

The unit is also split-screen, with one side potentially being dedicated to traditional 2D sonar readings whilst the other is dedicated to the DownScan Imaging capabilities. Both are crystal clear on the screen and either one can be easily enhanced to truly show off the capabilities of this unit.

The Sonar

Humminbird 597ci HD DI sonarThe sonar capabilities of the unit are also impressive. The sonar frequency runs at 200kHz which is excellent for shallow to medium depth fishing, with the unit returning clear, detailed information for both catches and structures. The unit operates at both 20 and 60 degrees, allowing you for to cover a wide area of water below you.

The unit also runs at 455-800kHz for Downscan Imaging and this is a feature increasingly implemented onto higher-end fish finder units. Downscan Imaging allows you to take snapshots of the water as you are travelling along, slowly building piece by piece a window into the world beneath your feet which you can then utilise to identify key features, species of fish as well as depth readings when combined with the traditional sonar.

The unit also has Fish ID+ which utilises the sonar capabilities found on the device to ascertain the relative size of the fish. This is read and then shown on screen via one of three symbols associated with fish size, allowing you to decide whether the catch below you is worth your time or not.

Treuarch technology is also present which reduces the interference when reading sonar, once again leading to more accurate, less exaggerated fish readings.


Internal GPS Locator

Humminbird 597ci HD down imagingThe GPS locater is incredibly accurate and can be used in conjunction with several other features to ensure that you get immediate results. Built into the unit to be less intrusive, the locater is generally powerful enough to suit most of your fishing needs, although perhaps a slightly larger antenna would have been beneficial in reducing load times when zooming in and out of maps.

One of these features for example is the internal Humminbird Uni Maps that come with the unit that allow you to log some key spots for fish within bodies of water you have already located. This saves you valuable time and once a previous destination is reached an alarm sounds to inform you of your arrival, which is incredibly beneficial.

Waypoint Tracker

This feature can be used in conjunction with the built in maps to plot a detailed journey through waters you visit. It allows you to have up to 50 routes saved at anytime with up to 2,000 waypoints available for selection in each route, ensuring that you make the correct journey every time. You can also utilise the device to plot 20,000 points for you to aid your travels further.

Other Usability Features

The device is relatively compact and has a weighty, chunky feel that is reassuring. The built quality is also excellent, with the unit being completely waterproof. As per standard, it comes with a quick swivel bracket that can easily be installed upon your boat console and this also features a quick detach feature for when you need immediate results. Viewing the screen from most angles is also incredibly easy due to the great resolution and general image quality.


  • The 597ci HD DI is an incredibly well rounded piece of kit for the price with a lot of features present usually being found on much higher end units
  • Excellent dual band sonar and 2D imaging
  • Good GPS
  • Excellent screen with a crisp, clear resolution
  • Improved Downscan Imaging features
  • Good waypoint markers


  • Whilst seemingly less of an issue in more recent years, this has been noted as one of Humminbird’s more temperamental units with infrequent issues
  • When at a standstill the sonar can take a while to adjust, giving inaccurate readings initially



The Humminbird 597ci HD DI is an excellent piece of kit and is well worth considering If you are looking for an adaptable, functional fish finder with great screen resolution and excellent sonar qualities. It features many specifications found on higher end products and whilst a little faulty in parts, it is still a good product. I hope you found this Humminbird 597ci HD DI review useful.