Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3 Review

Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3Lowrance has, once again, revolutionized the way we use fish finder gadgets, with their technological breakthrough product HDS12. Lowrance has taken the leap forward and transformed the way we view, receive and process the sonar signal. On top of that, the advanced 12-inch touch screen is a technological wonder by itself that makes all operation options on the device extremely easy and user-friendly with just a single touch of the screen, instead of using the traditional cursor and pressing on various keys only to receive the same results.

The HDS-12 Gen3 combines the best of fishfinder technologies and the latest breakthroughs in navigation into user-friendly multi-touch display screen. The HDS Gen 3 features the state-of-the-art multifunction display with Superior Lowrance Target Separation that generates exceptional views of objects or fish that could be hiding or staying close to the bottom and around the structures, also the Visibly Better Screens that offers superior graphics of the return sonars, more over it features the Obviously Faster Interface that provides extremely fast processor that guarantees fast performance, and at last, the Full Boat Integration and System Control that allows you to have full control over the outboard motor and the boats electronic systems, just with a touch of a button.

The HDS 12 Gen 3 is packed with awesome features, was built with simplicity in mind and is extremely easy to operate. You will be able to easily access all the latest technologies from Lowrance, such as, StructureScan HD, CHIRP sonar, DownScan Overlay with DownScan imaging, Broadband Radar, built in GPS system, dual MicroSD card slots and to top all that, there is the stunning ultra-bright 12 inch size LED-backlit HD multi-touch screen with advanced processor and super-fast touch functioning and at last, built in WIFI connectivity. All these features are at your fingertips in one simplistic display. Feel free to read more and browse through the specs and features of the fantastic Lowrance HDS 12 Gen 3 below.

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Key features

  • 12 inch color LCD LED-backlit multitouch display with 1280×800 screen resolution
  • DownScan Overlay and DownScan Imaging technology
  • Breakthrough CHIRP Sonar along with TrackBack viewpoint
  • View CHIRP Sonar together with StructureScan HD simultaneously
  • Built in GPS antenna with 10Hz
  • Dual MicroSD card slots for additional maps
  • Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity
  • User friendly display operation
  • Multi-View ability in order to view 2 maps at the same time

Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3 What to expect?

  • With the 12 inch size LED-backlit widescreen display, you will be able to easily see all the information you need
  • The touchscreen interface option makes the HDS-12 Gen3 extremely user friendly and you will have easy accessibility to all the advanced features at your fingertips. It also includes the conventional physical buttons.
  • The CHIRP sonar together with StructureScan HD provide advanced fish finder technology, offering you the very best view of the target fish and the structure both underneath and sideways of the boat you are on.
  • Built in WI FI that enables you to use the GoFree App to view and operate your HDS wirelessly using your smartphone or tablet!

Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3 Screen

There is only one thing to say about the screen of this fish finder, you will simply be blown away once you see it. The screen will work flawlessly in any bright conditions. What that means is that the light transmission will make sure you are able to see every detail you need, even in bright sunlight conditions. It is equipped with a large LED backlit screen with incredible detailed resolution that will leave you stunned. These types of advancements undoubtedly result in top quality details with StructureScan usage, a lot more detailed reports of charts, and also the sonar images are delivered in a lot more depth and contrast. By providing you with such an impressive screen, Lawrence has made sure that you will get the most out of your fishing.

Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3 Sonar

With the innovated integrated CHIRP Sonar you will be equipped with increased sensitivity that will offer improved and more effective target resolution so you will be guaranteed to spot clearly and easily bait fish targets. What it does is to deliver multiple CHIRP along with Broadband Sounder frequencies from the transducer. StructureScan HD Imaging offers you a 180-degree view of the target activity and the structure below the boat you are operating. With the advanced Broadband Sounder, you are able to mark baitfish and any structures at greater depths and also at higher boat speeds.

Make use of the StructureMap HD function and take advantage of live records or perhaps previously recorded activity logs to generate spectacular underwater graphics of the surface bottom, or lakes or rivers. Those graphics will be projected on the stunning 12 inch screen. This is done by incorporating the DownScan Overlay technology that simply displays/overlay DownScan Imaging on the CHIRP Sonar, or the BroadBand Sounder. With the TrackBack feature, you are able to scroll-back through sonar or StructureScan HD imaging history that you have saved, in order to analyze underwater structure or to pinpoint any objects or fish targets.

Lowrance HDS-12 Gen3 Mapping and GPS

The HDS-12 Gen3 includes built in GPS antenna providing you with extremely precise position accuracy to ensure top reliability. Out of the box, the HDS-12 Gen3 comes preloaded with charts for coastal and inland US waters. Additionally, the device is compatible with most cartography available today. For example, Insight™ HD, Insight™ PRO, Insight Genesis, Navionics, C-MAP MAX-N+, Insight TOPO just to name a few. The product also works with Insight Genesis that allows you to generate your own special maps or record sonar logs. You can then gather all the recorded data and upload it to an Insight Genesis account. The HDS 12 features 2 micro SD card slots so you can download the data onto the SD card. If you prefer, you can instead of using the SD card option, just make use of the WIFI feature of the unit and easily download maps directly to the device.


  • 12 inch touch-screen multi-touch widescreen LED backlighting display
  • Traditional physical control keys also
  • Built in GPS with 10-Hz position solution rate
  • Ability to view two different digital charts at the same time
  • Two SD cards slots
  • The non-glare feature is significantly superior compared to other devices
  • User-friendly menu and display options allow it to be easily and effortlessly operated by anyone regardless of skill level.


The only negative thing that very few buyers have commented about is their struggle with mapping options, especially the Topo software.

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Final Points

By reviewing the Lowrance HDS 12 Gen3, it’s easy to conclude that this device definitely stands out as one of the most sophisticated fish finder available on the market today. There is no other model out there that offers this kind of screen technology and backlit LED is definitely the absolute best you will see on a fish finder. It is extremely easy to use the HDS 12 and it was designed with simplicity in mind to maximize your fishing experience. Here’s an extremely well designed and powerful piece of device that could do magic for any fish hunters out there.

Also, you can use it as a standalone product because you are in charge of everything as the device can control the main motor and everything else in between with this unit or you can combine it to use with other products, if you prefer so. The Lowrance has now raised the bar of current technology with the development of the HDS-12 Gen 3. It’s got lots of processing power that can process sonar data at an enhanced level. It’s packed with more features than any of its predecessors and with so many technological features, this fish finder is a complete overall winner.