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What is the difference between Lowrance Elite Ti and Elite Ti2?

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  • What is the difference between Lowrance Elite Ti and Elite Ti2?

    Here we go again. The old model (Elite Ti) is on sale, and Facebook and forums light up with questions on what sets the old and the new (Elite Ti2) apart. Here we will try to answer that, first from a technical viewpoint and then with relevance to on-water usage.

    They look the same, but are they?
    We in Team Colibri are all a bit nerdy, so technical differences are right up our alley. What those technical differences can mean to the average angler out on the water is however a much more subjective question, and one that you have to answer yourself. However, by looking at the technical stuff, we can at least try to point out what those technical differences could mean for that average angler.

    Units - hardware.

    If we start by looking at the hardware of the units themselves, there really is very few differences. Elite Ti2 comes in 7/ 9/ 12, while Elite Ti was available in 5/ 7 /9 /12. Scrapping the 5 was from our viewpoint the reasonable thing to do, with modern widescreen-type units a 5 is simply not large enough to justify the features of the Ti-series. Add to this that the Elite 5 Ti had no NMEA2000, something the larger units had, and the 5 just looked out of place in the whole series.

    Housing and screen is exactly the same, and for those who have followed Lowrance for a while this is again the same screen as on the older HDS Gen 2 Touch, a first-generation touchscreen.

    Elite Ti on the left, HDS Gen 2 Touch on the right.
    On this subject, having a touchscreen in this price range is a big plus - just don`t expect the same crispiness as on the top end HDS Live. Screen-resolution is the same on Elite Ti and Elite Ti2, here compared to that of HDS Live:
    Screen-resolution
    Elite Ti/ Ti2 pretty much follows what must be seen as the current industry-standard here, meaning the 7 and the 9 has the same resolution. That again means that the 7 and the 9 will show you exactly the same image, it will just be larger on the 9.

    First-generation touchscreen means there is no multi-touch (you cannot pinch to zoom), and if the unit is used at home without a transducer you might find the touch-functionality sluggish. (That is easily fixed by holding your other finger on the negative pole on the battery, or by connecting a transducer). Out on the water the touch works very well, even with a wet screen or with cold fingers.

    Elite Ti/ Ti2 used as chartplotter only without a transducer connected.
    The processor has been beefed-up a bit on Elite Ti2, in order to handle the added WIFI-networking to a second Elite Ti2. (More on that under software.) This also means that Elite Ti2 is slightly faster at loading pages.

    At the back the story of no change continues.
    Elite Ti/ Ti2 connectors
    1. Power (and NMEA0183)
    2. NMEA2000 Micro-C
    3. Transducer 9-pin xsonic
    If you have Elite Ti and want to upgrade to Elite Ti2, all connections are the same and the process is simple plug & play.



    Units - software and networking

    As we just saw from the hardware, there is minimal difference between Elite Ti and Ti2. Nevertheless, as we move on to software and networking, there is one HUGE difference and that is the option of networking two Elite Ti2 with WIFI. Keep in mind that WIFI in this case has nothing to do with Internet - in this case WIFI is a wireless network between the units.

    With Elite Ti2 you can network two units so they synchronize (not just share) waypoints and share mapping and 2D. Elite Ti2 cannot share StructureScan (DownScan or SideScan), that functionality is still something you need HDS-series units to do. Here my teammate Lars takes you through setting up the WIFI-network between two Elite Ti2s, it is simple and works well:

    The second part of networking worth mentioning is NMEA2000. Unlike ethernet/ WIFI this type of network requires power (typically you need the "NMEA2000 Starter Kit) and the beauty of NMEA2000 is that it is not brand-specific. Therefore, with NMEA2000 you can get data to your units from your outboard, or other data from other non-Lowrance sources. Here is one example where we use Mercury`s Vesselview Link to get engine data on to our screens, this also enables troll-control on the outboard where we can adjust RPMs from the Elite Ti/ Ti2.
    Mercury engine data
    (The screenshot above is from my HDS Gen 3, but it looks just the same on Elite Ti/ Ti2.) Similar functionality is available from all larger brands of outboards, you just need their engine-interface and a NMEA2000-network.

    Through NMEA2000, you can also control Motorguides trollingmotors like Xi3 and Xi5, again the functionality is the same for Ti/Ti2.
    Motorguide and Elite Ti/ Ti2 are good friends.
    What about Lowrance own trollingmotor, the Ghost? At the time of writing this, neither Elite Ti nor Elite Ti2 can control this TM, but a future softwareupdate will make Elite Ti2 compatible. Elite Ti will not receive this update, as it is discontinued.
    No Ghost control for Elite Ti.
    For mapping, Elite Ti and Elite Ti2 are the same, as Elite Ti has received multiple software-updates since its release.
    Elite Ti2 using Genesis Live
    Both are the middle-range units on the market today, which can use the largest variety of mapping, so there simply was not much for Lowrance to improve on between Elite Ti and Elite Ti2 when it comes to mapping. Navionics (including Platinum), C-Map (including N+), Genesis, Reefmaster and a huge number of other 3. party mapping can be used as well as creating your own mapping. Both Ti and Ti2 have Genesis Live and Navionics Sonarcharts Live, so your live-mapping is not limited to what base-map you use. No competitor comes close to giving you so many options on mapping. Both are also compatible with Point-1, for both position and heading, if you feel the need.
    Transducers

    Both Elite Ti and Elite Ti2 are compatible with the same Airmar transducers, no difference there. Most anglers looking at units in this price range probably don`t plan on adding Airmar, so we can focus on something that is different between the two, Active Imaging.

    Active Imaging is what Lowrance calls their latest generation of StructureScan, and StructureScan is made up of DownScan and SideScan. In order to have Active Imaging, you need both a compatible unit, Elite Ti2 is compatible while Elite Ti is not, and an Active Imaging transducer. At the moment two such transducers are available, "Active Imaging 3 in 1" and "Active Imaging 2 in 1". In short, 3 in 1 has both 2D, SideScan and DownScan, while 2 in 1 only has SideScan and DownScan.
    000-14489-001 Active Imaging 3 in 1 transducer
    For most users of Elite Ti2 the 3 in 1 is the obvious choice, but especially on fast boats (think bassboats), or for users who fish deeper water, the 2 in 1 combined with a separate transducer for 2D is a better choice. For more information on these new transducers, and hints on which one you should choose, Read THIS article.

    A couple of examples of SideScan on our Elite Ti2s with Active Imaging 3 in 1:
    Large rocks, baitfish and predators.
    Rocks, some baitfish and clear transition from hard to soft bottom.
    Both images above are from freshwater and depth/ range is in meters so multiply by three to get feet. Active Imaging on SideScan is a great improvement on Elite Ti2 versus Elite Ti with TotalScan, regardless if you prefer to use 800 or 455 kHz.

    2D is exactly the same on Elite Ti2 and Elite Ti. The 2D-element in 3 in 1 is identical to the 2D-element in TotalScan (TotalScan = the "all in one" transducer typically sold in bundles with Elite Ti) and the processing in the units is the same, very good in both units. DownScan is more or less the same.

    Conclusion

    If you plan to have only one unit, don`t care to much about SideScan or Ghost-control, Elite Ti is still a very good option and since it is discontinued it is highly affordable compared to its functionality. If you plan to have two units, use SideScan a lot or plan to buy Ghost, then fork out for the Elite Ti2.
    More "What is the difference"-articles on Lowrance:

    What is the difference between HDS and Elite Ti?
    What is the difference between HDS Live and Elite Ti2?
    What is the difference between HDS Live and HDS Carbon?

    Elite Ti2 is a good choice for small boats


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