Lowrance HOOK vs HOOK2 vs HOOK Reveal Fish Finders (What Are The Differences?)
UPDATED 12 MAY 2023
by Robert Ceran
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Are you thinking about getting a Lowrance HOOK, HOOK2, or HOOK Reveal for your boat?
In that case you’re probably wondering what the main differences between these Lowrance fish finders series are, and which one is best for you.
For this article we tested the Lowrance HOOK vs HOOK2 vs HOOK Reveal fish finder series side by side, and will discuss the results of our testing. We’ll also cover their main differences and advantages, so you can decide which one is right for you.
What is the difference between Lowrance HOOK and HOOK2?
The main difference between Lowrance HOOK and HOOK2 is that the HOOK2 lineup comes with much better software, wide angle CHIRP, and a widescreen display on all models, while the original HOOK series comes with the advantage of having touch screen functionality.
The HOOK2 lineup represents a redesigned version of the HOOK series, and was created by Lowrance to perform as a high quality entry level lineup for beginners, requiring very little manual adjustment in order to get a great sonar performance.
All in all, during our testing we found that Lowrance have done remarkably well with the HOOK2 series, which explains why it’s currently one of the most popular entry level fish finder lineups on the market.
What is the difference between Lowrance HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal?
The main difference between Lowrance HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal is that HOOK Reveal comes with Fish Reveal and Genesis Live mapping functionality in addition to all the same features as HOOK2.
When we put it to the test, we found that Fish Reveal is a game changer, especially for beginners, as it allows you to spot fish in relation to structure.
And Genesis Live mapping is also a significant upgrade, as it gives you full access to advanced mapping and chartplotting functionalities usually reserved for more high-end units.
When it comes to mapping, one thing to keep in mind is that the HOOK Reveal X units don’t come with Genesis Live mapping, and instead only have basic GPS plotting functionality.
So if you want to have this feature, make sure to get a non-X model.
Key features of HOOK, HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal compared
The table above compares the key specs and features of the HOOK, HOOK2, and HOOK Reveal lineups that we tested.
Now let’s dive into the details, and look more closely at their similarities and differences.
Display size: While the original HOOK series started with a 3” model, and went up to a 9” model as the largest option, the HOOK2 lineup starts with a 4” display, and goes all the way up to 12”.
Since our testing showed that a minimum display size of at least 4” is really helpful if you want to take full advantage of high quality sonar imaging, the larger size of the HOOK2 units make them more user friendly.
Also, during our testing we found that the largest 12” HOOK2 model is perfect for using all sonar technologies plus GPS mapping in parallel on the same screen.
HOOK Reveal, on the other hand, only comes in the sizes 5”, 7” and 9”, thereby eliminating the smallest and largest HOOK2 sizes.
This is probably in response to the popularity of the different sizes, since Lowrance noticed the smallest and largest sizes didn’t get much love from the public.
Resolution: Going hand in hand with the differences in display size, the smallest units of the HOOK series have a lower screen resolution than the smallest units of the HOOK2 series.
In addition to this, all HOOK2 models come as widescreen models, while the HOOK 3 and 4 come with a vertically oriented screen.
In contrast to this, HOOK Reveal only comes with a single resolution (800 x 480 pixels), which applies to all three sizes.
Split screen: This is an area where HOOK and HOOK2 are basically the same, with the larger units having split screen, while the smallest entry level models don’t. HOOK Reveal, on the other hand, comes with split screen functionality on all sizes.
Touch screen: While the HOOK lineup has touchscreen functionality, the HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal series do not. However, when we put them to the test, we found that once you’re used to the very simple knob controls, this isn’t really a problem.
Wide angle CHIRP: While the original HOOK series comes with a 22 degree transducer beam width, the HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal series have a 42 degree wide beam width.
Based on our testing, we found that wide angle CHIRP provides a significant improvement in sonar imaging, as it allows you to view a much larger cross section of the water.
Sonar frequencies: While the HOOK lineup supports four main sonar frequencies, (83, 200, 455 and 800 kHz, the HOOK2 lineup only comes with three of these (200, 455, and 800 kHz).
However, due to the presence of wide angle CHIRP in the HOOK2 series, this makes the 83 kHz frequency unnecessary, and the sonar performance is equally good on both lineups.
In contrast to this, HOOK Reveal comes with the ability to run 5 different sonar frequencies (50/83/200/455/800 kHz), and during our testing we found that it is the most versatile in terms of sonar capabilities.
Especially the lower wavelength frequencies (50 and 83 kHz) are great for using sonar in deep water over 150 feet depth, and HOOK Reveal clearly outperforms the other two lineups in this regard.
GPS: All three lineups come with GPS functionality on most units, except for the smallest entry level options (the HOOK 3 and 4, as well as the basic version of the HOOK2 4X).
Software: While the HOOK series is built with the LCX software, the HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal lineups come with BSM software. BSM stands for Broadband Sounder Module, and is also used on the Elite and HDS lineups, and hence singifies a performance upgrade for the HOOK2 models.
Map redraw speed: When we put them to the test, we found that due to the software upgrade of the HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal series, their map redraw speed is much faster than that of the HOOK series.
This means that a HOOK2 or HOOK Reveal can redraw your map dynamically even when your boat is moving at high speed, while HOOK models are unable to keep up with fast boat speeds when we put them to the test.
Manual transducer selection: While the HOOK series comes with manual transducer selection, the HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal series does not.
This means that you should probably only use the transducers designed for use with these series, in order to avoid transducer compatibility issues.
Anti-glare functionality: While the HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal lineups come with SolarMax displays that minimize reflections in bright sunlight, the original HOOK series does not have this feature.
Autotuning functionality: The HOOK2 and HOOK Reveal series come with sophisticated algorithms for automatic sonar tuning that help to improve your sonar image without the need for manual adjustments.
This was developed specifically to make them more user friendly for beginners.
Fish Reveal functionality: Only the HOOK Reveal series comes with Fish Reveal functionality, while the other two lineups do not.
During our testing we found that this is a game changer for both beginners and experienced anglers, who use this feature on a daily basis.
Genesis Live mapping: Only the HOOK Reveal series comes with Genesis Live mapping, which allows you to use GPS and sonar data to create your own custom maps, or to improve existing charts.
Finally, two other differences to note are that the old turn-knob connectors on the HOOK series have been replaced by push-connectors on the HOOK2 series.
Secondly, the bracket mount of the HOOK2 can’t be rotated sideways like the HOOK bracket mount, but this can be achieved by using a RAM-mount bracket instead.
Lowrance HOOK2 series overview
Now let’s take a quick look at all the models of the HOOK2 lineup, and what features they come with when paired with different transducers:
|Model name||Transducer||2D Sonar||CHIRP||Down imaging||Side imaging||GPS Plotter||GPS Mapping|
|HOOK2 4X GPS||Bullet||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|HOOK2 5X GPS||SplitShot||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|HOOK2 7X GPS||SplitShot||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|HOOK2 7X GPS||TripleShot||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
The table above shows the capabilities of the different HOOK2 X and non-X units when combined with the 3 different transducer options provided by Lowrance (Bullet, SplitShot, and TripleShot).
Note that the non-X HOOK2 units come with more advanced mapping and real chartplotting capabilities compared to the X units. In addition, these units are compatible with C-Map, C-Map Genesis, Navionics, and Reefmaster maps.
Also, in order to get down imaging functionality, you need to use either a SplitShot (or TripleShot) transducer with your HOOK2 unit, and in order to get side imaging, you need to use a TripleShot transducer with your HOOK2 unit.
Does Lowrance Hook2 have GPS?
All HOOK2 models come with GPS functionality, except for the HOOK2 4X, which is the most basic model of the series.
However, keep in mind that all ‘X’ models of the HOOK2 series (4X, 5X, 7X), have a simpler version of GPS functionality (with mostly just the ability to mark waypoints), compared to the ‘non-X’ models, which come with actual GPS chartplotting functionality.
Does the Hook2 have fish reveal?
No, the HOOK2 series does not support FishReveal functionality, which is currently only available for Hook Reveal, Elite Ti, HDS Gen 3, and HDS Carbon series.
Fish reveal technology takes the fish arches from 2D sonar, and superimposes them on downscan images, which gives you the best of both worlds.
Does Lowrance Hook2 show speed?
All HOOK2 units with GPS functionality show speed over ground. In other words, apart from the most basic version of the HOOK2 4X, you can use all HOOK2 units to track your speed.
Does Lowrance Hook2 have side imaging?
The following five HOOK2 units come with side imaging functionality: HOOK2 5, HOOK2 7X, HOOK2 7, HOOK2 9, and HOOK2 12.
But keep in mind that in order to use side imaging on these units, you’ll need to use a TripleShot transducer, since neither the Bullet or the SplitShot transducer have side imaging capability.
Does Lowrance Hook2 have split screen?
Yes, apart from the smallest model (the HOOK2 4X), all HOOK2 models come with split screen functionality.
This is important as soon as you use more than one type of sonar, and especially if you want to combine it with mapping.
If you use one of the larger HOOK2 models with a TripleShot transducer, you can use the split screen to show 2D sonar, down imaging, side imaging, and GPS mapping data next to each other on the split screen.
Lowrance HOOK Reveal series overview
The HOOK Reveal series comes with most of the same features as the HOOK2, but in addition also has Fish Reveal and Genesis Live mapping functionality (though the latter is only available on non-X HOOK Reveal, models, while the X models come with standard GPS plotting only).
Fish Reveal technology combines the strengths of 2D sonar with DownScan imaging into one image, by overlaying fish signals from 2D sonar onto the DownScan image.
When we tested it, we found that this is an extremely useful feature that allows you to see structure with amazing detail on your DownScan, while being able to spot fish at the same time with the 2D overlay.
Genesis Live mapping is also extremely useful, as it allows you to use your own sonar data combined with GPS to create custom maps, or to improve an existing map for the lake you’re on.
This concludes our review comparing Lowrance HOOK vs HOOK2 vs HOOK Reveal. Hopefully this will help you decide which model is best for your purposes.
Gear and methods used for testing
For consistent testing results, we tested all Lowrance fish finder series reviewed above with a Triple Shot Skimmer transducer transom mounted on a Ranger Z520R bass boat. We tested all fish finders on the same day on Lake Tarpon, to make sure we could compare their performance side by side under similar conditions. Testing was performed by imaging structure and schools of fish in 5 to 20 feet of water.