Screen and Display Quality
The screen on the 798ci is one of the best in the 5″ display market. The key to the display is the use of 640 x 640 pixels. By using that many pixels the fishfinder has exceptional brightness, clarity and color. One of the advantages of such a clear resolution is that when zoomed in maps and sonar images are very sharp. Another nice screen feature is the ability to view sonar images and maps at the same time. One of my favorite uses of that ability is to use lake maps and the GPS to get into my fishing spot and using the side view sonar at the same time to find my favorite structure on the bottom.
The videos on the bottom of the page show off these features and give a good overview of the screen and what to expect from your fishfinder.
One of the nicest features of the 798ci is that there are two sd card slots. When using a loaded map pack there are two choices Navionics and LakeMaster. Since there are two different card slots both of the map packs can be connected at the same time. When starting up you need to select which you would like to use, having that option is nice in situations when one map pack has better information on a particular area. Another feature is the i-pilot, which turns a trolling motor into an autopilot that is precise enough to follow contour lines on lake maps. Humminbirds Cannon link lets the fishfinder connect to the compatible Cannon downriggers. The Cannon link allows for auto adjustments that will adjust the depth based on how deep the water is and can follow bottom contours. Another feature is the internal GPS antenna, which saves buying and installing an exterior antenna. One of the drawbacks is that the 798ci is not NMEA 2000 compatible, however there is no shortage of connectivity without NMEA.
The sonar on the 798ci has many options. There are three different modes that are used the first is side view sonar, second is the sounder and third is the 200 and 83 kHz DualBeam Plus. The first is one of the main attractions to the 798ci, the ability to see ultra clear side view images. The side view uses 455kHz, which works to 100 ft deep, and gives a 180 degree coverage under the boat. By using such a high frequency the images that are displayed are extremely detailed. The sounder on the 798ci is helpful at times, however both the side view and the dualbeams out perform. Humminbird uses 200 and 83 kHz, which are good settings for both shallow and deep water. The 83kHz beam is used for sonar images up to 1,500 feet deep. When in shallower depths the 200 kHz allows for a crisper and more detailed image. The addition of Switchfire allows for precise calibration, along with a user friendly interface while adjusting sonar returns for many factors such as rough water and water temperature. One of the best features which was introduced in 2012 is the 360 degree imaging. By using a transducer which is not mounted on the transom, but instead dropped below via a pole images are rendered underneath the entire boat. The clarity is impressive, along with the viewing since now the sonar picture includes area forward of the transom. In the third video below is a brief overview of the 360 imagining, which I recommend viewing to get a better idea of the capabilities.
The 798ci HD SI Combo is a great value for all the options that are included. By creating a fishfinder that has a high definition display paired with a powerful transducer and mapping software, humminbird has created one of the best fishfinders on the market.