Monday, May 5, 2014

Review - SonarPhone

The past few fishing trips I've had the pleasure to try out a great new product called the SonarPhone. This device, is basically a little float that acts as the tranducer for a fish finder which connects through WiFi to a smartphone, turning your smartphone into the viewer.

 The Sonarphone is very light and compact, and with a little fishing line, connects easily to your kayak so that it doesn't float away. When I wish to use it, I drop it in the water next to the kayak, which then causes the unit to 'turn on' and emit it's WiFi signal. My phone then picks up the signal, and using the App that is free to download, I am able to tell the water temps, depths and spot any fish that may be swimming underneath.

My first few times using the SonarPhone was somewhat frustrating, though that was entirely my fault. I hadn't followed the setup instructions to set a password and take the phone off demo mode! Once I realized this, and got past demo mode, things worked exactly as advertised.

I used it trolling, in choppy water and in calm water, and in all three cases, it worked very well with no fluctuations or issues.  The sensor kept it's readings steady even under what I would have thought to be difficult conditions for such a unit!

Here I am paddling with the sonar phone getting towed along next to me, and it continues to work without any difficulties whatsoever!

Right now there is only one problem I have with the SonarPhone, but that is really not something the unit can do anything about. That is the difficulty in seeing the images on my phone in the sun when wearing polarized sunglasses. I have the same problem looking at facebook, answering a call, or anything else with my phone. As long as you can see the screen on your phone however, the Sonarphone seems to be a fantastic device.

The Sonar Phone has about a 4 hour charge, which you can recharge though a simple USB cable. There are no buttons or anything else with the unit, just drop it in the water and it turns on. Take it out of the water and it turns off.

For someone with a sit inside kayak that doesn't want to go and spend $300 on a unit that has a transducer you have to wire into your kayak, the SonarPhone is really a genius little device.    You can use it anywhere, and even cast it out into the water from shore should you wish to use it that way.   It is the ultimate in mobility when it comes to fish finders.

Note, if you do wish to have a more permenant version of this device, there are options for larger boats through both a permenant mount (SP200) and a suction mount (SP300).

Interested in this extremely portable, easy to use and accurate device?  You can pick yours up at Doiron's Sports Excellence in Saint John!