Simrad recently released an upgrade to their much loved NSS Evo3 unit. Miah Dixon put the updated NSS Evo3s through its paces over summer, and was more than impressed with its performance.
If you’ve read any of my tech reviews over the past three years, you’ll know I always start with one thing: “I’m a bit of a techie, but no matter how technologically advanced something is, it should always be, first and foremost, user-friendly.” I’m pleased to share that what Simrad have done with this unit is take a piece of kit that is already both of those things, and discreetly adjusted it so that it’s faster, sleeker and all round better. Whether you’re using it for six things at once (yes, you can split screens six ways now!), or just trying to hunt down the odd snapper, it’ll serve you well.
We have a 12” NSSEvo3 mounted on our FC 535CC Tackle Tester – overkill? Maybe, but we love it. One of the things I appreciate most about the unit is the large, clear, detailed screen. Whenever I shift to another vessel with different systems, the superior screen quality is always the first thing I miss from my Simrad unit. The NSSEVO3S unit displays the same high resolution, but is noticeably brighter. This is ideal for our dash-mounted system which sits in full glare of the sun on top of our centre console.
Of course, if you’re out on the water in the sun, you’ll need to wear a pair of polarised sunnies – unfortunately many units don’t get on well with polarised glass, making for a dark, splotchy mess when you go to check for sign. For me, it wasn’t until I’d spent a few weeks using the unit that I noticed that even with my polarised sunglasses on, I could still see the screen as clear as without them – it was so convenient that I hadn’t even realised! No more having to remove my glasses over and over to check out the sounder or chartplotter! Not only that, but I could also see it from more angles than usual – I can pop my head around the edge of the console clears, get a glimpse of the side scan, and then cast appropriately. A bit of reading tells me that this a direct result of Simrad’s new SolarMax IPS display.
Using the touchscreen is like using a fresh-from-the-box smartphone or tablet – crisp, responsive and exactly what you’d expect from a touch-device in 2021 – in saying that, I’m also glad they kept their button panel, as no amount of development will ever make it easier to use a touchscreen when bouncing around in rough weather!
Another ‘not so noticeable’ feature is one I picked up on while washing down the boat after a big day on the water. The screen was grubby from swiping around with slimy fingers, something we usually don’t end up with after a fishing session. I wracked my brain over why it had happened and wrestled to figure out who the filthy culprit was. Using my already wet hands, I rubbed at the dirt, only to see the cursor on the screen pop up and move around. It dawned on me that while previously we would have to dry our hands to use the touchscreen, it was now responsive to touch even with water on our hands – again, something I’d never noticed, but had just got on with. Even better was that after a quick wipe with a damp microfibre cloth, she was as good as new and ready for the next adventure.
Then there’s the thing that everyone seems obsessed with when getting to their spots, but not so much with their tech – speed. The team at Navico (Simrad’s parent company) have upped the ante with the ‘brains’ inside this unit – it’s got more processing power than many of our day to day electronics which means faster start-ups, less lag and a speedier display of all your key info, whether it’s engine performance or sonar logs. With our Mercury outboard data, sonar, charts and instruments running on a quad-screen split, it doesn’t skip a beat. Plus, if you’re into having your data available on your smartphone, you can sync everything up via WiFi.
If you’re in the market for a new multi-function display, anywhere up to 16”, the NSSEVO3S is worth a serious look. It’s fast, robust and extremely capable – perfect for the weekend warrior right through to the hardcore offshore fisher.
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