Simrad GO5 XSE Fish Finder Review in 2023

By Wade Johnson

Simrad GO5 XSE Fish FinderGO series of Simrad perfectly fits the description “beauty and performance hand-in-hand.” I second this opinion because I’ve seen the spectacular performance of Simrad GO5 XSE. It made me forget all about the famous “Elite” series of Lowrance. My next target is GO7 once I replenish my finances. For now, I want to educate all those coastal fishermen who’re looking for the best fishfinder GPS combos under $500.

The unit with its bells and whistles – a sleek and bright screen with a multi-touch interface, high-sensitivity GPS, chart plotter, TripIntel technology and connectivity system – makes it worth the salt. That was just a sneak peek of the magnificence wrapped in this compact device. Scroll down to get a detailed view of what money will buy you.

What Makes It Stand Out?

Despite being compact and relatively economical, Simrad GO5 has higher sonar capabilities. It also has bullet-fast GPS, built-in maps and cartography functions and a sleek touchscreen with maximum adjustments to keep it at the forefront.

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Detailed Review

Simrad GO5 XSE Fish Finder ReviewSimrad GO5 XSE is a living embodiment of impeccable appearance and performance with a touch of value for the money. For a small and compact unit, this one packs quite a power. Its 5-inch wide display with a super-easy multi-touch mechanism is definitely the biggest treat for tablet and smartphone users. You can easily approach and navigate the screen with gentle taps of your fingers. The backlight LCD promises you some of the best shots of the marine world that you’ll ever see.

At the heart of it lies a whole bundle of cutting-edge sonar technologies – ForwardScan, Broadband Sounder, Chirp sonar, Structure Scan. You can get an overall view of the surrounding area as well as get on-point knowledge about fish and the structure floating nearby. Pair it with an upgraded transducer to enjoy the amazing tracking results of this array of sonar technologies.

You’ll be astonished to see the lightning-fast performance of its GPS, a speed of 10 Hz, coupled with the innate Inland mapping of US coastlines and lakes. You’ll have a massive collection of charts, waypoints, routes and customized maps to cruise through the terrains like pro sailors. Add TripIntel technology to the equation, and you’ll have every crucial piece of information available to plan a successful venture.

To be truly deserving of the title of the best portable GPS fishfinder, this one inserts wireless technology. Thus, you can instantly update charts, software and radar information for superior performance.

Hence, it is the best option to buy for anyone looking for a compact device that seems tailor-made for sports boats, day boats and small cruise ships.



Following the convention of fishfinders, the name Simrad GO5 also tells about the size of its display. Yep, the screen is 5-inch wide with 800 x 480 resolution. The multi-touch display is WVGA colour TFT LCD type. In simple terms, it can depict the original beauty of the marine world. Besides, the LED backlight makes sure the clarity of the images remains the same under blazing sunlight.

Its touchscreen is special in the way that you can access and control the layout easily and effortlessly. The large and clear icons on the home screen make the selection of the required functions a cinch. You can even zoom a specific object for a thorough scan or set up multiple views at once for a wholesome picture of the happenings.

Sonar Functions

GO5 XSE offers multiple sonar scanning methods to promise desired results in a variety of settings. With a compatible transducer, you get tracking experts like Chirp broadband sonar, DownScan and ForwardScan. These will accurately determine depth; detect fish and structure even from a greater distance.

ForwardScan resembles the StructureScan technology with the exception to look ahead too. So, it will deliver 2D images of the structure and terrain at the bottom and ahead of your vessel.

GPS & Mapping Capabilities

Like other models of the GO series, this one also entails a high-speed GPS receiver. 10Hz GPS means it will track your coordinates, load maps and charts with bullet velocity. It’s a full-fledge Chartplotter and navigational expert. Therefore, you can either work with C-Map Pro or take guidance from pre-installed Insight mapping of US coastlines and lakes for relevant information.

Since it’s a relatively lower-end model, you’ll get a slot for only one memory card. That won’t be a problem as GPS-related data doesn’t require 100s of GB space to store charts and waypoints.

Thanks to the built-in wi-fi, you can easily access the GoFree cloud to download relevant maps, update software or get a sea of crucial navigational data. The unit can record details of your trips. You can then reminisce those enjoyable moments by tapping on specific locations.



  • Multiple sonar technologies for accurate depth calculation and fish tracking.
  • Sleek touchscreen with multiple functions offers crisp visuals.
  • Built-in high-speed GPS, Insight mapping and Chartplotter.
  • Wi-fi connectivity offers additional information and software updates.
  • Touchscreen layout is easy to understand and control.
  • Affordable cost.
  • Suitable for offshore and freshwater fishing, cruise shipping, sports boats and day boats.


  • Its touchscreen requires careful handling.
  • Unit is best suited only for small vessels.
  • Accuracy of depth and bottom get compromised at higher speeds.


Why Should You Invest In This Model?

Three things will make up your mind almost immediately.

  • The Display:

Despite being small, its touchscreen has multi-touch technology along with a backlight LED for crisp pictures and impressive services.

  • GPS & Chartplotting:

Its GPS is super-active and reliable. You can get quick notifications about your position, maps and other software to ensure smooth sailing to any destination. It also employs wi-fi and wireless controls to enhance the unit’s navigation abilities.

  • Sonar Technologies:

It has multiple cutting-edge sonar technologies. As a result, you can conveniently determine the exact depth, track fish and follow routes to fish-holding structures.

Final Thoughts

Looking at the impressive range of features and performance, I agree with everyone who ranks it as the best portable fishfinder for small boats. Anyone accustomed to smartphones and tablets will find it super easy to understand and use. Its scanning methods and marine-related navigation technologies can make your water expeditions fruitful.

In the end, if you’re after a small but powerful and feature-loaded fishfinder within an affordable price range, then consider Simrad Go5 XSE.


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Wade Johnson
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