Simrad NSX, an impressive debut of Navico’s next-generation platform

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, 100-ton USCG master.

19 Responses

  1. abbor says:

    Thanks for the review. When you write MFD reviews please tell which software version it’s running. Especially in the early days the performance difference between different software versions can be huge.

    I have not noticed any lag in the radar user interface. I’ve been using it with an open array Halo. The weekend before I used GO12 XSE instead of NSX and I was frustrated over the lag. I was running both units in a large system with NSS12 Evo3S, radar, several sounder modules and a large number of NMEA 2000 devices. NSX is slower than Evo3S, but i wasn’t frustrated like I was when using GO XSE. Normally I’m running a NSS12 Evo3 in addition to the Evo3S.

    The back light synchronization of NSX is working with the rest of the Simrad units and devices. If I dim from Evo3S or the autopilot pilot control panel also NSX changes. The back light levels are similar to Evo3S. The product manager which thinks it’s not necessary to dim the screen have limited if any experience with night boating. I fish from the evening to morning and In the night I need to dim everything down to the lowest back-light levels. Some people will probably be frustrated that it takes 15s to change between day and night mode.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:


      This review was done with build number 1.1.170. Midway through my review, I received the updated version but everything was retested against 170. I’m glad to hear your data point of no lag in radar. Hopefully, when I get out on the water with the Halo 20+ installed I’ll have the same experience.

      -Ben S.

  2. Baz says:

    Always one step behind Garmin who keep leading with best user experience, good app and top notch fish finder

    • abbor says:

      User interface preferences are very subjective. When the new Linux based NOS Lowrance and Simrad user interfaces were introduced in 2014 I know a lot of people considered this the best and most intuitive in the industry. They also got very positive feedback from the visitors at the boat shows trying the units. I think the NOS UI has hold up well over the years with minor changes and advancements.

      NSX which is running Android based Neon OS is Navico’s new platform. It looks very nice and it has a lot of guides assisting the user with performing different tasks. This will be a huge advantage for less frequent users when they should perform more advanced tasks.

      Garmin UI might be easy to use when only using the most frequently used settings, but as soon as you want to do more advanced tasks it’s a nightmare to find where Garmin has “hidden” the menus. For me as an engineer it’s no logic in where Garmin’s advanced functionality can be found.

  3. I’m also trying out an NSX 12 with my network, which has an NSS Evo3 9, Halo 24+ HS40B, NEP2 , Poco light controller and Lowrance fuel flow sensors and several transducers. The boat is a 96 Sundancer 330 with twin carburated 350s.

    I put the NSX in the place of my NSS ev03 12″ plotter. it started out fine, but now the NSX hangs up and returns to the “I Agree “screen constantly after the software update.

    I see Abbor has an evo3 and the nsx unit working together so it must be somewhere in the network. The NSX works fine if I power off the evo3, the evo3 works fine either way.

    The odd thing is that the NSX screen indicates I need to do a Seratrail for4 the radar, but it doesn’t give any info on what to do.

    I have the NSX12 installed on a customer boat with a Halo 20+, the plotter works fine with the radar, but it also say I need to complete a seatrial for the radar.

    Do you have any info on the radar seatrial?

  4. Scratch the Sea-trial question, I found a good video that covers the topic

  5. Ray says:

    Is there any talk of updates coming to the B&G range, particularly to cover off sailing functions?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Ray, in the long term I think Navico intends to bring out Neon based products across all their lines. But, the big question is probably time frame and I don’t have any insight on that.

      -Ben S.

  6. JoeSailor says:

    How is it that our phones can have such amazing resolution but we’re still looking at 1990’s vintage resolutions on navigation plotters?

    The iPhone 13 is now a 2778 by 1284-pixel resolution OLED display at 458 ppi, yet we are expected to put out thousands for 1280×800?? That’s sub HD! SURELY they can do better. Ask why people are using tablets on deck.

    This a big part of why I continue to use a laptop for navigation and the Vulcan plotter as an instrument repeater. For true navigators who work problems like those found on the USCG test, these are insufficient for the task.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      JoeSailor, It seems you’re over-focused on resolution. I think you’re drawing some comparisons that aren’t quite apt. First and foremost with display resolution is the distance you’re going to be from the display as well as the size of the display. MFDs are typically used at a greater distance than a phone. Consider that, in order to appreciate the resolution of a 55″ 4k TV, the optimal viewing distance is less than 4 feet ( All that extra resolution is wasted unless you get your nose almost close enough to touch the display.

      Additionally, the displays in MFDs are optimized for sunlight visible brightness while dissipating the heat of the direct sun. Additional resolution runs against these goals.

      Finally, the 9″ version of an NSX starts at $1,450 and the 7″ starts at $1,050.

      Oh, by the way, what’s the resolution of the laptop display you use for navigation? I’d hazard a guess that it isn’t much higher pixel density than the 167 PPI of the 9″ NSX.

      -Ben S.

  7. surf salterpath says:

    Not a very happy nsx9 owner here. Very difficult to ‘intuitively’ follow and a struggle to learn what should be SIMPLE tasks!!! Like how to get screen to follow boat icon w/o having to scroll display in chart mode! DAMN! Many other nuances! But hopefully ‘promised software updates’ will FIX the nsx9 shortcomings!!!!! Until then – bummed!

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Interesting, overall, I’ve found the NSX to be one of the most intuitive MFDs I’ve used. To get back to following the boat, you just press the cross arrow and target I’ve pointed out with an arrow. Every new OS comes with some adjustments, but (for me) NEON has been particularly intuitive.

      Hawk's channel with return to vessel icon highlighted

      I’d say we’ve learned one person’s intuitive, is another person’s confusing.

      -Ben S.

      • surf salterpath says:

        …. thank you! I will continue to try and be a more ‘intuitive’ thinker !
        lol ~

        • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

          I just reread my comment and noticed I didn’t say what I really meant to say. I think it’s interesting that an interface I find intuitive you find difficult to adjust to and use. It’s a demonstration that one person’s intuitive is another person’s confusing. It speaks to the challenge for user interface designers and the importance of trying out several different MFDs before making a decision. I certainly hope you get used to NSX and find it works for your use.

          -Ben S.

          • surf salterpath says:

            I’ve been on the coastal waters recreational pontooning (not a fisherman) since the early 2000’s. This is my 1st MFD experience. Researched them all. Most fishermen here use the Garmin. I just repowered from a 1996 FORCE 75hp to a 2022 Suzuki 140 ‘drive-by-wire.’ Read lots of good things about the Suzuki and SIMRAD interfacing nicely, which it does. Initially bought the GO9. The NSX was moe than I wanted to spend. After messing around w/ the GO9 for a while and continued research I decided to suck it up and trade up to the NSX9, mainly because of the NEW technology integrated. I felt it would be the better investment for the long term, kinda like my decision on the ‘drive-by wire’ LOVE LOVE IT!!!!! Hopefully, I will be able to figure out the “intuitive’ angle of the NSX9 and can come back SOON and tell you the same about the NSX as I share about the DF140bg!!!! Fingers crossed. Right now I cannot figure out how to get the track history from my NSX9 to my mobile SIMRAD/C-MAP mobile device app to sync up. Gotta be an EASIER way to do ALL of this!!!! I am ready for SIMRAD to make much-needed software updates to the NSX series SOON! THANKS for your previous feedback!!!! Means a LOT!

  8. William deertz says:

    Thanks for the article, I was about to purchase the GO 7” for my tender but am now wondering if the extra $300-$400 for the NSX 7” is worth it. Being it’s on a tender I only need the chart plotter and depth sounder for when out exploring. In this application would you recommend the NSX over the GO?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      William, I think the NSX is a huge step forward from the G0 line in nearly all respects. It’s more powerful, and in my opinion, more intuitive. I’d definitely spend the extra money for the NSX. But, I’ll remind you, I got into marine technology because it’s a topic I’m passionate about, so my answer is skewed by that.

      -Ben S.

  9. Jack Mills says:

    I was going to install some NSX units (pair of 12″and a 9″) for a customer.
    And I was confused why and severely disappointed that they are not actually networkable? They will not share sounder images only depth between units same with radar. And limited transducer compatibility.
    The new platform is intriguing but on my opinion not ready for customers as they don’t have the software sorted out.
    (Also not capable of networking with NSS platform)
    My customer returned and got NSSevo3s .

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