Fish Finder Tech

Black & White Screens vs. Color - What’s Better For A Fish Finder?

You’re here to learn about which fish finder is right for you, and we’re here to give you no-nonsense information. That’s why we’re not going to bury the lede - color fish finders are better than black and white displays.


Why is that? And is color the be-all and end-all of what’s important in a display? We’re going to cover that and more. If you’re still undecided, keep on reading.

Why color displays are so much better

A fish finder, at its most basic, has an incredibly simple job: Send sonar signals into the water, interpret those signals as they bounce back, and display the results. How those results are displayed is incredibly important because that’s how the user can distinguish between different kinds of structure, bottom, and fish.


That means information density is key - fishing is a combination of being patient and moving quickly. It’s best to have a display that can be read easily at a glance.


There are millions of different colors that can be displayed with a modern, high-definition color screen. When it comes to black and white, we’re stuck in grayscale - that means 256 colors, all of them, shades of gray.


Now, you might be better at distinguishing between grays at a glance than most people, and if you’re that rare person, then a black and white display might be fine for you. But for most of us, it’s important to be able to accurately see, say, different shades of yellow to determine what kind of bottom we’re fishing above. 

Is the color of your display the most important thing?

No. While we feel color displays are incredibly important, the essential thing is resolution. If information density is king when it comes to displays, then resolution is the crown jewel.


Your resolution tells you how many pixels can be displayed on your screen. The more pixels, the more information you have available. Think about it like this: If you only had one pixel, your whole screen would just be one dot. Every additional pixel is an additional piece of information you have access to. Higher resolution displays are also easier to read, as they display clean, crisp images.


Is it ever a good idea to buy a fish finder with a black-and-white display? 

Sure! Black-and-white displays are much less expensive. You can find portable black and white fish finders that cost under $100. If affordability is an important factor to you, black and white displays can save you money.


If you’re looking at any higher-end models, however, you’ll quickly find that black and white simply isn’t an option. Even at lower price points, getting a color display won’t dramatically increase the price of your unit, which is one of the reasons we’re such advocates for color displays.

One fish, two fish, gray fish, gray fish

Hopefully, this brief piece has helped you decide between black and white and color fish finder displays. If you’re looking for the best fish finders, click on that link! We’ve given our opinion on the best black and white and color fish finders on the market, so you’re bound to find something that will perfectly suit your needs.


Happy fishing!

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