25th June 2024

Nokta Takes On Minelab In Battle For Best Budget Priced Detector – Welcome to the NEW Simplex!

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Nokta Simplex LITE, Simplex BT and Simplex ULTRA

The budget end of the metal detector market has always been pretty competitive. There are some great machines available at very affordable prices. But if you wanted a budget machine that was also of decent quality the choices were really between the Quest X10/Q30 and the Nokta Simplex+. Until that is, Minelab decided to enter this arena with their X-TERRA PRO.

The Minelab X-TERRA PRO is definitely budget friendly and versatile. Equipped with several frequency options, it can adapt to various soil conditions, ensuring the best performance in any environment. Whether you’re exploring mineralized soil, highly mineralized areas such as beaches, or even underwater, there is something here for everyone, both beginner and experienced alike.

But we knew Nokta would not stand still and almost as soon as Minelab announced the X-TERRA PRO the company launched not just one new machine but three! To be precise, it is one machine in three variations. They have taken what was good about the Simplex+ and reimagined it with more variety and improvements. 

The Machines

All these new Simplex machines now run at 15 kHz.

SIMPLEX LITE

First in the lineup is the Simplex LITE. As the name implies this is a base version, although still quite rich in features. 

The most noticeable absence of the Simplex LITE is the lack of built-in Bluetooth. No wireless headphones unless you add a wireless dongle connected to the headphone port. The Simple LITE is also fitted with the smaller 9.5″ x 6″ DD (SX24) search coil. Some may see that as a plus point! 

Simplex LITE

Search modes have also been simplified and consist of just Field, Park, Beach and All-Metal.

What else is missing?

  • No coin & relic ID scale.
  • No Target ID depth.
  • No adjustable recovery speed.
  • No tone break setting.
  • No tone frequency setting.
  • No tone volume setting.

The shaft is also aluminium and plastic on the Simplex LITE.

Everything else is the same across all three models.

SIMPLEX BT

There are three main differences once you step up from the Simplex LITE to the Simplex BT. Most notable is the presence of Bluetooth APTX Low Latency audio. This allows you to add your own APTX Low Latency Bluetooth headphones. 

The other differences are that the Simplex BT comes with the 11″ (SX28) search coil and an Aluminium and Carbon Fibre shaft. Also there are extra modes. Field, Park 1, Park 2, Beach, All Metal

Simplex-BT

All other features are the same as the Simplex LITE.

SIMPLEX ULTRA

As the name implies, this is the top of the Simplex range. 

The Simplex ULTRA comes with all the features of the other two machines but adds coin & relic id scale, Target ID Depth, Selectable recovery speed, adjustable tone break, adjustable tone frequency and adjustable tone volume.

Simplex-ULTRA

The Ultra also has more modes. Field, Park, 4 Tone, 99 Tone, Beach, All Metal

This machine also comes fitted with a full carbon fibre shaft, and the 11″ (SX28) search coil. There will also be a WHP pack which includes Bluetooth headphones at a higher price.

Common Features

  • All machines weigh in at 1.2kg (2.6 lbs).
  • The shaft on all machines is adjustable from 25″ to 52″.
  • All three machines are fitted with a 2300mAh Lithium battery.
  • Ground Balance: Auto & Manual.
  • Sensitivity settings: 30 levels.
  • Volume: 5 levels.
  • Notch discrimination.
  • 15 kHz operating frequency.
  • Pinpoint mode.
  • Vibration.
  • Backlight.
  • Keypad backlight.
  • LED Flashlight.
  • Frequency shift.
  • Iron off.
  • Ground suppressor.
  • Threshold (all-metal)
  • 3 Year warranty.

Conclusions

Nokta has certainly changed the game in the past. The Simplex+ was, if not revolutionary at the time, brought some high-end features to the budget end price point. The company has continued the trend with these new improved versions of the Simplex.

All the focus though is on the Simplex ULTRA and whether it will be competitive with Minelab’s offering. It is more expensive than the Minelab X-TERRA PRO but, it has some distinct advantages even though it lacks the extra selectable frequencies of its competitor. A full carbon fibre shaft and APTX LL Bluetooth audio are attractive propositions. The Simplex ULTRA is also lighter weight than the X-TERRA PRO.

Nokta also has a better reputation for customer service than Minelab. And given recent events may be seen as the company people would rather do business with.

There is no doubt that Nokta produces high-quality products. And this emphasis on quality goes from the budget end right up to the most expensive machines. But the question here is, have they done enough to topple Minelab from its current dominance of the budget end of the market?

Of course, we cannot answer that question until we get our hands on the Simplex ULTRA. 

Our advice? If you are in the market for a budget metal detector and you have had your eye on the Minelab X-TERRA PRO, wait a few weeks. The Nokta ULTRA may just prove to be the better deal.

Pricing & Availability

Simplex LITE: $199.00 (UK Price estimated £199.00)

Simplex BT: $299.00 (UK Price confirmed at £279.00)

Simplex ULTRA: $349.00 (Uk Price confirmed at £329.00)

Simple ULTRA WHP $399.00 (UK Price confirmed at £399.00)

All these machines should be available to purchase in June 2023.

Links

Nokta Metal Detectors

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