12th July 2024

Nokta Simplex LITE – The Best Value For Money Metal Detector On The Market?

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Nokta Simplex Lite

These days if you are in the market for a budget metal detector the choices are wide but the quality is often lacking. There are countless cheap Chinese metal detectors on the market but nearly all of them are either poor quality and cost very little or poor quality and grossly overpriced.

There are one or two exceptions. DR.ÖTEK produces some budget machines that fare pretty well although not yet up to the standards of big-name brands such as Nokta, Minelab, XP and Garrett. 

So what do you do if you want quality but you don’t want to spend a fortune? Well, up to now I would have pointed you in the direction of the Quest X10 Pro. Which to my mind has long held the title of “Best Value For Money Metal Detector On The Market”. It is of course, still a very good machine but, there is now a new machine vying for that crown and it comes in the form of the Nokta Simplex Lite. 

The original Simplex+ was a huge success for Nokta. With a slew of Pro features at a budget price was always going to be a winner. But time moves on and so has the Simplex. Nokta recently brought out three updated versions of this machine. The Simplex LITE, Simplex BT and Simplex ULTRA. You can read more about these machines here but for now, it is the Simplex LITE that I would like to draw your attention to.

So what makes the Simplex LITE the best value-for-money detector on the market? Well, let’s take a look at the spec.

Simplex Lite Spec:

  • Operating Frequency 15kHz
  • Search Modes Field, Park, Beach, All Metal
  • Pinpoint Mode
  • Target ID 01-99
  • Notch Discrimination
  • Sensitivity Setting 30 Levels
  • Volume 5 Levels
  • Ground Balance Automatic / Manual
  • Vibration Mode
  • VDU Backlight
  • Keypad Backlight
  • LED Flashlight
  • Frequency Shift
  • Iron Off
  • Ground Suppressor
  • Threshold (All Metal)
  • Firmware User Updatable
  • Search Coil Waterproof DD Search Coil 24×15 cm / 9.5″x6″ (SX24)
  • Shaft Aluminum & Plastic
  • Display Graphic LCD
  • Weight 1.2kg (2.6lbs)
  • Length 25″-52″ adjustable
  • Battery 2300mAh Lithium
  • Warranty 3 Years
  • Price $199/€249/£189

 

That is a lot of metal detector for very little money. And If you are just starting out or looking to save some cash but still want the benefits of good build quality, performance and a 3-year warranty, It certainly makes for an attractive proposition.

Build Quality

The Simplex LITE weighs just 1.2kg as does the BT and ULTRA but it is not just the lightness of the machine that is impressive, it is the way the weight is balanced. It sits in the hand well and even after two or three hours swinging, there is no fatigue.

The control box is all plastic but is of good quality and seems very sturdy. The buttons are an improvement on the original Simplex+ in being much easier to press and this helps when navigating the menu in a gloved hand. 

The shaft will be familiar to anyone who has used the Simplex+ with the only real difference being a slight redesign of the arm cup. There is also a new 9.5″ x 6″ coil (SX24). The BT and ULTRA are fitted with the larger 11″ (SX28) coil as standard. These new coils are not compatible with the old Simplex+ due to a change in frequency from 12 kHz to 15 kHz. 

The shaft length is the same on all versions and also the same as the Simplex+ and is adjustable between 25″ to 52″.

nokta-simplex-lite-side

 

Performance

What follows comes from my use of the Simplex Ultra but the machines are pretty much identical apart from some extra firmware features missing from the other two models. The ULTRA also comes with carbon fibre middle and lower shafts, whereas the LITE comes with an aluminium and plastic shaft.

As mentioned, the Simplex LITE does not have all the features of ULTRA, but it still has some pretty good features given the price point. The lack of recovery speed adjustment and tone selection may be a deal breaker for some and there is also no tone break adjustment. But this is a sub £200 machine and we do need to bear that in mind.

The Ground Suppressor feature which helps eliminate the effects of mineralised ground is still there, ideal for the beach. You also have the Iron Off, Auto and Manual Ground balance, Notch Discrimination and 30 levels of sensitivity. 

Nokta Simplex Lite On the Beach

The display looks a little crowded but actually, in use it is bright, clear and easy to read. The backlight helps on a dull day or when night detecting. There is also a flashlight which, whilst not particularly bright does illuminate the coil area fairly well. 

Moving around the menu is quite intuitive, helped in part by the new, easy-to-press buttons. The original Simplex+ had buttons that were quite stiff and were often difficult to operate with a gloved hand.

I had tested the Simplex+ on the beach when it came out and I have to admit I was not impressed! It was ok on the dry but very chatty on the wet sand. To be fair it was never designed as a “beach machine” but still, it should have been better than it was. All credit to Nokta, they did work on it and by the time of the last update it was a much better machine all around.

The new versions of the Simplex are very good beach machines straight out of the box. No problems searching on the wet or dry sand. I did however have problems when moving into the surf. The machine became very sparky and no amount of adjustment would quieten it down. However, others have not reported the same issues so this could be just a “one-off” and as it was quiet in all other respects so I can’t reasonably mark this down as a negative. 

I found the tones and the numbers to be very stable. And it was good at eliminating most iron with only the occasional larger piece making its presence known. 

Although there is a dedicated “beach mode” I found all modes to work well on both the wet and dry sand. And this was without altering the ground suppressor settings. 

During my testing I dug quite a few deep targets and although I didn’t measure the depth I would guess the Simplex LITE will have no trouble hitting targets down to around 12 inches. I will do some more precise testing over the coming weeks but for now, I can say it as good as any other machine out there and certainly punches well above its price point.

Conclusion

I was prepared not to like the new Simplex. This was based purely on my previous experience with the Simplex+ but I must say Nokta has done a fine job here. The new Simplex is an absolute pleasure to use. It reminds me a lot of The Legend without the multi-frequency part and slightly less weight. It is well-balanced and easy to use.

If my experience so far is anything to go by, the Simplex Lite would be a fantastic machine to start your metal-detecting journey with.

Links

Nokta Metal Detectors

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