First let me mention I'm a total newbie (except playing with cheap "toy" metal detectors in my childhood). I want a good (or the best) all around detector, mostly for treasure hunting (finding old coins/jewelry and maybe some small gold nuggets if possible). I want to choose a detector that I can live with for many years without outgrowing or having to many technical issues with. I only want one, and I'm not planning in investing in another one for at least 8-10 years.
I have read about all the models above and came up with these three as they seem to fit the bill. I actually went to a shop and tried the Equinox 800 and the Deus II. Ergonomically the Deus II felt way better than the Equinox 800, but the Equinox 800 seems easier to operate and maintain (magnetic charger, only one device to charge). Battery replacement when/if the battery goes bad is easy on the Equinox. Not so much on the Deus II. To me it seems a hassle to charge both the main unit and the coil. And it seems a little iffy to change battery in the coil (involving knife and glue). I don't know about the main unit. Is it possible to swap the battery in it by yourself?
In many videos I have watched, the Deus II seems to react quicker and also have better depth than the Equinox 800. I am a bit confused now which one I should get. Then there's the upcoming Manticore (a little too pricy, but if it's that much better than any of the other two I'll still consider it).
In the shop I actually got an offer to swap in the Equinox 800 for a Manticore when it becomes available without loosing too much money if I choose to upgrade. Didn't get that offer on the Deus II.
To summarize it:
1. It felt sooo good in the hand - like driving a fancy expensive car
2. Seems quicker, might go deeper?
3. User upgradable firmware adding modes and fixing things
1. I'm worried about the batteries life span and charging hassle
2. Doesn't seem to find as small objects as the Equinox?
3. Seems harder to configure if you're a newbie
1. Easier to maintain. One magnetic cable to charge it. Nothing more. Easier to swap out the battery if it goes bad.
2. Better at finding smaller objects?
3. Easier to configure for a newbie?
1. After testing the Deus II, it didn't feel right in the hand. Like going from that fancy expensive car to an old used cheap car.
2. It's older tech than the Deus II I guess, might still be as good or better?
3. Read about leaking water and cracking at the charing port. Is this a real problem?
And the Manticore isn't released yet, so I guess it's hard to know how it performs? Will it solve all the cons I've listed for the Equinox 800 and get some pros from the Deus II?
So right now my choices are:
1. Get the Equinox 800 right now and play around with it for 1-2 months, getting a feel for it. If I like it I'll keep it. If not I'm upgrading to the Manticore and hoping it will be a better experience.
2. Get the Deus II and be stuck with it (not gonna even check out the Manticore as I won't get a good deal upgrading it).
Which route should I go and why? Am I wrong about my pros/cons list?