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5 best metal detector apps for Android that actually work

It's true that using a phone for metal detection isn't the best solution, but it works. Check out the best apps for it here.
April 16, 2023
Smart Tools best metal detector apps for Android

Believe it or not, metal detection is actually possible on Android phones. In fact, the first phone capable of it was the T-Mobile G1. The phone has a magnetometer in it, and that’s what you need to detect metal. Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that a real metal detector is going to be much more effective than your phone. However, this is something you can really do, so it’s worth having an app list for it. Here are the best metal detector apps for Android

Do metal detector apps actually work?

In short, yes, they work. Many Android apps come equipped with a magnetometer. It’s mostly used for stuff like GPS or part of the compass functionality. However, it is also capable of detecting metal. The upside is that it does work. You can find YouTube videos all over the Internet or try it yourself.

Of course, there are downsides. Android phones were not designed for this kind of functionality. You won’t find anything super deep into the ground. Most phones can only do a few inches at best. There are no solutions we’re aware of where an Android or iPhone outperforms a dedicated metal detector.


Price: Free / $3.99

CoreSpecs screenshot

A lot of people don’t realize that metal detection isn’t possible on every phone. You have to find out if your phone has a magnetometer first. An app like coreSpecs can help with that. It shows you every sensor on your phone.

All you have to do is scroll through the list and see if yours has a magnetometer. You can use the apps below if it does and you cannot if your phone doesn’t. This app does better than almost any other one and it’s much faster and easier than Google.


Price: Free / Up to $5.99

G-Detect helps you manage your finds when you go metal detecting. It lets you put your finds on a map, catalog them with images, and it generates statistical reports on the fly. Many people can use a spreadsheet for this kind of stuff, but this one makes it a little prettier. It also seems to work pretty well, although some users reported bugs in earlier versions.

Metal Detector by Town apps786

Price: Free / $1.49

Metal Detector by Town apps786 screenshot

This one actually lets you detect metal. You simply place an object on the back of the device and the app tells you if it detects metal or not. It can’t tell you what kind of metal, though, as it is just interacting with the magnetometer. It boasts a range of 30cm and that’s on par with most metal detector apps. The UI isn’t pretty, but the app did detect metal when we tried it.

NECO Metal Detector

Price: Free / $3.49

Neco Metal Detector screenshot 2023

NECO’s metal detector app is something a bit different. This one teaches you how to build a real metal detector using your phone and other supplies. Once constructed, your phone (with the app) acts as the controller for your newly assembled gadget.

Obviously, this isn’t the cheapest option since you have to buy parts to make it, but it’s a pretty neat little solution that works a lot better than just using the back of your phone.

Smart Tools Metal Detector

Price: Free

Smart Tools is a developer on Google Play with a bunch of surprisingly useful tools. This metal detector app is one of them. It works like the other one listed higher on the list. You place metal on the back of your phone and it reacts with the magnetometer. This one includes alarm sounds, a better UI than others, and the pro version includes a compass.

This is much cleaner than most of the random pop-up apps on the Play Store and it’s the one we’d recommend first. Just remember that it still has the same limitations since the magnetometer on phones isn’t really designed for this purpose.

If we missed any great metal detector apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.