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You can maintain communication with anyone, wherever on the planet, so long as you have access to a satellite phone connection. You can use a satellite to stay in touch with loved ones while traveling, hiking in remote locations, sailing, or flying, or even just to be ready for a natural disaster. Cellphones and smartphones are dependent on terrestrial towers in order to enable connectivity in larger cities and towns. Cellular networks may become overloaded or suffer structural damage in the event of a natural disaster. Your connection is reliant on satellites in space with one of the best satellite phones, so even if you’re going to remote areas of the world or experiencing a disaster, you’ll be able to stay connected.
The more adventurous among you will probably explore parts of the world that most people have never even heard of; therefore, you will need suitable equipment to help you escape dangerous circumstances or connect you with people or authorities. The satellite phones on this list may or may not be necessary, but they can conduct their business and save the day.
The majority of recreational hikers are unlikely to require satellite phones because they are a niche product. However, if you’re venturing extremely far from the track, you might want to think about one. Even when you’re hundreds of miles away, you may communicate with loved ones or emergency contacts using a satellite phone. The smartphone in your palm right now probably uses a nearby cell tower to communicate with a satellite. In contrast, a satellite phone delivers a signal directly to a satellite. This enables you to communicate with virtually anyone, regardless of their location.
1. Iridium 9555
The stubby antenna on the Iridium 9555 gives it the appearance of a hefty telephone from the 1990s, but it actually stretches over 12 centimeters and can be tilted to pick up a satellite signal without having to twist your neck. The Nokia 2110 and other phones from that era appear to have influenced the case design and button layout, which features a central menu up/down key flanked by two action buttons and call keys below.
The phone has a brief email feature, SMS sending and receiving capabilities, and the choice to put in a desired international dialing code, which is helpful for people who want to travel inside one country. This phone also makes a lot of sense if you’re driving or working in remote areas, regardless of latitude; campers will need to charge their phones every day.
2. Iridium Extreme 9575
The most recent Iridium model, the 9575, is at the top of the list as the finest satellite phone overall since it can operate almost anywhere in the world. The phone may not have a battery life as long as the 8 or 9 hours of other models, but it still offers one of the broadest coverages of any satellite phone with international service. Iridium is renowned for the quality and dependability of its service, despite being one of the most expensive satellite phones when it comes to voice conversations. When the phone’s line of sight to the sky is blocked, you’ll still encounter dropped calls and poor service, although far less frequently than with other satellite phones.
Additionally, the Extreme 9575 has an SOS button that is located at the top of the device and hidden by a cover. When the button is pressed, the phone will send an emergency message with GPS data every five minutes after a 20-second wait. With a peak duration of only four hours, the Iridium’s battery life is less than that of other phones. However, you’ll want to keep those calls short because Iridium’s talk plans are among the most expensive, costing $70 per month for 60 minutes.
3. Thuraya XT-Lite
Moving on from satellite messengers, the superior Thuraya XT-Lite satellite phone provides users with a trustworthy dual GSM system that combines voice and message features into a single device. With the push of a button, this gadget gives you access to the world’s most robust satellite network, enabling you to stay in touch with loved ones practically anywhere in the globe. There must be a catch, and here it is: Thuraya coverage does not encompass the United States of America. Not yet, at least. Aside from this “little” drawback, users benefit from one of the strongest and largest networks in the world, one that serves over 160 countries.
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4. BlueCosmo Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone
Due to the fact that it is compatible with the Iridium Satellite Network, the BlueCosmo Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone offers really worldwide coverage. The system operates on a network of 66 interconnected Low Earth Orbit satellites, providing global coverage from the equator to the poles. Your satellite phone will function in practically any circumstance because it complies with the U.S. Military 810F standards for dust, water, and shock resistance.
You’ll have everything you need to get started, from a battery to a wall charger to a car charger to a holster to a belt clip. Additionally, you have a variety of postpaid and prepaid alternatives. You can choose between a SIM-only package, a 75-minute package, and up to 5,000 minutes of airtime.
5. Garmin InReach Explorer+ Satellite Communicator
The Iridium Satellite Network is used by the Garmin InReach Explorer+ Satellite Communicator to offer a worldwide two-way text messaging service. Additionally, it contains an interactive SOS trigger that enables you to speak with rescuers in an emergency. The InReach Explorer+ also allows you to track your movements and share them with loved ones in addition to SMS communication. Additionally, the gadget has preloaded maps and GPS routing capabilities, making it much simpler for you to navigate through the wilderness. The InReach weather forecast service also provides current meteorological data. Therefore, you are prepared for the weather wherever you are going.
6. Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 Satellite Phone
Many satellite phones are basically text-based communicators rather than phones. You may have to spend extra money if you want something that you can use to make calls. This product from Inmarsat is stylish and strong, making it simple to carry around or store. It may be used to phone or text any number and operates on the Inmarsat network. Additionally, it includes adapters so you can make sure your phone is always charged. You can choose the package that works best for you at Satellite Phone Store.
7. Garmin inReach Mini 2 Compact Satellite Communicator
Particularly when it comes to GPS and navigational equipment, Garmin is a reputable and well-known brand. Due to its small size and navigational capabilities, the inReach Mini 2 is a fantastic choice for camping and hiking. For instance, if you get lost, you can use the TracBack feature to find your way back. Additionally, you can send SOS notifications and converse by prewritten text or email (though not calls). Bluetooth pairing with your smartphone enables additional functionality like message composition simplicity. However, it can also be utilized independently of your smartphone if desired.
8. Inmarsat IsatPhone 2.1
We now go on to a device that resembles a phone and operates similarly. With the Inmarsat IsatPhone 2.1, you may dial and receive calls, send and receive SMS, and use GPS to find out where you are. With an IP65 rating for dust and waterproofing, the integrated lithium-ion battery provides 8 hours of talk time and 160 hours of standby.
9. Iridium GO!
A mobile satellite router is the next device we switch to from a phone. You only need to turn it on, connect to the Iridium satellite network, and you’ll have access to enough data capacity to check your emails, utilize Twitter, access weather reports, and do some light web browsing. Iridium GO! The hotspot supports a maximum of five simultaneous connections.
This kit, which is intended for folks who genuinely wish to live off the grid, is not inexpensive. It comes with a solar charger, a desktop charger, and the Iridium GO! Base station and an AC travel charger with an international adapter. The Iridium GO! has a battery life of up to 15.5 hours while the device is in standby mode and up to 5.5 hours when it is in conversation mode.
10. Thuraya X5-Touch
Want a satellite phone with smartphone-like features? Next, this is our top choice. The X5-Touch gives the ability to bundle dependable apps and a phone you can use when you’re in coverage zones, all in one practical unit, with obvious applications for filmmakers, traveling relief workers, and employees on energy projects who are continually on the move.
There are front (8MP) and selfie (2MP) cameras, as well as a panorama image mode, just like on other Android handsets. Version 7, Android is not the most recent version and does not support 5G. The important apps are all available, but this isn’t a gadget for folks who intend to only use 5G in certain locations.
11. ZOLEO Satellite Communicator Device
The ZOLEO Satellite Communicator Device is your best option if you want the familiarity of using a smartphone yet the connectivity of a satellite phone. This little device pairs through Bluetooth with your phone and then connects it to the Iridium Satellite Network to offer worldwide coverage.
Once connected, you may use the free ZOLEO app on your phone to send and receive messages on the device. In order to save you money, the satellite communicator also effortlessly transitions between satellite, cellular, and Wi-Fi, making use of the most cost-effective network. Additionally, you have the option to pause your monthly subscription for as low as $4 a month if you plan to spend a lot of time indoors. By doing this, you can avoid having to pay hefty activation fees each time you begin a new trip.
12. Garmin inReach Mini
The Garmin inReach Mini is not a satellite phone because it does not have the capacity to make voice calls like a traditional satellite phone would. However, because it can connect to satellites and transmit texts from virtually any place, it is excellent for delivering quick messages to worried family members while out in the wilderness. Briefly, typing longer messages on the phone’s four buttons is time-consuming. As long as the inReach Mini is turned on, family members can log in and track your progress on a map even if you decide not to send texts from the phone.
Additionally, you can go on extended hikes without power and maintain connectivity thanks to the device’s 90-hour standby battery life. An SOS button, similar to those on satellite phones, enables you to contact a GEOS center and request assistance. With a length of about 4 inches and a width of merely 2.4 inches, the Mini is noticeably more compact than a conventional satellite phone would be. It is the best option for people traveling on a mountain bike, hiking, or backpacking adventure in the mountains due to its compactness, long battery life, and features.
13. Icom IC-SAT100
This Icom IC-SAT100 is a push-to-talk (PTT) handset, which is a little different from a typical satellite phone. PTT phones are literally lifesavers for groups like rescue crews, utility teams, off-roaders, or field units that need to stay in touch with one another when there are no cell towers in sight.
The IC-SAT100 can only operate on the Iridium satellite network, but as we already mentioned, it is the only one that offers truly global coverage, including the North and South Poles. The main distinction between PTT phones and conventional satellite phones is that you require more than one device to communicate with everybody. Fortunately, the IC-SAT100 works with other PTT phones connected to the Iridium network. You will go with an Iridium PTT plan rather than a standard satellite one.
This plan costs between $60 and $125 per month per device, and there are add-on fees depending on the extent of the area you want your service to cover. Additionally, you’ll need to set up talk groups utilizing the Iridium PTT Command Center via their website. Once that is completed, any member of your team can contact any other member of the team, wherever they may be.
14. Garmin Montana 750i GPS And Satellite Communicator
The Garmin Montana 750i GPS and Satellite Communicator will appeal to users who enjoy touchscreen gadgets. It boasts a sizable five-inch touchscreen display that makes it simple to view your messages outside. You may navigate inside the phone without using your naked hands because the device is glove-friendly. In addition to two-way communication using InReach technology, the Montana 750i GPS’s huge screen may be used for navigation. You can download other maps for the rest of the world in addition to topographical maps of the United States and Canada.
Through the turn-by-turn directions on the City Navigator maps, you can utilize them for urban navigation. There are many sensors available with this GPS and satellite communicator. You may geotag the sights you encounter on your trips and record them with its eight-megapixel camera. It contains an altimeter, barometer, and compass as well, providing you with more information as you travel.
15. Globalstar GSP-1700
The Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone will keep you linked everywhere you go, especially while sailing, so feel free to travel anywhere in the globe. This satellite phone, strange-looking or not, was made to operate in remote locations without poor service. Even though it has an odd antenna, travelers will undoubtedly like this Globalstar device because it is compact, stylish, and easy to pack.
Aside from the quick data transfer rates and accurate GSP location services, the phone’s crystal-clear CDMA digital audio quality will make you happy while you’re speaking to your loved ones.
16. Spot X 2-Way Satellite Messenger
The Spot X 2-Way Satellite Messenger isn’t quite a full-fledged satellite phone like some of the others on this list, but with a price of around $240, it might be a lifesaver for any adventurer. It is also incredibly small and compact, measuring only 6.5 x 2.9 x 0.94 inches, making it simple to pack with the rest of your essential adventure gear.
This unusual satellite device has GPS tracking and SOS capabilities via satellite, Bluetooth pairing, and the GEOS Qwerty Keyboard makes typing on it simple. Additionally, it contains a built-in compass, a 2.7-inch illuminated display, and customizable waypoints. The IP67 rating was it mentioned? This is one tiny friend that is always valuable to have nearby.
17. BlueCosmo Iridium GO!
The BlueCosmo Iridium Go! is the answer if you require worldwide data connectivity, even in areas without cellular coverage. It is a tiny, lightweight gadget that functions as a wireless access point fueled by satellite. Up to five smartphones can be connected at once, and the range is 100 feet. There are also four data plans to pick from five data minutes, seventy-five voice or data minutes, one-hundred fifty voice or data minutes, and an unlimited data plan.
The hardware of the gadget is robust, meeting MIL-STD 810F shock protection standards and IP65 ingress protection standards. Using the specifically created Iridium Mail and Web App, you can also enjoy data speeds of up to 9.6Kbps.
18. Thuraya XT Pro Satellite Phone
The Thuraya XT Pro Satellite Phone will be valued by professionals that want a superior, dependable, and speedy satellite connection. It provides relatively fast broadband speeds as well as voice and SMS connectivity. If you are covered by the Thuraya satellite constellation, you can receive satellite internet at speeds of up to 60Kbps. Additionally resistant to shock, dust, and water jets is the XT Pro. Given that it boasts a Gorilla Glass-protected 2.4-inch color display, you can be sure that it can survive challenging conditions.
The phone is quite compact, especially with the antenna tucked away inside. Additionally, you can push the SOS button once for a lengthy time to activate it in an emergency. You don’t even need to turn on the satellite phone to use it; simply push the button to send an emergency message. You should be aware that Thuraya does not provide coverage everywhere. They exclusively offer services in certain regions of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and Europe (EMEA).
By offering redundancy communications in the event of terrestrial network disruptions or unavailability, the GSP-1700 ensures that communication never stops. Users can place and receive phone calls, get GPS location updates, and call directly to emergency services using locally based phone numbers thanks to the satellite network, which is powered entirely by Globalstar.
20. SPOT Gen3
The SPOT Gen3 device itself does not appear to have changed much since the one from 2007. It has a simple layout with six buttons for performing various operations and fits comfortably in your hand. Nevertheless, it differs from its predecessors in a number of ways, including improved tracking capabilities, a variety of power sources, and significantly longer battery life.
Is iPhone 14 a Satellite Phone?
In a way, yes. When a user is in a location without cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple has added a feature called Emergency SOS via Satellite that enables them to contact emergency services.
For the next two years, Emergency SOS via satellite is free. After that, Apple expects to start charging for the service, though we don’t yet know how much. Currently offered in the US and Canada, this service will be made available in December 2022 in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK as well.
How to Pick the Best Satellite Phones for your Needs?
Satellite phones come into play and provide communication options when cellphone coverage isn’t possible, but they won’t completely replace your smartphone for daily use. While sat phones are made for foreign travel, be sure to check the country’s policies first: Is access permitted for use on off-grid hiking and camping trips or for use on boats or recreational aircraft? The best satellite phones are built tough, waterproof, and robust with off-grid use in mind.
Although connections are possible in all isolated areas, receiving signals may be hampered by structures like buildings, roofs, shelters, or dense forest cover. Numerous manufacturers have found a solution to this problem and now provide packages that are made to incorporate antennas for usage on the outside of buildings, cars, boats, and even the cockpit of an airplane.
Messaging And Calling
It might not be necessary to bring a fully loaded satellite phone with you when you travel or engage in outdoor activities. Saving money is another benefit of using simpler satellite communication technology. You already have a smartphone; what you need is an additional layer of communication security away from the mobile range. Think about using a satellite GPS messenger if you want to keep things simple. These gadgets provide vital extra safety features like GPS location and SOS signals, as well as the ability to send messages to loved ones informing them that you are safe.
Text & Voice Calling Bundles
The ideal satellite phone package should feature voice calls, text messaging, and email in addition to a dependable, sturdy, and simple-to-use phone. The greatest phones have a dependable, extensive worldwide network and round-the-clock technical help. Everything you need to use and get started should be included in the packages.
When traveling outside of your nation of residence, satellite phones are a wise choice. The finest satellite phone for international travel has a prepaid SIM card and is simple to set up.
Consider a simpler satellite communication device if the price of a satellite phone is a concern. You can send and receive texts with the finest cheap satellite communicator, and some even come with apps that let your phone connect to the satellite’s Wi-Fi network. Look for additional emergency features like SOS notifications and GPS coordinates at all times.