Top Satellite Phones for 2023: Latest Updates & Reviews
Stay connected no matter where you are with a satellite phone. Whether you’re exploring remote areas, sailing, flying, or just want to be prepared for emergencies, a satellite phone connection can provide reliable communication anywhere on the globe. Unlike cell phones, which rely on terrestrial towers, satellite phones rely on satellites orbiting in space, making them a dependable choice for staying connected during natural disasters or when traveling to distant locations. Invest in one of the best satellite phones to ensure you can stay in touch with loved ones no matter where you are.
Satellite phones offer a range of features to keep you connected and prepared in any situation. In addition to making voice calls and sending texts and emails, many satellite phones have the ability to send SOS distress signals, provide GPS locations, and offer emergency weather alerts. Some even come with a satellite-based Wi-Fi hub that allows your smartphone to work in areas without cellphone coverage, and some offer broadband internet access. When choosing a satellite phone, it’s important to consider your specific needs and compare the different options available on the market. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best satellite phones available.
Best overall: Garmin inReach Mini GPS
Best satellite messenger: Spot 3 Satellite GPS Messenger
Best for international travel: Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone
Best bundle: Iridium GO!
Best budget: ZOLEO Satellite Communicator
How we chose the Top Satellite Phones
Having reliable communication is essential when embarking on an adventure or traveling to remote locations. To ensure you have access to a consistent connection, it’s important to invest in a top-quality satellite phone. At Satmodo we’ve done the research to identify the best satellite phones on the market, taking into account customer reviews, recommendations from outdoor enthusiasts and experts, and our own thorough analysis. Trust us to help you find a satellite phone that will give you peace of mind, knowing you can stay in touch with loved ones no matter where you are.
The Top Satellite Phones: Reviews & Recommendations
Garmin inReach Mini GPS
The Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator made the list of top picks because it is a highly portable and feature-packed option for staying connected and safe in any location. Its interactive SOS calling capability is a standout feature that sets it apart and makes it a reliable choice for emergency situations. If you’re looking for a satellite communicator that can keep you connected and secure no matter where you are, the Garmin inReach Mini GPS is a great choice to consider.
- The Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator utilizes Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity technology to ensure reliable communication.
- It boasts a long battery life, with up to 50 hours of usage in default tracking mode and up to 20 days in power-saving mode. The internal rechargeable lithium battery ensures that you can stay connected even in remote areas where charging options may be limited.
- With dimensions of 2 x 1.3 x 3.9 inches, the Garmin inReach Mini GPS is compact and easy to carry on any adventure.
- The Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator is a highly portable option that allows you to stay connected and safe while on the go.
- Its fast access to SOS makes it a reliable choice for emergency situations.
- Its long battery life ensures that you have plenty of power to stay connected even in remote areas. Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or just want to be prepared for unexpected emergencies, the Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator is an excellent choice.
- It’s important to note that the Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator requires a satellite subscription in order to be used. This subscription will provide you with access to the satellite network and allow you to make calls, send texts and emails, and use other features of the device. Be sure to factor in the cost of a satellite subscription when considering the Garmin inReach Mini GPS for your communication needs.
The Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator is a compact and durable option for staying connected on outdoor camping trips. Its mini GPS design makes it easy to pack with your gear, and it allows you to send two-way text messages using the Iridium satellite network. The device is compatible with other handheld devices, and through the Garmin Earthmate app, you have access to maps and aerial images to support your trip. The Garmin inReach Mini GPS is water-rated to IPX7 and impact-resistant, making it suitable for even the toughest adventures. In the event of an emergency, you can easily send an SOS message thanks to 24/7 access to the GEOS emergency response team. Keep in mind that a satellite subscription is required for use of the Garmin inReach Mini GPS.
Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone
The Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone satellite phone made the list of top picks because of its impressive battery life and rugged design. Its dust, splash, and shock resistance make it a reliable and durable choice for a wide range of situations, including outdoor adventures and emergency preparedness. If you need a satellite phone that you can depend on in any environment, the Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone is a great option to consider.
- The Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone features Bluetooth connectivity technology and offers eight hours of talk time and up to 160 hours on standby. Its lithium-ion battery ensures reliable power.
- Its compact dimensions of 10 x 9 x 4 inches make it easy to carry with you wherever you go. Whether you’re traveling to remote locations or just want to be prepared for emergencies, the Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone is a reliable choice for staying connected.
- The Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone is a user-friendly option that is easy to set up and activate.
- It comes unlocked, allowing you to use it with multiple service providers for added flexibility.
- With its wide coverage area, you can stay connected in a variety of locations, making it a reliable choice for travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re exploring a new country or just want to be prepared for emergencies, the Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone is a solid choice.
- While the Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone is a reliable choice for staying connected while traveling, it may not be the best option for more strenuous outdoor activities such as hiking.
- Typing on the phone can be tedious, which may be an inconvenience if you need to send long messages or emails while on the go. However, if you’re primarily looking for a satellite phone to use while traveling or in more relaxed outdoor settings, the Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 is a good option to consider.
The Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone is powered by the Inmarsat satellite network and is a reliable choice for international travel. It has GPS and SOS capabilities, as well as a Bluetooth connection for hands-free use. The phone comes with eight hours of talk time and up to 160 hours on standby, as well as chargers, cables, and adapters for added convenience. Its rugged design, with dust, splash, and shock resistance, means you can take it with you on all your international adventures without worrying about damage. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the Inmarsat Isatphone 2.1 Satellite Phone is a reliable choice for staying connected
Spot 3 Satellite GPS Messenger
The Spot 3 Satellite satellite messenger made the list of top picks because of its simple, yet effective, functionality. It allows you to send pre-programmed messages and your GPS location to loved ones, providing a quick and easy way to stay connected and reassured in emergency situations. If you’re looking for a straightforward and reliable way to stay in touch while on the go, the Spot 3 satellite messenger is a great option to consider.
- The Spot 3 satellite messenger has a long battery life of up to 10 days, thanks to its 4 AAA batteries. It is also compatible with a rechargeable battery for added convenience.
- At just 3.43 x 2.56 x 1 inch, it is a compact and portable option that is easy to take with you wherever you go. Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or just want to be prepared for emergencies, the Spot 3 satellite messenger is a reliable choice for staying connected
- The Spot 3 satellite messenger is a user-friendly option that is easy to use
- SOV (send and receive messages) capabilities
- Its Spot Mapping app allows loved ones at home to see your GPS location, providing peace of mind and reassurance. Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or just want to be prepared for emergencies, the Spot 3 satellite messenger is a reliable choice for staying connected.
- Spot 3 satellite messenger requires payment for a year of activation in order to use its features. This activation fee will grant you access to the satellite network and allow you to send and receive messages, as well as use the Spot Mapping app.
The Spot 3 satellite GPS messenger is a simple and effective way to stay connected and safe while on the go. It allows you to send coordinates and pre-programmed messages via satellite to friends and loved ones, and it has GPS locators and SOS signals for emergency situations. The device also has Save Our Vehicle (SOV) request capabilities and a track button to send and save your location, as well as a SPOT Mapping app that allows others to track your progress and location. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay for a year of activation in order to use the Spot 3 satellite GPS messenger.
ZOLEO Satellite Communicator
- The ZOLEO satellite communicator uses Bluetooth connectivity technology and has a long battery life of up to 200 hours.
- Its lithium-ion battery ensures reliable power
- Compact dimensions of 3.58 x 2.6 x 1.06 inches make it easy to carry with you wherever you go. Whether you’re traveling to remote locations or just want to be prepared for emergencies, the [Product] satellite communicator is a reliable choice for staying connected.
- The ZOLEO satellite communicator offers flexibility in connecting to a satellite, WiFi, or cellular network.
- It provides access to the Iridium satellite network, and its required monthly subscription is less than $100 for cellular, WiFi, and SOS messaging.
- It is an affordable and reliable choice for staying connected and safe in a variety of situations. Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or just want to be prepared for emergencies, the ZOLEO satellite communicator is a solid option to consider.
- A subscription that needs to be paid on a monthly basis is required.
ZOLEO has created a durable and compact device designed for use in remote areas. It has received high praise from outdoor enthusiasts and allows you to connect to the Iridium satellite network, WiFi, or cellular service, depending on what is available in your location. This device requires a monthly subscription, and different pricing options are available based on your needs.
This bundle was chosen because it includes a variety of adapters and a solar charger, ensuring that your device will not run out of power.
- The connectivity technology used in this device is Bluetooth. It has a battery life of 5.5 hours for talk time and 15.5 hours for standby.
- The battery used is a lithium-ion battery.
- In terms of size, the device measures 4.5 inches in length, 3.2 inches in width, and 1.25 inches in height.
- This device comes with a variety of adapters and a prepaid SIM card is included.
- It also has a user interface that is easy to use.
- This device may be more expensive than other options on the market. It is important to consider the cost when deciding on a device to purchase.
The Iridium GO! satellite communicator is a fully functional device that is ready to use right out of the box. It connects to the Iridium global satellite network, which consists of 66 operating satellites. The bundle includes a prepaid SIM card with 1,000 minutes of talk time, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, travel and car chargers, international adapters, and even a solar panel. The device can connect to the Iridium GO! app, allowing up to five separate devices to connect wirelessly. It is also resistant to dust, shock, and water, making it suitable for use in a variety of situations and environments. You can easily carry it with you in your backpack or mount it in a car.
What to consider when buying the best satellite phones
Satellite phones are a useful backup option for situations where cellphone service is not available. They are primarily intended for international travel, but it is important to check the policies of the country you are visiting before using one, as satellite phone use may not be allowed in certain situations, such as while camping or hiking in remote areas, or on boats or recreational aircraft. The best satellite phones are designed for use in off-the-grid environments and should be sturdy, waterproof, and durable. They are not meant to replace your smartphone for everyday use.
While satellite phones can connect to the network in any remote location, the ability to receive signals may be hindered by obstacles such as buildings, roofs, shelters, or dense tree cover. Some manufacturers offer packages that include external antennas to help improve signal reception in these situations. These antennas can be used on the outside of structures or vehicles, on boats, or even in the cockpit of an airplane.
Messaging vs. calling
If you are traveling or engaging in outdoor activities, you may not need a fully-featured satellite phone. In these cases, a more basic satellite communication device can be a cost-effective solution. Satellite GPS messengers are a simple and affordable option that can provide an additional layer of communication and safety when you are outside of cellphone coverage. These devices allow you to send messages to your loved ones to let them know you are safe, and they also have important safety features such as GPS location tracking and SOS signals. You can use them in conjunction with your smartphone to ensure that you have reliable communication options in a variety of situations.
Satellite phones can be a good choice when traveling internationally, as they allow you to communicate no matter where you are located. However, it is important to check the policies of the country you are visiting before bringing a satellite phone, as they are illegal in some places. The best satellite phone for international travel is easy to set up and comes with a prepaid SIM card, so you can start using it right away without worrying about finding a local cellphone carrier or dealing with poor reception. Look for a phone that offers reliable voice and call connectivity, as well as emergency signals, to ensure that you have reliable communication and access to help if needed. A satellite phone can provide peace of mind and a sense of security when traveling to unfamiliar places where you may not know what to expect.
Text & voice calling bundles
When looking for the best satellite phone bundle, it is important to consider the features and capabilities of the phone itself. A reliable, durable, and easy-to-use phone is essential. The best satellite phones offer voice calling, text messaging, and email messaging capabilities, as well as access to a reliable global network with 24/7 technical support. It is also helpful if the bundle includes everything you need to use the phone right out of the box, without the need for additional purchases.
When shopping for a satellite phone bundle, it can be helpful to look for features that provide flexibility and convenience. For example, different power adapters that allow you to use the phone in various locations around the world can be useful. It is also helpful if the bundle gives you the option to choose between a monthly plan or a prepaid SIM card, as this allows you to pay for only the service you need, rather than being stuck with a large monthly payment if you only use the phone occasionally.
If cost is a concern when shopping for a satellite phone, it may be worthwhile to consider more basic satellite communication devices. Fully loaded satellite phones can be quite expensive, with prices typically starting around $1,000, not including the cost of SIM cards or monthly service plans. More economical options may offer fewer features but still allow you to send and receive basic communication, though they may require a monthly subscription for service.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly satellite communicator, it is important to look for a device that allows you to send and receive texts and, if possible, access the satellite Wi-Fi network through apps. It is also essential to look for emergency features such as SOS alerts and GPS coordinates, to ensure that you have access to help if needed. By considering these factors, you can find a budget-friendly satellite communicator that meets your needs and provides the safety and security you need when traveling or engaging in outdoor activities.