This $99 Bluetooth gadget turns any phone into a satellite phone
It looks like satellites will play a very big role in the future of smartphones, especially in terms of security. The iPhone 14 comes with one Emergency SOS via satelliteAnd Qualcomm has confirmed There will be a similar feature for Android flagships in the near future.
But what if you don’t have the latest and greatest phone? Thankfully, now there’s the Motorola Defy Satellite Link, which will be unveiled at MWC 2023 next week. Not only does this gizmo offer satellite-based SOS functionality, but it also connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth for two-way satellite messaging.
The Motorola Defy Satellite Link integrates with Bullitt Satellite Messaging (opens in new tab) Service announced earlier this year at CES 2023. The idea is that you can still communicate with friends and family when there’s no cellular signal, but crucially only one of you actually needs the satellite-enabled device.
It works like this. You send a message through the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app, and the Defy Satellite Link sends it through the appropriate satellites. This message is then relayed to the recipient over standard cellular or Wi-Fi networks.
Recipients without the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app will receive your message via SMS, but will need to download the app if they want to reply. The system then works in reverse to send your replies back to you, and costs the recipient no money. Instead, everything is deducted from your own subscription, which starts at $4.99 per month.
The Defy Satellite Link also has dedicated emergency SOS and check-in features, as well as built-in GPS, all of which can work without an active smartphone connection. However, there’s a lot more you can do when the gizmo is connected to your phone. The Bullitt subscription connects you to FocusPoint International, an international SOS service that can take emergency calls and put you in touch with emergency services.
Without this connection, the Defy Satellite Link can only send your last known location. This is invaluable if your phone is dead, broken, or you just forgot to take it with you.
The Motorola Defy Satellite Link itself was designed with durability and longevity in mind, offering IP68 water and dust resistance and the ability to withstand temperatures between -22 and 131 degrees Fahrenheit. The 600mAh battery is said to provide multiple days of use on one charge, and the whole thing weighs just 2.4 ounces.
The Motorola Defy Satellite Link is coming this April and will cost $99 alone. A $149 package will also be available, offering the Defy Satellite Link and an annual subscription to Bullitt’s satellite messenger service.
This plan includes 30 two-way messages per month and unlimited SOS support. More expensive plans offer more messaging, but US pricing hasn’t been announced yet.