If you live in an isolated location or like to go on serious hiking adventures you really need to have the best satellite phone with you at all times. You never know when you’ll need to make an emergency call should things go wrong, and having a satellite phone with you will ensure you can always get help when you need it most.
Things to Consider
Satellite phones need to have a very long battery life, be extremely reliable and durable. They need to be able to cope with temperature extremes and being forgotten about and shoved around at the bottom of your bag for months on end – until the day you finally need to use it.
Top 10 Satellite Phones Ultimate Chart
|1. Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone||Prepaid SIM, water and shock resistant||$$$$||4.4|
|2. DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE ||SMS, GPS coordinates to email or SMS, color screen||$$||4.3|
|3. DeLorme AG-008727-201 InReach Explorer ||SMS, GPS coordinates to email or SMS, color screen, maps||$$||4.3|
|4. Qualcomm GSP-1600 Satellite Phone||Built for extreme temperatures, Long battery life of 19 hours standby, 4 hours talk||$$||4.3|
|5. Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 ||AC and DC chargers, SMS, temperature extremes||$$$||4.2|
|6. IIridium 9575 Extreme ||Military grade, 30 hours standby, SMS, temperature extremes||$$$$||4.1|
|7. Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro ||SMS, email, GPS data, temperature extremes, Bluetooth||$$$||4.1|
|8. IECOOPRO Rugged ||DualSIM, 2 weeks power, 19 hrs talk time, extreme durability||$||3.0|
|9. Globalstar gsp-1700 ||Calls only||$$$||2.4|
|10. SPOT Global Phone ||Backlit display, 36 hours standby||$$$||2.0|
When it comes to comparing satellite phones with one another there is a world of difference between brands and even models. Here’s what you’ll need to look out for:
- Network. The top satellite phone connects to the Iridium network which has 100% coverage all around the world and is never unavailable. You’ll always be able to contact emergency services when needed when you’re on the Iridium network.
- Battery Life. You’ll want a phone with really long battery life. Make sure that when you’re not using it that you’ve got it turned off and not just in standby mode.
- GPS. Some of the best satellite phones come with GPS built-in. This is a great feature as the phone can then relay your exact location to emergency services should anything ever go wrong.
- Tracking. We only saw this feature in a few of the newer handsets and it’s a feature we think many other brands should be including. Being able to track yourself and allow relatives to see exactly where you are, puts everyone’s minds at ease. Everyone will instantly know if something is amiss when you’re no longer making progress on your planned trip.
- Maps. This feature means you can get rid of a few of your other devices you’ll usually take when you go hiking because you’ll be able to navigate directly from the satellite phone. Just make sure that you save enough battery life should you need to make an emergency call!
Top 3 Best Satellite Phone Reviews
Iridium is the most accessible satellite network with the best coverage – for the last few decades they have had 100% coverage without fail. Iridium is the network of choice for all the best satellite phones.
This is the latest model in the Iridium series and is the smallest and most compact version and a huge step up from the previously wildly successful 9505 and 9505a models. The 9555 has been completely remodelled to fit more seamlessly in your hands, with a much more user friendly interface.
The antenna is sneakily hidden in the handset rather than sticking out like a sore thumb as it common in the majority of other satellite phones. We saw no difference in the phones ability to connect to the satellite network too.
Featuring a brighter screen, a more compact build and a speaker phone this phone has all the core features you’ll need in an emergency. You can also send SMS’s and emails right from the phone. We really appreciated how rugged this phone is with shock and water resistance.
This phone also uses the Iridium network and is extremely reliable. It packs way more features than our first pick but also comes with less battery life. There is a very handy SOS one button feature that sends all your GPS data to a 24/7 search and rescue service – where you can communicate for assistance.
You can send SMS messages, emails and take calls too. This satellite phone also comes with tracking features so you can send regular updates of your exact coordinates to friends or relatives. The antenna is only slightly sticking out from the handset and will rarely cause any issues.
The earthmate phone app is yet another great feature of this already impressive satellite phone and allows you to track and plan trips on your android smart phone or tablet. We really loved this satellite phone for all the extra features it comes with making it much more than just an emergency phone. You’re much more likely to keep it charged if you’re using it regularly too!
Another great satellite phone from DeLorme. This model comes with all the same features as our second place contender but with the addition of maps. The maps enable you to use this phone as a GPS and a path finder.
You can create and view routes, place way points to reach, look back on previous tracks and navigate through upcoming terrain with the onscreen display. The level of detail available on this compact and lightweight phone is unbelievable.
This satellite phone is much more than just an emergency phone, you’ll be using it to help you navigate the wilderness and instead of taking 2-3 devices with you, you can just rely on one. It comes with a digital compass, barometer and accelerometer.
You can pre-plan your route online and share it with friends and family who can then follow along and watch your progress using the tracking feature of the phone.
This phone has all the features you’d want to see in the best satellite phone and so many more, making it our favorite pick on this list.