Last year, Apple added emergency SOS via satellite to the iPhone 14 and the Apple Watch Ultra, which seemed like an innocuous enough update. However, that appears to be enough of a trigger to make other mobile users want the same thing on their devices. If you’re one of those people, but aren’t interested in switching to the new iPhone anytime soon, you can enjoy the same capabilities and more with the Motorola Defy Satellite Link.
A small accessory, the device can pair with any smartphone and instantly give it access to satellite signals. That way, you can send and receive messages via satellite link even in the most remote of places without any other kind of wireless communications signal available.
The Motorola Defy Satellite Link is a pocket-sized device that can connect to your iOS and Android devices over Bluetooth. Once paired, you can use the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app on your phone to send and receive messages, which are relayed by the device to geostationary satellites when you’re out of range from any terrestrial services. Do note, users on other end will also need to be using the Bullitt app to communicate with you, although they don’t need the same satellite access, as the app also works with both Wi-Fi and standard cellular connections. If you’re messaging someone that doesn’t have the app installed, the system will automatically send an SMS to that number, which will then give them a link to the app, so they can communicate with you. Aside from two-way messaging, the device can also perform location sharing to let other people know exactly where you are and SOS assistance.
In case you’re curious, the system uses satellites from Inmarsat and EchoStar for the connections. Current coverage is limited to Europe and North America, although Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Latin America should all be added by the middle of the year.
The Motorola Defy Satellite Link consists of a small device about the size of a belt buckle, so it’s small enough to slip in a pocket or hang on bag loop comfortably. It comes with physical buttons, so you can easily turn it on and off as needed, with its own built-in battery, so it won’t have to suck up juice from your phone when establishing and maintaining connectivity with orbital satellites. There’s no exact battery rating, by the way, as the product page simply says it’s subject to network and phone usage, although the 600 mAh battery should be enough to keep it running for a few days if you turn it off when not needed.
Since this is designed for use in off-grid locations, it comes in a rugged build. Specifically, the outfit claims it’s drop-proof from heights of up to 5.9 feet while being IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. That means, it should shrug off being submerged in 4.9-feet of water for up to 35 minutes.
The Motorola Defy Satellite Link is slated to come out in April, priced at $99 for the device. You can also opt for the $149 bundle, which gives you 12 months of 30 two-way messages a month. After that, subsequent 30-message monthly subscriptions costs $4.99 a month.