If you are going to travel to “the edge of the world” where there is no conventional GSM-network coverage, you will need to take a good satellite phone with you. It will also be useful as an emergency means of communication, if the mobile coverage in your region is not so good.

PrizedReviews offers a review of the best satellite phones from the latest lines of well-known companies with the most functional and reliable devices.

Thuraya XT-PRO Dual – a Phone that’s Always Online

A hybrid phone with two SIM cards can work as a satellite and as the most usual GSM-device at the same time, and both cards remain in an active mode at all times. Besides, the manufacturer has equipped XT-PRO with four popular navigation systems: GPS, BeiDou, Galileo and GLONASS – with such a package you will never get lost.

Pros:

  • Picks up 2G and 3G networks on land.
  • Gorilla glass with glare-resistant display: in the bright sun you can easily read what’s on it.
  • Access to the Internet from any of the SIM cards.
  • Powerful battery allows you to speak on the phone for 9-11 hours, and about 75% of the capacity gets back into the battery within an hour.
  • Ability to automatically send a fax or an e-mail with your location coordinates to a specified number. It comes in the form of a link that takes you to Google maps and stores your location mark.
  • Three tracking options with transmission of the information about the coordinates: at certain intervals, traveled distance or when leaving a certain area.
  • In the areas with a weak signal, if a call cannot be completed, the phone will still receive a notification.
  • The device has a separate SOS button.
  • A set of simple but great additional features (alarm clock, world clock, calculator, etc.).
  • Equipped with necessary accessories: two chargers (travelling charger with adapters for different sockets and a car charger), headphones and a cable for PC connection.

Cons:

  • Insufficient ingress protection – IP55, and impact resistance at IK05 (equivalent to a fall of a 200-gram hammer from a 35 cm height). For use in the city it is sufficient, but in extreme conditions it won’t work.

Iridium 9575 Extreme – for Extreme Conditions

This model has a great ingress protection – IP65 (or Mil STD 810, if we evaluate it in accordance with the military standards). The phone has a GPS tracking to track the location of the signal, and it sends the information to the owner’s personal account at the manufacturer’s official website.

The antenna is also interesting: it extends about 12 cm out, and you can turn the top of it in any direction to get a signal.

Pros:

  • Quickly establishes connection and maintains it well – numerous Iridium satellites do provide the widest coverage.
  • You can not only make calls and send text messages, but even send short messages to an e-mail (up to 160 characters) and use a voicemail.
  • Ergonomic, non-slip frame.
  • There is a customizable SOS emergency button.
  • Built-in notepad for 100/155 addresses (for “business cards” and for one-line contacts respectively).
  • Communication cost meter.
  • Includes a protective case, a car charger and a regular charger, adapters for the antenna and various types of outlets, as well as USB cable and a headset.

Cons:

  • The battery lasts only for 4 hours for conversations and up to 30 hours in a standby mode.

Inmarsat iSatPhone 2 – the Most Autonomous Satellite Phone

This model has a good protection from environmental conditions: IP65, operating temperature range -20 .. + 75 ° С, acceptable humidity level – up to 95%. The phone itself is equipped with a large glare-resistant display with a very clear picture.

Its main advantage is the battery, which in a conversation/standby mode can last for 8 and 160 hours respectively.

Pros:

  • You can register it in the network in 45 seconds, and if the sky is clear – even faster (in 10-15 seconds). Receives calls and messages even if the antenna is lowered.
  • There are built-in Bluetooth 2.0 and GPS.
  • Automatic tracking with a separate button for fast transmission of location coordinates.
  • Ability to send and receive e-mails.
  • Scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass screen.
  • SOS button.
  • Equipped with a lot of extras: in addition to a PC cord, charger with 4 adapters and a car charger, it also includes a wrist strap, a casing and a USB flash drive.
  • More affordable price than that of the analogues.

Cons:

  • A thick foldable antenna is located on the side of the monoblock, which is not very convenient.
  • It cannot immediately get through to the satellite if you are located in the depths of a forest.

Qualcomm GSP-1700 – a Compact and Inexpensive Option

This device has no “perks”, because it does not require a high level of protection or some “insane” independence. Qualcomm is designed for people who travel a lot around the world for business.

The main advantage of the phone is its connection quality – it receives signal almost anywhere in the world and has a transmission speed similar to that of the land-based networks.

Pros:

  • Always an excellent audibility.
  • You can answer your phone by pressing any button.
  • Phone book for 99 numbers, and it is possible to hide certain contacts from others.
  • Keyboard lock with the code – another useful feature in terms of security.
  • Duration of a call is easy to monitor by a minute beep via an earpiece.
  • Ability to send information by e-mail.
  • TCP / IP stack support, which allows you to use your phone as a modem.
  • Complete waterproof cover compensates lack of ingress protection.
  • Relatively low price.

Cons:

  • The battery capacity of 2600 mA/h is sufficient only for 4 hours of conversation or up to one and a half day in a standby mode.
  • Text messaging is not included, although you can receive messages.
  • A specific charger, difficult to find a replacement for it, although inside there is a widely-used 18650 battery.