Fri. Sep 29th, 2023
The Motorola Defy Satellite Link: A Review of its Features and Performance

Satellite communication devices for adventure travelers are increasingly focused on smartphone technology. Last year, Apple introduced satellite capabilities to the iPhone 14, and Qualcomm is preparing its Snapdragon Satellite service. Joining these, Motorola recently released the Motorola Defy Satellite Link. This palm-sized device, designed and manufactured by the Bullitt Group in the UK, pairs with an Android or iOS app via Bluetooth to provide two-way messaging and emergency calling capabilities.

The Defy Satellite Link offers several key features. It allows for two-way satellite messaging, location sharing, and SOS assistance. It also has a check-in and SOS function that can operate without a phone connection. The device has an estimated battery life of up to 5 full days, is waterproof up to 1.5m for 30 minutes, and measures 85 x 62 x 11.2mm and weighs 70g.

To use the device, it must be paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth and connected to a network of satellites in a geostationary orbit around the equator. The Bullitt Satellite Messenger app is used to send text messages, share GPS locations, and send distress calls when there is no regular cell phone or Wi-Fi connection. The SOS function sends the user’s location to Focus Point International, which communicates with the user to assess the severity of the situation and alert local emergency services if necessary.

During field testing in the British mountains, the device performed well in areas with limited or no cell phone coverage. The setup process was straightforward, and the app interface was basic and intuitive. The device maintained a satellite connection, allowing for the sending of text messages and check-in messages. However, recipients were unable to reply directly to these messages via SMS.

The device is drop-proof and waterproof, making it durable for outdoor use. Battery life is advertised as up to 5 days but will vary based on usage. The device is currently available in Western and Central Europe and the United States, with plans for coverage expansion to other regions in the future.

Overall, the Motorola Defy Satellite Link offers useful features for adventure travelers who need reliable communication in remote areas. With its compact size and durable design, it provides peace of mind in emergency situations. However, users should be aware of the limitations of its app-to-app messaging system and battery life when connected to a smartphone.