Top 10+ Best Satellite Phone for Backpacking in 2020

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Are you wanderlust? If you are someone who keeps travelling and loves to go on seeking adventures, you might have come across difficulties in connecting to people when locked up in remote places. The evolution of cellular phones has come a long way. Every year, there are a number of upgrades in smartphones. You can connect to anyone, anywhere on the globe using smartphones. However, this definition is not exactly perfect, as sometimes we find it difficult or impossible to connect to people through smartphones when traveling or residing in a remote area. In these areas, smartphones find no network coverage. 

If you are a travel bud and in need of a device to connect to your friends and family, even while you are away, a ‘satellite phone’ comes to the rescue. No exaggeration, but a satellite phone is so more efficient and accessible than you might think. A satellite phone works anywhere you go, even in places where there is nil network coverage. Be it rocky mountains, snowy roads, or out of the signal area, a satellite phone won’t stop working when you are willing to communicate with others. 

Satellite phones are exclusively designed for travellers and people staying in out of network coverage areas to connect and send their message to their beloved ones. As the idea of a satellite phone looks appealing, you must also put in some efforts to learn how it works and choose the best one in the market. A satellite phone requires a subscription to access. These phones are mostly costly, as they are of special design and crucial importance. 

You can choose the phone according to your budget and needs. The seller of the satellite phone will also ask you details on the subscription pack and service. We have made your job easy by shortlisting some of the best working satellite phones available in the market. Go through the specifications of each one thoroughly before you place the order. 

Top 10+ Best Satellite Phone for Backpacking in 2020

1. BlueCosmo Inmarsat IsatPhone 2.1 Satellite Phone Kit & 100 Unit Prepaid SIM

  • Model number: IsatPhone 2
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 6.65 x 1.14 x 2.05 inches
  • Color: Black

BlueCosmo Inmarsat IsatPhone 2.1 Satellite phone kit comes with a free 100 unit prepaid SIM card. You can roam anywhere around the globe, without having to think about missing your beloved ones. This satellite phone will make your travel easier by providing an amazing reception at any location. 

The 100 pre-paid units offered by this brand will be valid for 90 days. The phone will not charge you separately for any activation charges. When you require additional prepaid units, you can go to the BlueCosmo website and buy needed units. The company charges 1.5 units per voice minute globally, 0.6 units per outgoing SMS. Incoming calls or messages are free. Even roaming calls and messages are free. You should activate the phone within 1 year of purchase. 

The phone package includes satellite phone handset, battery, Charger with plugs, earpiece, USB cable, SIM card, and guide. The brand also provides an 18-month warranty for your product. The phone is resistant to hard activities and dust. It can also resist shock and spraying of water. The display is bright and clear to view at any time. 

The battery will work for the long run, providing 8 hours of talk time and 160 hours stand by. The product is also fair and good for the price it offers. The reception sensitivity and audio quality of this satellite phone are sharp and awesome. It has got the utmost positive reviews from its users online.

Pros

  • Best reception and audio quality
  • Good battery life
  • Easy activation process
  • Offers free 100 unit prepaid SIM card with the package
  • No roaming charges, free incoming calls
  • 18 months warranty
  • Fair price for its specs

Cons

  • No cons

2. SatPhoneStore Iridium 9575 Extreme Satellite Phone Standard Package with Blank Prepaid SIM Card

  • Model number: Iridium 9575
  • Weight: 8.6 ounces
  • Color: Black

SatPhoneStore Iridium 9575 Extreme Satellite Phone is ready to activate phones that come with free prepaid and postpaid SIM Cards. The brand offers you free prepaid and postpaid SIMs. You can choose either one according to your need. The phone has good sensitivity and reception. It covers almost all parts of the world. 

Wherever you go, with this phone you can keep connecting with your friends and family. The phone has a fully integrated SOS button and an emergency response service facility. The phone is made of durable material; therefore will work for a longer period without any wear off. The satellite phone package includes phone handset, battery, AC travel charger with adapters, earphones, leather case, USB data cable, quick start manual, CD-ROM with software, 2 accessory adapters, and a magnetic vehicle mount antenna. 

The phone also offers you added accessories like tempered glass screen to protect your display screen, Tough Case, and a silicon protective case. This is one of the added pros of this model. The GPS on this phone is customizable. It allows online tracking when you are away and allows you to program emergency notification to send to your close contacts. 

The emergency notification function of this phone will help you be safe and alert your close contact about your location when you need help or emergency. This is a good security benefit of this phone.

Pros

  • Offers both prepaid and postpaid SIM cards
  • Good reception and connectivity
  • Added accessories to protect your phone
  • Customizable GPS
  • SOS button
  • Emergency notification system for your security
  • Online tracking

Cons

  • No cons

3. Globalstar GSP-1600 Satellite Phone

  • Model number: GSP-1600
  • Weight: 2.75 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 20 x 12 x 8 inches
  • Color: Black

The Globalstar satellite phone will provide you effortless voice and data communication functions. The phone allows you to access incoming and outgoing calls, SMS, GPS, internet, voicemails, and e-mails at places where there is nil network coverage. The satellite phone package comes with a phone Handset, Battery, Wall Charger, and User Manual. 

The battery will allow you to operate your phone for about 3 and a half hours of talk time and 19 hours of standby mode. The brand will ask you to sign a 1-year service agreement after you purchase the phone. It offers both monthly and annual plans. You can configure customized call timers and set a ‘minute alert’ option to remind you when you are on a call for more than a minute. This will help you save costs for outgoing calls. 

It also has other features such as keypad lock and security lock for your phone for providing you a secure experience. The phone will indicate your signal strength, battery strength, notifications of voicemails, and log of your call history. The phone is designed in a versatile way to satisfy its users who opt for wireless communication. The phone is of great quality and durability. 

The audio quality is clear and crisp. The data speed is fair. When you turn the phone antenna up the phone will automatically detect the network and connect your calls or messages. The display of this phone shows battery strength, voicemail calls, messages, satellite signal strength. The phone can be operated even in extreme cold and hot weather. It can bear cold up to -20 while the heat of up to 55 degrees Celsius can be resisted.  

Pros

  • Crystal clear audio quality
  • Good reception
  • ‘Minute alert’ feature
  • Resists extreme temperatures
  • Keypad lock and security lock features
  • Automatic network detection
  • Good durability

Cons

  • The phone size is a bit larger

4. BlueCosmo Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone Bundle with Prepaid SIM Card Included

  • Model number: CPKT1101
  • Weight: 8.7 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 x 1.06 x 2.36 inches
  • Color: Black

BlueCosmo Iridium 9555 Phone is one of the smallest satellite phones in the market. It comes in an attractive small, sleek, and compact design. It is easy to carry anywhere you go. The phone offers you a free prepaid SIM card. The phone is powered by 66 cross-linked Low Earth Orbit satellites, exclusively to provide you uninterrupted connectivity and signal. The phone offers high-quality crystal clear audio quality. The data speed is also fast and fine. 

The brand is known for its brand value in the satellite phone industry. It is powered to provide complete signal across mountains and oceans. The phone offers integrated speaker technology. Other features include SMS and email facilities. Iridium phones are known for their powerful technology. The antenna in this phone is internally designed to provide an impressive outlook. The phone offers incoming and outgoing SMS with email facilities. 

The battery will provide you a good life. It offers talk time of 3 hours and standby time up to 30 hours. The satellite phone can be operated in extreme cold and hot temperatures. It can bear cold up to -10 degrees Celsius while the heat of up to 55 degrees Celsius can be resisted by the phone. The phone is also resistant to water splashes. 

The phone will allow you up to 100 contact entries. The Phone package comes with a handset, Rechargeable Battery, AC charger, plug kit, DC travel charger, headphone, leather case, auxiliary antenna, USB data cable, manual and user guide, and CD-ROM. 

You must have an account in BlueCosmo to activate your SIM card in the phone. You can always extend your talk time anytime you want to use online services. The brand allows you to receive notifications about the talk time expiry date or when your balance is running low. BlueCosmo will also assist you with technical support 24/7 when you have any queries.

Pros

  • Small sleek and attractive design
  • 24/7 technical support
  • Alerts when your airtime expires or runs low
  • Heat, cold and water-resistant
  • Good battery life
  • Great connectivity and signal reception
  • No external antenna
  • Fast data speed

Cons

  • Few complaints about the phone’s reception in closed areas

5. Thuraya XT-LITE Satellite Phone

  • Model number: XT-LITE
  • Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 x 1.18 x 1.97 inches
  • Color: Black

Thuraya XT-LITE satellite phone offers dual GSM feature with voice calls and SMS features, all done through one SIM card. The phone is easy and comfortable to use. The battery of this phone will produce long-lasting battery lifetime. It is known for providing up to six hours of talk time and up to 80 hours of standby time. It supports powerful satellite networks and provides you amazing connectivity. 

You can travel to the mountains or deserts or seas, this phone will provide you uninterrupted connectivity. The phone is designed in a way to provide secured and clear connections to its users. This model is one of the rare phones in the market to provide a dual GSM feature. The phone will cover almost one-third of the globe and provide effortless communication. It will approximately cover up to 160 countries in the world. 

Even when the phone antenna is stowed, it will keep you connected. But there is a drawback. The satellite phone comes with a specific network coverage area. It does not support connectivity within areas of the United States of America. You can go through the Thuraya network coverage map to see which countries and areas it covers. The phone is incorporated with an advanced Omni-directional antenna, which will make sure you receive crystal clear signal and supports uninterrupted communication. 

To start using, you can charge the phone and make your calls or SMS. The phone provides up to 12 languages. You can choose your desired language and program the phone settings accordingly. The phone provides multiple extra features similar to smartphones. It includes an address book, alarm set, calculator, calendar, call logs, conference calls, contact groups, speed dialing, stopwatch, and world time. A post-paid SIM card is necessary to connect to both GSM and satellite networks. If you are interested to use a prepaid SIM card, you should also use an additional GSM SIM card to avail both satellite and GSM networks.

Pros

  • Offers both GSM and satellite network
  • Multiple extra features
  • Great connectivity and speed
  • Supports 12 languages
  • Battery life is good
  • Provides connection even when the antenna is stowed 

Cons

  • Comes with a list of specific network coverage area
  • No network coverage in the USA 

6. 2019 Unlocked IsatPhone 2.1 Satellite Phone – Sim Card Included

  • Model number: Inmarsat 2.1
  • Weight: 2.36 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 8.94 x 8.5 x 3.74 inches
  • Color: Black

The satellite phone package of this model does not include a SIM card like its peers. But, it offers a prepaid or postpaid SIM card according to your need separately. The SIM card will be sent overnight in less than a day. You can plan your monthly or annual service based on plans. 

After setting up, you can use the satellite phone for uninterrupted communications. The phone allows incoming and outgoing calls, SMS, and GPS tracking services. It does not cost any roaming charges. The phone package includes phone handset, battery, wall charger with international plugs, Car DC charger, Holster with a belt clip, earphone, Lanyard, USB cable, USB thumb drive with documentation, manual guide, SIM card. 

The brand offers a warranty of up to 1 year. The phone is designed in a way to resist hard handling and shocks. It is also dust and water-resistant. It can be operated in extreme heat and cold temperatures. It can resist cold up to -20 degrees Celsius and heat up to 55 degrees Celsius. 

The display of the phone is clear and bright. You can even view the display clearly in the bright day time. The battery is known to work for up to 8 hours of talk time and 160 hours of standby time. The phone provides 24/7 customer tech support.

Pros

  • 1-year warranty
  • Dust, water and shock-resistant
  • Can handle extreme heat and cold temperatures
  • The display is clear and bright
  • Good battery life
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons

  • Some users complain over longer time the company takes for phone activation 

7. BlueCosmo Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone Bundle – Prepaid SIM Card Included

  • Model number: 9575
  • Weight: 8.7 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 x 1.06 x 2.36 inches
  • Color: Black

BlueCosmo Iridium Satellite phone avails prepaid airtime. It cost no activation charges. You can always purchase additional airtime minutes before your airtime expires. Incoming SMS is free. It does not cost any roaming charges. You can use calls, SMS, and GPS services on this phone. The phone is small and compact. It can fit inside your pocket perfectly.

Wherever you are stuck in the world, the emergency SOS button on this phone will make you request help. The phone package comes with a satellite phone handset, battery, AC wall charger, Automobile DC charger(CLA), Holster, earphone, USB adapter, Power USB & External antenna adapter, Auxiliary magnetic mount antenna, USB cable, manual guide, and SIM card. The brand is known for its brand value in the satellite phone industry. 

It is powered to provide complete signal across mountains and oceans. The phone offers integrated speaker technology. Other features include SMS and email facilities. Iridium phones are known for their powerful technology. The phone offers incoming and outgoing SMS with email facilities. 

It provides a warranty for 18 months. The phone is resistant to dust, shock, water splashes, and vibration. The phone is designed in a strong grip manner to avoid accidental slips.

Pros

  • Compact and small in size
  • 18 months warranty
  • Great connectivity
  • Emergency SOS button for help
  • Brand value
  • Dust, water and shock-resistant 

Cons

  • Expensive

8. Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro2 handheld satellite phone

  • Model number: PRO2
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 10 x 9 x 4 inches
  • Color: Black

Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro2 Satellite Phone comes with a SIM card ready to activate. You can always contact the phone seller to discuss the airtime plans and packages. There is no particular plan fixed, you have a wide range of options to choose from. You can choose a monthly or annual plan and fix prices accordingly. The phone offers good connectivity and communication. The phone is made of durable lasting material.

The phone allows voice calls, SMS, and GPS tracking. You can roam anywhere on the globe and still connect with your friends and family through this phone. The phone does not charge for incoming calls or SMS. You can receive calls and messages from your friends for a free entire lifetime. You have to pay for your outgoing services after it expires.

The satellite phone package includes a handset, battery, international plug kit, DC charger, Holster, earphone, Lanyard, USB cable, user manual, and SIM card. The brand also offers you a warranty for up to 1 year. You can always connect to the company if you find any trouble within a year.

Pros

  • GPS Tracking facility
  • Good connectivity
  • Durable material
  • 1-year warranty
  • Free SIM card

Cons

  • No cons

9. Globalstar gsp-1700 satellite phone

  • Model number: 799559655822
  • Weight: 17.6 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 12 x 7 x 4 inches
  • Color: Black

Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone is made of Ergonomic design. The lighted keypad will enable accessing details like call history, calls, SMS, and other features in an effortless way. You can travel to the mountains or deserts or seas, this phone will provide you uninterrupted connectivity and communications. The phone is designed in a way to provide secured and clear connections to its users. 

The battery is known for its best performance. You can receive incoming calls and messages and send outgoing calls or messages easily through this phone.

The battery life is up to 4 hours talk time and 36 hours of standby time. The Backlit color display of the satellite phone is optimized in such a way to make outdoor daytime viewing easier.

Pros

  • Ergonomic design 
  • Good battery life
  • Backlit display
  • Connectivity is sensitive
  • Secured connection

Cons

  • Few users’ complaints on connectivity issues

10. Garmin in Reach Explorer+, Handheld Satellite Communicator with Topo Maps and GPS Navigation

  • Model number: 010-01735-10
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 1.5 x 2.7 x 6.5 inches
  • Color: Black with red combination

Garmin satellite communicator is known best for its brand value and performance. The global iridium satellite will make sure you don’t miss any calls or messages. You can call or message anyone, anywhere on the globe easily with this phone. A satellite subscription is necessary for working. 

The phone has a fully integrated SOS button and an emergency response service facility. You can always press this to seek help. The rescue monitoring center will reach you anywhere on the globe. You can share your location with anyone with this device. The battery will work for the long run and is rechargeable. 

You can even pair this device with your smartphones using the earth mate app and get access or download as many maps. You can use Bluetooth to connect it to your Apple or Android smartphone. The device comes with built-in DeLorme TOPO maps and it also has a built-in digital compass to guide you. 

These maps and sensors will help you in a way you can’t imagine. The efficiency of this will be proven when you are miles away in a remote area or region. The device is a message communicator and it cannot be used for incoming or outgoing voice calls. 

Pros

  • Brand value
  • Global satellite reach
  • SOS emergency button to seek help
  • Built-in maps and sensors with digital compass
  • Good battery life
  • Can connect with your smartphones

Cons

  • No provision for voice calls, only messenger

Buyer’s Guide

Satellite phones are mostly costlier than smartphones. There are many brands of satellite phones available in the market. You might get in a situation where you find it tricky to choose the best one. Sort out your need first and select the satellite phone based on the significant factors listed below.  

1. Budget

Like mentioned earlier, satellite phones are usually costlier than smartphones. Decide your budget before you go through specifics of different satellite phones in the market. The features and quality of phones vary according to the price. With even the normal model satellite phones being costly, the advanced models with upgraded technology come with even higher prices. If you are open to buying phones that are too costly, look for phones that have top-notch features like calls, data, SMS, GPS, etc. Do not worry if your budget is mediocre, as there are satellite phones with amazing features in price that do not have a sky-rocketing price. 

2. Charging and equipment

Satellite phones usually use a lithium-ion battery. It comes with charging accessories provided in the package. Your satellite phone should be charged via a charging adapter that has the facility of an international plug. Sometimes the charging adaptor will be of old-style and you won’t be able to find a suitable charging point in the place you stay. As you will be wandering or travelling most of the time, find a phone with a popular charge pin or plug, and not an outdated one. This is just a safety precaution. Most of the phone brands will provide this suitably. Just in case, have a look by yourself. 

3. Display

The display is a very important feature on a satellite phone. It is not enough if the phone has great connectivity and services. You must be able to view calls, messages, location, and other important details on the display. Look for phones with clear crisp and bright displays. There is both monochrome and color display available in satellite phones. You can choose it according to your likes. It does not matter if the display is monochrome, as you can read the details and access the phone in the same way in both types of displays. The ability to show as many details clearly is important.

4. Connectivity

Connectivity is an important factor out of all, as it is the main use of buying a satellite phone. Your satellite phone must be able to provide uninterrupted signals wherever you go. Be it rocky mountains, deserts, snowy regions, or oceans, the phone should offer signal in areas that don’t have network coverage. Some phones are designed in a way to provide signals to specific regions. It might block one or two countries. You can always check that before you buy it. While most of the phones offer signals with powered satellite features, you should also check if the audio output is of crystal clear quality.

FAQs

1. Does a satellite phone cover all nook and corners around the world?

A satellite phone is generally designed to provide signal and communication facilities wherever you roam around the globe. It usually works everywhere except for extreme poles. Some brands block signals of certain countries. You can always check this with the brand before buying it.

2. Is a satellite phone suitable for usage in adventurous rough terrains?

Satellite phones of many brands are resistant to shock, dust, and water splashes. However, it is an electronic device after all. It could withstand pressure only up to a certain level. Look for resistant features and durability of the phone for this specific doubt.

3. What is the average data speed of a satellite phone?

A satellite phone usually offers data speed less than 5 or 10 kbps. Mostly it won’t cross beyond this rate. 

4. Do all satellite phones come with GPS tracking facility?

No. GPS tracking is not a mandatory feature on all satellite phones. Though, many models allow this feature along with voice calls and SMS services. You can look for the specs before you order.

5. Is the GSM network feature allowed in a satellite phone?

All the satellite phones do not provide this facility. You would be able to access only the satellite network in a satellite phone. Only rare models will let you use both networks according to your need. You can choose them from the choices available in the market.

All set for travel? Take time to go through the specifications of every single satellite phone, and sort out your needs. Choose the one that will suit your need the best. Grab the best satellite phone from the above list and set out to seek timeless adventures! You do not have to worry about missing any of your family or friends, as this device will cater to your communication needs.