Motorola's new gadget adds satellite connectivity to any smartphone
Satellite connectivity is making its entrance in the consumer smartphone market. Apple launched the Emergency SOS function in iPhone 14 that allows iPhone users to get in touch with emergency services in areas that do not offer mobile connectivity. Since then, Apple expanded the Emergency SOS feature.
Bullitt Group in cooperation with Motorola unveiled the Motorola Defy Satellite Link gadget at this year's MWC in Barcelona. The Bluetooth device provides satellite connectivity to any iOS or Android smartphone according to the announcement.
In reality, it is limited to devices running iOS 14 or newer, or Android 10 or newer. The main idea behind the gadget is to connect it to the phone via Bluetooth to enable the satellite connectivity.
Bullit Group describes the Motorola Defy Satellite Link gadget as a "compact, lightweight, Bluetooth accessory with a handy attachment loop" that customers may attach to keychains, backpacks, jackets and other gear.
Spec-wise, Bullit Group reveals that the the Bluetooth gadget is waterproof and dustproof with an IP68 rating, that it passed Mil-Spec 810H testing, and that it is powered by a 600 mAh battery.
MIL-STD-810 is a military test standard that is used to verify equipment. Devices need to undergo a series of tests that include temperature, humidity, mechanical shock, and low pressure tests among others.
The 600 mAh battery of the device is sufficient for multiple days of use according to the official announcement on the Bullitt Group website.
The Motorola Defy Satellite Link uses MediaTek hardware for communication. Users need to install the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app on their Android or iOS devices, as it is used on the device for satellite communications.
Currently, connecting a Motorola Defy Satellite Link to a smartphone adds three main capabilities to the device:
- Location sharing.
- Two-way messaging using satellites.
- SOS emergency assistance, even in locations without mobile reception.
Recipients do not need the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app on their devices, as they may receive messages as simple text messages instead. They may also receive a link to download and install the Android or iOS app to respond to the message.
Motorola Defy Satellite Link Availability and Pricing
Bullitt Group plans to launch the Bluetooth gadget in April 2023. The price of the standalone device is $99 / €119 / £99. There is also a bundled option, which comes with a one year subscription to the Essentials Messaging Service plan. This plan allows for up to 30 two-way messages per month and includes SOS Assist functionality.
The price of the bundle is $149 / €169/ £149. Standalone plans start at $4.99 per month according to Bullitt Group, with SOS Assist functionality being provided by FocusPoint International.
Interested users may register for pre-order details on the Motorola Defy website.
The Motorola Defy Satellite Link is a cross-platform solution to add emergency SOS functionality, two-way satellite messaging and location sharing to modern Android or iOS devices.
Compared to existing options, such as Garmin's Inreach satellite technology, it looks to be a cheaper option. Garmin's subscription plan starts at $14.95 per month and it includes just 10 text messages. The standalone device is more expensive, but it also includes additional functionality, some of which come with extra costs.
Spain’s Hispasat Nexus satellite is able to provide WiFi to 100% to all its working countries and also to the required services like US’s spatial airforce, Intelsat, short/long flights and so forth, so I hope this gadget will be able to connect to it too! Thanks for the article by the way. :]