The range of satellite communication devices for adventure travelers increasingly focuses on smartphone technology. Last year, Apple added satellite capabilities to the iPhone 14, and Qualcomm is readying its Snapdragon Satellite service.
Joining these, Motorola recently released the Motorola Defy Satellite Link. This palm-sized device pairs with an Android or iOS app via Bluetooth to allow two-way messaging and emergency calling capabilities. The Link is designed and manufactured by the Bullitt Group in the UK, who are known for producing the CAT and Land Rover tough phones.
Over the past few months, I tested the Defy Satellite Link to get to grips with the device’s potential use in the backcountry. First, here’s an overview of the key device features (full specification here) and how it works.
The Defy Satellite Link pairs to a smartphone via Bluetooth, and connects to a network of satellites that are in a geostationary orbit around the equator. To send text messages when out of regular cell phone or Wi-Fi connection, you must tap into the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app (your phone will require iOS 14 or Android 11). It allows you to text, share a GPS location point, and send a distress call. When activated, the SOS function sends the user’s location to Focus Point International. This organization then communicates via text with the user to assess the severity of the situation. If required, it alerts local emergency services.