The Best Satellite Phones of 2023

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With a satellite phone connection, you can communicate with people anywhere in the world. Satellite devices are essential for staying in touch with loved ones while traveling, hiking in remote locations, sailing, or flying, or they may even just help you to be ready for a natural disaster.

Nevertheless, not all satellite phones are created with the same features nor offer the same benefits. They come in a wide range of coverage area capacities, as well as variations in features such as battery life, voice clarity, and durability. 

Thinking about all these features may make a choice for a satellite phone rather confusing and difficult, That’s why we’ve created this guide to show you the best satellite phones in 2023, as well as the most important features to look out for during your purchase.

What are the Best Satellite Phones in 2023?

For our ranking of the best satellite phone models in 2023, we evaluated several excellent options using a variety of factors. These criteria included global coverage, voice clarity ratings, and battery life, among others. Based on these criteria, here are our suggestions for the best satellite phones in 2023:

Iridium Extreme 9575: Best Worldwide Coverage

Among all the satellite phones we evaluated, Iridium has the finest worldwide coverage in addition to having exceptional voice quality. Based on these criteria, we deemed it worthy to be on our list of the best satellite phones in 2023.

Iridium Extreme 9575 is one of the best satellite phones of 2023.

The most recent Iridium model, the 9575, is at the top of the list as the overall best satellite phone since it can operate almost anywhere in the world. The phone’s battery life may not last as long as other models (4 hours compared to other models’ 8 or 9 hours). Still, it makes up by offering one of the broadest coverages of any satellite phone with international service. 

Iridium is also renowned for the quality and dependability of its service, despite being one of the most expensive satellite phones when it comes to voice conversations (a 90-minute plan would cost you $100 per month). If you require longer conversation times, you can buy a backup battery. Although the phone itself is one of the most costly models on the market, you can still find it for under $1,000.

Furthermore, the Extreme 9575 has an SOS button that is located at the device’s top and hidden by a cover. Pressing the button gets the phone to send an emergency message with GPS data every five minutes after a 20-second wait.

Apart from minor downsides, Iridium’s capacities make it rather great, so we recommend it if you’re looking for one of the best satellite phones in 2023.

Garmin inReach Mini: Lightweight, Compact, and Great Battery Life

Of the satellite messengers we looked at, the Garmin inReach has the best battery life so it’s definitely on our list of the best satellite phones in 2023. 

The Garmin inReach Mini is more of a satellite communicator than a phone
The Garmin inReach Mini is more of a satellite communicator than a phone.

Insofar as it lacks voice calling capabilities, the Garmin inReach Mini is not actually a satellite phone and can be described more as a satellite communicator. Yet, because it can connect to satellites and transmit texts from virtually any place, it is excellent for delivering quick messages if you’re ever out in the wilderness. 

Typing longer messages on the phone’s four keys is time-consuming, but as long as the inReach Mini is turned on, family members can log in and track your progress on a map even if you decide not to send texts from the phone.

One notable feature that makes it one of the best satellite phones in 2023 is that you can go on extended hikes without power and maintain connectivity thanks to the device’s 90-hour standby battery life. Also, with an SOS button similar to those on satellite phones, you can contact a GEOS center and request help. 

The Mini is significantly smaller than typical satellite phones in size – it’s 4 inches long and 2.4 inches broad. Nonetheless, it is the best satellite phone in 2023 for people embarking on a backpacking, hiking, or mountain bike vacation in the woods due to its size, long battery life, and features.

Thuraya X5-Touch: Best Smartphone Functionality

The only popular satellite phone with smartphone functionality is the Thuraya X5-Touch, so naturally, it’s on our list of the best satellite phones in 2023. The X5-Touch supports Android-compatible apps and operates on the Android operating system. The 5.2-inch, 1080-pixel touchscreen on the X5 provides an experience that normal smartphone users will like.

Thuraya X5-Touch
Thuraya X5-Touch is one of the rare satellite phones with smartphone functionality..

Apart from its smartphone capabilities, however, the Thuraya X5-Touch has limited coverage and slow download speeds. Also, note that its apps will run much more slowly than they would on a normal smartphone. Compared to the 25 Mbps (megabits per second) of truly high-speed smartphone connections, 60 Kbps (kilobits per second) – while fast for satellite data transfer – is a snail’s pace. Also, the smartphone feature will cost you money.

Despite its limiting features though, the Thuraya offers an SOS button, a good six hours of talk time, and a relatively small size. As such, we still think it’s a good enough choice if you’re looking for one of the best satellite phones in 2023.

In summary, our suggestions will help you considerably if you’re interested in getting one of the best satellite phones in 2023. Just look out for the best deals so you can get as much value for your money as possible.

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