Best Satellite Phones in 2024: Updated Buyer's Guide

off-grid satellite phone services
off-grid satellite phone services

2024 Satellite Phone Buying Guide and Reviews 

Satellite phones have come a long way in the last decade. Once bulky devices with spotty connections, the sat phones of today provide reliable voice and data practically anywhere on the planet.  Top questions is: what is the best satellite phone to buy? as of 1/26/2024.

As we look ahead to 2024 early trends, satellite services promise faster speeds, expanded coverage, and next-gen devices.

New Low Earth Orbit Networks 
Several companies are launching ambitious new satellite networks in low Earth orbit (LEO) that reduce latency while greatly expanding capacity. 

SpaceX's Starlink network promises to soon offer globe-blanketing satellite internet. 

LEO networks from OneWeb and others aim specifically at providing broadband connectivity comparable to terrestrial networks. For satellite phone users this competition stands to make once expensive connectivity more affordable.

Global Coverage Expands
Satellite services already span the entire globe, but new investments are further closing gaps in extremely remote regions. Iridium’s Next network provides pole-to-pole coverage including the oceans. China’s expanding fleet aims to enhance services across Asia. 

Government initiatives in Australia, India and others seek to serve rural regions. More satellites and ground infrastructure improve stability for voice calls and data usage when traveling off grid.  

Faster Data Speeds  
While still no match for 5G, advancements in satellite broadband now offer up to 500kbps connections for internet browsing, email, messaging, imagery and critical data transfers from remote regions. 

Satellite hotspots create wifi connectivity to serve ships, aircraft, remote worksites and areas impacted by disasters. As satellite internet proliferates, deploying supporting telephony infrastructure also enables faster, more affordable service.

Cutting Edge Satellite Handsets and Devices
Early satellite phones resembled cinder blocks. But devices launching in 2024 from Iridium, Inmarsat, Thuraya and others represent scientific marvels packing high speed antennas, durable batteries and smartphone-esque designs into compact handsets no heavier than an average mobile. Rugged, waterproof and capabilities-rich models catering to consumers, enterprises and government agencies push boundaries.  

Affordable Access for today's buyers
For all their capabilities, prohibitive airtime rates still price satellite usage out of reach for many cost-conscious buyers. But as networks multiply ahead in 2024, long term trends point to usage costs declining across most providers. 

Bulk purchase plans for high traffic users, financing options and bundling communication/tracking solutions helps enable wider adoption.  

No technology can quite match the universal, reliable connectivity satellite networks provide. As continued innovation focuses satellite bandwidth while expanding capacity, we move closer to a future where anyone anywhere has the capabilities needed to communicate and thrive globally. 

 Satellite communications help save lives, empower growth and make the planet feel smaller even as technology makes the universe more accessible.

$ 149.99
Motorola Defy Satellite Link

All of the below mentioned sat phones can be purchased at Amazon

Best model satellite phone reviews and buying guide:

Iridium 9575 Extreme Satellite Phone

With excellent call quality, global coverage, and improved data speeds, the Iridium 9575 is arguably the most well-rounded satellite phone available in 2024. It's compact, slimmed-down design is tougher than past Iridium handsets yet comfortable for hours of use. Standout features include integrated SMS, email access, GPS tracking support and connectivity supplementary services like weather updates and emergency notifications. 

While still an investment, the 9575 offers reliability for diverse usage from weekend warriors to commercial shipping fleets. Just be prepared for voice/data rates on the pricier side.  

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Inmarsat IsatPhone 2

Inmarsat has been a go-to for years thanks to robust satellite infrastructure, and the IsatPhone 2 takes advantage with versatile capabilities packaged in a highly durable design. Whether trekking across arctic tundra or coordinating relief efforts after disasters, the IsatPhone 2 delivers with texting, email/web access and clear voice quality that stands out from the pack. 

Integrated GPS, online tracking portal and assistance button provide security. Audio is loud and calls consistent across the most remote regions. It comes with a steep price tag and uninspiring interface, but remains a leading solution for global communications. 

Rating: 4/5 Stars  

Garmin inReach Mini 2

Perfect for backcountry adventures, the inReach Mini 2 proves satellite connectivity can now fit in your pocket. More an emergency communicator than standalone sat phone, the Mini 2 focuses on core features: two-way text messaging via the Iridium satellite network, built-in navigation, location sharing and interactive SOS alert system. 

By pairing over Bluetooth to smartphones, it can enable personal contacts to track your travel in near real-time via the web. Affordability and global range in a mini format make the inReach Mini 2 a breakthrough for peace-of-mind remote connectivity.  

Rating: 5/5

$ 299.99
$ 349.99
Garmin inReach Mini Handheld GPS Satellite Communicator - Black/Orange

Let me know if you need any specific details expanded on any device or would like additional 2024 satellite phone reviews! 

- satellite integration into conventional mobile phones-wikipedia