Motorola's handy Bluetooth device adds satellite messaging to your iPhone or Android smartphone

Need to communicate, but out of Wi-Fi and cellular range? Fear not -- this affordable device could come to your rescue.
Written by Charles McLellan, Senior Editor
Motorola Defy Satellite Link against a green background with white lines
Bullitt Group

If you want the peace of mind of access to satellite messaging, location tracking and SOS service without buying a new smartphone, such as the Cat S75 or Motorola Defy 2, Motorola has a solution for you: the Motorola Defy Satellite Link, which it is announcing at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

This is a credit-card-sized device measuring 70mm by 50mm by 11mm and weighing 70g that contains MediaTek's 3GPP NTN-standard modem to support Bullitt Satellite Connect, plus an eSIM and independent GPS. It connects via Bluetooth 5.1 to any iOS (14 or later) or Android (10 or later) smartphone, and is a rugged (IP68/MIL-STD-810H) unit with a lanyard and attachment loop so you can hang it round your neck or off your belt, or you can keep it in your car's glove box in case of auto emergencies.

Also: The most exciting phones at MWC 2023 (that you likely can't buy)

Usefully, the Motorola Defy Satellite Link, which is powered by a 600mAh battery, is transferable between phones -- so you could lend the device to a family member who was going on a hiking trip, for example. The device has a physical SOS and location 'Check in' button, so it can perform essential functions even when separated from its paired smartphone.

Bullitt Satellite Connect (BSC) makes use of GEO (geostationary) satellites operated by Inmarsat and EchoStar and managed by Bullitt's satellite network service partner Skylo. A text message (up to 140 characters) with location information from a phone paired with the Motorola Defy Satellite Link and with the Bullitt Satellite Messenger (BSM) app installed travels some 22,300 miles to the nearest GEO satellite and is relayed back to a Skylo ground station, whence it travels via a cellular or Wi-Fi internet connection to its recipient. You are prompted to download the BSM app on receiving your first satellite message as an SMS on a regular smartphone; replies via BSM take the opposite route (Wi-Fi or cellular to ground station, to satellite, to satellite phone).

Also: How to use iPhone 14's emergency SOS satellite text feature

SOS assistance is also available with Bullitt Satellite Connect, courtesy of FocusPoint International, which manages 24/7 monitored response centers that handle emergency messages and assistance requests, escalating to emergency services as required.

The Motorola Defy Satellite Link will be available in Q2 2023 across international retailers at $99 / €119 / £99 for the device only. A bundle with a one-year Essential plan (up to 30 satellite messages a month and SOS Assist) will start at $149 / €169 / £149.

"The Defy range of rugged devices have broad appeal, and the Motorola Defy Satellite Link is especially relevant to all of us who have ever found ourselves outside of traditional messaging coverage." said Dave Carroll, vice president, strategic brand partnerships at Motorola in a statement. "Adding assured connectivity with two-way satellite messaging at such an affordable price broadens the appeal of the Motorola Defy range and we look forward to bringing the Motorola Defy Satellite Link to a new segment of mobile phone users in the coming months."  

Motorola Defy Satellite Link
Image: Bullitt Group

Motorola Defy Satellite Link specifications

Dimensions70mm x 50mm x 11mm
Physical keyspower, SOS & Check In
Ruggednessdrop-tested onto steel • IP68 dust/water ingress protection • MIL-STD-810H (vibration, humidity & salt mist, thermal shock)
Satellite connectivityBullitt Satellite Connect (2-way messaging, location sharing, SOS)
PositioningGPS, Glonass, Galileo, Beidou
Standalone capabilityCheck In & SOS
Battery capacity600mAh
Battery chargingUSB-C
Pricedevice only: from $99 / €119 / £99 • with one-year Essentials satellite messaging plan (up to 30msgs/month + SOS Assist): from $149 / €169/ £149
AvailabilityQ2 2023

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