Skip to main content

This small gadget gives you the iPhone 14’s best feature for $149

The Motorola Defy Satellite Link dongle.

When the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro launched last year, one of the hallmark features was their integrated satellite connectivity — enabling you to call for help or share your location with loved ones using satellites. Now, the Motorola Defy Satellite Link is launching in North America, allowing you to send satellite messages from your existing smartphone.

Announced at MWC 2023, the Motorola Defy Satellite Link is a small, key fob-like device that pairs with your iPhone or Android phone via Bluetooth and, in doing so, connects your smartphone to satellites orbiting Earth 22,300 miles away in space.

The benefit? If you need to send a text message but don’t have cell service, the Satellite Link still allows you to send messages via that satellite connection. In addition to text messages, you can also use the Check In button on the Motorola Defy Satellite Link to share your real-time location with loved ones. And if you get in trouble, the SOS Assist feature gives you 24/7 access to emergency services. Again, all of this works even without a cellular or Wi-Fi connection of any kind.

The Motorola Defy Satellite Link dongle being used with a smartphone.
Using the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app Motorola

To send messages via satellite, you — and the people you want to communicate with — will need to download the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app and create an account. From there, you can send texts through the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app just like you would on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.

Although the Motorola Defy Satellite Link may seem like a niche gadget, it could be legitimately useful for a lot of people. If you like hiking or biking in remote areas with spotty cell service, for example, the Satellite Link is a small and inexpensive way to ensure you can stay in touch with family/friends — or call emergency services if you get in trouble.

While not as elegant as having satellite connectivity built into your phone, the appeal of the Motorola Defy Satellite Link is that it almost certainly works with whatever phone you have right now. So long as you have an Android phone running Android 10 or later, or an iPhone with iOS 14 or newer, you’re good to go.

Also great is the price. Instead of having to spend at least $799 on a new iPhone with satellite connectivity, the Motorola Defy Satellite Link is available now for just $149. That gets you the Satellite Link plus a free one-year subscription to the Essentials Messaging plan for the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app, which includes SOS Assist and up to 30 two-way messages per month. After your first year, plans for the app start at $5/month.

You can purchase the Motorola Defy Satellite Link now from AT&T, B&H Photo, Bass Pro Shops, and other major retailers.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Maring
Section Editor, Mobile
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
How to get rid of someone else’s Apple ID on your iPhone
iPhone 11 Pro Settings

While it's always a good idea to wipe your iPhone before selling it or passing it on to someone else, it's not uncommon for some folks to forget this important step, especially if they're just handing an old iPhone down to a friend or family member. Hence, if you've acquired a used iPhone from somewhere, you may find that it's still signed into the Apple ID of the previous owner, which can be a pretty frustrating situation as it makes it difficult for you to make your new iPhone truly your own.

Depending on whose Apple ID you're using, this may be more than just an inconvenience. Using an iPhone that's fully signed in to someone else's Apple ID means that you'll be syncing data like your photos and messages with their iCloud account instead of yours, and it's likely they can even track its location via Apple's Find My iPhone. Even if they're a close friend or immediate family member, you may not want them to have that level of access to your personal life.

Read more
This $600 Android phone has one big advantage over the iPhone
Two people holding the Fairphone 4 showing off the phone's rear side.

After nearly two years of wondering if it'll ever be sold officially in the U.S., the Fairphone 4 — a smartphone that hangs its hat on its repairable design — has finally launched in North America. With the evergrowing issue of e-waste, it's nice to see a company that's focused on following sustainable practices that allow users to fix their phones themselves instead of the all-too-common problem of having to throw out your iPhone and buy a new one when small issues occur.

Take note that the U.S. release of the Fairphone 4 is actually a variant called the Murena Fairphone 4, which differs from the base device with its Android-based operating system /e/OS.

Read more
I tried to replace my GoPro with this new phone and its clever camera
The Asus Zenfone 10, along with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Apple iPhone 14 Pro, and the GoPro Hero 11 Black.

The Asus Zenfone 10's camera is attached to a gimbal, and with it comes the promise of shooting steady, shake-free video even when you’re moving around.

Does this mean it can take on the mighty GoPro, and perhaps mean you only need to carry around one device instead of two? To find out, we put the Zenfone 10 against the latest GoPro camera and two of its smartphone peers.
Understanding the Zenfone 10’s gimbal
The gimbal can be seen working in the viewfinder Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Read more