Apple’s iPhone 14 kicked off smartphone satellite connectivity for emergency SOS messaging when cell service isn’t available, and now everyone is following suit. From Qualcomm and Samsung to MediaTek with its new MediaTek 6825 “Bullitt” chip.
The first device to take advantage of MediaTek’s satellite chip is a dongle called the Motorola Defy Satellite Link. This little $100 device connects to any Android or iPhone over Bluetooth, allowing it to send emergency messages over satellite connectivity.
Considering many users will take this dongle out into the wild, it’s built to handle whatever you throw its way. The Link has a tough IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and lasts for days thanks to the rechargeable 600 mAh battery.
From there, owners will use the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app for communication. While it’s a full-fledged app that works over Wi-Fi and cellular, it’ll connect to a satellite to send out SOS messages when necessary. It’ll shoot off a message as long as you have a clear sky view.
Interestingly enough, you don’t have to find and face a satellite like Apple’s implementation. That’s because the technology differs a bit. And while it may take a little longer to send the message, MediaTek and Motorola say it’s a seamless process.
If the recipient doesn’t have the Bullitt Messenger app, they’ll get an SMS text saying to download it, then it’ll deliver the satellite SOS message. Remember that the dongle costs $100, but owners must fork out another $5 per month for active satellite connectivity. However, it’s free for those on the receiving end.
You can also use the Motorola Defy Satellite Link to share your precise location in an emergency and an “SOS Assist” feature to directly contact emergency response centers partnered with FocusPoint International. Plus, a dedicated “check-in” button on the device will ping your location even when it’s not connected to a phone.
The Motorola Defy Link will be available in the coming months for $99, and users can buy a 12-month service bundle for a small discount. This is a great device to have that’ll bridge the gap until more Android phones have satellite connectivity built-in.