Satellite Phone Comparison

Satellite PhoneCoverageUsabilityWeightDurabilityClarityDataBatteryAirtimeGPSOverall
Globalstar GSP1700 Satellite Phone
Globalstar GSP1700 Satellite Phone
2342528kbps35No3.5
Inmarsat iSatPhone 2 Satellite Phone
Inmarsat iSatPhone 2 Satellite Phone
443442.4kbps54Yes3.6
Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone
Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone
5545312kbps33Yes3.8
Thuraya XT Satellite Phone
Thuraya XT Satellite Phone
3353460kbps43Yes3.6

Above is our expertly prepared satellite phone comparison. Each satellite phone has been reviewed on its features relative to user needs.

Usability takes into account how easy it is to get the satellite phone registered on the satellite network, how long it takes to connect the first call, whether it can receive calls with the antenna stowed away or not, and how easy it is to navigate the phone menus and use phone features like text messaging.

Durability takes into account not only the satellite phones drop resistance but also the degree to which it is protected against dust and water. Clarity takes into account not just call quality but also call stability – the likeliness or otherwise of experiencing dropped calls.

Ratings for data takes into account not just the speed and usability of a data connection, but also the ease or otherwise of setting it up. The Iridium Extreme’s data throughput for example can be doubled to 24kbps by using the Iridium AxcessPoint accessory, but it is a pain to set up.

Airtime is a score that is assessed on wholesale prices and therefore, depending on reseller markups, should give a good indication of how much it would cost an end user to run, or operate, a given satellite phone.

While overall scores fall into a very narrow margin, the individual scores are what matters most. The Globalstar GSP1700 satellite phone for example scores 5 for both airtime cost and clarity, but only 2 for coverage and durability.

Please click on the satellite phones in the table below for the full review on each.