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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.

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Joe Maring
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
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