Iridium 9575 Extreme Satellite Phone Review: Offering Unparalleled Reach

It’s amazing to think how far communication technology has come in a short time. Most of us couldn’t have predicted how technologically-driven our society would become and we wouldn’t have believed it if someone told us how crippling it would feel to some to not have all of their communication needs met through the small device hanging out in their back pocket.

Even so, there are times when our smartphones don’t function the way we need them to. We’ve all been in areas where there’s not a cell tower in sight. When that happens, connectivity (and often safety) is lost. Even the smartest phone won’t be able to do anything if there is no connection.

This is where satellite phones come in. Specifically, the Iridium 9575 Extreme, which is one of the most reliable forms of worldwide communication.

Maybe the Smartest Phone Isn’t Actually Your Smartphone

The modern smartphone began its journey in 1992. Other than making phone calls, the first smartphone added features such as email, a very basic stylus-enabled touchscreen, and faxing capabilities. Its high cost, however, made it an extravagance for most people and few units were sold. It wasn’t until the innovative design of the first iPhone came on the market in 2007 that consumers began to see the commodity the smartphone could be.

It is estimated that over 2.5 billion people worldwide now have smartphones.

So, we all know what smartphones can do: take high-quality photos, give us access to multiple social media channels, and allow for a unique experience based on the ever-growing amount of downloadable apps available at our fingertips. And of course, it allows for more basic functions such as text messaging and phone calls.

This is obviously not anything anyone wants to give up, but there is one huge component missing from your smartphone.

How smart is your smartphone when it drops calls? When you’re in the middle of an important work deal and you hit a dead zone? Your smartphone is at the mercy of cell towers and if you find yourself in an area where there are none in sight (or they’ve been compromised in some way) your smartphone suddenly becomes a very expensive electronic that doesn’t seem so smart anymore.

What if the truly smartest phone was one that could work anywhere in the world and could always be relied upon in matters of life and death? That’s a job for a satellite phone. The Iridium 9575 Extreme is one of the most reliable phones you could ever own.

Introduction to Iridium

Before we get into the specifications of the 9575 Extreme and how it fits into your lifestyle, it’s important to understand more about the publicly traded company Iridium Satellite Communications.

Even prior to the company’s start in 2000, 66 low-earth-orbiting satellites have been circling the world at an altitude of 485 miles. Specifically, there are six polar orbiting planes, and each contains 11 crosslinked satellites. What this does is create a web effect around the globe, allowing for 100% communication coverage worldwide. Since then, satellite products have been functioning on this one-of-a-kind network. It truly has no boundaries when it comes to connectivity and even works pole-to-pole. (Something your “smartphone” can’t do.)

In 2019, Iridium launched Iridium NEXT. With this operation, a total of 81 new, state-of-the-art satellites were built to replace the previous 66 (which now includes 15 spares.) Created for Iridium by Thales Alenia Space, CEO Jean Loic Galle stated, “”Totally deployed, Iridium NEXT is now arguably the world’s highest performing and most sophisticated constellation.”

The Iridium 9575 Extreme is just one of the many products operating on the network that brings its consumers the ability to communicate on the most far-reaching satellite communications platform available. And as the transition to Iridium NEXT continues, the Iridium Extreme will continue to perform at the highest level to give the consumer exactly what they need in reliable global connectivity.

Best Satellite Phone: The Iridium 9575 Extreme

Though we don’t recommend throwing away your smartphone, it’s not going to be the most faithful option in certain situations. For some, living without a satellite phone could become a major annoyance at best, and a dire need at worst.

Even though your smartphone is meant to be a use anywhere mobile phone, this isn’t always the case. From backcountry adventurer to sea-wandering wayfarer, having a satellite phone is a necessity. But this isn’t just for those looking for a little fun off the beaten path. The Iridium 9575 Extreme ensures business professionals never have to put their work on hold and in-the-field personnel are always within reach. With Digital Trends regarding it as the “best” satellite phone available, it’s the smartest choice for anyone traveling globally by land, sea, or air.

Look and Feel of the Iridium 9575 Extreme

Leave the light, streamlined aesthetic to your smartphone. A worldwide-functioning satellite phone such as the Iridium 9575 Extreme needs to be ruggedly built to withstand the types of conditions you’re not used to within city limits. In short, it’s built to last.

Created in 2011, this isn’t a phone you have to replace every couple of years to get the next best thing. Sand, dust, wind, and water (as well as those not so gentle throw and go situations) are no match for the tough, military grade design you’ll find in this satellite phone. Even though this is the smallest of Iridium’s satellite phones, they never intended it to win a beauty contest. The bottom line is that the phone was designed for its intended purpose, one that will work anywhere in the world and under the harshest of conditions – no matter what.

As far as outside design you’ll also notice:

  • The diamond tread, tapered grip makes it easy to hold
  • A 200-character, daylight readable display
  • Backlight for Nighttime Viewing
  • 21 supported menu languages

Noteworthy Specifications

The Iridium Extreme 9575 doesn’t just look the part, it acts the part, too. Someone seeking a satellite phone expects it to work far beyond the limits of their smartphone, and this one offers that. As a product operating on the Iridium network, it gives its user unparalleled reach as long as there is a clear line of sight to the sky.

There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to this phone. The safety it provides is truly unmatched. One of those safety features being the ability to use Google Maps to send a text message with your exact location from anywhere on the planet. Another is the excellent battery life – boasting a standby time up to 30 hours and talk time up to 4 hours on one charge.

Additionally, with the Iridium Extreme 9575 you can expect:

  • Reliable voice and data capability
  • Customizable GPS
  • Online Tracking capability
  • Emergency SOS with the push of a button
  • Quick satellite connection upon powering up
  • Integrated speakerphone
  • Quick-connect to Iridium voicemail
  • Two-way SMS and short email

Cost of the Iridium 9575 Extreme

The product, complete with travel charger and adapters, car charger, leather case, and USB data cable retails for about $1,700. Though I’ve seen it sold for less than $1,400. So, yes, you’ll see a heftier price tag than even the fanciest smartphone on the market, but for those consistently finding themselves in remote locations there isn’t a safer way to go than a satellite phone. Even for people who live in areas where natural disasters are common, such as hurricanes, a satellite phone can be an invaluable lifeline.

Iridium Monthy Minute Plans from Satmodo start at $59.99 per month. The per minute cost decreases with higher level plans. With this option you can also add on rollover minutes and even choose to have a USA phone number. Those preferring to utilize prepaid minutes will spend anywhere from $59.95 – $4,695.95 depending on your needs.

Final Takeaway of the Iridium 9575 Extreme Satellite Phone

Frequent travelers or those working off-the-grid will not find reliability among the smartest of smartphones. At the mercy of cell towers, it’s not their fault. But this leaves a pressing need for a satellite phone that knows no boundaries when it comes to communication. Iridium’s top-of-the-line 9575 Extreme is it.

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