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ckelly709
member (5)member
  
09/12/2023 10:40AM  
Just wanted to let anyone who is interested know that I just got back from a trip and had purchased the Motorola Defy to use as a satellite messenger. It worked quite well up there. Things to know about it: It only does text messages and requires a phone to send/receive messages. It connects through bluetooth to your phone and uses the bullitt app. Anyone who wants to respond to a message youve sent also must use the bullitt app to do so, but it does not require a subscription for the person who receives/responds to your message. The device costs $150 and as of right now it includes the premium subscription until October and then you also get a full year for free of the lesser service. The lesser service is something like 30 messages a month. It also has an SOS button and can be triggered without the phone connected.

What I didnt like:
The SOS button doesnt have any kind of cover to it, so it could accidentally be pressed. I covered the button with a hard plastic so that it did not accidentally occur.

We encountered a large storm on 9/5/23 that pulled down nearly a dozen trees near our campsite on Amber lake. Site 1044. One of which missed our canoe by about a foot, and our tarps by a few feet. Luckily we all got to safe ground and no one was hurt along with all our gear remaining intact.

My group was quite glad we had it, and even more glad we didnt need to use the SOS.
 
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billconner
distinguished member(8664)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
09/12/2023 08:10PM  
Interesting. I couldn't find "plans" for the defy. It's listed as an accessory for Motorola phones. Is a Motorola phone necessary?

I just bought a Zoleo which seems very similar, but always like the tech. Still hoping my cell phone will talk to starling pretty soon.
 
ckelly709
member (5)member
  
09/12/2023 09:08PM  
I do not have a Motorola phone. I think the subscriptions are through bullitt which is providing the satellite network. With it being a new product it's a bit tricky to navigate how it works. Here's a link to the plans. https://bullitt.com/en-us/plans/
 
billconner
distinguished member(8664)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
09/13/2023 06:41AM  
Pretty impressive! This review days $99 for device.

https://screenrant.com/motorola-defy-satellite-link-works-how/

The $60 annually for 250 messages would fit a lot of us. The only negative is recipients having to have an app.
 
ckelly709
member (5)member
  
09/13/2023 07:48AM  
I agree, with the first year of service being free it was hard to pass up. It was nice for the members of our group with kids to be a bit more accessible in case of an emergency with our families, or for an emergency for our group.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8664)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
09/13/2023 08:35AM  
The same technology seems possible to make to he everywhere cell phone a reality.
https://www.techradar.com/features/motorolas-next-rugged-phone-could-beat-the-iphone-14-at-satellite-communications
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2978)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/20/2023 10:06AM  
I’ve been reading reviews on Amazon about this device. So far, it looks like it needs a lot of work. Most reviews all agree that user instructions are awful. Most reviews also state a lot of issues with people receiving texts and they must also install the app on their phone too.

Bill, I think you will be much happier with the Zoleo. I have one too and it it does everything a GPS messenger should do. I really like that the Zoleo confirms that a message was sent whereas it sounds like the Motorola is just a guessing game if the message goes out or not.

I like the cheap annual price of the Motorola but I’ll pay more for a device I can trust. I’m sure Motorola will improve their product but it’s too early for me to even consider buying.
Tom
 
ckelly709
member (5)member
  
09/20/2023 10:27AM  
As far as confirming if the message goes out, there is a checkmark that appears on the message once sent successfully. I can't speak to anyone else's experience with the device, but I probably sent/received 40 messages and didn't have any problems. Though it should go without saying I had to make sure the device had satellite service when using it.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2978)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/20/2023 06:40PM  
ckelly709: "As far as confirming if the message goes out, there is a checkmark that appears on the message once sent successfully. I can't speak to anyone else's experience with the device, but I probably sent/received 40 messages and didn't have any problems. Though it should go without saying I had to make sure the device had satellite service when using it."


I’m definitely not dissing you for buying one. I’m glad you posted about it and it gives me hope that it does what it says. We are on the cusp of satellite service on every phone. It won’t be long that we will be repurposing cell towers for other purposes, or removing them all together.
Tom
 
ckelly709
member (5)member
  
09/20/2023 06:44PM  
All good. No hurt feelings here. I was between the Defy and the Zoleo and only opted for the Defy because of the more attractive price. I had hoped to find info here if it worked in the BW but came up empty. Figured if anyone else was in my shoes down the line they could reference this.
 
12/12/2023 07:46PM  
I'm really considering getting one of these. On sale for $99 and the first year basic subscription is free. Then it’s only $60 for the second year.

I was a PLB user for years and my wife likes the no news is good news approach with knowing I could hit the SOS if in trouble. Now that it needs to be replaced I really like the low cost of the Defy with the SOS button and ability to send a few messages while on a trip just to check in each day a couple of times.

Satelite connection for our phones is coming soon so I don't want to spend much on something. A year ago they were saying it was going to be happening by now already with T-mobile and Starlink.

It seems like the kinks are getting worked out as the reviews are getting better. I saw one video where the hiking guy tested a few of them. defy, zoleo, inreach, iphone 14 in a heavily wooded canyon and the defy matched up well with the others in percentage of successful messages sent and the amount of time to send. My wife and kids are the only ones I'd text so them needing the app isn't a downfall for me.

Almost all of my trips are solo or with one of my kids so I really like the SOS feature and I don't want one of the more expensive ones because my most recent trips have been inside of cell phone range so I'm not too worried about the messages. If I end up out of service then I can send check ins or receive emergency messages from home. Solo last Halloween to Slim, June to Wood with younger daughter, and this October to North Hegman. For the Fall trips I only get 2 nights so I don't go far and fall weather can change fast. Those trips are to enjoy being alone and to relax.

I like that the sos button and check in button with location share on the device work without being connected to the phone.
 
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