The new IsatPhone2 is reviewed and compared to the IsatPhone PRO

Outfitter Satellite was privileged to beta test the impressive new Inmarsat IsatPhone2 satellite phone. Inmarsat will continue to offer the original IsatPhone PRO, but beginning in March 2014, the new more feature rich IsatPhone2 will become the gold standard Inmarsat GSPS satellite phone. The new phone's most exciting capabilities include GPS location reporting and an emergency SOS button. Here is a quick overview of some of the other improvements you can expect from the IsatPhone2 compared to the original IsatPhone PRO:

  • Faster Registration Time: The IsatPhone2 has a faster ready-to-make-a-call time on power up (about 45 seconds).
  • Ring-While-Stowed Capability: It can ring with the antenna in its stowed position. This allows the phone to receive calls while holstered. Iridium satellite phones have the ring-while-stowed capability so this additional feature is an important step up for Inmarsat GSPS satellite phones.
  • Greater Battery Life: The IsatPhone2 has 160 hours of standby time or 8 hours of talk time on a single charge. This compares to 100 hours of standby time or 8 hours of talk time for the original IsatPhone Pro satellite phone.
  • Greater Water and Dust Resistance: It has a very strong IP65 ingress protection rating against water and dust. The original IsatPhone PRO was only IP54 rated.
  • Easier-to-view Display: An ultra-tough transflective LCD display automatically adjusts to allow easy viewing under all ambient light conditions.
  • Thinner Form Factor: Though the IsatPhone2 has a similar width and height, it is much thinner and has a textured surface making it easier to grip firmly.

Location and Tracking Services are supported by the IsatPhone2

The original IsatPhone PRO had a "personal alert feature" that enabled a user to send his or her GPS position, along with a short pre-configured email or text message to as many as ten recipients by simply dialing a short code. The IsatPhone2 still has the personal alert feature, but improves on it with a one-touch Assistance feature and easy to use GPS location tracking capabilities. The Assistance feature of the IsatPhone2 is like the SOS feature of the Iridium 9575 EXTREME.

Assistance button on the IsatPhone2 is covered with a protective cap to prevent accidental SOS alerts. Depending on how you configure your sat-phone, the Assistance button can initiate a voice call, send a text message with your GPS location, or do both simultaneously. Of course, it is necessary for the user to take the time to enable the Assistance feature and pre-configure it with a phone number. Another improvement is its "Tracking" feature. This allows you to send a breadcrumb trail of GPS positions at equal time intervals to an email or text address of your choice. We tried the tracking feature out. It is easy to enable or disable. Once enabled, the phone will text your GPS position to the destination text address of your choice. You can send the texts as often as every 5 minutes if you wish. Like the IsatPhone PRO, the new phone uses the Inmarsat-4 satellites and Alphasat, which provide coverage everywhere but the polar regions. The tracking feature should work as long as the IsatPhone2 is registered on the network.