A Comprehensive Review of the Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone

The Andes, running along South America's western side, is among the world's longest mountain ranges. The terrain includes glaciers, volcanoes, grassland, desert, lakes and forest. And no cell phone towers.

If you frequently travel to remote destinations, you probably know that one bar of cell phone service is what you get if you are lucky.

In this post, we'll examine the Iridium 9555 satellite phone. We'll give you a thorough run-through of its features, operations and everything you need to know to decide if this is the right choice for you. Read on!

Iridium 9555 - What's included

When you open up the Iridium satellite phone you might think you've unboxed an airplane's black box.

Don't expect to get a bunch of apps in a palm-sized mobile device with a great camera. This sat phone is made to give you great service from virtually anywhere in the world - not to look pretty.

The case measures about 5.6-inches tall, 2.2-inches wide, and 1.2-inches thick. The built-in antenna adds an extra 1.7-inches in height when pushed in. The antenna extends 6 inches and can form 45-degree angles either left or right for better reception.

It weighs in at slightly under 10 ounces is waterproof, dust and shock resistant.

This sat phone comes with a handset, battery, AC and DC chargers, headset, auxiliary antenna, antenna adaptor tray and adaptors for every country in the world.

Besides making phone calls from the middle of nowhere, you can send SMS messages. It also has the basics of a contact list with up to 100 entries and voicemail.

Iridium 9555 Features

This iridium satellite phone features an on/off button at the top of the unit, up/down volume keys on the left side, and a right-side convenience key.

The convenience key turns on the backlight that illuminates the display and on/off button.

A DC power jack, headset jack, and mini USB port are also built into the side. Rubber flaps protect these jacks from the elements.

On the rear of the case is the battery access. Under the batter is the SIM card slot.

The front of the phone features two arrows for up and down, a keypad and a green and red key.

You have 3 options when talking on this phone. You can hold it to your hear, use the speakerphone or use the headset. This allows you to keep your hands free if needed.

Battery

The accompanying AC and DC chargers both fully charged a depleted battery in under four hours.

The Iridium satellite phone batteries are lithium ion. TSA regulations mean that you won't be able to pack the battery in your checked luggage for a plane ride. You will have to bring it on your carry on.

The battery can easily last the entire day on standby (it can last 30 hours) and be recharged at night. You can bank on about 4 hours of talk time which is not very much. If possible bring an extra battery.

There is a battery icon in the top-right corner so you know how much juice it has left.

Reception

When you first power on the iridium 9555 you'll have to give it a minute to find the network before you try to make a call.

Don't expect 4G service when you call home. You might get a choppy voice once in a while or a tinny sound. Keep in mind that a regular mobile device wouldn't even be able to find a signal.

If you plan to have long conversations, beware. The phone might lose the network and cut you off. Just wait for it to find the network and dial again.

Portability

For being a heavy-duty satellite phone, the Iridium 9555 is fairly lightweight. The entire kit with the charger and battery weighs less than a pound which makes it easy to cart around even if your destination is Mount Everest base camp.

Given the fact that this Iridium satellite phone lets you stay connected to people thousands of miles away, it's a great choice for hiking and camping trips or when your job involves traveling to remote areas across the globe.

Durability

The Iridium 9555 is built tough and can operate in harsh environments. It will work in temperature ranges of 14?F to 131?F (-10?C to 55?C).

It's rugged and durable and can withstand drops, crashes, and tumbles. It comes with a 1-year manufacturer's warranty. There's the option to purchase an extended warranty as well.

Price and Where to Buy

There are 10 third-party retail options in the United States where you can purchase the Iridium satellite phone. The going price is just over $1000. That makes the Iridium 9555 the least expensive Iridium sat phone on the market.

You can choose additional accessories such as the protection accessory pack that comes with an aqua pouch and a carrying case for extra protection against wet conditions.

The power accessory pack comes with a solar panel for charging the sat phone plus a spare lithium-ion battery.

Rent the Iridium 9555

You can also rent the Iridium satellite phone if you prefer. At $45 per week, it's much more affordable than buying the unit outright. Especially if you will only need it sporadically.

In the US you can opt for easy return for $28. Just stick the pre-printed return label on the side of the box and drop off at a convenient UPS location.

Rental insurance offers peace of mind. If the phone is damaged or broken, you're covered. This excludes loss or theft though.

It's a good idea to add pre-paid minutes. You can choose as little as 10 minutes and up to 300 minutes. But beware, it's not cheap at over $1 per minute.

An additional spare battery will run you $16.

The rental option might be the best fit for you if you want to try out the Iridium satellite phone before committing to buying it.

Final Thoughts

The Iridium 9555 communicates over the Iridium satellite network. This is the only network that offers 100% coverage over Earth's landmasses, waterways and airways without coverage gaps.

Leave a Comment