With many satellite communicators on the market, ZOLEO is a new player that offers unique versatility.
The ZOLEO satellite communicator works as an all-inclusive relay between your phone and your contacts so you can stay in touch wherever you are.
ZOLEO is an app-based communications system. You can control it from your cellphone through Wi-Fi or cellular service. But if service drops, the physical ZOLEO sat-com device steps in, maintaining connectivity for seamless communication almost anywhere on Earth.
It supports text messages or even emails. These nuanced communications make the ZOLEO handy in everyday scenarios as well as situations where you need to coordinate a resupply or a less urgent rescue.
And while the device is most useful in conjunction with a phone, it can also function as an SOS and check-in device and share your location with just the push of a button.
What it is: The ZOLEO is a satellite communicator used to relay detailed messages through your smartphone — emojis and all. It allows for more everyday options than an emergency-only satellite comm.
What it’s not: It is a sat-comm device, not a phone or Wi-Fi hotspot.
Who it’s for: The ZOLEO is for outdoor recreationists and anyone who struggles with cellphone service in remote areas. Whether you’re at work and need to send extended messages from the field or on a hike and want someone to keep tabs on your location and safety, this sat-comm will work for you.
ZOLEO Satellite Communicator: Key Features
Each account gets a dedicated SMS number and an email address to communicate with others. The app works on phones and tablets to message, send alerts, check the weather forecast, and share your location. While you’re on the grid, the data will transfer over Wi-Fi or cell signal just like a typical app.
But step off the grid, and that’s where ZOLEO steps up. It uses the Iridium connected network for messaging coverage everywhere on Earth. And it will default to cellular and Wi-Fi networks before sending messages via satellite.
While ZOLEO lets you exchange messages with any SMS number or email address, ZOLEO works best when both parties have the ZOLEO app, which allows longer messages and will receive messages even when the communicator is off. App-to-app messages via the SMS number bypass roaming charges.
The brand says the battery life lasts up to 200 hours when checking messages every 12 minutes, and the case is shock-, dust-, and water-resistant.
Sending Out an SOS
The SOS option includes your GPS location to the emergency monitoring service (GEOS), which then coordinates assistance. The button on the device is covered to prevent false alarms and can be canceled if needed. An SOS can also be sent from the app.
And the SOS and check-in functions are part of the monthly plan, which run as low as $20 per month with a 3-month minimum.
Stay in Touch While You’re Out of Reach
Here are a few ways a satellite communicator with messaging capabilities can provide functionality and peace of mind.
Backcountry: A satellite communicator is a great safety device whether you’re hiking, hunting, or camping with a group. With the ZOLEO, your messages include your GPS location so others can track your progress. The ZOLEO communicator uses the Iridium network, which extends coverage into polar regions.
Boating: It doesn’t take long to get away from cell service when you’re on the water. Whether you’re out for a recreational trip or work on a smaller craft, checking the weather or checking in with others is within reach. And ZOLEO’s IP 68 rating means it can withstand a splash or quick dunk in the water.
Overland, van-lifers, and daily drivers: Store the ZOLEO in a dash mount as a just-in-case backup for a roadside emergency out of range of cell service. The device can share your location during road trips (just like hikes), whether it’s a long haul or daily commute through spotty areas like mountain passes.
Lone workers: Park rangers, oil field workers, farmers, and others who work alone in remote areas can carry this for the reassurance that someone is tracking their whereabouts. And they can send an SOS alert (including their location) with the press of a button — no matter where the nearest cell tower is.
ZOLEO Satellite Communicator Specs
- Battery life: Up to 200 hours (checking messages every 12 minutes)
- Battery charge time: 2 hours using 1.5A charger
- Weight: 5.3 oz.
- Size: 3.58″ L x 2.6″ W x 1.06″ D
- Price: $199 + subscription
- Requires a monthly airtime plan
- Transmits via the Iridium satellite network
- LED buttons for messages, SOS, check-in, and power
- Audible alerts for messages
- Charges via micro-USB (B)
- Connects via Bluetooth LE
- Operating temperature: -4 to 131 degrees F
- Charging temperature: 32 to 113 degrees F
- Warranty: 2 years
- The ZOLEO app is available for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets
The innovative ZOLEO satellite communicator is an everyday option for anyone who wants to send messages from anywhere and likes the reassurance of location tracking and emergency services.
This article is sponsored by ZOLEO. See more of the brand’s satellite devices here.