Off-The-Grid Safety & Security (Zoleo Satellite Communicator Review)
Updated: Sep 28, 2022
If you love the great outdoors but want to ensure you can stay safe and accessible on your adventures – I think I’ve got the perfect gadget for you!
Hey guys, it’s Dean from WiseBuysGuys. I’ve always been a huge fan of camping and hiking – when I was younger I didn't care if anybody knew where I was, but I also didn’t consider what would have happened if something went wrong! These days, I’m aware of how important it is to stay accessible when I’m out of cellular service – my wife reminded me of this too. I decided to test out the ZOLEO Satellite Communicator. There are a couple of reasons I chose to go with this device. One was the cost – at around $200-220, it’s about half the price of a Garmin equivalent. I also didn’t need a device I could talk into like a phone. I was just looking for something I could use to make or receive quick update messages for everyone’s peace of mind – for example, I’m safe. Check-in tomorrow!
The ZOLEO stood out to me as the Garmin devices had somewhat awkward subscription plans. The monthly plans for the Zoleo device ranged from $20-50 per month with 25, 250, or unlimited satellite messages. The plans seemed reasonable, especially for those that go camping or hiking regularly. Plans are available in the USA, Canada, and Australia but the device works globally, and they offer the option to suspend your subscription for $4/month after your first three months which I think is great if you know you won’t be heading out of range anytime soon.
The device itself is small, tough, and lightweight with a rubberized casing and a carabiner attachment. It also has excellent battery life, almost 100 hours, which I think is super important when you’re out in nature. I’ve even been keeping it in my car for road trips in case we head off-road and lose cell service.
The device connects to your phone via an app – it was a straightforward process to set up. Once connected, you can send and receive messages, via text or email, just like you would using your mobile phone. The ZOLEO Satellite Communicator also had a few handy features - there’s a quick check-in button and an SOS button that you can set up to use for altering emergency services in an emergency.
I put the device to the test in a few different situations to see how well it worked. The instructions tell you to use the device face-up and outside for best results. I used it in my camping tent, my car, and under thick tree cover and it worked fine in all scenarios!
For me, the only downside of the device was a lack of a USB-C connection. All my devices these days are USB-C, so it wasn’t ideal that the device lacked this as I don’t have many of the older USB cables lying around.
I’ve put together quick pros and cons summary list:
Compact (3.58 x 2.6 x 1.06 inches) and lightweight (5.3 ounces) device with carabiner attachment
Tough rubberized shock-resistant casing
A Long-lasting, Lithium-ion battery lasts 200+ hours
Send messages globally using satellite, cellular, and WIFI
Water and dust resistant
Operates in temperatures between -20°C to 55°C
SOS alert and GPS location sharing features
No USB-C connection
I highly recommend this product if you’re looking for a reliable, affordable, and easy-to-use satellite communication device. The lack of a USB-C connection is the only reason I’m giving this product 4.5 stars out of 5.
Overall, it’s a great device to have on hand next time you’re adventuring in the great outdoors – and everyone will be able to relax knowing you’re accessible and safe!
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