The Iridium 9505A satellite phone is a well-built handset that offers good reception. It lacks advanced features and is very expensive, however.
- Good satellite network, fast signal acquisition, rugged body with water and shock resistance, simple menu
- No GSM network capabilities, expensive, no advanced features
The Iridium 9505A satellite phone is a well-built handset with good access to an excellent satellite network, but its lack of features and high cost may deter potential purchasers.
Price$ 1,995.00 (AUD)
The Iridium 9505A is a satellite phone with fast signal acquisition and a semi-rugged chassis that makes it resistant to water and shocks. Unfortunately, it is expensive and doesn't offer GSM network access.
The Iridium 9505A satellite phone is quite big. Rubber around the sides of the phone reduces the impact of shocks, and the buttons are designed to prevent water from seeping into the electronics (it's water resistant, not waterproof). If you're planning to travel over rough country, it will stand up to a fair bit of bumpy driving.
The Iridium 9505A's rotatable antenna sits at 45 degree angle when the phone is held vertically. This is so that when you are making a call, the antenna points directly upwards. When the antenna is rotated in line with the handset it can make the phone awkward to carry, but it's easily detachable for portability.
Iridium prides itself on being a work-focussed, no-frills satellite phone maker, and the lack of smartphone features supports this. Unlike the Thuraya SG-2520 satellite phone, which offers a built-in camera, picture-based menu system and MP3 player, the Iridium 9505A is a basic handset that has a simple list-format menu and a monochrome display.
The Iridium 9505A has been in production since 2004, but this doesn't make it any less functional and it is still a current model. The menu is easy to access and understand, with no lag between selections. Phone book, messaging and call meters are provided, but don't expect any games or organiser functions.
Iridium's satellite network consists of 66 active satellites in low-level orbits around the world. When they're not being hit by disused Russian military satellites, the network provides excellent coverage; this is seen with the reception on the Iridium 9505A handset.
We tried the Iridium 9505A satellite phone in a variety of conditions, from the foothills of the Blue Mountains to the urban jungle of North Sydney. Despite medium cloud cover in the former and tall office buildings in the latter, signal strength was usually strong and call quality generally good. The level of signal compression results in a slightly lower call quality when compared to the Thuraya SG-2520 satellite phone, but it's much easier to get a signal and maintain it during a call when using the Iridium 9505A.
The biggest drawback of the Iridium 9505A satellite phone is its price tag. At $1995 up front or a minimum of $2715 over 24 months on the cheapest Telstra plan, it's more expensive than the Thuraya SG-2520, which offers smartphone features and GSM network access. Full Telstra plan details can be found here.
Fortunately the Federal Government offers a subsidy for citizens, permanent residents and registered businesses if they either live in or frequently work out of areas that have no mobile phone coverage.
If you live in an area with no regular 2G/3G network access, up to 60 per cent of the handset's retail cost is paid for by the government (up to a limit of $1000). By 1 July, 2009, an update to the scheme will bring this subsidy up to 85 per cent with the same $1000 limit. Alternatively, if you spend over 120 days in an area without 2G/3G network access, you're eligible for a subsidy of up 60 per cent of the cost to the limit of $700.
According to Iridium, the 9505A satellite phone has a talk time of 192 minutes and a standby time of 30 hours.
If you're in need of a hard-working satellite phone that will take a bit of a beating, then the Iridium 9505A is a solid device that will quickly find a signal in most conditions. Just make sure you're able to bear the initial outlay.
Join the newsletter!
When the Hypertext Transfer Protocol was introduced nearly 30 years ago, the Internet was a small, cozy club hosting just one website.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo Find X review: Damn.
- 2 Dell G5 review: An easy-to-live-with laptop that's light on thrills but more than capable of getting the job done
- 3 HAVIT G1W True Wireless Earbuds review: Budget buds with a wireless edge
- 4 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 5 Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft launches Dynamics 365 Business Central
- Optimizely expands its enterprise-focused offerings
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Drupal fixes critical access bypass vulnerability
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?