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Garmin has been known to offer handheld satellite communicators for years now. It is only today that they are enabling dedicated two-way satellite messaging and emergency SOS alerts on any smartphone through the new Garmin inReach Messenger device.
- Garmin's inReach Messenger enables two-way satellite messaging and SOS on any smartphone.
- The device needs a subscription plan to work that starts at $15/monthly.
- The Garmin inReach Messenger device costs $300.
Unlike T-Mobile-SpaceX's upcoming direct satellite internet or Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency satellite feature, Garmin inReach Messenger doesn't require complex hardware or external antennas before you can use satellite messaging on your smartphone. However, you will need an active subscription that starts at $15/monthly with 10 messages included, $35/monthly with 40 texts, or with an unlimited plan for $65. Regardless of the plan, emergency SOS comes with unlimited activations.
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Garmin says that they have a dedicated 24/7 emergency coordination center called IERCC. The team handles all distress alerts sent from its inReach communicators including the new inReach Messenger model. Alternatively, the IERCC can connect to one of your emergency contacts or coordinate with other response teams.
The compact and water-resistant device is primarily paired with smartphones along with the Garmin Messenger app for two-way messaging or satellite SMS. Users can sync contacts, allow group chats, or location tracking if connected via the mobile app. The inReach Messenger also works as a standalone communicator, thanks to a minuscule display and built-in buttons. Moreover, smart notifications and weather forecast are available for connected Garmin smartwatches and devices.
Battery life and price of Garmin inReach Messenger
Garmin's inReach Messenger utilizes WiFi or cellular coverage by default. But it switches seamlessly to satellite, which is powered by the Iridium network, if it detects absence of any WiFi/cellular signal. The device lasts 28 days between charges and features Safety Charging to charge your smartphone if it gets empty in the wild. Garmin is selling the inReach Messenger for $300 excluding the monthly plans.