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Iridium 9555 vs Iridium 9505a

There is a new kid on the (Iridium phone) block - the new Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone

It's advertised as newer, sleeker, and smaller. However, does it live up to expectations...?

Iridium 9555

Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone

The Iridium 9555 is the latest iteration in the Iridium portable phone line.

New features include a new smaller and more sensitive antenna (which is now fully integrated into the handset making it much thinner), and a USB data connection for the computer connection

Specs

Weight:266g (9.4oz)
Dimensions:143mm (L) x 55mm (W) x 30mm (D)
Battery:
* 4H talk time
* Up to 30 hours standby
* recharging time (approx): 4H.

Iridium 9505a

Iridium 9505a Satellite Phone

The Iridium 9505a is the outgoing model. Although technically it's still a current model given that it's still being made, albeit in much smaller quantities.

Specs

Weight:375g
Dimensions:158mm (L) x 62mm (W) x 59mm (D)
Battery:
* 3.2H talk time
* Up to 30 hours standby
* Fast charger: recharging time: 2.5H.

Iridium 9555 and 9505a compared


Iridium 9555

Iridium 9505a

Pros

  • Smaller & Lighter (fits in the "larger pocket")
  • Slightly improved battery life
  • USB for data connection
  • Antenna fully integrated
  • New antenna much more sensitive
  • Attach ext antenna without removing internal antenna

Cons

  • Can become unwieldy and harder to use when wired up for data
  • Antenna not replaceable if damaged

Pros

  • Well known and more accessories available
  • Tested over many years and proved fairly reliable
  • Serial port means easy compatibility with almost anything

Cons

  • Serial port is unpopular because requires convertor
  • Data adaptor is easy to break
  • Too large to fit in an average "pocket"

Conclusion

The new 9555 is only slightly smaller than it's previous model, but it's just about moved it from "put it in a bag" size to "fits in a pocket" size, which is a big step forward. In particular it's not the front face dimensions which have shrunk, but by moving the antenna into the phone the "depth" is shrunk dramatically and the form factor becomes more square

Overall though the feature set is essentially the same on each phone. With the exception of lacking SMS sending on the original 9500, there really are no key feature differences between the earliest Motorola 9500 phone and the latest Iridium 9555.

However, for people buying new the Iridium 9555 is the most desirable portable Iridium phone released so far!