iPhone 14 SOS Satellite vs Garmin inReach Mini 2

How will the iPhone 14 SOS Satellite vs Garmin inReach Mini 2 come out in a head-to-head challenge? Well, I’ll give you the short answer now. The iPhone 14’s SOS satellite service cannot compete with Garmin’s at the present time, but it very well may give Garmin a run for their money in a few more years.

The Bottom Line

How about we start with the bottom line first, rather than saving it for the end.

  • The Satellite SOS for the iPhone 14 will not come online until November 2022
  • At the present time, you will only be able to communicate with emergency services and not family and friends.
  • You have to point the iPhone 14 to a specific area of the sky to be able to send messages through the satellite service.
  • The Garmin inReach satellite messengers do not have to point to a specific are of the sky. They only need a view of the sky and more sky is better.
  • Apple has teamed with Globalstar for the satellite service which presently does not have global satellite coverage. See the coverage map below.

Globalstar's Satellite Coverage Map

  • Garmin inReach satellite messengers use the Iridium Satellite Network with has global, pole to pole coverage. See the map below.

Iridium Satellite Network Coverage Map

  • You or someone in your group, needs to keep the iPhone 14 pointed at the satellite and keep adjusting as the satellite moves across the sky.

Globalstar message on the iPhone 14

  • The iPhone 14’s battery life is only a maximum of two days without needing to be charged, while the Garmin inReach Mini 2 will last around 2 weeks, and the Garmin inReach Messenger will last around a month. This could become a critical issue when communicating with emergency services, especially if you already have a low battery and you didn’t bring a portable charger along.
  • The Garmin satellite messengers are waterproof, dust proof, rugged and are built for the outdoors. You can get cases that will help to protect the iPhone 14 in harsh environments but it’s just not as capable as satellite messengers that are built for the rugged outdoors.

Final Thoughts

You may think I’m coming down on Apple to hard but I’m only giving you the information and comparisons as things stand today in October 2022.

As of today, Apple cannot compete with the Garmin satellite messengers, but give Apple a few more years and they may be giving Garmin a run for their money.

I believe the Garmin products will always have a place for longer, rugged outdoor adventures and races, but I believe Apple and other companies will start to take some of the market share from other satellite messenger companies in the not to distant future.

We’ll have to wait and see how these changes in technology and services play out in the few years ahead.

Check out the short YouTube video below to learn more.

SPIDERCASE for iPhone 14 Case, Waterproof Built-in 【9H Tempered Glass】 Screen & Camera Lens Protector【12FT Military Shockproof】 IP68 Water Resistance Full-Body Heavy Duty Rugged Case, Black
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SPIDERCASE for iPhone 14 Case, Waterproof Built-in 【9H Tempered Glass】 Screen & Camera Lens Protector【12FT Military Shockproof】 IP68 Water Resistance Full-Body Heavy Duty Rugged Case, Black
  • Compatibility: SPIDERCASE designed iPhone 14 case only compatible with iPhone 14 (6.1 inch) 2022 Released. Precise cutouts for easy access to all ports, buttons, sensors and cameras. Soft and sensitive buttons with good response, are easy to press. Wireless charging is also supported through the case.
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Garmin inReach Mini 2, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Hiking Handheld, Orange
  • Compact, lightweight satellite communicator enables two-way messaging and interactive SOS globally (Active satellite subscription required. Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communication devices.)
  • Navigate back to where you started by using TracBack routing
  • Share your location with loved ones back home at any time (active satellite subscription required) by using your MapShare page or with your coordinates embedded in your messages
  • Get accurate heading information using the digital compass — even when you’re not moving
  • Sync with the Garmin Explore app and website on your compatible smartphone for trip planning and topographical mapping, and create waypoints, courses, activities and collections you can sync to your device
  • Pair with Garmin devices, such as wearables and handhelds, and use them to send and receive messages and trigger an SOS (active satellite subscription required)

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Garmin inReach Messenger Mini GPS Tracker & Satellite Communicator - Two-Way Messaging & Interactive SOS GPS Receiver & Digital Compass - Bundle with PlayBetter Portable Charge & GPS Tether Lanyard
  • GARMIN INREACH MESSENGER MINI TRACKER GPS NAVIGATION: No cell service? No problem. This Garmin satellite communicator and portable GPS tracker device enable two-way text messaging. With interactive SOS, you're never out of reach.
  • RUGGED, LIGHTWEIGHT, AND COMPACT: Easy to take this portable satellite internet tracking device with up to 28 days of battery life in 10-minute tracking mode! Its rugged GPS hiking handheld construction ensures it can handle whatever comes your way.
  • KEEP YOUR FAMILY IN THE LOOP: Stay connected with family and friends with the inReach Messenger hiking GPS locator. Send them updates on your progress using this satellite tracking device, or simply let them know you're safe and sound.
  • STAY CONNECTED WHEREVER YOU GO: This compact handheld GPS for hiking offers group messaging via the Garmin Messenger smartphone app. Share your adventures with multiple contacts simultaneously with this GPS hiking navigation system!
  • GARMIN INREACH MESSENGER MINI TRACKER WITH GPS BUNDLE: Garmin inReach Messenger Personal GPS Tracker, Type A to Type C USB Cable, PlayBetter 5000mAh Portable Charger & PlayBetter GPS Tether Lanyard, and Documentation

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Anker Portable Charger, 325 Power Bank (PowerCore Essential 20K) 20000mAh Battery Pack with High-Speed PowerIQ Technology and USB-C (Input Only) for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and More
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  • For the purpose of this connected equipment warranty, "lifetime" is defined as the lifetime of the product.

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