ZOLEO Review and Field Test

I finally made the purchase and here’s my in-depth ZOLEO review and field test. This was actually two different tests to ensure I really understood how the Zoleo satellite messenger or satellite communicator worked.


FeaturesZoleo Satellite Communicator

  • S.O.S.
  • Two-way Messaging
  • Weather Forecasts
  • Topo Maps
  • Global Pole to Pole Satellite Coverage
  • Check-In
  • Location Sharing
  • Uses Wifi, Cell Service, then Satellite Service

Field Test


My first test was to confirm I could send messages when in wifi at home, then in cell service, followed by satellite service, when away from cellular coverage.

Zoleo Two-Way Messaging

There’s not much to add here other than the 2-way messaging worked perfectly and I believe this is the best satellite messenger on the market, when comparing two-way messaging only.


Weather Forecasts

The Dark Sky weather forecasts are easy to get to as the icon is at the lower middle of the screen. There is a lot of information here but I will caution you that some reviews say this forecast is not as accurate as other satellite communicators, however, I have not confirmed that myself, but it’s something you may want to check into.

DarkSky Weather Forecasts

Check-In & Location Share+

The check-in and location share+ works great. Here is an example below of what you will see from the message, GPS coordinates and map location.

Check-in and Location Share+

The Location Share+ works quickly and is easy to see exactly where you are at, plus gives coordinates to your location.

Topo Maps

The topo maps is where the ZOLEO falls short in my opinion. It’s not that it doesn’t have a good map, it’s that there is no icon on the app to access the maps. You have to select on the Location Share+ message to go into the map share link, then select it again. Once that is done, you can zoom in and out and see the map as you would on other satellite messengers.

Zoleo Topo Maps

The map is great and something that is important to me. You can see towns, streets, trails, parks, etc. It is not the most powerful map, but it will definitely do the job for you.

Location Share+ Session & Tracking

The Location Share+ session with tracking is a nice feature and lets you and other contacts see where you are at on your adventure. You can set the update interval anywhere from 6 minutes to 4 hours.

Zoleo Location Share Plus Update Interval

The one thing I would like to see improved is a shorter update interval. Sometimes when I’m on a new trail, I like setting the interval to a minute or two, in order to get a more accurate trail location if I want to share it with someone or have it for a future trip.

Final Thoughts

First, this is the best satellite communicator on the market for messaging, especially when you consider it will switch seamlessly between wifi, cell service and satellite service without you having to do a thing. It will start with the least expensive way to message, which is through wifi, then switch to cell service then lastly to satellite service. At this time, no other satellite messenger offers this with wifi to satellite service.

Second, the ZOLEO is not a large device, but also not the smallest, and is easy to carry on your belt, pack, etc.

Third, the ZOLEO satellite messenger falls a little short for me as you have to click on a location share+ message to see your location, then select that location again in order to get to a map that you can zoom in and out on and around the area. There is no map icon on the app, and is just not as intuitive as other satellite messengers.

You can learn more about the ZOLEO satellite messenger here in my ZOLEO review.

ZOLEO Satellite Communicator – Two-Way Global SMS Text Messenger & Email, Emergency SOS Alerting, Check-in & GPS Location – Android iOS Smartphone Accessory
  • 🌎ZOLEO GLOBAL TWO-WAY SATELLITE COMMUNICATOR: Rugged, GPS location-aware and Iridium satellite based, the ZOLEO device links with the free ZOLEO app on your smartphone to keep you connected when outside cell coverage. Monthly subscription required: $20, $35 or $50 (25, 250 or unlimited satellite messages) with unlimited check-in, SOS, cell and Wi-Fi messages included. After the initial 3-month commitment, suspend for just $4/mo. Plans available in USA, Canada, Australia, EU but work globally.
  • ✉️GLOBAL MESSAGING AS IT WAS MEANT TO BE: ZOLEO extends your messaging coverage to everywhere on earth transmitting over the lowest cost network available (satellite, cellular or Wi-Fi). ZOLEO offers a familiar text messaging experience to and from any SMS text number, email address or another ZOLEO app user. By taking advantage of cellular or Wi-Fi when available and the Iridium network (a truly global satellite network) when it isn’t, ZOLEO offers seamless coverage wherever you go!
  • 📲DEDICATED SMS PHONE NUMBER & EMAIL ADDRESS: Your assigned ZOLEO SMS number and email address allows your contacts to initiate messaging with you, as opposed to them waiting to receive a message from you to which they can reply.
  • 🆘EMERGENCY ALERTING & MEDICAL ASSIST: If something goes wrong, declaring an SOS ensures your SOS alert and GPS coordinates are sent to the expert 24/7 emergency monitoring service. Your ZOLEO service also includes Medical Assist, a convenient 24/7 chat service for non-emergency medical advice, help locating medical services or replacing medical supplies.
  • ✅CHECK-IN & LOCATION SHARING: Check in to let others know you’re OK (using built-in device button or the ZOLEO app) and share your GPS location via messages, check-ins, automated Location Share+ updates or through a secure Share Map URL. Location Share+ (add-on at $6/mo) allows for automatic location sharing at a selected interval and includes a breadcrumb trail viewable on a map.

This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

Check out the ZOLEO Review and Field Test YouTube video below.

If you would like to see ALL the Satellite Messengers in another review, see my Emergency Radio Reviews.

Return to Home Page

Zoleo Satellite Messenger


World Wide Coverage


2-Way Messaging




Tracking & Sharing


Initial Cost & Subscription Plan



  • Global Satellite Network
  • Compact & Lightweight
  • Easy Access
  • Best two-way messaging
  • Topo Maps


  • Must be Synced with Smartphone
  • Topo Map Access Not Intuitive

Leave a Comment