When you think of a satellite phone, an image of a dull looking, bulky device with a huge antenna might come to your mind. It has been given the modern treatment, but not by Samsung or Huawei, who are busy making the first foldable phones.
Instead, Thuraya, a UAE-based global satellite operator, is responsible for that.
Unveiled in Dubai, the Thuraya X5-Touch runs on the Android Operating System, specifically Android Nougat 7.1. It sports a 5.2-inch Full-HD touchscreen with a good-old resolution of 16:9. Powering it is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset coupled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. In terms of optics, it has an 8MP rear snapper and 2MP front-facing camera. Backing the device is a 3,800mAh battery.
The company claims the phone targets users who frequently move in and out of terrestrial coverage across a range of market sectors including government missions, energy projects, enterprise communications, and NGO deployments. The two-year-old specifications of the device are justified by this very fact, but not everything is refurbished.
It is IP67 water and dust resistant and even has MIL-STD-810 certification for being able to withstand extreme conditions. On top of that is the glare resistant Gorilla Glass which can be used when its wet or even with gloves. And don’t forget that retractable antenna—there’s no way you can mistake this for just any other phone.
Apart from direct satellite access, it also has dual-SIM capabilities, which can run 4G, 3G and 2G networks as well as WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou connectivity.