Google’s improving connectivity woes with the upcoming Pixel 9 series. According to a report from Android Authority, the Pixel 9 will boast a brand new modem – the Samsung Exynos Modem 5400 – bringing not only better performance but also satellite connectivity.

This upgrade comes after years of Pixel users reporting connectivity issues. The new modem promises to be faster and more power-efficient than its predecessors. But the real star of the show is satellite connectivity.

Thanks to the Exynos Modem 5400’s support for 3GPP Release 17 (Rel. 17), the Pixel 9 series will be the first to utilize Android’s native satellite features. This means you’ll be able to send text messages even in remote areas with no cellular signal, a potential lifesaver in emergencies.

The feature will initially be available through T-Mobile (developed with SpaceX), notes the publication, with the possibility of future partnerships with other carriers. Texting will be supported, but not calls.

To utilize satellite connectivity, users will interact with a new app called “Satellite Gateway.” This app will guide you through a series of questions to assess the situation and allow you to contact emergency services through a feature called “Emergency SOS.” The app will even offer pre-defined answers to expedite communication. Here are some of the questions you’ll see:

  • What happened?
  • [Are you/Are they/Is everyone] breathing?
  • In total, how many people are [missing/trapped]?
  • What best describes your situation?
  • What is on fire?
  • Are there weapons involved?
  • What type of vehicle or vessel?
  • Do any of these apply?

The good news extends beyond the Pixel 9. The next-generation Pixel Fold will also sport the Exynos Modem 5400, allowing for foldable phone users to benefit from the same connectivity improvements and potential satellite SOS.

The report also hints at a previously unknown 5G-enabled Pixel Tablet codenamed “clementine” that will feature the same modem. While details on this tablet are scarce, it is likely the upcoming Pixel Tablet 2. There’s also a neat little animation that acts as a visual guide to show you how to position the device for satellite connectivity. I’ve shared that below with a GIF that loads from our Imgur account:

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While the modem itself might not be the revolutionary leap some were hoping for, it’s a clear step in the right direction for Pixel connectivity. The addition of satellite SOS is a potentially life-saving feature and puts it right up there with the latest iPhones. Let’s just hope this new modem frees Pixel users from the connectivity woes they’ve been dealing with since the first gen Tensor chipset used in the Pixel 6.

Featured image credits: OnLeaks / 91Mobiles

Dwayne Cubbins
1129 Posts

My fascination with Android phones began the moment I got my hands on one. Since then, I've been on a journey to decode the ever-evolving tech landscape, fueled by a passion for both the "how" and the "why." Since 2018, I've been crafting content that empowers users and demystifies the tech world. From in-depth how-to guides that unlock your phone's potential to breaking news based on original research, I strive to make tech accessible and engaging.

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