Seniors, grandmas and grandpas think smartphones are too complicated and Jitterbug has an Android answer with its GreatCall service and the Jitterbug Touch 2.
The Jitterbug Touch 2 offers an adapted Android operating system to make it easier to use. GreatCall claims that the Jitterbug Touch 2 is an ideal entry-level smartphone for people looking to transition from a basic feature phone. It comes with a free car charger.
GreatCall claims that he launch of the original Jitterbug Touch in 2012 allowed GreatCall to understand what aging consumers wanted and needed in order to make the transition from a basic phone to a smartphone.
According to a 2013 AARP Media Sales and GreatCall study, more than 40 percent of respondents surveyed said that smartphones are too complicated to use.
The new Jitterbug Touch 2 organizes the main phone functions into a single list format with large, legible letters. The home screen allows customers to access their favorite apps and contacts quickly. GreatCall provides a Phone Usage Meter that lets you track minutes, text & data usage
GreatCall made intuitive changes specifically such as relabeling confusing terms and visuals like changing the name of the “browser” function to “Internet.” Additionally, the voicemail icon was not recognizable to this audience, so it was changed to the word “voicemail”.
GreatCall allows customers to only pay for data they need,. GreatCall offers data plans that start at $2.49 per month for 10MB and 2o cents per MB thereafter.
GreatCall monthly voice plans start at $14.99 for 50 minutes, 200 minutes cost $19.99, 700 minutes/$29.99 , 1500 minutes/$39.99, 1500 minutes/$59.99. All minutes carryover to the next month. Medial and urgent response calls are additional unless you buy a plan that is not shown on the GreatCall website.
The GreatCall plans appear to geared towards limited use for the lowest price. For heavy data users and those who need unlimited everything, we think that the $199.99 for an iPhone 4 and $40 a month for Virgin Mobile is a better deal, however the senior will have to grapple with learning the iPhone 4, which is not easy for everyone. A family member or friend would be needed to add emergency or health apps.
The Jitterbug Touch 2 is priced at $139.99, with no contracts and no cancellation fees. GreatCall provides, nationwide coverage and the support of award-winning, 100 percent U.S. based customer service.
GreatCall determined that more than 30 percent of customers would like a medical alert device and smartphone all-in-one. The Jitterbug Touch 2 can help customers with medical or emergency response needs, by providing GreatCall’s suite of health and medical apps preloaded on the phone, additional fees may apply for use of these services.
We called GreatCall and found out that there are plans that have low minutes and include voice mail along with 5 Star service, called Freedom plans. The sales person was very polite and easy to talk to. However, with cell phone plans some of us need to see the number on the screen or even a piece of paper to determine the actual cost of the overall service. Some seniors may prefer the American customer service. Every other no-contract carrier clearly lists all the fees and costs of ownership, we would expect Great Call to do the same.
- 5Star Urgent Response – This mobile safety app transforms the Jitterbug Touch 2 into a medical alert device. With 5Star, users get immediate access to NAED Certified Response Agents trained in CPR and other emergency procedures who can identify a user’s location, dispatch emergency services and quickly get them the help they need in any situation. Additional $14.99 a month.
- MedCoach – GreatCall’s medication reminder app allows users to easily follow medication and vitamin schedules as prescribed by their doctor, with a friendly reminder message delivered directly to their phones, $4.00 additional.
- Urgent Care – Recently topping the iTunes and Google Play medical app categories, Urgent Care combines one-touch access to a registered nurse or board-certified physician who can provide medical advice or even prescribe common medications, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. $4.00 additional.
The JitterBug Touch 2 has a 4" screen, 5MP camera, headphones, 1.5GHz processor and 4GB of onboard storage. If you understand the preceding sentence, it may be a better deal to buy a smartphone with more power with more minutes and data for less. Some users have found the Big Launcher app for $10 to help enlarge the screen.