Most people carry a cell phone these days, and seniors are no exception. For many of us, our lives are on our phones! We call, text, browse, shop, email, take pictures, and organize our day with them.
Some seniors love technology. For others, it takes a while to get used to it and how it works (this can be true at any age, of course.) GreatCall has taken this into account and created a smartphone designed with seniors in mind. Unlike most smartphones, the Jitterbug Smart2 is jam-packed with features to make life easier for seniors. Let’s take a closer look.
Who is GreatCall?
GreatCall has always been about making life easier for seniors. It was founded over ten years ago in San Diego, California, by a team who wanted to make technology more accessible for older adults. GreatCall got started by creating the Jitterbug, a senior-friendly phone. As well as easy-to-use tech, GreatCall also introduced senior support services including live chat with registered nurses and physicians, as well as cellular medical alert systems.
Nowadays the Jitterbug lives on in the Jitterbug Flip, and of course in the Jitterbug Smart2 which updates the original phone into a modern smartphone.
Smartphone Features Just For Seniors
We love that GreatCall has put so much thought into making their smartphone senior-friendly. Some of the features include:
- A straightforward menu that seniors can navigate easily. This means seniors can get confident with their new phone quickly and easily.
- A 5.5” screen that’s easy to see.
- Front facing speaker so it’s easier to hear.
- Voice typing so seniors can send a text message without needing to key in all the letters.
- A 13MP camera with an LED flash.
- A 5Star urgent response button on the home screen. This turns the Jitterbug Smart2 into a medical alert device. Just one press of the button and seniors are connected to the call center, where agents are waiting to help them. Customer care staff can pinpoint the caller’s location and dispatch EMTs, roadside assistance, or registered friends and family as needed.
Customers who want to take advantage of the 5Star urgent response function can do so by signing up to one of GreatCall’s health and care packages:
- Basic ($19.99 monthly) includes 5Star urgent response, health and wellness calls, brain games and medication reminders.
- Preferred ($24.99 monthly) includes everything in Basic. It also includes access to UrgentCare live calls with health professionals, and the GreatCall Link app that lets caregivers monitor 5Star presses from the Jitterbug handset.
- Ultimate ($34.99) includes everything in Preferred. It also includes device replacement if the Jitterbug is lost or stolen, and access to live personal operators who assist with finding phone numbers, looking up addresses and connecting calls.
Jitterbug Smart2 Plans and Cost
Let’s take a closer look at what the Jitterbug Smart2 has to offer.
Where to buy: Purchase online direct from GreatCall, Amazon, Best Buy, Rite Aid, Sears, and Walmart Pharmacy. You can also purchase at some brick and mortar locations including Walmart, Best Buy, and Sears.
Handsets: The Jitterbug Smart2 is what this plan is all about. The handset costs $149.99, plus shipping and activation fees.
Plans: Customers have two options. They can pay for minutes, text and data, and simply use the Smart2 like any other smartphone. Or, they can sign up for one of the health and safety packages outlined above, and make savings on their calls, text and data as a result.
Calls: Customers who are not on a health and safety plan pay $14.99 for 200 monthly minutes, with several pricing tiers all the way up to $49.99 for unlimited calls and texts plus 100MB data. Customers on a health and safety plan can start with 50 monthly minutes for $5, all the way up to $40 for unlimited talk, text and data.
Texts: All customers get 300 texts for $3 monthly, 700 texts for $6, 1250 texts for $10, or 2500 texts for $15 (or they can subscribe to unlimited talk and text with their calling package.)
Data: All customers pay $2.49 for 40MB of data monthly, with several pricing tiers all the way up to 2.5GB for $30.
Extras: Caller ID, Call Waiting, long distance and roaming are included in all packages. Customers also get a free car and wall charger, plus there are no long term contracts and no cancellation fees.
Ideal for: Seniors who need a smartphone. For seniors who want to do more than just call and text, this is a great solution. They can take pictures, browse the web, do social media or go shopping, and keep in touch with those that matter most. All while using a senior-friendly device with medical alert capabilities.
Jitterbug Smart2 Reviews
Here’s a sample of what Jitterbug Smart2 customers have to say about the senior-friendly smartphone.
What people loved: People love the big, bright screen and easy to use menus on the Jitterbug Smart2. People also appreciate the security of knowing they can hit their 5Star button any time they need help. The voice texting seems to be a hit, too!
What people weren’t so keen on: Not all seniors find the menus intuitive – some find them hard to follow. We noticed a few people having issues with the ringer being a little quiet, or the sound being below par, but this clearly depends on the kind of environment they’re in and the Verizon coverage in that area.
Our Verdict: The Jitterbug Smart2 is a great solution for seniors who want the functionality of a smartphone but in something a little easier to use. With a huge range of data, talk and text packages it’s easy to choose one to suit any phone usage, from light to heavy. Jitterbug Smart2 is especially well suited to seniors who need a little extra support and security, thanks to the medical alert options and extra benefits with the Preferred and Ultimate packages.