Let’s admit it, our elders tend to have a certain intolerance to new technologies, not because they hate it but because they find it too overwhelming to understand. This is true even with smartphones that’s why there are cell phones intended specifically for seniors. The Jitterbug phone by GreatCall excels in this department because of its ergonomic and thoughtful design.
In this article, we’ll examine all the things you need to know before getting this mobile phone. This review will dig deeply into the Jitterbug phone line, its prices, and how it works.
Inside This Article
As of the moment, Jitterbug has two selections of mobile phones— a touchscreen and a flip phone. While each caters to different types of phone users, both are built on simplicity in comparison to a usual smartphone. Jitterbug phones have an easy-to-navigate interface that saves seniors from fidgeting around for hours just to send a single text message.
|Memory||2 GB RAM, 16 GB Internal Memory|
|Camera||13 MP Rear|
|Special Features||5Star Urgent Response, Voice Typing, Single List Menu|
The Jitterbug Smart2 is the touchscreen and smartphone version of the Jitterbug phone. Despite being a “smart” phone, the Jitterbug Smart2 is a no-brainer device that eliminated the complexities when using an iPhone or the usual Android phone.
Its interface is designed so that seniors can find everything they might need on a phone on one screen. Right on the home screen is also the list of applications that most seniors frequently use such as phone calling and text messaging. Users can also install additional apps from Google Play Store, although its 2-GB RAM might not be able to catch up.
Of course, the Jitterbug Smart2 wouldn’t be a true smartphone without having the specs of one. First, it can access the internet, which is beneficial for elders who need to occasionally connect online. The phone has a built-in browser for online surfing and an email app for sending or reading electronic mails. It is LTE-powered so browsing should be fairly fast.
The Jitterbug Smart2 also has a 13-MP camera that can be used simply for taking photos or for video chatting with family and friends. For the battery, its 3,000 mAh is sufficient enough to last a day moderate usage.
Lively Flip (Jitterbug Flip Phone)
|Camera||8 MP rear and front-facing camera|
|Special Features||5Star Urgent Response, Amazon Alexa, Magnifier|
Lively Flip is the Jitterbug phone for people who need a device that can call and text at the very least. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a dumb phone, neither is it a smartphone. We would say that Lively Flip is a mixture of the two.
It doesn’t allow users to browse the internet or to download new apps, so it is clearly not a smartphone. But there’s a gray area on this because of the integration of Alexa into the phone. While users can’t actively use the internet on Lively Flip, they may still be able to use Alexa’s skills to listen to music and podcasts or get daily news updates as long as it’s activated on the phone.
The Lively Flip also has other skills one might easily find on a smartphone like using voice to send text messages. It also has two sets of cameras, one for selfies and one at the rear that can be used to magnify labels on products.
You’ve guessed it right, you can’t get a Jitterbug phone without getting a GreatCall mobile plan. A cell phone plan for seniors matched with a mobile phone for seniors — it just makes sense that these two go hand in hand.
Talk and Text Plans
|$3/ Monthly||500 Texts||$14.99/ Monthly||250 Minutes|
|$5/ Monthly||1000 Texts||$19.99/ Monthly||1000 Minutes|
|$10/ Monthly||2500 Texts||$29.99/ Monthly||2500 Minutes|
|$15/ Monthly||Unlimited||$39.99/ Monthly||Unlimited Call and Text|
In terms of the call and text plans, the selections for Jitterbug Smart2 and Lively Flip are the same. GreatCall’s text plans start at $3, equivalent to a 500 monthly text allowance. For a few bucks, you can get more allowance or just go all out with unlimited texts at $15/month.
The same goes for GreatCall’s minute plan. For $15/monthly, users get 250 minutes of voice calls. It can also be upgraded for added voice call allowance, or just opt for the unlimited plan for $40/monthly, inclusive of unlimited text.
Mobile Data Plans
|$2.49/ Monthly||100 MB|
|$5.00/ Monthly||250 MB|
|$10/ Monthly||1 GB|
|$15/ Monthly||2.5 GB|
|$59.99/ Monthly||Unlimited Call, Text, and Data|
If you are using the Jitterbug Smart2, you might need a data allowance one way or another. Luckily, GreatCall also has that covered with its selection of mobile data plans. It starts with $2.49/monthly, which is equivalent to 100 MB of data. It seems a bit conservative but you may get more data of up to 2.5 GB for $15.00/monthly. But if you need unlimited call, text, data altogether, GreatCall’s $60 would make a huge cut.
Both variants of the Jitterbug phone have optional health and safety features, which can be activated through a separate monthly purchase. Given that the devices are marketed towards seniors, having such features is helpful so they would have instant access to help in case of emergencies while still living independently. Getting a Jitterbug health and safety plan may include the following features plus a significant discount on Greatcall’s mobile plans.
An emergency may happen when least expected. When that happens, Jitterbug users who avail of the health and safety package can press the emergency button, instantly connect to first responders, and get the help they need. This feature can be accessed in a single press using 5Star that is both available on Jitterbug Smart2 and Lively Flip.
Memory regression comes with age. But with mental exercises, such as playing mind games, it might be slowed down if not prevented at all. Luckily, Jitterbug provides brain games that help elders keep their memories sharp in a fun way.
Health consultations don’t necessarily have to be face to face. For Jitterbug users remote access to health professionals can be done easily with the Urgent Care feature. That means 24/7 medical advice availability even without health insurance. You can also get prescriptions for common medications.
Using the GreatCall Link app, family members can keep track of the health condition of their elders. Once linked on the Jitterbug phone, the app catches real-time activities of the phone such as when Urgent Response has been used.
Jitterbug’s personal operator is a virtual assistant for elders. Just by dialing zero, they’ll be connected to an operator that is ready to assist seniors on anything they might need even as simple as booking a car ride.
GreatCall offers three sets of Health and Safety plans, each with different inclusions. The Basic plan costs $20 per month, which includes the first two features mentioned above. The Preferred plan costs five bucks more, which includes the first four features. Lastly, the Ultimate plan costs $35 with all the health and safety features mentioned included.
Similar to when you get a device from other cell phone carriers, you won’t be able to use a Jitterbug phone without activating it first. This is an important step so your phone can be assigned a mobile number and get it to fully work. But since GreatCall does not have physical stores, you have to do the activation by yourself through GreatCall’s activation page or with a help of a technician on the line. There will also be a $35 one-time activation fee on top of the phone and mobile plan you purchased to begin the service.
GreatCall is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means it relies on a different network in transmitting signals to its users. Luckily, it piggy-backs on Verizon so you can expect your Jitterbug phone to have a reliable reception most of the time. Although you may occasionally experience downtime due to prioritization, sending messages and calls should always be available no matter the time of the day. Verizon has thousands of transmitters spread across the US, which they say covers 99% of Americans using 4G and 3G networks.
Jitterbug is a line of mobile phones thoughtfully made for seniors. They are easy to use with assistive functionalities that allow elders independence whilst ensuring access to help and care they need.
- Urgent care function
- Large buttons
- Simple interface
- Reliable network coverage
- Complex mobile plan selection
- Lack of physical stores
The Jitterbug phone is a solid contender in the best mobile phones for people in their golden years. It eliminates the complexities of modern phones, but what we like the most about it are the helpful functions that put elders closer to their needs. Although it’s an additional cost, getting the urgent response function at the very least would ensure that elders have help within their reach should they need it. Other functions on the phone such as the magnifier and hearing aid compatibility are also bonuses.
The Jitterbug phone, however, is not just for seniors exclusively. If you want a simple mobile phone while still keeping up with modernity, Jitterbug’s mobile phone line might be worth exploring.
Can You Transfer an Old Number to Jitterbug?
Yes. You can use or transfer your old phone number to Jitterbug upon activation as long as that number is still available. The transfer is free but it may not be as immediate, so GreatCall may assign you a temporary number. Here’s the carrier’s number transfer guide that you can follow.
Can You Unlock Jitterbug for Another Network?
By theory, yes. Jitterbug phones are inherently unlocked for other carriers so you can enroll them in other service providers. However, we don’t recommend this because some of Jitterbug phone features rely on GreatCall. For instance, the urgent response button on Jitterbug will be useless because it’s a service provided by GreatCall.
Does Jitterbug Have a Lock-In Contract?
Jitterbug and GreatCall provide a no-contract phone plan. It charges you for your subscriptions on a month-to-month basis. But you can cancel it anytime you call it quits.