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VINE VOICEon June 4, 2011
First of all, this is a simple "feature" phone, and far removed from a smart phone. Yes, you can text for those times when one might want to (several popular TV talent shows come to mind....) but this is truly a phone to make CALLS, and offer ease of use.

I got this for a senior family member who suffers from macular degeneration, and is almost blind. Traditional cell phones ( particularly touch screen) had become hard, if not impossible to use.

I looked at several brands, including the better known "Jitterbug" and decided to try this- and I am glad I did. Just 5 is a strong brand in Europe, and is making its way to the USA now. The design is simple and clean, almost as though you did buy it in Europe or at IKEA here in the states - quite a nice look!

The read-out is bright, black against orange, very easy to see. I tested this without contacts or glasses, and was able to see it quite clearly.

Some of the nice extra's include a LED flashlight (super bright!) and a radio mode (great reception!) that I pre-set to a traffic/weather/news station, which is a nice way to be connected. Ear phones are included, too. This is great to empower people with vision issues - it can be hard to tune a radio, sometimes.

As for operation, I like the "talking" feature that confirms each button you press. Some may need this, others may not - you can easily turn this feature OFF, if you like. I tested this with a blindfold, and was able to dial with ease. Yes, there is a "bump" on the 5 key to help you help you get oriented, a bit.

Sound quality was outstanding, be it on speaker phone or traditional use. Very easy to set up auto-dial numbers, as well.

Battery life is almost un-heard of ( to me, anyway) well exceeding the 6 days indicated when on "stand by". Amazing! Really.

What most people will buy this for, is the "hoped to be never used" SOS feature - a recessed button on the back of the phone. When pushed for a few seconds, it will auto-dial and TEXT a distress message to up to 5 numbers (911 is the default, if you dont enter numbers), which is a HUGE value.

This ALONE, is a great peace of mind benefit, somewhat like a life-alert system. When activated, the phone goes into speaker phone mode,and dials numbers until there is an answer , and keeps re-dialing and texting for an hour. In addition, a VERY LOUD siren sound comes from the phone, which would help EMT's find the person in distress.

( do note, this unit would not replace a traditional alert system, as it is NOT waterproof, nor does it connect you to a dedicated rescue service, other than 911, if you program it. It is a GREAT addition to such services, and is far less costly- if you can afford both-great, if not, this is an important option).

Lastly, PLEASE set this up FIRST before you give it to someone! I do wish it was out-of-the-box ready to go, but it is NOT. You may or may not need a GSM sim card ( if you DO, Amazon vendors have them, frequently under $3.00, in cell stores around $25.00).

Set up the number, and select your plan - T-Mobile and AT&T are the GSM firms in the states. I selected a pay-as-you-go plan with no-contract, .10 a minute plan. $15 a month will keep you going for 30 days, and $100 is good for a year. That is around 8 bucks and change, which is a good deal.

Some Just 5 phones come with a JOLT mobile sim card, which may be worth your consideration, too. Be sure to check around to see what might offer the best price, and coverage.

Seniors and low-vision/blind people are the core audience here, and they like things they CAN do, rather than being reminded of what they CANT do. Four stars only because I would like more text-to-speech. Exceptional! A feel-good/feel-safe gift, as well!
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on April 15, 2011
The Just5 is cute and easy to use. I had programmed emergency numbers into the phone set and tested it. That feature was the main reason for the purchase. The unit I purchased worked very well for a few days. Thereafter, when I charged it, the phone went completely dead. After taking out and re-inserting the battery and SIM card, the only thing that worked was the flashlight. I informed the company (ANTOline) of the defective phone and asked them for a replacement. They informed they would only refund the money if the unit would be received within 30 days of purchase. I returned it within the 30 days (and am still awaiting my refund). ANTOline sold the same unit to another party without erasing the phone numbers I had programmed into the phone set. I know that because this evening I received an emergency message. When I called back, the party on the phone was testing the emergency response button and did not realize he connected to me. I informed him of what transpired and he said he will disable the emergency response feature. If at some point he needs to return the unit, will my number be in some way embedded in the phone set for the next person the company would sell the phone to? I am extremely dis-satisifed with the product as well as ANTOline and would say to stay away from any company who would have a business practice such as ANTOline. I would hope that Amazon will not continue to sell this product on behalf of ANTOline.
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on May 13, 2011
I bought this for my sister who has MS & whose fingers don't work very well with the tiny buttons on most cell phones. The buttons are huge, so it gets a gold star for button size. The display isn't big, but everything displayed in it takes the whole display up, so it works for those who need cheaters & large print books.

It didn't transfer contacts from sis's T-Mobile sim card, a demerit. I got to enter 87 contacts & it got old fast. It has several modes, Aabc, abc, ABC, 123, & one I couldn't figure out. It starts in Aabc but if your contact has two words in it, say John Smith, it goes into the abc mode after the J in John, so one has to cycle modes to get the S in Smith capitalized. Not a big deal for one entry but if one is doing 87, it gets old. No special symbols, just letters & numbers. See's candy dosen't get a ' and John & Mary Smith don't get a & One can't edit contacts; all one can do is delete & re-enter them. A pain.

When the spec's said it had an alarm, I presumed it was a multiple time alarm like all the other cell phones in our house. It only has one alarm time & it happens every day, so for those who take pills at 6am, noon, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm, & midnight, it isn't going to remind them to take their pills. & if you only want the alarm M-F, but not S-S, it dosen't do that either. A real simple alarm.

The emergency alarm button has to be held down for a few seconds before it activates. And activate it does with a painfuly loud siren that continues untill someone answers one of the 5 emergency numbers.

There was no manual in the box, but I found one on the internet. It cries out for a good tech writer to re-do it.

Not waterproof, a shortcomming considering how messy old dudes can be.

Good signal & good voice quality; one more bar than the other cell phones in the house! This phone is a little rough arround the edges, but if one is willing to accept that, it is useable for those whose fingers & eyes don't work real good.
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on May 7, 2011
Well-designed and well-built little phone. Cheap pre-paid option with Jolt Mobile. The phone should be set up by the senior's caregiver.

When the keys are pressed, its name is announced. It's cute, highly readable and as easy to use as a cell phone can be. Finally, there is the emergency sequence call SOS button on the back.

In practice, there are a few improvements to be made:
1. Offer a flip-phone version. The reason is that some seniors are unaccustomed to pressing an "off hook" and an "on hook" button; a flip phone has "open to answer", "close to hangup" intuitiveness.
2. Allow option of "auto pickup" and "auto hangup"; disabling voicemail. Since this is primarily a senior alert device, a caller/caregiver should be able to remotely listen in to the person called e.g. by pressing a code at the voicemail announcement. In addition, since many seniors have trouble remembering to press the "hang up/red" button, the phone should automatically reset when a signal is lost.

Not so successful features:
1. Torchlight. There is a slide switch on once side that is easy to miss and difficult for arthritic hands.
2. FM radio. Again, a tiny slide switch on the side.
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on March 7, 2013
The box says "It's the antidote to overly complex cell phones" and "We got rid of all the unnecessary functions that overwhelm today's cellphones". This cellphone still has far too may features for 75 year old first time non-tech savvy persons. For instance.

Does it need an FM radio? No, but its got one.
Does it need a flashlight? No, but's its got one
Does it need SMS texting? No, but its does it.
Does it need an alarm? No, but its got it.
Does it need a calculator? No, but its got one.
How about call waiting? No, but it can.
How about call conferencing? No, but it can.
How about mute & speaker phone? No, but it can.
Access to call history and talk time? No, but it can.
And it has a far too extensive menu system to control some of these features.

For the novice elderly person with failing eyesight, the menu system on the small LCD screen would be impossible to navigate.
Accidental button pushing would likely lose the user in the menu system.
The first menu button push is SMS texting instead of the phone contacts. Texting is for the young who can see and don't have arthritis.
The menu system, settings & phone book should be password protected to prevent accidental changes to the settings once they have been set.
In short, this phone is not for the novice elderly cell phone user. I can't give this to my elderly mom like I wanted too, there is way too much to know, explain and guard against. My young kid put contacts in the phone to prep the phone for his Grandma and "poof" they vanished. I can only imagine the feeling of failure my mom would have if after leaving her with the phone, she could not use it call me to say "thanks".
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on May 31, 2012
I bought this phone for my 72 year old father in law. He has problems with his hands and had problems opening and closing slide and flip phones. The phone worked well with his AT&T sim card and calls were clear. There was no problem with signal and call quality that is not normal for AT&T in this area.
The only problem with the phone was that it was hard for him to learn how to use it. With the lack of a real display and only a small window for text he had a hard time figuring out how to make calls. It took me a few minutes to figure the phone out and get numbers programmed into it for him also. The interface is not very intuitive, even for me and I have degrees in IT.

Overall the phone is excellent and works well. The user interface could be a little simpler for a better experience for seniors that are not tech savvy.
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on March 6, 2013
Did a bunch of looking online to find a good phone for my 85 year old grandma, went with this one, stopped by a T-Mobile store and grabbed a SIM card then activated it on my T-Mobile account and has worked great so far. Very easy to use and VERY LOUD which is great, here is a tip for anybody buying this phone for somebody not tech savvy like a grandpa/grandma. Setup all the numbers on the front of the phone with speed dials, so when they want to make a call, all they have to do is press and hold the number down. For example, if you want to call home, press and hold 2 down....want to call your brother? Press and hold 3 down....etc. The 1 key is automatically a speed dial for Voicemail, so you can only setup keys 2-9 along with the * key and # key for speed dials giving you a total of 10 of your own speed dials. Of course you can't expect people to remember the speed dials, so I created a little paper sheet with the numbers and then taped it to the back of the phone, so when my grandma wants to place a call, all she has to do is look at the back of the phone to see the sheet with the speed dials and then hold the corresponding number down and have it automatically dial it, no need to scroll through a contact list or dial any kind of number. The SOS button is a great feature, I was afraid it would be to easy to push but it's not. Before you buy this phone just make sure whatever provider you'll be using has good coverage wherever you plan to use it, I checked my grandma's home address on the T-Mobile coverage map and it was a solid green area, inside her house the phone gets full signal bars and every call has sounded great.

There are just a few minor things I would correct on this phone, the side buttons (lock/flashlight/FM radio/volume) should be different colors and symbols should be easier to see for old people. Just look at the side pictures of the phone, the side buttons and symbols are all white, not sure why they didn't think of changing the colors? FM radio is kind of a neat feature to include in the phone but it's not really necessary, old people grip the phone then accidentally slide it on and then don't know how to turn it off....which is what my grandpa did as soon as he started messing with the phone. I'd also prefer the flashlight to be a button (instead of a switch) that you have to press and hold down to turn on then once you release it, it automatically turns off. Again, old people will slide the flashlight switch on and not know it's on, thus draining the battery. If they get rid of the switch for the flashlight and made it a button, you could then make room for a larger lock/unlock switch, my grandmother had a hard time trying to unlock/lock the phone, the switch is kind of small and not the easiest to move if you don't have finger nails.

Overall, I really like the phone and they did a great job making the charger all orange and the user manual was written very well. They just need to make a few improvements in the next generation and this phone will be even better for seniors. Also, I think the price is a tad high for such a basic phone, I wish they included a car charger or case for the phone. If this phone dies or something bad happens, I'll come back to update this review, if you don't see any updates assume it's working great still!
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on August 13, 2012
This phone lives up to its claims. It is easy to use. Large buttons that light up. Simple menu. You lock the keys with a slider button on the side. No more trying to push two tiny buttons in quick succession. The lock icon is displayed on the screen which is bright with large read-out. I got it because I wanted a phone that is just a phone. I have a computer, a camera, a GPS, and I don't need these duplicated in my phone. I don't want to pay for the service either. I don't want to buy ringtones, this has 4 choices and that's fine with me. You can turn it up LOUD. The buttons are big enough for my husband's large hands. The bright color makes it easy to see. Black phones are always getting lost around here. We don't feel we need the SOS button, so we chose to turn it off, I had wondered if it had that option, yes, it does.
I put in my AT&T sim card after charging the battery and it was good to go. The menu is intuitive, no problems setting up. I feel the price is really good, and I will update this review on durability after I've had it a few months. (This is day 4)
I am so glad to have found this phone, I call it my 'dumbphone'--bravo to the designers.
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on June 20, 2013
When I got the phone, which I bought for my elderly, hard of hearing, techno-un-savy, 80+ parents.,I was happy. I do like the fact that you don't have to flip it open to take a call. By the time they do that the caller has hung up. I would like to have had it a teeny bit bigger. It would have been helpful because it would be easier to hold but it's much bigger than the one they had. I had trouble getting the speed dial set up for them. It seemed to change. I put myself in as #2, #1 is not an option, and the rest in sequence with my siblings. When I was done. I was no longer there and every one had shifted up a number. I put myself in again and it ended up somewhere out of sequence. The battery would not charge. It had a bit when it arrived, enough for me to do some programing but after charging overnight we still got la ow battery notice and it would shut off. On the plus side I think this is probably not the case with other just5 phones. There have been many good reviews for it. This one may be a lemon so I'm sending it back and trying another one before I pass judgment on the phone line itself.
UPDATE:
I've received The replacement phone and the battery is working nicely as are all the features. My mom loves it. The volume is great so she's thrilled to finally hear the conversations. My mom and dad share the phone and now she doesn't want him to have it. I think she plans on hiding it. I guess we'll be buying another one for him.
UPDATE: Aug 18.
Phone stopped working. When plugged in to charge, the phone just clicks and the lights flash. Well it was nice while it lasted..again. Apparently it's too late for me to request a refund. I guess
I'll try a different phone.I suggest you do too.
UPDATE Aug. 20.
I sent a letter to the makers of the Take5 phone and they said to send it to them because it was under warranty. I hadn't bother to send in the registration, my fault, but they registered it for me. They will send another and hopefully it will survive. They were friendly and helpful. I'll update when I've had the new one for awhile and maybe I can change the low rating I've given it.

We're on the third phone and so far so good. It's still too complicated for them but they've mastered the basics, they can use the shortcut keys but I had to set them up and they can dial but it's not the phone's fault that they are limited. As long as it keeps working I'll be happy. I'll up my rating to 3 stars for this last phone and the customer service the company offered.
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on February 9, 2013
I have placed my husband in a nursing home and needed a cell phone simple enough for him to use.
I was delighted to find this phone but have had no success in finding a sim card for it. ATT refused, and sent me to Radio Shack. Radio Shack refused and sent to a Metro PCS store who also refused. it seems that they won't give you a plan unless you buy a phone from them.
I was led to believe by reading customer reviews that it was very simple to get the phone activated with an inexpensive plan...Who wrote those? Company employees?
i now need to return the phone because it's of no use to me.
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