Jitterbug Touch3 Senior Smartphone with 1-Touch Medical Alert by GreatCall
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- A simple menu organized in a single list with large icons makes it easy to navigate. Internal Memory: 8GB storage, 1GB RAM + expandable up to 64GB.
- 5.0 Megapixel Camera (2592 x 1944 pixels) w/ Autofocus, LED flash + front-facing VGA camera has easy-to-use photo sharing.
- To take advantage of the easy-to-use features on the Jitterbug Touch3, activate with GreatCall by phone or via the Greatcall website.
- No contracts and no cancellation fees. Dependable Nationwide coverage. Affordable plans with data as low as $17.48 a month.
- Award-winning, 100% U.S.-based customer service and support. Turn your phone into a personal safety device with exclusive health and safety apps.
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Built by Samsung with an ultra-modern look, the Jitterbug Touch3 is designed with GreatCall's signature simplicity. While most smartphones are complicated with tiny icons and multiple screens, the Touch has large icons that are organized in a single list on one 4-inch display. This simplified approach takes all the guesswork out of using a smartphone. GreatCall offers a variety of affordable data plans, starting at just $2.49/month, so unlike other smartphones you won't pay for data you don't need. And, with GreatCall’s Health & Safety packages, you can access exclusive health and safety apps like 5Star, Urgent Care and MedCoach apps.
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► Samsung Galaxy Ace Style
* Android 4.3
* 1500 mAh battery
* Dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU
* 4" screen (480x800)
* Bluetooth 4.0
* Micro USB charging/connection
* Haptic feedback (vibration) and gyroscope
* Micro SD card slot (supports up to 64GB)
* Samsung TouchWiz interface AND GreatCall launcher both installed
* Supports Google Play Services, including the Play Store. Also works fine with Amazon App Store (separate download).
* This version does NOT have the NFC option, unlike a stock Galaxy Ace Style.
This is a spiffy phone. I was impressed by the GreatCall interface, which is as simple and versatile as they describe, but I was more impressed with the simple settings that allowed you to switch to the regular Samsung TouchWiz interface if you feel you're capable of handling the regular Android interface. This means this phone is capable of functioning like any other Galaxy Ace Style right out of the box. It's not crippled in any way. I like that.
The screen is quite nice, and the phone is thankfully not loaded with a ton of bloatware so you have plenty of space for most of the basic apps. There's room to grow, here. The SD card slot helps in that regard, too. The touch interface is snappy. The dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU makes for smooth sailing most of the time.
So the bottom line is that this is a good Android phone that can be as easy or complex as you require. It really is a great design, and I deeply appreciate that GreatCall didn't cripple the phone by baking in their GUI or a ton of unneeded apps. You do get some very handy apps like 5Star, Link, MedCoach, and UrgentCare.
5Star is like a life-alert sort of service, and will cost you fifteen bucks per month. Tap the icon and you get emergency help. For those who need access to such a service, this is a nice way to integrate it into your phone and eliminate the need for a separate device, unless it's included in the plan you choose.
Link connects you with friends and family who can monitor your status. If you send an emergency call, they'll know and can respond without you needing to call them separately. It also allows them (or you) to locate the phone on a map. This service appears to be free.
MedCoach is a fancy medication and vitamin reminder. Basically it will remind you to take your pills on whatever schedule you assign. It also allows for easy connection to your pharmacy to refill prescriptions. This service seems to be free.
UrgentCare is medical research app that also gives you 24/7 access to live medical information and advice. This service will cost you about four bucks per month, unless it's included in the plan you choose.
So while these apps and services are nice, the area where I find a small stumbling block is in the GreatCall plans. They don't have an all-inclusive plan, but instead require you to buy plans piecemeal. Data is sold separately in various packages, which bumps up the price. All told, if you sign up for service similar to other prepaid plans (unlimited talk/text and about 500 MB of data) you'll be spending a lot more than the competing national plans.
Yes, you can get lower-priced plans, but these plans have limited talk minutes and still don't come with the data plan.
The graphic on the sale page shows an "Unlimited" plan for just under seventy bucks. This includes unlimited talk and text, as well as all the GreatCall services. This does not include data. Adding 500 MB of data to this unlimited plan is an additional fifteen dollars per month. That brings the total to eighty-four dollars and ninety-nine cents.. for the same thing as the Verizon basic prepaid plan that costs forty-five dollars per month, on the exact same cell towers.
The pricing being so much higher than the competition doesn't sit well with me. This is where they lose me. It's hard to recommend a plan that's about forty dollars more per month for most of the same plan features on the same cell towers. That's forty bucks per month you're paying for those GreatCall medical services.
► FINAL THOUGHTS
The GreatCall Touch3 is an excellent KitKat smart phone that is sadly hindered by an oppressive and overly-complicated cell phone plan. I realize most of the target audience won't be going for unlimited talk/text and probably won't need 500 MB of data, and thus they'll be able to get their pricing down as low as fifteen bucks, but bear in mind this low pricing grants the user only fifty minutes of talk time, no texting, no additional services, and no data. If you add texts and data, you're back up near that forty-five bucks offered by the competition for unlimited talk/text. I just can't get over the nickel-and-diming they do on these plans. It's rough.
So my final rating is a grand total of 3 stars, which is "average" in my book. This is considering five stars for the phone and five stars for the GreatCall medical services, but minus two stars for the high pricing and complicated pricing plans. There IS a lot to like here; It's just that it comes with a lot of caveats.
Suggestions? Get it if you're looking for a good Samsung Galaxy phone. Get it if you need those GreatCall medical services. Get it if you want a smart phone with a simple interface. Just understand that those services and this nice easy-to-use interface come at a higher monthly price when compared to competitors. If you can accept that, this really is a fantastic phone.
I contacted GreatCall customer service and I have to say I had a really excellent experience with them. They were clear and easy to understand. The call went to somewhere in the United States and not an overseas tech support center, which was greatly appreciated. The two reps I spoke with were both polite, professional, and efficient. In short, the customer service at GreatCall is fantastic.
For this reason, I can see an added benefit to seniors for using GreatCall; They won't have to struggle to be understood, and they will get friendly, helpful people on the other end of the line who do their best to help them out. That alone is enough for me to bump the review back up one more star, to Four Stars.
I still think the pricing is a bit unfortunate, but for some folks that U.S.-based customer service will make all the difference, and I therefore can't just consider GreatCall "average". They cost more, but for many people they may be well worth it.
I bought this phone for my older mom. We opened the package and set the phone up but to our surprise she could not hear . After trying several things to turn up volume it was as high as it would go. Which is no higher than any other phone . So I sent it back and requested a refund. A week later I got an email that denied the refund because the package had been opened . I wonder how your supposed to know if you like the phone if it's in the package?? They wil not work with is at all.
My conclusion is definitely get this if you're getting a phone for a parent who is in another state, and they've never used a smartphone before. Or, if you've never used a smartphone before and you just want a simple device. I really liked the simple interface with this. With my previous phone, it took me a few weeks to figure out how to just dial a number. With this phone, all you have to do is press the phone button, and you're immediately in the dialing screen. It saves all of the numbers, and syncs with your Google contacts, and has an easy way to star your favorite contacts. So, for a phone that just makes phone calls, it does this well. The call quality is great, too.
The menu is extremely scaled down, but I really liked the way they scaled it down. Calling and voicemail are very prominent. They're the top two buttons. It's very easy to start taking pictures on this phone, and to view your pictures.
With my evaluation copy, I wasn't able to utilize the GreatCall 5Star features, but I'll update my review if I figure it out. These are basically some additional apps that do things like get help from GreatCall agents, ask real doctors questions, and a quick connect to 911.
I talked to customer service once, and I was pleasantly surprised that they seem to have 24/7 customer service. The customer service person was very nice and helpful.
+Friendly customer service
+Excellent, simple interface
+Has the full power of Android, it's Android 4.3
+Comes pre-loaded with all of Google's apps
+Automatically adds apps from the Play store to the All Apps menu
+Has restart as part of the Power menu
+Still works well, even if you take a while to log in with Google
+Pretty easy to switch between the simple interface and the regular Android interface
-No simple way to uninstall applications on the simplified interface
-Phone is useless once you stop using GreatCall, which you probably will eventually
-There are better options out there if you're not clueless about smart phones
-Will probably never upgrade past Android 4.3
-Battery life isn't very good
-To figure out how to get the battery to stop rapidly draining, you'll need advanced cell phone knowledge