GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2 Review
GreatCall specializes in phones and devices to help keep seniors safe and connected. The Jitterbug Smart2 is the second version of GreatCall’s simplified smartphone device, with improved functionality while maintaining the simple interface of the original.
The Jitterbug Smart2 is meant to be the most uncomplicated smartphone on the market. It includes features most useful to older adults, requires minimal setup, and is intended to be intuitive for people who may be less comfortable with complicated technology.
- Simple, easy-to-navigate apps
- Large, bright display
- Access to emergency services
- 30-day free return policy
- Slow processor
- Pricing structure can be complicated
Jitterbug Smart2 Phone Features and Specs
The Jitterbug Smart2’s screen is bright, colorful and features a list of thoughtfully-placed icons for often-used apps like Phone, Text Message, Camera, and Internet to help you navigate to what you need. The Smart2 has a much more streamlined interface than other smartphones and uses voice-over-LTE, a technology to enable faster, clearer-sounding voice calls.
The Jitterbug Smart2 specs include:
- Measures 6 x 3 inches, and is .33 inches thick
- 5.5-inch touch screen
- Weighs 5.6 ounces
- 13-megapixel camera with flash
- Voice typing for easier texting
- Standard 3.5mm headphone jack
- MicroSD card slot for up to 32 GB additional memory (16 GB internal memory)
- Micro USB charging cable
GreatCall’s Health and Safety Features for Seniors
Aside from Jitterbug Smart2’s design features, GreatCall’s cellular service plans offer several health and safety add-ons not available from any other cell providers. These features are designed to keep seniors safe and connected, although they are optional and you can use the phone only for voice calls and texting. We explained these features below, then you’ll find pricing in the next section. When you add these services to your cell plan, GreatCall gives you a 50 percent discount on talk minutes.
5Star Urgent Response: If you are hurt or worried about your safety for any reason, you can get help with one tap on the service button to connect to a 5Star Urgent Response operator who will contact emergency services. This feature is a convenient medical alert system on your phone with access to emergency services. Having help so readily available helps you feel more secure, which can lead to a more active lifestyle.
Operator: If you are having trouble with your phone and need help, press 0 to instantly connect to a live operator who can help.
Urgent Care: If you need medical advice, the Urgent Care service connects you to a board-certified doctor or registered nurse.
GreatCall Link: This app serves as a tracking device for your phone. You can designate a family member or friend to have access to GPS-based location services (via iOS or Android app on their phone), so they know where you are at any time.
Handset Replacement: GreatCall replaces your phone if it’s ever lost, damaged beyond use or stolen.
Jitterbug Smart2 Costs and Plans
The Jitterbug Smart2 phone retails for $149.99, but you may find a promotional discount on GreatCall’s website. Compared to other smartphones, this phone is affordable for seniors on a limited income. In addition to purchasing the Jitterbug Smart2 phone, you pay a one-time $35 activation fee then a monthly fee for standard smartphone services and an optional health and safety service bundle. GreatCall plans are month-to-month with no contracts.
GreatCall’s plans are modular, which helps you only pay for the services you want, but also can get confusing. Monthly costs for Greatcall’s five voice-call plans range from $14.99 to $49.99, four text plans from $3 to $15, and six data plans from $2.49 to $30. If you buy a health and safety plan, the voice costs are reduced to $5 to $40.
The chart below shows sample pricing for light, moderate and heavy phone use, but you can buy more or less talk time, text amounts and data between each tier on the chart. For example, someone who talks on the phone for an average of 30 minutes and texts frequently each day, but has little use for data could create a plan for around $47 per month.
After you choose a cell phone plan, you can add one of the following service bundles.
Verizon is GreatCall’s only service provider. Verizon has an extensive network, providing cell coverage almost anywhere in the U.S. You can check for coverage in your area and places you travel to by entering your ZIP code on GreatCall’s site.
How to Buy the Jitterbug Smart2
You can purchase a Jitterbug Smart2 phone directly through GreatCall’s website, where you’ll find options to add on minutes, texting, and health and safety services. At the time this was published, GreatCall was offering a 25 percent off deal.
Jitterbug Smart2 Complaints
The Jitterbug Smart2 receives 3.5 out of 5 stars from PCmag and 4 out of 5 stars from ConsumerAffairs. Other online customer reviews range from 3 to 4.2 on a 5-star scale. Complaints came from customers who did not understand or want the additional health services GreatCall offers. Some didn’t realize a cell plan (required with all smartphones) was necessary to operate the phone and other complaints centered on the relatively quiet sound in the phone’s audio piece and external speaker. While this sounds like the phone may not be the best choice if you have a hearing aid, it received the highest ratings in FCC hearing aid compatibility tests.
GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2 Q&A
How much storage does the Jitterbug Smart2 have?
The Jitterbug Smart2 has a total of 16 GB internal storage with 9 GB available. You can add a 32 GB microSD card (sold separately) to increase memory, but if you take a lot of photos or video, you’ll want to upload them from the card or phone to a cloud service like Google Drive every once in a while to avoid running out of space.
Can I use the Jitterbug Smart2 with hearing aids?
The Jitterbug Smart2 has a hearing aid compatibility score of M4 and T4 on the FCC’s hearing aid compatibility scoring system. These scores run from one to four, so the Jitterbug Smart2 is among the highest rated.
Do I have to sign a cell service contract to use a Jitterbug Smart2?
You do not have to sign a contract to use the Jitterbug Smart2. You pay for GreatCall’s service from month-to-month, so you can easily remove or add services depending on how you use the phone.
How is the operating speed on the Jitterbug Smart2?
The information we found about Jitterbug Smart2’s processing speed says the phone uses a 1.5GHz Mediatek 6738 processor, which can run slowly for a modern smartphone. While the operating speed is sufficient for most light users and fast enough for basic features, some apps, including email, take longer to load.
Can I download more apps on a Jitterbug Smart2?
Yes, you can download apps from Google Play since the Smart2 is an Android phone. However, the pre-installed apps take up some memory, giving you 9 GB available. You won’t be able to load this phone up with a ton of apps.
How long will a Jitterbug Smart2 phone run off a full charge?
The phone’s battery life is comparable to other smartphones with almost 5 hours of LTE video streaming time, 12 hours of talk and 17 days on standby. Considering you are unlikely to leave the phone on standby, you can get a full day or two out of the battery depending on whether you use battery-draining apps like games.
There are many smartphones on the market, but only the Jitterbug Smart2 offers GreatCall’s array of senior-focused health and safety features. If you need the reassurance of these services, this phone provides peace of mind.