GreatCall Wireless, the maker of senior-friendly featurephones, has edged away from the flip phone to offer its first smartphone, the QWERTY keyboard-equipped Jitterbug Touch, aimed at elderly users transitioning from their basic handsets.
Although a full Android handset, GreatCall has developed a simplified user interface which gives access to favorite contacts and apps right from the main menu. The main menu also streamlines navigation by laying out all options in a scrolling list with large fonts, so customers don't have to wade through dozens of small icons or features they might not use. Still, the Jitterbug Touch has been designed to evolve with the user's needs, including browsing the Web and access to over 600,000 apps available in the Google Play store.
Based off Sprint's Kyocera Milano design, the smartphone sports a 3-inch QVGA (240 x 320) display, a far cry from the 4-inch and larger Super AMOLED screens that currently flood the market. Powered by Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), this handset is not running the most up-to-date software, yet it is still a pretty impressive phone for elderly users or first-time smartphone adopters.
Built around an 800 MHz single-core processor, the Jitterbug Touch comes with 512MB of RAM and 512MB of internal storage, as well as a pre-loaded 2GB microSD card. With its full slide-out keyboard, equipped with large buttons, typing will be easier for users uncomfortable with solely touch capabilities.
Packing a 1490 mAh Lithium ion battery and an Eco Mode that manages power consumption, the Jitterbug Touch is said to offer up to 7.65 hours of talk time, according to GreatCall. The phone also features a 3.2-megapixel, and usually retails for $170 with no contract, though is currently available for $150 for a limited time.
Voice service plans start at $14.99 a month, while data plans start at $2.99 a month. Service is available in the U.S. and Canada.
While the Jitterbug certainly doesn't compare to the quad-core, LTE smartphones that have recently popped up, the handset may be ideal for someone looking for an entry-level phone with smartphone capabilities.
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