Jitterbug smartphone review: Jitterbug Smart from GreatCall

For seniors people, there are yet many of simple feature phones out there, but there aren’t many simple smartphones.TheJitterbug Smart ($149.99, full price) is one of the few, offering senior users a 5.5-inch Android phone with simplified software and 5Star Urgent Response integration. .

Jitterbug smartphone price

The Jitterbug Smart$99.99 at Amazon is your standard black slab, measuring 6.0 by 3.1 by 0.4 inches (HWD) and 6.1 ounces. It’s a lot bigger than its predecessor, the Jitterbug Touch 2 (4.9 by 2.5 by 0.5 inches; 4.9 ounces), but only slightly larger than the 5-inch SmartEasy (5.8 by 2.9 by 0.4 inches; 5.5 ounces). Despite its size, I was still able to use the Jitterbug with just one hand.
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Design, Display, and Features

The front of the phone has a 5.5-inch 1,280-by-720 display surrounded by a thick bezel and backlit capacitive touch buttons underneath. The panel is the same resolution as the 5-inch SmartEasy, but because of the larger screen size, you actually get slightly pixels per inch. That said, the display is still plenty sharp, bright, and has decent viewing angles. It comes with extra large text and app icons that are arranged in a list, so everything is highly visible and easy to navigate.

Connectivity
Network Performance and Connectivity
The Jitterbug operates on GreatCall, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that uses Verizon’s network. It supports CDMA, as well as LTE bands 4/13, which is the same you’ll find on entry-level Verizon devices. Verizon has regularly scored well in our Fastest Mobile Networks testing, and we saw average network performance on the Jitterbug in midtown Manhattan.

Call Quality
Call quality is good. Earpiece volume is loud and easily understandable. Voice calls from quiet environments have a warm, natural tone. Calls from noisier environments have occasional pops, but nothing too distracting. a 3.5mm audio jack and Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless headsets. The phone is also M4/T4 hearing aid compatible.

Processor, Battery, and Camera
The Jitterbug is powered by a Snapdragon 210 processor clocked at 1.1GHz and 1GB of RAM. These are entry-level specs, and the phone scored 19,912 on the AnTuTu benchmark test, which measures overall system performance. That’s still on par with the SmartEasy (19,980) which boasts a faster Snapdragon 410 chipset, so you probably won’t notice a big performance difference between the two devices.

Jitterbug smartphone Battery
Battery life is average. The phone clocked 4 hours and 16 minutes in our battery test, in which we stream full-screen video over LTE at maximum brightness. That’s in line with the SmartEasy (4 hours and 24 minutes), though the battery here isn’t removable, so you can’t carry a spare.

Jitterbug smartphone Camera
Camera performance for the 5-megapixel rear sensor is poor. The autofocus struggles to lock on even in well-lit settings. Pictures outdoors suffered from noise and blur no matter how carefully I focused or how still I held my hand. Indoor shots were grainy. The camera also records muddy 720p video. The 2-megapixel front-facing camera proved no better, capturing soft and blurry images.

Software
The Jitterbug Smart runs Android 5.1 Lollipop. Upon turning it on, you’ll be brought to a simple lock screen that requires you to tap the numbers 1, 2, and 3 on the bottom of the screen to unlock the phone. The lock screen also shows the time, date, battery life, your phone number, and a 5Star Urgent Response button. The button activates an emergency call to an agent who will connect you to medical assistance, emergency services, or a designated emergency contact.

Once the phone is unlocked, you’ll be brought to the home screen, which features all of your apps arranged in a vertical list. There are two tabs up top, letting you switch between Home and People. In Home, you’ll find Phone, Texts, Camera, Photo Album, Email, and Brain Games. People gives you a list of contacts. If you want to get access to your other apps, you can tap the All Apps option at the bottom of the screen, which lets you see other apps you’ve installed. There’s an ever-present 5Star button at the bottom, and a My Account button to the right, which shows your phone usage, account and puts you in touch with support representatives.

Conclusion
Overall, the Jitterbug Smart is a good choice for seniors who want a simple phone with a big screen. The 5Star features are a nice addition, even if some of them cost extra. But the Jitterbug isn’t quite as good for seniors as the Doro 824 SmartEasy, which remains our Editors’ Choice. It adds a physical Emergency Alert button, and software that’s even easier for new users to learn. Plus it has a feature that allows relatives or other caretakers to access the phone and provide support remotely.