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printed August 30, 2014
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Review: Jitterbug

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The number of people older than 65 is growing faster than any other age group in the US, so clearly the Jitterbug has an important place in serving a growing market. These phones can provide peace of mind for concerned children who would like their parents or grandparents to be able to make a phone call wherever they are. They can also help older people participate in the wireless culture we are a part of.

The people at Great Call deserve credit for recognizing the needs of the elderly and creating an easy-to-use service for them. The operator service and just about every other contact we had with GreatCall was extremely simple, friendly and understanding; and the voicemail system was shockingly thoughtful. Somewhere at Samsung a designer deserves an award for the rubber bumper around the earpiece and the keypad design of this phone. And somewhere at Samsung a designer (or engineer) deserves a stern talking to for spec'ing the tiniest charger plug ever on a phone meant for the elderly.

The shortcomings of the menus probably aren't critical if we only expect elderly users to punch in numbers or call the operator. However if Great Call truly wants to enable elderly users, they will convince Samsung to refine the interface - changing the font, reversing the display and even fine tuning the menus could soon help our grandparents rival our own mobile lifestyles.

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