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GreatCall unleashes the Jitterbug J

GreatCall, the company that provides both the phone and service for the elderly, is expanding its market with the Jitterbug J.

Samsung Jitterbug J
Samsung Jitterbug J

There's a new Jitterbug in town, and it's called the Jitterbug J. Made by Samsung, the Jitterbug J is the successor to the original Jitterbug Dial, which if you'll recall was the phone we dubbed as friendly to seniors thanks to its easy-to-use controls and large backlit buttons.

Now it seems GreatCall, the company behind the Jitterbug, wants to expand its market to include everyone, not just the elderly. If you want a phone that looks and feels like a plain old telephone, no matter your age, then GreatCall is hoping the Jitterbug J will fit your needs.

The Samsung Jitterbug J still maintains that same user-friendly design as on the Jitterbug Dial, with the rubber cushion earpiece, the familiar dial tone when you open it up, and the large text on the screen. But it now includes more advanced features like text messaging and Bluetooth support. It also has an upfront speakerphone button, easier screen navigation, and several ring tone options. GreatCall is also planning to introduce a MyCalendar service that lets you access appointments on the Web site, and your phone can be updated with a view or an event reminder.

The company has also introduced more affordable rate plans for as low as $14.99 a month for the most basic monthly plan (50 anytime minutes). This is good news, but not if you want to use any of the other Jitterbug services. Each text message costs 10 cents, and premium voicemail costs $3 a month.

Other premium Jitterbug services include 24-hour operator services that will help you manage your phone book plus make calls for you (each operator-assisted call will take away five minutes from your allotted minutes in addition to the length of the call); handset replacement insurance; a 24-hour health care advisory called LiveNurse; and 24-hour roadside assistance. These premium services will cost you --the LiveNurse is $4 a month, the roadside assistance is $4 a month, and the handset replacement insurance is $4 a month. There is a Jitterbug Complete Care package that lets you get all three for $9 a month, a savings of $3 a month.

Each Jitterbug J will cost you $147, which is pretty expensive, but there's no contract required.

Read our full review of the Samsung Jitterbug J.