The usability of the keypad is where this phone really shines. There is a dedicated On/Off button, as well as large Yes and No buttons, along with two simple arrow keys in the middle to scroll through lists. The number keys are similarly large and amazingly tactile, making it very easy to dial by feel if you so choose. Using this phone couldn't be easier.
Features of the phone are fairly basic, which is understandable considering its target demographic. The phone's contacts list holds up to 50 numbers, and you can even have up to 15 numbers pre-programmed by GreatCall when ordering the phone. You have a few ways to add or remove numbers from your contacts list -- you can either do it manually through the phone's simple interface, or you can dial zero for the operator to do it for you. Alternatively, you can mail or fax your desired changes to GreatCall. Another great option is to change your contacts list via the GreatCall Web site. You can arrange for your friends or relatives to have access to this list, so they can help edit your contacts list for you.
Other basic features include voicemail, voice dialing, a speakerphone, a battery management alert that tells you when the phone needs charging, and the ability to create lists. You can create and update the lists via operator or a secure Web page on GreatCall. Activating the speakerphone is a little tricky. You can only turn it on during a call, and you do so by increasing the volume repeatedly until it turns into Speakerphone mode. We also found that voice dialing sometimes takes a few tries before it understands what you're saying. However, GreatCall provides operator services to hold your hand at every step of the way in case you have any questions -- you can even make calls through the operator for an additional fee.
We tested the tri-mode Jitterbug Dial (850/1900 CDMA; AMPS) in San Francisco using GreatCall's network. Call quality was excellent, and callers could not tell we were on a cell phone. The speakerphone was very loud, and since we could not change its volume, it was sometimes a little too loud for us.
The Jitterbug Dial has a rated talk time of 3 hours and a rated standby time of 8.3 days. According to FCC radiation tests, it has an SAR rating of 0.5 watts per kilogram.