Samsung Jitterbug OneTouch - SPH-A110 (Great Call) review: Samsung Jitterbug OneTouch - SPH-A110 (Great Call)
The Jitterbug OneTouch is a simple, easy-to-use phone that's ideal for senior citizens who want to stay in touch with loved ones.
Usually when we are asked about the right phone for senior citizens, we say that the easier the phone is to use, the better. It needs to have large, easy-to-read buttons, a bright display, and pared-down features to keep things easy. Well, the Jitterbug OneTouch is certainly one of the easiest phones we've ever used--it doesn't even have a numerical keypad. It is the simpler cousin of the Jitterbug Dial, and both phones were released by a new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) called GreatCall, which specializes in serving elderly people who want to keep in touch with their relatives. The OneTouch is perfect for our senior citizens who do not want any complications whatsoever when using a phone. OneTouch phones are available now for $147 each.
The Jitterbug OneTouch looks and feels a lot like the Jitterbug Dial. In fact, it is identical when viewed from the exterior. A bit rounded and bulky, it measures 4x2x1 inches and weighs about 4.4 ounces. It has the same monochrome external screen, as well as the volume rocker underneath it. Just like the Dial, the phone feels great in the hand, especially when cradled next to the ear thanks to soft gray rubber surrounding the speaker.
As with the Jitterbug Dial, the first thing you're greeted with when you open the phone is the sound of an actual dial tone. This lets you know that the phone is activated and ready to go, similar to a landline phone. It has the same 1.8-inch, 65,000-color display found on the Dial, complete with large fonts and simple Yes or No questions through its navigation system. As with the Dial, you can scroll through Contacts and Call History pretty easily.
The primary difference between the Dial and the OneTouch is reflected with the keypad. While they both have the On/Off button, large Yes and No buttons, and two arrow keys in the middle for scrolling through lists, the OneTouch does not have an alphanumeric keypad. Instead, the phone simply has three large one-touch buttons--Operator, Home, and 911. The Operator button connects you directly to a GreatCall operator, who can make a call for you, make changes to your Contacts list, or simply answer your questions on how to use the phone. The Home button, of course, connects you directly to your programmed home number, and the 911 button is self-explanatory. The buttons all are very tactile and easy to press.
The features on the OneTouch are the same as the Jitterbug Dial: The OneTouch holds up to 50 numbers in its contact list, and allows up to 15 pre-installed numbers. However, since the OneTouch does not have a numerical keypad, you can only edit the numbers via the Operator, the GreatCall Web site, or mail or fax. You also can arrange for your trusted friends or relatives to have access to the list so that they can edit the list for you. For other features of the phone, please read our review of the Jitterbug Dial, as those are the same too.
We tested the tri-mode Jitterbug OneTouch (850/1900 CDMA; AMPS) in San Francisco using GreatCall's network. The call quality was great; similar to that of a landline phone. Callers on both ends reported crisp and clear audio quality. The speakerphone sounded very loud, and since it only has one volume setting, it sometimes got a little too loud. However, this is good if you are hard of hearing.
The Jitterbug OneTouch 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.