Category: Mobile

Jitterbug J Cell Phone Review

Jitterbug J
Jitterbug J

Jitterbug J

It’s marketed as a cell phone for seniors, but it is a great phone for anyone who just wants an easy-to-use and easy-to-see cell phone for placing and receiving telephone calls. The Jitterbug J is a phone that anyone can pick up and start using immediately. The numbers are large and the on-screen prompts are put in the form of a question that you simply answer using the “Yes” or “No” buttons. The Jitterbug J is a sturdy and very well designed phone that is made by Samsung.

Seniors will find this phone very comfortable. The flip-open design make it very easy to use and when open it has the feel of a regular old-fashioned telephone. There is even a comforting dial tone when you open the phone. The part of the phone that goes against your ear is padded and formed in such a way that the large speaker is properly placed on your ear every time you use it.

The Jitterbug J also comes with special services. There is an operator available 24-7, 365 days a year . The Jitterbug operators are patient, knowledgeable, friendly and U. S. based. They can be used to place calls, to update the address book, and to perform just about any tasks related to your Jitterbug phone. You may not ever have to call the operator or you may want to use them to place all your calls. The decision is entirely yours.

You can also decide which services you want on your Jitterbug. You can get daily health tips, a weekly personalized wellness call, and/or access to a live registered nurse for 24-7 answers to health-related questions. You can also subscribe to MyWorld which gives you customized weather, sports, stocks, trivia, horoscope, and lottery results. These special services carry an extra$4 a month charge with lower-priced plans, but are often included in the higher-priced plans.

Rate plans range from $14.99 to $79.99 a month. Jitterbug uses the cellular service from other major carriers, so coverage is very good. You can only use the Jitterbug service with the Jitterbug phone. Rate plans are either comparable or just slightly more than those with larger carriers like Verizon. A big difference is that Jitterbug doesn’t require a 2-year contract. In fact, you don’t have to sign any contract at all. For that reason, you do have to incur a $35 activation fee. Although I don’t like that extra fee, I can understand. Without that, people might be turning on and off their service every week.

The cost of the Jitterbug J was recently reduced from $147 to $99, making it very attractive. It is also a great phone for those with vision or hearing impairments. It comes in a pearlized white, black, and red. It makes a great present for a parent or grandparent. Be sure you check it out.

The Bottom Line:

The Jitterbug cell phone was designed for seniors, but it is a good phone for anyone who doesn’t need a camera or an MP3 player and who doesn’t want to sign a two-year contract.

It is also a good cell phone for the millions of people who have a decline in vision, motor skills, or hearing. Since there is no contract and there are small rate packages available, it is also a good phone for those who only want a cell phone for emergencies.

The Jitterbug J not glitzy, but it is comfortable, easy to use, and sturdy. There are no nested menus or confusing icons. It is nice to have extra features that can be turned off if you don’t need them. Its similarities to a regular old telephone will make it comfortable for older people, while its ease of use will appeal to everyone.

The Good:

  • Excellent design
  • Very easy to use
  • Big buttons
  • Most like regular old telephone
  • Sturdy
  • Cushioned ear piece
  • Good Service
  • U. S. based operators
  • Very good sound quality
  • Bluetooth
  • Very good price
  • No service contract
  • Excellent operator services
  • Excellent call quality
  • Very comfortable to use

The Bad:

  • Exztra activation fee
  • Extra cost for MyWorld (equivalent of free apps)
  • Battery indicator not prominent
  • No easy way to add recently called or received numbers
  • Voice mail is an added cost
  • A little bulky


The Droid X and iPhone 4

Tomorrow the Doid X will be on sale at Verizon stores. Verizon couldn’t have chosen a better time to introduce their new Android phone, the Droid X. Consumer Reports, newspapers, and blogs have all been slamming Apple and the iPhone 4 for it’s antenna-reception problems. It seems that if you hold the iPhone 4 in a normal way in your left hand, reception is cut off. Steve Jobs has added to the upset with Apple by indicating that there is nothing wrong with the phone and people just shouldn’t hold it that way. Add that to the fact that everyone seems to be unhappy that the iPhone is only available on AT&T, and  you have a perfect storm. If the Droid X makes a splash it will be a great chance for Verizon to grab many of AT&T’s potential iPhone customers.

I am excited to say that my Droid X just arrived. I have been using an iPhone for two years. But now that my AT&T contract is over, I may actually be one of those who will switch to Verizon. I’ll let you know after I take a good look at the Droid X. My first impression — it looks great. Come back to read my full review.

Droid Incredible Review

Verizon's Droid Incredible
Verizon's Droid Incredible

Verizon's Droid Incredible

When three companies like Google, Verizon, and HTC (an impressive hardware company) get together, the results have got to be good. At first I thought that they were being a little arrogant when they named this phone “Incredible.” After  testing, however, I’ve decided that the name is justly given. This phone really is pretty incredible!

I spent the first few days of testing trying to pry the Incredible out of my husband’s hands. Now you have to understand that he is not at all a geek. In fact, he usually looks at the phones I review, presses a few buttons and hand them over to me. However, the Incredible really got his attention. He thought it was remarkably easy to use. Before I knew it he was checking his email and making phone calls on the Incredible. In fact, he liked it so much that he wants me to look into changing to Verizon so he can get an Incredible.

That said, I also liked the Incredible. The hardware is very good. It is probably not as spectacular as I expect the upcoming iPhone 4 to be, but it was the Incredible’s operating system and interface that impressed me. The Google Android 2.1 operating system is much better than previous versions and Verizon has already announced that the Incredible will get Android 2.2 soon. Add to that the fact that Android is supplemented with the HTC Sense interface and you have a real winner.

Not only can you do voice search on this phone, but it’s voice recognition is good enough to be able to speak your email message and have the phone type it for you. The Sense interface allows you to have 7 home pages and to access each by clicking on a thumbnail rather than scrolling through each one. On top of that, I found the HTC on-screen touch keypad easier to use than the touch keypads on either the iPhone or the regular Droid.

Browsing on this phone is quite pleasurable as screens appear quickly. Also, when you pinch-to-zoom, the text redraws itself automatically so there is a lot less scrolling. The speed of the processor shows up in other tasks as well. I never had to wait for the Incredible to perform a task. This phone also has a good camera with an excellent interface. I could only find one major flaw in the phone. It is difficult to see in bright sunlight. All-in-all though, this is a phone that will appeal to all levels of users.

The Good

  • Responsive touch screen
  • Speedy processor
  • Excellent on-screen keypad
  • Haptic feedback
  • Excellent browsing experience
  • Good email & messaging support
  • Great camera controls and interface
  • Good design
  • Sense overlay makes it easier to use
  • Useful speech-to-text
  • Tethering allowed
  • Pinch-to-zoom auto formats text
  • FM radio

The bad

  • Poor visibility in bright sunlight
  • Battery life could be better
  • No dedicated mute or camera button
  • Plastic parts seem a bit flimsy

Check out my detailed review with pictures at HardwareSecrets.com.

iPhone 4 Announced Today

Apple’s new product announcements are always interesting, but today’s arrival of the iPhone 4 was quite dramatic. Steve Jobs announced over 100 new features. This is one time when watching the latest technology news is more than worthwhile. Not only are the new iPhone features groundbreaking, but others are sure to try to follow Apple’s lead. This means that we will all have better portable devices in the near future.

Here are a few of the iPhone 4’s new features:

  • All new design — thin, thin, thin!
  • Front-facing camera
  • Retina display — an awesome new technology making the screen 4 times clearer
  • A gyroscope in addition to the accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, and ambient light sensor
  • New camera system with illuminated sensor and LED flash
  • 720p videos
  • iMovie for the iPhone
  • iBooks for the iPhone
  • A bigger battery for longer battery life
  • Farmville, Guitar Hero, and Netflix on the iPhone
  • FaceTime WiFi Video Calling
  • Multitasking
  • Folders to store apps

Some of these, especially the Retina display are ground-breaking. You can bet on Apple to come up with the latest technology. Now it’s time to sit back and see what the competition does.

Customers Opt for Pay as You Go Mobile Broadband

Mobile broadband access is becoming very popular. This popularity, however, may not be feeding more contract customers to the mobile broadband providers. Instead, it seams that users have embraced mobile broadband to go. This method of payment allows user to pay only for the broadband that they use without entering a lengthy broadband contract.  This trend, which started in 2008 and 2009 is poised to continue through 2010 and beyond.

Even retailers like Best Buy are acknowledging the trend. The Best Buy website now divides their Mobile area into two sections, one for “Mobile Broadband Devices with Plans” and one for “No Contract Mobile Broadband Devices”.

If you want to learn more about the many different types of mobile broadband access, be sure to check out http://www.broadband-expert.co.uk/. You can also  find unlimited mobile broadband options there.

The New iPad — Stunning

Steve Jobs with iPad
Steve Jobs with iPad

Steve Jobs with iPad

I’ve been using one of Apple’s new iPads for several weeks now and my verdict is in. I love it! As usual, Apple has created a device that is the ultimate in design. The iPad is thin and attractive. It has a speedy processor and a crisp and clear 9.7” LED backlit touch screen. The screen can be viewed from any angle and it is very responsive to the touch. The device weighs only 1 ½ pounds. Although it is only ½” thick, it is strong and sturdy.

Instead of running a computer operating system like Windows or Mac, the iPad uses the iPhone operating system. So rather than installing programs, you install apps. These are tiny programs that come on the iPad or that you can download from the iTunes store. This is the system that made the iPhone so easy to use and so popular. There are over 150,000 apps in the iTunes store, so there is a lot that you can do with the iPad.

The iPad has an on-screen touch keypad. It comes with 16, 32 or 64 GB of storage. It hooks up to the Internet by Wi-Fi. Some models also allow you to use the ATT&T cellular network to get on the Internet. Prices range from $499 to $829.

If your first reaction is that $500+ is pretty expensive for a device that can’t run most PC or Mac programs and doesn’t have a USB port or a DVD drive, you would be right. You can purchase a netbook, which is a fully functioning computer for less. The iPad, however, is still a worthwhile device.

You can download apps like a word processor and spreadsheet program and do some light work on the iPad, but this device is not really for work. It is focused more on content consumption and display than on content creation. It is an excellent web browsing and email device. The Photo app is fantastic, allowing you to look at your photos in unique ways. The iPad can even act like a digital picture frame displaying your choice of photos with transitions and music.

The iPad is also an excellent digital book reader. It is actually more like a real reading experience that the Sony Book Reader or the Amazon Kindle because you see your books on a wooden book shelf and you can actually see the pages turn. Like the Kindle, you can download books directly to the iPad. Because the iPad displays in color and can have multimedia components it has a lot of potential for book, newspaper, and magazine reading.

And the true significance of the iPad — its potential. While the iPad will work with almost all the iPhone apps, there are already 5,000 iPad that have been customized for the iPad. These apps take full advantage of the iPad’s larger screen and multimedia capabilities. The magazines that have been fully optimized for the iPad are truly spectacular with full page photos and audio and video clips that go along with the stories. Books that are specially formatted for the iPad appear in full color with animations peppered throughout the content. With extra screen real estate and multimedia capabilities, games that take advantage of the iPad capabilities are spectacular. Even games like Scrabble seem to come to life.

Of course, the iPad has a few deficiencies. It has no camera, which would be great for video calling.  It has no USB port and you can’t print from the iPad. Even more importantly, you are expected to get content in and out of the iPad by attaching the iPad to a computer and syncing the content using Apple’s iTunes program. This won’t be a problem for people who own a computer. However, I see this as a big drawback. I think that the iPad would make a great computer substitute for older people and others who would benefit from email and web surfing, but don’t want to get into the intricacies of owning a computer. However, with this version of the iPad, you have to own a computer running iTunes just to get the iPad started. Sure people who live close to their parents or other technophobes could handle the computer setup and occasional syncing for relatives and friends, but this should not be necessary. If the iPad had the ability to run without a computer and it could print and had a camera, it would be the perfect Internet appliance.

I am sure that we will see improvements in the iPad in future versions, possibly even those that will correct the deficiencies that I’ve stated.  Rival companies are also sure to offers their devices to compete with Apple and the iPad. However, even as it stands now, the iPad is a truly unique and wonderfully useful device. I have used it to surf the web, shop, check email, play games, watch television, listen to music, make to do lists, get recipes, track UPS packages, listen to Internet radio, call friends over Skype, display photographs, play the piano, and read books, magazines and newspapers.

If you are curious as to whether this new category of computerized device will catch on or not. This will give you a clue: Steve Jobs just announced that they have sold over one million iPads in the first 28 days. That is twice as fast as the initial selling of the iPhone. It looks like we will be seeing a lot more of the iPad and competing devices in the future.

Droid Review

The Verizon Droid
The Verizon Droid

The Verizon Droid

The Droid is a Motorola Cell Phone with an Android operating system by Google and cell phone service by Verizon. Since it has three big companies behind it, it is not surprising that it has a lot going for it.

While I was not crazy about the keyboard layout, just having a keyboard was a big plus for me. I really like the Droid operating system, finding it intuitive and easy-to-use. Although the music player is a bit lacking, the phone has several other nice features. The 5-megapixel camera takes average pictures, but the videos the Droid produced were quite good.  The Android App Store is growing fast and has ample programs to boost the phones functionality. It is certainly a smart phone and it’s an easy phone to get to like. This and other Android phones are sure to give the iPhone a run for its money in the future.


The Good

  • Small & sturdy
  • Speedy
  • Physical keyboard in small frame
  • 16 GM memory card included
  • Excellent web browsing
  • Good App Market that is constantly growing
  • Exchange & other email support
  • Good messaging support
  • Good videos
  • Excellent GPS capabilities
  • Great speaker
  • Very good screen
  • Excellent touch response
  • Adequate battery life

The Bad

  • Some unintuitive functionality
  • No dedicated phone key
  • Scroll pad interferes with thumb typing
  • Music player lack syncing and playlists
  • No voice commands when through BlueTooth

The Bottom Line
The Droid will not transport you to that island paradise for an instant vacation, but it will do most of what you need to do with a smart phone.  The Android app collection is well on its way, and, like the iTunes store, it features many free and inexpensive programs that are quite useful. The Android App Market already puts the BlackBerry app store to shame.

Web browsing with the Droid and Verizon’s service is a real pleasure. It’s speedy and draws accurate web pages.  Because of its open source nature, the Android operating system is developing much more quickly than Windows Mobile or the BlackBerry OS. That said — Android has not yet caught up to the ease of use of Apple’s iPhone OS or Palm Pre’s webOS. Yet, it is close, and we feel the Droid has surpassed the iPhone in web surfing, messaging, and email.

Although the physical keyboard could be better, finding it in such a small frame is a real plus, as is the clarity of the Droid’s high resolution screen. The Droid along with Verizon’s service has a lot going for it.

My more detailed review along with photos can be found at Hardware Secrets.