SPC JASPER phone review: a return to the past
“Designed for the elderly, it updates the format, which is revived now thanks to flexible screens, with very popular applications.”
Large keyboard buttons
Small screen for some apps
We live a revival of type phones clamshell in a version modernized by the folding screens (we refer to Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr). In reality, they have never left the market. Versions similar to the old ones remain, only aimed at older people.
New models continue to sell and appear, such as that of the Spanish firm SPC, called JASPE. Retaining the format with a lid, this device goes further and incorporates some applications that are currently widely used.
A practical format
Compact, light, handy … These labels describe the main qualities of the SPC JASPE for its small dimensions (108 x 57 x 20 mm) and weight (127 grams). Made of dark gray and black plastic, the phone comes with a 2.8-inch non-touch display built into the flip and a 1.44-inch non-touch display showing time (large), date, and battery charge. Above it, it incorporates a 2 megapixel camera and, just below it, the tiny light of the flashlight.
On the back, in addition to the speaker at the bottom, you’ll see an SOS button above. When pressed, the phone automatically calls five previously established numbers, consecutively, until one of them answers.
The keyboard occupies the entire bottom, with large buttons and some to directly access the camera, the Google voice assistant and WhatsApp. The central button of the microphone icon makes it easy to access and navigate through the five pre-installed applications.
Old hardware, current applications
SPC JASPER maintains the hardware of the old mobiles clamshell and, at the same time, it adopts some of the smartphones, such as the incorporation of the camera and, above all, very popular applications: WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Assistant, Google Maps and YouTube. To access them, simply press left on the center button with the microphone icon and then up or down to choose one.
Google Assistant is activated by long pressing the microphone button. In this way, you can ask him “Send a message”, “Tell me a joke”, “Call by phone”, “Open YouTube”. In our tests, it has responded well to our commands (and without the need to configure the voice previously). It is a comfortable and fluid process.
The Google Maps app built into this phone also takes advantage of the convenience and ease of voice to find directions. This simplifies searches. It is a special version of the app because when you open it, a series of default options appear that make it even easier. Once the map is open, even though the screen is very small, it is possible to enlarge (and reduce) to see everything bigger (or smaller).
It also makes it easy to know the nearby restaurants, gas stations, places of interest and train stations just by clicking on the corresponding icons. Perhaps the most complicated thing for someone older is the “How to get there” option if they have never used this Google application. If you know it, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
The YouTube app is also prepared to perform voice searches. And to make the most of the screen, when you open the video, the image automatically rotates 90 degrees to see everything bigger, although it forces you to put the phone horizontally.
Photo camera and specifications
The 2 megapixel lens is located on the front, but shooting is not possible selfies with her. Opening the lid works as a rear camera. It is accessed by pressing a button on the keyboard, which is very simple. It gives some options, like the ability to turn the flash on or off, a timer, and a grid. However, at that resolution, the captured images give very little quality.
The phone’s removable battery is 1,600 mAh. Its autonomy will depend on the use it is given, as it happens with any equipment. It recharges with a cable directly in the micro USB port or you can also connect it to a base that is included (it takes three hours to fill up completely). Regarding autonomy, if it is mainly used to talk and send messages, it can be expected to last several days. The device is compatible with 4G, wifi and Bluetooth.
For the keyboard and the small screen, SPC JASPER has reminded us of the old Nokia phones. Although we were already familiar with this type of phone, it took us a little while to get used to handling it at the first contact. Too long used to the touch screens with which everything goes more fluid and faster. Of course, it is very comfortable to open the cover to answer calls.
Sometimes we have been hung with a YouTube video: we have paused closing the phone and, when opening it, the screen has gone gray (we have solved it by pressing the red power off button for several seconds). Access to Google Assistant has also given us problems: when we click on the microphone button, instead of activating this app, we have left the screen gray several times, despite the fact that we have recovered the main screen by pressing the key for several seconds hanging red.
Apart from these drawbacks, the flashlight turns on and off without realizing it very often, because it is very easy to touch the button on the left side when grabbing the phone.
SPC JASPER seems to us a very comfortable phone due to its dimensions and weight. It opens easily, even with one hand. The large size of the keys makes it easier to press, although since it is not a qwerty keyboard, it is necessary to type several times to select the desired letter. And this makes it much less agile than a smartphone touchscreen. The 2.8 inches of the screen seem appropriate to read messages, quite the contrary to watch YouTube videos or consult a point on Google Maps.
Unlike other mobile phones geared towards the elderly, in which this feature has been enhanced, the maximum volume may not be enough for those with some hearing loss. We also miss that the font and numbers can be enlarged, so we do not recommend it for those who suffer from vision deficiencies.
In short, we believe that it is a good phone for older people who want to call without worrying about sliding their finger, simply by opening and closing the cover, in addition to being communicated with their relatives through WhatsApp messages (and SMS). We are not sure if a person will know how to deal with the rest of the integrated applications without being familiar with them. However, it seems to us a good idea that these apps are available, since some users will take advantage of it, it all depends on each one.
The price of 99.90 euros makes it affordable for all budgets, although with this same type design clamshell You find other alternatives with a lower price (Panasonic KX-TU466 or Doro 2404, for example). Of course, the SPC model is more advanced than these for apps and, perhaps, it is worth paying a little more for them.