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Jitterbug Review 2023: Phone and Medical Alert in One

Lively offers a flip phone and smartphone that connect to a 24/7 monitoring center.
May 17, 2023
Written by:
Medical Reviewer:
Reviewed by: , BSPharm, MPH, Senior Director, NCOA Center for Healthy Aging
Fact Checked
Lively Jitterbug phones
  • Flip phone and smartphones with medical alert functionality
  • Lively 24/7 monitoring center services
  • Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa capabilities

Key Takeaways

  • Lively offers a simplified flip phone and smartphone with optional connection to a 24/7 monitoring center.
  • Monthly prices range from $14.99–$54.98, depending on the phone plan and health and wellness package you choose.
  • Jitterbug phones have large screens and keypads, simple navigation, an amplified speaker, and are compatible with hearing aids.
  • Telehealth, brain games, ride services, and one-on-one care advocate services are available with a premium monthly package.

Merging cellphone technology with medical alert systems, Lively (formerly GreatCall) offers the Jitterbug Smart3 smartphone and Flip2 flip phone, both of which connect you to a 24/7 monitoring center with the push of a button.

While you can also dial 911 to receive help, Lively monitoring center staff has access to you or your loved one’s medical history, personal contacts, and other information that’s crucial in an emergency. The Lively monitoring center can dial 911 for you, as well as dispatch designated contacts and nonemergency services to your location, such as roadside assistance or a locksmith.

Lively Jitterbug phones are specifically designed for older adults or anyone wanting a more simplified phone. Both the Smart3 and Flip2 have list-based menus for easy navigation, an extra loud volume option, the ability to call contacts and send messages with your voice, and more. A variety of health and wellness features are also available.

Unlike most current phones on the market, you aren’t locked into a contract. You’ll pay for your Jitterbug phone month-by-month and can cancel your service at any time. Keep reading our Jitterbug review to learn more about this unique cellphone and medical alert in one.

Why you can trust our expert review

Hours of Research
Surveys Deployed
Brands Tested
Experts Consulted

Our Reviews Team spent more than 2,500 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. During our process, we:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • Consulted with licensed adult caregivers, doctors, and nurse practitioners who specialize in older adult care
  • Mystery shopped 13 medical alert system brands
  • Surveyed 1,000 medical alert system users
  • Tested various medical alert systems
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties, such as Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot

Read more about our medical alert systems review methodology.

Why Lively Jitterbug is one of our Reviews Team’s top picks

Lively Jitterbug phones are not typical medical alert devices, so they’re not covered in our best medical alert systems review, but Lively is one of our Reviews Team’s top medical alert brands.

We named Lively “Best Health Services” for its virtual urgent care, caregiver app, and Care Advocate service, which are also available for the Lively Jitterbug Smart3 and Flip2 phones with a premium package ($34.99 per month). Jitterbug phones even have two extra features not available with Lively medical alert systems: Lively Rides and Brain Games.

Our Reviews Team likes that you can choose between a flip phone or a touchscreen smartphone, both with the option to double as a medical alert system through the Lively Urgent Response app. Urgent Response connects you to a 24/7 monitoring center straight from the Flip2 keypad or Smart3 touchscreen.

Both phones have simple navigation menus and accessibility features, such as voice-to-text, text read-aloud, and an extra loud speaker setting. Depending on the phone you choose, you’ll be able to use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to make calls, send text messages, check the weather, and more with your voice.

Lively Jitterbug phones can be an excellent alternative to a traditional phone or medical alert system by bundling safety and wellness features into one device.

Pros and cons of Lively Jitterbug phones

Pros Large screen, keypad, and hearing aid compatible Optional medical alert feature Can keep your current phone number Telehealth features available No contract and can cancel service at any time
Cons No quarterly or annual plan discounts No standard at-home landline option $10 restocking fee if returned

Table 1 Comparison of Jitterbug cellphones, as of April 2023

Lively Jitterbug PhoneJitterbug Smart3Jitterbug Flip2
Starting talk and text plan monthly cost$14.99$14.99
Starting data plan monthly cost$2.49N/A
Starting monthly monitoring cost$24.99$24.99
Equipment fee$149.99$99.99
Activation fee$35$35
Device typePhonePhone
Device rangeN/AN/A
Connection typeCellularCellular
Battery life (hours of talk time)$12$22
Location trackingYesYes
Fall detectionNoNo
Water resistantNoNo
Two-way voice communicationYesYes

Jitterbug phones review


Lively Smart3

Pros $149.99 equipment cost is lower than most smartphones ($400–$999) Large touchscreen (6.2 inches long) Front and back camera Voice-to-text feature available Video call capability
Cons Must purchase data plan ($2.49–$30 per month) Fall detection not available Touchscreen may be more difficult for some to navigate

  • Starting monthly fee: $17.48
  • Device type: Phone
  • Device range: N/A
  • Device dimensions: 6.5 inches x 2.93 inches x 0.32 inches (length x width x depth)
  • Device weight: 5.6 ounces (oz)
  • Connection type: Verizon cellular, Wi-Fi, GPS
  • Battery life: Up to 22 hours of talk time

Make video calls, take pictures, browse online, use your favorite social media apps, and more with the Jitterbug Smart3. You can download and use any app available on Google Play with this simplified smartphone.

The word “simple” is not usually used to describe a smartphone, but Lively has designed a smartphone with simplicity in mind. The phone has a large 6.2-inch screen that’s slightly longer than the U.S. $1 bill. Our Reviews Team likes the list-style menu for easy navigation and that you can enlarge text and images by tapping the screen three times, meaning you won’t need to change your phone’s settings each time you want to zoom in.

Use your voice to make calls, navigate your phone, search the web, or ask questions with the Google Assistant app. Google Assistant is included with your Smart3 and can be used by pressing the button on the left side of your phone or by saying “Hey Google,” followed by a command or question. Want to check the weather before meeting a friend at the park? Simply ask, “Hey Google, what is the weather like today?” and you’ll receive a verbal weather report from your phone.

The Smart3 also has a back- and front-facing camera lens, so you can snap photos and selfies with your family and friends.

Medical alert system and smartphone in one: Smart3

The Jitterbug Smart3 is not your typical medical alert system. Unlike standard medical alert devices that have a few functions outside of 24/7 monitoring services, the Smart3 is a smartphone that also connects to a monitoring center.

If you choose to include Lively Urgent Response service (the medical alert function), your phone will connect to a 24/7 monitoring center when you press the red urgent response button. A monitoring staff member will dispatch emergency responders to your location, alert your emergency contacts, or do both, depending on the severity of the situation. This button is always available either at the top or bottom of your screen.

If you’re considering 24/7 monitoring for your loved one, it may be easier for them to adapt to a phone that happens to be a medical alert system instead of a stand-alone medical alert device.

How easy is it to use?

The Smart3 is designed for easy use and includes a helpful user guide with step-by-step instructions for setting up and using your phone.

The menu layout features your apps in a scrollable list labeled with large text, as opposed to the standard smartphone grid layout.

The Smart3 has facial recognition technology, which lets you unlock your phone with your face instead of entering a passcode whenever you want to use it. Google Assistant is another hands-free feature included with the Smart3 and allows you to use your voice to perform tasks instead of scrolling or swiping.

One particularly helpful feature is being able to send text messages with Google Assistant. Simply say, “Hey Google, text (contact name).” Google will reply, “OK, what’s your message?” and you’ll say the message you’d like to send. Google Assistant then reads back the message and asks you to verbally confirm that it’s correct before sending it.

Not only is the Smart3 designed for easy navigation and use, but it’s also hearing aid compatible. This means the phone must be able to reduce unwanted noise a hearing aid would receive when the user is talking on the phone, according to the Federal Communications Commission.1

The Smart3 has been tested and rated under the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) C63.19-2011 hearing-aid compatibility standard and has an M4/T4 rating. This rating indicates that the phone reduces feedback noise and is compatible with a hearing aid telecoil ⓘA telecoil is a small copper wire (similar to a receiver) built into a hearing aid that allows you to connect to a phone or loop system to bring audio directly to you. Loop systems are commonly found in public facilities, like theaters, places of worship, and on public transportation..

If you’re considering the Smart3 for an older loved one, involve them in the shopping process as much as possible and make sure they want a smartphone, said Christopher Norman, a geriatric nurse practitioner based in New York state.

“As we age, our skin changes: The collagen (a protein) under our skin thins out, and we don’t provide as much oil or sweat,” said Norman. “This accounts not only for wrinkles, but it results in skin that is more dry. If you’ve ever tried to use a touchscreen with very dry skin, it doesn’t work as easily.”

He pointed out that fine motor control, dexterity, and visual clarity are other factors caregivers and users should consider when shopping for a touchscreen smartphone.

With its simple touchscreen layout, two camera lenses, access to Google Play apps, and built-in Google Assistant, the Jitterbug Smart3 can compete with most smartphones on the market (at a much lower price). Optional medical alert services and health and wellness features elevate it to an impressive health and safety device—disguised as a smartphone.


Jitterbug Flip2

Pros Backlit, large keypad Front and back camera Amazon Alexa voice commands
Cons Fall detection not available Internet browsing not available

  • Starting monthly fee: $14.99
  • Device type: Phone
  • Device range: N/A
  • Device dimensions: 4.3″ L x 2.2″ W x 0.7″ D
  • Device weight: 4.7 oz
  • Connection type: Verizon cellular
  • Battery life: Up to 12 hours of talk time

The Flip2 is a standard flip phone and comes in your choice of red or graphite. A charging cable, wall charger, and charging dock are included with your phone, and the phone beeps to let you know it’s charging. Our Reviews Team likes that you can use either the plug-in cable or dock to charge your Flip2, since placing it in the charging dock may be easier if you have arthritis, reduced dexterity, or vision impairment.

“The charging port on a phone is often small, and someone experiencing low vision, or hand/finger stiffness, weakness, numbness, or pain may have difficulty with the fine motor and visual preciseness needed to accurately plug in the cord,” said Heidi Huynh, an occupational therapist and owner of Ascend Therapy Services. “This charging dock allows a looser, larger grasp to place the entire phone in the cradle for easier charging, saving someone time and frustration.”

You can set up speed dial for certain family members and friends, which allows you to call them by holding down one keypad number. Want to switch to speakerphone during a call? Press the Speaker button at the top left of the keypad, so you can talk hands-free or hear your conversation more clearly. No need to search through the menu or settings for the speakerphone function during your call.

Like the Smart3, you can use your voice to navigate your Flip2 and ask simple questions, but instead of Google Assistant, you’ll use Amazon Alexa. You don’t need an Amazon account to use Alexa on your phone, but if you connect Alexa with your Amazon account you’ll get more specific answers to questions like, “Alexa, what is the weather today?” based on the location setup in your Amazon account.

Medical alert system and phone in one: Flip2

Like the Smart3, the Jitterbug Flip2 is both a phone and a medical alert system. You can connect to a 24/7 monitoring center by pressing the Urgent Response button on the keypad. In case the call was accidental and you need to cancel it, there is a six-second delay after pressing the Urgent Response button.

You don’t have to wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace to stay connected to the monitoring center when you’re inside or outside your home—the small phone in your pocket or purse is all you need.

How easy is it to use?

The Flip2 has all the perks of a simple flip phone with additional accessibility features. The keypad numbers are large and light up, so you can navigate your phone even in low-light settings. Our Reviews Team likes the clearly labeled Speaker button at the top left corner and the large red Urgent Response button at the bottom center.

The Flip2 home menu is formatted as a vertical list, allowing you to scroll up and down to find functions, like your contact list, messages, Amazon Alexa smart assistant, photos, and more.

Jitterbug Flip2 vertical main menu showing functions, like calls, text messages, contacts, and more

You can change the font on your phone to extra large in settings, and you can also adjust the volume level from Low to Super High. Also included is a setting called Read Out that reads the phone menu out loud as you navigate it, which may be helpful for someone with low vision. These settings can be accessed in the Accessibility section of the Settings menu.

Like the Smart3, the Flip2 is also hearing aid compatible and has a smart assistant to help you navigate your phone with your voice. Say “Alexa” followed by a command to call, text, or other phone navigation to use the Amazon Alexa smart assistant feature.

The Flip2 user guide offers step-by-step instructions (with pictures included) to help you connect your phone to your Amazon account to use this feature.

The Flip2 also includes a front and back camera lens, flashlight, calculator, magnifying glass setting, and FM radio. If you’re looking for an uncomplicated flip phone with access to 24/7 monitoring and health and wellness features, the Jitterbug Flip2 may be the right option for you or your loved one.

Lively Jitterbug phones vs. Lively medical alert systems

Lively also offers a mobile medical alert system and Urgent Response for Apple Watch and Amazon Alexa smart devices. The Mobile Plus is a traditional medical alert device that can be worn around your neck or placed in your pocket. Unlike the Smart3 and Flip2, the Mobile Plus has optional fall detection and is waterproof.

Lively Mobile Plus medical alert device against a blue background

Lively Mobile Plus connects to the monitoring center by pressing the center button.

You can add Lively Urgent Response to your Apple Watch or Alexa smart speaker. Our Reviews Team likes this option if you already own an Apple Watch or Alexa smart speaker since you won’t have to pay an equipment or activation fee on top of the monthly monitoring fee.

Apple Watch against a blue background with Urgent Response star button on the screen

Apple Watch with Urgent Response connects to the monitoring center by pressing the star button.

Read our Lively medical alert system review to learn about our firsthand experience using the Mobile Plus and Lively on Apple Watch.

Will Jitterbug phones help prevent or detect falls?

No, the Jitterbug Smart3 and Flip2 will not help prevent falls, but even medical alert systems with fall detection do not prevent falls. Medical alert devices with fall detection technology are designed to automatically contact the monitoring center when the built-in sensor detects a fall.

“Fall detection technology in medical alert devices typically relies on sensors that detect sudden changes in position and acceleration such as when the device is rapidly and abruptly displaced during a fall,” said James Walker, MD, a medical advisor at Welzo. “However, when the device is not worn around the neck, it may not be able to detect falls accurately or consistently, as the device may not be in close proximity to the body during a fall.”

Lively Jitterbug phones do not support fall detection since they are designed to be placed in your pocket or purse and not around the neck. Our Reviews Team likes that you can use your voice to contact the monitoring center from your Smart3 or Flip2 phone. If you’ve fallen and can’t reach your phone, you can say “Hey Google, call Urgent Response” or “Alexa, call Urgent Response” and your phone will contact the monitoring center.

Getting access to medical assistance quickly after a fall is important. Lying on the floor for more than an hour after a fall can have serious health consequences, such as muscle damage, dehydration, pneumonia, and pressure sores, according to research from Cambridge University.2

Use NCOA’s Falls Free CheckUp to assess your risk of falling and learn how to create a safe home environment with falls prevention tips from NCOA.

How much does a Jitterbug phone cost?

Table 2 Comparison of Lively Jitterbug phones and prices, as of April 2023

Lively Jitterbug PhoneJitterbug Smart3Jitterbug Flip2
Starting talk and text monthly cost$14.99$14.99
Starting data plan monthly cost$2.49N/A
Starting monthly monitoring cost$24.99$24.99
Equipment fee$149.99$99.99
Activation fee$35$35
Shipping fee$0$0

The Jitterbug Smart3 $149.99 equipment fee is hundreds of dollars less than most current smartphones on the market. iPhones can run between $400 to almost $1,000, depending on the model, while Google Pixel phones cost $400 to nearly $900.

Standard ground shipping (three to seven business days) is free for both Jitterbug phones, while expedited shipping (one to three business days) is $20. Lively will refund the following costs if you return your phone within 30 days of receiving it:

  • Equipment fee ($99.99 or $149.99)
  • Activation fee ($35)
  • First month of health and safety package ($24.99 or $34.99)
  • Applicable taxes (varies)

Lively will also refund your talk and text plan if you’ve used less than 30 minutes of talk and sent fewer than 50 text messages. You’ll be charged a $10 restocking fee when you return your phone, but you won’t pay to ship your phone back. Lively will send a prepaid shipping label to return your phone.

Talk and text plans

You’ll choose from two talk and text plans when purchasing your Jitterbug phone: Value and Unlimited. Consider how much you plan to talk and text on your phone when choosing your plan:

Value Talk and Text

  • $14.99 per month
  • 300 minutes (five hours) of talk-time each month
  • $0.10 per text

Unlimited Talk and Text

  • $19.99 per month
  • No limit on talk minutes or the number of texts each month
Jitterbug Smart3 phone purchase page and optional features

The purchase screen of the Smart3 phone during our Reviews Team’s mystery shopping

If you’re considering the value plan, be prepared to be charged an extra $0.35 for each minute you exceed your 300 minutes. Our Reviews Team confirmed with a customer service representative that you can change your talk and text plan within the next month if you need to—you’re not locked into one plan.

Data plans

Your phone uses cellular data to send texts and emails, browse online, check social media, and do other online activities when it isn’t connected to Wi-Fi. The Smart3 requires a data plan, while the Flip2 does not.

When choosing a data plan for your Smart3, you’re selecting a certain amount of data you think you’ll use each month. Lively data plans are organized by megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB), which are measurements of digital information.

Keep in mind that the Smart3 can connect to Wi-Fi, so you may only need a higher data plan if you plan on using your phone when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, such as places outside your home without easy internet access.

Use this data calculator tool to help estimate how much data you’ll need based on your online activities. Keep in mind this is a third-party tool and may not be completely accurate, but it’s a good place to start.

Lively data plans ranging from 100 megabytes of data to unlimited data

Lively data plans ranging from 100 megabytes of data to unlimited data

You’ll choose one of the following data plans for your Smart3:

  • 100 MB ($2.49 per month)
  • 500 MB ($5 per month)
  • 3 GB ($10 per month)
  • 5 GB ($15 per month)
  • Unlimited ($30 per month)

If you use more data than your plan allows, you’ll be charged $0.10 per megabyte per use. The customer service representative we spoke with recommended starting with the 3 gigabyte data plan for $10 per month; that way you can increase, decrease, or keep the data plan the same based on the first month of using your smartphone.

Ways to save on Jitterbug phones

Lively runs seasonal promotions and discounts throughout the year, such as reducing the equipment price for the Smart3 and Flip2. Check the Lively website for current promotions.

During a call with our Reviews Team, a customer service representative told us that the unlimited talk and text plan drops from $19.99–$15.99 per month if you bundle it with the basic health and safety package. This deal is not mentioned on the brand’s site, and we did not see this price change when going through the checkout process.

Your Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan may offer partial or complete coverage for your Jitterbug phone since it doubles as a medical alert system. Check with your insurance provider to confirm whether coverage is available with your Medicare Advantage plan since coverage varies by state.

If you’re unsure what cost-saving programs are available in your area to help pay for your medical alert system or other resources, check out NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp.

How to pay

You can purchase the Jitterbug Smart3 or Flip2 directly from Lively over the phone with a credit card or by check. You’ll pay with a debit card or credit card if you purchase your Jitterbug phone through the Lively website.

Lively offers a payment form you can download, print, and mail to the company if you want to mail in your monthly payments instead of making automatic payments with your credit card.

Mail the filled-out form with payment to the following address:



P.O. BOX 4428


Where can you buy a Jitterbug phone?

You can purchase your Jitterbug phone online through the Lively website or over the phone. Jitterbug phones can also be purchased online from the following retailers:

If you purchase your Jitterbug phone through one of the above retailers, you’ll activate your phone on the Lively website or by calling the company. Our Reviews Team likes that you can keep your current phone number instead of trying to memorize a new one and needing to share a new number with all your contacts, but you’ll need to call the Lively activation team at 866-397-9291 to confirm your number is eligible to transfer before purchasing a Jitterbug phone.

Lively customer service

Our Reviews Team had a positive experience when calling the Lively customer service department to learn more about the Jitterbug phones. We connected with a customer service representative in less than one minute.

The representative was friendly and empathetic, and they let us take our time and ask questions before giving an overview of the Smart3 and Flip2. We never felt pressured to buy the product, and our call felt more like a conversation than a sales pitch.

We really liked the advice the representative gave us: If you’re unsure about switching from your current phone to a Jitterbug phone, consider your purchase as a trial run. Keep your current phone and get a Jitterbug phone with a temporary number, so you can see how it works and if it’s the right choice for you. As long as you return the phone within 30 days of receiving it, you’ll receive your money back excluding a $10 restocking fee.

You can speak with a customer service representative over the phone or by submitting an online contact form.

Phone: 800-733-6632

  • 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Sunday

Website: Online contact form

Jitterbug trial and warranty

You can return your Jitterbug phone within 30 days of receiving it, and Lively will refund the following:

  • Equipment fee ($149.99 or $99.99)
  • Activation fee ($35)
  • First month of Urgent Response service ($24.99 or $34.99)
  • Applicable taxes

You won’t have to pay to ship your equipment back to Lively, but you will be charged a $10 restocking fee. Lively will send a prepaid shipping label to use to return your phone and charging accessories.

The Smart3 and Flip2 come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers the phone, battery, and accessories. Lively will repair or replace the product for free if it’s damaged due to manufacturing defects within the first year. This limited warranty does not cover wear and tear or accidental damage.

If you would like to protect your phone from the above damage, you can purchase a protection plan for $3.50 per month. While the paid plan guarantees Lively will repair or replace your device if your Jitterbug phone is damaged, you’ll still be charged the following fee if your phone needs to be completely replaced:

  • $25 replacement fee for Flip2
  • $50 replacement fee for Smart3

Lively apps and accessories for Jitterbug phones

Lively offers two health and safety packages: basic and premium. Both packages are available for Jitterbug phones and Lively medical alert devices.

You can view all health and safety features by clicking on Services in the main navigation bar of the Lively website.

Lively services screenshot

The selection of health and safety services available on Jitterbug phones

Basic Package: ($24.99 per month)

  • Urgent Response (24/7 monitoring)
  • Lively Link

Premium Packages: ($34.99 per month)

  • Urgent Response (24/7 monitoring)
  • Lively Link
  • Nurse On-Call
  • Care Advocate

Urgent Response

Urgent Response is the Lively medical alert feature available for Lively Jitterbug phones and medical alert devices. You’ll press the Urgent Response button on your Flip2 or Smart3 to contact a 24/7 monitoring center staff member during a medical emergency, non-medical emergency, or other situation requiring assistance. All staff are certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

During your call, monitoring center staff will access the information you provided in your Lively account, such as medical history, emergency response instructions, contacts, and other custom information, to share with emergency responders and family members.

Urgent Response is included with basic and premium packages.

Lively Link app

Lively Link is a smartphone or tablet app designed for caregivers to check in with the Jitterbug phone user. Caregivers can download the app from Apple Store or Google Play. They must receive an invitation from the primary user to connect the Lively Link app to the user’s personal Lively account.

With the user’s permission, caregivers can track their location and daily activity as long as the user has their Jitterbug phone with them. Caregivers can check the phone’s battery level and will receive notifications when the user contacts the monitoring center.

Lively Link is included with basic and premium packages.

Nurse On-Call

Get 24/7 access to registered nurses and board-certified doctors with the Nurse On-Call feature on your Jitterbug phone. Health care professionals are available to answer your medical questions, write prescriptions, or refill common medications. You’ll connect with a medical professional by pressing the Urgent Response button on your Smart3 or Flip2 and telling the monitoring staff you’d like to use Nurse On-Call—no appointment, insurance, or copayment required.

A Lively customer representative told us that this feature should mainly be used when it’s inconvenient to meet with your physician, similar to visiting an urgent care clinic. Nurse On-Call is not designed to replace your primary care physician.

When we spoke with Norman about this feature in our Lively medical alert system review, he advised users to be cautious if the Nurse On-Call medical professional doesn’t have access to their current prescriptions and medical history.

“Medications recommended by the Nurse On-Call service might interact negatively/dangerously with your existing, chronically taken medications,” said Norman. “I offer this same advice to anyone using urgent care, or even buying over the counter medications themselves: Convenience is wonderful, but when too many people are prescribing medications for you, it can be dangerous.”

Nurse On-Call is available with the premium package.

Care Advocate

The Care Advocate feature pairs you with a “care advocate” to set personal goals focused on what matters most to you, whether that’s health, finances, estate planning, or other interests. Your care advocate will develop a personal care plan with you and connect you with community resources to help achieve your goals. All care advocates are licensed social workers with a master’s degree.

Care Advocate is included with the premium package.

Lively Rides

Lively Rides is a ride service offered through Lively and Lyft for safe, convenient rides scheduled straight from your phone. No need to use an app—simply press “0” and tell a Lively Personal Operator where you’d like to go. The operator will give you an estimated cost and arrival time for your Lyft, and you’ll receive a notification on your phone when your driver arrives. All drivers have passed a background check and are insured.

Lively ride services are automatically added to your monthly bill, so you don’t have to worry about paying cash or getting an instant charge to your credit card. Use this service for trips to the grocery store, when meeting up with friends, going to the doctor’s office, or anytime you’d like someone else to do the driving.

Lively Rides is not part of the basic or premium packages, so you can use this service even if you don’t have a health and safety package.

Brain Games

Lively has partnered with Posit Science, a company founded by two neurologists in 2002, to include free games designed to help improve focus, attention, and memory. Brain Games are free and included with both the Jitterbug Smart3 and Flip2, so you don’t need to download them.

Jitterbug phone accessories

Lively offers phone accessories for a one-time fee. Our Reviews Team couldn’t find a separate accessory page on the Lively website—we only found the list of available accessories we could add to our order when going through the checkout process.

Optional Jitterbug phone accessories you can choose are:

  • Extra wall charger ($19.99)
  • Car charger ($24.99)
  • Glass screen protector ($14.99)
  • Bluetooth headset ($29.99)
  • Black or white smartphone grip ($7.99)
  • Headphones ($24.99)
  • Phone case ($19.99–$24.99)
  • Lockbox ($19.99)

Lively and Jitterbug phone history

Many may still know Lively as GreatCall, even though the company changed its name to Lively in 2021. GreatCall was founded in 2005 and introduced its first Jitterbug phone the same year. The company has always focused on offering technology and tools designed for older adults.

In 2015, GreatCall acquired Lively Inc. and was bought by Best Buy in 2018. Today, Lively offers accessible phones, a mobile medical alert system, and Lively Urgent Response 24/7 monitoring services for Apple Watch and Amazon Alexa smart speakers.

Table 3 Comparison of Lively Jitterbug phones vs. other medical alert systems, as of April 2023

CompaniesLively Jitterbug phonesMedical GuardianMedical AlertBay Alarm MedicalLife AlertMobileHelp
Starting monthly monitoring cost$24.99 $29.95 $27.95 $24.95 $49.95 $19.95
At-home system device range (feet)N/A1,300–1,4008001000800600–1,400
Connection typeCellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellular
Fall detection cost per monthN/A$10 $10 $8–$10N/A$11
Mobile battery life22 hours of talk time5 days5 days5 days3 days3 days
Response time (seconds)15–251–1515–251–15N/A1–15
On-the-go optionsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Location trackingYesYesYesYesYesYes

Lively Jitterbug phone customer reviews

Overall, Lively Jitterbug phones have mixed reviews across multiple sites. Lively has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) score of 1.14 out of 5 stars from 153 customer reviews. It has an A+ rating and is accredited by the BBB, indicating that the brand resolves customer complaints and responds to negative reviews.

There were only a few positive reviews at the time of writing. Positive reviewers praised the customer service department. One reviewer mentioned that the representative spent 1.5 hours on the phone with them helping them troubleshoot phone issues. Another reviewer found the customer service representatives patient, helpful, and professional. They never felt pressured to buy a Jitterbug phone.

A majority of BBB reviews were negative. Many reviewers mentioned poor customer service and how their phone service went out when Lively sunsetted the 3G phone service for its original Jitterbug Flip phone in late December 2022. One reviewer mentioned that Lively lost their monthly mail-in payments, while another reviewer had poor-quality phone pictures.

Lively has 1.6 out of 5 stars and a “bad” rating on Trustpilot based on 201 reviews. More than half of reviews were one-star reviews, and Lively hasn’t responded to any as of this writing.

Many positive reviews mention how easy the phones are to set up and learn how to use. A few reviewers call out the high call quality and reasonable price. Other positive reviews mention the phone’s high-quality material, good experience with customer service, and overall peace of mind the Lively Urgent Response service gives them.

Negative reviews touch on poor customer service and high monthly costs. One reviewer was unhappy with the complicated menu and smaller text of the upgraded Flip2 phone compared to the original Jitterbug Flip phone.

The Jitterbug Smart3 has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon based on more than 900 ratings. Positive reviews mentioned how easy it was to set up, helpful customer support when setting up the phone, and the reasonable monthly phone bill. Multiple reviewers specifically mentioned the Smart3 had all the functions of a smartphone without the high cost or steep learning curve.

On the other hand, many negative reviewers found the phone difficult to set up and use. Some reviewers found the phone hard to navigate, didn’t receive much help from customer support, or were left on hold for multiple hours trying to activate their phone.

The Jitterbug Flip2 has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon based on more than 2,000 ratings. Many positive reviews cited the peace of mind they have knowing their loved one has a phone with access to a 24/7 monitoring service. Other reviewers praised their experience with customer service, how simple it was to set up, and the excellent call quality. One reviewer pointed out that the opening and closing function to answer and end calls is helpful for their father with low vision.

Many negative reviewers agreed that the phone was difficult to set up and operate.

Customers can also receive support from Best Buy staff, although service will likely vary from store to store.

Bottom line

Lively Jitterbug phones have all the features of their flip phone and smartphone competitors with the additional benefit of a medical alert system, as well as other health and wellness features. Lively Urgent Response is available for both the Smart3 and Flip2 for an additional $24.99 or $34.99 per month, depending on the package you choose. This allows you to connect to a 24/7 monitoring center at any time of day for emergency or nonemergency assistance.

Our Reviews Team thinks Jitterbug phones are a good choice if you or your loved one are hesitant to purchase a traditional medical alert system. Instead of using a standalone medical alert device in addition to carrying around a cellphone, the Lively Jitterbug is a phone and medical alert system bundled into one.

Keep in mind that Jitterbug Smart3 and Flip2 do not support fall detection. If this is a nonnegotiable feature, consider the Lively Mobile Plus or another medical alert system with fall detection.

Frequently asked questions

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  1. Federal Communications Commission. Hearing Aid Compatibility for Wireline and Wireless Telephones. Jan. 28, 2021. Found on the internet at
  2. Lord S, et al. Falls in Older People: Risk Factors and Strategies for Prevention. Cambridge University Press. 2001. Found on the internet at

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