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While some older adults have mastered advanced smartphones like the iPhone, an even larger group needs a smartphone or flip phone more suited to their needs. That's where companies like Lively come in. This company offers two affordable, accessible phones designed specifically for older adults. Both feature hearing aid compatibility, simple menus, a speakerphone, voice-to-text functionality, a long battery life, and add-on health and safety features.
If you're looking for a basic phone that's easy to use right out of the box, Lively is a great option. And both Lively phones made our list of the best cell phones for seniors in 2022, so we know you'll be in good hands. Below, we'll break down everything you need to know about Lively's two phones and plan options so that you can make an informed choice.
With Lively, you'll choose between the Value Talk & Text and Unlimited Talk & Text plans. If you go with the Jitterbug Smart3, you'll also need to add a data package to your chosen plan for an additional monthly fee.
|Monthly plans and data options||Jitterbug Flip2||Jitterbug Smart3|
|Value Talk & Text (300 mins + 10 cents per text)||$14.99 per month||$14.99 per month|
|Unlimited Talk & Text||$19.99 per month||$19.99 per month|
|100 MB data||No||$2.49 per month*|
|500 MB data||No||$5 per month*|
|3 GB data||No||$10 per month*|
|5 GB data||No||$15 per month*|
|Unlimited||No||$30 per month*|
* This is an additional monthly fee to your chosen Talk & Text Plan.
Lively offers two talk and text plans, add-on data options, and several optional Health & Safety Packages. It's easy to create a plan that works for your lifestyle and budget.
Only want a cellphone in case of emergencies or for the occasional call or text? This plan may be right for you. It includes 300 minutes of talk time and charges 10 cents per text. At just $14.99 per month, it's Lively's cheapest plan. We think it's perfect for seniors who don't plan on spending a lot of time on their cell phone.
For just $5 more per month, you can enjoy unlimited calls and texts from your loved ones. That means you won’t have to worry about running out of minutes or racking up a bill every time your grandchildren text you! This plan, which costs $19.99 per month, keeps you connected. It’s an excellent choice for older adults who enjoy texting their friends, grandchildren, and other loved ones.
Seniors who opt for the Jitterbug Smart3 must choose a data plan to go with their talk and text plan. Data plans let you use the internet when you're away from home or not connected to Wi-Fi. How much data you need each month depends on your habits. Lively lets you pay just for what you need with five options to choose from. For the average older adult, Lively recommends the 500 MB plan, which costs only $5 per month. However, if you enjoy watching videos, using Google Maps while you're driving, checking email, or surfing the web while you're out and about, you may want to consider the 5 GB plan at $15 per month or unlimited data for $30 per month.
If you choose a limited data plan, know that if you ever go over your data allowance, it costs $0.10 per megabyte. Thankfully, this isn't as steep as other cellular providers.
The optional Lively Health & Safety Packages offer peace of mind to older adults who require additional assistance and want their cell phone to double as a medical alert device. You can add any of the Health & Safety Packages to either Lively phone for a monthly fee.
|Health & Safety Packages||Basic||Preferred||Ultimate|
|Cost||$19.99 per month||$24.99 per month||$34.99 per month|
Here's a breakdown of each service offered:
If you want to access these health and safety features but aren't in the market for a new phone, check out the Lively mobile app. You can purchase a Basic or Preferred package and access your health and safety features through the Lively app on an iPhone or Apple Watch. Just keep in mind, if you go this route, your Health & Safety Package will cost an extra $5 per month, and this option isn't available for the Ultimate package.
Lively also offers a discount on new Apple Watches. If you sign a two-year contract for the Preferred Health & Safety Package, you can receive up to $200 off a new Apple Watch at Best Buy.
Lively is now available for Alexa devices. You can ask Alexa to call for help to be connected with an emergency operator. The operator will have access to your personal profile containing your conditions, medications, allergies, and more, starting at just $19.99 a month.
Lively already offers great rates on phone plans for older adults, but if you're hoping to save a few extra bucks, we have some tips for you! For starters, always check the Lively website and call customer service before purchasing a Lively phone or plan. Lively has various discounts throughout the year. Sometimes it’s a percentage off the phone’s price, a credit to your account, or a free gift, such as a car charger.
Did You Know: Voicemail, call waiting, Caller ID, long distance, and roaming are all included in every Lively plan.
As far as phone plans go, we think Lively's Unlimited Talk & Text plan is the best deal for seniors who plan to do any texting at all. Compared to the Value Talk & Text Plan, the Unlimited Talk & Text Plan costs an extra $5 per month. With the Value Plan, you're paying $0.10 per text message. That means after 50 texts in a month, you'd be paying the same price as the Unlimited Plan. If you’re still unsure, consult with your loved ones. Your children and grandchildren are likely to enjoy texting you to keep you updated and to check in on you.
Lively simplifies their phones. They even make it easy to choose by only providing two options: The Jitterbug Flip2 and the Jitterbug Smart3.
The Jitterbug Flip2 costs $99.99, making it very affordable, especially compared to smartphones. There are a few less expensive senior-friendly flip phones on the market like Consumer Cellular’s affordable options; however, Lively's medical alert capabilities are much more extensive. This phone requires a Lively Talk & Text plan–either $14.99 per month for 300 minutes plus $0.10 per text or $19.99 per month for unlimited talk and text.
Did You Know: In addition to senior-friendly cell phones, Lively also sells wearable medical alert systems. Visit our latest Lively medical alert review to learn more.
A flip phone, like this one, is a great option if you want to keep things simple. You can accept calls by opening the phone; end calls by closing it. Great for older adults, the Jitterbug Flip2 offers a large screen, powerful speaker, flashlight, and built-in magnifier for reading. Plus, you can use your voice to navigate your phone, send texts, and make calls thanks to built-in Amazon Alexa functionality. What a great perk for those with dexterity or vision difficulties!
Of course, we think the most impressive feature is the Jitterbug Flip2's Urgent Response button. Press it at any time to receive immediate assistance from an IAED certified agent. Urgent Response is available with any Lively Health & Safety Package.
From the outside, the Jitterbug Smart3 looks like any ordinary smartphone. It features a 6.2-inch screen, dual rear cameras (13MP/5MP), a front camera, voice typing, and video chat capabilities. However, the key difference is that it was made for the 61 percent of adults age 65+ who use a smartphone.2 Senior-friendly features include an Urgent Response button, M4/T4 rating for hearing aid compatibility, a simple list-based menu for easy navigation, a powerful speaker, and brain games to keep you sharp.
Pro Tip: Having trouble choosing the right phone for your needs? Visit our cell phone buyers guide to learn more about how to make the decision that's right for you.
Great for on-the-go seniors, the Jitterbug Smart3 also includes GPS capabilities. This will come in handy if you need directions or roadside assistance and are unsure of your location. It's also useful if you're prone to becoming disoriented. You can even share your location with friends and family if they download the Lively app.
The Jitterbug Smart3 costs $149.99 plus a $35 activation fee. You'll also need to add a talk, text, and data plan, with options ranging from $17.48 for the Value Talk & Text plus 100 MB of data to $49.99 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data. We certainly think it's worth the price seeing, as it's on our list of best smartphones for seniors.
Lively sets itself apart from other providers by offering medical alert features with their cell phones. Not even Consumer Cellular, another senior-specific provider, offers these features. However, that integration means you must purchase a Lively device to use a Lively phone plan. If you'd like similar features to Lively but want to bring your own device, consider Snapfon's plans instead. For more information, you can visit our JItterbug and Snapfon comparison guide.
Did You Know: Lively is powered by America's largest and most dependable wireless network: Verizon. They also use 100 percent U.S.-based customer service agents.
Price-wise, Lively fares well against the competition. A fully unlimited talk, text, and data plan from Lively costs $49.99 per month, whereas Consumer Cellular charges $55 per month just for unlimited data, unlimited texting, and 250 minutes of talk. Consumer Cellular does have Lively beat with its $35 flip phone, but again, it lacks the advanced health and safety features that Lively is known for.
The Jitterbug Flip2 and Jitterbug Smart3 are great phones for older adults that deliver excellent value. Compared to other options on the market, the phones and plans are both very affordable. Plus, your Lively phone doubles as a medical alert device when you add on a Health & Safety Package, saving you the hassle of buying a second device. Overall, a phone and plan from Lively are worth considering if you‘re looking for a simple device that will help you stay connected and safe.
Visit our latest JItterbug phone review to learn about our hands-on experience with this provider.
The most affordable Lively plan is $14.99 per month, though this includes calls and texts only.
The answer comes down to what you want to get out of owning a cell phone. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to use and doubles as a medical alert device, you can’t go wrong with Lively’s senior-friendly flip phone or smartphone. Your existing cellular provider may offer you a senior discount for your monthly bill, but you won’t get the benefit of having a phone designed for seniors.
Lively has a U.S.-based customer service line at 800-733-6632. Lively also has video tutorials on how to use all their phones.
Lively phones and devices can be found on the Lively website, on Amazon, or at big-box stores and pharmacies like Best Buy, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.
No Isolation. (2018). Why do many seniors have trouble using technology?
Pew Research Center. (2021). Mobile Fact Sheet.