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If you're an older adult who is a little intimidated by the latest and greatest smartphones, the Jitterbug Flip2 may be for you. Lively (previously known as GreatCall) is known for making devices full of senior-friendly features without being overly complicated. It's the best of both worlds!
I took the Jitterbug Flip2 for a spin and found the technology robust enough to keep me connected to my loved ones and emergency services if needed. Lively's monthly service plans were affordable, the Flip2 was easy to set up, and customer service was friendly and helpful. One drawback to the Jitterbug Flip2 was that I couldn't access the internet on it, but that won't be a problem if going online via cell phone isn't your cup of tea. Below, I'll share more personal insights on the Jitterbug Flip2 and how it stacks up to similar phones.
You can purchase Jitterbug Flip2 online, in-store, or over the phone. I appreciate that Lively offers several purchasing options because, let's face it, sometimes you just want to speak with a human! Especially when buying a valuable item like a cell phone. If you want to get your Jitterbug Flip2 at a brick-and-mortar store, Best Buy, Rite Aid, and Walgreens all carry the senior-friendly phone. Lively even has a section on its website where you can enter your ZIP code, and it'll show you where the closest store is. Talk about convenience!
I ordered my Jitterbug Flip2 online. When browsing the Lively website, I noticed the mention of an activation fee, but I had trouble finding out how much it is. To clarify, I reached out to customer service, and they quickly let me know that a $35 activation fee would be charged on my first monthly bill. My initial purchase ended up costing me $108.49 — $99.99 for the phone, $8.50 for tax, and $0 for shipping. The buying process was quick and painless — all I had to do was enter my payment information and address.
FYI: Looking for a smartphone? Lively makes a senior-friendly smartphone as well. Check out our full Lively cell phone review to learn more.
When signing up, I had the choice of the Value Talk & Text plan or the Unlimited Talk & Text plan. Value Talk & Text is $14.99 per month, while Unlimited Talk & Text is $19.99 per month. (I'll get into the details of the plans below!)
Some providers we've reviewed, like Consumer Cellular, bump you up to the next tier when you go over your minutes. Lively doesn't do that. It charges 35 cents for each minute over your limit and 10 cents per text, so you'll want to select the best plan for you to avoid high overage fees.
Lively also offers Health & Safety Packages. These are optional and cost $24.99 to $34.99 per month (more on those later).
The little red phone showed up at my door in a box with the following items:
Since many older adults experience a change in vision as they age,1 I was happy to see that the user guide was printed in nice big font. The first step in the instructions was to activate the Jitterbug Flip2 – either online or by phone. I tried activating my phone online, but the website just gave me an activation number to call. So, I'll save you some time: Activate your Jitterbug Flip2 by calling the number listed in the activation guide.
You'll need a working phone on hand to place this activation call, since your Jitterbug Flip2 won't be up and running quite yet. You can use a landline or borrow a friend's or family member's phone for this! The live agent set up my account and activated the phone.
Quick tip: If you're transferring your old number to your new Jitterbug Flip2, you'll follow special activation instructions. They are clearly outlined in the activation guide.
Next, I flipped open the Jitterbug Flip2 and pressed the on/off button, which is clearly located in the top right corner of the keypad. The phone vibrated and the screen lit up, so I knew it was running. On the similar Alcatel GO FLIP 4 from T-Mobile, which is featured on our list of the best flip phones for seniors, the power button is hidden. So, I'm thankful the Jitterbug Flip2 button is obviously labeled.
One of the first things I noticed about the cherry-red flip phone (which also comes in dark gray) was that it's smaller and lighter than my iPhone. So, if you're looking for a phone that's less of a hassle to carry around, the Jitterbug Flip2 checks that box. It's simple in design, great for older adults who want a no-frills phone, but still has convenient features that I found easy to use.
The buttons on the Jitterbug Flip2 are easy to see and clearly labeled. No more pressing random buttons and hoping you pick the right one! The list-based menu is pretty straightforward, and the screen is large and bright. Though the text on the screen is already quite big, I found an optional “extra large” setting in case you want to really boost the visibility. Another nifty feature, ideal for those with vision loss, is the “read out” setting, which will read menu options and text messages out loud to you. I tested it and could hear everything loud and clear.
Calling my husband from the Jitterbug Flip2 was a breeze. I chose to dial his number, but you can save contacts in the Jitterbug Flip2 if you have trouble remembering everyone's phone number like I do!
The Jitterbug Flip2 has a number of features that stand out when you're making a call:
The 8-megapixel camera is nothing to rave about, but it is sufficient if you just want to take and send photos of things around the house. I took a photo of my flowers and my dog, Bella, so you can get a better idea of the photo quality.
If selfies are your thing, you can take them with the Jitterbug Flip2's front-facing camera. The rear camera is also equipped with autofocus and a flash. Though it isn't top-notch, the camera is much better than what you'll find on the Link II from Consumer Cellular, which lacks a flash and front-facing camera.
A new feature of the Jitterbug Flip2 is Amazon Alexa. With this feature, you can use your voice to place a call and send text messages. I sent a text to my friend Katie using this feature. I flipped the phone open and said, “Alexa, text Katie Reed.” (Make sure you have the contact saved in your phone first!) Then, I spoke the text I wanted to send to her. Alexa typed the message for me. I looked it over to make sure it was correct before pressing “OK” to send it.
Quick tip: Your phone must be flipped open to use the Alexa feature. I tried activating Alexa with my voice when the phone was closed and quickly realized it wouldn't work.
When I asked, Alexa also told me my phone's battery level, how many minutes and text messages I had left for the month, and what my phone number was (we all forget sometimes). For older adults with dexterity or vision issues, this Alexa feature is quite valuable.
The Jitterbug Flip2 runs on Verizon's 4G LTE network. It's one of the largest and most reliable networks in America, so I wasn't too concerned about coverage.3 Of course, it's always a good idea to check before you buy. Just type your ZIP code into Lively's coverage map.
Verizon's coverage is neck and neck with other leading carriers'. Of course, service for any carrier, including Verizon, tends to be the most spotty in rural or remote areas. If that's your home, definitely check coverage before purchasing, and take advantage of Lively's 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren't satisfied with the service in your area after purchasing.
Unlike Verizon plans we've reviewed, Lively doesn't lock you into a contract. You can cancel your service or change your plan anytime. I'm always in favor of no long-term contracts. This gives you flexibility and allows you to avoid dreaded cancellation fees. If you decide to cancel your Lively service, you will be responsible for paying the remainder of the month, as Lively doesn't prorate your bill or charge for partial months of service.
I read the fine print and learned that if anything were to go wrong with my Jitterbug Flip2, I was covered by a one-year limited warranty. If the Jitterbug Flip2 stops working because of a manufacturing defect, Lively will repair it for free. Keep in mind that this doesn't cover lost phones or damage from an accident. One year may seem short, but this warranty is pretty standard across the cell phone industry.
|Value Talk & Text||300||$0.10 each||$14.99 per month|
|Unlimited Talk & Text||Unlimited||Unlimited||$19.99 per month|
Lively's Value Talk & Text plan costs $14.99 per month plus 10 cents per text message. You also need to pay a one-time $35 activation fee when you purchase the Jitterbug Flip2 and begin service. Unlike other cellular providers, Lively doesn't offer AARP or other discounts on phone plans. However, Lively does offer an AARP discount for their Health & Safety Packages if you decide to add one to your phone plan. More on those later!
This plan gives you 300 minutes, and you'll pay 10 cents for every text message you send and receive. Plus, it includes free roaming and long-distance services. If you have a landline at home and will only be using the Jitterbug Flip2 when you're out of the house and don't plan on texting, the Value Talk & Text plan may work just fine.
Lively's Unlimited Talk & Text plan is one of the more affordable unlimited plans we've seen, at just $19.99 per month (plus the upfront device fee and one-time $35 activation fee). For example, Snapfon offers an unlimited talk and text plan for $15 per month. Consumer Cellular's price is comparable at $20 per month for unlimited talk and text, plus 1 GB of data.
If you're planning to use your cell phone as your main phone line, I recommend the Unlimited Talk & Text plan. For just $5 more per month, you won't have to worry about overage charges.
Enjoy texting and talking as much as you'd like with this Unlimited Talk & Text plan. You also get free roaming and long-distance services.
[tips type=”didThe Jitterbug Flip2 made our list of the best cell phones for seniors, thanks to its simple design and useful features.
Lively not only has senior-friendly phones, but also offers a variety of Health & Safety features to keep users safe. These lifesaving features, like the Urgent Response button, really up the value of the phone. Though they will cost you a bit more per month, they may be worth considering if you live alone or your health is not what it used to be. We take a closer look at these features below.
|Health & Safety Package||Included services||Price|
FYI:AARP members receive a discount on Lively's Health & Safety Packages!
|Product||Price||What it does|
|Car charger||$24.99||Enables you to charge the Jitterbug Flip2 in the car|
|Bluetooth headset||$29.99||Wirelessly streams sound from your Jitterbug Flip2 directly into your ear|
|Stereo earphones||$24.99||Allows you to listen to the radio and take calls from your Jitterbug Flip2 with the touch of a button|
Want to learn more about the Jitterbug Flip2? Check out our video review below!
Overall, I found the Jitterbug Flip2 to be an easy-to-use phone. It is simple, but the features it does have, like Amazon Alexa, make it stand out among flip phones. It's worth the $100 price tag. I would highly recommend it for older adults with vision or hearing loss; they'll benefit from the Jitterbug Flip2's features that make navigating a cell phone easier. Plus, the Lively Unlimited Talk & Text plan is easy on the wallet at $19.99 per month. Since you won't be bound up in a long-term contract with Lively, I think it's worth trying out.
If the phone is used continuously for calling, the battery will last 12 hours. On standby, it can go several days without being charged.
Yes, the Jitterbug Flip2 has an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and flash. The front-facing camera is 5 megapixels.
The Jitterbug Flip2 is powered by Verizon.
It costs $35 to activate the Jitterbug Flip2. This one-time activation fee will be added to your first monthly bill.