Lively’s Jitterbug Smart3 is one of the best cell phones for seniors. Not only is it a simple, easy-to-use smartphone, but it can also be combined with Lively’s Health & Safety Packages for added protection. Compared to other smartphones on the market, the Jitterbug Smart3 is relatively inexpensive, while Lively’s phone and data plans are customizable and affordable. In this review, we will examine the Jitterbug Smart3 and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Pros About Jitterbug Smart3
Powerful speaker and microphone: The Jitterbug Smart3 speaker is designed for users who may struggle to hear audio from standard phones. With the Jitterbug Smart3, you can easily turn the volume up. You can also use the speakerphone mode to make phone calls or even type with your voice.
Built-in user guides: The Jitterbug Smart3 is a great option if you're not particularly tech-savvy. Not only is it easy to use, it also includes guides to help you learn the basics of using your new phone.
Simple interface: This smartphone balances useful services with a simple user interface. When you turn on your phone, you can choose from a large, easy-to-read menu of different options.
Access to health services: One of the greatest benefits of the Jitterbug Smart3 is the access to health services through Lively’s Health & Safety Packages. Though you will have to pay extra for one of these plans, they give you access to 24/7 emergency response teams, on-call nurses, and an app to help you (and loved ones) keep track of your health.
Cons About Jitterbug Smart3
A bit simple for some users: If you’re already accustomed to more complex smartphones from Apple or Samsung, the Jitterbug Smart3 may seem like a step in the wrong direction. Its simple interface is great for first-time smartphone users, but others may find the basic menu options and limited features lacking.
Slower than advanced smartphones: Unlike many of the pricier, top-tier smartphones on the market, the Jitterbug Smart3 is noticeably slower, particularly when you’re changing between apps. If you’re not worried about speed, this won’t be an issue.
Fees add up quickly: If you go over your data allotment for the month, you’ll pay an overage fee. These fees can add up quickly, which could come as an unpleasant surprise when you receive your monthly bill. If you know you’ll need to use your phone a lot, you may want to choose an unlimited plan.
Overview of the Jitterbug Smart3
Our editor's grandma using the senior-friendly Jitterbug Smart3
The Buying Experience
Lively offers two phone options: the Jitterbug Smart3 and the Jitterbug Flip2. The latter is a flip phone that offers an experience that might be more familiar if you’re accustomed to using phones with physical buttons (no touch screen). For this reason, you won’t need to spend much time choosing between phones.
Once you choose a product, you can make your purchase online, in person, or by phone. If you order online or over the phone and choose the free standard shipping option, you can expect to receive your phone in the mail in three to seven business days. If you want your phone sooner, you can pay $20 for expedited shipping (one to three business days).
Regardless of how you choose to buy the Jitterbug Smart3, you can choose which plans you want to add to your phone. You can also add extra accessories for an additional fee. For example, you may want headphones, a phone case, or a glass screen protector.
Speaking of prices, the Jitterbug Smart3 is one of the most affordable smartphones available. While the standard purchase price is $149.99, Lively runs frequent promotions that bring the price down even further, so be on the lookout!
Contracts and Warranty
You’ll pay monthly fees with a Lively phone plan, and no contracts are required. This means you can cancel your phone plan and try out another cellular provider at any time. The Jitterbug Smart3 is specifically designed to work with Lively’s phone plans, so you can only use this senior-friendly phone with a Lively plan. This is a downside to consider when compared to other phone providers for seniors, like RAZ Mobility, whose phones can be used with plans from a variety of carriers.
The Lively warranty covers your phone, phone battery, and most accessories for one year from the date of purchase. It is important to note that the warranty does not cover accidental damage. For example, if you drop your phone in water or accidentally crack the screen, the warranty will not pay to repair or replace it. It will only cover preexisting hardware issues, electrical failures, or other problems not caused by misuse of the device.
Lively Talk and Text Packages at a Glance
Lively offers one unlimited talk and text plan. The Jitterbug Smart3 also requires a data plan, so you’ll need to choose one of each plan type.
Talk and Text Plans
Unlimited Talk & Text
$19.99 per month
$5 per month
$10 per month
$15 per month
$30 per month
Jitterbug Smart3 Features
The Jitterbug Smart3 may not have as many features as some other phones, but it’s designed specifically for seniors. Here are a few of the best features for seniors the phone offers:
Large screen: The Jitterbug Smart3 is 6.2 inches diagonally, making it larger than many other smartphones on the market. This is beneficial for older eyes.
List menu: The list-based menu is significantly easier to navigate for older adults, as you can easily scroll up or down to find what you want.
Voice typing: Most phones have some form of voice-to-text typing, and the Jitterbug Smart3 makes it easy to access this feature whenever you need it.
Video chat: If you want to see your friends or relatives living far away, you can make or answer video calls.
Internet access: The smartphone features a built-in internet browser to surf the internet, whether you want to read the news, look up a recipe, or shop online.
How-to guides: If you need help learning to navigate your phone, you can choose from several different “how-to” guides available on the Jitterbug Smart3.
Map and navigation: Need to get fast directions? You can use the map and navigation system to find where you want to go.
Brain games: To help seniors keep their mental dexterity, the Jitterbug Smart3 offers built-in brain games.
Camera: Like most smartphones, the Jitterbug Smart3 features a camera that can take beautiful, high-quality pictures.
Along with the Jitterbug Smart3’s standard features, there are two features that can be accessed for additional fees:
Personal Operator: Lively offers helpful operators 24/7. Simply dial “0” to be connected with an agent who can help you look up phone numbers and make calls, provide directions, schedule rides, and more. This service costs $0.99 per call.
Lively Rides: Lively’s personal operators can call a Lyft ride for you, which is an affordable transportation service. Dial “0” and tell the operator when and where you’d like to go. The cost of your ride will vary by location and will be added to your monthly phone bill.
Lively Health & Safety Packages
Lively’s Health & Safety Packages offer access to health services at the push of a button for an additional monthly fee. Every Lively phone has an “Urgent Response” button that immediately calls an emergency response team — if you have a Health & Safety Package. If you live alone, have mobility issues, or simply want easy access to health care professionals, one of Lively’s plans could be a great choice for you.
$24.99 per month
– Urgent Response Service
– Lively Link
$34.99 per month
– Urgent Response Service
– Lively Link
– On-Call Nurse
– Care Advocate
To better understand if one of these Health & Safety Packages is right for you, here is a more detailed breakdown of each service:
Urgent Response: Just push the Urgent Response button at any time of day or night to get the help of a trained agent. The agent can send help to you, no matter where you are, whether you experience a fall or other emergency.
Lively Link: Lively Link allows you and your loved ones to track your health, location, and daily activity.
Nurse On-Call: You can quickly talk to a nurse or doctor from the comfort of your own home.
Care Advocate: Care advocates are trained to help you with a wide range of issues, from financial planning to more general well-being.
Add-On Features and Accessories
If you want to get even more out of your Jitterbug Smart3, you can choose from several different add-ons and accessories.
Extra Wall Charger
Glass Screen Protector
Home Key Lockbox
The Bottom Line on the Jitterbug Smart3
The Jitterbug Smart3 is an affordable smartphone for seniors. It comes with all of the essential features you would expect from a smartphone, with a few extra services designed specifically for older adults. If you’re a senior in need of a basic smartphone or you want to take advantage of Lively’s health and safety features, the Jitterbug Smart3 is probably a great phone for you. Just keep in mind that you will be limited to Lively’s phone plans, and the different plans and fees could cause your affordable smartphone to become more expensive than you might have expected. Still, if it fits in your budget, Lively is worth considering.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Jitterbug Smart3
Yes, the Jitterbug Smart3 comes with built-in GPS capabilities. These can be used for map navigation, as well as unique services like Lively Link. Lively Link gives family and loved ones the ability to check your location and health status via the Lively mobile app.
You do not need Wi-Fi to use a Jitterbug phone, but the Jitterbug Smart3 can connect to Wi-Fi networks.
Senior Tech Expert & Editor
As SeniorLiving.org’s tech expert and editor, Taylor has years of experience reviewing products and services for seniors. She is passionate about breaking down stigmas related to seniors and technology. She loves finding innovative ways to teach seniors about products and… Learn More About Taylor Shuman