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MGMini and MGMini Lite Review

Medical Guardian’s MGMini and MGMini Lite systems offer discrete and lightweight on-the-go protection.

SeniorLiving.org is supported by commissions from providers listed on our site. Read our Editorial Guidelines

SeniorLiving.org Rating:
4.7 of 5
Questions? Speak with a MGMini and MGMini Lite Specialist:
855-919-4522
On-the-go coverage
24/7 monitoring
Lightweight systems
$39.95 Starting monthly price

SeniorLiving.org is supported by commissions from providers listed on our site. Read our Editorial Guidelines

SeniorLiving.org Rating:
4.7 of 5
Questions? Speak with a MGMini and MGMini Lite Specialist:
855-919-4522
Taylor Shuman Ana Durrani
Taylor Shuman, Senior Tech Expert & Editor Ana Durrani, Journalist and Contributor

Medical Guardian is a leader in the medical alert sector, with medical alert devices that can be used at home and on the go. In fact, the company is one of our top picks for the best medical alert systems. Two of my favorite Medical Guardian systems for on-the-go use are the MGMini and MGMini Lite.

If you’re looking for a lightweight medical alert system that you can wear as a belt clip or pendant that lasts for days, the MGMini is a great choice. Or if you want a simple system with discrete protection that can be worn on the wrist, the MGMini Lite is my pick.

My father has always been a wristwatch kind of guy. He’s never used a medical alert system before so he was curious to find out how they work, especially a wrist-worn system. In this review, I’ll walk you through my father’s and my own experience with the MGMini Lite, along with the MGMini. I’ll cover everything you need to know about their features, prices, the pros and cons, and who each system might be the best for.

My dad wearing the MGMini Lite

My dad wearing the MGMini Lite

Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • Sensitive fall detection
  • Good GPS tracking
  • Free MyGuardian mobile app
  • Friendly 24/7 response team
  • Easy setup
  • Step tracking
  • Four color options for the MGMini
  • Five-day battery life for the MGMini
  • Water-resistant
  • Two-way communication

Cons

  • Equipment fees
  • No free trial or money-back guarantee
  • Only a flashing light for MGMini Lite’s battery-level status
  • High monthly rates compared to competition
  • Strong AT&T or Verizon coverage required

The Buying Process

Buying the MGMini and MGMini Lite is a very simple process. You can purchase either online or by phone with the help of a friendly consultant. Shipping costs $12.50. Since my father was most interested in the wrist-worn system, we went with the MGMini Lite.

When you shop online and place the MGMini Lite in your cart to check out, you can also buy the monitoring and subscription plan and pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. I’d recommend the quarterly or annual plan, as it offers discounted rates. There’s also the option for add-ons like fall detection ($10 per month) and OnGuard Alerts ($2.99 per month), which allows you and your Care Circle to get real-time text and email notifications during an emergency. Plus, you can add an XL wristband at no extra cost.

Buying the MGMini is a similar process. Along with the add-ons you get with the MGMini Lite, you can add Elite 911 ($9.99 per month), a one-button speaker box that lets you speak to a 911 operator. A white combo kit or black pendant ($2.99 per month), a wireless wall button ($2.99 per month), and a voice-activated wall button ($4.99 per month) are also available. If you like a little color in your medical alert system, the MGMini comes in four: black, pearl, rose gold, or silver.

From the Pros:

From the Pros:Medical alert systems aren’t covered by most insurance plans, but you can apply to your local area agencies on aging for potential discounts or coverage. You can use your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to pay for a medical alert system, too. Medicare Advantage may also help cover costs.

You can talk to a customer life safety consultant either by phone, Sunday through Saturday, from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST or reach them via live chat or by email. I’ve always found Medical Guardian’s customer service team to be helpful, kind, and quick to respond.

MGMini and MGMini Lite Cost

MGMini costs $39.95 a month with an equipment fee of $149.95. Mobile systems from competitors range in price from $35 to $40 per month, so the MGMini costs a bit more than the industry average, especially since it has an equipment fee. However, you can bring your costs down by paying quarterly or annually.

The MGMini Lite costs $44.95 per month. I’d recommend the annual payment plan, as it will save you around $40 per year compared to paying monthly. Like the MGMini, the equipment fee is $149.95. Some companies we’ve reviewed, like MobileHelp, don’t charge equipment fees, so this is something to keep in mind.

Wondering how these systems stack up to other popular brands? For comparison, Life Alert’s mobile system costs $69.95 a month, so both Mini systems offer better value at $25 to $30 less per month. Plus, Medical Guardian’s customers don’t have to commit to a long-term contract, while Life Alert requires a three-year contract.

Setting Up My System

My MGMini Lite system came in a simple white box. It contained the device with a wristband, a charging cradle, a charging cable, and a concise instruction manual. The instruction manual was simple and easy to follow. I got my system up and ready to use in no time!

Unboxing the MGMini Lite

Unboxing the MGMini Lite

The MGMini Lite runs on the 4G LTE network and uses Wi-Fi, cellular, and GPS to get you connected to the monitoring center. Once I slipped the device into the charging cradle, I just plugged it into the wall outlet to charge. Make sure to line up the gold charging pins on the back of your device with either side of the gold pins on the cradle. I found that charging the device was an easy process. After it was fully charged, I downloaded the MyGuardian app to activate my account. You can activate your device online or via phone.

MGMini and MGMini Lite at a Glance

Feature MGMini MGMini Lite
Starting price $39.95 a month $44.95 a month
Equipment fee $149.95 $149.95
Battery life Up to 5 days Up to 36 hours
Cellular network AT&T Verizon
Key features
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, and LTE location technology
  • Runs on Verizon’s network
  • Water-resistant
  • Two-way communication
  • Weighs 1.28 ounces
  • Access to MyGuardian customer care portal and app
  • Wearable pendant system
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, and LTE location tracking
  • Runs on Verizon’s network
  • Water-resistant
  • Two-way communication
  • Weighs 0.7 ounces
  • Access to MyGuardian customer care portal and app
  • Wrist-worn, watch-like design system
Best for Minimalists who want a simple design and discreet wearable necklace with a long-lasting battery Active, on-the-go seniors who prefer to a wrist-worn system

Testing Out My Systems

My dad testing out the MGMini in his garden

My dad testing out the MGMini in his garden

Features

My dad thought the MGMini Lite looked like an Apple Watch, but he noticed the MGMini Lite was a lot lighter. It’s easy to wear and is more discreet for those with an active lifestyle. It’s small at 1.5 inches in length and weighs 0.7 ounces.

Trying out Medical Guardian's MGMini Lite

Trying out Medical Guardian’s MGMini Lite

The watch just has one large help button so it’s very simple to use. You just push the button at any time when you need assistance. There is a two-way speaker on the watch, too. My dad thought a watch was preferable to a lanyard, and it’s a lot less noticeable than wearing the device like a necklace.

From the Pros: Having some trouble hearing while using your MGMini? The Care team can increase your device’s volume when needed so the sound clarity will be more crisp.

My dad really liked the design, fit, and functionality of the MGMini Lite. We liked how the excess buckle can be concealed underneath the wristband, which he noted is just like the Apple Watch. While it doesn’t have the touch-screen or smartwatch features, it does a fine job as a medical alert device.

Medical Guardian's MGMini LIte has a unique band design

Medical Guardian’s MGMini LIte has a unique band design

The MGMini has very similar features, but it is worn as a pendant instead of on the wrist. It’s also slightly bigger and weighs about half an ounce more, but it can still be easily tucked under a shirt.

Charging and Battery Life

MGMini’s battery lasts for five days and charges in three hours. The MGMini Lite lasts 36 hours and takes between two and three hours to charge. My dad and I found that to be pretty accurate from our testing experience.

Once I started charging my MGMini Lite, I heard a voice say “charging.” When it was charging, the red battery light flashed every five seconds. A blue light also flashed every five seconds, and when it was fully charged it became solid red.

Charging the MGMini Lite

Charging the MGMini Lite

When the battery is low, the red battery light will flash slowly when it’s not in the cradle. I appreciate this indicator, as I always knew when my device needed a charge. The light around the help button turns solid blue when you press it for an emergency call.

Making a Test Call

While my dad was wearing the MGMini Lite, we made a test call by pushing the large button and holding it down until the blue call light appeared. It beeped a few times, and then after about 15 seconds, a friendly operator got on to assist us. The speakers were very clear and set at a good volume, so we could easily communicate with the representative. I appreciate how simple it is to call for help in an emergency.

Making a test call on the MGMini is just as easy. Simply press the pendant’s help button, and you’ll be connected to an operator in under a minute.

Service and Monitoring

The MGMini Lite comes with 4G LTE that connects you directly to emergency operators with the press of a button. Nationwide AT&T or Verizon cellular service is included, and you are covered pretty much all over the map. You can request help from EMT assistance, police or fire departments, and family members through that call button.

MGMini has advanced location monitoring via GPS, Wi-Fi, and LTE. It also comes with step tracking, along with activity and inactivity updates through the MyGuardian mobile app. If you’re looking for a system to help you stay active and on top of your daily step goals, the MGMini is a great choice.

MGMini

MGMini

Fall Detection

You can also add fall detection to either Mini system for $10 per month. This feature automatically detects the motion of a fall and calls for help, even when you can’t press your help button. My dad and I tested out the fall detection on the MGMini Lite by dropping the watch on the floor and found it was pretty accurate. It automatically called the monitoring center two out of the three times we tested it.

Occasionally, false alarms happen when the pendant thinks a fall occurs, but it hasn’t. If a false alarm happens, it’s easy to cancel the call. You just press and hold the help button until you hear “fall detection canceled.”

Water-resistance

Both MGMini and MGMini Lite are water-resistant, meaning you can wear them in the shower. This is an essential feature, as many falls happen in the bathroom. It is important to know that water-resistant is not the same as waterproof. You can get the devices wet, just make sure you don’t submerge either system in water. The manual notes that those who wear pacemakers should let their doctors know they are using this device, regarding any interactions with cell phones.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? If you notify Medical Guardian’s customer care team that you speak a different language, their highly trained operators will use a third-party translation service to communicate with you.

Using the MyGuardian Mobile App

MyGuardian is one of our favorite medical alert apps. All Medical Guardian customers have access to the app, and it’s available on both smartphones and computers. In the app you can update billing information, add emergency contacts, set activity reminders, create an emergency plan, enter important health information, and chat with other caregivers and family members. You can also track the device, see its battery life, view an emergency call history, and track daily steps.

Using Medical Guardian s MyGuardian mobile app

Using Medical Guardian s MyGuardian mobile app

I found that the app was easy to use and updated in real time. I could see exactly where the device was on a map and check on the system’s status with the tap of a button. It’s similar to other medical alert apps we’ve tested, like Bay Alarm Medical’s app, and includes all the essential features.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? Medical Guardian has a Refer-a-Friend program, and customers who refer someone to MG can earn up to $25.

Add-on Features and Accessories

Both the MGMini and MGMini Lite have optional add-ons and accessories that can be purchased at checkout.

Add-ons MGMini MGMini Lite
Fall detection $10 $10
Lockbox $2.99 $2.99
OnGuard Alerts $2.99 $2.99
MG Protection Plan $6.99 $6.99
Elite 911 $9.99 N/A
White combo kit or black pendant $2.99 N/A
Wireless wall button $2.99 N/A
Voice-activated wall button $4.99 N/A

Contracts and Warranty

Contracts

Medical Guardian does not have long-term contracts and customers can cancel their subscription at any time. Customers who paid ahead of time but decided to cancel before the service time frame ends will receive a prorated refund.

If you are on a monthly billing plan and cancel service within 90 days of beginning your service, you will not get a refund. You must call customer service to cancel, and customers who return equipment may be charged up to a $50 restocking fee.

Medical Guardian does not offer a free trial period. This was a bit disappointing, as other providers we’ve reviewed, like Bay Alarm Medical, offer a 30-day free trial.

Warranty

Medical Guardian equipment comes with a limited one-year warranty, including the replacement of products as a result of defects in workmanship or materials.

You can purchase a protection plan for $6.99 per month to protect your device when it comes to normal wear and tear, accidental damage, and lost or stolen devices. The company also provides unlimited battery replacements.

Comparing the MGMini and MGMini Lite to the Competition

We’ll compare Medical Guardian’s Mini systems to other popular medical alert providers below.

Medical Guardian vs. Lively

While Medical Guardian’s rates are a bit higher than Lively’s costs, the company has a larger variety of devices and add-ons. Whether you are looking for on-the-go or in-home devices, Medical Guardian has five systems to choose from. Plus, Lively doesn’t offer any wrist-worn systems like the MGMini Lite. However, Lively has a wider variety of health and safety features, including on-call nurses and care advocates who can help you build a plan to meet your wellness goals. Head to our Lively review to learn more.

Medical Guardian vs. Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical offers a 30-day trial period, unlike Medical Guardian. Bay Alarm Medical also has affordable prices and bundle discounts for those on a fixed income. But Bay Alarm Medical doesn’t offer a wrist-worn system, and their equipment isn’t quite as sleek. For those who like high tech features, Medical Guardian may be more up your alley. You can read our Bay Alarm Medical vs. Medical Guardian comparison guide to help determine the best fit for you.

Medical Guardian vs. LifeFone

The MGMini and MGMini Lite both offer automatic fall detection for $10 per month. LifeFone provides fall detection for $5 per month — half of Medical Guardian’s cost. LifeFone also offers two systems that are nearly identical to the MGMini and MGMini Lite, but they have higher monthly rates. Read our LifeFone review for all the details.

The Bottom Line on MGMini and MGMini Lite

When considering the best medical alert system for yourself or loved ones, it’s important to choose what fits your lifestyle and needs. MGMini stands out for its five-day battery life, two-way talk, water-resistant design, and advanced location tracking. The MGMini Lite offers similar features but in an even more lightweight wristwatch form. Both devices are perfect for those who want high-tech features that are simple to use and fit their active lifestyle.

Medical Guardian’s equipment fees are on the expensive side. Also, the company doesn’t offer a free trial period, which is something to keep in mind as you shop. But Medical Guardian’s devices are top notch, have fast response time, and can give you or your loved one peace of mind knowing that the device keeps its owner protected 24/7.

Frequently Asked Questions About MGMini and MGMini Lite

Written By:
Ana Durrani
Journalist and Contributor
Ana has covered a wide range of topics in her 20-plus-year career as a journalist, contributing to numerous international and domestic publications. For several years she served as a regular contributor to Realtor.com. Some of the publications she’s written for… Learn More About Ana Durrani
Reviewed By:
Taylor Shuman
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