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Jitterbug Phone Plans for Seniors

Editor's Rating:

4.2 / 5

While cell phones offer the same benefits to older adults as they do to younger users, many models come with barriers to entry for aging eyes, hands, and brains. Senior-friendly cell phones can greatly improve the connectivity, communication, and safety of those who use them. With this in mind, there are several companies who build phones that cater to the needs of seniors.

Launched by GreatCall in 2006, the original Lively flip phone offered basic call functionality, as well as senior-friendly features such as oversized keys, large displays, loud audio output, and a design that’s easy to hold in the palm of your hand. Another thing I loved about the original Jitterbug was its dedicated emergency button, which added an additional layer of protection not seen on most modern mobile phones.

Since its debut over a decade ago, the Jitterbug line has evolved to offer older users an ever-optimizing experience. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the two phones that comprise their current lineup, the Lively Flip and Jitterbug Smart2.

Lively Flip

Lively Flip
Lively Flip

At $49.99 (plus activation), the Lively Flip is the more affordable of Jitterbug’s two device options, and with its classic flip phone design, it’s also the more simplistic model. For the user looking to make calls, send text messages, and snap the occasional photo, the Lively Flip is ideal. Its large buttons, voluble speaker, and large screen, this phone is a breeze to use. Additionally, this phone boasts an M4/T4 rating for hearing aid compatibility, which makes it a good fit for the millions of Americans with significant hearing loss.

Despite the Lively Flip’s simple appearance, it also is capable of some advanced features not seen from the average flip phone. On the outer edge of the handset, you’ll find a dedicated 5Star button. When pressed, this button will connect you to a GreatCall monitoring agent who will assess your situation and contact a loved one or emergency services if necessary.

FYI: To make use of the 5Star button on your Jitterbug device, you’ll have to sign up for one of GreatCall’s Health and Safety Packages.

The one downside of the Lively Flip would have to be its 2-megapixel camera. While it can certainly capture images in a pinch, it lacks the clarity and resolution of the camera featured on the Jitterbug Smart2. Still, as far as flip phone cameras go, this one is about par for the course.

In terms of plans, the Lively Flip can be paired with a variety of service plans starting at $14.99 per month. Here is an overview of the service options.

Lively Flip Minute Pricing

Monthly AllowanceCost
250 Minutes$14.99
1,000 Minutes$19.99
2,500 Minutes$29.99
Unlimited Minutes and Texts$39.99

Lively Flip Text Pricing

Monthly AllowanceCost
500 Texts$3.00
1,000 Texts$5.00
2,500 Texts$10.00
Unlimited Texts$15.00
Unlimited Minutes and Texts$39.99

Jitterbug Overage Charges

Unlike Consumer Cellular, who will automatically upgrade your service plan in the event that you go over your monthly allowance, GreatCall will charge you for the overage. Each additional minute will cost $0.35, and additional texts will be $0.10 each.

Activation Fees: Although GreatCall does not require you to lock into a long term contract, both Jitterbug devices require a one-time activation fee, though this is waived with the purchase of a health and safety package.

Jitterbug Smart2

Jitterbug Smart2
Jitterbug Smart2

GreatCall’s response to the fact that more and more seniors are getting in on the mobile movement, the Jitterbug Smart2 features larger text and icons and is the company’s biggest smartphone. The phone comes with everything users know and love from the Jitterbug name—including the preloaded 5Star emergency app, as well as MedCoach and UrgentCare. And did we mention that the Jitterbug Smart2 also includes mobile internet access from anywhere at any time?

Starting at just $74.99 plus activation fees, the Jitterbug Smart2 is also one of the most affordable smartphones out there. Voice typing, a built-in camera, a handy usage meter, and a convenient long-lasting battery round out the list of reasons why this Jitterbug is a “smart” choice for today’s connected users.

As with the Lively Flip, users choose between GreatCall plans aimed at meeting their individual needs free of annual contracts, cancellation fees, and other unnecessary expenses. With the Smart2, plans start as low as $17.48 per month. You should note, however, that you’ll have to purchase at the least 250 monthly minutes and 100 MB of data.

Jitterbug Smart2 Minutes Pricing

Monthly AllowanceCost
250 Minutes$14.99
1,000 Minutes$19.99
2,500 Minutes$29.99
Unlimited Talk and Text (data plan required)$39.99
Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data$59.99

Jitterbug Smart2 Text Pricing

Monthly AllowanceCost
500 Texts$3.00
1,000 Texts$5.00
2,500 Texts$10.00
Unlimited Texts$15.00
Unlimited Talk and Text$39.99
Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data$59.99

Jitterbug Smart2 Data Pricing

Monthly AllowanceCost
100 MB$2.49
250 MB$5.00
1 GB$10.00
2.5 GB$15.00
Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data$59.99

Jitterbug Health and Safety Packages

Available on both the Lively Flip and Smart2 are GreatCall Health and Safety Packages. For the user looking to expand the functionality of their device, these packages provide you with the assistance and peace of mind normally confined to medical alert systems. Starting at $19.99 per month, these plans allow you to make use of your dedicated 5Star button (built into both phones), which gives you 24/7 access to one of GreatCall’s trained emergency specialists.

Here is an overview of GreatCall’s Health and Safety Features:

  • 5Star Service: With this service enabled, you’ll have 24/7 access to IAED-certified agents. When contacted, one of these agents can use your phone to track your location, assess your situation, and get you the help that you need, whether this means contacting a loved one, emergency services, or simply giving you directions to the bus stop. This is a great way for older adults to remain safe even while on the go.
Jitterbug 5 Review - 5 Star Service
5Star Service from GreatCall
  • Urgent Care: With GreatCall’s Urgent Care feature, you get access to a registered nurse or board-certified doctor who can give you on-the-spot medical advice, no appointment required. What’s more, you can even use this service to fill common prescriptions over the phone.
  • GreatCall Link: A handy feature for caregivers, the GreatCall Link app can be downloaded on a smartphone. In use, it will give you access to updates from your loved one’s phone, notifying you whenever they use the 5Star button, in addition to allowing you to check their location and status of their phone.
  • Personal Operator: For the user tired of having to look up phone numbers, the personal operator feature gives you unlimited access to a friendly operator who will assist you in looking up addresses and connecting you to any number in the United States and Canada.

Jitterbug Health and Safety Packages

BasicPreferredUltimate
Monthly Cost$19.99$24.99$34.99
5Star ServiceYesYesYes
Urgent CareNoYesYes
GreatCall LinkNoYesYes
Personal OperatorNoNoYes

Bundle & Save: If you purchase a health and safety package, you’ll receive a discount on your monthly talk, text, and/or minutes. For example, a plan with unlimited talk, text, and data will cost you $40 per month as opposed to $59.99.

Jitterbug Recap

While modern cell phones have a reputation for being beyond the capabilities of older adults, the Lively Flip and Smart2 prove that this is not the case. With their combination of simple devices, wellness features, and affordable service plans, each Jitterbug device is tailored to keep seniors connected to their loved ones with little hassle.

Jitterbug Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is 5Star different from similar medical alert services?

    Much like a mobile medical alert system, a 5Star-enabled Jitterbug gives you peace of mind anywhere you go. Unlike a medical alert system, however, this service is not confined to medical emergencies, as it can also be used to contact roadside assistance; however, this service does not include fall detection on Jitterbug phones.

  • What makes the Lively Flip so easy to use?

    Through a combination of large buttons, a bright screen, and intuitive menu design, the Lively Flip is designed to have no learning curve whatsoever. Additionally, it’s accessible to people with vision and hearing impairments.

  • Is the Jitterbug Smart2 hearing aid compatible?

    The Smart2 has a hearing aid compatibility rating of M4/T4, the highest rating possible. This ensures that nearly any hearing aid can continue to work without static while using the Smart2.

  • Do I have to sign a contract for GreatCall service?

    The longest commitment you’ll have to make with GreatCall is for just one month. Paying for your service on a monthly basis, you will never be asked to lock into a long term agreement.

  • Are roaming and long distance calls included with my Jitterbug?

    Regardless of your GreatCall service plan, you will never be charged extra for long distance calls or roaming.

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