Greatcall Review: Jitterbug and Lively

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GreatCall is a connected health technology company which offers cutting-edge medical monitoring solutions for their customers. They offer slightly different types of services than most of their competitors and are one of the more innovative companies in their field.

  • 30-Day Return Policy
  • A+ Better Business Bureau Rating
  • 10+ Years in Business
  • Unique Monitoring Services
  • Extra Features Like a Fitness Tracker & Daily Health Tips


About GreatCall

GreatCall was founded in 2006, and the company is based in San Diego, California. Their initial aim was to provide the elderly with simple cell phones that were easy to use and as a result launched the original Jitterbug flip phone. In recent years, That company has broadened their focus and have introduced new products that are designed to keep seniors safe on the go and also provide them with other features such as fitness tracking and medication reminders.

GreatCall has won numerous awards since their inception. In 2008, the company received the Stevie Award for “Best Overall Company” and more recently, in 2016, their Lively Wearable product was featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Available Products

Jitterbug Smart

The Jitterbug Smartphone is an Android-based smartphone that looks like many of the other phones on the market but is available with Health & Safety packages specifically designed for seniors. In addition to standard smartphone features such as a built-in camera with flash, the Jitterbug Smartphone includes the 5star App which allows you to get help in any emergency. There are three different Health & Safety packages which include various combinations of features such as 5Star Urgent Response, Urgent Care, MedCoach, Check-In Calls and Brain Games.

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  • Includes Jitterbug Smartphone, battery, wall charger, USB cable, and user guide
  • Functions anywhere cellular service is available
  • Battery lasts approximately 24 hours depending on use. It is recommended to charge the device daily
  • Does not connect to landeline
  • Cellular
  • GPS enabled

Jitterbug Flip

The Jitterbug Flip phone is similar to the Jitterbug Smartphone regarding the available features. The display is different; the Jitterbug Flip is a standard flip phone rather than a smartphone and does not have a touch screen. However, like the Smartphone, the Flip phone also offers a 5Star Emergency Help button as well as the Health & Safety services.

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  • Includes Jitterbug Flip phone, battery (pre-installed), charging dock, wall charger, USB cable, and user guide
  • Functions anywhere cellular service is available
  • Battery lasts approximately 24 hours depending on use. The battery should be charged daily
  • Does not connect to landline
  • GPS Enabled


Lively is an all-mobile device designed to be worn around the neck or as a wristband that travels with you. The help button connects you to highly-trained associates to assist you in emergency situations. The Lively includes automatic fall detection, is waterproof, and there is no base unit required.

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  • Includes Lively device, charging cradle, accessory clip, magnetic lanyard, and user guide
  • Functions anywhere cellular service is available
  • No exact battery life value. GreatCall recommends charging the device daily to ensure operation
  • Does not connect to landline
  • Cellular
  • GPS-enabled (built-in patented GPS technology)
  • Automatic built-in fall detection available with “Ultimate” package

Lively Wearable

The Lively Wearable is a waterproof health and safety bracelet that is compatible with both Android phones and iPhones. It allows you to connect to highly-trained agents at the push of a button in emergency situations and has numerous features including fitness tracking, Bluetooth connectivity, fall detection, and daily challenges.

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  • Includes Lively Wearable wristband, magnetic lanyard, and user guide
  • Functions anywhere cellular service is available; connects to Bluetooth
  • Up to 6 months of battery life without needing to be charged
  • Does not connect to landline
  • Cellular
  • Auto fall detection when worn around the neck with lanyard

Monitoring Services

GreatCall’s 5Star Urgent Response Centers are located throughout the United States, and agents are available to assist customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company features numerous services which are available with their products. The 5Star Urgent Response feature is used for emergencies. By pressing your 5Star button, you are connected to a highly-trained 5Star Agent who will assess the situation and get you the help you need.

There is an available Urgent Care feature which allows you to speak with board-certified doctors and registered nurses 24/7 without an appointment for medical advice.

The GreatCall Link feature sends updates to caregivers about the well-being of their loved one, and the MedCoach feature sends friendly vitamin and prescription reminder messages.


Each of their products run on a cellular network so they do not have specific ranges or limitations on where you can travel within the country. It is advisable, however, to check coverage maps when going somewhere new to be certain you will have service in that particular area. Service is available in all 50 states.

Battery Life

Both the Jitterbug Smart and Jitterbug Flip are phones so their respective batteries will last for different amounts of time on a full charge depending on how often you use the device. To ensure you always have enough battery life to get help in case of an emergency, GreatCall recommends charging each device on a daily basis. The same charging regimen is recommended for the Lively.

The Lively Wearable is designed not to need daily charging and can be worn continuously. The battery should last up to 6 months.


For the phones, GreatCall charges for the phone as well as an activation fee and then allows you to choose the plan that best fits you. There are quite a few options for the Smart and Flip phones. You can make a choice between a talk, text and data plan, or you can choose a Health & Safety package with minutes. There are three options for the Health & Safety packages which are Basic, Preferred, and Ultimate.

The Lively device costs $49.99 up front in addition to an activation fee and choice of monthly plan (Basic, Preferred, Ultimate) while the Lively Wearable costs $49.99 up front plus activation and a $14.99/month service fee.

  • Prices range from $49.99 to $149.99 for the devices before activation and monthly fees.
  • Health & Safety packages cost between $19.99 per month and $34.99 per month
  • There is a $35 activation fee for each device
  • One year limited warranty

Installation Process

No equipment needs to be set up for GreatCall’s products. Both of the phones simply need to be charged and powered on. The Lively is also ready for use upon the customer receiving it once it is charged and the Lively Wearable is ready to use right away. Activation instructions are right on the website and are easy to follow, and each device includes a user guide to help with any questions that may arise.

Customer Service

Right on the website, there is a customer support section where you can find help for any of their devices. The sections feature comprehensive how-to videos, step by step instructions and the user guides for each product. Representatives can be reached via phone and there is also an e-mail section where customers can fill out their information and ask questions.


GreatCall has received a perfect grade of A+ from the Better Business Bureau and have been a BBB Accredited business since November of 2006.

Our Recommendation

In a market flooded with similar medical alert options, GreatCall offers a refreshing line of more innovative and unique products which integrate more current technologies and better suit the lifestyles of seniors who enjoy being active. The company has developed a strong reputation in their ten years of service and continue to provide their customers with devices they can rely on.