GreatCall, Lively Mobile Plus: Review
Product name: Lively Mobile Plus
Manufacturer / Distributor: GreatCall
Compilation: Q2 2019
This page contains our GreatCall | Lively Mobile Plus review.
Analyst Summary: GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus
The Lively Mobile Plus, launched in April 2019, replaced the Lively Mobile, which in turn had replaced the GreatCall Splash which featured heavily in many of our prior detailed comparative analyses.
The Lively Mobile Plus includes fall detection and GPS location capability.
As of May 2019 this product has been "recalled" and can not be purchased. We hope it will soon be back on the market, but for now it is not available.
Third Generation product
Below you can see the three consecutive genarations of the Great Call Medical Alert products. Gen 1 was the Splash. Gen 2 was the Lively Mobile, and now Gen 3 is the Lively Mobile Plus.
We have acquired and tested all three of these products. This review focuses on the Lively Mobile Plus, which is a worthy successor to the Splash, which did very well in our prior tests. You can read our review of the GreatCall Splash for more detail.
The Lively Mobile Plus — the latest version of GreatCall's mobile medical alert — is quite similar to the original Splash we reviewed back in 2015.
Whereas the Lively Mobile (now discontinued) was an attempt to significantly reduce the size and weight compared to the Splash, with the Lively Mobile Plus the product has grown a bit, presumably to accomodate a larger battery. This is good news, as the extra weight is not very noticeable, while battery life was a definite problem with the Lively Mobile for some customers.
On our kitchen scale, the Splash weighed 2.0 oz, the Lively Mobile weighed 1.5 oz, and the latest Lively Mobile Plus is back up to 2.0 oz.
Overall we saw similarly good response time from the GreatCall call center, as we saw with the Splash and Lively Mobile. And its GPS locating capability seems similar to that of the two prior products (ie good, but not perfect).
It's fairly small, and fairly lightweight, and best of all comes with the GreatCall 5 star responder service which has an extremely good response time. In addition, this monitoring service encourages you to reach out to them in a range of "emergencies", not just life threatening ones (see Splash review and company discussion below).
In addition, the purchasing and on-boarding can all be done online, and is very easy. And the cost of this product compares favorably with many of the competitors.
It's also waterproof (IPX7: 1 m depth for 30 minutes).
This was one of our top picks in the mobile alert monitoring category before the company recalled it due to issues we are unsure of (see the others here). See also the category of smartwatches as medical alerts we reviewed recently.
In terms of battery life, in our tests we found this product to hold a charge for over 3 days, using it every day.
From our tests, we didn't think there were really any minuses about this product, other than those that come with the mobile alert category as a whole. So it's not very attractive, although less ugly than most. And you do need to charge it (see below). And the "wearable" is larger than the "traditional" type of medical alert that works only in your home.
Some other categories of medical alerts (eg those for home use only) do have much longer battery life, if this is a critical parameter for you. You can see more about tradeoffs with respect to battery life in our course on Selecting the Right Medical Alert System (see the Learning Module).
If you are interested in this type of medical alert, you should also read our rather extensive comparative analysis of mobile alert systems in which we test all sorts of aspects of different products in this category. We try and keep our "recommendations" up to date in our section "Just Tell Me What to Buy".
The fact the product was recalled is obviously a bad sign and we are not recommending it at present. When they resume shipping, we will reevaluate.
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Product Line & Company: GreatCall
About this Research
This product review is part of an extensive series of medical alert system reviews of over 50 products, including hands-on evaluation and real-world testing of the most promising ones, in real-world situations.
These reviews and analyses are part of our Research Project designed to help older adults and their families Choose the Right Medical Alert System for THEM — the result of which is our Medical Alert Systems: Selection Guide.
We have tried hard to make this research as independent and objective as possible. It has not been funded or sponsored by any of the vendors of these products, and includes no advertising or "sponsored content". The team that conducted this research has strong scientific, clinical, and aging services backgrounds. You can read more about the team that did this research at the links above.
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