NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The world has left you behind and you're still holding onto that mobile flip phone. The higher cost, complexity or desire to be connected 24 hours a day has made smartphones unattractive and needless for 40% to 55% of the U.S. population.
Mobile companies still are trying new things to lure the rest of you who haven't joined the throngs. If you haven't shut yourself off from the idea of smartphone ownership-- or you're helping a parent or grandparent decide-- these new features or tips may be what it takes.
- Make use of your local mobile store and ask employees for help. Sprint's (S) "Ready Now" service makes sure every new phone customer doesn't leave without a store employee offering to transfer contacts, set up email and walk through all the features of the new phone.
- Look for an "easy" smartphone. Various companies offer uncluttered smartphones to lessen confusion for newbies. Fonts and icons tend to be larger, and a limited number of apps can be customized on the home screen. But you still have access to all the apps and features of a regular smartphone:
- The new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone includes the option to go into "Easy Mode," which is simpler interface with a clock, weather and date and six of the most used functions. There are only three screens, also with limited space for apps. Icons and fonts are larger.
- The Pantech Flex One uses the Android "Easy Experience" mode and has just one home screen. All the most commonly-used features are on it: Phone, Camera, Messages, and Menu, plus date, time and weather.
- The Jitterbug Touch is another phone targeting older adults. It's a full-fledged Android smartphone but the interface keeps things simple and large - everything is in list form.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.