I'm looking for a smartphone for an elderly person who is familiar with PCs (and is a long-time Linux user), but has not used a mobile phone before. They tried a basic phone¹ and found the screen too small and the interface too unwieldy.
The anticipated use of the phone is primarily as a telephone, perhaps to send and receive SMS, to listen to the radio, and some web browsing. Photography and games are not relevant. Other uses may be discovered when they have the device.
Budget is not a primary concern, but a low-end phone is preferred so that it says “not worth stealing”, not “mug me”. The phone will be bought and used in France.
- As light as possible. This is more important than battery life.
- Not too damage-prone, as long as it doesn't increase the weight.
- FM radio.
- Android, without fancy OEM software. The phone is likely going to run whatever OS the manufacturer has put on it, not some mod (I don't want to have to do tech support on non-official system components). It must be sold with, or at least upgradable to, at least Nougat 7.0.
- Size is a bit of an unknown because it's difficult to relate until you have the object in hand. But it needs to be easy to hold in one hand and to fit in a reasonable-sized pocket, so smaller is better (up to a point where the screen is too small).
- A fingerprint reader to simplify logging in while keeping some security would be a plus.
- A removable battery is strongly preferred.
- The possibility of using a stylus would be appreciated.
- Reasonable perspectives for Android upgrades. The user does not want to change their phone all the time.
- While I think the device will run the original OS, the possibility of improving privacy guards and ad blocking may be a reason to root the device.
¹ I.e. a phone that's only a phone, usually with a keyboards with digits and a few function keys, without the ability to install applications. You can see some basic phones in https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/feature/mobile-phone/best-basic-phones-of-2018-3641218/ . Most flip phones are basic phones.