Recommendation for a well supported, affordable phone for my elderly mom

Hi all,

I’m currently searching through the endless forest of available phones for a device for my mom’s upcoming birthday.

I installed /e/ onto her old Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 after it went EOL, which she has been using until now. Unfortunately, it has also left /e/ support now, so a new device is in order. Besides that, there have been sporadic carrier network issues with the phone in /e/, requiring periodic reboots.

Also, she has had issues with Samsung’s button layout in /e/. Since the power and volume buttons are on opposite sides, she often pressed both accidentally, causing the phone to go into silent mode, which has caused further issues. I am unaware of a way to change this behavior and since Samsung appears to have adopted this layout completely, they are off the list.

I am currently running a Fairphone 3 and am extremely happy with it, but I unfortunately think that it will be too big and unwieldy for her, I assume anything beyond 5 inches is.

Can someone recommend a currently supported device to me that just works well from their experience and ticks those boxes? My budget is around 100 Euros or Dollars for a used device in good condition (I’m not meticulous about it costing few bucks above that).

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/OS the deGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

Depending on you country you may want a 5G phone (North America), not sure what parts of Europe have have 5G if at all.

Personally I have had great success with the Pixel line, in my case 4a5g up. If you don’t need 5G you could go with the Pixel 4. Lots of storage and fast processor. I’m sure you can probably get a Pixel within that budget. Actually ebay has a 4a5g in your price range.

I am assuming you will load/install eOS yourself?

Please define 5 inches​:sweat_smile::sweat_smile:. Fairphone has a 5.5 inch screen if I recall correctly but has huge bezels on top and below.

Therefore if you want a really small device it will be tough and also in that price range I think. But as Jets states Pixel get, for now, long lasting support and if ebay has 4a5g for 100, you are lucky.

I missed the part under 5". But yes there are Pixel 4a5g $135 Canadian… therefor

I try not to reference them because they are as bad or worst than Google, probably owned by them…

Hi, thanks for your suggestion! I will have a look.

Yes. I did not mention this, but the phone does not need any performance at all. I am not interested in processing speed, but a bit of storage is helpful though. I also do not need a 5G device, it will not really be utilized.

That’s true, I was going by display size for the device dimensions, but that’s not necessarily the same. It does not need to be particularly small, just a bit less clunky than the Fairphone 3. The dimensions of the Samsung A3 fit perfectly fine here.

Not sure if I understand what’s meant here, because Pixel is literally Google’s hardware brand, so yes, it’s 100% owned by Google. It is a bit ironic to use /e/ on a Pixel device, but since I will be buying used and it’s already been produced, I see no moral issue with that.

What I’m wondering however is if there’s anything related to Google left on the firmware or modem/GPS that still interacts with them even while running /e/, which is also the reason why I’m a bit reluctant to buy any of the Chinese Huaweis & co., but might just be paranoia. I don’t know enough about how phone firmware works exactly.

Thanks again, any other suggestions maybe that I could look at?

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Mis comment was about ebay.

As far as I know, thera should be no ‘calling home’ on hardware side.

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Trust is good, but control is better.

There are various ways to control data traffic, e.g. with non-root NetGuard Pro by @M66B alias Marcel Bokhorst, Nederlands.

Pro features

View traffic log - allows displaying and exporting a detailed outgoing IP traffic log for all applications, so you can exactly see what your device is doing at any moment

Filter network traffic - allows selective blocking of network traffic per address per application, so you can block applications from calling home, etc while retaining internet access;

NetGuard Pro is a powerful tool for Android. It allows you to Control of outgoing app/data connections and define very precisely where and to which server/counterpart an app or Android may establish a connection.

ebay, I don’t care for them much either…

I changed my end of life Samsung A3 (2016) for a low cost phone recently. I found Motorola reasonably priced on the usual markets.

I think all 2019 - 2021 Motos on Smartphone Selector are listed as taking /e/OS Android 13 (T).

For cheapness all Motos on my list are were out of manufacturer support and for many their last manufacturer software revisions were Android 11 (R) and out of Android security support. This detail can be checked here Motorola Firmware Archives - Moto Stock ROM.

With new Motos quite cheap right now, I found several to choose from at the ~£100 price point. My Moto G7 Power ocean has all buttons on the right hand side but size is > 6 inches tall.