Real synthetic vs. fake synthetic (ok, I’m confusing myself).
Mobile sued Castrol because Castrol was passing its conventional type 3 oil off as ‘synthetic’. A US court sided with Castrol that their oil could be called synthetic for marketing purposes even though it isn’t a type IV (PAO) base. A poor decision, imho, that contravenes the facts about distillation and organic chemistry.
Could it do the job? Yes, but so could my old Nokia 9290. It is the wrong tool for the job. If you were to get them just a smartphone, a $99 one would be just as functional.
Remember, this is a device for someone who has not used tech before. And that someone is possibly going to have a hard enough time seeing stuff on a regular size screen, so a phone would be extra strenuous.
I bought my dad a iPad a few years ago. He’s in his 70s. He took to it right away. After he got over the “I don’t need a cell phone” and then the “I don’t need a smartphone” phases, he took to the iPhone too. The iPad was his gateway drug, so to speak, and now he’s fine with the smaller screen. It’s the thing he has with him, so that’s what he uses.
An iPad is the least challenging appliance, but you or someone needs to "be their IT b1tch" as it were because you'll need to have iTunes on your own machine to back it up periodically and maintain it because of the Apple ecosystem.
I want to say I'd go with a Chrome laptop (a convertible so you have a tablet experience as well) because they are more of a standalone machine. All of the fiddling you need to do is completely on the device or online and you can log into their Google account and help out from anywhere.
The problem with a Chrome machine is that it is similar enough with a traditional (Windows) experience that an older folk can make it a transition, but different enough that you need to explain it. Anything that they really did/do understand how to do, will end up being just different enough to be frustrating to help them re-learn or explain that can't be done.
I really dislike how files, photos, and such get pretty much locked into an i-device and have to be synced off. Whereas with a Chrome platform, they are all online (and accessible to you as a helper remotely) or easily and randomly fetched from the device with a memory card or thumbdrive.
Skype is also available for Chrome browser and Chromebook, and if you get a current device, you can run Android stuff on the Chromebook which opens up even more stuff.
The cheap Fire tablets do come with Amazon advertisements that pop up regularly, if you buy a lot of stuff on Amazon they can pay for themselves in short order though. I think the ads are different prices to what normal users would see, therefore a win for both parties.
You can get USB keyboards to plug into the tablet, no need to pair anything, but you may not be able to charge while the keyboard is connected since most modern Android and Fire tablets charge through a (the only) USB connection.
I bought my Mother . . . a refurbished early model iPad about 5 years ago. She has e-mail and we have the family photo sharing turned on so she sees all the great-grandkids on pretty much a daily basis. She has no idea of how to post or do anything with it . . .but the iPad is cheap, simple, intuitive and I've not heard a word but "I love my iPad, I take it everywhere" in 5 years.
icloud only gives 5gb free space. You have to pay for more. The SO ran out of space quickly on her iphone and it locked her from trying to take any more photo's until I switched her to OneDrive which provides 1TB of space (but we have an office 365 subscription).
They work for a lot of people. I never found them to be very intuitive. The SO got one from her parents and she gets frustrated trying to use it.
...but, it's about what your relative wants and works for her, so give it a shot.