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Need new phone - Advice wanted

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Input9
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Default Need new phone - Advice wanted

Hello,
I have a Samsung Exhibit II 4G (2.3.5) and need a new phone. The ExII is just too slow and irritating. My wife has a Sony Xperia T (4.3) and I am not so pleased with it either.

My big complaint is the instability caused by memory filling with apps that I/we don't use. I don't use a phone for social media or movies and do very little texting. I do write my own apps with Eclipse that make it a worker for my engineering work so do want a smart phone. I have tried a few root ROMs on the ExII but it always becomes unstable and will lock up or refuse to boot at the worst times.

I am looking for models that users either have rooted and are stable or didn't need to be rooted to keep them running fast.

I prefer smaller screens (4-4.5") and less than $300 but will go outside those bounds if I gain stability.

Any suggestion are appreciated.
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Naddict
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There are 3 threads already established that are devoted to discussions about devices, please read, and if necessary, repost your question in one of these threads: The what should I buy thread or the The Device Suggestion Thread or the The Device Comparison Thread.

There are also several other discussion threads that you probably should review to help you. They are What phone do you wish you had? or
The Worst Android Device That You've Ever Had & Why
or even this place that talks about The best phone you ever owned.
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