Originally Posted by eng3
I've got an HTC Incredible LTE. Android, 4in, 0.46in thick, 4.66oz. I love the size. I got Lollipop lite on it but its showing its age in terms of performance, camera quality, battery life. I bought another battery so that's manageable.
I'm looking for a new phone but not sure what to get meeting my requirements (in order of importance):
2. I travel alot, so it must be a global phone (ie. HSPDA 2100).
3. A 4.3in phone would be ideal but with all the huge phones out now, it's hard to find a small (sub 5in) phone that can fit comfortably in my jeans/shirt pocket. And by comfortable, I don't mean those people that say their iphone6 fits fine in their back pocket when more than 50% sticks out.
4. Camera quality. The most used features on my phone are google maps and camera.
5. "Popularity". Enough XDA presence that people are making custom ROMs
6. Removable Battery. I assume any new phone will have better battery life than my current phone but being able to swap batteries nice
8. Verizon compatible (only signal I can receive at my office and I'd like to keep my unlimited)
I'm willing to buy my phone at full price if necessary.
I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Your list reminds me of a recent MKBHD video except that you didn't break your phone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmkab1LUqlg
Let me take you through my journey as it may allow you to compromise a bit for a better overall experience. The first device that came to mind was the Z3 compact. It's close to meeting your ideal size requirement of 4.3 inches (Z3c has a 4.6 in screen while being thinner and lighter than your current phone), however, it didn't meet 6 (although it does get well above average battery life )and 8 which seems like bigger deal breaker.
I then turned my attention the the Galaxy Alpha. Again, it was also close to meeting your ideal size requirement (Alpha has a 4.7 inch screen), but also it has a removable battery. However, this time the phone failed on 5, 7, and 8. It only comes in I believe a 32 GB variant that is only on AT&T. Development on the device isn't that popular.
Sticking with Samsung I took a look at it's older flagship the Galaxy S 5. It passed all you're criteria except 3 >.<. It's screen size is just over 5 inches at 5.1. However, I have to say that it does look pretty nice even when compared to the newer version. This was the closest I got. I could think of others like the upcoming Z4v, the older Z3v, and etc but all missed 3 and 6 or worse 4.
I decided to consult the web, and look for best smartphones under 5 inches and best phones with removable batteries. I found some pretty uninspiring/unsurprising results: http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-b...teries_id68011
, and http://www.phonearena.com/news/10-gr...ht-now_id65732
. Every phone missed one or more criteria. I'd like to point out that many of the phones being recommended were about the same age as the one you have now meaning that community support would soon die out (or was pretty much non-existent), and many other things wouldn't be that much better anyway.
I finally settled on just making a list of which ones I think would be best given that you're willing to compromise on some of the things listed so here we go. By the way most of the phones here will be reoccurring from what I've said previously.
1) Galaxy S 5 (misses 3)
2) Z3 compact (misses 3 *by a little*, 6 *still has well above average battery life + quick charging*, and 8)
3) Galaxy S6 Active (misses 3, 5, 6 *still has well above average battery life*, 7, 8)
4) Xperia Z3v/Z4v (misses 3, 5, 6)
5) Droid Turbo (misses 3, 5, 6, 7)
6) Galaxy Alpha (misses 3 *by a little*, 5, 7, 8)
7) Moto G 2015 (misses 3, 4 (only during low light shots), and 6)
I would have recommend the HTC M series (M7/M8/M9), but its camera isn't up to par, and since the camera is one of your most used features it wouldn't have made much sense. I also would have recommend the new the LG G series (G3/G4) and the new Moto, but they are phablets, which can't fit into pockets that easily.
If you can forgo the screen size and move up to 5 inches then I suggest going for the S 5 as it meets the most of your list. Hope this helps.