Is there an android phone that satisfies all my criteria right now?
May 21, 2014 8:36 AM   Subscribe

My Galaxy S3's screen broke and It's time for an upgrade anyway. I want a phone with all of:
  1. Well supported by Cyanogenmod today
  2. Removable battery
  3. Verizon 4G
posted by Skorgu to Technology (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you wedded to #3? Because that's going to really limit your options to "phones that Verizon has allowed me to buy" vs. "any phone that takes a SIM card".

And really, the better android phones these days (Moto X, Nexus 5, One Plus One) seem to be giving up on #2 as well.
posted by Oktober at 8:49 AM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Galaxy S4 is well-supported by Cyanogen, the problem is that current revisions of the software closed the hole in the bootloader that let you install the thing. If you can find a pre-hacked handset, maybe from somebody upgrading to the S5, it's basically an S3 but better in every way, complete with removable battery.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:51 AM on May 21, 2014

I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan at VZ which I'm pretty loath to give up.
posted by Skorgu at 8:59 AM on May 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

Which should be another point in favor of a used phone - don't they kill your data plan if you buy a subsidized upgrade?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:00 AM on May 21, 2014

Yeah, I'm fine paying full retail price.
posted by Skorgu at 9:02 AM on May 21, 2014

You could always get another Galaxy S3 relatively cheaply, and wait until your requirements are supported by a phone you actually want...
posted by jozxyqk at 9:05 AM on May 21, 2014

If I were in your situation another S3 would be my choice (I have one myself, I like bleeding edge but cannot see a real reason for an S4 or S5 yet).
posted by Cosine at 9:36 AM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I did some digging and apparently the 4.3 OTA for the Verizon S3 makes the bootloader unlock impossible.

Looks like I have to compromise on something after all.
posted by Skorgu at 9:47 AM on May 21, 2014

Maybe it's worth pricing out what unlimited data on T-Mobile costs vs. what you're paying Verizon now? They'll pay your ETF with Verizon.
posted by Oktober at 9:57 AM on May 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

If he's on unlimited data, he's well past the two-year ETF horizon. The problem is more that well-made phones with removable batteries are going the way of the dodo in general, not that Verizon in particular doesn't have enough of a selection.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:42 AM on May 21, 2014

I think the Droid Incredible 4G LTE qualifies, but it's not as good a device as the S3.
posted by cnc at 10:55 AM on May 21, 2014

It's inexplicable to me that it's so rare to not be able to replace the battery on phones. It's not like the battery life on huge-screened phones is so good to start with.

Right now I'm leaning towards the LG G2 and crying myself to sleep when the battery dies at an inconvenient time.
posted by Skorgu at 11:33 AM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

If it's any consolation you can get a small external charger that holds a full battery's worth of juice for about the price of a spare battery now.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:37 AM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've given up on the replaceable battery requirement. Get a USB battery and keep that in your bag or car or whatever. Some even come with a built-in LED flashlight, so if you're already carrying one of those, it's no extra space for you to replace it with a USB battery. Get a tiny cable too.
posted by intermod at 9:39 PM on May 21, 2014

On this tangent:
The issue with having a non-removable battery (for me) is not so much about replacing the battery, but about those particularly nasty crashes that you can't recover from in any other way but pulling the battery out.
They're getting rarer, but especially when you're mucking around with a rooted/ROMmed device they can happen. I'm not sure how you get out of that situation with a non-removable-battery phone other than waiting around for it to die.

(The dying Android feature I'm sadder about is SDcard support.)
posted by jozxyqk at 11:16 AM on May 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

SD cards seem to be making a surprising comeback. Motorola (owned by Google!) has them in its latest budget models (the 2014 Moto G and the Moto E), and HTC added a card slot to the 2014 One.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:24 AM on May 23, 2014

The Moto X doesn't have a removable battery, but is probably the best unlocked phone that you can get on Verizon (and the full retail price is actually somewhat reasonable).

I also have a grandfathered S3 that I'm eager to get rid of (it's easily the worst mobile phone that I've ever owned), so I feel your pain.
posted by schmod at 7:44 AM on June 3, 2014

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