So a few days ago, I smashed my Nexus 5's display. The glass cover cracked, but everything else is still fine. According to iFixit however, repairing the screen is not as easy as just replacing the glass cover. The touch screen below is fused with it, and the cheapest replacement from Hongkong will cost 80 EUR. It's twice as much if I send it to a repair workshop.
For for the mean time (and also because of this nice excuse), I'm in the market for a new Android phone. Some requirements
- It cannot be another Nexus 5. I'm confident that I will eventually fix the smashed phone by replacing the display. What am I supposed to do with two Nexus 5s?
- The display has to be larger than 4.5 inch and at least 720x1280. I simply cannot go back to the days of low-res displays.
- There must be a way to install stock Android of at least 4.3.
- The processor should be somewhat above average.
- I don't have 600 EUR to spend.
- Battery life is sort of important.
- Moto G. It has a very nice value for money, but both the display size and the performance are a bit borderline. It does come with stock Android though, which is great.
- Huawei Ascend P6. The design is magnificent, even though it reminds me of an iPhone. But apparently the Android variant it uses is not awful.
- HTC One. Since it also comes in Google Play Edition, I soon found out that it's not too hard to replace HTC Sense by stock Android. I like the design. It's a bit pricy though, 430 EUR being the cheapest offer I was able to find.
- Moto X. But it only takes Nano-SIM, and I don't think I can cut up my old SIM card any further. And I also doesn't help that In Europe you cannot design your own Moto X with motomaker.
I was still very tempted to get a second Nexus 5. And I probably would have, if the red version was available. I could have passed it to my wife later on. In the end, I decided to get the HTC One.
The build quality is, despite of what many reviews on Amazon say, pretty good, and the phone is working smoothly just like my old Nexus 5. Since I wanted stock Android however, I had to jump through a bunch of hoops, involving
- Unlocking the bootloader after registering with HTC to get the unlock code.
- Switching to S-OFF.
- Downloading and installing the Binaries for stock Android 4.4 and the Radio drivers.
Surprisingly enough, everything worked without any hiccup. I was expecting to get stuck at least once somewhere and having to google for solutions. Afterwards, since I already had TWRP set up, I replaced the kernel with ElementalX for some of its nice features, like mapping a virtual button to the HTC logo. Restoring the apps I had installed on the Nexus 5 was easy, since it only required sync'ing with my account.
So far, I'm happy with my decision.