I dropped my Nexus 5 because it was so large, it was perilous to handle with one hand (whenever a notification comes, swiping from the top is a pain).

I am looking for a phone with these strong requirements:

  • Shorter than 13 cm in length, the smaller the better
  • Rootable
  • Hardware is usable with alternative Android distributions (this excludes makers that DRM the camera and make it work only with maker-provided apps, for instance)
  • Able to run the latest Android version
  • LTE or better
  • At least 16 GB of storage

Bonus for a good rear-facing camera. Bonus for open spirit (à la Fairphone, Nexus)

Plastic is OK. If not commercially available, second-hand is OK.

(20% similar question)

  • Have you considerd oneplus x?
    – Olba12
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 1:19
  • @Olba12: Please add an answer with its specifications, thanks! :-) Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 3:09
  • What carrier will it be on? There're some candidates I see but some of them are carrier locked depending on where you live; what country are you in? Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:32
  • @Venoda: I need a carrier-unlocked phone. I use a very minor carrier in Japan, but might change to another very minor one soon. None are providing hardware. Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 3:32
  • Whatever ends up suggested; make sure it will work on your carrier. Certain phones won't work on certain networks Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 3:33

3 Answers 3


The MOTO E 2015 (2nd edition) is a nice device with a 4.5" screen. Although the stock ROM is Android 5.1.1 you can currently install the latest CyanogenMod on it, which is based on Android 6.0.1.

Currently, the LTE version of this phone costs USD$ 83 on Amazon.

You can see a comparison of its size with Nexus 5 here.

129.8 * 66.8 * 12.2 mm


The trend for a smaller and a compact smartphone is decreasing. I'd still recommend the moto g1/2 if you don't mind sticking on to android 5.1.1. If you don't mind a little bit bigger screen at 13 cm then go for the nexus 5x .

  • 1
    Nexus 5X is 14,7cm right? That's bigger than the Nexus 5 which was too big. Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 10:44
  • The Nexus 5x is 147.0 mm by 72.6 mm versus the Nexus 5 being 137.84 mm by 69.17 mm. The Nexus 5x is slightly thinner at 7.9 mm than the Nexus 5 at 8.59 mm. By calculating the volume of each using their dimensions you can approximate that the Nexus 5x is ≈84.3 cubic cm and the Nexus 5 is ≈81.9 cubic cm. Additionally, the Nexus 5x is heavier at 136 g versus the Nexus 5's weight of 130 g. Based on their cubic dimensions and respective weights I would say that the 5x is, in fact, bigger than the 5. I may love my Nexus 5x, but it's definitely a bit larger than the Nexus 5. Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:23

Moto G 2015 is (slightly) less bigger than the Nexus5 and is able to run 6.0. Lenovo K5 could also be an alternative.

I also found this: Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3: http://gadgets.ndtv.com/samsung-galaxy-xcover-3-value-edition-3446 Which is 4.5", Android 6.0, LTE, only 8GB (but extendable with SD card, which with android 6.0 is a lot more interesting than before)

  • Please give the full length/width/thickness for each, thanks! Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 13:34
  • 5
    We prefer answers that recommend one piece of hardware and give good explanation for it, rather than those that "shotgun" recommendations without as much detail.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 14:39

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