With my HTC M9 battery on its way out the door I've been hunting for a new phone. My criteria, in no particular order:
~5" screen at 1080p. Anything with a higher PPI is a battery strain and I won't notice the difference.
SD card slot and modding support. Prefer Lineage OS support but rootable as a minimum.
Decent camera. I don't want top of the line, but clear and okay colour is fine for me.
Cheap. I'm getting sick of playing $800 for a new phone every ~2 years and I have seen the budget market improve a lot recently.
Large battery. I've always been flabbergasted that phones sacrifice battery size for thinness.
With those in mind, and looking outside the usual box of Samsung, LG, and traveling in China where the budget phone market has exploded, I settled on 1 of 2 phones: Meizu M6 Note and ZTE Axon 7.
I ended up deciding on the M6 and after waiting for "pb tech, their official nz distributor" to launch this phone, I bit the bullet and bought it on AliExpress for $230 including shipping.
So the phone has arrived and it's blown me away on nearly every metric.
Awesome value. $230 isn't breaking the bank especially when you get flagship features.
The 5.5" 1920x1080 screen is clear and bright.
SD card slot plus in built root (note: if you update Flyme OS to the latest version you lose this feature)
Damn good battery life. Fully charged on Sunday night, maybe 4 hours SOT and 40 hours standby, and still 56% remaining!
Not locally available. Not an issue to me.
Some weird design choices: fingerprint scanner on the front means 2 home buttons, some surprisingly lacks of customisation, some strange settings.
Limited dev support in terms of custom roms (this may improve with time)
Feel free to ask questions :)