questionstime for an upgrade - phone edition.

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Hard to go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy S3 or 4. I've got a nexus 4 but my wife has an S3 that's quite capable. I'd go with one if I couldn't get a nexus on my network.

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If you want a physical keyboard, Verizon, and Android, you are limited. Probably the Motorola Droid 4 is the best of the small selection.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/best-qwerty-phones/

Since it is not a requirement, and you were happy with the Motorola, maybe try building your own Moto X. It should stay ahead of the curve (and Samsung) with OS updates.

https://www.motorola.com/us/motomaker?pid=FLEXR1#exterior/backplate