Re: Wouldn't it be nice .. EXACTLY
still keeping mine and the wife's samsung S5 and S4 minis alive because there hasn't been anything since that's the same form factor and high spec (someone seems to have decided that small phones now should be the crappy spec ones)
Precisely. The lack of network software updates to the S4 mini are what eventually forced me to upgrade. The A series is disappointing, because they've speced it along the lines "bigger phone"="better", so the mini-sized A3 would have been a downgrade. Held out a year on rumours of new small Samsungs until I gave up and got Sony XZ1 compact. Yes, it's faster and has some nice features, but even it, after 6 months, still feels uncomfortably bulky in the pocket. The way the official cover integrated into the case was also nice, though probably not possible with a waterproof phone.
The length is also important for ease of carrying. I realise you can't just compare diagonal sizes when they're making them proportionately longer, but I don't really want to be carrying round a stick.