The best small phones defy the large-screen trend. With behemoths like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, smartphone displays are getting bigger and bigger. That’s fine for those who prefer big screens, but there aren’t many options for those who like to operate a device with just one hand.
If you believe that good things come in small packages, you should look at Apple’s offerings. With several good options, including the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone SE, Apple continues to dominate the small phone market. Google is also sustaining the market with devices that are both pocketable and affordable.
Small phones are typically less expensive than Plus-, Max-, or Ultra-sized versions of the same device, so you won’t be penalized for choosing one that fits into your lifestyle.
Best of all, thanks to the iPhone 12 mini, the days of 5G connectivity being limited to larger phones are over. In the future, we’d like to see more compact 5G phones.
What are the best small phones on the market?
Until recently, small phone fans who also wanted to get their hands on one of the best iPhones didn’t have many options. Thankfully, you have two options, one of which is the iPhone 12 mini, a 5G-capable phone with Apple’s most powerful processor.
If you don’t want to spend the money on the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone SE is a good alternative. It costs $400 and repurposes the iPhone 8’s 4.7-inch design with Apple’s A13 Bionic silicon.
If you’re looking for a small Android phone, the Google Pixel 4a, which costs $349 and has an OLED screen the same size as the discontinued iPhone 11 Pro, is the best option. You should also consider the Galaxy S10e, which has a similar-sized display but has a faster processor, a slightly more premium design than Google’s offering, and an ultrawide camera for stunning landscape photography. However, in terms of Android phones, it is becoming outdated.
Finally, Google’s 6-inch Pixel 5 has a slightly larger display than the 5.8-inch Pixel 4 it replaces, but it’s housed in a chassis with slimmer bezels, making it one of the year’s more appealing high-end phones. It’s also quite affordable at $699, even if it does cut some corners to achieve its low price.
Here’s a look at some of the best small phones on the market right now, with screens of 6 inches or less. Check out our list of the best phones available right now for our overall favorite handsets, regardless of size.
The best small phones on the market right now
1.iPhone 12 mini
The iPhone 12 mini isn’t just Apple’s best small phone, beating out the equally impressive iPhone SE, but it’s also the best small phone available right now. Even though the 5.4-inch OLED screen is larger than many phones, including the SE, Apple managed to fit it into a super-slim 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29-inch form factor that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand.
But there’s more going on here than just size. The iPhone 12 mini is powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic processor, which means it has the same processing power as the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The iPhone 12 mini’s dual rear cameras produce some of the best images we’ve seen, and while we wish the small phone could last a little longer on a charge, Apple’s MagSafe accessories make charging the device a breeze. The iPhone 12 mini is the phone to get if you like phones that are easy to hold and use with one hand.
2. Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Apple’s most affordable small phone
A13 Bionic performance is quick.
For the price, this is an excellent camera.
Wireless charging is supported.
They simply no longer make fast, premium small phones like the new iPhone SE. Even though newer iPhones have the A14 processor, this 4.7-inch handset has the A13 Bionic processor, which is still lightning fast. Despite its superior performance, the iPhone SE is $300 less expensive than our top pick, the iPhone 12 mini.
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3. Pixel 4a by Google
At an unbeatable price, the best small phone is available.
A camera that is the best in its class
128GB storage with a bright OLED display
The battery life could be improved.
The Google Pixel 4a is one of the best small phones with a big screen, with a 5.81-inch OLED display and very slim bezels. The OLED panel dominates the Pixel 4a’s footprint, thanks to a hole-punch selfie camera and a slender earpiece that keeps the screen’s border bare minimum.
4. Google Pixel 5
A premium, pocketable PixelGorgeous compact design
Excellent camera, with ultrawide lens, is now available.
a lackluster performance
For what it is, it is exorbitantly priced.
The Pixel 5 isn’t an improvement over the Pixel 4 in every way, which is probably why it’s underwhelming. The new Pixel’s battery life is much better, and it supports 5G across millimeter-wave and sub-6GHz bands. Still, it’s less powerful than the previous model, and it lacks 3D Face Unlock and the ability to read Motion Sense air gestures, both of which were standout features.
5. Samsung Galaxy S10e
The smallest Android flagship on the market
Design is delightful and compact.
Cameras with a headphone jack could be better.
The battery life is mediocre.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10e is a different kind of flagship phone. When it first came out in 2019, it cost $749, but you can now get it for $580 or less. There are a few trade-offs for the lower price, including a dual-camera setup rather than a triple camera setup, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and an older Snapdragon 855 chipset.