Smartphones with large, spacious 6-inch and up displays might be the norm today, but that doesn’t mean everyone is a fan. Actually, there’s still a pretty large category of consumers that continues to prefer smaller mobile devices that can easily fit inside a pocket. If you, too, are looking for a small smartphone, the good news is that some excellent options are still available.
Do bear in mind a few things, however, as you go through our list of best small smartphones. To begin with, small smartphones today come with considerably larger screens compared to a few years ago, so 5-inches and larger will show up frequently in our lineup. Secondly, sometimes smaller smartphones come with limitations, including watered-down specs, but that’s not always the norm.
1. Pixel 4
Google’s Pixel 4 flagship from a year ago can be the ideal choices for consumers on the hunt for a smaller device. This particular handset boasts a 5.7-inch P-OLED screen with 2280 x 1080 pixel resolution and draws power from the Snapdragon 855, one of Qualcomm’s flagship chips in 2019.
The phone also packs up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (no microSD card slot available). In addition, the Pixel 4 has a dual camera setup comprised of a 12MP f/1.7, dual-pixel PDAF and OIS wide lens and a 16MP f/2.4 telephoto lens. While all of this sounds great, the Pixel 4 does suffer from a notable disadvantage – it packs a measly 2,800 mAh battery – so make sure you consider this before making the final purchasing decision.
2. Samsung Galaxy S10e
Part of the Samsung’s S10 flagship lineup, the Galaxy S10e is the least impressive of the three models released last year. Even with that being the case, it still packs pretty robust specs, although it won’t rival the most recent crop of high-end devices.
The Galaxy S10e boasts a smaller 5.8-inch AMOLED display with 2280 x 1070 resolution. To compare, the tech giant’s latest premium offering, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, rocks a massive 6.9-inch display. Years ago, such a device would have been categorized as a “phablet.”
In addition, the Galaxy S10e bundles a potent Snapdragon 855 backed up by up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The phone, powered by a 3,100 mAh battery – also offers the services of a dual-camera setup (12MP and 16MP sensors) and is upgradable to Android 10 (One UI 2).
3. Samsung Galaxy S9
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a bit of an older phone. One of Samsung’s top-of-the-line phones from 2018, it can be considered a pretty powerful device, even today.
The Galaxy S9 features a 5.8-inch AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 pixel resolution. Other specifications include a Snapdragon 845, 4GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, as well as a single 12MP f/1.5 main camera sensor with PDFA and OIS. The device runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box but can be upgraded to Android 10. A 3,000 mAh battery completes the package.
4. iPhone 11 Pro
If you’re not a big fan of Android, the iPhone 11 Pro may be something to consider instead. Even if the phone was launched back in 2019, and Apple has already discontinued the model following the introduction of the iPhone 12 lineup, the 11 Pro model is still available as a lower-priced option.
The iPhone 11 Pro is a top-of-the-line iPhone featuring a 5.8-inch OLED display and a stainless steel frame. It offers improved water resistance (IP68) and boasts a triple-lens camera system with telephoto, wide-angle, and super wide-angle lenses. Other specifications include a 3,046 mAh battery, Apple’s A13 bionic chipset, 4GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage.
5. Moto G7 Play
Motorola’s most recent models all feature 6-inch and up screens, but last year, Motorola released the Moto G7 Play – an excellent, smaller handset for those looking to spend less than $200 on a new mobile phone.
The device relies on a 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 1512 x 720 pixel resolution and is powered by a mid-range Snapdragon 632 processor. Motorola sells the device with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (microSDXC included), as well as a big 3,000 mAh battery. The phone is upgradable to Android 10.
6. Palm Phone
The Palm phone is an interesting device and by far the smallest on the list. When it was initially launched back in 2018, it was sold by Verizon as an “add-on phone,” meaning it was a device targeting customers who already had a smartphone with a plan at Big Red. Now, however, the carrier is selling the phone as a standalone device. The official Palm website is also offering the unlocked version, so you can activate it on any carrier.
The Palm smartphone was designed to take care of the essentials – calling, texting, emailing, taking a few snaps. Its creators had hoped that by using this device, customers will decrease reliance on their more powerful smartphone. Today, the paradigm has shifted, and Palm is encouraging shoppers to use the phone by itself if they want. Although, since the model was meant to be a basic device, it does not feature stellar specifications. If you’re okay with that, the Palm may be just what you need.
The tiny smartphone features a 3.3-inch IPS LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution and is powered by a Snapdragon 435 processor working in concert with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. In addition, the handset includes a 12MP single main camera, 800 mAh battery (but given the small display, it may not be an issue) and comes with Android 8.1 Oreo pre-installed. The Palm lacks a 3.5mm jack and does not have a microSD card.
7. iPhone SE (2020)
Part of Apple’s 2020 lineup, the iPhone SE (2020) features a small 4.7-inch design with the company’s A13 Bionic chip – the same one that powers the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
The budget-oriented model offers the services of a 12MP f/1.8 aperture wide camera that has the ability to take 4K video (60fps). The device is water- and dust-resistant with an IP67 rating for water resistance up to one meter for 30 minutes and includes an 1821 mAh battery. In addition, the model also retains the popular home button – a detail that will make users who prefer Touch ID over Face ID happy.
We should also note here that this year Apple also announced the iPhone 12 Mini. The phone should go on sale next month and packs a 5.4-inch Super Retina OLED display, Apple A14 Bionic sensor, and a 2,227 mAh battery. While the handset is yet to make a debut in the real world, it should definitely be on the radar of those with a preference for smaller smartphones.
Small and portable smartphones are far from being obsolete. As you can see, there are still plenty of models to choose from on the market presently.
If you’re still not sure which small smartphone to buy, then it may be a good idea to also take a look at flip phones, which are also quite compact and portable. If you prefer Android over iOS, then we have you covered with this list of best Android flip phones you can buy today. Alternatively, you can also check out some of the best foldable Android phones available.