You’re probably wondering where all the small smartphones went. Once dominating the market, compact phones are slowly but steadily getting replaced by bigger handsets that don’t fit the bill of just anyone that easily.
Here are the best small/compact phones to buy in 2021:
Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone SE (2020)
The new Apple iPhone SE comes with Apple’s 2019 chipset but keeps the same retro body of the iPhone 8. Not only is the new SE fast, but it’s also pretty compact and affordable, but that comes at the expense of larger bezels and a bit dated design.
Despite all that, the up-to-date hardware inside makes the latest iPhones futureproof for a couple of years at the very least. If the price of the iPhone 12 Mini is too high for you, this is the next best thing if you’re looking for a small iPhone.
The downside is that the Pixel 5 doesn’t sport the fastest Snapdragon processor inside and although its very reasonably priced, there’s serious competition on the Android side of the smartphone market in that price segment.
The Pixel 5 features the same main sensor as the Pixel 4 but ditches the telephoto camera for an ultra-wide-angle one. Regardless, camera performance is still among the best in the business. Most importantly, you get that “pure” Android experience and cutting-edge AI features Google is known for.
Google Pixel 4a
Last year’s budget Pixel is an all-around pleasant surprise. It undercuts the iPhone SE price wise and while it has nowhere near that powerful, it has a large display with a punch-hole that makes the most of its compact body.
And as with the pricier Pixel 4, you can expect your Pixel 4a to only get better over time thanks to the software updates Google will keep sending in the years to come.
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Galaxy S20
Speaking of the Galaxy series, the last-gen Samsung Galaxy S20 can easily fall under the compact smartphone category, despite its 6.2-inch display. Samsung decided not to go for a S10e successor but the vanilla Galaxy S20 inherited the smaller physical size of the S10e to some extent, making it a perfect compact flagship option.
Under the hood there is a Snapdragon 865/Exynos 990 chipset with 12GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage. The phone is powered by a 4000mAh battery. On the back, there’s a triple-camera setup: 12MP main sensor, one telephoto, and one ultra-wide camera.
Sony Xperia 10 II
Under the hood, it’s powered by a Snapdragon 665 chipset, coupled with 4GB RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage. A 3600mAh battery powers the device, which is still a decent capacity although we’re a bit spoiled by 4,000+ mAh batteries becoming a widespread option in most modern phones.
The best feature of the Xperia 10 II is its price. You can get the phone for less than $400, which is a bargain if you consider the amazing OLED display alone.
Asus Zenfone 8
This little gem is just the right size – not as small as an iPhone 12 mini, which some people find too small, yet significantly more compact than the average modern flagship. It’s not just the size, though. The Zenfone 8 comes equipped with all the bells and whistles you’d find in a top-tier phone, and more!
The latest and greatest Qualcomm chipset – the Snapdragon 888 – is the beating heart of this little beast along with a gorgeous 5.9-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel made by Samsung. Asus somehow found a way to keep the 3.5mm jack, and there’s also a pretty hefty battery inside. What’s the best thing about the Zenfone 8, though? It’s the price! It starts at €499 in Europe and it’s expected to cost $599 when it launches in the US, making it one of the cheapest Snapdragon 888 phones out there.
And there we have it – the best small and compact phones you can buy in 2021. If you’re still undecided in your quest to find the perfect phone, you may also find helpful the following picks: