For a long time, phones followed a clear linear trajectory toward getting smaller by the year. We had Motorola phones the size of bricks until flip phones and camera phones got slimmer and smaller.
Now we’ve got even cheap phones that are essentially computers, capable of running tons of apps and getting 5g connectivity, and they can be about the size of your palm.
With the advent of smartphones, that trend stopped, and the sizes of our phones have remained relatively stagnant for the last decade.
Despite this change in the trend, many people still prefer small phones. Because of the high demand, most large manufacturers offer smaller mobile phone models. But which phones are the best for consumers in 2022?
What Are the Best Small Phones Available in 2022?
Four phones stand above the pack when it comes to compact phones:
- The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the smallest of the S22 series, with all of the impressive technological prowess of its siblings.
- The Google Pixel 5 is Google’s flagship phone of their last mobile generation. It focuses on providing a premium smartphone experience for a budget in a compact form.
- The iPhone 13 Mini is Apple’s miniaturized version of its newest and most advanced smartphone.
- The iPhone SE is Apple’s budget option for people who want an Applecell phone without the price.
What Are the Best Small Android Phones?
Samsung Galaxy S22
The Samsung Galaxy S22 sits at 6.1 inches, much smaller than the 6.6 and 6.8 inches of the S22 Plus and the Galaxy S22 Ultra, respectively. Despite being the smallest of the series, the phone still has most of the same specs as the other two.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 is one of the most advanced phones of its generation. It runs in a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, with a 3,700 mAh battery and 8GB of RAM. It is also significantly cheaper than most other Samsung phones on the market.
The S22 is a generation behind most modern phones now that the S23 series is out. In addition, the battery life and camera quality lag behind its competitors (especially the front camera, so this is not a selfie phone).
Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 5 has a six-inch display and only weighs 5.3oz. Unlike many other phones, the Pixel 5 does not have a larger version, with Google hedging its bets on the smaller size.
The phone has a solid rear camera system and a relatively low price compared to other phones on the market. It also has a long-lasting battery at 4,000mAh.
The Pixel 5 does not compare to the Pixel 4 or the Pixel 6 regarding quality for the market price. It runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, not Snapdragon 888chipset, so its processing power is low next to today’s Samsung and Apple phones. It is a solid Android phone, but it does not excel in any particular area, unlike some other small phones you can pick up.
What Are the Best Small Apple iPhones?
iPhone 13 mini
The iPhone 13 is Apple’s most advanced smartphone. With a 5.4-inch display, the iPhone 13 mini more than fits the bill for anyone looking for a small phone. The phone weighs 4.97 ounces and is 2.53 inches wide.
The iPhone 13 is the current cutting edge as far as smartphones go. While not the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the 13 mini shares the base model’s HDR OLED display, IP68 dust and water resistance, A15 bionic chip, and advanced camera system. The main difference in display is that the mini has a lower resolution due to the smaller screen size, but overall it stands its ground compared to the base model.
Due to being smaller, the iPhone 13 mini has a lower clock speed, RAM, battery capacity, and wireless charging. Being so much smaller than even other phones on this list has some drawbacks, but in general, the mini is comparable with other small smartphones, if not more advanced.
The iPhone SE series is Apple’s way of providing a budget option for people who want an iPhone without the high price point. As a result, it is also a tiny phone with a display of only 4.7 inches.
The price is very competitive for an Apple phone, and it would be very hard to find a smaller smartphone on the market today. Starting at only $429, this is a great budget phone for someone looking for something in this size range.
The SE series is significantly weaker than the numbered mainline iPhones, which is why they can cut costs. The SE exists as a budget phone, which cannot be said of the other phones on this list, all of which are flagships of their respective companies.
Why Small Phones?
Phone size comes down to preference at the end of the day, and many people prefer smaller phones. For starters, they tend to be cheaper since there is less hardware to work with. At the same time, they are also more mobile and easier to store and carry around.
Your phone is more than just a messaging tool that you can use without wifi. It’s a camera, a wallet, an encyclopedia, a public square, and so much more. With small phones, all of this can fit into the palm of your hand — literally.
The Bottom Line
If you want the highest quality smartphone in a compact size, the iPhone 13 mini is the best option you will find both in terms of hardware and software.
If you are on a budget, we recommend the versatile and modern iPhone SE over the Google Pixel 5, which is already a dated device. If you are an Android fan, the Samsung Galaxy S22 is an excellent option due to its power and relatively low cost.
You can learn more about the best Apple phones and which ones to choose by using Navi. Navi uses industry insights and data to help you choose the right phones and plans.
Models | Compare Galaxy S22 & S22+ vs S22 Ultra | Samsung US
5G Google Pixel Phones | Google
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini | Apple