Greatest small telephone 2022: the highest compact smartphones reviewed and rated


Small is a relative time period in 2022: smartphones that have been as soon as thought of pocket-filling phablets are actually par for the course. However if you would like a cell that’s simpler to tote, what’s the most effective compact telephone you should buy?

We’ll begin by defining ‘compact’. It says quite a bit that some fashions with ‘Mini’ of their identify nonetheless ship with 5.4in screens – and there’s no escaping that handset dimensions have expanded significantly over the past decade. However not all smartphones go massive in 2022.

Some undertake kind elements from 5 years in the past, whereas others function frame-filling shows that maximise each inch of accessible area. Certain, they’ll nonetheless dwarf the 4in telephones of previous, however they need to not less than be extra manageable than your common fashionable flagship.

Whether or not you’ve acquired smaller paws or just need a smartphone that doesn’t demand fairly a lot pocket area, you need to discover your excellent small telephone under.

Our decide of the most effective small smartphones

Apple iPhone 13 Mini

Need the full-fat Apple smartphone expertise with much less of the fats? The iPhone 13 Mini improves on its petite predecessor to ship a pocketable handset that’s largely free from compromise. Virtually comically compact subsequent to its contemporaries, you possibly can comfortably use the Mini one-handed – and its flat-panel design appears to be like as tidy as on any latest iPhone.

Its 5.4in OLED show is wealthy, sharp and brighter than earlier than. The notch has shrunk, though it does nonetheless intrude on the high. Refresh charges stay capped at 60Hz, however iOS is snappy sufficient that this not often issues. Capturing specs are strong, too: the 12MP essential sensor produces spectacular outcomes, with the assistance of optical picture stabilisation and enhanced light-gathering. A telephoto lens would’ve been extra versatile than an ultra-wide, thoughts.

Regardless of its dinky dimensions, Apple’s A15 processor means the Mini tops smartphone efficiency charts. You’ll recurrently revel at how a telephone of this dimension can take care of any app, activity or recreation. Battery life is much less spectacular, however it’s improved over the earlier Mini. And as an entire bundle, the iPhone 13 Mini is slightly marvel.

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Adopting the acquainted kind issue of the iPhone 8, Apple’s revived iPhone SE is a novel proposition. Its 4.7in LCD feels tiny by right now’s requirements, but it additionally ships with a speedy A13 processor inside, with the facility to zip by duties and hold iOS 15 operating lag-free.

Its design is evidently a throwback, with a chunky bezel and a bodily residence button. However whereas it may possibly’t match the buttonless immersion of full-frame flagships, the styling stops in need of dated. It nonetheless feels premium within the hand – and refreshingly gentle at 148g.

With only a single lens on the rear, the digicam setup appears to be like severely streamlined subsequent to the a number of lenses discovered on modern range-toppers. The 12MP sensor itself is similar because the one discovered on the iPhone 8, however that A13 chip steps picture processing up a gear, providing improved color copy and low-light outcomes.

Need 5G connectivity? You’ll want the 2022 version of the SE, which additionally provides a sooner A15 chip and barely boosted battery life, in the identical compact packaging.

Asus Zenfone 9 Stuff website

Asus Zenfone 9

Like its predecessor under, the Zenfone 9 squeezes superlative efficiency right into a pocket-friendly bundle. Chunky at 9.1mm, it sits comfortably within the hand, with an artificial layer giving the plastic again one thing of a premium really feel.

Bezels are marginally bigger high and backside, however the 5.9in show in any other case fills the entrance of the Zenfone 9. It’s a punchy OLED panel with adaptive 120Hz refresh charges, HDR10+ credentials and improbable color accuracy. At 445ppi, it’s severely sharp as nicely – even when peak brightness is lower than the most effective at 800 nits.

Two sizeable stabilised eyes reside on the rear: a 50MP Sony sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide. Outcomes are reliably tremendous, often good however by no means glorious, with auto processing not doing justice to the {hardware}. That mentioned, 8K video is sensible at 30fps.

Usually deployed in gaming handsets, a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip makes the Zenfone 9 one thing of a small superphone. Asus’ tackle Android 12 even features a ROG-like recreation enhancer mode. Throughout our time with the machine, there have been no bugs, crashes or overheating points. Charging charges are capped at 30W, however the 4300mAh battery can comfortably make it by the day – supplied you restrict 5G downloads.

Google Pixel 6a

Google’s Pixel 6a is an excellent, well-rounded telephone that continues the Pixel vary’s monitor report for killer cameras. Contemplating the way more reasonably priced price ticket —when in comparison with flagship rivals greater than twice the worth, not less than — you’re getting a hell of a whole lot of digicam high quality on your cash right here.

It isn’t good although. Nothing is. You will get different Android handsets for the same worth, which have nippier charging and a faster-than-60Hz show. There’s no wi-fi charging both, and also you could be uninterested in the comparatively unchanged design. With all that mentioned although, it is a alternative that’s exhausting to argue towards, particularly in case you’re completely snug darting your digits round its 6.1in display.

Apple iPhone 12 Mini

Apple’s first ‘Mini’ mannequin stays an important small telephone right now. A downsized iPhone 12, it adopts the identical flat-back-and-sides styling and sturdy Ceramic Protect up entrance. It’s really shorter and slimmer than the iPhone SE (above), however the absence of bezels means it may possibly profit from a much bigger 5.4in show. The panel itself is a pointy OLED quantity that serves up sensible distinction and vibrant colors – though you’re nonetheless dwelling with a notch and refresh charges that high out at 60Hz.

Operating the present is Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, a correctly succesful processor which equips the Mini with super-size efficiency. The 13 Mini is technically extra highly effective, however you’ll solely discover that distinction in case you actually push the boundaries. For most individuals, the 12 Mini is greater than quick sufficient to zip by every day duties.

The digicam {hardware} is equally convincing, producing well-defined, dynamic snaps in regular circumstances. So what holds the unique Mini again? Battery life. The place the 13 Mini is simply OK, the 12 Mini has disappointing longevity. It’s merely not on a par with its bigger siblings. That mentioned, decrease costs imply the iPhone 12 Mini nonetheless represents strong worth a couple of years after launch.

Asus Zenfone 8

A full-fat flagship with a kind issue that’s simpler to stash in your trousers, the Asus Zenfone 8 combines portability with severe energy. There’s a top-spec Snapdragon 888 processor inside, which might be paired with as much as 16GB of RAM. The result’s flawless efficiency, even when taking part in power-hungry Android video games.

Its again could be bland, however the Zenfone 8 is nicely constructed. Its 5.9in AMOLED panel delivers dynamic refresh charges which high out at 120Hz, plus HDR10+ assist for lifelike visuals – and it’s straightforward to make use of with one hand. Digital camera efficiency is likewise reliable: utilizing both the 64MP main sensor or the 16MP ultra-wide, you’ll get crisp, pure stills with loads of element. Low-light outcomes are hardly shabby, both.

5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity guarantee speedy streaming, whereas the addition of a headphone port will please hard-wired audiophiles. As with lots of the greatest small telephones, the one actual limitation is battery life. Regardless of its first rate 4000mAh capability, the cell is commonly drained earlier than the tip of the day. When you’re comfortable to hold an influence financial institution in your bag, this compact Asus handset provides loads that’s value praising.

Google Pixel 4a

Not the latest nor probably the most highly effective, the Pixel 4a provides a whole lot of what you can need from a small, reasonably priced smartphone. It’d lack the premium end of its glass-and-metal rivals, however its pocket-friendly polycarbonate shell doesn’t really feel low-cost. Likewise, bezels across the 5.8in panels aren’t the skinniest, however rounded edges and punch-hole selfie digicam give it a neat look.

As a result of it’s an OLED panel, distinction is impeccable, whereas a better-than-HD decision delivers nice definition. Brightness is much less spectacular, whereas refresh charges max out at 60Hz. Within the capturing stakes, it sticks to a confirmed method: a single 12.2MP sensor, inherited from the Pixel 4. Throughout virtually any scene, topic and setting, the 4a captures improbable pictures with excellent dynamic vary and glorious element.

Snapdragon 765 silicon isn’t top-spec, however it punches excessive sufficient. It’s responsive in day-to-day use, with no stutter when switching apps. It helps that the Pixel 4a runs bloat-free Android as customary. And whereas its small battery doesn’t look promising on paper, modest {hardware} – plus Google’s Adaptive Battery smarts – imply you possibly can nonetheless get by a full day.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

With a 6.7in display, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 doesn’t sound like a small telephone. However its get together trick offers it correct portability: like a traditional clamshell, it may possibly flip satisfyingly shut to kind a sq.. Sure, it’s as thick as two telephones when folded (17.1mm), however it additionally measures a miniature 72.2×86.4mm.

Premium supplies make it one of many sturdiest foldables to this point. That AMOLED essential panel is likewise a factor of magnificence, with vivid colors, wealthy blacks and clean 120Hz refresh charges. Plus its narrower 22:9 side ratio makes it excellent for streaming motion pictures. A smaller 1.9in show on the surface is large enough for framing selfies, controlling music and checking notifications.

Twin 12MP broad and ultra-wide essential cameras are completely succesful, however not glorious. They carry out nicely sufficient in good lighting, however wrestle in dimmer circumstances. Extra convincing is the engine: a Snapdragon 888 chip retains issues swift, with the assistance of 8GB of RAM. And whereas the cell is smaller than many flagships, it nonetheless delivers a full day’s use.

Google Pixel 5

Pared-back within the identify of attainability, the older Pixel 5’s spec sheet is a transparent tier down from right now’s flagships. A mixture of helpful options (5G, 90Hz refresh charges and IPX8 water-resistance) and cost-saving limitations (a mid-tier Snapdragon processor and pared-back design), it does the fundamentals extraordinarily nicely, with dimensions that virtually rely as ‘compact’ by modern requirements.

The sting-to-edge 6in OLED is brilliant sufficient and properly saturated, whereas its Full HD decision is sufficiently sharp. Refresh charges are tailored on the Pixel’s discretion, although, so you possibly can’t power the show to remain on the silkiest 90Hz setting.

Again once more is Google’s tried-and-tested 12.2MP essential digicam, which nonetheless performs constantly in nearly all circumstances, counting on intelligent algorithms to do the heavy lifting. The 16MP ultra-wide that flanks it’s much less helpful – and fewer detailed – than a telephoto, although.

Snapdragon 765G silicon has sufficient oomph to make vanilla Android really feel responsive, particularly with the 8GB of RAM in assist. Gaming is the primary space you’ll discover an absence of muscle. There’s additionally sufficient battery capability to final from breakfast to bedtime, with Excessive Battery Saver out there if it’s good to eke out the juice.

Sony Xperia 5 IV

Regardless of having a 6.1in display (making it one of many bigger shows on our compact handset listing), the tried and examined distinctive Sony side ratio signifies that the Xperia 5 IV is definitely narrower than a lot of the competitors. This makes it a pleasure to make use of for actions like one-thumb typing and scrolling. The draw back, after all, is that you simply’ll have to succeed in additional to tug down the highest notification bar, however that doesn’t detract an excessive amount of from the general compact really feel on supply.

Measurement apart, there’s a really succesful triple-camera system on the rear, although as is the case with most Xperia handsets, you’ll get the most effective outcomes in case you’re tweaking issues manually in professional mode. Regardless of having the much less environment friendly model of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, it nonetheless manages to surpass fairly a couple of rivals within the longevity division too, although the 30W wired charging velocity is nothing to jot down residence about.

As with different Xperia handsets, the 5 IV is extra of a distinct segment consideration, however undoubtedly value exploring, particularly in case you’re already an Xperia fan.