Smartphones under 6 inches are on the way out, but there are still some. Here are our recommendations.
The best compact smartphones at a glance
Nowadays, smartphone screens have almost erased their borders in order to have ever larger LCD or OLED panels. Previously intended for the tablet world, 6-7 inch screens are now the norm.
If you like being able to handle your phone with one hand or just slip it into a pocket without blowing up your skinny jeans, don’t despair! Some die-hard brands resist the temptation of large screens with excellent compact models that are not ridiculous from a point of view of characteristics, quite the contrary.
Find here our selection of the best compact smartphones of the moment. For an overview, you can read our guide to the best smartphones.
Did you dream of it? Apple did it! For the first time in a long time, the manufacturer has arrived with a compact and high-end device. Size apart from the iPhone 12 mini is indeed an almost carbon copy of the iPhone 12. Despite a 5.4 inch screen, larger than that of the iPhone SE 2020, the 12 mini manages to be more compact thanks to at its finer edges.
Unsurprisingly, it’s particularly comfortable to use, especially if you like to use your phone with one hand or just have small paws.
The real tour de force is that it uses exactly the same components as its big brother the iPhone 12. We are thus entitled to the overpowered Bionic A14 processor and 5G compatibility. The photo module does not change either and produces excellent shots.
The only real impact of this form factor more compact: less count a day of use, those who use their phone more intensively may have to recharge it a little during the day if they do not want to run dry before bed.
The fact remains that despite this weakness, the iPhone 12 mini is the only true high-end compact smartphone available at the moment.
Apple is also where you’ll find the latest under 5-inch phone with the 2020 iPhone SE, which has a 4.7-inch screen. Despite its small size, it has the merit of being particularly efficient thanks to the integration of the A13 Bionic processor of the company, the same as on the iPhone 11 Pro, but in an iPhone 8 body.
Due to its thick borders, we save little space compared to an iPhone 11 Pro: about 6 mm less in height and 4 in width. On the other hand, you gain noticeably in thickness and weight. Remember that it is also the cheapest iPhone currently marketed and the last iPhone to have a physical “home” button.
You will only be able to rely on a single photo sensor on the back. Forget the versatility, but it still does well in most situations. Note that the smartphone is IP67 certified, which makes it the smallest waterproof smartphone at the moment. On the other hand, it leaves something to be desired on autonomy. For the full test, it goes this way!
Despite its screen of almost 6 inches, the Pixel 5 surprises with its small size and light weight. It is perfect for anyone looking for a simple experience. Indeed, in addition to being easy to store in the pocket, the Pixel 5 shines by its sobriety and really takes the user by the hand to allow him to benefit from all its features.
You can also count on an excellent camera – it’s the best for moving subjects, such as boisterous animals, for example – a very decent battery life, an excellent 90 Hz screen and a clean interface. The only real weakness, a Snapdragon 765G a little weak compared to what the competition offers. But again, the Pixel 5 prefers simplicity over power. Find our full test of the Google Pixel 5.
Along with Apple, Google is one of the only major manufacturers to offer relatively compact, quality smartphones.
The Pixel 4A is, however, more affordable than the Apple models. If its Snapdragon 730G is not a power monster, the optimization of Android 11 by Google allows to obtain a very comfortable user experience. Work that translates into improved autonomy that allows you to finish the day without fear.
But it is especially in photos that the 4A shines. It’s simple: it stands out without worry as one of the most gifted smartphones that we have tested in photos.
And all this with a single sensor on the back! Google is therefore signing a masterstroke with a phone with unbeatable value for money. Head to our test to find out more.