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Almost every major device released these days has a large size, and while it’s great for playing games and watching films, it can be a challenge for those who prefer a phone to be small and compact. Thankfully, there are still many options, including the Google Pixel 5a as the top overall pick. Here are the best small Android phones you can purchase.

Best overall: Google Pixel 5A

Despite the size, the Pixel 5a is one of the best Android phones you can purchase. It takes incredible photos, leveraging Google’s computational photography prowess into its performance. Whether you’re shooting in daylight or photography at night sky using the astrophotography mode, the Pixel 5a provides the goods.

It doesn’t skimp on anything else. The 6.34-inch display bends the rule about what a “small phone” is, but it’s more than enough for you. It’s large enough for entertaining content consumption while still manageable on the one hand, thanks to a Full HD+ resolution OLED panel. Also, to a snappy performance from the Snapdragon 765G processor, much-improved battery life, and ample storage (128GB, to be exact).

Unfortunately, it has an uninspired design that almost looks like the Pixel 4a 5G and only comes in one color. Also, it lacks expandable storage. As we mentioned, it is not the smallest phone on this list.


  • The screen is easy to read outdoors
  • Two-day battery life
  • Works with all U.S. carriers
  • It still has a rear fingerprint reader and headphone jack
  • IP67 dust/water resistance
  • Decent camera for the price


  • Boring design
  • Not smallest on this list
  • No expandable storage

On a budget: Moto G Fast

A big reason this device made this list is its size. Thanks to the overall design, the 6.4-inch display. You’ll have to accept the low 720p resolution, which may not be a big deal if you don’t care about doing all that much with the phone.

The decency extends to a lightweight Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor powering the device. The fingerprint sensor is pretty responsive and accurate. The Moto G Fast is limited to 3GB of RAM, so multitasking will reach its limits if you’re actively using multiple apps at once.

The camera is good for anything in this price range—decent shots in good conditions and not so good in low light. The same goes for the battery, which lasts longer, thanks to its 4,000mAh size and lightweight specs.


  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Great build quality
  • Very low price
  • Compatible with all U.S. carriers
  • Fast and reliable fingerprint sensor


  • Terrible mono speaker
  • Motorola’s update policy
  • Not enough RAM or storage
  • Comes with a 720p display

Best flagship: Samsung Galaxy S21

The Galaxy S21 may not be that small, yet it’s a great package that you don’t want to overlook. With a lightweight design, it’s one of the most user-friendly flagships in 2021. It comes with a 6.2-inch display on top, featuring an AMOLED panel, Full HD+ resolution, and 120Hz refresh rate.

Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 chipset is at the heart of the S21. The triple-camera is unchanged from last year’s Galaxy S20. Between the 12MP ultra-wide camera, 12MP primary camera, and 64MP telephoto camera, you’ll be able to take some decent shots. There’s also the choice of 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB internal storage.

The main drawback is the battery life, but if you’re rocking the 120Hz refresh rate and have an active 5G connection, don’t expect it to make it through more than a day of use.


  • Great triple-camera system
  • Promised 3 years of software updates
  • The 120Hz AMOLED display is incredible
  • Fantastic performance with Snapdragon 88
  • It has Android 11 with One UI 3.1 interface


  • Larger than other phones on the list
  • So-so battery

For Apple users: iPhone 13 mini

The iPhone 13 Mini follows on from its predecessor, as Apple supports one of the smallest phones it has ever made. It combines a more compact size with the performance capabilities of the company’s other premium handset. The focus is on the 5.4-inch OLED (2340×1080), with its small frame around it. The A15 Bionic chip is a stable performer, and with iOS 15 running smoothly, it’s as smooth as you’d expect an iPhone to be.

The two 12MP cameras include a Cinematic Mode for a video. Photo quality should ideally look better, but it’s a minor upgrade over the 12 minis, the results you get with the larger iPhone 12. You won’t get the same quality as the 13 Pro model, so don’t expect the images to look similar.

Summing things up also means a smaller battery. We don’t know the actual size, but Apple claims the iPhone 13 mini’s battery can do better than before.


  • Wide and ultra-wide camera setup
  • Great size for one-handed use
  • A15 Bionic is a powerful chip
  • Up to 5 years of OS and security updates
  • A15 Bionic is a powerful chip
  • IP68 dust/water resistance


  • No USB-C port
  • Still pricey for what you get

Hold and foldable: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G

Due to folding only in half, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is small and compact. The 1.9-inch AMOLED cover display makes it easy to use the rear camera. While it is easy to access features like selfies, audio recording, and notifications, it’s not enough to handle more complex tasks.

It provides a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen (2640×1080) with a tall 21.9:9 ratio, making it narrower and more ergonomically friendly. However, it also stands out by the material used to make it. Samsung used better glass this time, which will not feel as plastic as the previous Z Flip. Powering the phone combines the Snapdragon 888 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of internal storage.

It also uses 2 batteries of a 3,300mAh capacity. Also, you can charge it wirelessly, so that compact size comes with additional perks.


  • Better Cover Display
  • Fairly good cameras
  • Still solid specs
  • Incredible design
  • Decent battery life
  • One UI 3.1 is sleek


  • The display is somewhat fragile
  • Not especially durable
  • No telephoto lens

Compact choice: Asus Zenfone 8

Finally, the Zenfone 8 is one of the smallest phones to run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor, including a 120Hz display with a 240Hz touch response rate. Also, add the varying RAM and storage options. The phone’s front has Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus, which adds some extra ruggedness to the device. Like a headphone jack, it also keeps the basics, limits on durability with an IP68 rating.

Although you don’t get a telephoto lens for optical zooming in, the cameras can take great shots. A 4,000mAh battery is also more than enough to last the phone all day. Unfortunately, no wireless charging means you’ll have to plug in for extra juice, but it supports 30W wired charging via USB-PD.


  • Excellent main and ultra-wide cameras
  • Compact and easy to hold
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Slick performance
  • Cleaner Android software


  • Android update cycle unclear
  • No wireless charging
  • Only works with T-Mobile and AT&T

No telephoto camera

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