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Best Small Smartphones (2022): Which One Should You Buy?

Smartphones with large and dazzling displays have been getting all the spotlight lately. While they do look very impressive in your hands, they come with some drawbacks that are hard to ignore. For starters, it’s nearly impossible to type on them with just one hand. There’s also the fact that they always stick out whenever you try to fit them in your jeans pocket.

5 Best Value Phones In 2022
5 Best Value Phones In 2022

Because of these inconveniences, small handphones are definitely still worth checking out. To help you pick one out, here’s a roundup of the best small smartphones in 2022, including iPhone and Android options.

Best Small Smartphones Comparison Chart

NameiPhone 13 miniASUS Zenfone 8Google Pixel 4a
 iPhone 13 mini chartASUS Zenfone 8 chartGoogle Pixel 4a chart
PriceCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
Display5.4-inch OLED5.9-inch AMOLED5.81-inch OLED
CPUA15 Bionic chipSnapdragon 888Snapdragon 730G
RAM4GB8GB, 12GB6GB
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB128GB
CamerasRear cameras – 12MP main (f/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4)

Front camera – 12MP (f/2.2)
Rear cameras – 64MP (f/1.8) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide

Front camera – 12MP
Rear camera – 12.2MP (ƒ/1.7)

Front camera – 8MP (ƒ/2.0)
Weight4.97 ounces5.96 ounces5.04 ounces

Apple iPhone 13 mini

The iPhone 13 mini is the best small iPhone.

iPhone 13 mini design
The iPhone 13 mini runs on the A15 Bionic chip.

If you’re worried that small means less powerful, the Apple iPhone 13 mini is here to prove you wrong. Running on Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, the iPhone 13 mini is known as the most powerful small smartphone you can currently get your hands on.

Thanks to its mighty processor and upgraded camera hardware, you can trust the iPhone 13 mini to capture amazing photos and videos. Some of its new features include Photographic Styles which are filters you can test out in real time, as well as Cinematic Mode which adds depth of field to your videos as you’re filming.

Apple also equipped the iPhone 13 mini with a bigger battery which means longer battery life. It’s able to last around 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 mini.

ASUS Zenfone 8

The ASUS Zenfone 8 is the best small Android smartphone.

ASUS Zenfone 8 design
The ASUS Zenfone 8 runs on the Snapdragon 888 processor.

For the Android fans out there who want to switch to a more compact smartphone, it doesn’t get any better than the ASUS Zenfone 8. Powered by the Snapdragon 888 processor, it’s able to outperform all other Android models in its size category and price range, including the well-loved Pixel 5. It’s definitely not a laggard, providing users with a fast and seamless experience with zero delays.

As for cameras, the ASUS Zenfone 8 is equipped with quality hardware, including a 64MP primary wide-angle lens and a 12MP ultra-wide lens. But of course, it would be unfair to compare it to the Pixel 5 which still leads the Android pack when it comes to image quality.

Despite the ASUS Zenfone 8’s size, it packs quite a large and powerful battery. It’s able to last close to 11 hours on a single charge which is quite an impressive feat for such a compact smartphone.

Apple iPhone SE 2020

The iPhone SE 2020 is the most affordable small iPhone.

iPhone SE 2020 design
The iPhone SE 2020 runs on the A13 Bionic chip.

Aside from fitting nicely in your hand, there are a bunch of other things to love about the 4.7-inch Apple iPhone SE 2020. For starters, it’s the most affordable entry into the world of iPhones, costing a whopping $300 less than the new iPhone 13 mini. But despite the low price tag, it’s pleasantly surprising how powerful it is. Running on the A13 Bionic chip, it delivers a fast and efficient performance. Not to mention it takes high-quality photos that are more than decent for its price.

What’s really commendable about the iPhone SE 2020 is that it doesn’t feel like Apple cut any corners with it. It may be a cheap phone but it’s made with glass and metal so it feels solid and premium. It’s also equipped with an IP67 rating which means it’s water, dust, and sand-proof. It can even be charged wirelessly which gives it a touch of luxury.

Google Pixel 4a

The Google Pixel 4a is the best small smartphone with a large screen display.

Google Pixel 4a design
The Google Pixel 4a runs on the Snapdragon 730G processor.

If you think that small smartphones will limit you to a small and dull screen, the Google Pixel 4a proves otherwise. Thanks to its slim bezels, hole punch selfie camera, and tiny earpiece, it’s able to sport a 5.81-inch OLED display. It may be on the cheaper side but despite its low price point, its full-HD panel is able to deliver vibrant, high-contrast, and accurate colors, plus it can go pretty bright as well. This makes it stand out from a lot of its fellow compact smartphones.

Another surprising thing about this budget Pixel phone is the image quality it’s able to deliver. It actually doesn’t have impressive hardware. In fact, it still uses the same lenses from the past two generations. However, it makes up for this through the use of intelligent software features including Super Res Zoom, Live HDR+, and Dual Exposure Sliders. It’s also equipped with Google’s famous Night Mode for those who love to capture images of the starry night sky.

Samsung Galaxy S10e

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the best small flagship smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S10e design
The Samsung Galaxy S10e runs on the Snapdragon 855 processor.

For those who want to own a flagship smartphone but don’t like the large ones that are popular on the market right now, there’s always the Samsung Galaxy S10e. It’s obvious that it’s an older flagship model given its outdated features like the Snapdragon 855 chipset, the side location of its fingerprint sensor, and dual camera setup instead of a triple one. The good news, however, is that you can now snag it for a fraction of the price versus when it was first launched in 2019. In addition, it actually performs surprisingly well.

It may be considered a much older smartphone but the Samsung Galaxy S10e can rival the speed and performance of the more expensive S10 models. In addition, it has a large and impressive 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display despite its small frame.

Verdict

The best small smartphones of 2022 are just as capable as their larger counterparts.

Apple iPhone 13 mini

Best small iPhone

iPhone 13 mini verdict

ASUS Zenfone 8

Best small Android smartphone

ASUS Zenfone 8 verdict

As proven by the compact smartphones on this list, a small frame doesn’t necessarily mean power and performance have been sacrificed. The Apple iPhone 13 mini, for example, can outperform many of the larger models that are currently on the market. If you want something more affordable, however, the Apple iPhone SE 2020 is a great alternative.

As for the Android users out there, you can’t go wrong with the ASUS Zenfone 8. Equipped with the Snapdragon 888 processor, this small powerhouse can outperform many of the Android models in its size range. If you’re looking for more budget-friendly alternatives, the Google Pixel 4a and the Samsung Galaxy S10e are definitely worth considering.

FAQs

📌 Is the Apple iPhone 13 mini worth it?

Powered by the A15 Bionic chip, the Apple iPhone 13 mini is the most powerful small smartphone you can get your hands on. It’s worth investing in for its speed, upgraded camera hardware and software, and improved battery life.

📌 Is the ASUS Zenfone waterproof?

The ASUS Zenfone 8 comes with an IP68 rating which means it’s dust and sand-proof and can withstand 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.

📌 Is the Apple iPhone SE 2020 a good buy?

The Apple iPhone SE 2020 is a good purchase because not only is it affordable but it’s powerful in its own right as well. Running on the A13 Bionic chip, it delivers a fast and efficient performance. It takes high-quality photos and videos as well.

📌 Is the Samsung Galaxy S10e waterproof?

Yes. The Samsung Galaxy S10e has an IP68 rating which means it’s dust and sand-proof and can withstand 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.