Small wonders: the 5 best compact Android phones under 5 inches

Small wonders: the 5 best compact Android phones under 5 inches
In the world of 5"-6" smartphone displays, one has to wonder what happened with those compact, powerful munchkins that you could easily operate with one hand, and went unnoticed in your pocket or purse. Fret not, as there are still a few of those being built, and some of them dwarf their larger brethren, if not in size, then in specs, looks and manageability.

If you are looking for a compact Android handset in a year when most flagships come with 5"-5.5" display panels, and phablets extend that range all the way to the gargantuan 6" mark, look no further than our humble roundup below. It offers a refreshing set of phones with sub-5" displays that lay comfortably in your palm, and let you text or answer calls easily while carrying a bag of groceries in the other hand, for instance. 

Don't be fooled by the adorable munchkins' one-handed manageability, though, as they also feature some of the best specs and forward-looking features your money can buy at the moment, so check them out, and tell us which one would you get if you were in the market for a compact, yet powerful Android handset.

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48 Comments

1. youlookfoolish

Posts: 193; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

I really feel the G3 Vigor (mini or G3s) is a terrific value. I wish it was included but I understand the appeal of the listed handsets.

20. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

What times we live in! A 4.7 inch display phone is called 'compact' :)

33. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

the best is IUNI U2 in 4.7 display phones

45. MAHDI.R

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 25, 2014

yes iuni best . only 200$ 32gb in my place .

46. mawster

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

Exactly! Absurd!

35. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

It's a little overpriced, as with most mini versions of flagships.

2. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

The best phone under 5in is moto x the spec don't look impressive but after use the thing i found more phone should be like moto x.

12. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Moto X (old version) cant touch the Z3, IUNI U2, HTC One, the Alpha or even the Z1c. The only phone it could come close to are the Sharp Aquos,

19. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

I think you are specs man. All phones have pros and cons, as far as hardware and software I give it to M7 and hardware only I gave it to z3 compact. Aplha is cool but touchwiz kind of make user experience unfriendly( laggy and stud) some feature is half bake. Best user experience on any android phone I gave motoX and also the price on X is much more friendly. In short I would recommend Moto X to any average user.

15. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

if you already have use and compare at least 3 phone from the list above with Moto X and you also able to show us solid reason that MotoX is better. It will be much easier us to believe and agree with you.

21. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Depend what r u looking for? Hardware or software or somewhere in between? Then go to #19

29. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

For the title of the best compact Android phones under 5 inches, we need everything (Hardware, Software and Size). And as far as I know from the specifications and reviewer Moto X doesn't have the best hardware, software and size (screen ratio) or even "somewhere in between" (the best combination between hardware, software and size). I can speak for the Z3C because my girlfriend is using it. The Sony UI maybe not everyone's favourite but it fast, beautiful and can serve everything you need from a smartphone. Thanks to SD810 and HD resolution I can run any apps or play heavy games in the highest setting without any problemsThe phone also has very good screen to body ratio.

26. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Well the old Moto X has a much more compact body than most of the phones in the 4.7" range, water resistance (though other phones here have it as well), a decent camera, good sounding earpiece and loud speaker, active display comes in handy, pretty ergonomic body that fits many hands well, and of course good battery life especially after recent fixes. The old Moto X can be had for a good price as well and doubly so used. Of course it's not "better" but it's also no slouch and should have been included.

32. darkoman4

Posts: 183; Member since: May 30, 2014

I agree and today only, you could get a Moto X 2013 for only $159 at nomorerack dot com. This is the best deal out there.

3. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Z3 Compact is the true compact phone :D

36. hurrycanger

Posts: 1759; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Isn't it the only phone from major brands with "Compact" in its name? xD

43. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

XD you are right

4. Zero97

Posts: 37; Member since: May 15, 2014

nothing will beat z3 compact (but z4 compact ofcourse) :D

5. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

Question for anyone who has had a bigger phone then switched back to a smaller more compact device and vice versa. Is the switch hard? Once you've gotten use to a bigger or smaller device.....is it hard to go back to using the other?

8. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I haven't made the switch but using a smaller phone feels very weird. But IMO the size is not the hard one, but the smaller resolution feels horrible.

11. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

I thought going from a larger device to a smaller one wouldn't feel the same as it used too. I'm about to make the switch from my 4.7 inch device to either 5.5 or possibly 5.9. I agree the resolution would be a big issue.

14. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Several reviewers want back to smaller phones after using the Nexus 6 so I don't think it would be too hard. I switch between my Nexus 7 and Nexus 5 and I have no problem with that.

16. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

I see. Well when the Nexus 6 becomes available, I'll give it a shot.....see if I like it.

37. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

The nexus 5 at 4.95" also fits in that category since it is technically less than 5". And for its price ($349) also a really good deal!

38. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

Z2 to Z3 compact, yea at first it bothered me with multimedia, but with everyday use i really love the compact form. I dont have very big hands and i used to drop my z2 all the time due to the size of it xD

6. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Galaxy Alpha is the best of these phones.

9. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

This is a funny guy ^^

23. maherk

Posts: 6769; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

And you're pathetic my friend. As always slamming those who don't favor your beloved Sony phones. Why would he bother choose the Z3 compact? You were one of those who always complained about the "cheap" plastic Samsung uses and how premium Sony phones are. Well, it is the other way around, the Z3 compact has a glossy fingerprint magnet plastic back, and a plastic trim as well, whereas the Alpha is a truly premium phone that feels great in the hand(trust me, those aren't just my words). Anyways, the Z3c MIGHT be better, but mocking someone for his choice of a phone tells more about the immature kid you are. Make sure to take a sip of the I Hate Samsung glass you keep drinking from before going to bed Kiddo.

25. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Did I ever mock him? I dunno but you sure are mocking me AGAIN. Maybe you secretly like me you always verge on me xDDDDDDDDDDD. Ok. Yeah the Z3c is plastic. Also, I've never said there's something wrong with plastic. Also, I've never said the problem with Samsung design is the material (okay at some point the materials were horrid). IMO the Alpha just doesn't look good and that dimpled back panel is horrible looking (not feeling though). Z3c still looks stunning, even though it does feel worse than Z3 for example.

41. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Eh, I had the Z3 compact but kept the Alpha over it based on the looks and thinness. The Alpha is just flat out sexier. However, I am currently using the Z3 non compact over the Alpha now. The screen is just too small and 720p Z3 over the Alpha but Alpha is well ahead of the Z3 compact in all areas except battery life IMO, yes that includes looks.

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