The best compact smartphones of 2017


In 2017, the concept of what a "compact phone" could be was flipped around and old notions were shaken up. Since the introduction of the 18:9 aspect ratios, saying that a phone's display has a 5.7-inch diagonal size doesn't really mean that you'll be holding a large phablet in your hand. On the contrary — it might just be a nicely narrow, easy to wield phone.

So, in this new age of smartphones, what is to be considered a small handset? Manufacturers have been stubbornly sticking to a 5-inch minimum for most of their screens in the recent past, which made it hard enough to find phones that we'd call "compact" with a straight face. For the most cases, it has become commonplace to call a phone that you can mostly use with one hand (though the use of another helps sometimes) and that is light and easy to pocket "compact".

We thought we'd take a look at the phones that came out this year and pick out some that we can call "small" or "easy to handle". Here's what we came up with:

The Galaxy S8's 5.8-inch display may sound huge on paper, but due to its 18.5:9 ratio, it really isn't. Well, it is noticeably tall, sure, but also quite narrow. When we combine this with the edge curves on the screen's sides and the almost-not-there bezels, we have a phone that is extremely easy to hold in one hand, really good reachability, and generally \u2014 something that we would call a \"compact handset\" in this day and age.","title":"Samsung Galaxy S8","module":"articles"},{"type":"image","id":1,"image_id":308360,"width":1600,"height":1067,"name":"3-iPhone-8.jpg","comment":" Sans the iPhone X, Apple's \"mainstream\" handset hasn't moved an inch (harr harr, puns) for the past 4 years \u2014 the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 is still as easy to wield as its predecessors. From here on, it's up to you to choose \u2014 an iPhone 6s (from $450) that has a headphone jack, but no water-proofing, no Taptic engine, and no OIS for the camera, an iPhone 7 (from $550) that has all of these, with the exception of a 3.5 mm jack, and an iPhone 8 (from $700) that adds a glass back and wireless charging to the mix.","title":"Apple iPhone 8","module":"articles"},{"type":"image","id":2,"image_id":308361,"width":1600,"height":1067,"name":"4-XZ1-Compact.jpg","comment":"
$730 Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact ON AMAZON
Of course, Sony's Compact series has a place in this pick. Every other year, the manufacturer releases an Xperia that has specs on-par with its most current flagship, but in a tiny, light body, with a 4.6-inch display. In fact, Sony is the only Android phone manufacturer that still caters towards the \"small, but powerful phone\" niche, which is one of the reasons it still gets respect points from many users out there.","title":"Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact","module":"articles"},{"type":"image","id":3,"image_id":308358,"width":1600,"height":1200,"name":"2-Huawei-P10.jpg","comment":"
$239 Huawei P10 ON AMAZON
The Huawei P10 sports a 5.1-inch display with the classic 16:9 aspect ratio. However, thanks to some really, really thin side bezels it feels guite manageable in the hand. It's only 1.2 mm wider than the Galaxy S8 and, due to the display not being as tall as the one on the Sammy flagship, it's sort of easy to stretch for the notifications shade, too. The P10 is not officially available in the US, but due to it being sold in Canada, it's easy to grab a hold of one through Amazon, Ebay, and other such sites.","title":"Huawei P10","module":"articles"},{"type":"image","id":4,"image_id":308362,"width":1600,"height":1067,"name":"5-XA1.jpg","comment":"
$609 Sony Xperia XA1 ON AMAZON
The XA series is Sony's take on the bezel-less look... well, if you don't count the over-emphasized \"chin\" and \"forehead\" the phone sports. Still, it's quite easy to wrap your fingers around the midrange, 5-inch Xperia XA1. It costs half the price of the Xperia XZ1 Compact, too, though, the difference in hardware class is noticeable.","title":"Sony Xperia XA1","module":"articles"},{"type":"image","id":5,"image_id":308363,"width":1600,"height":1067,"name":"6-Q6.jpg","comment":"
$224 LG Q6 ON AMAZON
The Q6 was the first widely-available midrange phone to sport the all-new 18:9 screen aspect ratio. LG introduced it shortly after the LG G6, which is why it quickly drew comparisons and was labeled as a \"mini G6\", but it's really not. It's a lower-midrange type phone with some obvious corner cutting in its build. That said, it's pretty compact and can be had at a bargain via Amazon Prime, if you can live with the lockscreen ads.","title":"LG Q6","module":"articles"}]},"gallery-d6ecea8e-2392-4901-8f55-e8ce056b7bf8":{"type":"imageGroup","data":[{"type":"image","id":0,"module":"articles","image_id":308365,"name":"Sony-Xperia-XA1-18.jpg","width":"1600","height":"1067"}]}}}

Related phones

Galaxy S8
  • Display 5.8 inches
    2960 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
    4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie
    Samsung One UI
iPhone 8
  • Display 4.7 inches
    1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A11 Bionic
    2GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1821 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x
Xperia XZ1 Compact
  • Display 4.6 inches
    1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 19 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
    4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2700 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo
P10
  • Display 5.1 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware HiSilicon Kirin
    4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie
    Huawei Emotion UI
Xperia XA1
  • Display 5.0 inches
    1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware MediaTek Helio P20
    3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2300 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo
Q6
  • Display 5.5 inches
    2160 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 435
    3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 8.1 Oreo
    LG UX UI

FEATURED VIDEO

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless