The best small and compact phones (Updated October 2022)

The best small and compact phones (Updated October 2022)
Where did all the small smartphones go? Once being the norm, compact phones are slowly but steadily getting replaced by bigger handsets, and the few that remain, like the iPhone mini line, seem to be on their way out. 

Apart from the occasional compact phone announced once in a blue moon, the big players such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Motorola release larger than life phones, and definitely don't cater to folks with smaller hands or just those who prefer a more compact phone, easy to pocket and carry around. 

But don't think that small phones are going the way of the dodo. Albeit scarce, they do exist. In fact, just last year we saw a renaissance of compact phones. And if you're looking to get one, you're in the right place, as we've rounded up the best small phones you can buy right now.

What are the best compact smartphones in 2022? Let's explore!

The best small, compact phones to buy in 2022:



Apple iPhone 13 Mini


Apple iPhone 13 mini
9.0

Apple iPhone 13 mini


The Good

  • Compact, light, comfortable to carry
  • Bright and accurate screen
  • Great camera system
  • Fast performance
  • 128 GB base storage

The Bad

  • 60 Hz screen
  • Small screen is not for powerusers - feels cramped
  • Battery life is OK, but still the worst in the lineup
Until not long ago, we thought the era of compact flagship phones is over. But last year, these compact devices made a surprise comeback. The iPhone 12 mini became the smallest iPhone Apple is offering, beating even the iPhone SE for that title. And this year, we got its successor – the iPhone 13 mini.

Thanks to its thin bezels and flat-edge design, you're getting a bigger screen compared to that of the iPhone SE, yet in a smaller body. And what's even better is that the iPhone 13 mini is the cheapest of the four iPhone 13 models, starting at $699 for the 128GB model, which is also double the storage of last year's iPhone 12 mini, but for the same price!

You won't sacrifice much in terms of specs, either, going with the mini iPhone. You still get Apple's A15 Bionic processor and same fantastic new camera features as the other iPhone 13 models. When it comes to high performance in a small package, nothing beats the iPhone 13 mini right now, and it's probably the fastest compact phone you can get. 


Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Apple iPhone SE (2022)
8.0

Apple iPhone SE (2022)


The Good

  • Affordable price
  • Light, thin and compact
  • iPhone with a button classic vibe
  • 5G connectivity with C-band support
  • Super fast processor
  • Camera is great for day shots, video

The Bad

  • Feels dated
  • LCD screen instead of AMOLED
  • Screen feels too small for a modern phone
  • Battery life is improved, but still below average
  • Camera lacks night mode, has no ultra-wide lens
  • Only 64GB base storage

This year Apple updated its "budget" SE series with a new iPhone SE (2022). To save on costs, the Cupertino company once again reused the now quite outdated body of the iPhone 8, but internally, this phone is a beast, and arguably the most powerful smartphone in its price range.

And yes, it's also a pretty compact phone with a 4.7-inch display, weighting just about 5.08 oz (144.0 g). Despite its old design with large top and bottom bezels, the up-to-date hardware inside, notably the A15 Bionic chip and 5G support, makes the iPhone SE (2022) highly futureproof. So if the price of the iPhone 13 Mini is too high for you, this is the next best thing if you're looking for a small iPhone.

Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a
9.1

Google Pixel 4a


The Good

  • Top-notch still photo quality
  • Polished software and user experience
  • Lightweight design
  • Smooth performance
  • Excellent value

The Bad

  • No wireless charging or 5G support (for now)
  • Plasticky build
  • No waterproofing

2020's budget Pixel is an all-around pleasant surprise. It undercuts the iPhone SE price wise and while it's nowhere near as powerful, it is pretty compact. It features a 5.8-inch display unlike the newer Pixel 5a, which is actually bigger at 6.3 inches.

But what's best about the Pixel 4a is that Google has brought its computational photography wizardry to it, making it one of the best camera phones in its price category. Yes, there's only one rear camera, but the Pixel 4a makes it count where it matters: picture quality.


Samsung Galaxy S22

Samsung Galaxy S22
8.5

Samsung Galaxy S22


The Good

  • Awesome display
  • Compact-ish
  • Good haptics
  • Good camera
  • OneUI is all grown up and fleshed out

The Bad

  • Not a huge improvement over S21
  • Battery life is a bit weak
  • Speakers need improvement
Packing a reasonably-sized, high refresh rate 6.1-inch display with AMOLED technology, Samsung's newest Galaxy S22 is well worth considering.

It's the smallest in the Korean company's latest S-series of phones, but even so, it packs the flagship specs you want in 2022. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor paired with 8GB of RAM, Android 12, and three solid main cameras. Want to learn more and see samples? Check out our review, link below.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S22 review

Sony Xperia 10 II

Sony Xperia 10 II
8.5

Sony Xperia 10 II


The Good

  • Excellent screen
  • Decent battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Pleasant design
  • Generous 128GB of storage
  • Competitive price

The Bad

  • The single loudspeaker is a bit lacking
  • Plastic frame
When it comes to compact phones, Sony has often proved that it knows how to deliver. That's the case with the affordable Sony Xperia 10 II. This phone is a great mid-ranger that offers a 6-inch OLED display, water and dust resistance, a fingerprint scanner, and a triple camera system on the back. 

Under the hood, it's powered by a Snapdragon 665 chipset, coupled with 4GB RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage. A 3600mAh battery powers the device, which is still a decent capacity although we're a bit spoiled by 4,000+ mAh batteries becoming a widespread option in most modern phones.

The best feature of the Xperia 10 II is its price. You can get the phone for less than $400, which is a bargain if you consider the amazing OLED display alone.


Asus Zenfone 8


Asus ZenFone 8
9.0

Asus ZenFone 8


The Good

  • Compact and easy to handle
  • Top-level performance
  • Great display
  • Cameras are pretty good
  • Good battery life, especially for the size
  • Stereo speakers, 3.5mm audio jack, hi-res audio support
  • Clean and feature-rich UI
  • Competitive price tag
  • IP68 water and dust resistance

The Bad

  • Gets hot in high-demanding situations
  • No wireless charging
  • No SD card slot
  • The small size might be a con for some people
Asus decided to turn things around back in 2021 and launched two separate flagship devices in the Zenfone 8 lineup. The large Zenfone 8 Flip carried out the heritage of the flip camera but the vanilla model, the Zenfone 8, went down the compact route. Apparently, Asus saw a demand and a potential niche in the smartphone market, and the Zenfone 8 was born.

This little gem is just the right size - not as small as an iPhone 12 mini, which some people find too small, yet significantly more compact than the average modern flagship. It’s not just the size, though. The Zenfone 8 comes equipped with all the bells and whistles you'd find in a top-tier phone, and more! 

The latest and greatest Qualcomm chipset - the Snapdragon 888 - is the beating heart of this little beast along with a gorgeous 5.9-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel made by Samsung. Asus somehow found a way to keep the 3.5mm jack, and there's also a pretty hefty battery inside. What's the best thing about the Zenfone 8, though? It's the price! It starts at €499 in Europe and it's expected to cost $599 when it launches in the US, making it one of the cheapest Snapdragon 888 phones out there.


And there we go – the best small and compact phones you can buy in 2022. If you're still undecided in your quest to find the perfect phone, you may also find helpful the following picks:

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