The best small and compact phones in 2024

The best small and compact phones in 2024
Where did all the cute little smartphones go? Remember those compact phones that used to be everywhere, the 5-inchers? Now, they're slowly getting replaced by these bigger, taller phones we once used to call phablets. Even the few survivors, like the iPhone mini, are kinda fading away.

Big players like Apple, Samsung, and Motorola keep launching these huge phones that aren't exactly handy for folks with smaller hands or those who just want something pocket-sized. But hey, don't give up on small phones just yet. They're still out there, although a bit hard to find. Actually, last year, there was a bit of a comeback for compact phones.

If you're on the hunt for a smaller phone, you're in luck! We've rounded up the best ones you can snag right now. So, what are the best compact smartphones in 2024? Let's find out!

The best small, compact phones to buy in 2023:


Bonus:


Apple iPhone 13 Mini


Apple iPhone 13 mini
6.2

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. 


Samsung Galaxy S24


Samsung Galaxy S24
7.0

Samsung Galaxy S24


The Good

  • Refreshed design
  • Faster fingerprint reader
  • Improved image quality
  • Seven years of software updates
  • Some useful AI features

The Bad

  • Samsung software still not as smooth as others
  • Charging speeds unchanged
  • Some not so useful AI features

The Galaxy S24 isn't the most compact in this article, especially given the fact that its screen had grown to 6.2 inches, but this model still offers a compact Android experience. The size has remained pretty much the same as the S23, the bezels have been shrunk, and the sides are flatter now.

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You're also getting the latest processor, a super-bright screen, and the new trend in smartphone tech - AI. The S24 comes equipped with Samsung's Galaxy AI, and for sure this system will learn new tricks with time.

When it comes to cameras, they are mostly the same from a hardware point of view but smartphone photography is computational these days, so there are improvements to the algorithms. The Galaxy S24 is just a tad larger than the Asus Zenfone 10, and if you want to keep your Android phone for seven long years, it's the best choice for a compact phone.



Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Apple iPhone SE (2022)
4.6

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.

Sony Xperia 5 V


Sony Xperia 5 V
8.0

Sony Xperia 5 V


The Good

  • Premium design with great build quality
  • Compact size
  • Fast and snappy
  • 48MP Exmor T main camera sensor
  • Bright 6.1-inch OLED display with great color accuracy
  • MicroSD card (up to 1TB)
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Loud stereo speakers
  • Solid battery life
  • Sony’s creative suite (Photo Pro, Cinema Pro, Video Pro, Music Pro, Video Creator)

The Bad

  • Gets hot under load
  • No variable refresh rate
  • Slow fingerprint scanner
  • Expensive
  • Barebone retail box
  • Heavier and thicker than its predecessor
  • Notification LED is gone

The Xperia 5 V explores other angles of the term compact. On paper, this 6.1-inch phone doesn't scream compact, but once you hold it in your hand for a while, you see what Sony has done. The width of the phone is just 68mm, which is very close to the 64.5 mm of the iPhone mini. In practice, you feel like you're holding a much smaller phone, thanks to the reduced width.

On the other hand, its tall, 21:9 OLED screen might not be the easiest to operate, especially drawing the notification shade and reaching for UI elements toward the top of the phone, but it's gorgeous for movies and other content consumption.

Buying a Sony phone comes with the usual perks of having a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card slot, some cool pro-grade software tools, and a unique form factor. Don't overlook Xperia phones when it comes to good package. And the 5-series delivers it in a compact form as well.



Google Pixel 8

Google Pixel 8
6.8

Google Pixel 8


The Good

  • Crazy-smart AI features
  • 7 years of software updates!
  • Pro-level display
  • Powerful camera system
  • You get a lot for the price
  • Good battery life

The Bad

  • Lower performance compared to competition
  • Battery charging still leaves room for improvement
  • Audio quality could be better
  • No dedicated telephoto camera

When you put the Pixel 8 next to the other phones from this compact article it doesn't look all that compact. We felt the need to put this one here, though, as it's substantially more compact than its predecessor, and this trend deserves attention.

Rumor has it that the next Pixel 9 might be even more compact, and this corroborates the revival of the compact flagship phone. Back to the Pixel 8. This phone ticks all the boxes. It has a very bright and fast screen (90Hz refresh rate), AI onboard, plenty of features, Google's camera magic, and its design makes it fit into your hand very comfortably.

Last but not least, this phone is the one with the longest software support cycle (7 years) among all Androids out there! Plus, it's not all that expensive. What's not to like?


Asus Zenfone 10

Asus Zenfone 10
6.9

Asus Zenfone 10


The Good

  • Compact size
  • Powerful chipset
  • Good stereo speakers
  • Wireless charging
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Fast and accurate fingerprint scanner
  • 144 Hz display refresh rate in games
  • Solid battery life
  • Great selfie camera
  • IP68 water and dust protection

The Bad

  • Design is the same as last year
  • Main camera system not flagship-grade
  • Display could be brighter
  • No telephoto camera
  • Only two major OS updates

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.

Now, two generations later, little has changed in the way Asus approaches this compact idea. The Zenfone 9 received amazingly positive review throughout the internet, and the successor, the Zenfone 10, adds some needed feature to round off the package.

The latest and greatest Qualcomm chipset - the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 - is the beating heart of this little beast along with a gorgeous 5.9-inch 144Hz 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. There's now wireless charging onboard, a new selfie camera, faster RAM and storage, and an upgraded 6-axis gimbal stabilization system. This little guy is one of the best compact Android phones on the market right now.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
6.1

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5


The Good

  • Larger Flex Screen is better than before
  • Solidly built, almost no wobble in the hinge
  • First Flip phone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • Long 4-year software update commitment
  • Better camera than competition, but still not great

The Bad

  • Flex Screen feels limited and unfinished
  • Phone is pricey
  • Battery life and charging speeds are just average
  • Some dust protection would be nice to have

And here we are in the foldable category. The models here are just a bonus at the moment, but it does make sense to include flip foldables in our best compact phones pick. And we're starting with the newest and hottest flip phone of them all, the Galaxy Z Flip 5. This one is so new, that you can only pre-order it for now.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 has one big upgrade up its sleeve - it comes with a very usable and brand-new 3.4-inch cover screen that can launch apps and support texting on it. Samsung uses widgets on the cover screen but you can "allow" third-party apps such as Google Maps, YouTube, and even Netflix. We suspect this list will only grow larger with time.

Other than the big cover screen, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is almost identical to its predecessor, it has the same dual camera system, battery, charging, and internal display. The processor has been upgraded to the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and there's almost no gap when you fold the phone. Now, it comes at 6.50 x 2.83 x 0.27 inches (165.1 x 71.9 x 6.9 mm) and weighs 6.60 oz (187.0 g) so this phone is more than capable to take on other more "rigid" compact phones.


Motorola Razr Plus

Motorola razr+
6.2

Motorola razr+


The Good

  • Almost crease-less screen
  • All-screen front!
  • Slim and elegant design
  • Closes with almost zero gap
  • Motorola has some cool gestures
  • Fast charging!

The Bad

  • Pricey!
  • At certain angles, phone feels a bit wobbly
  • Software support not as long as competition
  • Lacks strong water protection

Motorola tried a couple of iterations of a foldable RAZR with little to no success but this year the company struck gold with the Razr Plus (also known as the Razr 40 Ultra). It brought something that other foldable phones with similar form factor lacked - a usable cover screen. You can do almost anything on the front screen of the little Razr+, no need to pry it open.

The Razr Plus is thin, stylish, lightweight, and it doesn't have a crease when open, or a gap when closed. It comes with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 8/256GB memory configuration and a 3,800 mAh battery. There are two main cameras, both boasting 12MP sensors, and a 32MP selfie camera in a center-positioned hole-punch in the flexible display.

But again, and more importantly, the Motorola Razr Plus measures 6.73 x 2.91 x 0.28 inches (170.83 x 73.95 x 6.99 mm) and weighs 6.65 oz (188.5 g), very similar to the Galaxy Z Flip 5. The price is also similar, so you have a choice between these two, right?


Oppo Find N2 Flip

OPPO Find N2 Flip
6.1

OPPO Find N2 Flip


The Good

  • Biggest, brightest displays on a modern clamshell
  • Class-leading value for money ratio
  • Very good photos and excellent selfies with the main camera
  • Light and compact design despite the big screens
  • Smooth hinge movement with greatly reduced display crease
  • Fast for the category charging

The Bad

  • Limited availability at launch
  • Video autofocus may be a bit jumpy while panning
  • Only two colors to pick from at launch

Finally, we conclude our foldable digest with the Oppo Find N2 Flip, a successor to the very popular and critically acclaimed Oppo Find N. The flip version offers the same almost creaseless inner display but in a smaller format, and a very interesting vertical cover screen.

This cover screen has somewhat limited functionality but serves as the perfect mirror/viewfinder for selfie shots with the two main cameras. The Find N2 Flip features a TUV certified hinge (rated for 100 open/close cycles per day), and it also comes with one of the brightest displays in a flip phone - 1,600 nits.

As far as dimensions go, the phone is in the same ballpark as the Z Flip 5 and the Motorola Razr Plus. The price is also similar but you'll have some troubles finding that phone in the wild. Nevertheless, it's a viable option for a compact foldable.


Can you buy a compact phone in 2024?


Of course! Just scroll up and see for yourselves! There still are plenty of compact phones, and even though they're not as small as they used to be, you can operate with one hand much easier than with other, bigger devices.

We expect this trend to continue, and big manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple to keep at least one compact model in their portfolio. We shouldn't forget brands like Sony and Asus, they sometimes offer a better package than the big guys.

Conclusion


And there we go – the best small and compact phones you can buy in 2024. 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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