The best small and compact phones (updated July 2022)

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Where have all the small smartphones gone? Once the norm, compact phones are slowly but steadily being replaced by larger handsets, and the few that remain, like the iPhone mini line, seem to be on their way.

Aside from the occasional compact phone that was once announced in a blue moon, the big players like Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Motorola releases larger-than-life phones and certainly isn’t for those with smaller hands or just those who prefer a more compact phone that can be easily pocketed and carried around.
But don’t think small phones go the way of the dodo. While scarce, they do exist. Last year we even saw a renaissance of compact phones. And if you’re looking to buy one, you’ve come to 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 investigate!

The best small, compact phones to buy in 2022:

Apple iPhone 13 Mini

Until recently, we thought the era of compact flagship phones was over. But last year these compact devices made a surprising comeback. The iPhone 12 mini became the smallest iPhone that Apple offers, even beating the iPhone SE for that title. And this year we got its successor – the iPhone 13 mini.
Thanks to the thin bezels and flat design, you get a larger screen compared to the iPhone SE, but 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 at the same price!

You won’t be sacrificing much in terms of specs either along with the mini iPhone. You still get Apple’s A15 Bionic processor and the same great 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)

This year, Apple has updated its “budget” SE series with a new iPhoneSE (2022). To cut costs, the Cupertino company has reused the now quite outdated housing of the iPhone 8, but internally this phone is a beast and perhaps the most powerful smartphone in its price range.

And yes, it’s also a pretty compact phone with a 4.7-inch display, weighing in at only about 5.08 oz (144.0 g). Despite the old design with large bezels on the top and bottom, the up-to-date hardware inside, especially the A15 Bionic chip and 5G support, makes the iPhone SE (2022) very future-proof. So if the price of the iPhone 13 Mini is too high for you, this is the best alternative if you are looking for a small iPhone.

Google Pixel 4a

The budget Pixel for 2020 is a pleasant surprise. Price-wise, it undercuts the iPhone SE, and while it’s not nearly as powerful, it’s quite compact. It has a 5.8-inch screen unlike the newer ones Pixel 5a, which is actually bigger at 6.3 inches.

But what’s the best thing about the Pixel 4a is that Google has added its computational photography wizardry, making it one of the best camera phones in its price range. Yes, there’s only one camera on the back, but the Pixel 4a makes it count where it matters: image quality.

Samsung Galaxy S22

With a fairly large 6.1-inch screen with a high refresh rate and AMOLED technology, Samsung’s latest Galaxy S22 is worth considering.

It’s the smallest in the Korean company’s latest S-series phones, yet it has 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 know more and see examples? Check out our review, link below.

Sony Xperia 10 II

When it comes to compact phones, Sony has often proven that it knows how to deliver. Such is 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 is powered by a Snapdragon 665 chipset, coupled with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. A 3600mAh battery powers the device, which is still a decent capacity, although we’re a little spoiled by the fact that 4000+mAh batteries are 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 under $400, which is a steal if you’re just looking at the amazing OLED display.

Asus Zenfone 8

Asus decided to turn things around in 2021 and launched two separate flagship devices in the Zenfone 8 range. The large Zenfone 8 Flip carried on the flip camera heritage, but the vanilla model, the Zenfone 8, went 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. Zenfone 8 comes equipped with all the bells and whistles you’d find in a top-of-the-line phone, and more!

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

And here we go: the best small and compact phones you can buy in 2022. If you’re still unsure about your search for the perfect phone, the following choices may also be helpful:

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