The definition of a small phone has changed throughout the last couple of years as the smartphone industry has moved to taller displays. One way manufacturers have kept phone sizes small is by trimming the bezels, and that’s the direction Samsung took with the Galaxy S10e. It’s perfect for one-handed use but doesn’t skimp on the screen real estate.
Samsung Galaxy S10e
The Galaxy S10e comes in vibrant colors and offers a 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED FHD+ display that’s perfect for one-handed use. The S10e has a flat display and a fingerprint sensor on the left side. Samsung hasn’t compromised on the internal hardware, with the phone sporting the same Snapdragon 855 chipset as the S10 and S10+.
$750 at Amazon
Google Pixel 3
Google has done a stellar job retaining the same form factor as the Pixel 2 while introducing a larger 5.5-inch screen. The Pixel 3 doesn’t miss out on any features from its larger sibling — it has dual front cameras, and it also retains the stereo speakers. If you’re in the market for a small phone with excellent cameras, the Pixel 3 should be your go-to option.
$500 at Amazon
The Nokia 7.1 is one of the best sub-$400 phones you can buy today. The phone has a vibrant 5.8-inch display that’s certified for HDR10, and the Snapdragon 636 ensures you don’t see any lag. Then there’s the software — the Nokia 7.1 runs Android One, guaranteeing a clean interface and timely security updates. Best of all, it’s available officially in the U.S.
$275 at Amazon
Amazing camera for less
Google Pixel 3a
Take the software, capabilities, and camera of the Pixel 3, but cut the price down — now you have a Pixel 3a. Strategic cutbacks in the hardware and specs are noticeable. But you may not care when you get to save a few hundred dollars and keep that compact form factor you desire.
$399 at Amazon
The Honor 10 stretches the definition of a small phone as it comes in just shy of 150mm, but its narrow form factor makes it great to use one-handed. The design at the back is evocative, the phone offers excellent value for money, and the 3400mAh battery is more than adequate for all-day usage.
£210 at Amazon UK
Nokia standardizes so much of its experience across its entire lineup that it makes it easy to recommend its phones at a variety of sizes. The Nokia 6.1 is just a little smaller than the 7.1, and its lower specs drop its price a tad as well, but you’re getting the same clean software (with updates!), and capable specs and cameras for the money.
$200 at Amazon
If we’re making some suggestions
The market for small phones is dwindling, but there are a few reliable options still available. The Galaxy S10e brings you the core Galaxy S10 experience in a smaller package and also a lower price. Yes, it’s still a little pricey, but if you’re after a small, flagship smartphone, it’s the way to go.
The Google Pixel 3 also keeps the size down, but its battery life is a bit on the weak side and doesn’t have the same pile of features the S10e does. There are plenty of compelling less-expensive options too, like the Pixel 3a and even-cheaper Honor 10 if you’re on a tighter budget.