We review and compare the best mini mobiles and compact smartphones that you can buy in 2017, which feature screens of 5-inches or under. From the Sony Xperia XA1 and Xperia X Compact to Apple’s iPhone 7 and the Moto G5, these easy-to-handle handsets cover a full range of budgets.
Big phones and big screens are so 2014, phablet brands are running out of steam in the marketplace, so new technology is downsizing, getting more power out of smaller machines. Because of this, smaller varieties of phones have been becoming more popular as big brands set out to make 2017 the year of the compact smart phone.
If you are after a phone that you can comfortably use with one hand and will definitely fit in your pocket, then we have the list for you!
Sony Xperia XA1
This is new for 2017 and technically the biggest of our phones, but still within a comfortable range. This phone includes all the high grade specifications using the Mediatek Helio P20 instead of the more popular Qualcomm Snapdragon Chipset. You can find our full write-up comparing the two on the blog soon.
The XA1 includes an impressive 3GB RAM and all the modern conveniences such as quick charging, a 23 mega pixel camera and all at a price of around £300. It’s hard to find any flagships competing with this in terms of price.
At 5.71 inches by 2.64 inches, it’s not the smallest, but it has a much larger bite than its bark. Overall, an impressive offering from Sony.
Sony Xperia X Compact
Hard to imagine a world where compact means over 5 inches, but nonetheless, the Xperia X Compact makes our list of the best small phones coming in at 5.08 inches.
It’s impossible not to think that the phone could have been that much smaller if they reduced the unsightly bezel and home buttons on the bottom of the device. It’s much easier to notice now that the Galaxy S8 has blown us all away.
The glass back is susceptible to cracking and there is a fingerprint magnet, but if you are willing to sacrifice a slightly better camera with the XA1, the compact still outperforms it in many ways.
Apple iPhone SE
For what is essentially an iPhone 5 chassis with new and improved internals, the iPhone SE got great reviews on its release in early 2016. Its upgraded chipset, improved camera, bigger battery and the lower cost makes it much more appealing to the bargain hunting individual.
The 4.87 inch by 2.31 inch size of the case makes it one of the smaller of our selections and considering the majority of models still out in the world have of 4 inch displays, the market was right for an upgraded iPhone model that kept its smaller form.
Apple iPhone 7
The heavy hitter of the group, the flagship of Apple is a little large for our smaller phones, but gone are the days of the smaller mobile phones with dot matrix displays. This 5.4 inch by 2.64 inch display is the largest phone of our selection, but if you want a small phone without settling for less power, then the iPhone 7 is probably the way to go.
Samsung Galaxy A3
Samsung love pushing the boundaries of screen size, being the first to introduce the phablet to the market and the first to completely remove the bezel. However, they also introduced the Galaxy ACE range to offer the high end phone with a smaller chassis. The 5.33 inch by 2.61 inch body isn’t as small as previous models, but the release in January comes with all the modern conveniences that rival any of the flagship devices.
With waterproofing, Samsung pay with fingerprint reader, USB-C and an impressive selfie camera, Samsung know their target market, and despite the slightly under powered CPU and lack of 4k recording, we can see this phone becoming extremely popular with festival goers.
The phones here aren’t as small as the phones we used to aspire to own. Remember the Nokia 8210? We lost that phone in our pockets. There’s always going to be a toss up between size and functionality especially when it comes to the touch screens- as anyone with a smart watch can attest to.