In a world where smartphones are getting larger, there are some who still prefer the ease of a small-screen device
In 2010 Steve Jobs famously mocked larger-sized iPhone rivals “You can’t get your hand around it. No one’s going to buy that”. Smartphones have defied that prediction and have only gotten bigger. That list also includes the iPhone Pro Max series that is almost twice as large as the original iPhone. But not everyone likes the extra heft or reaching out to the corners of a 6.8-inch display with both hands. If you’re one of those who still likes to do what were once-considered ‘tablet things’ like videos or flipping through eBooks and prefer the convenience of a smaller device, we’ve got you a list of the best compact smartphones:
iPhone 13 mini: last year’s 12 mini was the biggest advert for the convenience of a lightweight smartphone. Battery life wasn’t great though. The 13 mini sticks to the same template, weighs just 141 gm and yet brings all the flagship level features that you will find on the larger iPhone 13. It also addresses the battery gripes of the 12 mini, this should last most average users till the end of the day. You get the same Super Retina XDR OLED screen, the stellar cam with our favourite cinematic mode that all make this one of the most formidable little phones. (Rs 69,900 onwards)
Samsung Galaxy S22: the smallest sibling of the Samsung Galaxy S22 trio of flagships weighs under 170 gm despite a screen as large as the iPhone 13. Colours are vivid on the 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate that peaks at 1300 nits. It’s powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor as the other S22 devices and boasts of a triple rear cam that is not afraid of the dark. (Rs 72,999 onwards)
ASUS 8Z: It’s the closest thing to an iPhone mini from planet Android. The screen is larger and ASUS packs this device with all the stuff you find in other Android flagships. This includes the vibrant 5.9-inch (2400 x 1080 pixels / 445 PPI) AMOLED display that peaks at 1100 nits and features a 120Hz refresh rate. Battery life (4000 mAh battery) is impressive for a small-size despite the firepower of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor that combines with 8GB of RAM.
Google Pixel 4a: Even as we wait for Google to bring some of its newer smartphones to India, the 4a continues to stay in the mix; it ticks key boxes at a compelling price tag. It all begins with the form factor – at 143 gm, this device feels great in your hand and is designed for one-handed navigation. The 5.81-inch OLED boasts of crisp colours while the 3140 mAh won’t let you down. But the real showstopper is the Pixel camera – a 12.2MP rear lens (f/1.7 aperture) that rides on Google’s brilliant software optimisation. (Rs 27,999)
iPhone SE: don’t let the dated design on the cheapest iPhone fool you; this one’s a whole new beast on the inside. The big change is the A15 Bionic processor; it’s the same chipset that powers the iPhone 13 quartet. It doesn’t just make the SE ultra-quick but also impacts battery life and camera performance. The 12MP rear cam that comes with camera enhancements like Smart HDR 4 and Photographic Styles. But most of all it’s the joy of one-handed navigation that is a wonderful throwback to simpler times. (Rs 43,900 onwards)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G: probably our favourite Samsung smartphone from 2021, the Z Flip 3 makes a strong case for a foldable. It’s incredibly compact in its folded form and can slip into your tightest jeans. The 1.9-inch Super AMOLED Cover screen morphs into a large 6.7-inch AMOLED 2X display (2640 x 1080 pixels) display when you need to switch to large screen smartphone mode. It’s also more rugged than its predecessor – the first water resistant foldable with an IPX8 certification. (Rs 84,999 onwards)