Flashback: a decade of mini phones

17 July 2022
We track how Mini has become less and less accurate over the years.  

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Such a bad graph, in the first two apple and oppo have the same colour, it impossible to understand if you're not familiar with the brands. Apple is doing the best though, no one needs big phones, what a useless industry standard in the android brand

    CompactPhones5ever, 17 Jul 2022Exactly. Take a look at Xiaomi for example. They have relea... moreThe 12 is 6.2 in fairness, small compared to the competition.

      DMX, 17 Jul 20226.7-inch panels, that's my top"semen phones"
      ...umm, what?

      edit: alright, now you're making me look weird. Why did you edit your comment, it was hilarious.

        • D
        • DMX
        • 8xX
        • 17 Jul 2022

        6.7-inch panels, that's my top

          yalim, 17 Jul 2022Don't understand why no one except apple and samsung i... moreExactly. Take a look at Xiaomi for example. They have released roughly a hundred of different phones just this and last year. How many of them were compact? Exactly zero. Last compact phone (i.e. around the size of iPhone SE) they made was Xiaomi Redmi 4, which was literally more than 5 years ago. It's a shame really.

            • ?
            • Anonymous
            • gjM
            • 17 Jul 2022

            There are no benefits in making phones under 6 (actually 7) inch display because these are smartphones, these are other devices that aren't possible in small sizes. Any "smart" needs a place to display its smart.

              • G
              • Grey Wolf
              • ppq
              • 17 Jul 2022

              L.O.R.D, 17 Jul 2022True compact smartphone is one with a size similar to the m... moreThat will never happen in Android. Because you can't put a 4000mah battery for example, in a body like that. And below 4000mah batteries in Android equals poor battery life. Just look at Galaxy S22.
              So, if you like very small phones, your best bet is iPhone. Otherwise, in Android, around 6" is the smallest you can get.
              Still, I think is small enough. I mean S series from Samsung is small enough. Anything smaller than that becomes too tiny to read/watch things on it. At least for me.

                • G
                • Grey Wolf
                • ppq
                • 17 Jul 2022

                The Flip, 17 Jul 2022At first, I was thinking Apple will make another mini and t... moreThat's because people make poor purchases. They buy an iPhone 13 Mini and then want to use it as an iPhone 13 Pro Max. Lol.
                People can't have both. People who are heavy users and do most of their stuff on smartphones, should know that they need a big phone with good battery. Period.

                  Olympus Oms, 17 Jul 2022It had several updates. But it wasn't easy to update, ... moreWell isn't it sort of the other way round, that Android became big exactly because Nokia did not go seriously for touch-devices?
                  Nokia was huge back then, and could have developed their own, but did not believe people would accept fake keys over real keys.
                  When they finally woke up it was too late, and they were killed by MS with their Trojan Horse running Nokia down so MS could buy Nokia cheap.

                  In the wisdom of hindsight Nokia were clearly wrong. People preferred the flexibility of the bigger displays, accepting the inconvenience of the lack of keys.

                    • ?
                    • Anonymous
                    • H8p
                    • 17 Jul 2022

                    ALPHABOY17, 17 Jul 2022It wouldn't have been a problem IF we still had phones... moreS8/9 (non-plus) battery was pretty awful for the time, and even worse for today's standards where even Apple manages good battery life. But other than that and the curved screens, totally agree.

                      • y
                      • yalim
                      • Bjb
                      • 17 Jul 2022

                      Don't understand why no one except apple and samsung invest in small flagships. Every one needs 6.8" screen is not correct since, 40% of pro iphone sales come from smaller variant for years. So, plenty people do need smaller phones,too.

                        At first, I was thinking Apple will make another mini and the 13 mini won't be the last. Perhaps the next SE, right? But the more I thought about it, the more I realized the 13 mini will be the last and the next SE will be more of the size as the regular 12 and 13. Or even XR. What a shame too.

                        I still won't running out getting a 13 mini. I had the 12 mini briefly and ended up hating Face ID. It still won't register in the dark. It's like 50% of the time, I still had to input my pin number. I felt the SE1 is still easier to handle one-handed thanks to the large bezels and how light it is.

                        I actually own enough compact phones already and the knock is they all have poor battery life vs. their bigger counterparts since OEMs can't pack large batteries onto them while having high res displays and refresh rates.

                        Apple iPhone SE (2016)
                        Essential Phone
                        Google Pixel 3
                        Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (when closed)
                        Motorola Razr 5G (when closed)

                        ^ None of these phones have great battery life. My Essential PH-1 had good battery life early on but I can tell it's degraded and I can't find any shop for a battery replacement. My SE1 has downright the worst battery life since updating to iOS15. You can see it drop by 5% out of the blue and it has 92% battery health.

                        I don't see compact phones making a comeback. Battery life is too awful on them. The Galaxy S10e from 2019 was similar sized to the Essential PH-1 and regular S7. Suffered poor battery life like the iPhone 12 mini. Most people are already used to larger displays. The Razr 5G and Flip 3 are still tall and heavy phones when opened.

                        People like me who prefers compact phones are a tiny minority but seem very vocal about it online. Too niche. OEMs will not pay attention to our wants. Enjoy your 13 mini for as long as it still works. Battery life will eventually get worse the more updates it gets like the SE1. Looks to be the last of its kind like the XZ1 Compact from late-2017.

                          • Y
                          • Yes
                          • CbD
                          • 17 Jul 2022

                          Mini Phones always useful...if high Specification and up to 399$ Price is most Welcome.

                            True compact smartphone is one with a size similar to the mini iPhone and that phone is really good but I use Android, so have no other option but to wait for such a phone to arrive. The upcoming Zenfone is a promising design although not really compact but the battery life is better than the small iPhone, so waiting for that one

                              Its not okay, 17 Jul 2022Did that phone received os updates It ran on symbian right... moreIt had several updates. But it wasn't easy to update, as it is today. And sadly much higher bricked % than today. Doing something else on the computer while updating the phones, mostly ended up getting a fail and the unit was bricked. But yeah, Nokia could have been big even today, if they accepted Android from day 1!

                                Or "A decade of phone-sized phones called mini"
                                As people started calling the phablets "phones"...

                                But the phablets are likely here to stay for better and worse for a while, so what we really need is some new (or redesigned) OS, that works with the full screen for display, but only the parts reachable one hand held with a thumb, as primary touch area.

                                Touch in the rest of the area should be for functionality seldom used only, (e.g. stuff like an "Advanced" button) where it is acceptable that two hands are needed.

                                The REAL culprit for the Phablets is the 'material design', with its inefficient usage of the displays, so we either need huge screens or a teeny-weeny font, to avoid a lot of scrolling to see stuff.

                                But sure phablets got their good sides too, great for watching films on the go, on a reasonably portable device.

                                  • ?
                                  • Anonymous
                                  • YR}
                                  • 17 Jul 2022

                                  I think now the only small flagship phone that still remains on the market is the Asus Zenfone. Most company now make phones that is more than 6 inch screen size

                                    • I
                                    • Its not okay
                                    • 6uf
                                    • 17 Jul 2022

                                    Olympus Oms, 17 Jul 2022That's not even mini phones. Only mini smart phones! ... moreDid that phone received os updates
                                    It ran on symbian right?
                                    That was the only bad thing about Nokia those days too bad they were late to adopt android😭

                                      It wouldn't have been a problem IF we still had phones like galaxy s8/s9. Extremely compact, yet more than enough screen size with jack, SD card, Dual sim, etc. AND even more than decent battery life.
                                      I still believe galaxy s8/s9's design was the best of all.

                                        • ?
                                        • Anonymous
                                        • 8N3
                                        • 17 Jul 2022

                                        blue, 17 Jul 2022This era does not favor small or mini phones. Yes, they can... moreXZ1c had better endurance than any current flagship.