Best compact phones 2020 - buyer’s guide

Last Updated 15 July 2020

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  • Anonymous

What about Pixel ones?

  • zoks

Compact phones is not just a matter of external size, but also a screen size. Point is that you can reach all parts of screen with thumb, with one hand while you are holding in it.
Anything above 5 inch does not fit in this category unless you have really huge fingers or you can perform controlled thumb sprain.
By this criteria, seems that only Apple have product in this category, which is shame for others.

  • Anonymous

I once bought an iPhone 8 thinking it would replace my classic iPhone SE, but had to return it because I couldn’t operate it with one hand.
The new SE is NOT compact... it’s exactly the same dimensions and weight as the unusable iPhone 8 I returned.
I simply DO NOT CARE about big screens or better cameras or any of the other BS that has been developed since the old SE.
I will probably have to abandon Apple when this old SE eventually breaks or dies.
It’s shocking to me that no phone maker is addressing the market for one-hand operable phones.

  • ron

Wow, I think only S10e is a good buy here in terms of performance and size. All the others are ugly or are not compact at all! Sony should definitely resurrect their compact phones these times with little to no bezel phones. funny how 6 inch phones are called compact now when they were considered as phablets during the days. 5 inch phones should comeback!!!

  • Alex Nava

Anonymous, 29 Aug 2020Yeah... Would there be real best compact phone list... Thes... moreso wisely spoken workds. Not one phone on this list is compact. The smallest one is 145 mm. The last true compacts smartphone is exactly what you said, the Sony Xperia XZ1 compact. They should aim to make more phones that are around 128x64x8 mm. That would be perfect.

  • Anonymous

Yeah... Would there be real best compact phone list... These are medium size phones not compact. If the phones outer measurements are near Spny XZ1 compact, then it is compact.
Just put moder screen to that device and kill the besels to minumun and we would have the perfect phone.
What i don¨t like is to make the list of best compact phones, withour having any compact phones in the list... And in this gategory there definitely have to be size chart, so that people can see what is smaller size and what is larger. It is the most important factor in this gategory. The size!

  • Your nickname

Sony come back with some fantastic under 5" compacts again pleaseeeee.

  • common

since when 6 inches is considered compact phone. I haven't find yet any review of small phones, most likely there are none. Small phone is a phone where the top corners you can reach with one hand - that truly is the whole point of small phone. 5 inches is the maximum limit in this category. Stop misleading people with "small" "compact" bs.

  • mel

Flossy, 12 Aug 2020Do these really qualify as "compact phones?" I ha... moreMy thoughts exactly. I'm trying to replace an S6, and before that I had an S4 Mini. Calling these 'compact' just led to disappointment as I looked at the actual sizes. I'm an average height/weight woman and the idea of fitting more than half of a phone into my back pocket has become a pipe dream.

  • ben

So no Pixel on the list. It's as small as many of these phones and has better storage and pretty good battey...

  • Blob

There's still a very good compact - flagship - smartphone today, but for japanese market only, it's Sharp R2 compact, and even more compact than my old Sony xperia ZR ! Very beautyfull too, aluminium ring, very good camera with Ricoh certification ( better any Iphone ), 120hz display and good color rendition, etc... But near unknown.

  • Flossy

Do these really qualify as "compact phones?" I have been stuck with a pair of Samsung A3s for 4 years now because I cant find a phone that is as small as them, The iPhone 7 is a nice size But Im not willing to go over to Apple just yet.

  • fghf

kcu06, 29 Jul 2020Totally ignore that guy advocating a sony phone these phnes... moremaybe u've been unlucky? i've had 4 sony phones, never had any issue, solid performance, battery performance has always been amazing. Updates dont take as long as Samsung (my wife has a8 star) or the others. I'm still with my XZ2 since 2018 and still smooth and no complaints.

It is true that the phones have become bigger and bigger recent years. I was totally frustrated when this trend started. For me the biggest drama was when I replaced my Mi 4 with Redmi Note 5. So I gave it to my wife and started to use an old Nokia 800. Of course this lasted for a day, since there were no apps for Symbian. Then I bought another Redmi Note 5 and started to learn to live with a big phone. And then I realised that Chinese manufacturers are guilty for this trend with shovels, but they gave to us inexpensive big phones, which work much better than midrangers from popular Korean, Japan, US and Singapore brands on a fraction of the price.
2 years ago I bought Meizu 15 which could be included in the list of compact phones and I was very happy with it (actually I still use it).
A year ago I decided to search again for compact phone as my business phone and I bought Samsung A40. This is a real sh..t.
The manufactures have calculated that when people use big screen phones, they spend longer time online and they spend more money for purchasing goods, services, etc... On a small screen phone this just doesn't work and thus compact phones are boutique niche and should be sold much more expensive. That's why most of the phones on this list are higher end devices.
In conclusion I would say it is pity there is no choice for small phones in the lower price segment, but don't forget there is a great variety of capable devices in this price segment, no matter they are big.

  • Anonymous

I think no phone manufacturers are even considering launching a good compact smartphone in the mid range segment.
LG launched Q6 and Q7 a while back, but seem to have given up on this aspect since then.
Feeling helpless and extremely frustrated....
Is anyone even listening?

  • Kettu Ite

Buyer, 09 May 2020The best of all is Xiaomi Mi 9 SE. 70+mm width? it's not Small at all :D

  • StShadow

Anonymous, 02 Aug 2020Went from iPhone 6 to Sony XZ1 Compact to current Samsung S... moreIndeed.
5"+ phones called compacts. Oh god, oh dear...

  • Anonymous

Went from iPhone 6 to Sony XZ1 Compact to current Samsung S10e, I have to said that smartphones are just getting more and more heavier... Kinda miss those days that iPhone and Sony has compact and lightweight flagship phones

  • pps

My Sony Xperia Compact Z1 went missing and I have to say how fabulous it was - loved it beyond measure, not great pics in low light but that was the only drawback. Nice and small for my pocket but powerful enough for me. Finding it hard to replace with anything else.

  • John michael

I want to know what is the best camera for 399 dollars budget