Best Compact Smartphones: Which mini smartphone should you buy?
While most flagship phones are getting ever bigger there are plenty of people who’d prefer a small handset. Sadly as popular opinion at the moment seems to be that bigger is better the smaller handsets are usually a little underpowered, but that’s not always the case as there are still some great ones. Here then are the five best compact smartphones available.
5. Nokia Lumia 620
The Nokia Lumia 620 is getting on a bit now but it’s still a fantastic budget handset. You can pick it up from around £125 SIM free and its 3.8 inch display ensures it can fit in even the smallest of pockets.
It’s not a bad screen either, at 800 x 480 and 246 pixels per inch. It might not be HD, but at that size it hardly matters as text and images are still reasonably crisp and it uses Nokia’s ClearBlack technology to ensure it has great contrast.
Under the hood there’s a 1 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 512MB of RAM, which isn’t a lot, but the Lumia 620 is still a very capable little device.
Its 8GB of storage doesn’t go far, but it also has a microSD card slot, which some of the more premium Lumia’s don’t and while its 5 megapixel camera is hardly top flight it’s capable of capturing some pleasing images. All in all it’s a great choice if you’re on a budget.
4. Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
If you’ve got a bit more money to spend you could consider the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. At around £200 SIM free it’s rather pricier than the Lumia 620, but it’s a lot higher powered too, as it has a 1.7 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1.5GB of RAM. Those aren’t exactly top end specs but they’re pretty decent all the same.
Of course as the name suggests it’s compact too, with a 4.3 inch 540 x 960 Super AMOLED display and a pixel density of 256 pixels per inch.
It also has a good 8 megapixel camera, 8GB of built in storage and a micro SD card slot, so while it’s a slight downgrade from the full size Galaxy S4 it’s still a good mid-range phone.
3. HTC One mini
The HTC One mini went toe to toe with the Galaxy S4 mini at launch and arguably it’s the slightly better of the two, though it also costs slightly more at around £240 SIM free.
It has a 1.4 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM, so it doesn’t win out in the power stakes, but its 4.3 inch 720 x 1280 Super LCD2 screen is far crisper, with a pixel density of 342 pixels per inch.
It also uses HTC’s innovative 4 UltraPixel camera setup, allowing it to take high quality shots even when the light is bad and while it doesn’t have a microSD card slot it has 16GB of built in storage, so there’s less need for one.
But the build quality is the real star of the show, as while the Lumia 620 and Galaxy S4 mini are both heavy on the plastic the HTC One mini has the same aluminium back and speaker grills as its big brother, giving it a level of quality rarely seen on smartphones, let alone mini ones.
2. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
While the HTC One mini and Samsung Galaxy S4 mini have lower specs than their full sized counterparts as well as smaller footprints, the Xperia Z1 Compact is pretty much just an Xperia Z1 with a smaller screen.
It has a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, which gives it a serious amount of power. Its 4.3 inch IPS LCD screen is 720 x 1280, giving it a pixel density of 342 pixels per inch, which isn’t quite full HD, but then full HD on a screen this size would be overkill anyway.
It comes with 16GB of storage along with a microSD card slot and has a class-leading 20.7 megapixel camera which can take stunning snaps.
It also has a premium construction with a glass front and metal frame (althought the back is plastic) and to top it all off it’s IP58 certified dust and water resistant. In other words it’s a high end handset which just happens to be on the small side. Though at around £380 SIM free it also carries a fairly high end price tag.
1. iPhone 5S
While there are an increasing number of good compact Android 4G phones there still isn’t one which can compete with the iPhone 5S. That’s no surprise, it’s Apple’s flagship after all, it’s just that while the likes of Samsung and HTC equip their flagships with big screens Apple has stuck to a small one.
The iPhone 5S has a 4 inch 640 x 1136 IPS LCD screen with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, so it’s actually one of the smallest phones on this list, but its screen is incredibly high quality, with rich, natural colours and great contrast.
It has a 1.3 GHz dual-core Apple A7 64-bit processor and 1GB of RAM, which on paper might make it sound worse than some of its rivals but in reality the iPhone 5S is blazing fast.
It also has a great 8 megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash, can shoot slow motion video and comes with a choice of 16, 32 or 64GB of storage. It’s arguably the best looking phone on this list too, with a distinctive two-tone metal and glass back.
Plus it has a couple of stand-out features in the form of a fingerprint scanner and a motion co-processor, making it ideal as a fitness tracker. It may not be the best phone on the planet but the iPhone 5S is undoubtedly the best compact smartphone, though you’ll have to part with close to £500 to get your hands on one.