What's big SMALL in smartphones

Small Smartphones - The 10 Best in 2021

Small smartphones are becoming increasingly rare, even though there are still many people out there who are literally desperately looking for a small and compact cell phone.

75 mm! That's the breadth of the average smartphone these days. For many smartphone users (especially women) this is far too wide, as operation is hardly possible with one hand.

It goes so far that nowadays there are even products like a smartphone finger holder, just so that you can use the mobile phone properly. Crazy, right?

Many Purdroid readers have asked us in the past for tips for a small smartphone. This shows us again and again how relevant this topic is for many even today. That's why we want to show you the best small smartphones in 2021 in this article.

The top 10 sorted by size

The best small smartphones sorted by size (device width from small to large):

  1. Cubot Kingkong Mini 2
  2. Apple iPhone 12 Mini
  3. Apple iPhone SE (2020)
  4. Google Pixel 4
  5. Sony Xperia 5 II
  6. Samsung Galaxy S20
  7. Google Pixel 4a
  8. Samsung Galaxy A41
  9. Samsung Galaxy S10e
  10. Google Pixel 5

The top 10 sorted by performance

The best small smartphones sorted by performance (from high-end to entry-level):

  1. Apple iPhone 12 Mini
  2. Apple iPhone SE (2020)
  3. Samsung Galaxy S20
  4. Sony Xperia 5 II
  5. Google Pixel 4
  6. Samsung Galaxy S10e
  7. Google Pixel 5
  8. Google Pixel 4a
  9. Samsung Galaxy A41
  10. Cubot Kingkong Mini 2

The best small smartphones with Android and iOS

What do we mean by “the best”? Well, we don't recommend junk. Because of course there are many more small smartphones than the ones you can find here (e.g. China smartphones).

But we want you not to buy junk, but to be happy with the device for a long time! For us, this includes good hardware with decent performance and sensible software with regular updates. The following smartphones meet these criteria for us.

Under the respective smartphone model you can always see the external dimensions in length (H) times width (W) times depth or thickness (D) (HxWxD in mm), so that you can see at first glance how big the smartphone is and whether it falls into your grid.

Apple iPhone 12 Mini

Dimensions: 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm (HxWxD)

The holy grail for all fans of small smartphones is here: that Apple iPhone 12 Mini redefines the world of small smartphones!

Because never before has there been a smartphone that was so extremely compact and still packed with the latest technology. In contrast to the cheaper iPhone SE, with the 12 mini you get everything a large iPhone can do in an extremely small housing.

The iPhone 12 Mini has a very high resolution and borderless Full HD + display, the latest and fastest Apple processor, a larger battery than the SE, a very good dual camera, water resistance and, last but not least, it already supports 5G. This makes it the best little smartphone by far!

How much memory should you use? If you just take photos and stream your music (via Spotify, for example), then the 64 GB version is sufficient.

If you also want to store music on the device and shoot a lot of long videos, then you prefer to use the 128 GB version or the 256 GB version directly. Then you won't get angry if you find out a few months later that the memory is insufficient.

If you're interested in the differences between the current iPhone 12 models, check out our large iPhone 12 comparison.


  • Extremely compact housing
  • 5 different colors to choose from
  • Sharp and extremely bright Super Retina OLED display
  • Very fast hardware
  • Fantastic photo quality
  • Good battery life
  • 5G modem
  • Lots of internal storage to choose from (64, 128 or 256 GB)
  • Waterproof (IP-68)


Apple iPhone 12 Mini

The smallest high-end smartphone on the market

This smartphone is very compact and still has the latest technology. Equipped with a high-resolution and borderless Full-HD + display and the currently fastest Apple processor, the smartphone is small but mighty.

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Accessory tips for the Apple iPhone 12 Mini

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm (HxWxD)

When it comes to small smartphones, Apple is really strong. With the iPhone SE in particular, you get THE smartphone par excellence when it comes to compactness. In addition, you get ultra-fast hardware with a very long update supply, which is typical for Apple!

The Apple iPhone SE is one of the best small smartphones on the market, now at an attractive price.


  • Very small and light smartphone ...
  • ... the size of an iPhone 8 ...
  • ... with the performance of the large iPhone Pro models!
  • Extremely fast and well equipped
  • Waterproof
  • Good price / performance ratio for an iPhone
  • Very good cameras ...


  • ... but in the dark they are not on the level of other high-end smartphones
  • The display has a little resolution, but is still sharp enough
  • Average battery life (1 day)
  • Large display bezels above and below give away potential for an even smaller smartphone
Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Small but great

This high-quality smartphone is equipped with a 4.7 "Retina HD display. It impresses with a 12 MP camera with wide angle, touch authentication and wireless charging.

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Accessory tips for the Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Cubot Kingkong Mini 2

Dimensions: 119 x 58 x 12.1 mm (HxWxD)

The Cubot Kingkong Mini 2 is a small smartphone with outdoor qualities. Under stable bumpers and reinforced plastic there is a processor with 3 gigabytes of RAM that is appropriate for the price.

All kinds of apps from the Playstore can be found next to photos and videos on the internal 32 gigabyte storage medium. If the capacity is not enough, you can easily upgrade via Micro SD. To the right and left of the micro SD slot there are slots for 2 nano SIM cards.

The 4 inch LCD display with a resolution of 1080 x 540 is functional but not outstanding either. Nevertheless, the pixel density is 302 ppi. Due to the small display, the Kingkong Mini 2 is very small!

With a digital aperture of f / 2.2, the camera is very bright. The main camera's sensor has a resolution of 13 MP. On the front, you can use the 8 megapixel front camera to unlock the phone using face recognition.

The predecessor of the Cubot Kingkong Mini 2 caused disappointment, especially with its weak battery performance. It has now been increased from 2000 mAh to 3000 mAh and now the small outdoor smartphone can withstand longer trips.


  • Good price-performance ratio
  • Extremely small
  • Significantly larger battery than its predecessor
  • Face unlock
  • Triple slot for 2 SIM cards and a mini SD


  • Weak processor
  • Fake camera sensor on the back
Cubot Kingkong Mini 2

A smartphone that serves two niches at the same time

The Cubot Kingkong Mini 2 is a 2 in 1 solution for users who are looking for a stable smartphone for outdoor activities with a compact size. Even if the latest technology is not installed, the price-performance ratio is still fair.

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Accessory tips for the Cubot Kingkong Mini 2

Google Pixel 5

Dimensions: 144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0 mm (HxWxD)

The Google Pixel 5 is the first pixel phone from Google that does not have the very best processor built in. Because instead of a high-end Snapdragon from the 8XX series, you “only” get a Snapdragon 765G from the lower upper class. But that's not a disadvantage!

Because in combination with the pure stock Android 11, the fast internal memory (128 GB) and the huge 8 GB of RAM, the performance is completely sufficient. There is absolutely nothing to complain about!

At the Google Pixel 5 it doesn't depend on the pure hardware, instead the Pixel 5 shines with its very, very well-rounded overall package:

The device is beautifully compact, has a very good OLED display with 90 Hz, water resistance, great battery life with a battery that can be charged wirelessly, the extremely good camera typical for a pixel and of course the pure Android 11 with at least 3 years update guarantee!

And don't forget that Google was able to set the price of the Pixel 5 lower because they didn't use the very best and therefore most expensive hardware. A very good decision, because the Pixel 5 is still a super fast stock Android smartphone.


  • Pure stock Android 11 with a 3 year update guarantee
  • Compact and comparatively light (151 g)
  • Bright 90 Hz OLED display
  • Very good cameras
  • 5G modem
  • Waterproof (IP-68)
  • Great battery life
  • Dual SIM (attention: only one SIM slot, the other SIM card must be an eSIM)
  • Very fast system performance ...


  • ... but not a high-end processor like other high-end smartphones
  • Larger in width than the previous Pixel 4 (70.4 vs. 68.8 mm)
  • no memory expansion possible
  • no jack connection
Google Pixel 5

The ultimate 5G Google Phone

The high-quality, 6-inch Google device comes with strong computing power, an impressive front and main camera in a compact and lightweight design. With the remarkable battery life, the Google giant is completely convincing with an optimal price-performance ratio.

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Accessory tips for the Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 4a

Dimensions: 144 x 69.4 x 8.2 mm (HxWxD)

With the Pixel 4a, Google has finally brought another Pixel smartphone onto the market, which has a great price / performance ratio right from the start. Because for an RRP of € 350 you get the Google Pixel 4a a really great overall package.

The Pixel 4a is not only very fast because it has a clean stock Android installed, but also because Google has installed a modern Snapdragon 730G processor. It is supported by 6GB of RAM, which is very large for a Pixel phone.

When it comes to internal storage, Google is not as stingy as it was with the Pixel 4 (XL), because there is a whopping 128 GB, which should be sufficient for everyone.

The OLED display is also great because it is very bright, has a resolution of Full HD + and also has a very good color display.

But the absolute highlight of the Pixel 4a is the camera for us! Because this is almost on the level of the much more expensive large pixel models and takes beautiful photos. And mind you, Google only needs a single lens for this.


  • Pure stock Android 11 with a 3 year update guarantee
  • Compact size
  • Great system performance
  • Very good cameras
  • Bright and colorful OLED display
  • Jack connection
  • Dual SIM (attention: only one SIM slot, the other SIM card must be an eSIM)


  • Only one memory variant available (128 GB)
  • No memory expansion possible via microSD card
Google Pixel 4a

Small, handy and sexy

The Google Pixel 4a is intended for all those who are looking for an affordable, handy mobile phone with a reliable future for updates. This is how saving is fun.

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Accessory tips for the Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4

Dimensions: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2 mm (HxWxD)

Google's Pixel 4, the flagship of Google, is luckily also available in a small version, so that buyers of a compact cell phone can also get a high-end smartphone directly from Google.

The low battery life of the Pixel 4 (in contrast to its big brother, the Pixel 4 XL) is a real shame, because otherwise the device is a great all-round phone with clever software functions and innovative hardware such as Face Unlock (face unlocking), Motion Sense (motion control) and cameras that are among the best available on the entire smartphone market.


  • Pure Android straight from Google ...
  • ... and therefore a very long update supply
  • High end hardware with an extremely high level of performance
  • Small smartphone with very good workmanship
  • Very sharp and fast 90 Hz display ...


  • ... which could be brighter
  • Bad battery life (1 day and even less with intensive use)
  • Display edge above and below unnecessarily large, without the device the device would be even smaller
Google Pixel 4

Minimalist design, great device

Features such as innovative control using gestures called Motion Sense, an intelligent camera and state-of-the-art security functions characterize this device.

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Accessory tips for the Google Pixel 4

Samsung Galaxy S20

Dimensions: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm (HxWxD)

The S series from Samsung represents the company's absolute top models. And here it is again the case: Because that Galaxy S20 is packed with the best technology Samsung currently has to offer. But this smartphone is not perfect either. But let's get to the advantages first.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 comes with the latest Android 11 and the modern and at the same time stylish Samsung surface. Of course, it is equipped with the best and fastest hardware as it should be for a high-end smartphone.

This is also in a very pretty housing, which is nice and handy. The S20 is also optionally available as a variant with a 5G modem.

The whole package is with Samsung Galaxy S20 really great, but it's not perfect. By far the biggest disadvantage of the S20 is the mediocre or below average battery life.

A high-end smartphone simply has to survive longer than 1 day of use in 2021 before it has to be recharged. The missing jack connection is a matter of taste.


  • Current Android 11
  • Very chic, compact and lightweight housing
  • Extremely bright display with 120 Hz refresh rate makes content appear very fluid
  • The very latest high-end hardware results in a very fast smartphone
  • The photos from the cameras are top notch
  • 8K video recordings possible


  • Only mediocre battery life (1 day use)
  • No jack connection
Samsung Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S series flagship

Equipped with a clear 6.2-inch QHD +, the Galaxy S20 is powered by an Exynos 990 processor. The convincing quality consists of a powerful processor, plenty of storage space and strong battery power.

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Accessory tips for the Samsung Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Dimensions: 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm (HxWxD)

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is a top recommendation for everyone who prefers a small smartphone. All those who are looking for a large cell phone should look elsewhere, because this smartphone is for everyone who wants to browse through texts and apps with one hand.

In contrast to the other top models from Samsung, the S10esaved here and there. But it is still an extremely well-equipped, compact Android smartphone and tough competition for the iPhone SE and Co.


  • Android 10.0 (update to Android 11 by the end of Q1 2021)
  • High end hardware with extremely high performance ...
  • ... and still a good price / performance ratio
  • Very good and bright AMOLED display
  • Waterproof
  • Handy and very high quality housing


  • Mediocre battery life (approx. 1 day)
Samsung Galaxy S10e

Extremely well equipped, compact and inexpensive

An ultra-wide-angle lens with live focus simplifies the recognition of subjects and automates all settings. The smartphone shines with a 5.8 inch display, fingerprint sensor and long battery life, especially for price-conscious buyers.

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Accessory tips for the Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung Galaxy A41

Dimensions: 149.9 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm (HxWxD)

With the Samsung Galaxy A41, the South Korean technology giant is continuing the successful A-series. The previous models were already able to convince with an excellent price for solid hardware.

Thanks to an 8 core processor, which is at the top of the mid-range processors, the content flows smoothly across the screen. The built-in Super AMOLED display measures 6.1 inches diagonally and has a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels in Full HD +.

On the high-resolution display, it is a lot of fun to look at the snapshots of the 3 built-in cameras. Behind the 3 lenses are a 48 megapixel wide angle camera, an 8 megapixel ultra wide angle camera and a 5 megapixel camera which provides great Bookeh effects.

On the front, a 25 megapixel selfie camera takes sharp photos in wide-angle format. Here, too, you can work with background blur. This is thanks to the intelligent image software. Unfortunately, it sometimes means it too well and increases the color saturation a lot. There is space for the photos on the integrated 64 gigabyte storage medium.

The Samsung Galaxy A41 is a particularly compact mobile phone. Due to its small size, it can be accommodated in any trouser pocket.

Despite the small size, there is a good processor and a long-life battery inside. Thanks to 3500 mAh, this ensures that videos can be played non-stop for up to 16.5 hours.So nothing stands in the way of a series marathon on the smartphone.

Tip: The predecessor of the A41, namely the Galaxy A40, is still available and is even a little smaller. But it's also a year older than that.


  • Fast processor
  • Light and high quality housing
  • Sharp AMOLED display
  • Full HD + resolution
  • Solid cameras ...


  • ... which sometimes take unnatural pictures
  • Little free memory despite 64 GB
Samsung Galaxy A41

Still on the road to success

With the Samsung Galaxy A41, the manufacturer is seamlessly building on the success of past A models. In addition to solid hardware, the customer is also offered a performance that deviates only slightly from the top models for a fair price.

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Accessory tips for the Samsung Galaxy A41

Sony Xperia 5 II

Dimensions: 158 x 68 x 8 mm (HxWxD)

Sony has further developed the Xperia 5 sensibly and with the Xperia 5 II brought out an (almost) perfect smartphone.

The very slim design is particularly great, as the Sony is only 68 mm wide. This makes it easy to grip even with small hands. The form factor of the Sony Xperia smartphones is longer than other smartphones, which is why the Xperia II is unusually long for its narrow width of 158 mm.

The Xperia II is one of the high-end smartphones and accordingly only has the best in it. As far as speed and co. You don't have to worry here.

The absolute highlight of the Sony Xperia 5 II but is his camera app specially developed by Sony. With it you can regulate everything that needs to be regulated like with a "real" camera and thereby take fantastic photos.

If you want it easy, you can simply use the normal Google camera app that is also installed.


  • Android 10 with guaranteed update to Android 11 at the end of January 2021
  • Very fast thanks to the latest technology
  • Very good camera with professional camera software takes excellent pictures
  • Good battery life (2 days are easy in it)
  • Waterproof
  • Future-proof, as 5G modem is installed
  • Very slim thanks to the housing width of just 68 mm ...


  • ... but 158 ​​mm long!
  • You have to like the rather elongated design
Sony Xperia 5 II

High-end smartphone - only the best of everything

The Sony Xperia 5 II ensures a strong gaming performance with a 120 Hz frame rate and the very fast sampling rate of the touchscreen (240 Hz). Due to its compact size, the high-quality smartphone lies perfectly in the hand and fits in any trouser pocket.

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Accessory tips for the Sony Xperia 5 II

The best small smartphones by category

The demands that a user has on his phone are as different as the people themselves. In the following paragraphs we have summarized the most important aspects for you when buying a small smartphone.

When buying a smartphone, it is not just the size that should decide. A lot of power can also be found in small smartphones. But if your main focus should actually be on the size of the devices, then it is worth taking a look at our comparison of mini cell phones and smartphones up to 4 inches for you.

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