Smartphones are available in all shapes and sizes, but finding a good smartphone that’s also compact is a little tricker – but that’s where we at Trusted Reviews come in.

Traditionally, smaller phones have been focused on the budget end of the market – smaller displays are cheaper to manufacture – but we’ve seen a bit of a resurgence of small phones in the more premium end of the market in recent years with the likes of the iPhone 13 mini and Asus ZenFone 10

However, it’s still difficult to find a smartphone that’s both compact and offers a solid smartphone experience. That’s why we’ve thoroughly benchmarked every single option in this list, with our reviewers switching SIMs, and transferring all apps and data to test real-world use too. 

We consider elements like screen size, dimensions and weight, along with the usual performance, camera testing and battery testing we do with all smartphone reviews, and we’ve broken down our list into different categories – iOS, Android, budget – to make the choice even easier.  

It’s probably worth noting that our official definition of a small phone is one with a display that measures a maximum of 6.1 inches, though if there are any exceptions to that rule in our selection below, we’ll be sure to clearly explain why. 

If you’ve changed your mind and could be tempted by something a little larger, take a look at our selection of the best smartphones and the best Android phones for more inspiration.

Which is the best small phone in 2023?

How we test

Learn more about how we test mobile phones

Every phone included in the list below has been properly tested and used for an extended period by one of our product experts. We don’t review phones based purely on specs or a manufacturer’s claims – we use them as our everyday devices for at least five days and usually for much longer. 

If you read a phone review on Trusted Reviews, you’ll know the reviewer has popped their personal SIM card into the phone, transferred across their most-used apps and even their backlog of WhatsApp messages. We go all in, so you know you’re getting an honest view of a product.

Our review process includes a mixture of real-world tests, along with more than 15 measured tests and industry-standard benchmarks. We believe this gives the most rounded view of a device. The scores a phone receives from a run under our professional colourimeters aren’t worth much if the screen can’t be used comfortably on a sunny day.

iPhone 13 Mini

Best small iPhone

Pros

  • Great camera
  • Better battery life than the previous Mini
  • The most powerful small phone around

Cons

  • No ProMotion
  • No optical zoom
  • Still can’t compete with the other iPhone 13 models for battery life

The iPhone 13 mini is the very definition of a compact phone in our eyes, sporting a similar size to the 4.7-inch iPhone SE while sporting a larger 5.4-inch display that essentially takes up the entirety of the front of the phone. 

That combination allows for a form factor that’s refreshingly small and easy to use one-handed, especially at just 140g, while still offering a larger screen than most smartphones its size. Granted, the 5.4-inch 120Hz panel is still far from the 6.1-inch options used by most other compact smartphones in 2023, but if you’re really looking for the smallest, most compact option, this is it. 

It’s not just great because it’s small either; though outshone by the newer iPhone 14 range, the iPhone 13 mini is still an incredibly tempting choice in 2023. 

It sports a powerful A15 Bionic chipset, a decent dual 12MP camera offering and, of course, access to the iOS platform – the only option in our small phone chart able to do so. If using an iPhone is of the utmost importance, this is really your only option. 

The only downside to the iPhone 13 mini is battery life, with a relatively small cell providing just about enough power for our reviewer to get to the end of the day – but only usually with around 3-5% left in the tank. That’s a little too close for comfort.

Review: iPhone 13 mini review
Reviewer: Max Parker

Asus Zenfone 10

Best small Android

Pros

  • Top-end performance
  • All-day battery life
  • Six-axis gimbal stabilisation steadies photo and video capture
  • Pocketable design

Cons

  • Bio-plastic rear feels a little cheap
  • Same main camera sensor as Zenfone 9
  • Relatively slow 30W charging

If you’re after a small phone but want to stick with Android, the Asus ZenFone 10 is your best bet.

It’s not quite as small as the iPhone 13 mini, sporting a 5.9-inch 120Hz OLED display, but it’s still comfortably within compact territory when most Android flagships sport 6.7- or even 6.8-inch displays. And as with the iPhone 13 mini, don’t let the compact nature fool you; this is very much a flagship smartphone with specs to match.

That includes the latest and greatest Qualcomm chipset in the form of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, coupled with 8- or 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage to play with, allowing the ZenFone 10 to handle whatever you throw at it with absolute ease. Gaming was also a joy on the compact phone, managing to stay cool even over extended gameplay sessions.

There’s also great camera performance from a combination of a 50MP main and a 13MP ultrawide, particularly when it comes to image stabilsation, and a 32MP RGBW selfie camera delivers some of the best selfies we’ve seen this year.

What really makes the ZenFone 10 stand apart from the competition, however, is its hugely customisable approach to Android 13. 

You can either opt for Asus’ ZenUI skin or adopt something very close to stock Android, with additional support for Material You and other customisable elements of the UI. It goes much further than practically any other Android OEM, making it a joy to use day-to-day.

Throw in comfortable all-day battery life from a 4,300mAh cell and you’ve got a great compact Android smartphone that doesn’t cost the Earth. 

Review: Asus ZenFone 10 review
Reviewer: Lewis Painter

Samsung Galaxy S23

Best small Android flagship

Pros

  • Pocketable, minimalistic design
  • All-day battery life
  • True flagship performance

Cons

  • Near-identical to Galaxy S22
  • Slow charge speeds
  • Display only drops to 48Hz

The Asus ZenFone 10 is certainly the smallest flagship Android smartphone around, but the Samsung Galaxy S23 is another solid option that’s only marginally larger at 6.1 inches. 

The Samsung Galaxy S23 is a great option for those on the market for a compact smartphone without compromise. The 6.1-inch display is not only 120Hz but sports HDR10+ support, and with a maximum brightness of 1,750nits, it’s not a problem using it in outdoor conditions either. 

It also sports the unique Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy exclusive to Samsung smartphones, boasting a higher-clocked CPU and an additional GPU core compared to the regular flagship chipset. This gives the S23 an edge in performance, not only compared to other compact options but the flagship market in general. It’s safe to say it delivered a consistent blisteringly smooth experience.

Camera chops may not be quite up there with the top-end Galaxy S23 Ultra, but the S23’s combination of a 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide and 10MP telephoto delivers a versatile shooting experience, especially considering telephoto lenses seem to be a bit of a rarity among more compact options. You’ve got the usual over-saturation present across all Samsung smartphones, but it at least looks great for social media sharing. 

The Samsung Galaxy S23 also has one of the best long-term software promises around, with the company’s commitment to four OS upgrades and five years of security patches beating even Google’s long-term promise, so the phone will continue to improve over time too. 

Review: Samsung Galaxy S23 review
Reviewer: Lewis Painter

Google Pixel 7a

Best small mid-ranger

Pros

  • Excellent camera for the price
  • Plenty of upgrades over the Pixel 6a
  • Smart software
  • Some nice colour options

Cons

  • Middling battery life
  • Achingly slow charging

What if your budget doesn’t quite extend to flagship-level smartphones like the S23 or ZenFone 10? The Google Pixel 7a is our recommendation for compact smartphone fans on a bit more of a budget. 

Like the Galaxy S23, the Pixel 7a measures in at 6.1 inches, though it isn’t quite as fast as its premium alternatives at a slightly slower 90Hz – though you’d be hard-pressed to notice a difference in real life. Still, it’s a nice compact size that sits nicely in the hand, especially with the Pixel 7a’s curved edges.

Where the Pixel 7a flexes its mid-range muscles is in the camera department, using the flagship-level Tensor G2 chipset to power a range of AI features like Super Res Zoom and Night Sight, along with exclusive photo editing features that remove distractions from the background and even sharpen blurry images. 

That AI goodness also extends to the general experience, with the Pixel 7a’s stock Android 13 littered with handy AI features to improve your day-to-day, be it displaying upcoming calendar invites and the weather on the Home screen to Recently Played, an AI feature that automatically detects music in your environment as you go about your day – a real boon for music discovery.

Battery life is also solid, though charging can be a little slow, even at its mid-range price tag.

Still, if you’re looking for a compact phone on a budget, you won’t find a more capable option than the Google Pixel 7a in 2023. 

Review: Google Pixel 7a
Reviewer: Max Parker

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

Most compact foldable

Pros

  • Premium clamshell foldable design
  • Genuinely useful 3.6-inch exterior display
  • Great camera performance from main 12MP sensor
  • Top-end 6.9-inch pOLED foldable display

Cons

  • Battery could only last about a day
  • Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is a year old

What if you want a compact phone without having to compromise on the large-screen experience? That’s where foldables come into play. 

While technically not a small screen phone with a 6.8-inch 165Hz AMOLED display, the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra folds to half its height when not in use, making its folded footprint much more compact than most other small phones in 2023.

It essentially provides the best of both worlds: a large, expansive display great for TikTok and scrolling through the web that folds down to a much more compact form when not in use.

Elsewhere, the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra sports an elegant, premium design with either a glass or vegan leather finish, with the latter providing much better grip when holding the phone one-handed. It’s also available in rather stylish colour options, including a vibrant Pantone-inspired Viva Magenta finish, making it stand out from the crowd – foldable and otherwise.

It also sports a solid 12MP main camera with an impressive f/1.5 aperture and an accompanying 13MP ultrawide that make snapping images a quick and easy process, and due to the foldable nature of the phone, you can half-open it and use it as a tripod for hands-free capture.

Throw in solid performance from the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, all-day battery life, a large, expansive external display that helps cut down how often you need to unfold the phone and solid charging and you’ve got a great compact foldable.  

Review: Motorola Razr 40 Ultra review
Reviewer: Lewis Painter

We also considered…

FAQs

What’s the best compact phone in 2023?

For our money, it’s between the iPhone 13 mini and Asus ZenFone 10 depending on whether you’re an iOS or Android fan. They’re the most compact around while still delivering a comfortably powerful flagship smartphone experience.

How much should I spend on a compact phone?

That entirely depends; while you can spend hundreds on a flagship-level phone like the ZenFone 10, you can find cheaper compact options like the Pixel 7a.

Trusted Reviews test data

Geekbench 5 single core

Geekbench 5 multi core

Geekbench 6 single core

Geekbench 6 multi core

sRGB

Adobe RGB

DCI-P3

Max brightness

1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)

30 minute gaming (intensive)

30 minute gaming (light)

1 hour music streaming (online)

1 hour music streaming (offline)

Time from 0-100% charge

Time from 0-50% charge

30-min recharge (included charger)

15-min recharge (included charger)

30-min recharge (no charger included)

15-min recharge (no charger included)

3D Mark – Wild Life

GFXBench – Aztec Ruins

GFXBench – Car Chase

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IP rating

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Wireless charging

Fast Charging

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

Operating System

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

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HDR

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Chipset

RAM

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Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

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