Best small phone 2021

best small phone 2020 hero

As with so many things, bigger isn’t always better with regards to smartphones and this list best represents the top picks for worthwhile small phones on the market in 2021.

Why get a small phone?

When the 4.7in iPhone 6 was released, many were outraged at the size increase. Nowadays, such a screen size is considered comically small.

Simply put, phones have gotten too big. Bezels on phones have shrunk significantly in the last few years, but that doesn’t mean people are suddenly willing to wield a 6.9in monster, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

People with smaller hands are going to find a permanently two-handed phone an inconvenience, not just when in-hand but when it’s constantly poking out the top of their jeans pockets too. Handsets of a smaller size can be used one-handed, fit in a pocket or bag far more easily, and can do everything a bigger phone can do in a more compact package.

There’s also the matter of foldables to now consider, with devices like the revived Motorola RAZR, along with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip and Z Flip 3 embracing the clamshell designs of old but combining them with new foldable display technology, giving you the best of both – a larger-screened device in a compact package.

Best small phone 2021

iPhone 13 Mini – Best overall
  • Pros: Lightweight and compact | Powerful performance | Great cameras
  • Cons: Limited battery life | Relatively expensive | No ProMotion display
  • From £679

Easily the best small phone around – considering the size-to-performance balance it strikes with its (still 60Hz) 5.4in Super Retina XDR OLED display.

The 13 Mini runs on the same cutting-edge A15 Bionic chipset found in the rest of the series and it also benefits from more base storage and a bigger battery, compared to its predecessor (even if longevity is still behind that of rivals).

The dual rear 12Mp camera also gets last year’s improved stabilisation, better sensors and new shooting abilities – like Cinematic mode, while the selfie snapper is among the best in the business.

The screen might feel a little cramped to type on, so try one out in an Apple Store before you buy, if you can, and think hard about the price, as 2020’s iPhone 12 Mini is still a superb small phone offering that now costs even less.