It's not easy to find 5-inch smartphones on the market. However, they offer several advantages: easier to handle, the different areas of the screen accessible with one hand with the thumb, can be easily stored in clothing pockets...in short, this compact format is ideal for everyday use. Some devices offer models such as iPhone, Xiaomi, Samsung and Google Pixel. Endangered species, we have gathered here the most compact smartphones on the market.
Nowadays, smartphone screens have almost erased their edges in order to have bigger and better LCD or OLED tiles. Previously intended for the world of tablets, 6 to 7 inch screens are now the norm. However, a few irreducible brands resist the temptation of large screens with excellent compact models. If you want a small phone, find here our selection of the best compact smartphones of the moment.
Best compact smartphone 2020
IPHONE 11 PRO : COMPACTNESS MADE BY APPLE
Like the iPhone XS, the new iPhone 11 Pro retains a size that is more than comfortable to hold, with dimensions no larger than 71.4 x 144 x 8.1 mm. Although it's larger than its predecessor at 70.9 x 143.6 x 7.7 mm, the form factor is still as comfortable to hold. In addition, the 5.8-inch OLED display is of better quality and fits snugly around the edges of the smartphone despite the large notch for the Face ID system.
The new A13 Bionic chip is the most powerful smartphone on the market, far ahead of the Android smartphones of the moment. The user experience under iOS 13 is exemplary fluid, as is the user experience for the gourmet games available on the App Store. Its photo section is not to be outdone either, thanks to its triple sensor, which offers a good quality of pictures, while providing the versatility expected in 2019 (portrait, ultra-wide-angle, etc.). In addition, its autonomy has been greatly improved compared to the previous generation: 4 hours more than the iPhone XS.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S10E: THE PREMIUM EXPERIENCE IN A SMALL SIZE
Alongside the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, Samsung has added a third, much more compact model to this new family: the Galaxy S10e. Totally borderless, it features a 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen (with a maximum Full HD+ definition of 2280 x 1080 pixels) in a format that is more than pleasant to hold thanks to its moderate dimensions. With a size of 69.9 mm x 142.2 mm x 7.9 mm, your thumb can easily reach every corner of the screen without forcing it.
However, don't naively believe that the S10e is just a vulgar "Lite" iteration of an already existing smartphone, it's actually a full-fledged smartphone with solid arguments, other than its format. It has the same chip as its predecessors, the new 2.7GHz SoC Exynos 9820 with 6GB of RAM. Although a little less than the Snapdragon 855, this configuration still offers very high performance in everyday use, with a perfectly smooth user experience under Android 9.0 Pie with the One UI interface. Finally, if it is not a marathon runner with its 3,100 mAh battery, it can easily be described as a good photophone with its 16 +24 megapixel module, including a sensor used to take beautiful pictures thanks to the ultra-wide-angle mode.
GOOGLE PIXEL 4: LARGE PHOTOS, SMALL BATTERY
After the excellent Pixel 3, Google came back this year with Pixel 4. The firm hasn't changed a team that wins by taking over the two fundamentals of the range: small size and excellence in photography. It fits in 68.8 x 147.1 x 8.2mm with a 5.7-inch OLED screen. A size that runs counter to current market standards and is typically over 6 inches. The design has not changed significantly from its predecessor, once again we find thicker top edges than elsewhere, but the advantage of this is that the phone does not have a notch that some people do not like.
So much for the front. The other strong point of the Pixel to is the back: the photo sensors. This year, Google only offers a dual sensor: 16 and 12.2 megapixels. Good optics coupled with the firm's algorithmic talents once again work wonders. The pixel is among the best smartphones in terms of photos, and therefore the best in the "compact" segment. You obviously have all the power expected on a high-end product, and, Pixel obliges, an Android version in its purest expression. Where Google has disappointed this year is on the autonomy. The phone will only last a day in normal use. This is frankly disappointing, and we clearly expected more from Mountain View on this point. If you're looking for a small terminal that excels in photography, however, you'll have to make do.
XIAOMI MI 9 SE: THE COMPACT VERSION OF A FLAGSHIP MODEL
The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE retains the overall design of its predecessor, but in a slightly more compact format. The AMOLED display - still equipped with an optical fingerprint sensor - has a smaller diagonal (5.97 inches vs. 6.39 inches) and retains the same teardrop-shaped notch. As a result, this lighter version of the Chinese flagship is more comfortable to hold, which is ideal for avoiding daily finger gymnastics.
As far as its technical specifications are concerned, it has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of for a smartphone sold for less than 400 euros. Triple sensor 48 + 13 + 8 megapixels relatively efficient and probably versatile, Snapdragon 712 powerful enough to run a few 3D games and battery 3,040 mAh comfortable enough to last the day: in short, this smartphone has all the arguments to please. What's more, it's possible to quickly recover a few percentages thanks to its highly efficient quick charge system (about 52% in 30 minutes).
XIAOMI MI A2 LITE: THE LOW PRICE WITH SMALL DIMENSIONS
A lighter version of the Mi A2, this "Lite" model may have a more minimalist technical specification than its predecessor, but its size is much more comfortable to hold. First of all, its 5.86-inch screen is borderless - albeit with a notch - and adopts the 19:9 format, which gives a more refined result than the 18:9 ratio. Second, its 71.7 mm X 149.3 mm X 8.8 mm size is in line with what is generally proposed in this guide, but it is heavier than its competitors (178 grams versus 150 grams for the Galaxy S10e, for example).
There's no need for a powerful processor - which is normal when you know the price of the terminal - but a more humble Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 that still holds its own. The Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite also has a good range, which pleasantly surprised our editors. It works like its brother (the Mi A2) with Google's Android One interface. But contrary to it, the Mi A2 lite has the advantage of having the sacrosanct jack plug and a slot for a microSD.