The definition of a small phone has changed throughout the last couple of years as the smartphone industry has moved to taller displays. One way manufacturers have kept phone sizes small is by trimming the bezels, and that's the direction Samsung took with the Galaxy S10e. It's perfect for one-handed use but doesn't skimp on the screen real estate.
Samsung Galaxy S10e
The Galaxy S10e comes in vibrant colors and offers a 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED FHD+ display that's perfect for one-handed use. The S10e has a flat display and a fingerprint sensor on the left side. Samsung hasn't compromised on the internal hardware, with the phone sporting the same Snapdragon 855 chipset as the S10 and S10+.
Google has done a stellar job releasing the "same" Pixel 4 in two different sizes. The Pixel 4 doesn't miss out on any features from its larger sibling — it has the same specs, cameras, and stereo speakers. The display may be smaller, but it's the same quality. Really, the only downside here is battery life, which is frankly poor.
The Nokia 7.1 has been replaced by the newer 7.2, but its successor is much larger. To stay compact, stick with the 7.1 and you'll save money at the same time. It has a vibrant 5.8-inch HDR10 display, and the Snapdragon 636 ensures you don't see any lag. Then there's the softw are — the Nokia 7.1 runs Android One, guaranteeing a clean interface and timely security updates. Best of all, it's available officially in the U.S.
Amazing camera for less
Take the software, capabilities, and camera of the Pixel 3, but cut the price down — now you have a Pixel 3a. Strategic cutbacks in the hardware and specs are noticeable. But you may not care when you get to save a few hundred dollars and keep that compact form factor you desire.
The Honor 10 stretches the definition of a small phone as it comes in just shy of 150 mm, but its narrow form factor makes it great to use one-handed. The design at the back is evocative, the phone offers excellent value for money, and the 3400mAh battery is more than adequate for all-day usage. But you don't get a warranty in the U.S.
The Nokia 5 is incredibly inexpensive, but that also means it keeps things modestly sized with just a 5.2-inch display. The specs are basic, as is the design, but for this money, you can't have any complaints. But it's one of the smallest modern full-featured phones you can get today.
If we’re making some suggestions
The market for small phones is dwindling, but there are a few reliable options still available. The Galaxy S10e brings you the core Galaxy S10 experience in a smaller package and also a lower price. Yes, it's still a little pricey, but if you're after a small, flagship smartphone, it's the way to go.
The Google Pixel 4 also keeps the size down, but its battery life is on the weak side and doesn't have the same pile of features the S10e does. There are plenty of compelling less-expensive options too, like the Pixel 3a and even-cheaper Honor 10 if you're on a tighter budget.