Best compact smartphones in April 2022: our complete buying guide

What are the best compact smartphones in 2022? If most recent smartphones are more than 6 or even 6.5 inches, some models offering better grip exist on the market. They are becoming increasingly rare, but there are some, whether on the side of Apple or Android. So, which compact smartphone to buy in 2022? We tell you everything.

Best compact smartphones

Selection of the best compact smartphones in 2022

Asus Zenfone 8 : a very enduring little smartphone

Asus Zenfone 8 at the best price

  • Fnac

    606.74€

    Discover the offer

  • Shopping street

    697€

    Discover the offer

  • Darty

    699€

    Discover the offer

  • Rakuten

    699€

    Discover the offer

  • Amazon

    699€

    Discover the offer

When it was released in 2021, the Asus ZenFone 8 had the dual responsibility of replacing the ZenFone 7 Pro and convincing that there was a real market for small smartphones. In 2022, this smartphone will have succeeded in answering a basic question: a smartphone can be small and powerful at the same time.

With its 148 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm and 169 grams on the scale, the Zenfone 8 is easily taken in one hand. At the front, the Asus smartphone includes a “small” flat 5.9-inch panel provided by Samsung Display (and therefore, AMOLED) in Full HD + with 446 pixels per inch. The refresh rate of the panel is 120 Hz.

Once the phone is on, you will arrive on Zen UI 8 based here on Android 11. The ZenFone 8 benefits here from a high-end platform, the Snapdragon 888, which does not hesitate on performance, despite its small format. Its 4000 mAh battery makes it last more than a day without too much trouble. Find here our test of the Asus ZenFone 8.

The + The –
We love the screen The recessed photo part (no telephoto lens, too much contrast)
An almost ideal grip Some overheating issues observed
Autonomy No wireless charging
Prise mini-jack 3,5 mm

iPhone 13 mini: the reference of the small smartphone at Apple

iPhone 13 mini 128 GB at the best price

  • Shopping street

    796€

    Discover the offer

  • Amazon

    860.13€

    Discover the offer

Announced on September 14, 2021, the iPhone 13 mini remains, in 2022, the best compact smartphone on the side of Apple. It is equipped with a very small 5.4-inch OLED screen at 60 Hz (476 dpi, HDR10 and True Tone), which makes it extremely compact since it can easily be held in one hand.

In terms of power, the iPhone 13 mini benefits from the latest Apple A15 Bionic chip, which offers excellent performance. If it is slightly less endowed than that which equips the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, it nevertheless has enough to make the competition pale, especially for this format. The smartphone is obviously 5G compatible (NR & Sub-6).

It benefits from a double photo sensor, wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle (twice 12 megapixels) with OIS, boosted by the Neural Engine of the A15 chip. Its difference from the iPhone 12 mini can be seen mainly in terms of autonomy, since Apple’s latest compact lasts longer than its predecessor. Find our test of the iPhone 13 mini: small size, but great potential.

The + The –
Good battery life for its size
Few hardware upgrades
Nice bright screen 60Hz screen
IP68 certified Lens protruding from frame
Double eSIM digital zoom

Google Pixel 4a 5G: the Google smartphone that fits in your hand

Google Pixel 4A 5G at the best price

  • Rakuten

    392€

    Discover the offer

  • Fnac

    418.9€

    Discover the offer

Released at the end of 2020 already, then replaced by the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 6 more recently, the Pixel 4a has almost nothing to envy its big brothers, especially in terms of size. If you have a budget of up to 400 euros and are looking for a small Android smartphone, then you have found it. It benefits from a 6.24-inch OLED screen, 1080 x 2340 pixels, which makes it very pleasant in the hand.

The Pixel 4a 5G shares certain characteristics with the Pixel 5: it works with the same Snapdragon 765G processor, a solid mid-range chip, as well as two main lenses for the camera part, a wide-angle, but also an ultra-wide -angle.

Question autonomy, a recharge every 36 hours should be enough, or even every 48 hours, as long as you limit your multimedia consumption a little. It is of course compatible with 5G. Find our test of the Google Pixel 4a 5G: the best of Google at an affordable price.

The + The –
Photo quality Plastic case not waterproof
Autonomy
90Hz step
Large OLED screen, good quality
Lack of super fast charging and wireless charging

iPhone SE 5G 2022: a compact and affordable smartphone from Apple

Presented in March 2022, the new iPhone SE 5G takes up the advantages already popularized by its predecessors. If it is extremely similar to the iPhone 8 in terms of design, it benefits from a – very – small 4.7-inch LCD screen, surrounded by wide borders. IP67 certified against water and dust, however, it uses the same protection as the iPhone 13 to protect the front and back from possible damage.

Significantly, the iPhone SE 5G is equipped with the Touch ID fingerprint reader, which had disappeared on recent models. At the rear, there is a single 12-megapixel sensor, which nevertheless benefits from photographic styles (AI-doped filters), Cinematic mode, Deep Fusion and Smart HDR 4, like the iPhone 13 mini. However, the quality of the photos is much worse than the latest models.

Similarly, the iPhone SE 5G 2022 is equipped with Apple’s latest chip, the A15 Bionic, which is a small performance monster. So don’t worry too much about that. Apple declines the iPhone SE in three colors, in red, black and white. Find our test of the Apple iPhone SE 5G 2022: old pot, but very good jam.

The + The –
Good battery life for its size
Few hardware upgrades
Nice bright screen 60Hz screen
IP68 certified Lens protruding from frame
Double eSIM digital zoom

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 : un smartphone pliable compact

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 at the best price

  • Fnac

    642€

    Discover the offer

  • Shopping street

    653€

    Discover the offer

  • Amazon

    709€

    Discover the offer

Announced in August 2021, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is Samsung’s most compact foldable smartphone. It is equipped with a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen, with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a secondary screen of 1.9 inches. The good news is that the resistance of the screen has been increased by around 80% compared to the previous generation.

The photo part is provided by a dual 12-megapixel sensor, one with ultra-wide-angle and the other, a 10-megapixel front sensor. Question performance, the smartphone is supported by a Snapdragon 888 chip and 8 GB of RAM, in 128 or 256 GB of storage. Finally, it benefits from a 3300 mAh battery.

This very small clamshell smartphone weighs only 183 grams on the scale, for a thickness of only 6.9 mm. Overall, the smartphone is particularly light, its rounded edges give it a very good grip and it can easily be opened with one hand. Find our handling of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: the foldable smartphone is getting a makeover.

The + The –
A very successful design and a very beautiful construction Autonomy that does not reach the full day
A foldable smartphone that’s also water resistant A photo part set back compared to the Galaxy S21 series
A very fluid external screen (120 Hz) and perfectly calibrated
A selfie sensor whose use becomes anecdotal
A larger internal screen that becomes very useful

🧐 What criteria should be taken into account when buying a small smartphone?

The first criterion to take into account in your choice of compact smartphone is obviously the care of. Most recent smartphones, if not the vast majority of them, are larger than 6.4 inches. As you can imagine, with this format, it is difficult to grab the smartphone and use it with one hand. However, compact smartphones are easier to use. They are also lighter and therefore, more easily transportable. For this, the best is always to try it in real life, to make sure that it suits you.

A second criterion to consider is autonomy. Who says small smartphone, says small battery. Small smartphones benefit from a battery of less than 4000 mAh and therefore you will have to make sure that it holds a charge well, like the iPhone 13 mini or the Asus Zenfone 8, which have both proven their ability to remain efficient and enduring despite their format.

Finally, think about performances. Do you need a powerful smartphone? If this is the case, again favor the most recent compact smartphones, such as the iPhone 13 mini or the Asus Zenfone 8. If this is not the case, you can look at older models, such as the Google Pixel 4a or the Pixel 4a 5G, which are still quite capable, even in 2022.

📱 Should you buy a foldable smartphone?

The hybrid format of smartphone pliable tends to democratize. If you’re not afraid of having two screens instead of one, then this alternative might appeal to you. In this specific case, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, which remains very compact despite its foldable format. It will slip easily into a pocket and will be used on a daily basis without hassle, even if it will be necessary to think of protecting it in a pocket provided for this purpose when traveling.

🤲 What screen size for a compact smartphone?

If slabs under 5 inches were the norm ten years ago, this is no longer the case today. Most smartphones are over 6 inches and even then that’s a minimum. Very unfortunately, for those who appreciate small formats, smartphones under 6 inches are becoming increasingly rare. We can now consider that a smartphone below 6 or 6.3 inches is a compact format, like those we offer in this selection.

Leave a Comment