The size of phones has been consistently increasing over the years but in 2020 most phones have gotten bafflingly BIG and heavy. Small phones are almost extinct, particularly in the affordable segment.
If you have been holding on to your phone for the last two to three years and are now planning on an upgrade, chances are that you won’t feel comfortable with most modern phones.
Why phones are getting bigger and bulkier?
New technologies and trends do warrant size scaling. Here are a few reasons why our phones are getting bigger, thicker, and heavier:
- 5G – Irrespective of the state of 5G networks, all prominent phones will be 5G ready this year. Supporting 5G requires bigger batteries, more and thicker antennas.
- More cameras – Stacking multiple cameras requires more space. With “quad-cameras” increasingly becoming a norm, our phone needs to get bigger.
- Thicker cameras – It’s not just the number, but the resolution of camera sensors is also dramatically increasing. Quad-Bayer sensors – 48MP, 64MP, 108MP – are thicker. Our phones end up being thicker to absorb a portion of the bump.
- Bigger batteries – People use their phones more and require more power to meet their needs. Out batteries are getting denser, but still, bigger batteries need more space and bloat phones.
- Fast charging – batteries that support fast charging require thicker separators between Anode and cathode and need to be less dense than slow charging batteries. So, they ultimately add to the thickness.
Best Small Phones to buy in 2020
As reviewing phones over the years has taught us, getting accustomed to a bigger or smaller size isn’t that hard. But if you still can’t compromise on size and just need to have a small, comfortably manageable phone, here are the best available options as of today.
1. Samsung Galaxy S20
The Samsung Galaxy S20 (review) is a thoroughly impressive phone. It retains the best features and experience Samsung has on offer for 2020 and surprisingly manages to do that without compromising on a slim and ergonomic profile. The phone measures 7.9mm in thickness and weigh 163 grams.
Galaxy S20 has a fabulous 120Hz display, a capable chipset, powerful stereo speakers, and a 4000mAh battery with 25W fast charging support. If you are looking for a premium compact phone, we strongly recommend that you consider it.
The last years’ Samsung Galaxy S10 has a similar footprint and costs a good 10K-15k lesser.
2. iPhone 12 Mini
iPhone 12 Mini is just small in size but is uncompromising when it comes to the power and all the key upgrades the regular iPhone 12 brings. This includes the revamped squared off design, new A14 Bionic processors, OLED displays, improved cameras, and 5G. Apple even called it the smallest 5G phone in the world.
In numbers, the Mini mounts a 5.4″ FHD OLED panel with Ceramic Shield protection. It is extremely light too at 135 grams. So, all in all, it should satisfy compact phone lovers. Not just that, its success would pave way for a whole bandwagon of small phones in the Android land.
3. Google Pixel 4a
Google’s mid-range flagship phone Pixel 4a has launched in India at a competitive price of Rs. 29,999. The made by Google phone weighs just 143gram but the battery size is substantially smaller at 3140mAh battery.
It comes with a 5.81-inches display on the front. The phone is powered by Snapdragon 730G and runs Android 11. In contrast to the prevailing trend, the Google Pixel 4a phone features a single camera on both front and back, but the camera performance is class-leading.
4. iPhone XS
iPhone XS (review) is significantly handier than iPhone 11-series phones and even the iPhone XR. It is just 7.7mm thick and is fairly light 177 grams.
With the XS, you’d be missing out on current generation camera improvements, but will still get a matching experience in all other regards.
5. iPhone SE 2020
Apple recycled the iPhone 8, stuffed it with new guts, and launched the phone as iPhone SE 2020. The biggest draw of the phone is its slim, light, and compact body.
The phone is way overpriced in India, but if you are into Apple’s ecosystem you may consider sourcing it from other markets. The iPhone SE 2020 has a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display, is just 7.3mm thick, and weighs just 148 grams.
The iPhone SE is powered by the latest A13 Bionic chipset and comes in three storage options. The 12MP rear camera has OIS and benefits from Smart HDR and computational photography algorithms.
6. Vivo V20
Vivo V20 is just 7.4 mm slim and weighs a reasonable 171 grams. The handset has triple rear cameras, a 44MP selfie camera, and runs Android 11 based FuntouchOS 11 out of the box.
The handset is powered by a Snapdragon 720G octa-core chipset paired with up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage.
7. Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro is one of the sleekest and lightest phones to have launched in India in 2020. It has a 7.5 mm sleek body and weighs 164g while featuring an above 4000mAh battery.
The Oppo F17 Pro flaunts a 6.43-inch AMOLED screen on the front while a Mediatek Helio P95 SoC enthralls under-the-hood. Optics-wise, the F17 gets to boast of a quad-camera setup including a 48MP primary camera and 16MP led dual selfie camera sensor.
8. Samsung Galaxy S10e
The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the most compact phone on this list. It measures 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm in dimensions and weighs just 150 grams! That doesn’t mean you have to compromise on features or experience.
This is a water-resistant phone with Gorilla Glass on the front and rear. The Exynos 9820 powering the phone is brawny enough to smoothly handle the OneUI 2.0 software.
9. Samsung Galaxy A51
If you are looking for a small and manageable phone under Rs. 25,000, Samsung Galaxy A51 (review) is one option you may consider. The phone is slim, light, and has an awesome design.
The Exynos 9611 powering the phone limits it as a device for moderate users (and not for hardcore gamers) and the 15W charging should also feel like a mild compromise. All said and done, you can get better specs in the budget but if the design is your top priority, the A51 is worth considering.
10. Xiaomi Mi A3
Xiaomi Mi A3 is the only affordable phone on this list. It has its fair share of flaws, but it’s still relatively compact and upholds modern trends. The camera performance is above average and the A3 runs stock Android 10 (after update).
The Snapdragon 665 that powers the handset is a decent proposition for the price. The AMOLED screen, however, has only HD resolution and feels a tad soft.
Best Small and Compact Phones to buy in India in 2020
As you can make out, It’s only the premium phones that offer compact size options these days. If you are looking for an affordable small phone, your options will be limited to previous generation iPhones, and Samsung and Google flagships.