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 XS
Last year’s 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.
3. Google Pixel 4a (upcoming)
Google always releases two size options for its flagships and mid-range flagships. The Pixel 3a was an awesome mid-range phone, even when it was a tad overpriced in India. And it will soon be replaced by Pixel 4a.
Like all Google phones in the past, the upcoming 4a has turned out to be a poorly kept secret. The phone has already shown up in a hands-on video and we already know quite a lot about the hardware.
Dimensions and weight aren’t known, but the display is just 5.8-inches in size. The phone is powered by Snapdragon 730 and will debut with Android 10. Battery capacity on the base model is allegedly 3080mAh, which doesn’t seem very promising.
4. Samsung Galaxy S10e
The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the most compact phone in 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.
5. 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.
6. Xiaomi Mi A3
Xiaomi Mi A3 is the only affordable phone in 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.