The majority of smartphones continue to be too large for simple one-handed operation, even though the trend of ever-growing screens appears to be plateauing in recent years. So if you are someone who thinks that large displays are not your top priority in a smartphone, and would much rather opt for a device that is easy to operate with one hand, we have made a buyer’s guide just for you.
We have divided the guide into two major sections, which are Android and iOS-based devices to make it easier for readers to choose the platform they want to go with.
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
The iPhone 13 Mini is the best truly compact flagship smartphone that Apple has to offer right now. It is essentially an iPhone 13 with a 5.4″ OLED screen. The display has FHD resolution and offers 5G connectivity with the A15 chip at its heart. The dual camera hardware is the same as the iPhone 13 and offers sensor-shift stabilization, Night Mode, and Dolby Vision video capturing.
It comes with an improved battery over the iPhone 12 Mini and also features the same Ceramic Shield and IP68 waterproofing found on the Pro models. Although Apple has discontinued the device, it still retails around the $350 mark.
Apple iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro
Other than the Mini model, other models offered by Apple like the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are also quite compact with a 6.1″ display size and 147.5mm x 71.5mm x 7.85mm dimensions. The base model features an FHD+ panel with 60Hz refresh rate, and 1000nits peak brightness, while the Pro model offers 120Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 2000nits.
iphone 14 pro, iphone 14 pro max
The most significant difference between the two, other than the price tag, is the camera setup. The Pro model has a triple-camera setup with a 48 MP main sensor with sensor-shift OIS, a 12 MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, and a 12 MP ultrawide camera. On the other hand, iPhone 14 has a 12 MP main camera with OIS and a 12 MP ultrawide camera on the back.
An honorable mention here would be the iPhone 13, which is essentially the iPhone 14 for $100 less. However, this means that the device will get one less year of software updates compared to the iPhone 14.
The iPhone 14 has a price tag of $399, while the iPhone 14 Pro starts at $499.
Asus Zenfone 9
The Zenfone line from Asus has been known to feature some of the best compact Android smartphones on the market, and the latest Zenfone 9 does not disappoint on any front. It has all the features you could expect from a flagship Android device like the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, an IP68 rating, and a 5.9″ FHD+ 120Hz display coated with Gorilla Glass Victus.
There is a dual-camera setup on the device with a 50MP primary lens and a 12MP ultrawide sensor. The brand has made the camera especially suited for outdoor shooting as it features a 6-axis hybrid Gimbal stabilization and EIS. It has a decent size 4,300mAh battery with 30W fast charging that can last all day. The only drawback of this device is that it is not available in some markets around the world like India. The device has a starting price of $449.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Like the iPhones, Samsung also offers its base flagship model in a compact form factor. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 6.8″ display with Dynamic AMOLED 2X, and 120Hz refresh rate. It features a triple camera system with a 50MP OIS primary, a 10MP OIS 3x telephoto, and a 12MP ultrawide camera. The front has a 10MP Autofocus camera.
Under the hood, you’ll either find the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm) or the flagship chipset depending on your region. The battery is decent in size and comes with 25W wired and 15W wireless charging support. With the S22 Ultra, availability is not an issue as it can be purchased in almost all major markets around the world. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a starting price tag of $479.
Sony Xperia 5 IV, Xperia 10 IV
Sony also has some compact offerings in its smartphone lineup. First, there is the flagship grade Sony Xperia 5 IV, which has a 6.1″ FHD+ display (120Hz refresh rate), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, and IP68 water and dust resistance. 8GB RAM and 128GB storage are built into the device, while you can expand the storage using a microSD card.
When it comes to cameras, the rear has a triple-camera system. All three sensors have a resolution of 12MP. The primary camera has a 24mm equivalent 1/1.7′′ lens, the ultra-wide has a 16mm equivalent 1/2.5′′ lens, and the 2.5x telephoto has a 60mm equivalent 1/3.5′′ lens. Finally, the Sony Xperia 5 IV is powered by a 5,000mAh battery. It supports 30W USB PD fast charging as well as Qi wireless charging.
Alternatively, the brand also offers the Xperia 10 IV, which is a mid-range 6″ OLED display smartphone with an FHD+ resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and Gorilla Glass Victus protection. Under the hood, there is a Snapdragon 695 5G chipset which draws power from a 5,000mAh battery (30W fast charging).
Sony has included a triple camera setup on the back of the device consisting of a 12MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and an 8MP 2x telephoto lens. The phone is also IP68 rated to make it water and dust-resistant.
The Sony Xperia 5 VI costs $469, while the more affordable Xperia 10 IV costs around $350.