Best Small Phones 2022: Compact But Powerful Smartphones - Student Beans Blog (2023)

Some of the best small smartphones of 2022 pack a real punch with updated processors and decently sized RAM and storage. Whether you’re after something miniature to fit well in your pockets or simply use in one hand, you can find a small smartphone on this list that won’t compromise on performance.

The largest screen size we go up to on this list is 6.1-inches (when compared to say the iPhone 13 line-up, that’s fairly small). The smallest phone is 5.4-inches. This means you have a ton of options to choose from when it comes to picking the best small phone for you.

In terms of the phones listed, you’ve got different models and OS to choose from, including:

  1. iPhone 13 mini
  2. iPhone SE (2022)
  3. Google Pixel 5
  4. Sony Xperia 5 III
  5. Sony Xperia 10 III
  6. Samsung Galaxy S10e.

So yes, the best compact smartphones are Google, Samsung and Apple phones. But don’t worry, our list has a range of budgets to suit too. Read on to discover which small smartphone will be the best one for you.

Best small smartphones

iPhone 13 mini — £679

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The iPhone 13 mini is part of the latest iPhone 13 range. It’s a small handset measuring only 5.4-inches in screen size, yes features the A15 Bionic chip that the rest of the range does (yes, even the Pro Max). This makes the iPhone 13 mini a very powerful yet small phone to use on the daily. Its 5.4-inch OLED display is super crisp, has an excellent colour range and great viewing angles too.

Both the 12MP wide-angle main and 12MP ultrawide cameras feature larger sensors now that let in more light, meaning brighter photos and even more flexibility for photographing in the evening. The ultra-wide also has autofocus too, meaning you won’t have to spend so long adjusting the distance between yourself and the subject.

It also contains Cinematic Mode and Photographic Styles which allow you to shoot different effects according to your taste. Cinematic mode lets you shoot artistic portrait videos with background blur, whereas Photographic Styles gives you access to an array of filters.

In terms of battery, there’s faster wireless charging on the iPhone 13 mini compared with the iPhone SE. It costs a little more than the SE, but you certainly get your money’s worth.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x iPhone 13 mini
  • 1 x USB Type-C to Lightning cable
  • 1 x Documentation
  • 1 x SIM ejector tool
  • 1 x Apple sticker.

Technical specs

  • Weight: 140 g
  • Dimensions: 131.5 mm x 64.2 mm x 7.65 mm
  • OS: iOS 15
  • Screen size: 5.4‑inch (diagonal) all‑screen OLED display
  • Resolution: 2340×1080-pixel resolution at 476 ppi
  • CPU: A15 Bionic chip. New 6‑core CPU
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Expandable storage: 256GB or 512GB
  • Battery: Lithium-ion 2406 mAh
  • Rear camera: Dual 12MP camera system (Wide and Ultra Wide cameras)
  • Front camera: 12MP camera.

Pros

  • Fantastic dual cameras
  • 5G support
  • A15 Bionic power.

Cons

  • No charger in the box.

Get an iPhone student discount.

iPhone SE (2022) — from £419

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The iPhone SE 2022 isn’t too dissimilar to the older version in terms of design. However, this small smartphone comes packed with the A15 Bionic chip that’s featured in the iPhone 13 line-up, making it a powerhouse for its size. It’s got a dinky screen measuring at just 4.7-inches, so it’s perfect if you’re after a small phone you can use with just one hand.

There’s no night mode, but for the size, its camera is actually pretty decent and comes with a 12MP rear and 7MP front camera. In terms of its appearance, the iPhone SE 2022 is available in black, white, or red colours. Plus, the new SE 2022 is built out of aluminium and glass, not plastic, and boasts an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x iPhone SE (2022)
  • 1 x USB-C to Lightning Cable
  • 1 x Documentation.

Technical specs

  • Weight: 144 g
  • Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
  • OS: iOS 15.4, upgradable to iOS 15.5
  • Screen size: 4.7 inches
  • Resolution: 750 x 1334 pixels
  • CPU: A15 Bionic Hexa-core (2×3.22 GHz Avalanche + 4×1.82 GHz Blizzard)
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Expandable storage: 128GB, 256GB
  • Battery: Li-Ion 2018 mAh
  • Rear camera: 12 MP
  • Front camera: 7 MP.

Pros

  • Amazing photo quality
  • More durable than the previous model.

Cons

  • No charging plug
  • No night mode.

Get an iPhone student discount.

Google Pixel 5 — from £350.00

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The Google Pixel 5 is one of the best small smartphones out there. Its powerful, thanks to its 90Hz refresh rate and Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, plus tons more RAM than you’d find in say an Apple iPhone (if that’s your deciding factor).

In terms of design, the Pixel 5 is made from metal. Most phones are made from glass or plastic, so the Pixel 5 has a very premium feel to it. It’s got a 1080 x 2340 OLED display which is fantastic for streaming on the go too.

When it comes to photography, the Google Pixel 5 has great camera options. It only has a dual-lens rear camera of 12.2MP and 16MP, but its dynamic range and night photography are pretty decent. It also comes 5G-enabled, has wireless charging and has an IP68 rating, making it dust and water-resistant.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Google Pixel 5 phone
  • 1 x SIM tool
  • 1 x Quick Switch adaptor
  • 1 x 1 m USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0)
  • 1 x Quick start packet (guide, safety and regulatory information).

Technical specs

  • Weight: 151 g
  • Dimensions: 144.7 mm x 70.4 mm x 8 mm
  • OS: Android 11
  • Screen size: 6-inches (OLED)
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels (432 ppi)
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Expandable storage: Unknown
  • Battery: 4080 mAh
  • Rear camera: 12.2MP wide + 16MP ultrawide
  • Front camera: 8MP wide.

Pros

  • Impressive camera

Cons

  • Average battery life.

Get an Amazon student discount here.

Sony Xperia 5 III — £859.84

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Slightly on the larger side when it comes to small phones, the Sony Xperia 5 III has a 6.1-inch display. So if you’re after a small phone with a bit more room then this is it. Its 21:9 aspect ratio makes it thinner but taller than the average smartphone too, so it’s very easy to use with one hand.

In terms of processing speed, the Xperia 5 III comes with the Snapdragon 888 which is incredibly fast, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. That’s tons of processing power for speedy scrolling and app switching, as well as tons of space for all your media. It also comes with wireless charging capabilities and is 5G enabled.

Its camera is fantastic, and is equipped with an triple-lens rear camera and 8MP front camera for selfies. In fact, it’s built with Zeiss lenses which are a superior brand in the camera world and help reduce glare.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Sony Xperia 5 III
  • 1 x Charging cable
  • 1 x Documentation.

Technical specs

  • Weight: 168 grams
  • Dimensions: 157 x 68 x 8.2 mm
  • OS: Android 11
  • Screen size: 6.1-inches
  • Resolution: 2520 x 1080 pixels
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Expandable storage: Unknown
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Rear camera: 12MP, 12MP, 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP

Pros

  • Superior camera quality
  • 5G enabled.

Cons

  • Average battery life.

Get an Amazon student discount here.

Sony Xperia 10 III — £361

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The Sony Xperia 10 III isn’t the best performing phone on this list, but it’s fantastic for size and useability in one hand. Measuring in at 6-inches, it’s 68mm wide, which is only slightly wider than the iPhone SE (2020).

In terms of display, the Xperia 10 III comes with a 2,520 x 1,080 full HD OLED panel and 21:9 aspect ratio for watching movies and videos in landscape mode. Plus, with a total of 457 pixels per inch, it’s very sharp.

The camera system itself is average. The Sony Xperia 10 III has a triple camera array made up of a 12MP (f/1.8) main lens and two 8MP snappers: one for ultrawide shots (f/2.2) and another for 2x optical zoom (f/2.4). It is however capable of shooting video in 16:9 or 21:9 aspect ratio in both 4K or 1080p, which is great if you’re a content creator after a small phone.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Sony Xperia 10 III smartphone
  • 1 x USB cable
  • 1 x USB-C 2.0.

Technical specs

  • Weight: 169g
  • Dimensions: 154 x 68 x 8.3 mm
  • OS: Android 11
  • Screen size: 6-inch OLED
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2520
  • CPU: Snapdragon 690 5G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Expandable storage: 128GB
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Rear camera: 12MP + 8MP + 8MP
  • Front camera: 8MP.

Pros

  • Fantastic OLED display.

Cons

  • Not the best camera.

Get an Amazon student discount here.

Samsung Galaxy S10e — £343

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One of the best small Samsung phone options that are cheaper than the S10. It’s not a new phone by any means, but that just means the phone will be a lot cheaper than its successors.

The Samsung Galaxy S10e comes with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and either an Exynos 9820 or Snapdragon 855 chipset. Both of which are super powerful processors.

Measuring in at just 5.8-inches, it’s a great phone to hold in one hand. But not only this, it comes with a 1080 x 2280 AMOLED screen, and AMOLED means crisp and bright colours. And although it’s a small phone, it contains minimal bezels around the front screen. It’s also made with a glass and aluminum design makes the Galaxy S10e feel quite substantial as well, without it being or feeling too heavy.

Finally, all Galaxy S10 models, including the S10e come with a headphone jack, as well as an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • 1 x Charging cable.

Technical specs

  • Weight: 150g
  • Dimensions: 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9mm
  • OS: Android 11
  • Screen size: 5.8-inch
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2280
  • CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Expandable storage: 256GB
  • Battery: 3,100 mAh
  • Rear camera: 12MP + 16MP
  • Front camera: 10MP.

Pros

  • Great camera
  • Can be used in one hand.

Cons

  • A bit thicker than the S10 phone.

Get an Amazon student discount here.

And those are the best small phones for 2022 rounded up. Which one do you think you’ll get? We hope the variety of small smartphones we mentioned gives you some food for thought!

What is the smallest smartphone?

Apparently, the ​​Unihertz Atom is the smallest smartphone and you can buy it in the UK on sites like Amazon. It measures a mere 2.45-inches in screen size! In terms of specs, it’s pretty powerful too. It has a 2GHz octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 16MP rear camera, an 8MP front-facing one, and a 2,000mAh battery

However if you’re after the best smallest smartphone on the market, your eyes should be set on the iPhone SE (2022) which measures 5.4-inches.

What is the smallest Samsung phone?

Technically, Samsung Galaxy A01 Core is the smallest Samsung phone on the market. The Samsung Galaxy S10e, however, is the smallest Samsung phone (or at least the smallest in the S10 range) to get in 2022 with the best performance.

Don’t forget to sign up to Student Beans to get offers on all of the phones mentioned above! Plus, you can get other types of discounts too such as tech student discounts, gadget student deals and much more.

FAQs

What is the most powerful smartphone in 2022? ›

The most powerful phones of 2022

Those five are the iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 14, RedMagic 7S Pro, Xiaomi 12 Pro, and Google Pixel 7 Pro. The new iPhones probably need little introduction.

What is the smallest full featured smartphone? ›

Best small phone 2023
  1. iPhone 13 Mini – Best overall. ...
  2. Google Pixel 7a – Best small Android phone. ...
  3. Asus Zenfone 10 – Flagship Android specs. ...
  4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – Best foldable. ...
  5. Sony Xperia 5 IV – Narrow and compact. ...
  6. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 – Best cheaper foldable. ...
  7. iPhone 12 Mini – Fantastic all-rounder.
Jun 29, 2023

What is the best mobile for college students? ›

List of best phones for students (July 2023) in India
best phones for students (July 2023) in IndiaPrice
Motorola Moto G71 5G18,999
Redmi A2 Plus8,499
Realme 10 4G13,999
iQOO Z6 Lite 5G13,999
6 more rows

Which Samsung phone is the smallest in size? ›

Alongside the biggest phone, Samsung also launched Galaxy Z Flip5 in July 2023, the smallest Samsung phone measuring in at only 8.5cm x 7.2cm when folded shut. Alternatively, the Samsung Galaxy S23 has a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen which makes it another great option if you're looking for a smaller screen phone.

Which smartphone is most powerful? ›

The Asus ROG Phone 6 and ZenFone 9 end up being the most powerful Android smartphones one can buy. Here are all the details. The competition is fierce in the world of Android smartphones, all of them gunning for the top spot.

Which is the fastest smartphone? ›

iQOO 11 5G Specifications

The self-proclaimed "fastest smartphone in the world" has a 6.78-inch 2K E6 AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 144Hz. It has a peak brightness of 1800 nits.

What is the slimmest Android phone in 2023? ›

Motorola Edge 40 (Rs 39,999)

From what we can tell, the Motorola Edge 40 is the slimmest and lightest phone launched in 2023. Going heavy on design and aesthetics, the Edge 40 features a flagship-level build with a metal frame, leather back, and curved display. The phone is just 7.6mm thin and weighs 167g.

What is the smallest rugged phone? ›

Unihertz Atom, Smallest 4G IP68 Rugged Smartphone, 2.45'' Display, Android 9 NFC, 4gb RAM+64gb ROM.

What is the minimalist phone? ›

how does it work? minimalist phone is a custom home screen for android phones that replaces your default home screen. its unique and minimalist user interface is designed to support mindful phone use and avoid mindlessly spending hours on your phone with a traditional home screen.

What do college students use their phone for? ›

Mobile Device Use in Higher Education

The results revealed that the students at Sheffield University use their smartphones on the campus for surfing the net (88%), social networking (88%), accessing academic services (78%), and e‐mailing (69%).

Is iPhone or Android better for college students? ›

For individuals who do not want the extra hardware design options that come with Android iOS, the iPhone is an easy choice. But for college students, Android provides a wide variety of options to fit the high demands of school.

Which Samsung phone is the best for a student? ›

The Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G is a great device to enhance creativity, and with a built-in S Pen, it helps you ditch the dependency on notebooks, making sketches and memos effortless and eco-friendly. Also, its 17.31cm (6.8") display will make it easier to take notes and attend online classes.

Which series is best in Samsung A or S? ›

The Samsung Galaxy S series offers the best camera tech Samsung has to offer, split across high-res main, telephoto and ultrawide snappers, usually handling both well-lit and low-light environments with ease. They're also capable of high-res 8K video capture, alongside HDR video capture at 4K@60fps.

Why don t they make small phones anymore? ›

There are a few key reasons. A huge part of it is the war on bezels, which has expanded the space available for the screen. A higher screen-to-body ratio means more screen size in a smaller package, but that hasn't stopped phones from physically growing.

What is the most powerful phone in the world 2023? ›

Best phones of 2023 at a glance

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra - The best Android phone you can get right now. The Galaxy S23 Ultra has it all - fast processor, bright and vivid AMOLED screen, and something other flagships lack - a stylus. Google Pixel 7 Pro - The flagship Android with the purest Google experience.

What is the #1 best phone? ›

Our pick for the best phone overall is the Samsung Galaxy S23, thanks to its large display, long battery life, and 256GB of base storage. Check out all of our picks for the best phones of 2023 below, no matter your budget or your preferred phone manufacturer.

What is the most powerful phone processor? ›

As far as the Android phone is concerned, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, Dimensity 1000+, and the Huawei Kirin 9000 are the best phone processors. Although the Snapdragon 888 has gotten higher scores than the Kirin 9000, but Kirin 9000 has a more powerful AI performance.

What is the fastest selling phone 2022? ›

The report was prepared by Counterpoint Research using its Global Monthly Handset Model Sales Tracker. The report revealed that iPhone 13 was the best-selling smartphone of 2022 with 5% market share.

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