Using the Pixel 4a. Basically the perfect form factor and size. I'd upgrade every 2-3 years to a new version of the same phone with minor updates like the chipset etc.
Dreading the day I'll have to start searching for a replacement :(Reply
Meh, unfortunately the most important smart phone app is the web browser, and what the browser has to do is dictated mostly by site operators, and web sites have an expansionist hunger for more and more cpu power and screen space. So phones have to keep getting bigger batteries even as the electronics get more efficient, because the work loads get heavier faster than the electronics can keep up with. Once you have such a big battery, you may as well also have a big screen, especially since you need it anyway to keep the web sites readable without a magnifying glass.
So, how much would we be willing to pay for an Android distribution that runs on the iPhone mini?Reply
Im still on an iphone SE (same shell as 5s) and waiting for another iphone this small. The mini is still too big!
I mean, I was a big fan of the nokia 8210, the iphone nano (the long one) and the razr when it first came out.
I dont watch tv/films on my phone because Im not insane, give me a smaller one!Reply
I find even the iPhone 12 mini way too large. The iPhone 4 form factor was perfect.Reply
I’m a long-time small phone Android user. But after the Pixel 5, I have not been able to find a suitable small Android replacement. The Pixel 6 is gigantic, and the Pixel 7 looks like it is also destined to be huge. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve resorted to using an iPhone Mini, biding my time and hoping desperately that some Android OEM would step up.
But it’s increasingly clear that a small premium phone is not on the roadmap. So I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. My goal with https://smallandroidphone.com is to rally other fans of small phones together and put pressure on Google/Samsung/Anyone to consider making a small phone.
I have a very specific set of skills and industry connections that I have acquired over a long career in the hardware business (my first startup was Pebble). I will put them to use in our shared quest to get the perfect small Android phone. If no one else builds one, and enough people sign up...maybe I will be forced to make it myself.
If you want a small premium Android phone, this may be your last chance (ever?) to help bring back the phone category that we love.Reply
I have a hunch a lot of people are not upgrading because there are no new phones under 6 inch now.Reply
I just gave up and bought an iphone, good luck allReply
> Extrapolating from past models, the Pixel 10 will be roughly the size of California
Thanks for thatReply
“Sub 6 inches”
Isn’t 6” about the size of an iPhonex/XR/11 which is a huge slab of a phone?Reply
You are the man erohead ! For me beside the size, main feature would be batery follow by camera and connectivity (5g, nfc, wifi)Reply
>>Cameras must be as good as Pixel 5 -- must have great low light performance >>2 rear cameras (regular and wide angle)
Upgrade that to as good as Samsung S22 Ultra w/10x Optical zoom; also great macro capability, so make that 3 cameras.
>> 128/256gb Storage Fine, but I'd also like to see removable storage
>>4 hours Screen On Time (SOT) I'm looking more for 6h - I'd rather have a thicker/heavier device and longer battery
While I like my smaller Samsung GS8, I'm upgrading to the S22U and not the smaller S22 specifically for the camera and bigger battery (and the fact that the GS8 is no longer supported with upgrades). I'm not sure how I'll like larger form factor, but I'm sure I'll love the larger screen too, so trade-offs.
EDIT: Basically, I want a full set of top-of-the-line flagship features in a small form factor.
It used to be that smaller was extra, as it required more engineering, not smaller is cheaper like kiddie-plate food portions. I suppose we'll have to wait until the foldable formats become more unbreakable/reliable and they upgrade all the features to top-of-the-line.Reply
I have old eyes - I want need and have a Giant sized phone.
My wife just purchased an new iPhone SE2. I truly cannot use the phone the screen is too little for me.Reply
When Android went big, I went iPhone.Reply
Asus Zenfone 8.Reply
My favorite statements from this post...
> ...An Android phone (with Beeper for iMessage) might be an adequate alternative...
> ...Extrapolating from past models, the Pixel 10 will be roughly the size of CaliforniaReply
I'd like a smaller phone too, but with a bigger battery.
If I browse the web in the, I cannot use my phone to buy my train ticket as you have to show the QR code and 4G is killing the battery really quickly.
My current phone is a one plus 5T and the new phone could have 3cm less in height and 1 in width while being 4 time thicker. Ideally I'd like addon battery to come back, you remember those nokia 3310 with the added huge battery? I want that. Now I have an external battery, but I need a cable and it's not that practical.
As a more general comment, I'd like "design" to be less important. I don't care if my phone is a dumb cube like shape. I want function.Reply
LineageOS supported https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/sake/Reply
Pixel 5 is good, I got a 6 and returned it because it was massive. Hoping they return to this this form factor & add the rear fingerprint sensor back.Reply
The article person might want one, but people don't. That's why the iPhone Mini doesn't sell and is being axed.Reply
The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact was my previous phone that I'd had from 2015 until mid last year. It was close to perfect. Waterproof, headphone socket, SD slot. If a new version of that were released with less of a screen border than the original I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Thickness could stay the same too, I'd like the additional runtime rather than everything needing to be wafer-thin.Reply
I recently saw an android phone (I can't remember the name of it) that folded in half (how the screen doesn't crack in half after being folded and unfolded hundreds of times is beyond me). When it is folded in half it is quite narrow, but when unfolded it looks to be the size of a mini tablet. After seeing that I couldn't help but wonder why Apple didn't create a similar thing (patents I presume). It is like the best of both worlds, both a phone and a tablet all in one.Reply
I too looked for a small phone and left disappointed. I think there are two or three notable factors.
1. Bigger chassis allows a bigger battery, longer up-time. This is probably the biggest issue.
2. Having gotten used to a 6+" for a while, the small ones appear almost too small. Books are on average bigger than that for a good reason.
3. Very naively speaking, bigger looks better and thus more expensive. Users are therefore more willing to spend more money, whereas a smaller phone will look disproportionately expensive and, as per the first point, now less powerful.
Sony was the last one other than apple to try that, as far as I can tell.
However, cheaper smartphones still exist in that space, they just don't come with newer hardware.Reply
I have a question: how do you cope with on-screen keyboard, when screen is small? I'd like to have a phone which doesn't take too much space in a pocket, but I found that below 5.5" I have too much struggle typing. Should we ask for a physical kbd (say N900 style) if we want a new phone anyway?Reply
It's not going to happen.
The only people who like small form factor phones are tall men.
Every other demographic still needs two hands for a 5" phone and thus opts for more screen real-estate almost all of the time.Reply
I've been using my original pixel 2 since the day it came out. Still works like a charm. Fast, battery is good, small and the camera is great. I've been looking at getting an iPhone mini but what I get for the price doesn't seem to be that much better than what I have now.Reply
I used to love small phones since I started having short sightedness problems.
Cheaper, lighter, easy to carry on, … was mostly what I cared about phones until I realized that my sight is getting worst and how important to me is to have bigger fonts.Reply
How about a premium greater-than €1000 phone of any size that does not have unremovable cruft on it? Doesn't badger you every week or so with self-serving notifications and advertising. Hmm, Samsung?Reply
Umm.. there are literally 100s of small Android phones:Reply
Without a 3.5mm headphone jack, I would have to carry wireless earbuds, which would defeat the purpose.Reply
Aw, to be young again. Ocular myopathy is a thing, unfortunately.Reply
Xperia 5 IIIReply
I maintain this chart of small Android phones:
You can filter by specs to see how close you can get to your dream phone. There are quite a few available on the market that match the 5.5" screen size of the iPhone 13 Mini. Even by the big manufacturers like Samsung and Google. Like the Pixel 3. Which was introduced 4 years ago though.
In general, phones have been becoming larger and larger over the years. So this chart has been becoming more and more sparse over time.
But recently, the voices demanding small phones seem to become louder and more frequent.
I am curious to see if it will reverse the trend.
At some point, I will probably make a graph that shows the change in average screensize over time.Reply
There must be no notch or punch hole camera.Reply
Maybe its just me but the Pixel 5 is the perfect size.
I don't find the iPhone mini being any better in terms of size. They are both usable with one hand.Reply
Oh yes please. I am seeking out smallest phones available that I can get without compromising functionality, and they are still too big for my taste. I already have a tablet. I want a small device that I could comfortably stuff into any pocket and not fear it'd jump out. I want it not to occupy too much space. I don't need it to be enough to fit a full size newspaper - I've got a huge 3-display setup for that in my office where I can read anything as big as I want. I remember fondly the old Motorola Razr that was small, light and functional.Reply
I've got an iPhone 13 Mini. I brought it, because I suspect that it will be the last small-format phone Apple makes. I figure it's good for a couple of years.
I have a lot of Apple gear (I develop Apple native apps). I tend to use the Mini phone, and the Mini iPad, the most. The rest of the stuff sits around, until it's testing/screenshot time.Reply
> 4 hours Screen On Time (SOT)
> Unlockable bootloader
You could’ve kept things simple and attracted a larger audience by just saying you want a smaller phone.
This reads like an over passionate CS freshman…….
“Dude wouldnt it b cool if it ran Arch Linux”
I’ve rarely heard net positive reviews for phones from no name Chinese brands like One Plus or whatever that thing is.
There just needs to be a smaller modern phone, that’s all. No TTL connectors, no OCAML based user environment.
I promise there are enough frustrated kids and adults in the planet to sign a strictly smaller modern phone petition.
Unfortunately the Smartphone world is pretty dominantly Apple, Google and Samsung.
Hopefully the petition will raise notice, but we all know companies rarely operate this way.Reply
I'm still running the Sony Xperia Compact Z1. Have upgraded it twice with an iPhone 7 and a OnePlus. Gave both away away to people who enjoyed them WAY and WAY more than I did.
Think I'm going to carry my Z1 till it literally stops working. So far, I can still do 1 to 1.5 days with my battery easily.Reply
I wish they would release a modernized phone with a decent processor and camera in the form factor of a pixel 2.
How much compute does the average person even need from their phone these days? Aren't most people just browsing the internet and checking emails?Reply
And I want IPad Mini-sized Android tablet, but for some reason all compact tablets have terrible performance, and because of this you have to use a large phone to watch videos or play games.Reply
This thread is making me miss the original Motorola Droid. It was the perfect pocket size phone with a slide out physical keyboard. I hated the day I upgraded away because the storage was too small to keep up with app sizes. Give me that same phone with modernized internal specs and a decent camera. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.Reply
I guess the author doesn't consider SD slots and headphone jacks premium.Reply
Battery size is a lot of what's driving the escalation of phones. Phones keep getting bigger, with bigger batteries, but usable time stays about constant. I'd love a renewed emphasis on lower power / longer battery life without having to make the thing so big it doesn't fit in my hand comfortably.Reply
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Sony-Xperia-Ace-3-Compact-smar... This but it's gimped by low-end specsReply
my dream would be a small linux phone (probably a couple years down the line once the software is a bit more stable), but I would settle for a small android phone as a primary device, to stay a bit more realistic in terms of market share. while we're sharing pipe dreams, i would love a physical keyboard like the n900 as well. i used my nexus 5 for 7 years or so, when i replaced it i didn't even realize there no longer were any phones of that size at all.
I don't even need premium, i just want anything at all. I really do hate my current phone, i can't even type on it properly with one hand, it's too big. I may begrudgingly end up replacing it with an iphone, the only reason I haven't yet is that it's locked down and I would miss f-droid, and the linux compatibility sucks. but of course android has its own problems (namely google trying to squeeze as much data as possible out of you, and making it as hard as they can to turn off the various settings related to that buried in different setting sub-menus)Reply
I've just got the galaxy s10e, a phone released 3 years ago, for this reason. The new s22 is also only slightly bigger than it. Samsung seems to now have this form factor as the baseline of their line up, with the top one added extra things that don't matter such as bigger, higher display frame rates and curved edges (whoever came up with this stupid trend needs to go to jail, but it's good that Samsung thinks that's a "feature", so it sells normal screens at a discount)Reply
I bought one of the first mainstream Phablets, the Samsung Galaxy Note 1 and everyone laughed at me. Now people all own larger devices.Reply
I am in the same bucket, recently switched to an iPhone mini.
I did make a ruckus about small phones not existing. I have found 1-2 supporters of the idea within the dozens of people I complained to. Based on my small sample size I'd say 3-5% of the market would be willing to buy a small phone. A much smaller percentage would be actively looking for a small phone. I think those are optimistic numbers (sadly).Reply
Can’t wait for a mini android phoneReply
I want a flagship Sidekick-style phone :(Reply
I would buy this if it was dual SIM (nano+eSIM) but honestly iPhone 13 mini is still too big for my taste. No wider than iPhone 4 would be ideal for me. Fine if it's thicker to fit a decent battery.
I'm currently using a Pixel 3a with multiple cracks in the screen. Willing to drop a lot of money on a phone but there isn't a single phone I want.Reply
iPhone SE 2020 was a reason I switched from the Android. I have dedicated tools for my hobbies and I am using phone for messages, simple games, navigation and reading stuff mostly. These bases are covered by both sides, but only one had the form factor I was after. Now I'm considering iPad 6 Mini to be my next planner, bullet journal, occasional article reader and note taker. Having small form factor phones can certainly be an entry point to the device ecosystem for some people.Reply
Man this website took me back. Something about the layout and design reminds me of websites that sold you shit in the oughties, like the ones some dude would set up hawking his supplement line or whatever.Reply
This is something I've been wishing for a while - some kind of initiative to help make a small Android device available. So I'm happy to see this, especially when it's backed by someone with influence in the industry.
The author's motivations don't see that strong, though. I mean, if Apple improved the notification system and the file management, would this project exist? Or is it that unlikely to happen in a few years?
Anyway, I really hope the project works. I really do. And I'm willing to contribute the way I can.
I've been trying to make the switch to Android for years, but couldn't find a decent device, despite few attempts over the years.Reply
For me the pixel 4a kind of filled this niche for a while. The 6a seems significantly bigger.Reply
I went from iPhone 13 mini, to iPhone SE 2020 and was way happier. That screen was too big and no home button sucks. I yesterday just bought an iPhone SE 1 (shape of the iPhone 5s) (the smallest/oldest phone AT&T will support because of 3g removal). Excited to try it outReply
I have been using Pixel 4a. Check all the boxes. Just that the last Security Updates will be untill August 2023.
- Just need a newer version to this series.Reply
I jumped at getting the iPhone 13 mini immediately and haven’t looked back. I remember having an iPhone 5 and how much I loved the formfactor for the same reasons OP mentions.
Sure the battery sucks and the phone locks up from too many things happening sometimes, but those are perfectly fine trade offs for a phone that fits into my life and isn’t my life.
When I bought my 13 mini I also bought the new iPad mini to have a larger device for content consumption and the combo is lovelyReply
Happy Samsung s10e reporting :)Reply
A prudent business will respond to what people do rather than what people say.Reply
Can it be lightweight (<100g) and wide (16/10 or wider) as well? Pretty please?
edit: also buttons, like back, home, menu and search? edit2: like my ~ZTE v970 , but capable of newer https standards. Even teddit refuses to serve me content :DReply
Latest Motorola Razr foldable scratches that itch for me. I know it doesn't fit into the mid-price category, but I finally have my pocket space back again!Reply
I want a smaller iPhone Mini.
The small screen discourages me from wasting too much time on it and using it only when needed.Reply
I jokingly tell my friends that i want to start a phone company.
It'll just sell one phone.
It's, a phone.
Not aPhone 1, aPhone 2. That's not minimalist.
Just aPhone, 2022 edition. And so on.
It's aPhone for people who like regular sized phones. 5.8" display max, 3-4ths of the way to flagship specs, a $500 ish price tag.
Pair it with near stock Android with minor adjustments only, and i really think the aPhone could be a hit and help build a (not a billion-dollar) multi-million dollar company.Reply
With small defined as sub-6" I can almost recommend my Nokia 3.4. (I measure about 3/16" over.) I remember finding it a surprisingly tall/narrow ratio when I first got it though, so maybe it's suitable depending on what bothers you over 6".Reply
I recently discovered the one handed feature on my Note10+ that allows the shrinking of the screen to whatever size you want. Don't use it but might be useful to someone. https://www.samsung.com/africa_en/support/mobile-devices/how...Reply
One interesting feature on my Samsung Galaxy S9 is "one-handed mode", which shrinks the screen area to about the size of the iPhone Mini screen, leaving black bars along one side and the top. It's interesting that they're aware of the issue and have a software solution.
One-handed mode is decent when holding the phone parallel to the ground supported by your hand, but still doesn't cut it for holding the phone up since you'll need to grip the entire phone body anyways.Reply
I like the language of wants, but it might be good to reference the industrial design of iPhone mini, but with the caveat that plastic is okay. The pixel a-series I think has a nice plastic. As did Xperia. Pre-pixel, my Moto X (2013) was knocked out of my hand by the dog while sitting on the front steps so many times, but never broke the body or screen (literally hit and bounced off every step on the way down, no case). This could be key to a case-less small phone. And rugged and case-less could be a big feature.
I would also say, a small phone is a great opportunity to add whatever features are necessary to offload usage to a watch (Bt,BtLE), car, smart home (UWB), smart glasses, ear buds. This seemed to be the way Essential was going. I would love the ability to hear my texts, either in ear buds or smart home, and hold my phones power button like a walky talky to dictate responses, almost like Android Auto. (Maybe even a knurled physical dictation button on the rail right next to where the gboard microphone soft button is located). And have UWB smart appliances know I was approaching and 1-factor authenticate me. All this to say, don't skimp on the innards which can help the device grow with accessories. I think accessories are really where a manufacturer can win. Where your phone just becomes a remote so all your other devices know it's you.
And when you are looking at the phone and using it, it needs to be weighted (battery down?) at the bottom so it balances in the hand better, a la Palm Pre (I so wish I had bought one instead of waiting for a second generation). No more pop-sockets!
I also suspect that narrower is more important than shorter. And thicker is better for battery and the bend test. Remember when Pixel 1 had an angle to its back? Imagine a phone that can lay firmly on a flat surface on slight angle, just enough to go into portrait or landscape mode, and not wobble. And if the speaker were on the back, it could use the flat surface to reflect the sound back at the viewer. (I think rog or another had an angled phone back that looked like broken glass).Reply
I'm holding onto my XZ2C tight until some manufacturer wakes up and starts producing compacts again.Reply
I'm still using the Pixel 4, I'm happy with it. I tried the Pixel 6 but it's just too gigantic, and the camera strip sticks out too much, so I went back to the 4Reply
> For Apple, 10m phones is peanuts. But for an independent company 10m units per year would be spectacular. If Apple kills the Mini, those people will need a new home.
Hm, I’d suspect most of the customers are more attached to the Apple iPhone than the form. I’m one, but, I could be wrong!Reply
+1, I switched to iPhone 12 mini from a OnePlus3. But, I’m not going back anymore. Let’s hope when this thing gives out in 5 years my watch can do all of this.
I always thought iPhone would be restrictive. But I have my selfhosted apps and my wireguard (but ffs let me tunnel my hotspot connected clients through the vpn Apple!).Reply
Pixel 6a, Xiaomi 12, Sony Xperia 10 IV. Won't get any smaller. https://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?&idPhone2=11285&idPhon...Reply
What is so wrong about the pixel 4a?
Nobody's going to pimp up CPU and Camera specs every year on a phone people claim is to just take calls and leave in their pocket.Reply
I'd love a small Android phone, with one caveat: A built-in stylus. I'm stuck with the huge Samsung Note series, or the Samsung S22 which is no smaller.
I've used external stylii and my fingers too, but absolutely nothing comes close to the experience of just sliding out the stylus which is always there and using it.Reply
I wonder how much of the limited sales of the iPhone mini could be attributed to the branding? What if Apple were to drop the mini and make this the base iPhone, with the other models being Plus, Pro, Max? Margins may be poorer with Mini, so it likely won’t happen, but I feel mini sales could be much higher if they wanted them to be.Reply
unfortunately the best option I can see is supporting Lineage OS development on the XZ2 Compact at the moment. Seems to be no market for smaller phones at all (Apple are even ditching the mini for 14 iirc, Jelly has never made it anywhere near me to try). Beyond that, the Xperia Ace 3 is an okay size (slightly bigger than iPhone Mini) and maybe if it does well there will be more smaller options?
I've a 12 mini now because I thought the original SE was losing support last year, I def regret not sticking with the SE for another year instead, for me the 12 mini is unreasonably big.Reply
“4 hour screen on time”
That seems crazy low. I have an iPhone Mini (and would switch back to Android when I replace it if they have a mini quality phone and Apple doesn’t) and my battery lasts “all day.” I’m not sure how it works out in terms of screen on time, but it’s got to be at least 6 hours a day. Probably more.Reply
I moved from Pixel/GrapheneOS to iPhone 13 mini. Would go Pixel in a heartbeat if I could get the size of iPhone mini.Reply
I wanted this and it didn't exist, so now I use an iPhone 13 mini. I'll likely replace the battery on this a few times since rumor has it the mini model won't be continued. It's too bad that Apple is running entirely on the sales numbers of the mini itself for that decision, as since getting an iPhone 13 mini I've bought 3 of the newest model of macbook pro for members of my family, started using Apple TV+ and Apple Music, and bought myself some Airpods pro. Apple brought me into their ecosystem with this device so from my perspective it seems like it could be worthwhile for them to continue making it.Reply
The Samsung Flip seems like it can solve the problems descibed in the post. Large enough screen when you open it, small enough to fit nicely in your pocket when closed. Of course it's a bit think when it's closes, but we are getting there.Reply
If you are on HN, you likely use a computer a lot. But 15 years ago, a switch occurred, and nowaday, there are way more people using a phone that don't have a computer at home, or use it rarely.
This means for the vast majority of people today, and hence customers, the phone IS the computer. It's the entry point for everything.
They consume content, shop and even work on that.
But phones have terrible ergonomics. Their productivity sucks.
One of the reason is the limited screen space.
For someone using a phone, mostly as a communication device, while doing important things on a computer, a small phone makes sense. I'm this kind of person. My phone is too big for my taste. Anything complicated, I reach for my laptop: it's more efficient. Phones are terrible at multitasking, and constraint myself to 2 finger typings, tabs that open in several steps and a viewport of the size of 2 credit cards?
But we are not the target.
For the target, a big screen is the mandatory crunch they need because they watch a lot videos, do banking, read pdf and even type work stuff on their phone. This tiny, constrained square they have to make do with for everything.
It makes small screen a hard sell. The iphone mini was not a great success if we compare it to other phones, despite everybody claiming we would all love it.Reply
"This means that Apple may decide to kill the Mini." -> according to the rumors, it already has for the 14+Reply
I got an iPhone mini, and I can tell you that it is truly a wonderful experience. A small premium android would be a great idea.Reply
I'd love a smart phone that... - is android - is small - has a headphone jack - has a great camera(on the back) - has a removable SD card - has a removable battery Currently, my next phone will be a Sony as it checks more boxes than any other phone.Reply
I just signed up for his mailing list and put this down for my comments:
I really want a microSD slot. Shared with the second SIM is OK, but please don't exclude it entirely. And/or more internal storage.
I'm on a Pixel 2 and am generally satisfied with the size of that phone, but I could live with smaller. My biggest problems are that 1) google screwed me with a non-unlockable bootloader when I sent it in for repair, so the software is slowly rotting and 2) I keep running out of storage. Other than that, the phone is basically fine.
From the reviews I've read, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 likes to draw way too much power and then thermally throttle - so probably not a great choice for a small phone (with both a smaller battery and less surface area to dissipate heat.) But, this phone probably won't ship this year, so maybe they'll have something better out by the time it does.
I wouldn't put "Hole punch front camera" on my "desired" list, but eh, it's not a dealbreaker for me either. I'd rather have a little bit of top and bottom bezel with decent front-firing speakers, and then stick the camera in the top bezel. Kind of like the current Xperias, only shorter.
Headphone jack would also be nice to have, but also not a dealbreaker for me.
Oh, and video output over USB-C would be another nice to have. I think it comes built-in with most recent Snapdragons, but Google seems to go out of their way to disable the feature...Reply
Port android to iphone hardwareReply
Users don't "want" gigantic bliddy phones. Marketers give extravagant presentations to justify their positions, claiming that users want big phones. Then the engineering team is instructed to design big phones. Then only big phones are available. If it doesn't fit in your pocket, at least make it comfortable to hold in your lap. Now marketing has "data" that appears to indicate that people want even bigger phones. Repeat, until the form factor beggars the moon.Reply
I like phones that fit into my pocket and allow me to sit down. I refuse to wear a belt clip.Reply
I was a Sony Xperia Compact aficionado until the latest gen was impossible to buy due to the chip shortage.Reply
So do I. My hands are small for current phone sizes. I need to use both hands to type.Reply
well, you have the foldable androidReply
Still using my Pixel 3 (still holds a full charge for around 15 hours of use) and simply can't imagine going for anything bigger.
My only option will be to go for the Pixel 6a once it comes out this summer (I only want stock OS, and "LTS")Reply
I think the iPhone 5 was the perfect size. I still have mine though it doesn’t work anymore since I dropped it ages ago.
Still hoping a phone even smaller than the iPhone 12 mini is releasedReply
After years of lurking, I wrote a post over on /r/android on this... in 2019. By then the small phone minority had been loud and vocal for some years already.
Based on the responses and trends observed since then, I don't think this is ever going to happen.
Tech savvy users for tech savvy products are gone. It is now a consumerism and popularity driven market, small phones simply don't have the bling factor to sell.
Even if this was not the case, logically, if you have only one mobile computing device, you would be better of getting a big one so you that you can do more with it. Read more e-mail, watch more content, play more games, take better pictures (bigger phones tend to have more space for more options).
And for us die hard small phone folks, well, all of us need a phone, right? And since all of our phones stop getting updates after a few years (iPhone notwithstanding), we will complain loudly about the lack of small phones... and then buy a big phone anyway.
The best we can hope for is for manufacturers to make a loss leading mini line. Like Sony, Samsung, and Google used to do.
Now that they do not, I own an iPhone 13 mini, and I hope to use it with battery replacements for at least 4 years.
I put my money where my mouth is for the longest time. My phone history: iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, Sony Z1 compact, Sony Z3 Compact, Sony Z5 Compact, Sony XZ1 Compact (good golly gosh what a fantastic phone that was), Pixel 3, iPhone 13 Mini. But our market is too small.
RIP small phones.Reply
I want a phone that doesn't put billions of R&D into twelve fucking camerasReply
One theory for the iPhone mini's lack of success is people currently equate an expensive phone as a somewhat larger device (but not huge). The iPhone mini looks a bit like an old iPhone 5 from a distance. Paying a premium for something that looks like what everyone already has two or three of in their junk drawer is a tough trade-off for many people. The longer battery life then becomes the rational anchor.
In any case, I certainly hope they make a smaller devices again in 4-6 years.Reply
Small enough is nice but I desperately need an iPhone like battery Android. Battery issue on Android is ridiculous.Reply
No OLED please. I suffer from PWM sensitivity. Couldn't use the iPhone 13 Mini because of this. https://www.notebookcheck.net/PWM-Ranking-Notebooks-Smartpho...
I was dragged kicking and screaming from my iPhone SE 2016 as apps don't work on it anymore and it would shut down when it reached peak performance capacity. I used the Pixel 4A and have switched to the iPhone SE 2022. I get wrist tendon cramp from stretching to type and pinky strain from the weight on both phones.
I also loved the Xperia Compact line as it had pro features such as noise-cancelling wired earphones and NFC. My phone history: iPhone 4, Xperia V, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z5 Compact, iPhone SE 2016, iPhone 13 Mini, Pixel 4A, iPhone SE 2022.Reply
So basically the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact, then. Unfortunately this phone is approaching four years out of date. I owned it (still do, technically; I just gave it to a relative) and it was by and large the best smartphone I ever had. Even 4 years after purchase, the battery still lasts for 5+ hours of screen-on-time, the front-firing speakers are extremely powerful, and there are no noticeable slowdowns. It experienced some water damage early on, so the screen likes to randomly spazz out on occasion; there is also no headphone jack (this was when Sony attempted to follow the trend, to tremendous backlash).
Addendum: I daresay many of the demographic here at Hacker News likes phones similar to that of /r/Android: headphone jack, notchless rectangular display, SD card slot, notification LED, not-too-crazy design, and there's literally only one company doing all this: Sony.Reply
I used an Atom for a while, which had a ridiculously small 2.4" screen. One thing I realized is that the smaller you make the screen, the thicker you have to make the device in order to provide space for the battery. While a smaller screen does use less battery, it's not enough that you can avoid increasing thickness.
I know that's a bit more extreme than the <6" mentioned in the article, but I think it still holds that when making a flagship packed with good cameras, battery life, and CPU, it's much easier to make a sexy looking large phone than a small phone.Reply
One interesting feature on my Samsung Galaxy S9 is "one-handed mode", which shrinks the screen area to about the size of the iPhone Mini screen, leaving black bars along one side and the top. It's interesting that they're aware of the issue and have a software solution (along with similar features like the camera shutter button that can be dragged around to a more convenient location to tap).
One-handed mode is decent when holding the phone parallel to the ground supported by your hand, but still doesn't cut it for holding the phone up since you'll need to grip the entire phone body anyways.Reply
I owned the iPhone 12 mini and thought it was a great phone - I was able to one hand it quite easy and the hardware specs were more than sufficient. My partner now uses it but she would prefer a slightly larger screen I think. I moved to a Pixel 5 and think it is currently one of the best smaller phones - For most stuff I can one hand this phone too, and in some ways the ergonomics of the Pixel are better. For instance the back side finger print scanner unlock is the best I've ever used. I used to want to keep my aux port, but the bluetooth audio industry has really stepped up in recent years - I still just use my airpod pros and probably will continue tooReply
Searching something like this for months. I ended up having an Asus Zenfone 8.Reply
I moved to iOS recently, partly to get an iPhone mini.
It's wonderful to have a small phone.Reply
I like the idea, I'll fill out your form later today.
Feedback on the website:
On the graphic at the bottom where you overlay different models of phone:
1. I think the red/green/blue borders would benefit from more contrast. It's hard for my eyes to distinguish.
2. I think you should add a deck of cards to the graphic. It would provide a frame of reference for scale.
... P.S. I just noticed the "Extrapolating from past models, the Pixel 10 will be roughly the size of California" below the graphic. If the purpose of the graphic was purely to accompany that joke, then I guess ignore my suggestions.
Although, a deck of cards may contribute to the joke. HmmmReply
I want an Apple Watch-sized Android phone.Reply
The lack of less-than-5-inches android phones also disappointed me. My first and second android phones come with 4.7 and 5.0 inches display respectively. And then, when I have to upgrade to my current phone which is 6.4 inches, I feel like my hands are a little too small for it and I have to constantly use 2 hands to hold it so it won't drop.Reply
The best Android phones I've had were Nexus 5 and Nexus 5X. I thought the 5X were a little bit bigger than I prefer, but over all a great device. After that I went through a bunch of different phones, first a cheapo Motorola at 5.7" (smallest I could find without complete garbage specs) and then a Samsung A10 at 6". They were both impractically big, despite having quite large hands.
The only way I could find to have a smaller screen was to switch over to iOS. Currently I have an iPhone SE (iPhone 8) at 4.7" which is lovely, but I would have preferred to stay with Android as it's the only Apple device I currently own.Reply
I agree, it's the reason this year I switched to iPhone even if I clearly prefer Android :(Reply
I hate giant phones too, that's why I got a Samsumng Galaxy Xcover 5. The 4 was even smaller but is too slow for today's apps.Reply
Got an Asus Zenfone 8 and it's the best decision I could make. It has great specs and it's so convenient. The only downside is the camera which isn8as good as the camera you get in iphone or Galaxy devices, it's fairly good but not outstanding.Reply
I want an iPhone Mini 14, but that's gone too now. I'm going to have to trade up my Mini 12 for a Mini 13, and the repair it until its impossible to repair further, as this is the perfect phone and is basically the last of it's kind now.Reply
Hi Eric, I'm a hardware startup guy myself (our paths have crossed) with the distinction that my own "very specific set of skills" has been honed at smartphone megacompanies and smartphone startups. OSOM, Essential, HTC, Samsung, Apple. I've designed and built a lot of phones. I'm building one now. I think this is a noble effort, I personally prefer pocketable phones too, but I think there are nigh-insurmountable hurdles in your paths forward.
- 1. Supply chain / component R&D -
You will be very, very hard pressed to source a pre-existing, high quality, non-exclusive 5.4" display with a hole punch. If you end up doing this as your own startup then you're going to start by trying to buy off the shelf parts to keep costs down. But that display you want is simply not on any of the development roadmaps for the major component manufacturers. The industry has its own momentum, and the component suppliers have also been looking at the trendlines so they are building bigger and bigger.
If you can't find the screen you want in a catalogue then you have to pay someone to build it. Convincing BOE et. al that your phone will sell enough to pay off R&D costs is unlikely, so be prepared to pay several million bucks in NRE to make it worth their time (it might still not be) and the wait a year for them to spin up the fabs. So ~$5M and 9-18 months later you have a display.
- 2. Big players are uninterested, not uninformed -
Big companies are drowning in market data. They know some people really, really want small phones. But it's a long-tail opportunity they're willfully ignoring, and people who need phones will still buy something even if reluctantly. I've been in the meetings, small phone advocacy goes nowhere.
Also I'm a little surprised you're hoping an online petition will work after your prior experience trying to influence your acquirers. I presume you saw the inside of Fitbit / Google and how decisions are made...Reply
So do I. So I just bought an iPhone Mini after about 10 years of using Android phones. The hardware is better, notifications took some getting used to, but it's fine. Phones are an appliance.
I think Android phones just don't have the power efficiency to be small anymore. End of an era.Reply
There is technically a mini-sized Android phone ; I've been using it for about 6 months .Reply
Is there such a thing as a stock Android OS these days?Reply
Its too bad the iPhone Mini is already dead as a size. I love small phones as well, but the market as a whole seems to shun our kind.Reply
IMO a lot of the visual appeal of smartphone apps, mainly social media, would go away with small screen. I remember using my HTC desire to read the web and if it wasn't text, it was not great.
BTW the best form factor phone I had was the Nexus 4, at 4.7". I would very much like that back, but without that slippery glass back, repairable, held together with screws, with replaceable battery, shipped with LineageOS or /e/. Yep, I'll keep dreaming.Reply
Have a headphone jack and I'm in.Reply
I won't be using/recommending Android as long as it says:
> This app you need wants access to all your files and photos.
It's ridiculous that it's all or nothing and you cannot have more control than that.Reply
I want a thicker (longer battery life), mini-sized iPhone-like actual Linux phone.Reply
I've had the iPhone Mini since launch and it's basically the perfect phone. I use it without a case and it hasn't gotten any scratches. Camera is excellent, video is solid, processor/RAM is never fully utilized, battery life is very good, if feels amazing to be able to use with just one hand, it's relatively light, and the screen color/brightness/resolution is excellent.Reply
100% with box design!Reply
so pixel 5?Reply
Because you want to modify it. Right? Tell me about all of your planned modifications. So many changes. So custom. So freedom.Reply
+ hardware camera power switch and/or physical lens coverReply
Which criteria does the Asus Zenphone 8 fail?
I just bought one with more-or-less the same wishlist, and threw Lineage on it, and it's perfect for me.Reply
From what I've seen, the tiny Palm Phone (from TCL) didn't do very well, but there's still some inventory on Amazon: https://palm.com/pages/product.
There's also the Cyrcle Phone (https://www.cyrclephone.com/) which doesn't seem to be for sale anymore after its Kickstarter and Indie Go Go campaigns.Reply
I'm still using a Pixel 5 with Android 11, so far so good. I used to be a hardcore Android fan, but I don't really like where it's going, at this point I'm almost rooting for a USB-C iPhone SE.
(edit) Regarding the specifications:
- don't care for 5G, 4G has better range and better power efficiency - don't care for a second rear camera, invest more into the first - 4h SOT seems like a pretty low target, the Pixel 5 can probably do 8h easily
What's wrong with Samsung S22? It is 6.1 inches (author mentions 6' but I find this close enough), cameras are great and while not stock Android the OneUI stuff is not annoying for me at least. Plus it does have some of the other ideal/nice to have, although not a perfect fit.
I have to admit the S22 is one of the smallest high end Android phones that caught my eye.Reply
I used a Palm, a phone about the dimensions of a business card, 1 slammer-pog thick, and loved it. The battery life was dismal, I had to disable most of the software which ran in the background, the camera was crap, but I loved that phone. Then my stupid provider implemented a list of approved devices and now I'm schlepping around a big piece of garbage with a cracked screen. I want my small phone back, so bad.Reply
You know what I want? I want the manufacturers to stop doing damn slim and thin phones and just give me a Motorola Milestone 1 type of phone, made of metal, not thin and packed with a giant battery, and a physical keyboard, I'm sick of "thinnest phone ev4r" being a slogan to promote a phone. Give me that and I'll be the first in line to buy it.Reply
Droid Mini was a great smaller phone, a bit ahead of its time in features but locked bootloader doomed it for 3rd party life extension (cyanogenmod, lineageos)
Dang can't believe it's a decade old, I still have a few sitting in a box unused.Reply
Yeah, the ship well and truly has sailed on this.Reply
OP wants the Samsung s10eReply
iPhone 12 mini user here: after almost 2 years I decided to not buy a new mini again. The battery life is the biggest factor on my decision. I want a phone that lasts one day at least on full use, the mini once you start doing GPS the battery dies almost in two hours. The screen is good for messagging, some Twitter browsing, etc. After that it becomes painful. I'm buying the next model on the standard size, no need to go for the max options.Reply
My Samsung Galaxy S3 turns 10 next month and it is still in daily use as a second phone. The biggest reasons it is still working are the changeable battery, the sdcard and wireless charging.
It consumed something like one battery per year, the integrated memory of 16GB are barely enough, but with a 64GB sdcard it worked fine so far. However, the mirco-usb connector became unstable years ago, but the wireless charging has very little wear and works fine.
I think an updated version (new processor, new camera, more RAM, modern network capabilities) should be able to check most, if not all, of the requirements from the website.Reply
Shut up and take my money.Reply
Switched to iPhone 13 pro (not even the max) from the pixel 3. It just seems so big but the clutch feature for me is the battery life. I like not having to think about it, although that's probably going to change as I get into the 3rd year of ownership.
I thought I maybe made a mistake but then saw a Pixel 6 pro, it's EVEN BIGGER. I do kind of regret getting a pro, but I'm not mad enough about it to swap for a mini.Reply
I am using an iPhone SE only because of its size. Android devices are huge, the top factor is its battery life - to have a good battery (as Android consumes more battery) they need to keep its size big.Reply
I search long for something like this, and I just bought the Asus Zenfone 8. It's also supported by LingeageOS.Reply
I'd like a small premium Android phone too.
I was thinking about my previous phones the other day, and I really miss some of the more innovative ones from HTC. I think the Startrek was my favorite - a Windows Mobile flip phone with a "dumb phone" keypad. The myTouch 3g might be next - Android with physical buttons and a trackball(!)
Phones have gotten faster, but they keep getting bigger, the battery life is rarely more than a day's worth of use, and the "premium" ones keep getting more expensive - while simultaneously loosing features like expandable storage and the headphone jack.Reply
Add there 2 USB type C >= 3.1 with displayport/hdmi Alt mode, unlocked bootloader and I'm inReply
How much larger is the Sony Xperia 5 III ?Reply
I've replaced the battery twice on my Sony Xperia Z5 Compact and have flashed a custom AOSP build, and I will continue to keep it alive as long as humanly possible.Reply
I've been using my iPhone SE since 2016 and man do I wish there was something to switch to by now. I don't think I can stand PWM on newer OLED iPhones (that includes 12/13 mini) and I will dearly miss the headphone jack. If there were a modern (un-Googled) Android phone like the 1st-gen iPhone SE, I'd be ready to spend $800 on it, I don't even care about cameras, fingerprint sensors, or NFC.Reply
Yes, yes, yes!Reply
I was the owner of a Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini. It was the smallest phone I ever used. Fast, nice UI, fully featured, decent camera. The only downside was the horrible battery life. But I loved it, it was just so small. I miss the trend of making all electronic smaller and smaller.Reply
iPhone Mini is still huge. I want 3.5" phone. That's it.Reply
Glad to see I'm not the only one who hates big smartphones. Not b/c of small hands, but b/c I hate carrying plasma TV in my pocket. btw, let's go below 5"Reply
The Galaxy S10e is my current phone, and I'm not sure what I will do when it stops receiving security updates. It's basically perfect. It still has an SD card slot. It still has a headphone jack. It has wireless charging. It's reasonably sized. And it had flagship-for-the-time specs (albeit slightly less than the mainline S10 or S10+). Samsung doesn't make anything comparable to this anymore.
The only drawback is that the battery life has gotten worse since I originally bought it. But if I could easily swap that out, I would keep it for another five years.
EDIT: Oh, and the fingerprint scanner on the power button seems to work way more reliably, IMO, than the embedded fingerprint scanners under the touchscreens.Reply
A problem is that even within the niche of small phones, not everybody has the same wishes.
Compared to your ideal specifications, my wishes are: support for microSD card storage; battery that easily and reliably lasts a full day with moderate phone usage; fingerprint sensor, not necessarily on the power button; camera decent, not necessarily great (I don't care that much about low light performance, for example).
I'm tempted to sign up even with the specifications as you list them though. Missing microSD card support could be the major dealbreaker. Or alternatively some other user-friendly reliable method of getting lots of files from my PC to the phone's storage, but so far I haven't found any. Early Android versions supporter USB mass storage and that worked pretty well, but the transfer method implemented on newer versions is very slow and never works reliably for me.Reply
I have to say, I do like the form factor of the iPhone Mini. Not enough to buy one, because my aging eyes prefer a larger screen now, but it really does feel nice in your hand. Just fits, no stretching, a perfect fit.
The problem, of course, is much like brown manual diesel station wagons, it's a small but vocal niche and there may not be enough actual buyers to justify it. Apple's sales figures are large enough that it may very well 'big enough' for them, but is that true for any individual Android manufacturer?Reply
Don't have much to add here but I desperately feel the need to +1 this in case any manufacturers are paying attention. Every phone I bought was google's latest flagship since the G1 came out, including the most recent pixel 6 (non pro). I absolutely hate the size of it and went back to my pixel 4. I really am disappointed that google is forcing me to shop around more, and that apparently there aren't any great options.Reply
Finally, a phone aimed at me! GREATEST PHONE EVER. I told Eric we could do this and he went ahead and did this. He's a genius, not like me, I'm an ultra genius, but good guy - Donald TrumpReply
One of my first Android phones was an Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro. It was great except the low resolution display and camera and bad touchscreen. I will buy a similar phone with new Android version.Reply
There are 120 Android phones with 4G that are 5.8" or smaller, since 2019. Of those, the best are probably the Cat S62 Pro, Pixel 4 or 3, Fairphone 3+, and Samsung Galaxy S10e. https://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?nYearMin=2018&fDisplay...
Palm released a tiny Android phone in 2018, but the performance was crap so it didn't sell. Smaller phone means smaller battery and fewer cutting edge components, unless you fab everything yourself, making it more expensive. The tradeoffs don't work unless you're the richest company in the world.Reply
If this thread proves anything it’s that there is huge demand for customizable phone designs. Currently, there is total reliance on economies of scale to make standardized SKUs affordable.
Imagine if you could figure out a way of manufacturing a phone with design on demand… imagine a configurator website where you adjusted sliders and tickboxes. Headphone jack here, screen size slider all the way to the left, battery size all the way to the right, pick your color, oops you can’t have IP68 because you selected the pop-out camera…
Like variable fonts, but for hardware.
Frankly I’ve no idea how you would do it.
But that’s the level of innovation required to unlock this market.Reply
For me, must have: - Wireless Charging
Nice to Have: - Higher refresh rate screen!
Just because we're small doesn't mean we need to have worse feature sets!Reply
The Razer 5G from Motorola is smallReply
I really liked my Xperia XZ2C, until the touch screen started glitching out. I'd love to hear if anyone has a solution for this common problem (touch becomes unresponsive, or goes wild, and is fixed temporarily by locking the screen or squeezing the screen).
I'm glad the author mentioned weight, as I think it should be added to the list of requirements. The iPhone6 is 129 g and feels light, the iPhone13 mini is 141 g, my XZ2C is 168 g and is heavy enough I think it causes wrist pain, while the Pixel 5a is 183 g!Reply
The problem with the iPhone Mini was that it was not a Pro and this not all the cameras, etc.
It would have sold like hot cakes! I would have paid extra for a smaller iPhone Pro.Reply
Galaxy S7, the last usable Samsung phone.Reply
Me too! AT&T kicked my xperia mini off their network for no good reason. I bought a pixel 4a which was the smallest compatible thing I could find. I also bought a Chinese 4g smartwatch hoping I can use that as a phone.Reply
Smallest I got from Samsung is Galaxy A52 which is ridiculous. Please make it more compact.Reply
What I really want is both, a larger phone (for me happens to be iPhone) for "most of the time" and a smaller phone for occasional use. I want them to have the same phone number and keep data in sync, basically like two extensions of the same line. However, I'm not willing to pay my carrier a premium/additional monthly cost just to have two phones that cannot be used simultaneously.
Much of this is able to be done with wifi, but not via the cellular networks (without additional costs).
In other words, there is no ideal one-size-fits-all option, and I'd be willing to pay for additional hardware to give me choice of what to carry at any given time, but I do not want to pay Verizon just for the privilege of having a 2nd SIM provisioned (and I do not want to swap SIMs).Reply
I've had one for 2 years now. Love it and agree with all Eric's points except
> are easy to use one-handed without dropping
I find it very hard to use one handed and it keeps slipping through my fingers if I try to type on it one handed. Also my finger constantly partially block the rear camera when taking pictures. It probably has something to do with the size of my hands. Otherwise, I love how light it is and you barely notice it in your pocket when walking or biking.Reply
stop whining and be the change you want to see in the world. source some parts from China and make it yourself.Reply
Yes please. Before I switched to the iPhone, I was using the Xiaomi Mi A1, which ticked a lot of the boxes for me (stock Android!) while also having a great bang-for-buck value; but I’d still have preferred it in a smaller form factor.Reply
Shameless plug for the Jelly 2. https://www.unihertz.com/products/jelly-2
It's not a "flagship" but it is fully featured - nothing spared - and half the size of my palm. The screen is just small enough to be too annoying to do anything really distracting on. I have gotten NOTHING but compliments on it since I started using it a month ago (on a reco I picked up here).Reply
This resonates with me (I'm an iPhone user).
Never been a fan of the large phones which was why I held on to my iPhone 6S for a very long time (compared to how frequently folks upgrade) before finally upgrading to an iPhone 12 mini (when I ran out of space on the 6S).Reply
I'm suspecting developers of phone that that they don't want to downgrade resolution of whole display because of marketing but making higher DPI phones is more than expensive.Reply
The galaxy xcover 5 is really good https://m.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_xcover_5-ampp-10718.ph... 5.3 screen, full rectangular screen (no notch or hole), replaceable battery and dual sim. It is unfortunately Samsung, so it has their bloat. But that isn't too bad.Reply
I want an iPhone Mini Pro. Please Apple do it!Reply
I want an iPhone mini sized iPhone pro :/Reply
how about expandable storage and headphone jack while we're at it? We can keep more phones out of the landfill and hone back production of newer stuff.Reply
I own a Samsung A3 2017 that measures 66x135mm (4.7" screen). It is even smaller than iPhone 12 mini. It is really hard nowadays to find such a small phone.Reply
I just made the switch from Android to iPhone, entirely because I wanted a small phone that still has a good camera and good battery life. If iPhone discontinues the mini or there's a small Android phone on the market that meets my needs, I'd switch back happily.Reply
I think sony xperia 5 iii is the closest you can get, may be a tad big 6.1", but it has everything flagship snapdragon, stockish android, 5G, 8/128 GB, NFC, 3 rear cameras, IP68, Fingerprint sensor on power button, big 4500mah battery with added on goodies like sd card, 3.5mm jackReply
Sub 6 inches, why not sub 5? Six inches is about 28% larger than a Samsung A3 from 2017.Reply
Funny thing is that I still use my Samsung Note 3 (8 years old and kicking, with Android 11) and what was considered ridiculously large phone when I got it (people were laughing at me) is now the smallest one around. It was interesting to observe this gradual shift in perception, especially among those who were laughing at me back than :)Reply
“matching size and design of iPhone 13 Mini”
So, by all accounts, the iPhone mini has been an extremely slow seller.
Why would that form factor succeed in the Android space?
I see these meme on tech sites all the time: “oh phones are too big I just want something simple”. That is a valid sentiment that I think is shared by basically no average consumer. For a lot of people, phones are their primary computing devices, so a big screen is nice there. Bigger phones allow for more battery capacity. Aging populations like them because you can use screen zoom features to really blow up that text size without making the effective viewport too small.
And…people just like big stuff. I know that’s simplistic and a little condescending, but then look at SUV and truck sales.Reply
I have given up: the iphone mini (which I own) is gargantuan.
There are a few glimmers of hope around the edges. Palm was interesting but too small (the primary problem was the battery, not the screen size). Unihertz is doing some interesting stuff in the small phone arena, but their stuff is either too small and thick (the jelly) or too big (titan). Their styling is also a bit funky in a 90's tech vibe sort of way that I'm not a huge fan of.
What I want is an iphone 4-sized phone that I can keep in my pocket w/o noticing and that provides the basics of smart phones. Even better if it could be an e-ink screen so I don't have to charge it very often.
I have accepted that I am a market of one.Reply
> Cameras must be as good as Pixel 5
I know that you think you are setting an attainable bar, But that is not the case. Most phones you can buy today would not deliver this. A lot of it has to do with computational photography (code Google will not license to you) and per-device tuning done at the factory (details of which Google will not give you)Reply
I want a notch-less phone. Where did they all go after 2019?Reply
Please make an android phone the size of the old iPhone SE. I want out of the Apple ecosystem but there are no phones this size on android I can find.Reply
I'd like a small phone, big battery (I don't mind clunky/brick) or changeable * excellent dac * headphone jack * FM dab+ * ir * for camera: join up with Ricoh / Pentax *Reply
So… there are tons of small Chinese Android phones. Why not get one of them, wipe it clean, and install whatever you want?Reply
“Price: $700-800 (again, we have no alternatives so we should be willing to pay a bit more!)”
Yeah, not going to happen - people in general are NOT going to pay more for a smaller phone. Even the iPhone mini is cheaper than the full size models.Reply
Already there and has probably every spec that's listedReply
There's the "lightphone." Stuck at "pre-order" since 2019.
There's this little Android smartphone from Shenzhen. $104 in quantity 2, $74 in quantity 1000. You can get it from Amazon for about twice as much.Reply
Closest is the Sony Xperia 5 or 10 series I think... My wife loves hers and I'm going to be getting one next.Reply
For a phone that is not intended for heavy use (cramped screen, average screen-on time), 8GB of RAM seems like a pricey choice.
Also, stock Android can be a mixed blessing. My guess this is mostly used as synonymous to "no bloatware". But stock Android doesn't necessarily translate to a better user experience, or to software updates for a longer time.Reply
It's funny to read some young person reiterating the desirable properties of small phones, completely oblivious to how smaller was universally better in cellphones phones before the smartphone era.Reply
I bought my kids the first iPhone SE back in 2016 and they're still using it due to its size. I also think it's the perfect size and would love to have a Pixel phone with the same dimensions. I currently use the Pixel 5.Reply
> Extrapolating from past models, the Pixel 10 will be roughly the size of California
+1 just for the chuckle I got out of this! For some reason I found that unreasonably amusing :D
More seriously, though, I would love for this to succeed and would absolutely be a customer. Personally, the IP86 water resistance is important due to being outdoors (cycling, running, hiking) a lot. However I understand that may not fit within the budget (I would pay extra for it though).
Best of luck!Reply
Fellow small phone fan. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of the smaller OnePlus phones designed for kids.Reply
I gave up and bought the iphone se 3 as soon as it shipped.
I finally have a small phone again, and I’m liking ios.Reply
Your dream Android phone is an iPhoneReply
I have the same issue, I have big hands and going from a pixel 2 to a pixel 6 has been a nightmare. I can't use the pixel 6 with a single handle.Reply
How about even smaller? :D
I used to have a Sony Xperia X Compact and when its SIM slot stopped working, I went looking for a new phone and there was nothing of that size. I got the Ulefone Armor X7 Pro which was basically the same phone with a worse camera, less shovelware, and built to last. Still fits in my pocket, more or less.Reply
I am currently using a Pixel 4a, which in my opinion is the latest useable Pixel.
Since we are basically doing market research, here is my take ;)
It is kind of sorted by relevance as it is in the order in which it came to my mind.
Here is what I need from a new phone:
This is what is nice to have:
- height between 145mm and 150mm - width between 70mm and 75mm - thickness up to 15mm, I honestly don't care - storage atleast 128GB, expandable if possible - 3.5mm heaphone jack - USB-C 3 (at least 5Gbps) - fingerprint (in-display, or front bezel, back is also acceptable) - stock Android - hardware security features of the Pixel Line (Secure Element, Hardware attestation, everything that would make the GrapheneOS people want that phone) - "enough" RAM, maybe 6-8GB - recent SOC but *not* a power hungry flagship, I want the efficiency king - battery for two days of messengers and phone calls (no games, no social media crap) - no glas where it doesn't need to be - current wifi and bluetooth
- small top bezel for camera, ear piece, sensors - small bottom bezel to better reach the on display controls - fingerprint resistent, non slippery and light casing (maybe aluminium frame with tpu around) - easy to replace battery (doesn't need to be hot swappable, but no glue, not burried under the mainboard or next to *flimsy* ribbon cables) - IPXX rating - camera on Pixel 5 level
I absolutely agree with size. I'm long time Samsung A5 2017 user because Lineage OS compatibility and size.
However I'm refuse to pay more than 200 USD for phone. It is device that could be easily broken, lost or stolen. I also do not need super specs. I mean... It is ridiculous how basic purpose of phone (calls, messages, emails, contacts...) shifted to machine that has betters specs than laptops. Of course quite a lot o people simply switch from laptop to high end phone, but what about those who need reliable phone for basic communication and don't want to pay for features that don't actually need (I never used front camera, NFC, big screen for gaming, etc.)?
Maybe I'm old fashioned but for me: • phone = communication, calendar, notes, GPS • pictures = camera • gaming, work = desktopReply
My wife just bought the iPhone mini for all of these reasons, but she is definitely in a minority.
The main use cases for smart phones are texting, email, social media Twitter/Facebook/Whatsapp/etc., general computing (banking etc.), games, video.
All of these use cases are made better by a larger screen size.Reply
I actually ended up going out and buying an iPhone mini today because of this thread. An upgrade from the 12 Pro.
I love it. It's SO much lighter, and small enough that I can reach the entire screen one-handed, so no longer do I need to awkwardly try to find a place to put down whatever I'm carrying in my other hand just so I can text or interact comfortably.Reply
Totally agree! I'm still on the Pixel 4a, starting to look at an upgrade but I don't think there is one. Luckily I don't demand too much from my phone, but making better pictures would be nice.Reply
And must be LCD (good ones)!Reply
For me, the people who want smaller phones are the textbook example of a vocal minority. I've read so many Hacker News and r/apple threads about how people love and miss phones you can use with one hand. And then every few years a phone manufacturer will try it, and it won't sell at all.
I almost think people with small phones just underestimate how much they'd be able to adjust to a larger phone.Reply
The Atom XL fits the bill, doesn't it? Or do you want bleeding edge specs & chipset?
I like the general idea and wish that there were more small phones available.Reply
There is Palm. It looks a bit like the first iPhone, but the size of a credit card.
Regretfully, it filled with a lot of carrier spyware (originally Verizon) that eats the battery in the background. If cleaned up, the battery life gets much better (up to two days). But, after a month or so, for me the phone for some reason factory-reset itself. Not sure, if it was an update or initiated by the carrier or a hardware glitch or something else.
Nice, clean looking, unlocked, very inexpensive hardware (<$100 refurbished), but very poor android build.Reply
Check out Unihertz, they have a variety of unloved formats including small form factor and physical keyboards.Reply
> Also, personally, after 6 months of iOS I am itching to get back to Android. Why? The notification system SUCKS on iOS compared to Android. It’s impossible to move files between apps. Hard to get any work done on it. Beautiful hardware though!
I felt this so hard! Switched to iOS a few months ago after 14 years of Android (OG G1 user) due to privacy concerns and the lack of a small phone on Android.
iOS applications are almost universally better than their Android counterparts, but when it comes to the OS itself Android is light years ahead of iOS in terms of usability, convenience, and features. The iOS keyboard is such a steaming pile of bull dung compared to Android, and then there's call screening, notification actions, copy history, inter-application shareability, webview->browser state sharing, etc...Reply
It is kinda old (2019), but Samsung S10e is imho _the_ small (android) phone.
5.8" 1080x2280 AMOLED display, with a tiny hole punch front camera; Snapdragon 855, 6/8gm RAM, 128/256gb of storage (with support for microsd card); two rear cameras (wide and ultrawide) with great image quality(imho); ip68; gorilla glass 5; 3.5mm jack; usb type c; wireless charging + reverse wireless charging; fingerprint on power button (side mounted); ~4hours SOT (3100mAh); it comes with samsung's bloated os but you can put custom rom (i checked support for /e/ os and its supported, but i belive there are other options); ~400 eurosReply
Wow, is sub 6" considered small nowadays?
What have we doneReply
The Nexus 5X was the perfect size phone in my opinion. I'm content with the Pixel 4a at the moment, but it is clearly too tall to use with one hand for me. I have to shimmy it up and down to reach the top and bottom. Which I suspect is the problem with almost every phone these days.Reply
I have an iPhone 12 mini. I switched to iPhone with the XR and felt it was too big. My old Pixel 2 feels larger than the 12 mini with it's 5" screen versus the 12 mini's 5.4", and that's because it physically is overall larger.
When the iPhone 12 lineup was announced, the main talking point about the mini among reviewers and whatnot was how poor battery life will be. To be honest, once I disabled the 5G (I'm not anti-5G, I just don't need it most of the time), battery life is fine. In fact, it's pretty phenomenal for the specs if you've had any lengthy history with smartphones (my first LTE phone either needed multiple charges per day, or I carried spare batteries).
It's pretty easy to build an echo chamber that agrees smaller phones are preferred and make it appear as though there's a decent amount of us, but the simple fact is, people like us are in the minority, and it shows in the iPhone sales. That's why there's not going to be an iPhone 14 mini, and why the mini design is probably going to be the next SE. And if you even look at the SE sales numbers, they're still not great against other iPhone models.
On top of that, this audience, specifically, are probably not going to be upgrading every generation, so there's going to be gaps where we don't feed the machine/sales numbers to make it look better. I will not buy an iPhone 13 mini. I will not buy an iPhone 14. I probably will not even buy the next SE even if it's an iPhone 13 mini with a newer SoC. So long as my 12 mini keeps going, it'll continue to serve me. So I fail to contribute to the sales numbers to make it look better.Reply
The Rakuten Hand 5G ( https://network.mobile.rakuten.co.jp/product/smartphone/raku... ) sounds like it fits the bill at 138 × 63 × 9.5mm vs iPhone 13 mini's 131.5 × 64.2 × 7.65mm, though it's only available in Japan from Rakuten Mobile.Reply
I still use my HTC HD2 (12 years old) because I could not find a small phone. It is now on its 5th battery and still working flawlessy. The caveat is: I only have 5 apps and because there are no more.Reply
you can pry the iphone SE from my cold, dead hands.
i've been in the anti-iphone group since the first iphone. frankly, android has (and more importantly android phones have) pissed me off more than apple and that's the primary reason of me being an iphone convert now.Reply
I miss my old Moto G1. Light and with a small form factor, and at the same time it was one of the first phones that were cheap but not low quality.
It made a breakthrough in a market where you either had an expensive Samsung or you dealt with cheap phones with very bad specs. This was ages ago, fortunately today there are more phones that are cheap but with acceptable specs.Reply
As an iPhone user, I've wanted to use an iPhone Mini ever since they came out. It was hard to compromise on the camera, coming from a Pro device, but I finally made the switch when the iPhone 13 Mini debuted.
Within 24 hours however, I was back at the Apple Store returning it. What was the issue? Nothing wrong with the device at all - it was everything I hoped it would be! Unfortunately, the issue was with the apps instead.
Developers have gotten so used to everyone being on bigger devices. Since the Mini _lowered_ the standard size of a device (and represented such a small audience), I found that most of my apps had various UI bugs as they were written to target a regular iPhone dimension or larger. In some cases, apps were unusable due to the UI bugs.
As an iOS engineer, I can also speak to the development side of things. At the various places that I've worked, I can't say that any testing was ever specifically done on a device smaller than the smallest _regular_ iPhone (like an iPhone XS). Even our team of QAs had all kinds of devices that they'd use and we had automated UI testing, but an iPhone Mini was consistently overlooked.
Maybe the device will be better in the future, but until then, the apps just aren't ready.
Granted this is my experience with iPhones and iOS apps. Android could very well be in a different place. I expect less out of the app development on that platform, however, developers are also more attuned to targeting smaller screen sizes, given how many Android devices exist, so it could indeed be a better experience if you find a device that you like.Reply
Currently there are ZERO premium Android phones with <6” displays. No amount of money can buy one right now.
I truly do not understand why people refuse to buy flagship phones from a couple of years ago because they're "outdated" but then endorse some new phone with a garbage SoC that gets less performance. Buy an Xperia XZ2 Compact.Reply
ZenFone 8 is passable and less than 6", but still too big for me.Reply
Our house wants small phones, we had Pixel 4a and 3(both size are small) and converted the rest three to iphone mini and iphone SE. over many years it does seem andriod phone has shorter life span and iphone lasts longer, which is one more reason we converted two andriod phones to iphones, in addition to the screen size reason.Reply
...and I want an iPhone that's comfortable to use with a single small hand. Even the Mini is too big and certain tasks are either extremely uncomfortable (rotating the phone whilst balancing it atop a couple fingers so I can reach a corner, for instance), or just require both hands which sometimes is incredibly inconvenient.Reply
You want a Pixel 5 or 6a. Set smallest width to 432dp from developer settings. Check the result with mydevice.io to see 2.5x pixel ratio. You got a iPhone Max resolution for the size of a Mini.Reply
I'd add a headphone jack to "must have". And I don't like these bezel-less displays. Just give me a more modern HTC Desire S. Or a first-gen iPhone SE that runs Android.Reply
> are easy to use one-handed without dropping
I bought an iPhone Mini expecting that it'd be comfortable to use in a single hand like my previous Xperia phone of exactly the same width.
Unfortunately, it is not the case: the iPhone screen is very close to the bottom edge, and to switch apps you need to move your thumb to the very edge and then swipe up, which is rather uncomfortable (or requires holding your phone very low, in which case, you can't reach the top of the screen without changing your grasp). Similarly, the keyboard is rather low and uncomfortable to use from the otherwise most natural single-handed grasp.Reply
I'd like a small phone, big battery (I don't mind a bulge) or changeable * excellent dac * headphone jack * FM dab+ * ir * I would say: partner with Ricoh / Pentax for camera and with Onkyo for audio. Fujitsu as manufacturer.Reply
My opinion is that the demand for small phones will be satisfied by foldable phones.
I see that option more viable and effective.Reply
Interesting to me how all the tech people here want an iPhone mini sized phone when its the least popular and even the low cost to entry iphone se, which is also lauded around these parts is “struggling” to find buyers:Reply
"You think you do, but you don't."
I LOVED my iPhone 4 & iPhone 5 back in the day. I thought they were just perfect. I could reach all the keys, they fit in any pants, and they were just my favorite era of phones ever. Metal edges, glass front and back, no stupid camera bump -- perfection. For the time they existed, there was nothing to improve on those phones.
But I pretty much hate my iPhone Mini. And it has almost nothing to do with the phone -- it's basically an improved version of the iPhone 4, except now it's got a stupid camera bump. And I would still love the form factor, but like... so many things just don't fit right.
Apps just haven't been tested to work on it, especially if you tweak your default font sizes at all, and it's just a sub-optimal experience in almost every way. My fingers fit, but now websites are built with bigger fonts and need bigger screens. I passionately hate "viewport wobble" and you see it all the freakin' time on the iPhone Mini.
Book an Uber? The buttons are off screen, or weird places. Sure that's the app's fault -- and frankly a lot of apps need to do better for responsive design in order to better improve accessibility (especially for elderly users!) but that's a bigger fight than I want to get into when I pick up a phone and just want it to work.
So I don't know, like if I had a magic wand and could just zap every website, every app into compliance with the slightly smaller screen... sure it'd be great. But I don't, and that makes for a frustrating user experience that, frankly, ruins the iPhone Mini for me.
My iPhone 4 was the best phone I ever had. Hands down. Loved it, emotional memories of it are still very fond. Wish I could find that again, really do.Reply
I really wanted Apple to create an iPhone Mini. I had been holding on to my iPhone 6S for years, hoping Apple phones would shrink again. So I was super excited when the Mini came. Once it came out, I was rather unhappy that there was no Pro version. I really, really wanted the cool Pro camera in a phone that's a substantial investment. I'd have been happy to pay more, but the Mini's price was high enough that lacking crossing the excitement line for the camera made me see too little value to invest. So I ended up buying the super cheap, new SE instead.
I now wonder if the camera I want isn't possible in the size I want.Reply
Absolutely agree, but I think we are in the smaller size of the pie. I had for many years a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (4.3' 124mm), super small phone that I loved, then I switched to a Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro (5.0' 141mm), reasonably small but bigger then S4 and still usable with one hand without risks. Then I switched to a Xiaomi Mi 9T for the huge body-display ratio and I always feel it's too big (6.39' 156mm) and sometimes I need 2 hands, and I've pretty big hands... Nowdays you can't find any good android phone around ~140mm in size, that I think is the perfect size.Reply
Current phone: Samsung S10e (5.8" AMOLED, 142mm/5.6" long) and previous: Motorola Moto X 1st gen from 2013 (4.7" AMOLED, 129mm/5.09" long). Very happy with them. Both being flagship models (powerful CPU), the only drawback is shorter battery life than other phones.Reply
The phone companies haven't even bothered to ask people what they actually want. They just take a wild guess, they make a bad phone and it sells bad, then they claim "see, people don't want small phones". That is just ignorant behavior on their side.
No, we don't want ugly or clumsy phones. We don't want overpriced phones. We don't want brittle phones that can't stand a fall. We don't want phones with weak batteries that won't last a day. We don't want lousy cameras. We don't want laggy and buggy phones. We don't want good phones that are only available in other parts of the world where we can't buy them (Sony is making small phones...but only in Japan).
The companies should ASK the consumers what they NEED. But they don't.Reply
I use the iPhone SE (Gen 2) and appreciate the size not the battery life. From a connectivity standpoint even the Apple Watch is sufficient (for me!) in a world where I have my iPad / Laptop / Desktop to choose from depending on the content and with the the M1 laptop even App Store games; where I want to play them is a matter of ultimate convince and choice these days.
It seems like the mini didn't sell well and that is unfortunate, hopefully we can still have enough range of size choice within the iPhone eco system moving forward.Reply
$700 seems a bit optimistic unless the scale gets really big. Anyways, I'm in!Reply
I love the size of my iPhone mini, and I've had multiple friends use my phone, and want to also shift into the smaller size; most didn't even know the mini was a thing.Reply
This is why I'm not moving on from my Pixel 4a. If it ever dies, I'll go on eBay or wherever and buy a new one. I don't even care if it goes EOL and stops receiving security updates.
TBH if I do end up replacing it with something else, it doesn't have to be stock Android or even a powerful device. I'm okay with replacing my 4a with some cheap ultra-budget shanzhai phone as long as it's small and it works with T-Mobile US's LTE network.
Also the iPhone Mini itself isn't an option—not only do I not want to be part of Apple's ecosystem, but I have sensory issues and can't handle metal phones. I need a plastic phone. And no, a case isn't an option because a case would just make the phone too wide for me to hold.Reply
I like smaller size phones as well. I've considered the recent Moto Razr models. But I can't get over the fear of mechanical failure due to the hinge and folding screen. I'd much rather have a viable mainline linux phone even at a larger size, but that's for another thread.Reply
I got an iPhone Mini hoping to be able to use it with one hand, but it wasn't small enough to do that (and I don't have small hands), so I returned it. I figured if I'm going to need a PopSocket anyway, I may as well have more screen space too
I'm not surprised the Mini has been underperforming. I think it's in an awkward valley where it's not small enough for that to be an advantage, it's only small enough for it to be a disadvantageReply
Are you sure you cannot buy such a phone from Aliexpress? They have all shapes and sizes of random stuff... they surely have a small Android phone.Reply