Best small phones 2024

It's annoying that finding the best small phones means expanding your search to include expensive or slightly outdated models. But this is the sacrifice you have to make these days to get an easy-to-pocket device.

While small phones are rarer than they used to be, there's still a decent variety. Android and iPhone users will find representation on this list, as will anyone looking for a cheaper device, or looking to move to a cutting-edge foldable phone.

We're not sure how 2024 will change the best small phone landscape. Devices like The Samsung Galaxy S24 series only got larger, and the iPhone 16 series isn't likely to offer new smaller versions, so we'll be waiting for new versions of the phones already on this list, or for new foldable phones to appear to modernize this list through the year.

 You can see our list in brief below, and further down more detailed descriptions of what makes these phones suited to certain types of user.

The quick list

We've gone through all of the best options and put them through rigorous testing to see which ones you should buy. Here are the best small phones you can still get your hands on in brief, with longer summaries below.

The full list: Best small phones in detail

the iphone 13 mini is the best small phone you can buy

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best small phone you can buy

Specifications

Display: 5.4-inch OLED (2340 x 1080)
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 4GB
Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No
Rear cameras: 12MP main (f/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4)
Front camera: 12MP (f/2.2)
Weight: 4.97 ounces

Reasons to buy

+
Capable dual cameras
+
Comprehensive 5G support
+
Incredible A15 Bionic power

Reasons to avoid

-
Cinematic mode capped at 1080p
-
No charger in the box

Apple continued the small phone legacy laid down by the iPhone 12 mini with the iPhone 13 mini. This little handset is very powerful, thanks to the new A15 Bionic chip. There’s nothing it can’t handle, all while being easily pocketed or used one-handed. The 5.4-inch OLED display is still crisp with excellent colors and viewing angles.

Compared to the iPhone 12 mini, Apple kept the 13 mini's design the same, but improved the battery life — in the Tom’s Guide battery test, the iPhone 13 mini lasted for more than 1.5 hours longer than its predecessor. The cameras also got an upgrade. Both the 12MP wide-angle main and 12MP ultrawide cameras feature larger sensors now that let in more light. The ultrawide also has autofocus now. But also new this year are Cinematic Mode and Photographic Styles.

The former lets you record portrait videos with dynamically shifting focus for that artistic look. Photographic Styles are basically real-time filters that you can test out while you’re aiming the camera, letting you capture photos that match your personal taste.

We love the iPhone 13 mini's compact frame and impressive power. It's perfect for people who want a small phone with powerful hardware and great creative capabilities. You can't buy it from Apple any more, but it should still be easy enough to find from third-party retailers and carriers.

Read our full iPhone 13 mini review.

The best small Android phone

Asus Zenfone 10 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best small Android phone

Specifications

Display: 5.9-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080)
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM: 8GB, 12GB, 16GB
Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No
Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.56) main, 13MP (f/3.06) ultrawide
Front camera: 32MP (f/2.5)
Weight: 6 ounces

Reasons to buy

+
Smaller than any other premium Android
+
Mighty chipset
+
Long battery life
+
Productive software additions

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited software updates
-
Only two rear cameras

Small phones may be a rarity, but Asus isn’t giving up. No siree, the Zenfone 10 is exactly what we wanted to see in a small Android phone. It packs in a ton of horsepower thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, paired with up to 16GB of RAM. The 5.9-inch AMOLED display is great with punchy colors, but the battery life doesn't suffer. We really like some of Asus' software alterations to base Android too, such as using the power button as a notification shade switch.

The cameras are generally pretty good for most purposes, though we wish there was a telephoto camera. Also only two years of full Android updates isn't great for a phone of this price. Nonetheless, the Zenfone 10 is head of the pack when it comes to small Android phones.

Read our full Asus Zenfone 10 review.

The best small foldable phone

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review photos.

(Image credit: Future)
The best small foldable phone

Specifications

Displays: 6.7-inch AMOLED (2640 x 1080) inner; 3.4-inch AMOLED (720 x 748) outer
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
RAM: 8GB
Storage / Expandable: 256GB, 512GB / No
Rear cameras: 12MP (f/1.8) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide
Front camera: 10MP (f/2.2)
Weight: 6.6 ounces