The Best Compact Smartphones you can buy in 2019

The smartphone world has generally gone crazy over big displays, and manufacturers are latching on to it. But not everyone wants their big. If, like me, you are a lover of smaller smartphones, I have drawn up a list of the best compact smartphones you can buy today in 2019.

In order to make things clear, I define a compact smartphone as one with a screen below 6 inches. And by the best, I mean the the most up-to-date compact smartphones with screens below 6 inches and with the best performance available in the market.

Despite the obsession with bigger displays, there are enough smaller smartphones out there for yuou to pick from.

Best compact smartphones released in 2019

All the compact smartphones listed here are 2019 releases, so they are the most up-to-date and cutting edge available in this segment.

Google Pixel 3a

Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

Released in May 2019, a 5.6 inches display graces this mid-ranger. You get Google’s great camera, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 procerssor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB internal storage, a 3000 mAh battery with 18W Quick Charging, as well as stock Android 9 Pie and guaranteed speedy updates. Note that this is a single SIM smartphone though.

Google Pixel 3a specs and features.

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung Galaxy s10e winfuture

A budget Galaxy S10 is a great idea. For about $700 or N230,000, you get a 5.8 inches AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM, 128 GB internal storage, and a 3100 mAh battery with 15W fast charging.

And it is available in both single and dual SIM options. Samsung Galaxy S10e specs.

Samsung Galaxy A40

samsung galaxy a40 specs - dual sim 64gb 4gb ram

Another phone that deserves a place on our list of best compact smartphones of 2019 is the Samsung Galaxy A40. With a 5.9-inch screen, it barely makes it! But if it is not 6 inches, it isn’t 6 inches. So, what do you get with this April 2019 release?

A Super AMOLED, Infinity-U display, rear dual camera, 25 MP selfie camera, 64 GB storage, and 4 GB RAM. There is also a 3100 mAh battery, coupled with 15W quick charging. Whether you want a single or double SIM support, you are covered. This package is available for about 219 euro.

Samsung Galaxy A40 specs.

These are the three best smaller smartphones released in 2019. But there are other solid smaller smartphones that are just as current available in the market. Hop over to the next section below.

Best compact smartphones released in 2018

Now, some of the best smaller smartphones available today in 2019 were launched in the last quarter of 2018 and so are current devices in the market. Let’s have a look at my recommendations.

Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3

The Pixel 3 easily qualifies as one of the best compact smartphones available in the market today. It has a 5.5 inches display and was launched in November 2018, effectively meaning that it is a very up-to-date device if you are shopping in 2019.

What does it offer you? A 5.5 inch display, 2915 mAh battery with 18W fast charging, 64 and 128 GB storage options, stereo speakers, and Android 9 Pie. Being a Google phone, there is no question about it getting timely updates for another two years.

Google Pixel 3 specs.

Nokia 7.1

Nokia 7.1 specs

Making this list of best compact smartphones in 2019 is the Nokia 7.1 mid-range smartphone. It has a display that is 5.84 inches in size with Gorilla Glass protection. On its feature list are a 3060 mAh battery with 18W fast charging, a Snapdragon 636 processor, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB storage.

It was launched in October 2018 running Android 8.1, but it is a Nokia, meaning that it gets fast software updates.

Nokia 7.1 specs.

Apple iPhone XS

Apple iPhone XS Max

A stainles steel frame, gorgeous 5.8-inch screen, 4 GB RAM, and options of 64, 256, and 512 GB of internal storage is what you get from the iPhone XS. It is easily one of the best compact smartphones you can buy in 2019. The battery is a smallish 2658 mAh in capacity but there is 15W fast charging support.

Note though that there is no fingerprint scanner on the XS.

It hit the streets in September 2018 with iOS 12, and being an iPhone, you have nothing to worry about in terms of software updates.

Apple iPhone XS specs.

Nokia 6.1

Nokia 6.1 - best compact smartphones

The Nokia 6.1 has a 5.5-inch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and was launched in April 2018. There are 3 and 4 GB of RAM options available. For storage, you get to pick 32 GB or 64 GB. The battery is of 3000 mAh capacity and has 18W fast charging. Powering it is a Snapdragon 630.

Nokia offers stock Android OS, alongside guaranteed software updates for 2 years, so you get up-to-date software. If you are on a budget and want one of the best compact smartphones in the market today, this is a good choice.

Sony Xperia XZ2

Sony Xperia XZ2

With a 5.7-inch display, the Xperia XZ2 arrived in April 2018. Under the hood is a Snapdragon 845, 4 and 6 GB RAM options, 64 GB storage, and a 3180 mAh battery with support for18W fast charging. Sony’s trademark stereo speakers are here as well.

It is a shame that Sony Mobile phones are not as popular as they once were: the Xperia XZ2 is a solid device and one of the best compact smartphones in the market today.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
Is Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact the best compact smartphone in 2019?

The XZ2 Compact has 5 inches of screen size, with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. Like its bigger sibling, it arrived in April 2018 and packs 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB storage. It is also powered by a Snapdragon 845 chip, has stereo speakers, and a 2870 mAh battery with 18W fast charging. It launched with Android 8 Oreo.

The Xperia XZ2 Compact may be really small (5 inches is really, small in today’s world), but it does not skimp on features. This phone is the complete premium deal in a smaller package. True compact lovers will say that makes it the very best compact smartphone in the market.

Sony is perhaps the only smartphone manufacturer that has a history of commitment to producing compact smartphones, so that would be in order.

Samsung Galaxy S9

about Samsung S9

The Galaxy S9 is arguably the very best compact smartphone released in 2018. Apple fans will say that title belongs to the iPhone XS. That kind of face-off always makes for interesting watch.

But you won’t find another smartphone with a 5.8 inches display that packs as many features as the Galaxy S9 does. It arrived in March 2018 with a 3000 mAh battery, 15W fast charging, 4 GB RAM, and 64, 128, and 256 GB storage options.

Samsung Galaxy S9 specs.

These 2018 releases add another 7 devices to our list of the best compact smartphones to buy in 2019. That brings our total to 9 at this point. And we are still not done yet. A few phones from 2017 are still shining stars today. Come take a look.

Best compact smartphones released in 2017

The following may have been manufactured in 2017, but they remain among the best smaller smartphones that you can buy in 2019.

Apple iPhone X

apple iphone x

In October 2018, Apple launched the iPhone X (or iPhone 10 or iPhone Ten). It has a 5.8 inches display, 3 GB of RAM, 64 and 256 GB storage options, as well as a 2716 mAh battery with 15W fast charging. It was launched with iOS 11 but getting updates till date.

Apple iPhone X specs. Apple iPhone X hands-on review.

Apple iPhone 8

Apple iPhone 8

Next on our list of the best compact smartphones available in 2019 is the September 2017 4.7-inch iPhone 8. You get 2 GB RAM, and options of 64 and 256 GB storage. The battery is a meagre 1821 mAh, but there is 15W fast charging to speed up your top ups.

It was launched with iOS 11, but has updates lined up for it all the way to iOS 13, so you won’t be missing out on anything.

Apple iPhone 8 specs.

Essential Phone PH-1

Essential PH-1

The Essential phone is my favourite compact smartphone from 2017. It has a 5.71 inches display with Gorilla Glass 5 and a titanium frame. It hit the market in August 2017 with 4 GB RAM, a whopping 128 GB storage, 3040 mAh battery with 27W quick charging, and one of the widest 4G LTE support on any smartphone.

It shipped with Android 7.1 Nougat but has received speedy updates every step of the way.

Essential PH-1 specs. Essential PH-1 review.

These 3 compact smartphones from 2017 are still very up-to-date devices whether you are looking at them from the hardware or the software. And they can now be purchased at greatly discounted prices.

Wrap Up

In all, these are the 12 best compact smartphones currently available to buy in 2019. Happy shopping, fellow compact lovers.

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5 comments

  1. Compact smartphone has always been my choice right from the start, carrying big screen phone around is not really my choice, i don’t always feel conformable with it. But to me, i don’t see a 5.8 inch screen smartphone as a compact, highest should be 5.2 or 5.5.

    1. I’d say a 5″ screen is pushing it. For me, compact means 4.5-4.7″ max, preferably 4″. Of course, I don’t use a phone for streaming so … I’m probably looking at an iPhone SE as my ideal compact phone. Sony has some good compact options also. Nothing sold today (2019) is compact.

  2. When I’m looking at the specs of a phone, the first thing I check out is the screen size.

    If it is not very close to 6 inches I lose interest immediately I don’t go any further..

    Different strokes for different folks

  3. I wonder why the Samsung GALAXY A40 is yet to make your list. Under 6 inches, light at 140gm and better screen-to-body ratio of 85.5%. Any ideas if it will be released in Nigeria? I am getting impatient.

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