These are the best small screen phones you can buy right now

If you don’t have massive hands, you may find the push towards bigger displays disconcerting. We used to consider phablets anything above 5.5-inches but this year, every major flagship has had a screen at that size or bigger! Heck, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus has a screen over 6-inches! And sure, smaller bezels help keep phones smaller even when there are bigger displays, but only an incredibly small segment of the population can use these things one-handed.

If you miss the days where you could pull your phone out of your pocket, hold it comfortably, swipe down the notification bar from the top of the display with your thumb to see whats up without juggling your phone, then put your phone back in your pocket you might be interested in some of these phones. We’ve collected a list of the best sub-5.5-inch display phones on the market today. While we don’t see many advertisements on TV, the radio, or internet about these devices, there are still plenty of great devices out there waiting for you.

This list is not a ranking, it’s just a collection of the best options out there. Make sure you tell us your thoughts down in the comments.

1. Google Pixel

Specs


  • Display: 5-inch 1920 x 1080 AMOLED
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 clocked at 2.15GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32/128GB
  • Battery: 2770mAh embedded; supports fast battery charging
  • Camera: 12MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing
  • Dimensions: 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5 mm (5.66 x 2.74 x 0.33 in)
  • Weight: 143 g (5.04 oz)
  • Operating system: Stock Android 7.1.1

Pros


  • Software: Straight from Google, the software is quick, fluid, and optimized.
  • Camera: The Pixel has 2016’s best camera which is still one of the best in 2017.
  • Unlocked: If you buy it straight from Google, you can use the Pixel on any network or Google’s own Fi MVNO.
  • Build quality: While the design might not be flashy, the build quality is second to none.
  • Updates: Google guarantees two years of software updates for the Pixel and with a strong development community, there will be many more after that.

Cons


  • Carrier exclusivity: You can only buy the Pixel at Verizon stores. To get an unlocked Pixel devoid of any Verizon bloat to use on other networks, you’ll have to order it through Google and pay a higher price and wait on it to be mailed.
  • Age: The Pixel is the oldest device on the list. It’s about to be replaced by the Pixel 2.
  • Design: While we love the build quality, the design is somewhat lacking.

Verdict


The Pixel is still one of the best built and fastest phones on the market today. Android 7.1.1 is blazingly fast on the Pixel while the camera is still one of the two or three best you can buy right now. There’s almost nothing we don’t like about the performance of the Pixel in any area.

What we hate is that the only carrier you can pick it up at is Verizon. If you’re a Verizon customer, this is great because you can sometimes find deals for as little as $5 a month for the Pixel, but for everyone else, we’re stuck paying Google upwards of $600 for the smaller of the two Pixel phones. As of this writing though, you can save $125 on the smaller Pixel and $200 on the larger Pixel XL buy purchasing it through the Google Store.

The Pixel is about to be replaced by the Pixel 2 so if you can wait, you probably should. Even if you don’t get the newer Pixel, the older one should drop in price after its release.

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2. Xiaomi Mi 6

Specs


  • Display: 5.15-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 clocked at 2.45GHz
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Battery: 3350mAh embedded; supports Quick Charge 3.0
  • Camera: Dual 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front-facing
  • Dimensions: 145.2 x 70.5 x 7.5 mm (5.72 x 2.78 x 0.30 in)
  • Weight: 168 g (6.42 oz)
  • Operating system: Android 7.1.1 with MIUI 8.0

Pros


  • Memory: 6GB of RAM is more than most phones on the market and is great for multitasking.
  • Storage 64GB of storage should be more than enough for almost everyone out there. You can store thousands of pictures, videos, and music files with this much base storage.
  • Performance: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor is the best processor from Qualcomm on the market today is super fast and incredibly power efficient compared to previous versions.
  • Software: Android 7.1.1 with MIUI 8.0 is the latest version of both Android and MIUI, Xiaomi’s extremely popular Android skin. It provides a ton of features without bogging down the system
  • Battery: With a massive 3350mAh battery and a small display and power efficient processor, the Mi 6 gets two full days of battery on a single charge.

Cons


  • Connectivity: Doesn’t support North American LTE bands. Not a huge deal if you’re on WiFi most of the time but can slow down things like loading Google Maps when time counts
  • Display: Uses an IPS LCD instead of the preferred AMOLED display, also scratches easily
  • Software: If you prefer stock or close to stock skins, this is not the one for you. MIUI is an extremely heavy touch on Android and novices could be forgiven for not even recognizing that this is Android

Verdict


The Xiaomi Mi 6 is an excellent device made by one of the biggest device manufacturers in the world. It’s made out of premium glass and metals and it feels absolutely FANTASTIC in the hand. The hardware buttons are well positioned and the home button hides an ulta-fast fingerprint sensor that almost never misses. The display could be a bit brighter but the colors are more vibrant than you’d expect from an IPS LCD.

The Mi 6 is ultra slippery and not to be trusted on any kind of surface it could slide off of. For this reason, we recommend a case at all times. Not having LTE bands can be a huge bummer, but since we’re connected to WiFi for the majority of the time, it doesn’t bother us that much. For $423.99, it’s incredibly hard to beat this deal.

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3. Huawei P10

Specs


  • Display: 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS-NEO LCD
  • Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core clocked at 2.4GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32/64GB, expandable through microSD
  • Battery: 3200mAh embedded; supports fast battery charging
  • Camera: Dual 20 + 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front-facing
  • Dimensions: 145.3 x 69.3 x 7 mm (5.72 x 2.73 x 0.28 in)
  • Weight: 145 g (5.11 oz)
  • Operating system: Android 7.0 with Emotion UI 5.1

Pros


  • Cameras: Widely regarded as one of the best cameras on the market, the 20 + 12MP Leica branded camera on the Huawei P10 has 2x lossless zoom and a monochromatic to boost pictures in low light, increase the bokeh effect in pictures, and let you shoot in black and white.
  • Expandable storage: Sometimes a base storage of 32GB just isn’t enough. The P10 has a microSD card slot you can effortlessly bring your media with you from your old phone.
  • Battery life: The P10 routinely gets more than a day’s worth of battery life.
  • Weight: At 5.11 oz, it’s almost a full ounce lighter than the Xiaomi Mi 6 in a similar size body.
  • Design: If you love Apple’s design language, you’ll love the P10 too. As close to as an Android/iPhone hybrid as we’ve ever seen, the P10 looks great.

Cons


  • Bloat: Emotion UI isn’t one of our favorite Android skins and adds a lot of redundant apps.
  • Camera: Low light photography could be better.
  • Availability: It’s hard to import the P10 and when you do, it can be costly since Huawei doesn’t officially offer it in the United States.

Verdict


The headliner for the Huawei P10 is that camera. With a 20MP monochromatic sensor and a 12MP RBG sensor, the Leica branded camera is supposed to be unmatched in low-light photography as well as offering 2x optical zoom and black and white photographs. In reality, most reviews peg the camera as average in low-light situations and above average in better lit situations.

The HiSilicon chip powering the P10 compares well to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip that powered 2016’s flagships and 2017’s HTC U Ultra and LG G6. The performance will be fine, especially since it doesn’t have to push as many pixels as on those two devices. We love that there’s expandable storage here, a feature that adds a ton of value.

Huawei doesn’t officially sell the P10 in the US so it’s entirely on the customer to source the phone and try to get it for the best price possible. We’ve seen listings on eBay as high as $600 and that’s just too much in our opinion.

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4. Sony Xperia XZs

Specs


  • Display: 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS-NEO LCD
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 clocked at 2.15GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32/64GB, expandable through microSD
  • Battery: 2900mAh embedded; supports Quick Charge 3.0
  • Camera: 19MP rear camera, 13MP front-facing
  • Dimensions: 146 x 72 x 8.1 mm (5.75 x 2.83 x 0.32 in)
  • Weight: 161 g (5.68 oz)
  • Operating system: Android 7.1 with Xperia UI

Pros


  • Camera: The camera takes great pictures, but the show-stopping feature is the 960 FPS super slow motion video recording. No other camera on a smartphone comes close to that level of slowmo.
  • Premium build materials: The 2.5D curved display is covered in Gorilla Glass 4 and the battery cover is a metal panel.
  • Dual speakers: The earpiece and microphone slots double as dual stereo speakers. It doesn’t get much better on mobile than Sony’s speakers.
  • Expandable storage or Dual SIM: You can use either two SIM cards or one SIM card and a microSD card in the XZs.
  • Camera button: Sony continues to add an extra hardware button to open and take pictures. Ultra convenient.

Cons


  • Fingerprint Scanner: The fingerprint scanner on the Sony Xperia XZs is disabled in the US and you have to flash a different ROM if you want to get it working. Pain in the butt.
  • Processor: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor still holds it own, but it’s last year’s chip so this phone will age faster than others that were released this year.
  • Expensive: At $597.44 on Amazon, this is a very expensive device for having last year’s processor.

Verdict


The Sony Xperia XZs is one of the best built phones in this list, but it’s hard to recommend at almost $600. If it were closer to $400, we’d be all over it. I worry about buying phones with older processors as I feel like it shortens the life of the device compared to other phones released at the same time.

What I do love is how the Xperia XZs looks. The Blue, Black and Silver colors all look fantastic and the angular shape of the phone stands out from the crowd. It’s a true bummer that the fingerprint scanner is disabled in the US but a quick search on XDA Developers will help you flash the right version.

I don’t think I’d pick up the Sony Xperia XZs at this price, but if you can find a great sale or a refurbished version, it might be worth it.

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5. Samsung Galaxy C5 Pro

Specs

  • Display: 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 clocked at 2.2GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB, expandable through microSD
  • Battery: 2600mAh embedded; supports Quick Charge 3.0
  • Camera: 16MP rear camera, 16MP front-facing
  • Dimensions: 145.7 x 71.4 x 7 mm (5.74 x 2.81 x 0.28 in)
  • Weight: 145 g (5.11 oz)
  • Operating system: Android 7.0 with TouchWiz

Pros


  • Storage: 64GB of base storage is plenty but the Galaxy C5 Pro also supports up to 256GB microSD cards too.
  • Processor: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 was designed to be the perfect midrange processor. Power efficient, but powerful enough to get through most tasks.
  • Display: AMOLED displays are amazing and Samsung makes the best on the market.
  • Software: TouchWiz is actually pretty good these days and the Galaxy C5 Pro is upgradable to Android 7.0, one of the most up-to-date versions of Android.
  • Weight: The Galaxy C Pro matches the P10 for the lightest on the list coming at 5.11 oz.

Cons


  • Updates: While Samsung has done a lot to repair their image as being terrible about updating its devices, mid-range phones like the C5 Pro often are left behind.
  • Availability: The Galaxy C5 Pro isn’t officially sold in the US so you’ll have to import it from a third-party website.
  • Warranty: Another hurdle of not being offered in the US that Samsung may not offer or any warranties for the device for US owners.

Verdict


The Samsung Galaxy C5 Pro reminds us of the Samsung devices of old. It keeps the older body style we saw in phones like the Galaxy S5 but add modern features like Quick Charging, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of base storage, and a nice camera. We also love the expandable storage of up to 256GB and just how light it is at 5.11 ounces.

While it’s one of the cheaper devices on the list, the Galaxy C5 Pro can be a bit of a pain to get your hands on. There is one on Amazon now for about $335 and others listed on eBay and various websites, but those come without warranties so if your phone malfunctions or you break it, you’re out of luck. You’ll also get limited LTE coverage since the phone is made for overseas markets.

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6. Meizu Pro 7

Specs

  • Display: 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED, rear 2-inch 240 x 536 AMOLED
  • Processor: MediaTek MT6757T Helio P25 or MT6799 Helio X 30
  • RAM: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Battery: 3000mAh embedded; supports mCharge 3.0
  • Camera: dual 12MP rear camera, 16MP front-facing
  • Dimensions: 147.6 x 70.7 x 7.3 mm (5.81 x 2.78 x 0.29 in)
  • Weight: 163 g (5.75 oz)
  • Operating system: Android 7.0 with Flyme 6

Pros


  • Secondary display: The rear of the phone has a 2-inch AMOLED display useful for a whole host of actions like taking selfies, tracking steps, and more.
  • Processor: First phone with the powerful Helio X30 processor.
  • Price: At only $530, it’s cheaper than most other flagships and comes in around the price of the OnePlus 5.
  • Camera: Takes excellent, crisy pictures with awesome bokeh. The selfie cam on the front also has a massive 16MP sensor.
  • Materials: The matte metal on the back looks excellent, even if it can pick up fingerprints.

Cons


  • Unreleased: We know this is the “Best phones with small displays you can get NOW” but as of the writing of this article, you can’t get it yet! But, it is coming soon.
  • Software: This is another phone that deviates from stock Android in a very serious way. If you like stock software, stay away.
  • Second display: There are some cool features, but it’s only got a few uses.

Verdict


Alright, I’m not going to lie to you guys, I’m a bit obsessed with this phone. That second display is well thought out and GORGEOUS. I feel like there could be a ton of value added to the device due to the secondary display IF there is more development for it. Taking pictures and tracking your steps is fun on the little display, but it’s nothing you can’t do on the main display. Give me a reason to use that display instead of the main display and you have a winner.

The build quality looks as excellent as any other smartphone out there and I think the price is perfect. Make no bones about it, the Meizu Pro 7 is the company’s flagship. It has flagship specs but comes in at the bottom of the flagship pricing scale. It’s only $30 more expensive than the Motorola Moto Z2 Play which is a mid-tier device!

The Meizu Pro 7 is releasing soon so keep your eyes peeled for it.

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7. Huawei Honor 9

Specs


  • Display: 5.15-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD
  • Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core clocked at 2.4GHz
  • RAM: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB, expandable via microSD
  • Battery: 3200mAh embedded; supports fast charging
  • Camera: Dual 20 + 12MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing
  • Dimensions: 147.3 x 70.9 x 7.5 mm (5.80 x 2.79 x 0.30 in)
  • Weight: 155 g (5.47 oz)
  • Operating system: Android 7.0 with EMUI 5.1

Pros


  • Design: The Honor 9 is one of the best-looking phones ever made. The back shines like almost nothing else on the market. This thing will turn heads.
  • Camera: Dual cameras are in and the Honor 9 has an excellent one. The 20 + 12MP rear lenses are great for low-light situation.
  • Storage: This thing has ALL the storage. With a base of 64GB and a microSD card slot, the Honor 9 matches up against any flagship out there with how much you can store.
  • Speed: The 6GB of RAM and and Kirin 960 chip means your phone will always fly.
  • Audio: The Honor 9 has a Hi-Fi audio chip tuned by Grammy winning recording engineer Rainer Maillard for amazing audio reproduction.

Cons


  • Availability: Even though it was just released in July, it doesn’t look like the Honor 9 will be released in the US soon, if ever. You’ll have to import it and that can be tricky
  • Software: Honor has the Emotion UI skin on top of Android and it’s a rather heavy skin. If you like stock Android, you may want to choose another phone.
  • Slippery: The glass back looks and feels great, but it’s incredibly slippery

Verdict


If you’re looking for a small device that looks amazing, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option than the Honor 9. The shiny glass back truly stands out in a crowd and looks more like a fashion accessory than a phone. It’s a bummer that it isn’t officially being sold in the US, but you can import it if you really want to go through the hassle.

We love that it has dual-cameras and a HiFi audio chip for even better audio. While some companies are removing headphone jacks, companies like Huawei are listening to the customers and giving us higher quality audio from our phones.

If the price is right and you value looks just as much as performance, you should pick up the Honor 9. If not, maybe grab another phone from our list that’s easier to obtain.

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What’s the difference: Honor 9 vs Honor 8

8. LG Q8

Specs


  • Display: 5.2-inch 2560 x 1440p IPS LCD
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB, expandable via microSD
  • Battery: 3000mAh embedded; supports fast charging
  • Camera: Dual 13 + 8MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing
  • Dimensions: 149 x 71.9 x 8 mm (5.87 x 2.83 x 0.31 in)
  • Weight: 146 g (5.15 oz)
  • Operating system: Android 7.0

Pros


  • Display: The LG Q8 packs a 5.2″ with a 2560 x 1440p resolution which adds up to a whopping 564 pixels per in (ppi). That’s one of the densest displays on the market.
  • Design: The Q8 holds over the slim bezels from its big brother the G8 and boy does it look fantastic.
  • Water resistance: This is one of the only phones on our list with water resistance and is rated at IP67.
  • Expandable storage: 32GB of storage seems like the least you can get away with these days so we’re happy that the Q8 has a microSD card slot capable of supporting up to 2TB cards, whenever those hit the market.
  • Audio: We love great audio and we’re pleased that the phone includes a quad 32bit DAC.

Cons


  • Processor: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 is the processor that powered early 2016 flagships. It’s not bad by any means but older than most others on the list.
  • Availability: So far, only those in Europe can pick up the Q8 with some Asian markets to follow. Will we ever see the phone officially come to the US?
  • Price: At €599.90, the Q8 is one of the most expensive phones on our list.

Verdict


The LG Q8 is a weird, but cool, mishmash of the LG V20 from 2016 and the LG G6 from 2017. It has the same internals of the V20 (Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM) and the second display, but shrunken down and added water resistance. It’s an interesting package that I think would do well as a budget device here in the states. As it sits, you can get an LG V20 for less than the Q8 which hurts because the V20 has more internal storage.

Our hopes aren’t high that the Q8 will ever cross the Atlantic, but hopefully, it’s successor does and features a new processor and maybe a lower resolution display. 2560 x 1440p displays are the standard now, but that’s a lot of pixels for such a small device. When the OnePlus 5 has a 1080p display at 5.5-inches and looks as good as it does, other phone manufacturers need to pay attention.