The Best Small Smartphones
The best small smartphones are those that combine all the power of a modern smartphone into a small, eminently pocketable package. And these small phones are a vanishing breed. Phones keep becoming larger and larger slabs. Just a few years ago, phone manufacturers touted their ‘thinnest’ and ‘lightest ever’ phones year on year and even the ‘large’ iPhone 7 plus had a positively petite 5.5 inch display. No longer. Today, the latest flagships from Google, Samsung and Apple, including the newly released iPhone 13 Pro Max are all thick behemoths who clock in at around 6.7 inches!
If like us, you’re nostalgic about the time when phones were pocketable and when using a phone one handed was not such a circus act, then this article is for you. We’ve rounded up some of the best small phones currently on the market in Canada so you can finally let go of that death-grip you have on your frankly-too-old iPhone 6 and upgrade to something more of this era. Here are the smallest, cheapest and best small smartphones in Canada as of December 2021:
Smallest Cell Phones
Our picks for the best smallest cell phones prove that great things can come in small packages. Despite being much smaller, these small cell phones offer great performances that match up to other premium devices. If you want a great device that will comfortably fit in your hand, consider one of the following small smartphones, ranked from smallest to largest. Read on for our take on each of our best small phone picks.
Best Small Smartphones in Canada (2021): Listed Smallest to Largest.
|Phone||Screen Size (Inches)||Best Price with Plan|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3||4.2"||$1320|
|iPhone 13 Mini||5.4"||$980|
|Google Pixel 4a||5.85"||$479$479|
Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G – 4.2”
To label the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G as a small smartphone is frankly a hack and our favourite one at that. This is Samsung’s answer to the question: How do you have your cake and eat it too. If the ‘cake’ is a full-sized smartphone and the ‘eating’ is pocketing it easily…but you get it.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G represents the latest in Samsung’s new innovative designs. Just like old school flip phones, the Flip 3 can be flipped open and closed with a simple motion. When flipped shut, the Flip 3 measures a mere 4.2 inches. In its compact state, it can fit in the smallest pocket or purse with no trouble. Further, unlike even older Z Flip phones, the Flip 3 is still very useful when closed. Users can check their notifications, control their music / media, check weather updates, set alarms and take photos all without having to flip their device open. When opened, the Flip 3 5G measures 6.7 inches and functions as a premium Samsung smartphone with 5G compatibility. The Z Flip 3 is a great device for fans that miss the era of flip phones, but don’t want to buy an outdated piece of hardware. Its ability to flip closed ensures durability, while performing as one of the smallest cell phones money can buy.
iPhone SE – 4.7”
The iPhone SE is the best option for users who want both – one of the best small smartphones as well as an authentic Apple experience without breaking the bank. At 4.7 inches, the SE feels like a traditional iPhone, before they started expanding. It is also one of the last iPhone models to include a home button. So, if you miss the convenience of a physical home button and the reliability of Touch ID, an SE could be great for you. Despite being a budget phone from Apple, its performance is very impressive. It uses the A13 bionic chip, the same one found in the iPhone 11 and 11 pro. In addition, its camera and battery life don’t feel like that of a budget phone. A new iPhone SE costs $569 if purchased directly from Apple. However, you could save money if you choose to buy it through your mobile provider, or buy a used device. Overall, the SE is a great pick, and undoubtedly the cheapest small iPhone currently available.
iPhone 13 Mini – 5.4”
When Apple announced the iPhone 12, they also introduced the world to the iPhone 12 Mini. This phone functioned almost identically to the iPhone 12, but was several inches smaller. As a result, it felt just like an older iPhone from several years ago, without the home button. Fortunately, they continued offering the Mini model with the iPhone 13 Mini. Since the iPhone 13 is an improvement upon the 12, the iPhone 13 Mini is as well. As a result, it is undoubtedly the best small iPhone available in 2021. Its small size fits more comfortably in your hand than the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Pro or the truly giant Pro Max. However, users don’t have to sacrifice anything to enjoy the Mini, as it still performs as one of the best smartphones small or large on the market.
Google Pixel 4a – 5.8”
Google was one of the first companies to offer a premium small smartphone at reduced cost. The Pixel 3a was a runaway success and its successor the Pixel 4a is no different. The Google Pixel 4a is a solid device from Google that is not yet outdated. Despite the recent announcement of the new Pixel 6, the Pixel 4a still stands as one of Google’s most popular smartphones. At 5.8 inches, it is slightly larger than the 13 Mini, but not uncomfortably large. It can fit comfortably in your pocket and hand, all while delivering one of the best camera experiences in a smartphone. Furthermore, at $480 for a brand new device, the Pixel 4a’s value is hard to beat. For a brand new premium device from a company as large as Google, this is one of the best deals on a small phone. If you want a powerful device with a great camera in a comfortably small package, look no further than the Pixel 4a.
Cheapest Small Phones
If you don’t want to spend on a flagship priced device but would still like one of the best small phones, it’s hard to beat the value of last year’s flagships. The advantage of the yearly upgrade cycle is that last years’ latest and greatest is usually available at a substantial discount this year. And what is true in the premium smartphone world is also true in the small phone world. These are some of the best small phones available today made even more attractive by their reduced price. Here are some of our favourite small phones from the years past that count as some of the best yet cheapest small phones today: (listed from cheapest to most expensive):
|Cheapest small phones in Canada||Screen Size (Inches)||Estimated Price|
|Google Pixel 3a||5.6"||$300 (on Kijiji)|
|Samsung S10e||5.8"||$300 (on Kijiji)|
|iPhone XS||5.85"||$400 (on Kijiji)|
|iPhone 12 Mini||5.42"||$836 or $650 (on Kijiji)|
Best Small Phones in Canada: Honourable Mentions.
Doro 824c – 5.0”
Next, we wanted to highlight Doro’s 824c as a budget pick for best small phone for those seeking a perfect transition between flip phone and touchscreen device. To accommodate users at this specific point, the 824c includes both buttons and a touch screen. Further, features like text to speech attempt to make the smartphone experience as simple as possible. Of course, the device itself is also incredibly compact and affordable. If you know someone that isn’t quite ready to let go of their flip phone, consider introducing them to the 824c. They’ll be able to experience the perks of a modern smartphone without having to give up the sensation of pushing buttons.
ZTE Blade A3 L – 5.0”
Released back in 2019, ZTE’s Blade A3 L is a solid choice for a beginner smartphone. If you or a loved one has never used a touchscreen device before, this is a great choice to get started. Its simple design is intuitive and easy to pick up. As a budget phone, it lacks premium features like 5G, Google Assistant, Portrait Mode and more. However, this allows users to focus more on texting and calling, which should feel brand new for them with a touchscreen. Also, the Blade A3 L makes up for its shortcomings with its price. Canadians won’t even have to spend three digits on it, and should expect to pay $95 CAD for a brand new Blade A3 L from a retailer.
Best Small Smartphones : Conclusion
There are a lot of small phones depending on your needs, whether you need to combine small size with power, or a good camera, or robustness. If you already have an idea of which phone you want, use our step questionnaire to find the perfect package with the phone of your dreams. We compare for you all the plans available for each phone. Just click on the start button and let us guide you through the process.