A cursory glance at the current state of smartphones, and you might think everyone loves big smartphones. It makes sense, with more of our lives lived online, a large screen is the best way to interact with social media, watch videos, and type out messages. Big smartphones are usually more powerful and longer-lasting than their smaller siblings.
In 2003, having a small mobile phone was cool, the smaller, the better. The coolest phones weren’t the ones with the best specs or the biggest screens, but ones that looked edgy and could slip into your skinny jeans pockets. Today if you want the coolest phone, the flagship models from Samsung or Apple are your best bet.
A premium-priced smartphone like the Samsung galaxy s20 is big, bold, and beautiful, but also very expensive. What happened to the desire for small phones? Do people still yearn for a dainty device that would hide in their hip pocket, one to simply make calls and texts? While the market for small phones has shrunk, there are still some neat little phones on the market. Here are my top picks for little phones.
The iPhone SE is one of my favorite phones of all time. Based on the gorgeous iPhone 4 and 5, the iPhone SE delivered the premium Apple experience in a compact package. How compact? Well, a 4″ screen wrapped in aluminum housing meant the SE could fit in the smallest pockets without disrupting the lines of your outfit.
The iPhone wasn’t just small and pretty, it packed the internals of a 6s, at the time a potent smartphone. While the SE is getting a little long in the tooth, you can still buy one of these little marvels for under $200. For Apple lovers who miss the days of small smartphones, this is a hard option to pass up.
You might recognize the name Palm from their “pilot” range of tablet computers. It seems rumors of their demise were greatly exaggerated because out of the shadows, Palm has released a surprising little smartphone with a twist.
The Palm Compact is a teeny little handset, around the same dimensions as a credit card, albeit a little thicker. The Palm is not designed to be a stand-alone phone, but rather a smartphone for your smartphone. Confused? I was too, but the Palm offers something unique, a chance to leave your big, bulky smartphone at home and still be connected to friends and family. Although currently an American exclusive, the Palm compact retails for around $300 and has the potential to shake up the market.
Unihertz Jelly Pro
While most small phones compromise between price and performance, the Jelly Pro does not. A fully-featured smartphone that fits on the back pocket of your jeans and weighs a paltry 60g. The Jelly Pro runs Android, has GPS and 4g connectivity, and even has a decent front-facing camera. With satisfactory performance from such a tiny device, the Jelly Pro is possibly the best modern version of a small phone, what’s not to love?
What about a bare-bones phone? Something that doesn’t even connect to the internet? The AIEK M5 is almost the same size as a credit card (seriously) and can make call sand texts if you supply a nano sim. The phone has a 1″ screen and about as much power as the calculator you used in high school, but it can be had for less than $30.
Phones like the AIEK represent a totally different school of thought to most consumers. Some people just want to be able to make calls or be reachable in emergencies. These people don’t care about 100x zoom cameras or Instagram. A cheap and cheerful phone like AIEK M5 fits the bill of the ultra-light phone; you cant much smaller or lighter than this.
Wanting a smaller or simpler phone doesn’t mean you are a techno-noob or can’t afford the Galaxy s20 ultra. Sometimes you need to simplify, and owning a small phone with limited capacity can do precisely that.