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Top 5 Compact smartphones | March 2017

16 March 2017 5

The end of the first quarter of the year is just around the corner and so far we have seen a number of new smartphones at CES 2017 as well as world's largest smartphone event MWC 2017. Almost every smartphone manufacturer unveiled their new products for the Q1 2017. There are tons of new option ranging from flagships, mid-rangers, bezel-less and compact smartphones.

Although now customers are now shifting towards larger display smartphones but that doesn’t mean there are not buyers in the market who prefer smaller display smartphones. Unfortunately these compact devices are not as powerful as the flagship ones but still, the have more than enough hardware to complete daily tasks with ease.
In Q1 2017, only a few smartphone manufacturers opted to bring compact devices. At the moment, the best compact smartphone option is iPhone SE, however, there are plenty of options available for Android fans as well. Today we enlist top 5 best compact smartphones which are worth buying if you are looking for a compact device.

Although Samsung was the trendsetter of large display smartphones by releasing first Galaxy Note device but there are many buyers who still like small devices which are easy to hold and easily fits in the pocket. Now, most of the compact device are below 5-inches, even though Apple latest flagship is also below 5-inch, we will consider both iPhone SE and iPhone 7 as compact smartphones let’s have a look at all of the options in detail.

67.1 x 138.3 x 7.1 mm
4.7 inches - 1334x750 px
58.6 x 123.8 x 7.6 mm
4 inches - 1136x640 px
65 x 129 x 9.5 mm
4.6 inches - 1280x720 px
67 x 145 x 8 mm
5 inches - 1280x720 px
66.2 x 135.4 x 7.9 mm
4.7 inches - 1280x720 px
Go to comparison page
Apple iPhone 7:

The latest flagship from Cupertino giant is also a compact device as its display size is way below than 5-inches. If we consider the price tag, the iPhone SE certainly becomes one of the best compact smartphone options but if you don’t have issues spending more bucks then for sure iPhone 7 is the best compact smartphone packed with top notch hardware and latest OS pre-installed out of the box.

The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 is featuring a display of 750 x 1334 pixels with the pixel per inch is 326. Apple yet to shift to OLED display that’s why new iPhone 7 has LCD display. The quad-core A10 fusion Soc is powering the handset with 2GB RAM. The device built-in internal memory of base variant is 32GB. However, it can’t be expanded but there is the option of top models with higher internal storage.

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Apple iPhone 7 rear camera snapper is 12MP with OIS, single LED flash, and aperture size is f/1.8. It can record video of 4k quality. On the front facing side, the camera sensor is 7MP. To keep the aforementioned machinery running, the company packed the device with a 1960mAH battery cell. The best thing about this year iPhone 7 lineup is its water and dust resistance capabilities and a special jet black variant. The home button is also replaced as company ditched the mechanical button in favor of force sensitive button.

This year Apple ditched the 3.55mm headphone jack with wireless Airpods which works without any wires. The iPhone 7 base variant of 32GB is available for purchase at $649, whereas the second model has 132GB storage and it cost $749. Last but not the least top of the line model has 256GB internal storage for whopping $849.

Apple iPhone SE:

Back in March, the Cupertino giant unveiled a new iPhone SE which was featuring a 4-inch display and according to the company the device replaced the iPhone 5s. At the announcement event, the company product marketing head Greg stated Apple sold nearly 30 million 4-inch devices that’s why they expect still buyers are looking to have a compact smartphone with the 4-inch display.

The iPhone SE 4-inch display has screen resolution 640 by 1136 pixels. Apple’s customized A9 Soc is powering the handset with 2GB RAM. In terms of performance, the device is as powerful as iPhone 6S. The device rear camera module is 12MP while the front facing camera is just 1.2MP while is of quite low quality as we all know currently entry-level smartphones have the 5MP sensor on the front facing side. The device was pre-installed with iOS 9.3 but later on updated to next iOS iterations. The device supports LTE network with a speed up to 150mbps. Despite being a compact, it still supports Apple Pay feature.

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There are two variants of iPhone SE, One with a 16GB internal storage it cost $399 whereas there is a 64GB variant which is slightly costlier at $499. The iPhone SE measurements are 123.80 x 58.60 x 7.66mm and weigh 113 grams only.

Sony Xperia X Compact:

The Sony Xperia X compact was unveiled in the second half of the year alongside the Xperia XZ. The device is not a smaller variant of the XZ but instead company releases it as a compact model of Xperia X. The compact variant took design queues from Xperia X but still there are a number of important features which are not included in the compact variant. The first one is water resistant capabilities.

The X Compact bezel is 9.55mm which is quite thick considering most of the device have pretty thin bezels but thanks to the Sony loop design it doesn’t look thick at all. The device gives elegant and premium looks while holding and another good thing about this device is it doesn’t have antenna lines on the rear side because of ceramic material chassis.

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The device is packed with a 4.6-inch HD display. The screen resolution of the display is 720 pixels. The Qualcomm’s Hexa-core chipset Snapdragon 650 is powering the handset with 3GB RAM. The device internal memory is 32GB, and it can be expanded using external MicroSD card.

On the rear side, the Sony’s latest compact device has one of the best camera sensors of 23MP and its Sony’s own IMX300 lens. Though it won’t be recording 4K quality videos but it will be providing pretty great results even on recording 1080 pixels video. The front facing camera module is 5MP. The device is available for purchase in three color variants including black, blue and white for $ 500.

Sony Xperia XA1:
The Japanese smartphone manufacturer traditionally releases a compact smartphone every year, same was the case with 2017. The Xperia XA1 has not unveiled a long time ago but instead, it was announced at MWC 2017 and it yet to be released for most of the markets.

The Xperia XA1 brings a number of features what a compact smartphone buyer would love to have. This year Samsung yet to release compact Mini variants of their flagships which showcase company’s priority is not mini smartphones anymore. The Xperia XA1 certainly brings a lot to compete against other mini smartphones available in the market, that’s why despite it emerges as one of the best compact smartphone announced in 2017.

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If you are looking to purchase a compact Android smartphone with affordable price tag, you should consider the Xperia XA1 before making any decision. It is available in Gold, Black, and white color options. It will be released on April 26th at a price tag of $299.99. Let’s have a look at what this device is bringing to the table in terms of hardware specs.

The XA1 is packed with a 5-inches HD display with 720 x 1280 pixels screen resolution. An Octa-core MediaTek Helio P20 SoC is powering the device under the hood with 3GB RAM. The inbuilt storage is 32GB, it can be expanded up to using external MicroSD card. The rear primary snapper is Sony's top of the line 23MP sensor while the front facing selfie-centric module is 8MP. It comes with 3.5mm headphone jack. A 2,300mAh battery cell keeps the device lights on. It supports Micro-USB port for connectivity. The best thing about XA1 is it is pre-loaded with Android Nougat straight out of the box.

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017):
The South Korean giant’s main focus this year was once again the larger display smartphones but the company releases a compact smartphone in Q1 2017. Yes, you guessed it right the smallest variant of Galaxy A lineup of 2017.

The Galaxy A3 is quite good looking mid-ranger smartphone from Samsung which was released globally. As the device doesn’t have the top-notch hardware that’s why we can’t expect its TouchWiz version will perform at its best. Despite having mid-range hardware device gives the premium feel because of its metal body and signature Samsung design.

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Samsung Galaxy A3 Super AMOLED display is packed with a 4.7-inch display with a screen resolution of 1280x 720 pixels. The device is being powered by Octa-core Samsung Exynos 7870 SoC clocking at 1.6GHz with 2GB RAM. The A3 internal storage is 16GB, however, if users require more memory it can be expanded using external MicroSD card up to 256GB.

As OS, the device has Android Marshmallow 6.1 pre-installed. The rear primary camera is 13MP with single LED flash whereas the front-facing selfie camera is 8MP. Both the lens has f/1.9 aperture lens, which provides good results even in low light conditions. A 2,350mAh battery cell is boosting the device to stay longer on a single charge. The device is secured with Samsung’s Knox. It was announced in wide-range of colors for $345. It is IP68 certified which makes it a special compact smartphone option available in the market.

Conclusion:

For sure compact smartphone lovers have different options but making a decision to purchase anyone of it based on a number of aspects. In our top 5 compact smartphones list, there are two devices running on iOS and other three are powered by Android OS. So the first deciding aspect will be device OS and the second will be its price tag.

The two iOS running options have two different price ranges, if you are willing to pay above $600 mark and wants a compact device then iPhone 7 will be your choice, on the other hand, if you are looking for an affordable and yet latest iOS compact device, your decision will go in favor of iPhone SE. On the other hand, out of three, there are two compact smartphones from Sony.

Even though the Samsung A3 is featuring slightly lower hardware specs as compared to Sony’s compact devices but it is the least expensive Android compact smartphone. The devices enlisted are placed in order, so in our view despite being expensive Apple iPhone 7 is on top place in compact smartphones of March 2017. Other options are below or around $500 price tag.

We would like to hear our readers views in the comments section below regarding which compact smartphone they would like to purchase and why? Also if you do feel we missed any best compact smartphone available for purchase , feel free to mention it below.

(last update 24 March 2017 @ 01:03)

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  • I guess, both Sony devices in this list are fit to be termed as compact devices at least. Both have 4.6-inches screen and carry more or less the same dimensions too. It's second only to iPhone SE.

      • The phone of the Xperia X Compact is my favorite. And my personal opinion is that it's better than even Google Pixel and iPhone 7.

          • I guess, the Sony phones are rightly the compact phones in the list. Maybe, the name in the title itself gives that impression. But I will vote for the Sony Xperia X Compact and Xperia Z5 Compact.

          • Yeah, most of the compact phones these days carry screens with less than 5-inches. It however, looks hard to term the iPhone 7 as a compact phone, as it is one of the best flagships available today.

              • That's because, it has a screen size of less than 5 inches. But that could also be because of the fact that it only carries 2GB of RAM, which is certainly not becoming of an iPhone.

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