Best Overall

Google Pixel

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Like the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S8, Google’s Pixel comes in two sizes: Really Big and Just Right. The latter is the Google Pixel with a 5-inch Full HD display that fits comfortably in the palm of any hand.

The Pixel is packed with a Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM. It’s available with up to 128GB of storage space. Its 2770mAh battery might not seem like much compared to other phones its size, but with its 1080p display and Nougat’s revamped Doze mode, you’ll likely be seeing a little bit more on-screen time than other devices in its class. The Pixel’s 12-megapixel rear-facing camera is also still really impressive, even when compared to the abilities of the newer Galaxy S8.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for Google’s Android in a compact size, the Pixel is it.

One more thing: There’s a new Pixel coming soon, but that doesn’t damper our love for the original, especially since it’s getting Android O any week now.

Why the Google Pixel is the best

It’s Google in a handheld smartphone.

Google’s Nexus devices feel like a relic of the past compared to its new Pixel lineup. The 5-inch Pixel is a particularly attractive package for anyone looking for a premium Android experience without all the extra software fluff. And so what if it sort of looks like the iPhone? It also comes in a really attractive Really Blue color.

Its performance is impressive, too, especially for a stock Android device. Its rear-facing camera produces some impressive photos and you can easily back them up with unlimited Google Photo storage. What’s more: Google Assistant baked into the operating system is still awesome, not to mention it’s become quite robust over time.

Best “still great” alternative

Samsung Galaxy S7

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See at Sprint
See at T-Mobile
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Last year’s Samsung flagship is this year’s pint-sized alternative. On the inside, it’s fueled by still-great internals, like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. It also offers solid battery life and an impressive rear-facing camera that you can confidently utilize as your primary shooter. Best of all, the Galaxy S7’s screen is a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, so even though it’s a smaller screen, you’ll still get stunning, TV-like quality from the dullest of YouTube videos.

Bottom line: It may be surpassed by the Galaxy S8, but the GS7 is still a welterweight fighter if we ever saw one.

One More thing: You can probaby pick up a new Galaxy S7 for around $400 these days if you have a keen eye for discounts.

Best for camera buffs

Huawei P10

See at Amazon

Not feeling what Samsung and Google have to offer? Try the Huawei P10 instead. This 5.1-inch device comes packed with a whole host of goodies, including 64GB of storage, Android 7.0, and a dual camera that’s made in partnership with Leica. The P10 also boasts a new portrait mode, which works a lot like what you see produced by your friends who utilize it on the iPhone 7 Plus, and it’s equipped with optical image stabilization, too. All this runs on Huawei’s own Kirin 960 processor and 3200mAh of all-day battery.

Bottom-line: The Huawei P10 is a worthy choice if a good camera and all-day battery life are you main concern.

One more thing: The Huawei P10 will only work with GSM carriers. Verizon and Sprint are not compatible with this phone.

Best affordable phone

Moto G5 Plus

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The Moto G5 Plus is one of the best smartphone deals today. It’s compact but not tiny, with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, and it packs a lot for that metal chassis, including a Snapdragon 625 processor and an excellent 12MP rear camera. The 3000mAh battery lasts a while, and the ultra-simple Android 7.1.1-based software is about as good as you’ll get for the price.

Bottom-line: The Moto G5 Plus is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an affordable unlocked phone in a compact size.

One more thing: If you want to save a bit of money, you can go with the Amazon Prime Exclusive version.

Best “really tiny” phone

Xperia X Compact

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Bet you didn’t think we’d offer up a Sony smartphone as a choice, but the Xperia X Compact is worth the consideration—especially if you’re looking for something that’s under five inches. Inside, the Xperia X Compact runs on mid-range Snapdragon 650, 3GB of RAM, and a 2,700mAh battery. It’s equipped with a 720p IPS display, though that’s all you really need from a 4.6-inch screen. It also supports Quick Charge 3.0, so that you can quickly charge it up during your layover, and it offers a solid 23-megapixel rear-facing camera with laser autofocus.

Bottom-line: The Xperia X Compact is great for anyone who’s been grumbling that smartphones are just too big in this day and age.

One more thing: Sony’s got a pretty good legacy of smartphone updates, even on older devices.

Conclusion

Folks, if you’re looking for a compact smartphone that’s got as much power and capability as the laptop on your desk, the Pixel is the way to go. It’s the perfect representation of the way Google wants you to use Android. And it’s a mere 5 inches, which makes it comfortable enough for a variety of hand sizes. It’s also got Google Assistant, which is quickly morphing into something more than just a cool trick to show your friends.

Best Overall

Google Pixel

See at Verizon
See at Google Store

Like the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S8, Google’s Pixel comes in two sizes: Really Big and Just Right. The latter is the Google Pixel with a 5-inch Full HD display that fits comfortably in the palm of any hand.

The Pixel is packed with a Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM. It’s available with up to 128GB of storage space. Its 2770mAh battery might not seem like much compared to other phones its size, but with its 1080p display and Nougat’s revamped Doze mode, you’ll likely be seeing a little bit more on-screen time than other devices in its class. The Pixel’s 12-megapixel rear-facing camera is also still really impressive, even when compared to the abilities of the newer Galaxy S8.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for Google’s Android in a compact size, the Pixel is it.

One more thing: There’s a new Pixel coming soon, but that doesn’t damper our love for the original, especially since it’s getting Android O any week now.

Update, July 2017: This post has been refreshed with the most up-to-date information. We still recommend the Google Pixel if you’re looking for a really small phone, though the Huawei P10 is a close runner-up.



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