The vanishing of the small high-end smartphone

The Zenfone 10 may be a very good telephone, with an ideal having a look, excessive refresh display; a more or less textured plastic end; a formidable and emblem new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor; and the entire main points you are expecting in 2023 (fingerprint reader, waterproofing, wi-fi charging) in addition to an honest-to-goodness 3.5mm headphone jack.


When compared with Google’s Pixel 8, it’s extra robust and a slightly dearer at $1300. It could possibly’t rather measure up relating to cameras and instrument, however in no way does a nasty process. But to say that its smallness is a big distinguishing characteristic could be a little of an exaggeration – it’s round 4mm shorter and 2mm narrower.

Why don’t firms make in point of fact smaller telephones?

It’s not unusual to look other folks on-line claiming to desire a smaller, high-end telephone. In 2020, Apple gave it to them within the type of the iPhone 12 Mini, with its titchy 5.4-inch display. It adopted that up with an iPhone 13 Mini. However a 12 months later it ditched the theory – and final month is stopped promoting the 13 Mini fully.

This might most probably point out that there simply weren’t sufficient individuals who sought after a brand spanking new diminutive telephone – no less than now not an Apple one – and that the corporate couldn’t justify making them.


Necessarily, all different firms are beholden to the trade traits. You’ll be able to’t merely name up Samsung Show and ask for a small order of OLED panels in a measurement no person else is making. But even so, stuffing more and more robust processors, larger cameras and better capability batteries into high-end gadgets isn’t conducive to small frames.

A gaggle of designers calling themselves the Small Android Telephone group – a number of of them having labored at the Pebble smartwatch, which used to be sooner or later purchased by means of Fitbit – started speaking publicly this 12 months about making slightly software. However discussing the method with fans on Discord, they’ve known the show as a tough piece of the puzzle.

Producers don’t make shows below 6 inches in the stores, with particular circumstances (such because the iPhone Mini) being made below unique contracts. The most productive lead they’ve up to now is to check out to make use of shows designed for the entrance a part of a foldable telephone, however they’re but to strike an settlement.

What are my non-2023 choices?

If you need a high-end small telephone, your simplest plan of action is to shop for one thing from a number of years in the past. This implies accepting you would possibly not get as a few years of running gadget upgrades (or battery lifestyles) as you could with one thing emblem new, and received’t get the very newest processors or options.

For Apple, the iPhone 13 Mini is the most obvious selection. The A15 processor continues to be very snappy, the display and cameras are nice, and it’s legitimately small; even shorter than the iPhone 6 Apple used to be promoting in 2014.

Issues are harder in Android land. I like the small and reasonably priced Pixel 5, however at greater than 3 years previous now, it may be arduous to search out. With its contemporary replace to Android 14, it’s additionally on the finish of its assured replace window. All newer Pixels are no less than part a centimetre taller, nevertheless it may well be value it for a extra future-proof software.

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