Weekly poll: how big should “mini” phones be?

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To this day you can still hear people on Internet forums complain that there are no small high-end phones. Is that true, though? But more importantly what constitutes “small” these days?

One might say that the Apple iPhone 12 mini is the only true mini flagship around. You might be tempted to include the Sony Xperia 5 II on this list, but it’s debatable whether it belongs – even Sony doesn’t call it a Compact (a true Compact may be on the way, though).

Check out the table below with some potential candidates for the mini flagship category. We included flagship-level models as well as some mid-rangers (a small entry-level phone is much easier to find).

Height Width
iPhone 12 mini 131.5 mm 64.2 mm
iPhone SE (2020) 138.4 mm 67.3 mm
Xperia 5 II 158 mm 68 mm
Xperia 10 II 157 mm 69 mm
Pixel 4a 144 mm 69.4 mm
Pixel 5 144.7 mm 70.4 mm
Galaxy S21 151.7 mm 71.2 mm
iPhone 12 146.7 mm 71.5 mm

We’ve sorted the table by width as we consider it the more important metric. Not that height doesn’t matter – the Xperia 5 II is the tallest phone on the list and that is something you can definitely feel in your pocket.

This is also a good example that width and height are separate dimension. Back in the days when 16:9 screens were the norm, the two dimensions were closely related. But now we have all kinds of aspect ratios so we split this question into two separate polls.

Let’s start with the width. We went in 2 mm steps to create several categories: the 64-62 mm category has only one phone (the iPhone 12 mini), then 66-68 mm and 68-70 mm both have two phones, finally three phones go into the 70-72 mm category.

We think that’s a pretty fair division, so 2 mm should be enough accuracy to figure out the perfect width.

Then we did something similar for the height, though this time we went in steps of 5mm. This divides the phones into several categories with just one or two phones in each. A smaller step would lead to too many options in the poll, which might dilute the results.

By the way, we’re not including the screen size here since the best screen is always the biggest one that can fit. Look at the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone SE (2020) – the 12 mini has the smaller footprint and yet its screen has more surface area. The 12 mini is clearly a better mini flagship than the SE.

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