The 12 Best Budget Compact Smartphones 2023 Starting $400 (Reviewed)

Are you thinking of buying a new compact, budget smartphone? Here are the 12 best compact budget smartphones with amazing display quality, good camera tech, a powerful processor, and long battery life from Motorola, Razer, Asus, Google, Samsung, and the iPhone.

Read Also: Top 15 Best Mid-Range Phones 2023

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1. Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7-5G Android Phone with Wide Angle Lens and 24-Hour Battery, 128GB Storage

Among the compact flagship smartphones available, Google’s Pixel 7 stands out with its 6.3-inch display and gorgeous iconic design. While 6.3 inches may not be particularly mini, compared to most other flagship phones, the Pixel 7 is comfortable to handle and easy to use with one hand.

It’s a 50-megapixel primary camera sensor which excels at capturing stunning natural shots in various lighting conditions. However, it’s worth noting that you don’t get the excellent telephoto shooter found in the Pixel 7 Pro model.

Under the hood powered by Google’s fresh Tensor G2 chipset, offering an incremental improvement over the original and rivaling the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. When it comes to media capabilities, It boasts a stunning AMOLED screen and a respectable stereo speaker setup.

2. Google Pixel 7a

Google Pixel 7a 5G

If your budget doesn’t stretch to the Pixel 7, there’s a more budget-friendly alternative in the Pixel 7A. Despite its lower price tag, the Pixel 7A (Review) delivers an almost equally impressive experience compared to its more expensive sibling. The Pixel 7A sports a slightly smaller 6.1-inch display, which still manages to look and feel stunning despite flatter screen bezels and more affordable materials.

Under the hood, the Pixel 7A is powered by the Tensor G2, which, while occasionally causing the phone to warm up a bit, ensures smooth performance and the ability to handle a wide range of tasks, including demanding games like Genshin Impact. The OLED screen, with its 90Hz refresh rate, offers a visually pleasing experience, complemented by a decent stereo speaker setup.

From a software perspective, the Pixel 7A shares the same virtues as its pricier counterpart, featuring clean stock Android, excellent security and privacy features, and the promise of years of updates. Notably, the camera performance on the Pixel 7A is impressive, thanks to its 64-megapixel quad-array camera sensor and Tensor’s intelligent image processing. Even in challenging conditions you can expect great-looking photos. However, it’s worth mentioning that the Pixel 7A falls short in the battery life department.

3. Asus Zenfone 10

ASUS Zenfone 10 5G Dual 256GB 8GB RAM

 The Asus Zenfone 10 is a compact marvel that provides increased battery life as well as a reduced form aspect. With a dimension of less than 6 inches, this cute device has a good hand feel and is easy to use one-handed. It’s so small and lightweight that you might forget it’s in your pocket.

It’s a real flagship smartphone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU which delivers amazing performance. And the battery life is excellent ranking among the best in its class.

The Zenfone 10 boasts a sharp OLED screen with vibrant colors, surprisingly punchy speakers, and a near-stock Android experience, which is a definite plus. However, it’s important to note that Asus offers a more limited software support window compared to Pixel phones, with two years of OS updates and three years of security updates. Additionally, while the camera technology is respectable, it may struggle in challenging conditions.

If you’re seeking a proper flagship experience in a compact package, the Asus Zenfone 10 is an excellent choice.

4. Motorola Edge 30 Neo

Motorola Edge 30 Neo Dual-Sim 128GB ROM + 8GB RAM 5G

In September of last year, Motorola pleasantly surprised us by introducing its own affordable compact smartphone, the Edge 30 Neo. Priced at just 0 in the USA, this device offers a sleek media experience with a captivating curved-edge screen and impressive Atmos stereo speakers.

What’s even better for gamers is that despite its budget-friendly price, the Edge 30 Neo can handle demanding Android games like Genshin Impact, thanks to the capable Snapdragon 695 chipset and the stock Android interface. While you may need to adjust the graphics settings in some cases, the gaming experience remains enjoyable.

However, it’s worth noting that the camera technology on the Edge 30 Neo is more basic compared to the Pixel 7A. Video recording maxes out at 1080p, which is somewhat disappointing. On the good side, the Neo charges quickly when connected via cable, and it also enables wireless charging, which is still uncommon in this price range.

Overall, the Motorola Edge 30 Neo is an appealing option if you want a tiny smartphone that won’t break the bank.

5. Apple iPhone 13 Mini

Apple iPhone 13 Mini

If you’re leaning more towards iOS rather than Android, Apple’s iPhone 13 mini is worth considering. The compact 5.4-inch stands out as my favorite among Apple’s flagship smartphones. Not only is it comfortably hand-friendly, but it also boasts nearly the same specifications as the standard iPhone 13, all without the excessive price tag that plagues some of Apple’s other flagship models.

While the new iPhone SE (third generation) is available at a lower cost, opting for the iPhone 13 mini is a more sensible choice. The iPhone 13 mini shares the same distinctive retro design as its larger siblings, which might not appeal to everyone. However, in this compact form factor, it feels comfortable to hold, and one-handed use is refreshingly easy. Apple has also reinforced the build quality ensuring your handset remains fresh and scratch-free, while providing full water resistance.

Although there are some downsides, such as the OLED screen being capped at 60Hz and the persistent notch, the iPhone 13 mini excels in terms of performance, and its battery life is sufficient for a busy day.

6. Apple iPhone SE 3

Apple iPhone SE 3

If you’re looking for an iPhone, it’s highly recommended that you invest the extra money in the iPhone 13 mini rather than settling for the new iPhone SE. The iPhone SE is akin to a smartphone affliction. Take your pick from its outdated design, horrendously poor battery life, inadequacies in camera technology, meager and non-expandable storage, unattractive display, and the list just goes on and on. However, it does come with wireless charging support and shares the same A15 chipset as the iPhone 13 mini, which is a positive aspect, akin to adding a touch of glitter. 

7. Sony Xperia 5 IV

Sony Xperia 5 IV 128GB


If you’re a dedicated gaming enthusiast or you consider yourself a photography pro, you might be enticed by Sony’s pleasantly sized Xperia 5 smartphone. The Xperia 5 Mark IV is a more compact 6.1-inch version of the Xperia One flagship. It boasts nearly identical hardware, including another stunning cinema-wide 120Hz OLED screen with minimal notches or intrusions, providing an unobstructed view.

Sony’s signature upscaling and enhancements work wonders for video enhancing contrast and resolution for more lifelike results. Gamers will also appreciate its smooth performance and Sony’s impressive set of mobile gaming features. The Xperia 5 Mark IV can handle Call of Duty Mobile at an impressive 120 frames per second, although it does tend to heat up during intense sessions, partly due to the older Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset.

If you prefer a simple point-and-shoot camera experience without diving into numerous settings to achieve the perfect shot, you may be better off with the Pixel or iPhone. However, if you desire a DSLR-style setup, the Xperia 5 Mark IV is tailor-made for you.

8. Motorola Moto Razr 40 Ultra

Motorola Moto Razr 40 Ultra

The good news is that not all foldable phones are massive, unwieldy bricks like the Galaxy Z Fold. For instance, the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra is quite compact when folded, making it easy to carry around, although it may be a bit of a stretch to fit it in certain places.

This Razr generation is the super-sized external screen which supports most apps with varying degrees of success. It’s convenient for tasks like switching music in Deezer or performing quick Google searches without having to unfold the phone. And also offers decent widget support and some fun little games for short bursts of entertainment.

When you open the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, you’re greeted with a massive 6.9-inch LTPO OLED display, perfect for gaming and enjoying content with a smooth 165Hz refresh rate. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, this phone can handle demanding games like Genshin Impact and PUBG without breaking a sweat. While the battery life has seen some improvements in this generation, the camera tech remains decent but not outstanding. In terms of pricing, it’s relatively affordable for a foldable phone, but it’s not exactly a budget-friendly option.

9. Oppo Find N2 Flip

Oppo Find N2 Flip Design

Another excellent option similar to the Motorola Razr 40 is the Oppo Find N2 Flip, which offers a versatile folding mechanism that smoothly expands to a generous 6.8-inch display with minimal creasing, thanks to Oppo’s innovative Flexion Hinge technology. The internal display is bright and vibrant, while the large cover screen with its proper aspect ratio is perfect for handling basic tasks and notifications, even though it doesn’t support running full apps.

In terms of performance, the Oppo Find N2 Flip has more than enough power to handle the latest games and demanding tasks. It also impresses with its superb battery life, especially for a compact foldable phone. The camera tech is quite decent, rounding out its appeal as a well-rounded smartphone.

10. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Samsung Z Flip 4 Cover Screen And features

Samsung also offers its own compact foldable smartphone in the form of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, which comes with a price tag of around a thousand dollars. It shares a similar design philosophy with the Motorola and Oppo foldables but runs Samsung’s One UI launcher on top of Android.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 features a gorgeous 6.7-inch internal OLED display, despite the noticeable crease. It also has a small cover display for checking notifications and quick tasks. And offers solid performance even for gaming, and boasts a decent 12-megapixel camera for capturing everyday moments.

One unique feature of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is its IPX8 water resistance rating, which is quite impressive for a foldable phone. Samsung is launched the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which may offer improvements in areas like the hinge design, performance, and camera technology. As a result, you may be able to find the Galaxy Z Flip 4 at a more affordable price just before the launch of the new model.

11. Samsung Galaxy S23

SAMSUNG Galaxy S23 128GB, 50MP Camera, Night Mode, Long Battery Life

The Galaxy S23 is 6.1inch compact phones released in 2023 and offers a fantastic flagship experience. One-handed use is effortless, and there’s even a dedicated one-handed mode for added convenience. Despite its slightly flat edges, the Galaxy S23 is comfortable to hold, and it comes in a range of attractive colors. And also IP68 water and dust resistance for added durability.

Samsung has once again excelled in terms of media capabilities, with a gorgeous 120Hz OLED screen that delivers vibrant visuals. S23 is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which ensures smooth performance for various tasks including gaming. The chipset also contributes to better battery life improvement compared to the previous S21 and S22 models.

While the Galaxy S23 features a 50-megapixel camera, it uses camera technology recycled from the previous year. As a result, it may not perform as well as some other recent flagships particularly in low-light conditions.

12. Xiaomi 13

The Xiaomi 13 is another smartphone that can be considered compact and offers a user-friendly one-handed experience in 2023. Its glass design is durable and impressively resistant to smudges, featuring an attractive light green finish. When you turn it over you’ll be greeted by the 6.3-inch 120Hz display, which delivers sharp and vibrant visuals, complete with HDR10 Plus and Dolby Vision support.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset providing strong performance. Even during demanding gaming sessions with graphics-intensive titles like Genshin Impact, the cooling system effectively prevents overheating.

Xiaomi 13 also boasts a respectable stereo speaker setup, although it lacks a headphone jack and doesn’t support expandable memory. In terms of photography, the Xiaomi 13 features a 50-megapixel camera sensor that performs well even in low-light conditions. It is complemented by ultrawide and telephoto options, making it a well-rounded flagship smartphone.

Conclusion

These are the best compact phones you can grab right now. These are all blowers that I’ve personally tested out, so if I’ve missed out on your personal favorite, we’ll definitely let us know down in the comment.

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