Best Overall

Google Pixel 2

See at Verizon See at Google Store

For two years, the Pixel has been the quintessential Google phone, and the HTC-made Pixel 2 is our top recommendation for shoppers in need of a small phone.

The Pixel 2 wields the same Snapdragon 835 processor as almost every other 2017 flagship, but sits in a class of its own when it comes to performance. It's comfortable to hold thanks to a relatively small 5" 1080p display, and features front-facing speakers, water resistance, and one of the best cameras on the market. Despite a seemingly small 2700 mAh battery, it even manages impressive battery life.

Bottom line: For the Google purist in search of a small phone, the Pixel 2 is the pretty much the complete package.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 lacks a headphone jack and wireless charging, though it does include a USB-C audio dongle in the box.

Why the Google Pixel 2 is the best

It's Kinda Just Clearly the best Android phone money can buy.

There's no better way to experience Android the way Google intends it than with a Pixel phone. The Pixel 2 dispells the notion that small phones can't offer a flagship experience, with the same specsheet and performance as the larger Pixel 2 XL — without its various known issues.

The Pixel 2 is the first Google-branded phone with IP67 water resistance, and the first to offer front-facing speakers since the Nexus 6P. It also takes some of the best photos we've ever seen from a phone with its 12.2 MP primary camera, and the front-facing camera can capture great-looking selfies, even offering Portrait Mode by making use of machine learning. Google also sweetens the deal by including free unlimited backups on Google Photos for Pixel 2 owners.

You can buy the Pixel 2 in one of three attractive colors (Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White), and two storage options (64GB or 128GB), though there's no microSD expandability so choose wisely.

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 Portrait Mode, which works a lot like what you see produced by your friends who utilize it on the iPhone X, 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

See at Amazon

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 Nougat-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 XZ1 Compact

See at Amazon

Sony's Compact line has always offered flagship-tier specs and features in small phones, and the Xperia XZ1 Compact is no exception. With a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and a 2700mAh battery, its spec sheet is identical to the larger Xperia XZ1. Its display is only 720p, but at 4.6" it still has a respectable 319 ppi. The XZ1 Compact has an excellent 19MP camera with a physical shutter button, IP68 water resistance, microSD expandability, and Quick Charge 3.0. Even better, the XZ1 Compact is one of the few devices available right now with Android 8.0.

Bottom-line: You won't find another sub-5" phone with such high-end specs, and it's made even better with Android 8.0 Oreo on board.

One more thing: The fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button is excellent, but it's disabled by the U.S. firmware.

Conclusion

The Pixel 2 is simply the best compact Android experience around. You get pure Google software, a best-in-class camera, water resistance, front-facing speakers, and top-end specs, all in a small form factor that can easily fit in your hand or pocket. As always, it can be a bit difficult to find certain configurations in stock, but once you get your hands on one, the Pixel 2 leaves little to be desired — except maybe a headphone jack and wireless charging.

Best Overall

Google Pixel 2

See at Verizon See at Google Store

For two years, the Pixel has been the quintessential Google phone, and the HTC-made Pixel 2 is our top recommendation for shoppers in need of a small phone.

The Pixel 2 wields the same Snapdragon 835 processor as almost every other 2017 flagship, but sits in a class of its own when it comes to performance. It's comfortable to hold thanks to a relatively small 5" 1080p display, and features front-facing speakers, water resistance, and one of the best cameras on the market. Despite a seemingly small 2700 mAh battery, it even manages impressive battery life.

Bottom line: For the Google purist in search of a small phone, the Pixel 2 is the pretty much the complete package.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 lacks a headphone jack and wireless charging, though it does include a USB-C audio dongle in the box.

Update, November 2017: This post has been refreshed with the most up-to-date information. We've replaced the Google Pixel and Xperia X Compact with the Pixel 2 and Xperia XZ1 Compact, respectively.