iPhone SE goes on sale: 4 best compact phones to buy now!

While so much has been said and discussed about phablets and how they are slowly taking over as the new 'normal', there are still a few compact phones around for those who prefer smaller phones to larger ones that are difficult to operate.

We take a look at four such phones which, aside from being popular, are quite capable as well in terms of camera, performance and battery life.

Apple iPhone SE

Apple launched a 4-inch phone after a gap of two and a half years after it launched iPhone 5S back in 2013. The new iPhone SE might look and feel the same as latter, but in terms of internal prowess, it is as good as Apple's latest flagship- the iPhone 6S.

With prices starting at just £359, iPhone SE comes with a full-metal aluminium body following Apple's iPhone design philosophy and introduces mid-range phone buyers to some great new features like Apple Pay and Live Photos.

iPhone SE features Apple's most formidable 64-bit A9 chip along with a M9 co-processor to let you multi-task and perform your daily smartphone tasks easily. The iPhone will also offer you LTE speeds of up to 150 Mbps including Wi-Fi calling and Voice over LTE functionality and you can even run up your download speed to up to 433 Mbps over Wi-Fi.

If you buy iPhone SE today, you will get an iPhone that is 50 per cent faster than iPhone 5S, offers up to 64GB of internal storage as well as Apple's popular Rose Gold colour option.

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Featuring a 4.6-inch display which was probably the smallest among modern smartphones until Apple launched iPhone SE, Xperia Z5 Compact is yet another capable compact phone with impressive features and specifications. 

Xperia Z5 Compact is available at prices starting from £379 and comes in Graphite Black, White and Yellow colour variants. While the display isn't the best with a resolution of 720p, the phone boasts IP65 and IP68 Waterproof and dust tight rating, weighs just 138g and contains an impressive 23 MP Sony Exmor RS™ rear cam.

The phone offers just 32GB of internal storage but allows you to add 200 GB worth additional data via its microSD slot. The Snapdragon 810 processor along with a 3GB RAM offers brilliant glitch-free performance for a phone of its size and the Adreno 430 GPU will let you play HD games with ease.

Other features of the phone include a 2,700 mAh battery, a 5MP front cam, a fingerprint sensor, Remote Play function for PlayStation 4 and Android 5.1 Lollipop OS.

HTC One A9

Featuring a 5-inch display which makes it slightly taller than iPhone 6s, HTC One A9 still maintains its reputation as a brilliant device which doesn't need a lot of real estate to prove its capabilities.

Priced at £429, it is definitely a lot pricier than fellow mid-rangers but if you view if in terms of looks and performance, it stands right up there with the most capable premium smartphones.

"The one thing HTC always deserves credit for is its beautiful forged premium devices. The phones that come off their flagship range are basically the supermodels of the smartphone world. It started with the One M7 continued with the jewel-like One M9 and the One A9 further solders their place as the manufacturer who know how to make a phone look premium," said Sunetra Chakravarti, Editor at Mobile Choice.

Offering internal storage options of 16GB and 32GB, the One A9 is powered by a Snapdragon 617 processor and up to 3GB of RAM, but lags behind in terms of battery prowess which stands at just 2,150 mAh. The latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS on-board is complimented by a fast charging feature, a fingerprint sensor, NFC, an UltraPixel camera and Dolby Audio and Hi-Res Audio via headphones.


Microsoft Lumia 640

Launched at Mobile World Congress last year, Microsoft Lumia 640 features a 5-inch display and comes with Windows 8.1 operating system. However, unlike HTC's One A9 or iPhone SE, it isn't really powerful but will let you make calls, send texts, chat via apps and run apps that don't consume too much RAM or battery juice.

Since the phone is priced at just £90 for the 3G variant and £100 for the LTE variant, it is unfair to expect superlative performance from Lumia 640. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM but features a 2,500 mAh battery  which is decent enough for a phone of its calibre.

If you buy a Lumia 640, you will be able to enjoy some great features like LTE connectivity, dual SIM slots and a free one year subscription to Office 365 which will feature Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote in the phone along with 1TB worth OneDrive storage.

Verdict

While we have come to accept 5-inch phones as today's compact phones, Apple's iPhone SE has literally stormed a market which lay untapped ever since iPhone 5S and other 4-inch phones became obsolete. The best part about iPhone SE is that it turns up as a smaller handset yet being as capable as the largest flagship ones.

However, there are still a number of 5-inch phones in the market that are capable enough to last a while, bit it will be interesting to see if iPhone SE will be able to usher in a flood of 4-inch phones from other manufacturers in the market again.

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