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Phones

Interested in Apple's rumored 4-inch iPhone SE? Check out these smaller Androids first

Check out these compact, but capable, Android alternatives to the anticipated iPhone SE.

Josh Miller/CNET
Supposed iPhone SE

The purportedly leaked iPhone SE on top of the iPhone 5S and 6S.

Nick Beeep

On Monday, March 21, Apple is expected to unveil a new phone, speculatively called the iPhone SE. Rumored to have a 4-inch display, this screen size will mark a return to a smaller design after the company's latest string of 4.7- and 5.5-inch phones.

But Apple won't be the only one making petite phones. Though they aren't as popular as the 5- to 5.7-inch sizes we see today, a wide variety of manufacturers are still certainly offering smaller handsets.

We rounded up some of our favorite compact Android devices (most of which land right around the 4.5-inch mark) in case you were keen on a smaller size running Google's mobile software, rather than Apple's iOS.


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The Xperia Z5 Compact has a water resistant design.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

When it comes to selling "mini" versions of their flagships, many phone makers water down the specs to bring down the price. But the Xperia Z5 Compact is pretty comparable to its big brother (the Xperia Z5) in terms of hardware. It has a Snapdragon 810 processor, a 23-megapixel camera and a water-resistant construction that'll give you extra peace of mind when you accidentally spill a drink or two over it.


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The colorful and quirky Moto E.

Josh Miller/CNET

Motorola Moto E 4G LTE

As one of the most affordable devices on the list, the Moto E won't blow you away with its specs. But it is a reliable handset with a fun, customizable design, decent battery life and it runs a nearly unsullied version of Google Android.


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The Galaxy Core Prime is reliable and captures bright photos.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Core Prime

With a familiar Galaxy look, the Core Prime features a low price tag and a 5-megapixel camera that takes vibrant photos and records 720p video. If you're willing to spring for an external memory card, don't worry about that video taking up too much storage -- you can expand the handset's memory up to 128GB with a microSD card.


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With its loud front-facing speakers, the Desire 520 goes big with sound.

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HTC Desire 520

If you want a compact handset that packs a punch with audio, the Desire 520 has loud front-facing speakers. It's also equipped with expandable storage and a removable battery. There's one caveat, however: Its quad-core processor isn't super speedy and its performance is a bit laggy.


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With certain carriers, you can natively make calls over Wi-Fi on the Leon.

Josh Miller/CNET

LG Leon

The Leon may not be the fastest or have the most nimble camera around, but it's competitively priced and if you get it through some carriers (like US carrier T-Mobile), it has Wi-Fi calling built-in. It also clocked in a respectable 9 hours during our battery test for continuous video playback.