The iPhone 12 Mini‘s unveiling has once again sparked a debate about compact smartphones, with there being relatively slim pickings in the Android space. Aside from Google’s recent Pixel phones and the likes of the Galaxy S10e, there isn’t much else to choose from.
Redmi general manager Lu Weibing also attracted attention after he said the Xiaomi brand wanted to produce a small phone but noted that battery life would be “sacrificed a lot.” So we turned to Android Authority readers to find out whether they would be willing to make this sacrifice.
Would you sacrifice battery capacity for a smaller smartphone?
We posted the poll on October 19, and a total of 3,591 votes were cast as of writing. The result was that a small majority (55.5%) of respondents were willing to give up battery size in favor of a small phone. But a significant number of voters (44.5%) were against giving up battery capacity for the sake of a more compact smartphone.
This poll therefore suggests that Android OEMs could be leaving money on the table by almost exclusively offering smartphones with large screens. So a manufacturer might want to consider spicing things up with a more compact release now and again to cover all the bases.
A smaller battery doesn’t always translate to drastically reduced endurance, as screen size and resolution also tends to come down as well with smaller devices. Furthermore, we’ve seen brands offer software optimizations to eke out more juice.
But one major concern could be battery degradation over time, as a phone with a battery that lasts all day at first might require multiple charges in a day two years later. We’re also seeing two power-hungry features in 5G and high refresh rates become commonplace, making battery life and capacity even more important.
Another potential option for manufacturers wanting to produce a small phone is to make the phone thicker, clawing back some space for the battery.
- Zero: I will not believe them. I have seen 5 inch smartphones with 4000mah battery. If thickness is their excuse, I wouldn’t mind.
- Christos Tsartsalis: Yes I want a smaller phone. I don’t mind about some mm of extra thickness
- Syukri Lajin: The redmi 4 had 4000mAh battery in a 4.7inch phone. It’s about the same size as the iphone 12 mini. The only drawback is it will be thicker and heavier. But it is a batter tradeoff. I also have the a redmi 7a, which is relatively small body size for a 5.5inch screen and thick bezel.
- 🇦🇺Marshall: I’d be a bit more worried about a need to wind back pixel density, from a power conservation perspective and also because pixels in this grade of display only get so small. This was the main reason I went Z3 instead of Z3 Compact years ago… the display clarity was night & day. On the other hand, compromises such as this helped the smaller battery hold its own. There was less RAM but they managed to keep the Z3’s SoC in the box.
- U2B Rider: A sub-5 inch display with around 3500mAh battery would be great.
- Bender Rodriguez™: Small phone (5-5.5 inch) with bigger battery (4000mAh) is possible if you remove triple/quad or more camera at the back…just use 2 or 1 camera…put the fingerprints on the side and it will be a hit…
- Yohanes Niko: ALL PHONES now have camera bump. instead of that, make the rest of the body thicker so the camera sits flush with the body. Thicker size allows for bigger battery capacity and it actually improves ergonomics, it’s nicer to hold in the hand. Be creative redmi! Be different!
- not_a_robot_44: Nonsense. Xiaomi itself produced small phones, but with decent battery life 3 or 4 years ago. And now the chips are more power eficient than that time. Just make them a little thicker, if necessary. I remember the Redmi 4 Prime with 4100 mAh battery and a decent SD625. It had great battery life. Sure, it was a litte thicker than what we are used now (8,9 mm). There was also the mi6 with 3350 mAh battery and a top noch (at the time) SD835. Even with a very fast chip, it had decent battery life. And it already had a 18W QC 3.0 charger.
Thank you for taking part in this poll, we really appreciate the votes and comments! What do you make of these results and the topic? Sound off in the comments!