Tech Updates

Small Android phones could be huge — but only if they’re cheap

For the last few days, a new website called, has been doing rounds on Hacker News and Reddit.

The site is created by Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky, and he’s making a pitch for a great small Android phone.

It’s a story we’ve heard countless times before: many people love small and powerful Android phones, but there aren’t many options. Apple released a tiny iPhone two years ago, but multiple reports suggest there won’t be an iPhone 14 mini.

So what does Migicovsky want? Easy: a no-compromise Android phone with a less than 6-inch screen.

Ideally, it should be the size of an iPhone mini with a great camera and a flagship processor. He’s ready to pay a premium price of $700-$800 for something that fits the bill.

He ideally wants to convince Google — or any other phone maker — to make such a phone for compact phone lovers.

But he has another pitch: if no company makes this, and he gets 50,000 supporters on the website, he’ll establish a new firm to make a compact phone.

“I have a very specific set of skills and industry connections that I have acquired over a long career in the hardware business. I will put them to use in our shared quest to get the perfect small Android phone. If no one else ends up building one, and enough people sign up… maybe I will be forced to make it myself.”

So what are the challenges?

Being a phone company that focuses solely on small phones will be hard. Earlier this year, I wrote about how despite people on the internet rallying to demand a compact phone from time to time, the sales figures don’t paint a positive picture.

When I talked to the research firm Counterpoint at that time, it said that the market for such devices has reduced from 81% of the whole market in 2018 to just under 10% in 2021.

Analysts suggest that this is because of battery-intensive tech like 5G chips, which makes larger phones with a bigger capacity more attractive. Also, given many people use their handsets as their primary computing device (think of things like entertainment and gaming), phones with more real estate are in higher demand.

So creating a substantially large public hunger for compact phones will be an issue for the company. If you’re producing devices in smaller quantities, ordering parts for manufacturing and repair becomes costly — especially when they’re high-end components.

Another challenge would be deciding on time between iterations. If you’re not selling millions of devices, it might not be possible to release a new model each year.

A rough search on GSMArena phone finder for Android phones with less than a 6-inch screen, a release date of 2021 or later, and a $400+ price point, gives me only three results: the Sony Xperia 10 IV, the Asus Zenfone 8, and the Cat S62.