Aren’t you get tired of that weighty phone? The one that you might currently hold right now, questioning why my hand gets smaller and the phone getting bigger and heavier.

Some vendors even outsmart it by folding the phone, but still, double the weight, double the size, double the price. There’s must be a mistake here, or is it?

Phone get big

The phone used to be compact, lightweight, pocket friendly and could stand the test of time. I still remembered my 4 Inch Nexus S could last for five years until it gets laggy on running new apps.

I never had to replace my phone unless something happened and had only four kinds of phones in my entire life since 2000. Each of them usually lasts more than four years, so buying a new phone is a burden for me.

Old school phone seems to have more balance between the hardware, the price, and usability. Every year, phones are getting bigger and bigger. People now love to spend so much time in front of the screen. Most people love bigger phones, but that doesn’t mean they dislike the small one, merely because there are no good options out there, take a look at The Android Authority poll.

Are you still interested in compact phones?

In my opinion, I would say compact phones should have less than a 5.8” screen size, with weight no more than 150g, the height no taller than 145mm, and came at a reasonable price. Currently, if you search that kind of phone today, you’ll get this top three, and I would consider buying it, but they weren’t good as they look if you take a look closely.

Compact phone 2020


Apple SE 2020 came with the same chipset as iPhone 11 pro the A13 bionic, which is good, sturdy enough than Pixel 4a, and the smallest among those three. Sadly, it comes with a very tiny battery 1821mAh, and surprisingly, it could take 2 hours to charge from 0%.

I’m afraid the battery could not handle all of the power of the Apple A13 chip. I don’t think the word 2020 is a good fit for the Apple SE 2020. I would not take this phone on a jog with GPS on all the time.


Google Pixel 4a is a good phone, with a 3140mAh battery bigger than Pixel 4, it has a great camera the same as Pixel 4 has, include with 3.5mm jack, good storage at 128Gb and 6Gb RAM.

The phone is not waterproof, has a plastic body, so they were not bend-proof. I would not put it in my jeans pocket. The phone chipset comes with Snapdragon 730G, which is not the latest chipset, and some people found laggy experience while scrolling. The chipset might become obsolete year ahead.

Unfortunately, this phone is good as if you’re planning to buy another phone next year because I don’t think that this phone could stand the test of time.


Samsung S10e came with the latest chipset Snapdragon 855 (US/China) and Exynos 9820 (Indonesia), similar dimension as Pixel 4a, more variant in storage (128Gb/256Gb) and memory (6Gb/8Gb), sturdily built and waterproof.

Despite the 3100 mAh battery, most people feel the battery life is not reliable. The phone could get overheat very quickly. It makes me think that this phone has hardware problems.

S10e also the most expensive among those three. One says the phone is too much money for too many problems, Samsung starts discontinuing this type in prefer of S10 Lite.

Not Good options

When it comes to its price, both Apple and Google have a budget price, $355 for SE 2020, $349 for Pixel 4a, but not so with Samsung, $599,99 for S10e, but after considering all the facts, the price seems not quite right, especially for the S10e.

Apple SE 2020 and S10e is officially sold here in Indonesia. You can buy Pixel 4a from Singapore then you had to deal with all the hassle (overseas delivery, tax, customs, and IMEI registration). The price is going to be added up, approx $200 in addition to the actual price, so it is not worth it.

The Apple SE 2020 sold here at $540, has a large margin from the actual price. It’s the same price as Pixel 4a when you bought it in a local eCommerce store unofficially. Samsung S10e becomes unworthy because of all the problems that would come up. The price could also rise to $700, and you get Exynos chipset instead of Snapdragon.

Asus rog phone 3

You’ll be surprised if you compare to ASUS ROG Phone 3, Yes I know it’s not a compact phone, and it’s pretty big, but the price tag will make you think twice, it sold for $670 in Indonesia, and you’ll get the latest Snapdragon 865+ chipset, 5G ready, and an enormous 6000mAh battery. So hopefully, it’s going to withstand through all the years.

The closest thing that I would buy for a compact phone is Apple SE 2020, but the battery and the price here are not so compelling.

Li-ion Battery
Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

To overcome these days’ activities, I suppose the technology isn’t here yet, most of it the battery tech, no small battery with bigger mAh, no widescreen for a small phone, of course, or is it? The higher processor consumes more battery and usually produces more heat.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” ~ Nelson Mandela