Samsung's Galaxy S23 Might Be the Compact Phone You've Been Craving

Smaller can sometimes be better

  • The new Samsung Galaxy S23 is relatively small for a flagship phone.
  • Some users say they prefer compact phones because they are easier to handle. 
  • One tradeoff of petite phones is less battery life. 
Closeup on someone holding a Samsung Galaxy S23 phone that is cream colored.


Small might be the new big when it comes to phones. 

The recently released Galaxy S23 is among the few compact phones available. Users say they are glad to have a break from ginormous screens. 

"Being smaller in size makes compact phones a whole lot easier to operate with only one hand," mobile app developer Johan Alexander, the CEO of APKCima, told Lifewire in an email interview. "This may not appear to be a big feature, but it is significantly convenient for tasks such as taking photos and texting."

A Smaller Galaxy

The Galaxy S23 has a 6.1-inch screen, making it one of the more petite designs you can buy now in a flagship model. The phone's dimensions are 5.76 in by 2.79 inches with a width of 0.30 inches. It weighs 5.9 ounces compared to the 8.4 ounces of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. 

The Galaxy S23 lineup with the S23 on the right, the S23 Ultra in the middle and the S23 + on the left.


One of the most significant advantages of smaller phones they have is that they are easier to use with one hand, which can come in handy when you want to browse social media or when you're on the go and need to send a quick message, mobile user Monserrat Cancino told Lifewire in an email. "Plus, their smaller size makes them ideal for slipping into a pocket or small bag without feeling uncomfortable," Cancino added.

Even though it's relatively small, the Galaxy S23 is no slouch in the camera department. It boasts a 50MP wide-angle camera that works with a powerful processor to combine frames and extract details into a single high-resolution photo. The camera also has a 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and a 12MP ultra-wide lens for capturing more of the scene. 

The Galaxy S23 is well-suited for night photography, thanks to its Nightography mode that uses enhanced AI to keep details clear and colors vibrant in dark environments. For more creative control, you can shoot RAW images and edit them with professional tools or use Photo Remaster to enhance your gallery's dark, blurry, or low-res images.

Compact phones are great for people who use them for practical reasons rather than as an entertainment hub, user Will Ward said in an email to Lifewire. 

Some people really just see no need to have a 6.7-inch behemoth in their pockets.

"They could be viewed as taking a step back from our screen-obsessive culture simply by giving themselves a smaller screen to look at," he added. "Some people really just see no need to have a 6.7-inch behemoth in their pockets."

Smaller phones might also be better for your wrists, said Smidh Vadera, software developer and co-founder of ICON TechSoft Pvt. Ltd., in an email to Lifewire. He claimed that larger screens had caused wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome among many mobile phone users. Because of the larger screen size, the wrist is held in an abnormal and awkward position. 

"If this happens for a prolonged time, it may cause severe wrist pain," Vadera added. "Another study also showed that by using compact phones, your wrist will be in a more neutral position and still allow your fingers to reach all parts of the screen. Hence, there will be less wrist pain and less possibility of having carpal tunnel syndrome."

What About a Compact Phone's Battery Life?

One disadvantage with compact phone models is that they tend to have a smaller battery, Ward noted. The S23 has a 3,900mAh battery with fast charging. It has Qi wireless charging, up to 15W, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. The S23 Ultra, on the other hand, has a 5,000 amp battery.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 with the Galaxy Buds and a Galaxy Watch on a flat surface surrounded by makeup.


"Batteries have become more efficient over the years, but sadly their power is limited to the physical size of the phone," he said. 

Despite the smaller battery, Ward said he would consider buying the S23. 

"It has all the features that other flagship phones boast and fit into a smaller size," he noted. "It has a 120hz display, better brightness than the S22, an in-screen fingerprint reader, and great cameras. I think I'd enjoy using it as an everyday phone. Although it's not as pricey as the flagships sitting in the $1000-1200 range, $799 can still be pricey for a compact phone. I think the impressive features Samsung packed in here compensate for the higher price point."

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