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I want a small Android phone!


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Photo credit: [https://flickr.com/photos/janitors/51581331165/](https://flickr.com/photos/janitors/51581331165/)

My name is Eric Migicovsky and I love small phones. It’s weird because I am 6’6” but I never enjoyed using a large phone. I loved the Sony Xperia Compact series. RIP

I love small phones because they

  • fits nicely in pocket
  • are much lighter
  • are easy to use one-handed without dropping
  • won’t fall out of my pocket while bicycling

And of course, some people with smaller hands hate how big phones feel!

The drawbacks of a small phone (smaller screen, smaller battery) are fundamentally less of an issue than the size, for me at least. These trade-offs are certainly not for everyone, so if you are a die-hard big phone person you might as well stop reading 😂

Why write this?

It’s increasingly clear that a small premium phone is not on any OEM roadmap. So I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. My goal here is to rally other fans of small phones together and put pressure on Google/Samsung/anyone to consider making a small phone.

If you want a small premium Android phone, this may be your last chance (ever?) to help bring back the phone category that we love.

Optimizes for only 3 things:

  • Sub 6″ display, matching size and design of iPhone 13 Mini
  • Great cameras
  • Stock Android OS

If you can hit these three bullets, you’ve built the perfect phone. Currently there are ZERO premium Android phones with <6” displays. No amount of money can buy one right now.

Focus on these three bullets, all other specs are flexible.

Price: $700-800 (again, we have no alternatives so we should be willing to pay a bit more!)

Ideal specifications

Must have

  • Follow Mini industrial design as close as possible
    • Consistent width bezels around the entire display
  • 5.4”-ish 1080p OLED display (60hz ok)
  • Cameras must be as good as Pixel 5
    • must have great low light performance
  • Stock Android OS
  • Snapdragon 8 (or other flagship processor equivalent)
  • 5G world phone
  • Hole punch front camera
  • 2 rear cameras (regular and wide angle)
  • 8gb RAM
  • 128/256gb Storage
  • 4 hours Screen On Time (SOT)
  • Unlockable bootloader

Nice to have

  • Rugged enough to not need a case
  • IP 68 water resistance
  • Fingerprint sensor on power button
  • Hardware mute switch
  • Wireless charging
  • eSIM

This phone will never exist unless you (yes, I’m talking about you reading this page!) actually do something about it!

Since Sony discontinued the Xperia Compact line, NO OTHER Android phone maker has had the courage to make a small premium Android phone. It’s up to us to change that!

My goal is to attract a lot interest to this page, sign up tons of interested buyers and convince a manufacturer to build us our dream phone. I have some experience building hardware myself (see: Pebble) and how these things work. We will need more than 50,000+ motivated buyers to make this happen, so please share this with your friends!

If no one else makes one I guess I will be forced to make it myself, but I really really don’t want it to come to that! Send me a DM on Twitter if you want to help with this quest.

The phone category we love is disappearing. Let’s bring it back!

FAQ

Who are you?

My name is Eric Migicovsky. Ages ago I started the first smartwatch company (Pebble), sold it to Fitbit, then spent 4 years as a partner at Y Combinator. Now I’m building Beeper – a universal chat app that lets you chat on 15+ different chat networks (including WhatsApp, iMessage, etc). But I’m a gadget guy at heart!

Isn’t it crazy to start a phone company??

Yes, yes it is. I really hope it does not come to that. My hope is that we can gather support from the community and convince Google (ideally) or another Android manufacturer to build this 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.

Why don’t you just use an iPhone Mini?

I actually do now! I switched from Android back to iPhone in late 2021 because the Pixel 6 was too ridiculously large. This was my first iPhone since the OG iPhone.

But only 5% of all iPhones sold are Minis (roughly 10m phones per year). This means that Apple may decide to kill the Mini. For Apple, 10m phones is peanuts. But for an independent company 10m units per year would be spectacular.

If Apple kills the Mini, those people will need a new home. An Android phone (with Beeper for iMessage) might be an adequate alternative.

Also, personally, after 6 months of iOS I am itching to get back to Android. Why? The notification system SUCKS on iOS compared to Android. It’s impossible to move files between apps. Hard to get any work done on it. Beautiful hardware though! 😀


Extrapolating from this image, the future Pixel 10 will be roughly the size of California
Extrapolating from past models, the Pixel 10 will be roughly the size of California


Written in May 2022 by ericmigi using imml

Photo credit: Flickr





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