There was a time when 4-inch phones belonged to the top of the range models. Things have changed and nowadays most premium phones have larger screens while the mid-range devices usually feature 4-inch screens.
However, 4-inch screens are still quite popular and many people prefer these kind of phones because they are very convenient. A 4-inch screen offers the right size to make the phone portable and to ensure that you can also enjoy videos and browse internet without any issue.
To help you choose the 4-inch Android smartphone that better suits your needs we will go through some of the most recognized devices. We will choose the best option in different categories so you can pick the phone that is right for you.
Fastest Processor – ZTE Blade V
In this category, the ZTE Blade V achieved the highest score with the help of its quad core processor, which makes it truly special within the list of 4-inch smartphones. Smartphones with a dual core processor including the Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2, Sony Xperia E1 and Samsung Galaxy S Duos 2, also offer incredible performance. Huawei Ascent Y300, Sony Xperia M, HTC Desire X and Samsung galaxy S3 are other strong competitors. The ZTE Blade V, Samsung Galaxy S3 mini, Sony Xperia are some of the phones that have a 1GB of RAM, while the phone with the weakest performance, the LG Optimus L5, only has 512 MB of RAM and a single processor.
Best Screen – Sony Xperia P
Since we are only talking about smartphones with a 4-inch screen, size is not the main aspect we took into consideration while choosing the best screen. Pixels per inch (PPI) was the real deal breaker and the Sony Xperia P made it to the top with its 275 PPI. Runners up: Huawei Honor U8860, Sony Xperia J and Sony Xperia M, all of which have 245 PPI. In the comparison, the LG Optimus L5 failed to impress with its 144 PPI.
Best Camera – Huawei Honor U8860 and Sony Xperia P
The phones compared have 5MP or 8MP cameras and they share a set of useful features including smile detection. However, two devices stood out thanks to their solid cameras that can guarantee exceptional pictures. The tie is between the Sony Xperia P and the Huawei U8860, but you can also consider the LG Optimus L5II and the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Recent Android Version – Sony Xperia E1
The most recent Android version that you would find in 4-inches phones is Android 4.3, which is featured in the Sony Xperia E1. Samsung Galaxy S Duos 2 runs Android 4.2, making it the second choice if you are looking for a phone that is (almost) up to date with Android technology. At this time, you would not find a 4-inch smartphone that has Android 4.4, or above, but according to some reports, we can expect to see more manufacturers going back to the 4-inch devices tradition. This would mean that Android 5.0 (Lollipop) may be available in these smartphones in the near future.
Lightweight Design And Portability – LG L5II and Sony Xperia J
The phones we compare have the screen size in common, but that doesn’t mean that they are the same in terms of portability. Some are lighter, smaller and slimmer. The kings in this category are the LG L5II and Sony Xperia J, which at 9.2 mm are the slimmest 4-inches phones available. HTC Desire X and Sony Xperia M are other good options if you are looking for light, convenient design as they only have 9.3 mm. Sony Xperia E1 is on the other side of the range and it stands as one of the thickest phones (12mm), while the Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2 is the heaviest option, although this is due to its water and shock resistant capabilities.
While battery is one of the most important aspects to consider, it is difficult to asses it. Manufacturers may claim that their devices offer several hours of battery life, but their information is rarely accurate. However, based on the battery capacity, the Huawei Honor U8860 takes the lead with its1930mAh battery. The second place is for the ZTE Blade V, which has a 1800 mAh battery. Sony Xperia E1 and Xperia M come in third place with 1750 mAh, while the Sony Xperia P get to the 4th place as it has a 1305 mAh battery. Keep in mind that the battery life and performance would depend on the usage. There are some apps that help you to keep track of the battery status and to avoid unnecessary battery consumption.
Overall Sony Xperia M offers a good combination of practical design, fast performance and top quality screen. Samsung Galaxy S Duos 2, Sony Xperia E1 and ZTE Blade V are other good options for users that prefer 4-inch smartphones that can easily fit in their pockets, complete multiple tasks and pack a wide range of apps.