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Fast Charge: Google needs a Pixel Mini to take on the iPhone 13

This week Deputy and Mobile Editor Max Parker offered his definitive verdict on Apple’s latest small phone, publishing his iPhone 13 Mini review.

For those that missed it, the cliff notes are; it’s very good. He found the handset offers all the perks of the larger iPhone 13 – great screen, reliable camera, intuitive software – but with the added benefits of a smaller form factor and longer battery life. What’s not to love?

And while many will be pleased to hear the phone’s great, the review left me with a less positive thought. Specifically, “why doesn’t Google have a Pixel 6 Mini?”

Don’t get me wrong, as I said in my Pixel 6 Pro review, Google’s 2021 flagship phones are great. They offer incredible cameras, brilliant variable refresh rate screens, wonderfully quirky designs and the AI benefits of Google’s home-grown Tensor silicon. Make no mistake, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are two of the best phones Google’s ever made.

The only downside? They’re both rather large, with the Pro measuring in at 6.7-inches and the base Pixel 6 a still sizable 6.4-inches. I’ve lamented the lack of small form factor phones on the market for quite some time with most firms, outside of Apple with the iPhone 13 Mini and Asus with the Zenfone 8, continuing with the bigger is better philosophy that’s dominated the market for the last half decade.

The fact is, not everyone wants a giant phone. There are a number of people that want a top-end camera phone that’s small enough to comfortably use one handed, or desire flagship features, but in a skinny jeans friendly form factor.

This was evident the moment I gave my Pixel 6 to my other half. After two minutes with the phone she offered the curt verdict: “love the camera but it’s way too big, do they make a small one?” She’s one of many people to express this sentiment when I’ve shown them the new Pixel 6.

Why Google hasn’t spotted this trend when Apple’s been nailing it for the last three years-plus is lamentable. Hopefully, Google will wake up and release a new version, potentially a Pixel 6a, that hits this sweet spot. But with no credible rumours to suggest this will happen anytime soon, small phone fans that prefer Android to iOS, may have to wait until next year to get what they want.

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