At a time when smartphone screens are getting so big that it’s hard to figure out where phones end and tablets begin, a Chinese company called Money is moving in the other direction and launching what it calls the smallest 4G smartphone in the world.

The Mony Mint is also a pretty inexpensive phone. It’s expected to have a retail price of $150 when it ships in November, but the Mony Mint is up for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with reward levels ranging from $99 to $129.

This isn’t the first phone with a 3 inch display we’ve seen. Last year Unihertz introduced the Jelly 2 smartphone with a similar 3 inch, 854 x 480 pixel display. It measures just 95 x 49.4 x 16.5mm and weighs just 110 grams. The Jelly 2 currently sells for around $210.

But the Mony Mint is an even smaller device, at just 89.5 x 45.5 x 11.5mm. Unfortunately it’s also a less powerful device with less memory and storage, a slower processor, a smaller battery, and it even ships with an older version of Android.

Unihertz Jelly 2

So as interesting as it is to see another 3 inch phone hit the market, I think the only reason to buy the Mony Mint would be that you really want the smallest phone possible and don’t want to spend more than $130 to get it.

Here’s a spec comparison of the two tiny phones:

Mony MintUnihertz Jelly 2
Display3 inch, 854 x 4803 inch, 854 x 480
CPUMediaTek MT6739
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz
IMG GE8100 GPU
MediaTek Helio P60
4 x ARM Cortex-A73 @ 2 GHz
4 x ARM Cortex-A53
Mali-G73 MP3 GPU
RAM3GB6GB
Storage64GB + microSD (128GB max)128GB UFS 2.1 + microSD
Cameras5MP rear, 2MP front16MP rear, 8MP front
Battery1,250 mAh2,000 mAh
WirelessWiFi 4
Bluetooth 4.0
4G LTE (dual SIM)
FM Radio
WiFi 5
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC
4G LTE (dual SIM)
FM Radio
GPS
Security?Fingerprint sensor
PortsUSB Type-CUSB Type-C
3.5mm audio
IR port
OSAndroid 9Android 10
Dimensions89.5 x 45.5 x 11.5mm95 x 49.4 x 16.5mm
Price$129 (crowdfunding)
$149 (retail)
$210

Mony reached out to me in June to tell me about this project, by the way. At the time the plan had been to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, but it seems that plan changed at some point and the phone is now raising money via Indiegogo.

Some specs may also have changed – GSM Arena did a hands-on review of the Mony Mint in July, reporting at the time that it had a 13MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front-facing camera, but according to the Indiegogo campaign, the phone will ship with a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera.

The back of the phone looks like it has four camera lenses, but that may just be an odd design choice to make the phone look a little fancier than it really is. Marketing images make it clear that Mony is going for an iClone aesthetic.

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16 Comments

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  1. The switch from Kickstarter to Indiegogo is a red flag to me.
    Kickstarter has a prototype requirement for hardware, Indiegogo doesn’t.
    So chances are the phone only exists on paper which also brings up the question if the people involved are aware what the actual production involves (like sourcing of parts incl. actual prices, production lines incl. needed machinery etc.) potential effects of that can be seen with the Smach Z.

  2. Not quite right. There is a very important reason to buy this phone, I want to have something classic with borders up and down because I don’t like that the screen takes all space. It lacks a physical button, so I would pass on this one, but any new phone released without those 2 specific things is a total dealbreaker for me. So, it’s not just about of the size or the price.

  3. The spec table understates the Jelly’s processor. The Helio P60 has four A73 cores and four A53 cores, but the table only mentions the big ones. This gives the Unihertz device an octa-core processor which should help a lot with performance.

  4. Interesting but it looks like another release-and-forget product. I doubt it will ever see any OS or security update. Too bad, I’d readily buy a 3 or 4 inches cellphone if it had a guaranteed 5 years of software+security updates.

    1. “I’d readily buy a 3 or 4 inches cellphone if it had a guaranteed 5 years of software+security updates.”
      I think a lot of people would. Being Android though, there’s no chance of that happening. Even the longest support guarantees usually include four years of security updates with software updates lasting less. The only way to get five is to port a custom Android distribution to it, but I have seen few manufacturers willing to do the groundwork for that.

      1. It’s always the same tale, asking for software and security updates. It’s like you don’t use Windows 7, which is clearly better than Windows 10 because it does not get updates and security updates. What does that mean? are you using the device for very shady and obscure things that you need your OS to be ready for them? what is the importance of that for a person who just opens Telegram to talk with the frequent contacts or visiting from time to time websites with information like this one, newspaper or just getting a ride with Uber app?

        That sentence means nothing to +95% of the people which needs are those. Expecting to be on the last version of Android all the time is a litte uncalled for and has lost all the meaning since all apps are compatible with Android 5+

        You want to enjoy the newest stuff all the time? why are you buying a 130€ phone in the first place?

        I really really don’t understand that “updates+security updates” trend, really…I always wonder why people has the paranoia of being up to date all the time, update apps, update OS, get lastest fixes, security updates, etc, like a drug. The first thing I do when I set up Android in any phone is to disable automatical updates and only update apps when they are misbehaving or just I pick up a day of the month and I manually do to those I use most, leaving some of them not updated forever.

        Stop worrying 🙂

        1. Because some people choose to use their phone for things they don’t want intercepted. For example financial matters, communicating about private matters, storing confidential information, accessing work resources, and the like. Security updates prevent certain types of malware from gaining access to that.
          As for the latest version of Android, I don’t really need it, but I see no good reason I shouldn’t have it. The software’s been written, it is freely available, and my hardware is capable of running it properly. The manufacturer shouldn’t be inhibiting me running what I choose to run. I have a choice between Windows 7 and 10, but for most Android devices, I have no such choice and there is rarely any technical reason for that to be the case.

        2. What a preposterous counter-argument. No, I don’t participate in illegal or shady activity, but I still don’t want to needlessly catch a virus or get hacked if it could have been prevented with a simple update. I do banking and investing in my phone, perfectly legal activities than millions participate in on a daily basis, and a thief may want to gain access to said information. Or maybe not. But why not just have an extra layer of protection for moments like that? I can’t even fathom how silly of an argument that is. So should we not have security in buildings or alarm systems just because 95 percent of people won’t be victims of a crime in a given day? Are you well?

      2. Didn’t Samsung announve 5 years support for some models recently? Its becoming a thing… Slowly…

  5. It’s nice to see some attention being given to smaller phones. I’m personally not a fan of the 6+ inch phone trend. However this is just too small.

    My ideal phone is the size of the iPhone 12 Mini or the Samsung S10e, but perhaps thicker to accommodate a big battery (15mm+ to get a 4000mAh or larger).

    I think this Mony device is just too small to be useful. The screen just doesn’t have enough pixels to use most websites and apps effectively. And that 1200mAh battery is going to be useless. The Unihertz Jelly 2 got 4-5 hours of screen-on time with its 2000mAh, this is going to be like 3-4 hours.

    Its unfortunate that the market only focuses on the two extremes, 6+ inch, and under 4 inch. I’m not buying a new phone until someone makes something in the middle.

    1. If its rootable, it could be a good open source voice project. The processor is quite good. Small screens could work where the human machine interface is reimagined.

    2. Btw, I am a fan of larger phones, but not as phones. Retired phones essentially live on as tablets, without paying for phone service (wifi only).

      1. I agree. I like the idea of a larger phone for using as a small tablet. I currently use a Galaxy Note 9, but it really only fits my needs because I’m working from home, and I don’t go out much.

        When Covid is over, and I’m back to my usual routines, I’m probably going to look into something smaller, and keep my Note as a small tablet.

        The concept of a foldable phone seems like the most ideal compromise, but I’m just not thrilled about the durability of the hardware yet.