Friday, September 17, 2021

Samsung’s Galaxy A42 5G puts a rich experience into a budget phone, but you can do better by paying slightly more

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Samsung’s $400 Galaxy A42 5G is basically a barely pared-down model of the wonderful $500 Galaxy A52 5G, and chopping just a few options right here and there for a $100 financial savings appears tempting. 

Nonetheless, if there’s one factor you must know in regards to the Galaxy A42 5G proper off the bat is that solely Verizon users get entry to the provider’s super-fast 5G UW (extremely wideband) community. The unlocked Galaxy A42 5G you should buy from Samsung or Amazon solely works with Sub6 5G networks on AT&T and T-Cellular, which are not as quick as mmWave 5G.  

Each telephone runs identical processors, and efficiency is sort of equivalent, however saving $100 means you are lacking out on just a few issues, like water resistance, a smoother and sharper display, and a greater digicam system. And, do not forget entry to 5G networks from AT&T and T-Cellular. 

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Nonetheless, financial savings are financial savings, and the Galaxy A 42 5G does supply big-phone expertise that is value contemplating. Simply be sure you check out Google’s Pixel 4a 5G earlier than hitting the purchase button. Or, at the very least, maintain out somewhat longer, as Google is rumored to announce a brand new Pixel 5a 5G a while quickly.

Samsung Galaxy A42 5GSpecs
Show6.6-inch 720p (1,600 x 720) 60Hz AMOLED
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 750G
Reminiscence and storage4GB RAM with 128GB storage; expandable as much as 1TB with microSD card
Rear cameras48-megapixel predominant large, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel “depth” zoom
Selfie digicam13-megapixel 
Water resistanceNone
ConnectivitySub6 5G (N2, N5, N66, N77, N78), mmWave 5G (N260, N261)

Design and show

The Galaxy A42 is on the decrease finish of the mid-range class, so a plastic again is to be anticipated right here. Nonetheless, the cellphone feels strong with its steel body, and the design on the again is tasteful and essential to make it much less plain. Regardless of its pretty massive display and dimension, it is a comfy and lightweight cellphone.

Samsung's Galaxy A42 5G puts a rich experience into a budget phone, but you can do better by paying slightly more

Samsung made a little compromise with the display on the Galaxy A42 mid-ranger. Its 720p decision might sound low-res for a display as massive as 6.6-inches, however, the good AMOLED display that is typical on a Samsung cellphone makes up for it. AMOLED screens are principally smartphone equivalents of TV OLED screens, which ship extra distinction than normal LCD screens. The result’s a cellphone that makes all the pieces on the display pop, and also you get premium expertise.  

I did not even discover that it was 720p reasonably than a sharper decision till I checked the specs sheet — the popping colors and distinction which are typical in Samsung’s AMOLED shows deliver near-premium expertise to a $400 machine.

Beneath the show is a fingerprint sensor that is surprisingly quick and correct. Actually, it even feels sooner than the under-display fingerprint sensor on the high-end Galaxy S21 series, which has accuracy points that may make for irritating expertise to easily unlock the cellphone. 

Efficiency and battery life

The Galaxy A42 5G runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750 5G processor (CPU) alongside 4GB of reminiscence (RAM), which makes for reasonably easy expertise that is arduous to complain about contemplating the cellphone’s $400 price ticket. To make certain, should you’re used to premium telephones that price nearer to $1,000, you will discover the Galaxy A42 extra sluggish and stuttery, however, the cellphone gladly opens and runs your apps and the Android 11 working system with a B-team’s enthusiasm. 

One of many greatest attracts in regards to the Galaxy A42 5G is its 5G connectivity for a reasonably priced worth, however, you will solely take advantage of its 5G connectivity, together with the super-fast mmWave 5G UW networks, should you’re a Verizon consumer. AT&T and T-Cellular customers ought to get the unlocked mannequin, however, they will not get quick mmWave 5G. Simply word that entry to Verizon’s 5G UW community is not an enormous perk in the intervening time, as protection remains to be fairly restricted to sure pockets inside metropolitan areas.

The 128GB of built-in storage is beneficial, and also you’re capable of developing that storage as much as 1 terabyte (TB) with a microSD card. You possibly can successfully double the Galaxy A42 5G’s storage for underneath $20 with a 128GB performance microSD card.  You may additionally discover a headphone jack on the underside edge. 

The Galaxy A42 5G has a big 5,000mAh battery that may simply final via a day of reasonable and heavy use. You may even stretch the Galaxy A42 5G to 2 days with reasonable utilization. A 15W fast-charger comes included, which is not particularly quick lately. Even Apple surpasses this charging pace with its iPhone SE 2020 at 18W. Quicker charging with a sooner included charger would not make this cellphone extra tempting, however, it will have been a welcome bonus. 


Triple digicam methods aren’t uncommon for cheaper telephones lately, so to seek out large, ultrawide, and 2x macro cameras on the Galaxy A42 5G is nothing particular. The standard of those cameras is nothing notably particular, both. 

A photograph was taken with the Galaxy A42 5G’s predominant digicam. 

The primary 48-megapixel (MP) digicam condenses all these pixels into 12MP by default, making for higher lighting. Photographs look fantastic, however do not anticipate flagship efficiency simply due to the excessive megapixel quantity. 

The Galaxy A42 5G only has middling camera quality, even for an inexpensive phone.

A photograph was taken with the ultra-wide digicam on the Galaxy A42 5G. 

It is enjoyable to have an 8MP ultra-wide angle digicam, however, you are unlikely to wow individuals with the ultra-wide pictures from the Galaxy A42 5G. There’s plenty of undesirable artifacts, like purple fringing, and lack of element across the edges of ultra-wide pictures, and solely the very middle is sharp and clear.

The 2MP depth sensor digicam is supposed to help the primary digicam with creating the blurry-background impact for portrait modes. It may be used as a 2x zoom lens, however, pictures aren’t that sharp with a 2MP sensor, and we’d have most well-liked to see a precise zoom lens.

Sadly for Samsung, Google has pushed up our digicam expectations for mid-range telephones. Certainly, we might reasonably see one or two wonderful digicam lenses reasonably than three serviceable ones, just like the Google Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G. Nonetheless, the Galaxy A42 5G will seize what you are simply fantastic.

Must you purchase the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G?

The Galaxy A42 5G is not the primary cellphone that involves thoughts when recommending a mid-range 5G cellphone, and I might advocate spending $100 extra for one thing that simply provides greater expertise that is value the additional cash. In the event you’re not keen to spend extra, the Galaxy A42 5G will go well with your customers simply fantastic. 

What are your alternate options?

You’d do higher with Google’s Pixel 4a 5G, which nonetheless has a decently massive display at 6.2-inches. The Pixel 4a 5G has an extra highly effective processor and considerably higher large and ultra-wide cameras. It is $100 greater than the Galaxy A42 5G, however, you might be getting a lot better cellphone. In the event you can wait just a few months extra, Google is rumored to announce a successor to the Pixel 4a 5G quickly. 

The opposite various across the worth level is Samsung’s $500 Galaxy A52 5G, which has higher cameras, water resistance, and a premium 120Hz refresh fee with sharper 1080p decision. Whereas it is a greater cellphone than the Galaxy A42 5G, the Google Pixel 4a 5G nonetheless provides higher efficiency and cameras for a similar worth. 

In any other case, Apple’s $400 iPhone SE goes all-in with flagship efficiency and performance, however, the design is dated, the display is small, it does not have 5G, and its battery life is not almost as lengthy. It has a single digicam, but it surely’s a lot better digicam, which we favor to middling a number of digicam methods, just like the one on the Galaxy A42 5G.

The underside line

If $400 is absolutely the restrict you are keen to spend, the Galaxy A42 5G will go well with you simply fantastic — you do get a mildly enticing, decently-performing cellphone with first-rate cameras. In the event, you can muster an additional $100, get the Google Pixel 4a 5G for higher efficiency and cameras, or look ahead to the rumored Pixel 5a 5G.

Pros: Massive stunning display, wonderful battery life, large and ultra-wide cameras, properly designed 

Cons: Unimpressive digicam efficiency, no water resistance

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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