Samsung Galaxy A42 5G Review
For years now, Samsung is known for its innovative smartphone features found in its flagship smartphones to mid-range smartphones, and even its entry-level ones. This year, the company released another midrange offering with the newest Samsung Galaxy A42 5G. Let’s see how it fares in our full review.
Design and Construction
Right from the get-go, the Galaxy A42 5G has this pretty chic design. It has a stripped-like pattern, and its body is made out of polycarbonate that looks and feels like glass, although it can get slippery and attracts fingerprints easily. Situated at the back are a quad-rear camera setup, an LED flash, and Samsung branding.
Upfront, we get a 6.6-inch display, a dewdrop notch that houses the selfie camera and the call speaker.
Up top, we get a secondary noise-canceling microphone.
We get a hybrid sim-card tray on the left, volume rockers, and a sleep-wake button on the right.
Below we’ll find the speaker grilles, USB type-c port, call microphone, and 3.5mm audio jack.
Since the device got a large display, it is quite challenging to use it for long periods of time, especially if you have small hands. It also feels slippery because of its’Glasstic’ back panel, so we highly suggest using a case not just to prevent it from slipping but also to protect it.
Display and Multimedia
For the display, the Galaxy A42 5G sports a massive 6.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-U Display with a resolution of 720 x 1600 with a pixel density of 266ppi. The device has a 720p display that might be a deal-breaker for some people, but honestly, the display wasn’t that bad after using it for quite some time.
Despite its resolution, the display can still produce vibrant images, with punchy colors with deep blacks. We still enjoyed binge-watching YouTube and Netflix content on this device. Using the Galaxy A42 5G under direct sunlight is pretty decent, although it wasn’t as bright as we would prefer.
For speakers, the sound quality is pretty average, like any other smartphone on this tier. It is loud and crisp, but there isn’t any bass present. Since it only has one speaker situated at the bottom of the device, we find it relatively easy to block, especially when playing games or watching media content on landscape orientation. Because of this, we highly recommend you take advantage of the 3.5mm audio jack for better audio quality.
For cameras, the Galaxy A42 5G sports a 48MP main f/1.8, 8MP ultrawide f/2.2, 5MP depth f/2.2, and a 5MP macro lens f/2.4. As for selfies, it’s got a 20MP front-facing camera f/2.2.
Surprisingly, images that came out from this device are pretty usable for social media postings. Colors are accurate and vibrant. Although there is some over-sharpening going on, the overall image quality looks stunning. It’s also got a wide variety of cameras since it has sensors from Ultrawide to macro lens. However, we wish that instead of having the latter, we hoped for a telephoto one.
Low-light photos, on the other hand, show the struggle of this device. Although some situations can perform well and produce good quality images, there are scenarios wherein photos come out noisy.
On the other hand, selfies, there is a noticeable amount of post-processing in this category. Photos come out soft and can be a little bit on the dimmer side, even under direct sunlight, and also skin tones can be reddish at times.
For videos, it can shoot up to 4K at 30fps. At maximum resolution, videos are surprisingly sharp, and colors are vibrant. There is no optical image stabilization present, but we have software stabilization. However, it isn’t that perfect because there are jitters, especially when you start taking videos while walking. Super Steady mode is present, but it produces some jello effect at times.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running on the Galaxy A42 5G is Samsung’s OneUI 2.5 based on Android 10. As we always mention in our reviews, One UI is one of our favorite Android skins amongst its competitors because of its minimalist and straight forward design. There’s not much bloatware pre-installed, aside from Google suite and some of Samsung’s proprietary tools like SmartThings, File manager, S health, to name a few.
The Galaxy A42 5G comes with 128GB as its standard storage in all variants, which is enough for most users. There is 108.1GB of usable space right out of the box, and there is a microSD card option if you want to expand the storage.
Performance and benchmarks
Powering the Galaxy a42 5G is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750 5G coupled with an Adreno 619 GPU, up to 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, which comes standard in all variants. Performance-wise, this device can perform tasks with no slouch, from basic multi-tasking to handling graphics-heavy games. You can run as many apps as you want in the background without any lags if you have the 8GB variant. This device will not just prove that it can handle any task you throw at it in real-life scenarios but also in numbers. The following benchmark results might not be susceptible to an average joe, but these numbers will give you an extra mile of understanding of how this device performs.
GeekBench 5 – 653 (Single-Core), 1,839 (Multi-core), 1,231 (RenderScript)
PCMark – 7,897 (Work2.0)
3DMark – 2,801 (OpenGL) 2,799 (Vulkan)
AndroBench – 945.45 MB/s (Seq. Read), 484.37 MB/s (Seq. Write)
For security, the Galaxy A42 5G sports facial recognition and an in-display fingerprint scanner. Although the former works well, we recommend using the fingerprint scanner to detect fingerprints faster and is more reliable and secure than face recognition.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The Galaxy A42 5G packs the usual connectivity features, including Hybrid Dual-SIM, 5G and 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
Powering the Galaxy A42 5G is a massive 5,000mAh battery with support for 15W Super-Fast Charging. Our time spent with the device can last up to 2 days when we use it for casual browsing and watching videos under Wi-Fi. In our standard video loop tests (1080p movie on loop, 50% brightness, 0% volume, airplane mode on), we got a total of 22 hours and 39 minutes of playback. In our PCMark work 2.0 Battery test, we got a score of 18 hours and 9 minutes.
If you are coming from a smartphone with a 1080p display, it might take some time to get used to the Galaxy A42 5G’s 720p display. Still, if you’re not that nitpicky when it comes to the display category, the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is undoubtedly one of the best smartphones on this tier.
You get a huge 6.6-inch AMOLED display coupled with a 5,000mAh battery that can last a day or two. But if you are getting this device, we highly recommend getting the maxed out 8GB variant to take advantage of its chipset and storage.
Samsung Galaxy A42 5G specs:
6.6-inch HD+ (720 x 1600) Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-U display
Octa-core 2.2GHz CPU
microSD up to 1TB (dedicated slot)
Quad rear cameras:
48MP F1.8 (main)
8MP F2.2 (ultrawide)
5MP F2.4 (depth)
5MP F2.4 (macro)
20MP F2.2 front camera
5G, 4G LTE
3.5mm audio jack
Fingerprint scanner (on-screen)
5,000mAh battery w/ 15W Super-Fast Charging
164.4 x 75.9 x 8.6 mm
Prism Dot Black, Prism Dot Gray