Samsung Galaxy A42 5G Overview

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G Review

Whereas it launched globally in 2020, the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is barely simply now arriving stateside. Sandwiched between the $279.99 Galaxy A32 5G and the $499.99 Galaxy A52 5G, the $399.99 Galaxy A42 5G fails to face out. In the end, its millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G connectivity and lengthy battery life don’t make up for underwhelming cameras, a low-resolution show, and sluggish efficiency. We suggest the Galaxy A32 5G in case you’re trying to spend much less, or the $449.99 Google Pixel 5a with 5G if in case you have a bit extra cash to spare. Irrespective of your price range, each telephones supply a greater mix of options and efficiency for his or her respective costs.

A Flashy Design With Little Substance

The Galaxy A42 lacks the delicate, squared-off design you may discover in the remainder of Samsung’s 2021 A-series portfolio. As an alternative, it sports activities a shiny and curvy again panel just like final 12 months’s Galaxy A51. The cellphone is out there in black, grey, or white, all of which have a definite gradient. I examined the black mannequin, which has 4 chunky blocks that transition from pure black to metallic blue. Whereas it’s a daring, distinctive design, the high-gloss end exhibits off smudges and scratches simply.

At 6.5 by 3.Zero by 0.Three inches (HWD) and 6.Eight ounces, the Galaxy A42 is massive, however mild and skinny sufficient to carry in a single hand. And whereas the shiny shell doesn’t supply any resistance, the cellphone is effectively balanced and doesn’t really feel like it should slip out of your fingers.

Galaxy A42 5G lying on books


The Galaxy A42 has a disappointingly low-resolution AMOLED show
(Picture: Steven Winkelman)

A 6.6-inch, 1,660-by-720 pixel AMOLED panel dominates the entrance of the cellphone. The display’s colours are lush and vivid, however there’s noticeable pixelation due to its low decision. That mentioned, it is vibrant sufficient to make use of in direct daylight with none points, and its viewing angles are wonderful.

The cellphone’s optical, under-display fingerprint sensor is sluggish and finnicky. It’s smaller and fewer correct than the ultrasonic sensors on dearer flagships just like the Galaxy S21; I want Samsung used the side-mounted sensors from the Galaxy A32 right here.

The highest of the Galaxy A42 is naked, whereas the underside is residence to a USB-C charging port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a speaker. The speaker maxes out at 94dB; audio high quality is mediocre and unbalanced, with skinny mids and never the slightest trace of bass. Fortuitously, there’s Bluetooth 5.Zero and the aforementioned headphone jack for higher audio. The handset additionally helps NFC for cellular funds.

On the left edge, there is a SIM/microSD slot. The facility button and quantity rocker are on the suitable; the buttons are skinny and really feel a bit spongy to the contact.

Sturdiness is a combined bag. The Galaxy A42’s plastic body and again panel ought to face up to minor drops and dings with out a lot injury, however its Gorilla Glass Three show is unlikely to fare as effectively. And in contrast to the IP67-rated Galaxy A52, an unintended dip within the pool will seemingly spell doom for the Galaxy A42.

Galaxy A42 5G lying face down on wooden table


The again of the Galaxy A42 is pretty distinctive
(Picture: Steven Winkelman)

Optimized for Verizon and Seen

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is optimized to be used on Verizon’s 5G community. Meaning it sports activities LTE, mid-band 5G, and mmWave connectivity. There isn’t a C-band help, nonetheless.

I examined the cellphone in Chicago on Seen (which makes use of Verizon’s community) in a number of neighborhoods. My take a look at speeds have been stable and constant, averaging 240Mbps down and 71Mbps up.

Name high quality is sweet. Earpiece quantity maxes out at 87dB and is loud sufficient to listen to on a busy road. Take a look at calls have been crisp and clear; noise cancellation labored effectively, too.

Don’t Ditch Your DSLR

Samsung makes among the greatest smartphone cameras available on the market, however you’re not going to seek out them on the Galaxy A42. As an alternative, you get a rear stack with a 48MP major sensor and an f/1.Eight aperture; an 8MP ultrawide sensor with an f/2.2 aperture; and a 2MP depth sensor for improved depth of discipline and portrait mode. The front-facing digital camera clocks in at 20MP and has an f/2.2 aperture.

If the rear digital camera sounds acquainted, that is as a result of it is the identical as within the Galaxy A32. Save for a 5MP macro sensor on the inexpensive Galaxy A32, the digital camera modules are similar. It’s a reasonably good stack for a $279.99 cellphone just like the Galaxy A32, however it’s downright underwhelming in contrast with what you will get within the A42’s $400 value vary.

The Galaxy A42’s major lens is able to respectable photographs in ample mild. Daylight take a look at photographs have good depth of discipline and crisp element within the foreground. Nonetheless, background element is gentle and colours are blown out in most of my take a look at pictures.

Daylight take a look at photographs with the ultrawide lens inform an identical story, with a couple of key variations. Background particulars are hazy in a few of my take a look at photographs due to overly aggressive noise discount. There may be additionally important distortion in lots of photographs.

Low-light pictures with the first and ultrawide sensors are shallow, with noticeable blurring. Samsung’s noise discount course of obliterates background element in most of those photographs. The digital camera generally creates an unnatural define round lights and objects, and most of my ultrawide photographs present complicated distortion.

The 20MP selfie digital camera performs effectively. Daylight pictures are crisp and heat, whereas foreground element is superb. Low-light take a look at pictures are a little bit flat and present solely minor background blurring.

Galaxy A42 5G with camera module in focus


The Galaxy A42’s cameras are similar to what you may discover on the inexpensive Galaxy A32
(Picture: Steven Winkelman)

Not Sufficient Energy

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G chip and 4GB of RAM energy the Galaxy A42. It consists of 128GB of storage, of which 110GB is out there out of the field. You may add as much as an extra 1TB of storage by way of the microSD slot.

The Galaxy A42 lags behind the Pixel 5a and even the Galaxy A32 when it comes to efficiency. Apps take a beat to open, there’s some hesitation when swiping between screens, and caching is prevalent with greater than half a dozen Chrome pages or apps open concurrently.

See How We Take a look at Telephones

Video games run slowly on the A42. Genshin Impression took a number of minutes to load and I observed a number of situations of skipped frames throughout an hour of gameplay. The much less resource-hungry Alto’s Odyssey loaded rapidly, however I nonetheless observed a couple of skipped frames whereas using the desert sands.

Benchmarks are comparable with different telephones that use comparable {hardware}. On Geekbench 5, an artificial benchmark that quantifies uncooked efficiency, the Galaxy A42 earned 652 single-core (SC) and 1,976 multi-core (MC), about on par with the Galaxy A52 5G (645 SC/1,905 MC).

On PCMark Work 3.0, a collection of exams that emulates typical smartphone duties, the Galaxy A42 5G scored 8,439, trailing the Pixel 5a (8,528) barely. That mentioned, the Pixel feels much more nimble in day by day efficiency. Benchmarks are a handy approach to assign a numerical worth to totally different efficiency components, however do not essentially replicate how a smartphone performs with regular use.

The Galaxy A42’s 5,000mAh battery can simply get you thru a full day between fees. In our battery drain take a look at, which streams HD video over Wi-Fi at full brightness, the cellphone lasted 12 hours and four minutes earlier than shutting down. A 15W energy adapter is included, however the cellphone would not help wi-fi charging.

Person holding Galaxy A42 5G with viewfinder in focus


The Galaxy A42’s cameras aren’t as much as requirements set by different $400 telephones
(Picture: Steven Winkelman)

Years of Android Updates

The US model of the Galaxy A42 ships with Android 11, together with Samsung’s One UI 3.1. The Verizon model of the cellphone is full of bloatware, whereas the Visibile and unlocked fashions are far tidier.

Irrespective of which model you select, you get Samsung’s suite of productiveness apps, that are largely extraneous contemplating Google bakes them into Android. On the plus facet, Samsung has partnered with Microsoft to combine providers, which is helpful. For instance, you possibly can choose OneDrive as your backup service, preserve observe of your Samsung Notes in OneNote, and even entry your cellphone immediately from Home windows.

Granted, this integration is nowhere close to as polished as what you get between iOS and macOS. For instance, you continue to must play with the settings in your pc and cellphone, faucet dozens of safety notifications, and ensure each of your units are on the identical community or inside Bluetooth vary for all the pieces to sync. That mentioned, it is undoubtedly a transfer in the suitable course towards a cohesive ecosystem between Android and Home windows.

The Galaxy A42 5G will get two years of OS upgrades and 4 years of safety patches, which implies it will see Android 12 and 13 upgrades. That’s beneficiant for a midrange smartphone, although you may seemingly have to attend longer for OS upgrades than you’ll with the Pixel 5a; Google pushes OS upgrades on to its Pixel lineup, so you do not have to attend for producer updates or provider certifications.

Millimeter-Wave Is not Sufficient

Every year, Samsung’s Galaxy A-series lineup will get a little bit higher, however there’s at all times a clumsy outlier. This 12 months, it’s the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G. Sure, it affords millimeter-wave 5G, however that is not sufficient to make up for its shortcomings. With sluggish efficiency, unimpressive cameras, and a low-res show, the Galaxy A42 5G would not stand out from the competitors and easily is not an excellent worth at $400. For an additional $50, the Google Pixel 5a With 5G is miles higher, with a sharper show, clearer cameras, and superior software program, making it our Editors’ Alternative award winner for midrange telephones. If you happen to’re trying to spend much less, in the meantime, Samsung’s personal Galaxy A32 5G is our Editors’ Alternative winner for reasonably priced fashions, and affords significantly better worth for the cash than the A42.

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