The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is an affordable 5G phone that slots into the center of Samsung’s A collection gadgets. Which means it strikes a steadiness between options and value to be able to enchantment to a large potential person base. Its stablemates aren’t the one competitors, nevertheless, and the Galaxy A42 is enjoying in a troublesome market of ~$400 telephones from the likes of Motorola, Google, and others.

Does the A42 have what it takes to face out? Discover out in Android Authority‘s Samsung Galaxy A42 overview.

About this Samsung Galaxy A42 5G overview: I examined the Samsung Galaxy A42 over a interval of seven days. It was working Android 11 on the March 2021 safety patch. The unit was offered by Samsung for this overview.

What that you must know concerning the Samsung Galaxy A42

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G (4GB/128GB): $399/£349/€399

The Samsung Galaxy A42 is an element of a big household of telephones, which incorporates the Galaxy A02, Galaxy A12, Galaxy A32, Galaxy A42, Galaxy A52, and the Galaxy A72. Sure, that’s fairly a lineup. Pricing ranges from simply $99 to $499 which implies there’s most likely a Galaxy A collection cellphone that matches your finances and desires. Dialing in that actual mixture can provide you a near-perfect match. The Galaxy A42 finds its house at concerning the midpoint of the A Collection and presents an enormous display screen, a big battery, and 5G as well. Not like different fashions within the A collection, there isn’t a non-5G variant to confuse the state of affairs, so we’ll be referring to the cellphone because the Galaxy A42 on this overview for brevity.

Associated: The best cheap Samsung phones you can get

Within the US, the cellphone is on the market from Verizon Wi-fi, Amazon, Greatest Purchase, and Samsung, so you could have your alternative of retailer. It’s also being offered in South Korea, the UK, Taiwan, Thailand, the Netherlands, and chosen different markets. Within the core worldwide markets, the Galaxy A42 is available in a single mannequin with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage, and is out there in three colours: Prism Dot Black, Prism Dot White, and Prism Dot Grey.

It goes head-to-head with different ~$400 telephones such because the Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G, the Apple iPhone SE, the Google Pixel 4a, and extra.

How is the {hardware}?

Samsung Galaxy A42 front profile

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung makes a good piece of {hardware}. The Galaxy A42 is a mid-range cellphone, so it retains supplies and intercourse enchantment in examine. However that doesn’t make it boring or staid. The cellphone is about precisely what I anticipate to get for the worth level, and that’s completely nice.

You would possibly say it seems like a glass sandwich, however that’s not fairly what’s happening. The cellphone has a polycarbonate body with a plastic rear panel and a Gorilla Glass 3 entrance panel. Samsung assembled the items collectively tightly. I didn’t see any gaps within the seams or different blemishes within the construct.

The rear panel is eye-catching. Whether or not you go for the black, white, or grey mannequin, the “Prism Dot” impact offers you a four-tone sample on the again. Samsung lent us the Prism Dot Black colorway and I somewhat like the way in which the sample on the rear panel works. It could not enchantment to everybody, however at the very least it stands out to some extent. Not like a few of its dearer sister gadgets, Samsung additionally stored the sq. digicam module in examine.

Samsung Galaxy A42 left reaer profile in hand

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Due to the 6.6-inch show, it’s a big machine. It measures 164.4 x 75.9 x 8.6mm and weighs in at 193g. In case your precedence is a giant cellphone, the Galaxy A42 has you lined. It’s not overly awkward, however it’s a handful. The sleek plastics are a bit on the slippery aspect, although that additionally means the cellphone slides into your pocket with ease. There’s no IP score for this cellphone, which we wouldn’t essentially anticipate at this value level.

In case your precedence is a giant cellphone, the Galaxy A42 has you lined. It isn’t overly awkward, however it’s a handful.

Samsung has completed effectively with the controls and ports. The ability button and quantity toggle are on the fitting edge and have good journey and suggestions. The positioning is good. There’s a combo SIM/microSD card tray on the left fringe of the cellphone, and the Galaxy A42 can deal with reminiscence playing cards as much as 1TB.

You’ll discover the USB-C port, headphone jack, and downward-firing speaker on the underside of the Galaxy A42. I respect the headphone jack and was impressed with the mono sound from the only speaker. The speaker generates loads of quantity and readability is sweet at decrease settings, although it breaks up a bit should you crank all of it the way in which up. My solely actual criticism is that the speaker is straightforward to cowl along with your finger when holding the cellphone sideways to look at movies.

Samsung Galaxy A42 front face

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

On to the show. The 6.6-inch display screen fills nearly all of the cellphone’s entrance panel, although there’s a U-shaped notch on the prime and a slight chin alongside the underside.

The cellphone’s Tremendous AMOLED show presents HD+ decision with 1,600 x 720 pixels at the usual 60Hz charge. Different $400 telephones have Full HD+ screens, so I’m just a little disenchanted with the decision right here — extra so as a result of I’ve seen 720p screens which have seemed sharper. Shut inspection of the show means easy-to-spot pixels. On-screen components reminiscent of icons and textual content are barely tough across the edges. That’s to not say the display screen is tough to learn. It’s completely nice; it may merely be higher. The excellent news is that viewing angles are good, out of doors visibility is ok, and the display screen in any other case delivers a stable expertise. Conversely, the Galaxy A52 5G has a Full HD+ display screen at 120Hz, so if you would like a Samsung cellphone with a smoother display screen expertise you’ll need to fork over additional cash.

See additionally: The best power banks for fast-charging your Samsung smartphone

Final, the fingerprint reader. It’s constructed into the display screen, which is a cool little bit of tech to see at this value level (within the US at the very least). Nonetheless, I discovered it a little bit of a ache to coach the primary time and efficiency was a bit blended as soon as I did get it educated. It was typically as fast to make use of a sample or PIN because it was the fingerprint reader. Your mileage could range.

In sum, the Samsung Galaxy A42 is a solidly designed and constructed machine. It’s not probably the most thrilling handset available in the market but it surely presents an excellent on a regular basis expertise in relation to usability, aesthetics, and options.

How highly effective is the Galaxy A42?

Samsung Galaxy A42 Asphalt 9

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy A42’s efficiency is just a little up and down. It’s endowed with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor — similar because the Galaxy A52 5G — with an Adreno 619 GPU, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. That’s a stable mixture, although we’d desire to see a minimal of 6GB of RAM for future-proofing. The Snapdragon 750G sits in the course of Qualcomm’s steady of higher mid-range processors. It options barely newer CPU cores when in comparison with the Snapdragon 765/768 collection, although it makes concessions in graphical processing energy and machine studying capabilities.

The cellphone did a nice job with the straightforward stuff, however intense video games are a unique story.

What does this imply in the actual world? The Galaxy A42 serves up clean every day efficiency. Animations have been stutter-free, apps opened and closed shortly, and I didn’t encounter any common efficiency snags. The digicam app, specifically, ran very effectively. The cellphone did a nice job with the straightforward stuff. For instance, the straightforward video games preinstalled, reminiscent of Sweet Crush, ran completely on the Galaxy A42. Intense video games have been a unique story. The cellphone actually struggled with the graphics-rich Asphalt 9, which demonstrated uneven gameplay and janky sound.

Benchmark efficiency was considerably uneven. The cellphone ran CPU benchmarks lickety-split however didn’t fare so effectively when it got here time to push the GPU. In our homegrown Pace Take a look at G efficiency benchmark, the cellphone ran the gauntlet in two minutes 36 seconds, which is about the place a mid-range cellphone sometimes lands. This traces up with what we all know concerning the Snapdragon 750G’s CPU/GPU capabilities.

Extra studying: What is an SoC? Everything you need to know about smartphone chipsets

Whereas the Galaxy A42  is way from the very best finances gaming machine available in the market, it completely suffices for regular on a regular basis smartphone wants.

What’s the Galaxy A42’s battery life like?

Samsung Galaxy A42 battery life

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung went large with the Galaxy A42’s battery. It boasts a 5,000mAh energy cell, which is what we prefer to see in telephones at any value and is shortly turning into the brand new regular for telephones on the $400 mark.

Right here is the place the display screen actually helps the cellphone. With the HD+ decision and normal 60Hz refresh charge, the display screen doesn’t require as a lot battery energy as a higher-resolution or sooner show would possibly want. That’s excellent news for the Galaxy A42 and potential homeowners, although it doesn’t fairly justify all of the aforementioned caveats concerning the total show expertise.

Associated: The best phone charging accessories

The Galaxy A42 simply sailed via two full days of utilization. It wasn’t gasping for breath on the finish of the second day, both; it typically nonetheless had 10% or extra within the tank come the shut of day two. I used to be very impressed with screen-on time, which exceeded 9 hours. The Galaxy A42 completely delivers glorious battery life.

After all, you could have controls over the battery to increase battery life ought to that you must. There’s the fundamental power-saving mode, in addition to a device for controlling how a lot energy apps draw once they’re open within the background. These can assist push battery life even larger when required.

The A42 simply sailed via two full days of utilization.

Charging speeds are restricted to 15W. The in-box charger meets the cellphone’s 15W velocity and fees the cellphone at a medium charge. In my checks, the cellphone took simply over two hours to cost totally from useless. That feels fairly gradual when you think about some telephones can cost in half an hour lately, but it surely’s not unhealthy for a mid-range machine.

There’s no wi-fi charging and we wouldn’t anticipate that characteristic at this value level anyway.

How good is the digicam?

Samsung Galaxy A42 camera module

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Mid-range telephones aren’t identified for killer cameras, however the Samsung Galaxy A42 manages to get by. The cellphone has three lenses on the rear, with the principle digicam of 48MP at f/1.8, an ultra-wide digicam of 8MP at f/2.2, and a depth digicam of 2MP at f/2.4. These are joined by a selfie digicam on entrance at 13MP. Video seize is restricted to a most of 4K at 30fps.

Associated: The best budget camera phones you can buy

The primary shooter does effectively when there’s loads of gentle. Photographs I took outside have been clear, in focus, and confirmed good shade. Loads of element is seen in every shot although the white steadiness was a tad inconsistent at instances. Issues change whenever you go indoors, nevertheless. The quantity of grain appears to go up exponentially as there’s much less and fewer gentle. The HDR perform barely appears to work, and pictures are full of overly vivid and overly darkish spots. The flash can assist in a pinch, however not a lot. Whereas indoor capturing is a problem to many telephones, I’ve seen higher from different telephones on this value vary, such because the Pixel 4a.

A helpful picker helps you to leap from 0.5x to 1x, 2x, 4x, and 10x. Whereas the o.5x is dealt with by the ultra-wide lens, all the things else is zoomed by way of cropping. I used to be fairly happy with the ultra-wide lens, which dealt with shade and publicity effectively. Focus was fairly good and there was little distortion across the edges of the body. Zooming in is one other story. As much as 2x seemed acceptable, however the 4x and 10x pictures I received have been a loud mess, as you possibly can see within the samples under.

Taking pictures portraits labored out effectively, due to the depth sensor. I assumed the cellphone’s capacity to attain correct edge detection was good and it dialed in a pleasing quantity of background blur. The identical applies to portraits taken with the selfie digicam. The selfie digicam tended to underexpose some pictures, however the focus was nonetheless good and the white steadiness was roughly correct. Individuals who love their selfies must be happy sufficient.

Low-light samples turned out grainy and tender. There’s a devoted evening mode and it does okay when capturing stuff like cityscapes. Taking pictures within the close to or whole darkish, nevertheless, gained’t web you a lot as you possibly can see within the pattern under. The evening mode wasn’t capable of pull any element out of the timber nor the yard under. I used to be notably disenchanted with the shortage of sharpness in evening mode given I had propped the cellphone up towards my automotive for stability.

The Galaxy A42’s digicam utility is carried over from different Samsung gadgets. It has the anticipated configuration of shutter controls on one aspect and fast settings on the opposite. The capturing mode carousel contains photograph, video, Single Take, and Enjoyable. The Enjoyable capturing mode adopts filters instantly from Snapchat. This can be a characteristic that’s probably for use by children. The Extra tab is the place all the opposite capturing modes are buried, reminiscent of portrait, gradual movement, and panorama.

The video I shot with the Samsung Galaxy A42 was on level for a mid-range cellphone. That’s to say that it was usually sharp and confirmed correct shade. Publicity was considerably uneven relying on what I used to be aiming at, however total the 4K outcomes look like clear. Capturing element in low gentle was problematic, however that’s not shocking for a cellphone on this class.

The rest?

  • Software program: The cellphone ships with Android 11 and Samsung’s One UI 3.1 — the newest from Samsung. The corporate had till just lately shipped its low-cost telephones with older software program, so it’s good to see that issues are updated right here. One UI 3.1 is a nice person interface pores and skin basically. It presents an app drawer and entry to the Google Uncover feed, in addition to Samsung’s Free feed should you desire it. There’s some unhealthy information: bloatware. The Verizon model of this cellphone is downright full of bloatware, together with a complete raft of Yahoo-branded apps, in addition to a half-dozen video games, and Verizon apps. Thank goodness most of it may be uninstalled.
  • System updates: In a clutch transfer, Samsung has made a full dedication to three years of software updates for its telephones, which implies the Galaxy A42 will keep up-to-date for an extended time frame — so long as Google’s Pixel telephones, no much less. That ought to make Galaxy A42 homeowners really feel higher about their funding.
  • 5G: The Galaxy A42’s Snapdragon 750G processor contains the X52 modem for 5G support. Notably, this contains not simply the usual sub-6GHz 5G alerts, however mmWave too. That is sometimes reserved just for flagships to supply the very quickest doable knowledge speeds on supported networks reminiscent of Verizon. A lot of the Verizon sign close to my house is the sub-6GHz selection and the cellphone did a good job connecting to Verizon’s 5G service. I’ve examined different telephones that do a greater job of grabbing onto Verizon 5G. That stated, prime speeds have been mediocre when 5G was out there. I hit solely 100Mbps down, and uploads have been restricted to about 20Mbps. Not very spectacular for 5G and what we all know it might ship, however should you do reside in a mmWave-enabled location you would possibly fare rather a lot higher.

Samsung Galaxy A42 specs

Samsung Galaxy A42
Show

Samsung Galaxy A42:

6.6-inch Tremendous AMOLED
1,600 x 720 HD+

Processor

Samsung Galaxy A42:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 750 5G

RAM

Samsung Galaxy A42:

4GB

Storage

Samsung Galaxy A42:

128GB
MicroSD (1TB)

Digicam

Samsung Galaxy A42:

Huge: 48MP, f/1.8
Extremely-Huge: 8MP, f/2.2
Depth: 2MP, f/2.4
Entrance: 13MP
Video: 4K @ 30fps, 720p @ 240/480fps

Connectivity

Samsung Galaxy A42:

5G mmWave, sub-6GHz
4G LTE
Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
GPS

Battery

Samsung Galaxy A42:

5,000mAh
15W wired charging

Dimensions

Samsung Galaxy A42:

164.4 x 75.9 x 8.6mm
193g

Colours

Samsung Galaxy A42:

Prism Dot Black, Prism Dot White, Prism Dot Grey

Worth and competitors

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G official

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

The Samsung Galaxy A42 boasts a 6.6-inch show, 5,000mAh battery, and 5G. It additionally serves up a triple-lens digicam system, the newest model of One UI, and an replace dedication from Samsung.

At $399 for full retail, the Samsung Galaxy A42’s price ticket is just a little bit arduous to swallow. It might be higher should you can rating it at no cost on contract from Verizon. What bugs me most is the HD+ show. Whereas the decrease decision helps contribute to the cellphone’s excellent battery life, a display screen this large is begging for Full HD+ decision. On the plus aspect, the display screen additionally helps the processor, which performs higher on this cellphone than it did within the pricier Galaxy A52 5G. Different issues within the cellphone’s favor embrace sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G assist, Android 11 with One UI 3.1, and a stable software program dedication from Samsung. That’s to not be taken frivolously.

The obvious rivals to the Galaxy A42 are Samsung’s personal Galaxy A32 5G ($279) and the Galaxy A52 5G ($499). The Galaxy A32 5G has much less storage and lacks mmWave 5G, however presents the identical digicam configuration save for the addition of a macro digicam. The Galaxy A52 5G has extra RAM, but in addition lacks mmWave and has a smaller 4,500mAh battery. Nonetheless, it improves the principle digicam to 64MP and the selfie digicam to 32MP. It additionally has a significantly better display screen.

See extra: The best Verizon phones for every budget

One cellphone particularly in Verizon’s roster that’s price contemplating is the TCL 10 5G UW ($399). It’s a bit outdated at this level but it surely’s one of many few finances telephones with mmWave 5G.

As for non-Samsung and non-Verizon handsets, you would possibly take a look at the Motorola G Stylus 5G ($399), which has the identical price ticket and a built-in stylus, however a lesser processor. There’s additionally the Google Pixel 4a ($349), which lacks 5G however has a greater digicam and clear Android. Then there’s the Apple iPhone SE ($399), which presents various bang for the buck. Apple’s finances cellphone throws in wi-fi charging and an IP score however doesn’t assist 5G — plus, it runs iOS which can be a dealbreaker for some. You may additionally contemplate the OnePlus Nord N10 5G ($299), although OnePlus’ one 12 months of software program updates is an actual downer.

Samsung Galaxy A42 overview: The decision

Samsung Galaxy A42 rear panel

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung principally lined its bases with the Galaxy A42. The cellphone is a stable package deal that gives rather a lot in the way in which of performance.

It boasts an interesting design that will not be for everybody, however at the very least it stands out as distinctive. The display screen is large and vivid, even whether it is decrease decision than some rivals. The processor delivers the on a regular basis efficiency folks demand, although it’s a bit on the sluggish aspect in relation to intense gaming.

There’s a ton of competitors on this house, and the Samsung Galaxy A42 struggles to carve a distinct segment.

Battery life is the large winner right here, which advantages from the display screen and processor mixture. You possibly can depend on two full days of utilization from this cellphone, which is greater than most different handsets supply, although charging speeds aren’t the quickest. There’s a really welcome headphone jack and although the speaker is a mono affair it delivers stable sound. Reminiscence card assist can be a pleasant bonus alongside the 128GB of built-in storage.

Total although, the Samsung Galaxy A42 struggles to really carve a distinct segment amongst robust competitors. Loads of ~$400 telephones swim in the identical sea and have higher screens and cameras. If there’s one cause to champion the Galaxy A42 above its friends, it’s absolutely battery life. Purchase the A42 for its stellar battery energy over another cause.

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