Purchase it for the battery life, not the display

Patrick

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is an reasonably priced 5G cellphone that slots into the center of Samsung’s A collection gadgets. Which means it strikes a steadiness between options and worth with a purpose to enchantment to a large potential consumer 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 supplied by Samsung for this overview.

What it’s essential know concerning the Samsung Galaxy A42

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

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

The Samsung Galaxy A42 is a component of a giant 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 in all probability a Galaxy A collection cellphone that matches your funds and wishes. Dialing in that precise mixture may give you a near-perfect match. The Galaxy A42 finds its house at concerning the midpoint of the A Collection and provides a large display, a big battery, and 5G besides. 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 very best low-cost Samsung telephones you will get

Within the US, the cellphone is on the market from Verizon Wi-fi, Amazon, Finest Purchase, and Samsung, so you’ve got your selection of retailer. It is usually being bought 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 count on to get for the worth level, and that’s completely high quality.

You may say it seems like a glass sandwich, however that’s not fairly what’s occurring. 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 quite like the best way the sample on the rear panel works. It could not enchantment to everybody, however no less than it stands out to a point. Not like a few of its costlier sister gadgets, Samsung additionally stored the sq. digital camera module in examine.

Samsung Galaxy A42 left reaer profile in hand

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Because of 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 an enormous cellphone, the Galaxy A42 has you lined. It’s not overly awkward, however it’s a handful. The graceful plastics are a bit on the slippery facet, although that additionally means the cellphone slides into your pocket with ease. There’s no IP ranking for this cellphone, which we wouldn’t essentially count on at this worth level.

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

Samsung has achieved nicely with the controls and ports. The facility button and quantity toggle are on the precise edge and have good journey and suggestions. The positioning is excellent. 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 admire the headphone jack and was impressed with the mono sound from the only real speaker. The speaker generates loads of quantity and readability is nice at decrease settings, although it breaks up a bit if you happen to crank all of it the best way up. My solely actual grievance is that the speaker is simple 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 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 provides HD+ decision with 1,600 x 720 pixels at the usual 60Hz price. 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 appeared sharper. Shut inspection of the show means easy-to-spot pixels. On-screen parts resembling icons and textual content are barely tough across the edges. That’s to not say the display is tough to learn. It’s completely high quality; it might merely be higher. The excellent news is that viewing angles are good, outside visibility is ok, and the display in any other case delivers a strong expertise. Conversely, the Galaxy A52 5G has a Full HD+ display at 120Hz, so if you need a Samsung cellphone with a smoother display expertise you’ll must fork over extra cash.

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

Final, the fingerprint reader. It’s constructed into the display, which is a cool little bit of tech to see at this worth level (within the US no less than). Nevertheless, 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 skilled. It was usually as fast to make use of a sample or PIN because it was the fingerprint reader. Your mileage might 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 provides a great 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 — identical because the Galaxy A52 5G — with an Adreno 619 GPU, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. That’s a strong mixture, although we’d favor 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 high quality 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 each day efficiency. Animations had been stutter-free, apps opened and closed rapidly, and I didn’t encounter any common efficiency snags. The digital camera app, particularly, ran very nicely. The cellphone did a high quality job with the straightforward stuff. For instance, the straightforward video games preinstalled, resembling Sweet Crush, ran completely on the Galaxy A42. Intense video games had 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 nicely when it got here time to push the GPU. In our homegrown Velocity 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 strains up with what we all know concerning the Snapdragon 750G’s CPU/GPU capabilities.

Extra studying: What’s an SoC? Every little thing it’s essential find out about smartphone chipsets

Whereas the Galaxy A42  is way from the perfect funds 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 worth and is rapidly changing into the brand new regular for telephones on the $400 mark.

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

Associated: The very best cellphone charging equipment

The Galaxy A42 simply sailed by means of two full days of utilization. It wasn’t gasping for breath on the finish of the second day, both; it usually 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’ve got controls over the battery to increase battery life ought to it’s essential. There’s the fundamental power-saving mode, in addition to a device for controlling how a lot energy apps draw after they’re open within the background. These might help push battery life even larger when required.

The A42 simply sailed by means of two full days of utilization.

Charging speeds are restricted to 15W. The in-box charger meets the cellphone’s 15W pace and expenses the cellphone at a medium price. In my exams, the cellphone took simply over two hours to cost totally from lifeless. That feels fairly gradual when you think about some telephones can cost in half an hour today, but it surely’s not dangerous for a mid-range machine.

There’s no wi-fi charging and we wouldn’t count on that function at this worth level anyway.

How good is the digital camera?

Samsung Galaxy A42 camera module

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

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

Associated: The very best funds digital camera telephones you should purchase

The primary shooter does nicely when there’s loads of gentle. Pictures I took outside had been clear, in focus, and confirmed good coloration. Loads of element is seen in every shot although the white steadiness was a tad inconsistent at occasions. 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 operate barely appears to work, and pictures are crammed with overly brilliant and overly darkish spots. The flash might help 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 worth vary, such because the Pixel 4a.

A useful 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, every little thing else is zoomed by way of cropping. I used to be fairly happy with the ultra-wide lens, which dealt with coloration and publicity nicely. 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 appeared acceptable, however the 4x and 10x pictures I acquired had been a loud mess, as you possibly can see within the samples beneath.

Taking pictures portraits labored out nicely, because of the depth sensor. I believed the cellphone’s capacity to attain correct edge detection was good and it dialed in a nice quantity of background blur. The identical applies to portraits taken with the selfie digital camera. The selfie digital camera tended to underexpose some pictures, however the focus was nonetheless good and the white steadiness was kind of correct. Individuals who love their selfies ought to be happy sufficient.

Low-light samples turned out grainy and delicate. 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, received’t internet you a lot as you possibly can see within the pattern beneath. The evening mode wasn’t in a position to pull any element out of the bushes nor the yard beneath. I used to be notably disenchanted with the shortage of sharpness in evening mode given I had propped the cellphone up in opposition to my automotive for stability.

The Galaxy A42’s digital camera utility is carried over from different Samsung gadgets. It has the anticipated configuration of shutter controls on one facet and fast settings on the opposite. The capturing mode carousel consists of photograph, video, Single Take, and Enjoyable. The Enjoyable capturing mode adopts filters immediately from Snapchat. This can be a function that’s most definitely for use by children. The Extra tab is the place all the opposite capturing modes are buried, resembling 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 typically sharp and confirmed correct coloration. Publicity was considerably uneven relying on what I used to be aiming at, however general the 4K outcomes look like clear. Capturing element in low gentle was problematic, however that’s not stunning for a cellphone on this class.

Anything?

  • Software program: The cellphone ships with Android 11 and Samsung’s One UI 3.1 — the newest from Samsung. The corporate had till not too long ago 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 high quality consumer interface pores and skin usually. It provides an app drawer and entry to the Google Uncover feed, in addition to Samsung’s Free feed if you happen to favor it. There’s some dangerous 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 3 years of software program updates for its telephones, which implies the Galaxy A42 will keep up-to-date for an extended time period — so long as Google’s Pixel telephones, no much less. That ought to make Galaxy A42 house owners really feel higher about their funding.
  • 5G: The Galaxy A42’s Snapdragon 750G processor consists of the X52 modem for 5G assist. Notably, this consists of not simply the usual sub-6GHz 5G indicators, however mmWave too. That is sometimes reserved just for flagships to supply the very quickest attainable information speeds on supported networks resembling Verizon. Many 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 had been mediocre when 5G was out there. I hit solely 100Mbps down, and uploads had been restricted to about 20Mbps. Not very spectacular for 5G and what we all know it may possibly ship, however if you happen to do reside in a mmWave-enabled location you may fare lots 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:

Extensive: 48MP, f/1.8
Extremely-Extensive: 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 digital camera 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 laborious to swallow. It could be higher if you happen to can rating it without spending a dime 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 this large is begging for Full HD+ decision. On the plus facet, the display 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 strong software program dedication from Samsung. That’s to not be taken flippantly.

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 provides the identical digital camera configuration save for the addition of a macro digital camera. The Galaxy A52 5G has extra RAM, but additionally lacks mmWave and has a smaller 4,500mAh battery. Nevertheless, it improves the primary digital camera to 64MP and the selfie digital camera to 32MP. It additionally has a significantly better display.

See extra: The very best Verizon telephones for each funds

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 funds telephones with mmWave 5G.

As for non-Samsung and non-Verizon handsets, you may 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 digital camera and clear Android. Then there’s the Apple iPhone SE ($399), which provides various bang for the buck. Apple’s funds cellphone throws in wi-fi charging and an IP ranking however doesn’t assist 5G — plus, it runs iOS which can be a dealbreaker for some. You can 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 strong package deal that gives lots in the best way of performance.

It boasts an interesting design that might not be for everybody, however no less than it stands out as distinctive. The display is large and brilliant, 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 facet 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 and processor mixture. You may 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 strong sound. Reminiscence card assist can be a pleasant bonus alongside the 128GB of built-in storage.

General although, the Samsung Galaxy A42 struggles to actually 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 certainly battery life. Purchase the A42 for its stellar battery energy over another cause.

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