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Samsung wants to make 5G more accessible to more consumers by offering capable devices at more attainable price points. The Galaxy A42 5G is a classic case in point, boasting exceptional mid-range specifications that include a Super AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 750G 5G SoC, Quad-Rear Cameras, and a 5,000mAh battery.

Given the chance to review the device, I used it as my daily driver for two weeks and here’s what I thought of it. Before we get to it, I decided to focus on the overall experience with the Galaxy A42 5G because 5G isn’t widely available in the Philippines just yet.

Photos of the phone courtesy of Rianne Ronquillo

Full Specification Rundown

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
Display6.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-U
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
RAM6GB
Storage128GB, expandable up to 1TB via microSD
Rear Camera48MP main, f/1.8 aperture
8MP ultra-wide, f/2.2 aperture
5MP macro, f/2.4 aperture
5MP depth, f/2.4 aperture
Front Camera20MP
Battery5000mAh, 15W Super-Fast Charging
ConnectivityWi-Fi
Bluetooth
GPS, A-GPS
4G LTE, 5G (Sub-6 GHz networks)
USB Type-C
NFC
3.5mm headphone jack
OSOne UI 2.5 based on Android 10
Weight193 g
Dimension164.4 x 75.9 x 8.6 mm
ColorsPrism Dot Black, Prism Dot Gray
PricePHP 19,999 or from Smart

Design and build 

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is a stylish looking phone and what stood out for me at first was how the back of the phone looks. 

samsung-galaxy-a42-5g-review-back

The back of the phone has a gradient design with four lines to divide the colors from light gray at the bottom and dark gray up top where the camera module is found. If you look closely enough, the light gray area has small dots to it and it gets bigger until they’re totally gone in the darkest gray part. It has a unique and refreshing approach to the gradient design in smartphones. 

Most of the phone is glasstic and while it does feel a bit like glass, you still get the lightness of a plastic device. In addition, its back can be a fingerprint magnet, albeit not as bad as a glass device. 

samsung-galaxy-a42-5g-review

The front of Galaxy A42 5G is its 6.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-U panel. It’s a pretty tall device but because it’s on the slimmer side, it still makes it easy to use even with one hand. 

samsung-galaxy-a42-5g-review-sim-tray
Why isn’t it gray like the rest of the body?

On the right of the phone are its buttons while its SIM tray can be found on the left side. The latter stands out on the left as it is the only thing on the Prism Dot Gray version that’s black aside from the ports and the cameras. Personally, I wish the company made it gray to blend in with the rest of the device. 

samsung-galaxy-a42-5g-review-ports

The device has the USB-C port at the bottom flanked by a mic and speaker grill on the right and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left. A mic for noise cancellation is found up top as well.  

Performance 

samsung-galaxy-a42-5g-review-antutu

The Galaxy A42 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G processor coupled with 6GB and 128GB of storage. Although, the unit we received only had 4GB of RAM, which still impressed as far as day-to-day and gaming went. I can see it performing even better with the retail version of the device.

It handled games from Call of Duty: Mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Ragnarok M: Eternal Love, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and Asphalt 9: Legends extremely well even when cranked to high graphic settings. 

samsung-galaxy-a42-5g-review-codm

The device sadly only has the standard 60Hz refresh rate and 720p. While these really don’t matter to some people it is up against devices that do offer higher refresh rates or higher resolution.

Camera

The main 48MP main shooter of the Galaxy A42 5G is quite a capable one with good detail and contrast. It shoots pretty well in a dim environment and indoors retaining details well with little noise [well not in super low light, of course].

This is joined by an 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 5MP macro lens, and a 5MP depth sensor. I found the ultra-wide the most useful camera aside from the main snapper. It does have a bit more noise than compared to the 48MP shooter though but being able to get a wider shot is always handy. 

samsung-galaxy-a42-5g-review-macro-1
Here’s the macro lens on a sunny day

The macro lens, on the other hand, performed better with more light like outdoors on a sunny day. But when used indoors with decent lighting, it offered decent shots but it could be better. I found myself getting in close with the main lens more often.

It offers Night Mode which brightens your shot a bit while giving a bit of noise, as one can expect.

The 20MP front shooter, like the main rear shooter, is pretty impressive offering a good level of detail and dynamic range. It offers a wide shot which albeit isn’t super-wide but like the rear cousin, it’s still a welcome addition. 

Software

The Galaxy A42 5G runs on One UI 2.5 based on Android 10. Overall, Samsung has really improved its UI as far as performance goes. However, you do get your occasional stutter, which for me was one or twice through my use. 

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With it based on Android 10, One UI 2.5 comes with Dark Mode [thankfully] and Digital Wellbeing. The latter is presented in a simple way but offers enough information regarding your use of your device. 

samsung-galaxy-a42-5g-review-well-being

I appreciate how minimal bloatware the device comes with out of the box. One of these is Game Launcher which is the central hub for all your games installed in the device  

Battery 

The device packs a pretty hefty 5000mAh battery with 15W wired fast charging. This is enough to last you a day of light to moderate use and only really need to charge it before you go to bed or even in the morning before you start your day. However, you must be prepared to wait. 15W is pretty much standard at this point and it’s topping up a 5000mAh battery. 

samsung-galaxy-a42-5g-review-battery

We only received the unit itself which meant we weren’t able to actually test how long it charges with its included charger. With other chargers here though, it took around 2 hours to charge from 20% to 100%.

Ram Ronquillo eats puns for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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