5G at the expense of a good screen

The Galaxy A42 is Samsung’s first affordable smartphone that can handle 5G. Unfortunately, that privilege comes at the expense of screen quality. In this Samsung Galaxy A42 5G review, we tell you all about it.

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This is our Samsung Galaxy A42 5G review

5G phones are getting cheaper at a rapid pace. At the beginning of this year, Samsung released separate models of the Samsung Galaxy S20 out that only had 4G on board. In the meantime, phones are even appearing in the cheaper Galaxy A series with 5G. The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G has a suggested retail price of 349 euros, but you can now find it for only 299 euros. In addition, the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G on the market, which probably costs even less.

That seems like a nice development. However, Samsung has to make certain concessions to be able to offer 5G on these cheaper devices. Is it worth it? You can read it in our Samsung Galaxy A42 5G review.

The test model for this Samsung Galaxy A42 5G review is provided by Belsimpel.

Design: Prima plastic

The shiny back of the A42 5G is a magnet for fingerprints, although fortunately they are not very visible on our white test model. Despite the plastic housing, the smartphone feels sturdy, fits well in the hand and is not overly heavy at 190 grams.

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G has grown considerably compared to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy A41. That device had a 6.1-inch OLED screen. The A42 has a display of no less than 6.6 inches and is therefore almost one and a half centimeters larger than the A41. The dimensions of the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G are 164.4 by 75.9 by 8.6 millimeters. So a good boy. The phone is even longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max from Apple.

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An advantage of the Galaxy A42 5G is that it has an old-fashioned headphone jack. You will need that too, because you should not expect too much from the mono speaker. He sounds shrill and thin.

Screen is not sharp enough

Smartphones with 5G may become cheaper, but for manufacturers it is still an expensive addition. Although the Galaxy A42 5G was 50 euros more expensive at launch than its predecessor, Samsung has cut back on the device. As mentioned, the screen is larger than that of the A41, but has a much lower resolution. It is only 1600 by 720 pixels. With the A41, that was 2400 by 1080 pixels.

That is a regrettable concession, because you can see it very clearly. You can count old-fashioned pixels on the A42 5G. Text is never completely sharp and images look blurry. The screen is not unusable, but in 2020 you can expect more from a smartphone with this price. The Samsung Galaxy A51 is now even cheaper than the A42 and has a better display.

samsung galaxy a42 5g review

The refresh rate of the A42 5G is 60Hz. This means that the screen refreshes the content 60 times per second. There are phones in this price range, such as the Motorola Moto G 5G Plus, which have a 90Hz screen. Scrolling through Instagram or your favorite website will look a lot smoother on that. Once you have experienced that, you notice that the display of the A42 5G seems to stutter a bit.

Fortunately, the screen is reasonably easy to read in the sun. The smartphone also has fairly narrow edges, except for the somewhat thicker chin at the bottom. The selfie camera is in a drop-shaped notch and is sufficient for simple self-portraits.

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Great processor for this class

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G has 4GB of RAM and runs on a Snapdragon 750G processor from Qualcomm. That is a great chip for the middle segment, although you should of course not expect the speed of a Galaxy S20. Especially when you reboot the phone, you will notice some lags while opening apps.

Once the A42 5G is warm, it won’t let you down. The device is fast enough for many daily tasks and barely falters. You can also play most games, as long as you don’t choose the very highest settings. And with 128GB of storage space, you can keep all your photos and videos for the time being. If the phone is full, you can expand the storage with a micro-sd card.

Samsung is shouting it from the rooftops: the A42 can handle 5G. Nice and nice, but the 5G network in the Netherlands is provisional more of a hype than an improvement. There is not yet any real speed gain compared to 4G. The support for 5G therefore does not seem to us to be a reason to specifically choose this device.

Smooth software gets enough updates

The Galaxy A42 5G runs on Android 10. The device will probably get two updates and will be updated to Android 11 and Android 12. Samsung also guarantees a quarterly security update for two years to keep viruses and intruders at bay. You can therefore expect these updates at least until the end of 2022.

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