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Samsung Galaxy A42 5G Hands-On Review: Sammy’s Affordable 5G Option

Mid-ranged 5G for the Samsung Faithful

Early Verdict: If you want to prepare for the widespread availability of 5G and have a strict budget of around Php 20,000 — then the Galaxy A42 5G may be an option for you to consider. The trouble is that Sammy runs into some extremely tough competition in this price point where the market is likely looking at other 5G enabled smartphones like the Xiaomi Mi 10T.

If Samsung is your “ride or die” smartphone brand, this is one of their more affordable 5G options that’s also available with your local telco of choice.

We’ve seen Samsung offer a handful of 5G ready smartphones this year but they’ve all been for their more “Ultra” devices. The mantra for their A-series devices was to be able to make their flagship features available in the mid-range segment and that seems to be on the docket for their latest offering in the country — the Galaxy A42 5G.

Pros

  • Great Processing Package
  • Ready for 5G
  • Potentially Long Battery Life

Cons

  • HD+ Resolution Only
  • Steep Pricing
  • Slow Charging Speeds

Design and Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G follows along the same lines as most of the brand’s offerings that don’t hit their higher tiered smartphones when it comes to its build quality. It’s primarily made out of polycarbonate plastic with the back having a glossy finish though it doesn’t quite have that “glasstic” look that the A-series ones had.

Design is very subjective and the team is pretty divided on this one. We generally like the dot matrix design with different grey tones to make it a little more visually appealing along with the iridescent finish, but it’s the squared-off camera array that has the group split.

For the button and port layout, you have the headphones jack, USB-C port, and speaker grille on the bottom

Access to the phone’s SIM tray is found on the left

And, the volume rocker and power button are on the right side.

Display

If you’re keeping tabs on our YouTube channel, you know that we are a little biased when it comes to the display on Samsung smartphones. The one on the A42 5G, however, is a little disappointing though. You are getting a decently sized screen at 6.6-inches and they are using their beloved Super AMOLED panels, which means you’re getting those deep blacks to give colors more pop.

Unfortunately, it’s only at HD+ so the pixel density is underwhelming; especially at this price point. You’re also not getting a higher refresh rate like some of the other devices on this price point, which we would have been okay with if they’d bumped up the resolution. You’re also getting a rather large notch on the A42, unlike the punch hole we’ve seen on their other mid-range offerings like the Galaxy M51.

Cameras

For the cameras, you’re getting a quad-camera setup on the rear that consist of a 48-megapixel main shooter at f/1.8, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, a 5-megapixel macro camera, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. The setup is very similar to the A51 but, of course, you’re getting a slight bump down in MP count for the ultra-wide camera.

For selfies, the A42 is equipped with a 20-megapixel front camera at an aperture of f/2.2 and, sadly, it’s a fixed focus lens so you will need to take a few safeties to make sure you’re in focus.

On the video side of things, the rear setup maxes out at 4K, 30fps and the front camera tops out at 1080p, 30 fps.

Performance and Battery

The biggest draw for the Galaxy A42 5G has to be the hardware it has under the hood, which features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G that’s been paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. The 750G is one of the best mid-range processors out in the market right now; giving you great performance whether it be for work or for play.

It also gives you the capability to tap into the 5G network should you be lucky enough to have access to it where you live or where you frequently move around.

You’re also getting a decently sized 5000mAh battery to keep the lights on for the A42. Typically, this would last at least a day and a half with moderate use but the battery life should be getting a bit of a boost because of the lower resolution of the display. We’ll see how long this phone will last once we’ve conducted our YouTube loop test on it.

Sadly, it will take a while to top the A42 up since it only features 15W charging.

Wrap Up and Early Conclusions

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G has a lot of things that we’ve come to enjoy from their other offerings and the addition of Qualcomm’s mid-range 5G-ready processor would have made it easier to recommend for people looking to prepare themselves for the expanding network in the Philippines. But this price bracket has always been contentious and it will definitely have a tough time going against other brands’ products that offer a better price to performance ratio; especially with all the compromises, they’ve made for this model.

This is definitely for those loyal to the Korean smartphone brand looking to get into the 5G game.

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is priced at Php 19,990 and is also available through Smart and Globe’s postpaid plans.

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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