When it was released in the second quarter of 2021, the Samsung Galaxy M42 5G was one of the company’s most affordable 5G-enabled phones to date, even if it was technically a rebranded device that was based on the Galaxy A42 5G, the latter of which was released near the end of 2020.
On paper, the Galaxy M42 5G is a decent mid-range phone boasting good enough specs, but because it’s technically based on a 2020 model, it lacks some of the more impressive characteristics that have been adopted by the mid-range market in 2021, such as a high-refresh rate display, 25W charging, and an updated design language.
The Galaxy M42 5G has a flat display with an Infinity-U notch for the selfie camera, a glossy back panel, and a metallic frame. The camera housing is square and the back panel has a four-color gradient. Samsung is selling the device in two color options called Prism Dot Black and Prism Dot Silver.
Samsung certainly hasn’t tried to redefine the mid-range design formula with the launch of the Galaxy M42 5G, and as a result, the phone carries a 3.5mm headphone jack and loudspeaker alongside the bottom edge, and physical volume / power buttons on the right edge. The phone measures 164.4 x 75.9 x 8.6mm and weighs 190 grams.
Samsung has equipped the Galaxy M42 5G with a Super AMOLED Infinity-U display. It doesn’t have a high-refresh rate, but at least it’s Super AMOLED as opposed to LCD.
The resolution leaves something to be desired at 1,600 by 720 pixels, but again, it should be plenty for a mid-range phone, even though the large 6.6-inch diagonal results in a pixel density of under 300 ppi (pixels per inch). The panel conceals an optical fingerprint scanner.
Much like the A-branded phone from which it gains inspiration, the Galaxy M42 5G is equipped with the Snapdragon 750G octa-core chipset. It has two high-performance Kryo 570 CPU cores clocked at 2.2GHz, and six efficiency cores operating at up to 1.8GHz.
Memory consists of two options: 6GB of RAM or 8GB of RAM, both of which are paired with 128GB of storage.
The phone also has a microSD card slot that can read cards with a capacity of up to 1TB. Deeper under the hood resides a 5,000mAh battery with 15W fast charging capabilities.
Also worth noting is that the device also boasts Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC connectivity, the latter of which can be used in conjunction with Samsung’s mobile payment platform.
The square-shaped camera housing found at the back of the Galaxy M42 5G is large enough for a quad-camera setup, though the LED flash resides on the outside.
The camera combo consists of a 48MP main camera which Samsung describes as being ‘a true high-res camera.’ In essence, it’s based on the ISOCELL GM2 sensor that was also used by the Galaxy M12 and the Galaxy A21s.
The quad-camera setup is completed by an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and two 5MP shooters; One macro and one depth sensor. The selfie camera clocks in at a resolution of 20MP.
Camera modes included with the Galaxy M42 5G are: Hyperlapse, Night Mode, and Super-Slow motion. The setup also supports Flaw Detection and Scene Optimizer.
Samsung has released the Galaxy M42 5G with Android 11 out of the box and One UI 3.1 on top. The phone boasts Samsung’s defense-grade security platform Knox, and it’s compatible with the company’s mobile payment solution Samsung Pay.
Other software features include Secure Folder, Quick Switch, and content suggestions.
Price and Availability
The Galaxy M42 5G debuted in India on April 28 when it was released under the ‘Amazon Specials’ label. The device was marketed as India’s cheapest 5G phone at the moment of release, and indeed, the device debuted at a ‘special price’ of INR 19,999 ($272). It was also marketed alongside Samsung’s Monster mascot, as seen above.
With no special offers in tow, the Galaxy M42 5G with 6GB / 8GB of RAM was released for INR 21,999 ($299) and INR 23,999 ($327) respectively.
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