The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G was the first of the AX2 phones to be released. Since then, 2021 has been awash with new Galaxy A phones, like the slightly improved Samsung Galaxy A52 5G and the budget-friendly Galaxy A32 5G.

Now that it's several months old, the Galaxy A42 5G might not be your first choice for a cheap 5G phone. That said, Goldilocks can hit your sweet spot with a set of useful features and specs at an affordable cost.

then dWe break down the Galaxy A42 specs, features and price to help you decide whether to upgrade (or downgrade) to another Galaxy A phone or another budget phone. We also highlight the differences between the US and UK models, because despite having the same name, they are slightly different.

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Come to the point

  • What is it? Samsung's affordable mid-range 5G phone
  • When did it come out? November 11, 2020, available now
  • What are the prices for the premium plan? $400 / €319 / AU$600

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G release date, price and carriers

Samsung launched the Galaxy A42 5G on November 11, 2020. It was the first of the AX2 phones released, with it and the Galaxy A12 being the only ones to ship in 2020.

It currently retails for $400 / €319 / AU$600, but can often be found for sale cheaper. That's already a price drop from its launch price of $450 / €349 / AU$630.

In the US you cannot buy the unlocked Samsung Galaxy A42 5G and you must choose Verizon as your carrier. You'll have to look at other Galaxy A phones if you specifically want another carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile.

Render Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Render Samsung Galaxy A42 5G (Image credit: Samsung)

Design and display

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G measures 164,4 x 75,9 x 8,6mm, 193g and has a 6,6-inch screen. It just loses in size in favor of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy A72, but slightly outclasses other Galaxy A phones, including the A52.

The Super AMOLED display measures 720 x 1600 pixels, making it HD+, with 266 pixels per inch and a 60Hz refresh rate; It also has a built-in fingerprint scanner, with a notch at the top and a thick bezel below the screen.

For comparison, the Galaxy A32 5G has the same resolution but sports an LCD screen without a built-in scanner, while the Galaxy A52 5G gives you Full HD + resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate.

The Galaxy A42 5G is available in Prism Dot Black, Prism Dot Gray and Prism Dot White. Regardless of the color you choose, the plastic back of the phone features a multi-hued, glossy holographic pattern that is quite unique.

The phone does not have a water resistance rating or Gorilla Glass armor, so be careful with it or upgrade to the A52 5G for more protection in both areas. The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G has a 3.5mm headphone jack and expandable storage via its microSD card slot, which many phone owners will appreciate.

The American model of the Galaxy A42 5G

The American model of the Galaxy A42 5G (Image credit: Samsung)

Cameras and battery life

As expected, Samsung's lower mid-range phone comes with mid-range cameras low. If you're looking for a solid battery life, you've come to the right place.

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G has a 48MP (f/1.8) main camera and an 8MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide snapper. This is true anywhere in the world, but the rest of the camera hardware actually varies.

In the US you get a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor and a 13MP front-facing camera. But in the UK (and apparently most other places) you get a 5MP (f/2.4) macro camera, a 5MP (f/2.4) depth sensor, and a 20MP selfie camera.

Look for the best camera phones if you want something for serious photography; In this case, your photos will be useful and backed by Samsung's camera AI technology, but will lack raw pixels from more expensive phones.

As for the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G, has a 5,000 mAh battery which, according to Samsung, will give you two days of "average use". If you don't watch videos often or use demanding apps, this phone should last a long time per charge. It also supports 15W fast charging, but there is no wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G (Image credit: Samsung)

Performance and software

Perhaps the biggest drawback of the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is that it comes with Android 10 and One UI 2.5 out of the box.. You can immediately upgrade to Android 11/One UI 3.1 if you buy it today, but in theory that model could stop receiving software updates before other recent Galaxy A phones launch with Android 11 out of the box.

Powered by Snapdragon 750G and 4GB RAMThe A42 5G won't dominate any benchmarks, but it's still a respectable level of power for this price range. The Galaxy A52 5G, by comparison, has the same chipset but benefits slightly from 6GB of RAM.

If you're looking for a reliable 5G phone, you'll be pleased to know that the Galaxy A42 5G can use 5G mmWave and sub-6GHz networks in the US as a benefit of using Verizon's network. This gives you the best of both worlds. In the UK you only have access to frequencies below 6GHz, but that's all UK networks offer.

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G also has 128 GB of storage and, as mentioned above, there's a microSD card slot if you need more space.

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