LG K42 Review

LG’s latest entry in the budget segment is the LG K42 featuring a durable military-grade design (MLT-STD-810G certified), quad cameras, and a 6.6-inch punch-hole camera display, priced at Rs 10,999. Here’s our LG K42 review.

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LG K42 Specifications

  • Display: 6.6-inch IPS, HD+ resolution (1,600 x 720 pixels), 60 Hz refresh rate, punch-hole display
  • Special: MLT-STD-810G certified military-grade design
  • Software: Android 10
  • CPU: 16 nm MediaTek Helio P22 (MT6762) octa-core SoC up to 2.0 GHz
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320 Graphics
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Storage: 64 GB storage on-board, external microSD card support (dedicated)
  • Main Camera: Quad Cameras (13 MP f/1.79 primary + 5 MP + 2 MP macro + 2 MP depth), LED flash
  • Selfie Camera: 8 MP
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, 3.5 mm port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
  • Security: Fingerprint scanner (side-mounted)
  • Others: Side Key (Google Assistant)
  • Cellular: Dual 4G network, 2x nano SIMs, microSD card slot (dedicated)
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh
  • Charging: 10W Standard Charging (5V, 2A)
  • Colors: Gray
  • Dimensions: 76.7 mm x 165.0 mm x 8.4 mm
  • Weight: 182 grams
  • Price: ₹10,999

Design, Display, & Build

The LG K42 appears to be a standout from the crowd when it comes to the design. The main highlight of the LG K42 is the MLT STD 810G military-grade design means it’s durable and operates under harsh weather conditions. The MLT STD 810G compliance tests include shock and temperature resistance, vibration, humidity, and operational under high and low temperatures.

The back has curvy lines, it has a unique wave pattern with anti-scratch UV coating alongside the quad-camera setup on the top left. It weighs 182 grams and 8.4 mm thick. The outer body has no metallic or rubberized materials, the design is purely plastic material, however, the frames appear to be made of high-quality plastic with nicely polished edges and buttons. The overall design looks great and feels comfortable in the hands.

The front side has a punch-hole display carrying an 8 MP selfie camera. The display is a 6.6-inch IPS HD+ with a 60 Hz refresh rate and offers a decent brightness and colors. The fingerprint scanner is on the right side embedded on the power button, not on the screen or on the back.

Moving on to the sides, the bottom side has a 3.5 mm audio jack, USB Type-C port, loudspeakers, and a microphone whereas the top side has another microphone, no dual stereo speakers found on the phone.

The right side has a power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner while the left side has volume keys and a side key for Google Assistant. The buttons feel friendly and give nice feedback. There’s also a triple-slot SIM tray on the upper left side that supports two 4G SIM cards dual standby and a dedicated microSD card slot.

Software & User Interface

On the software side, the LG K42 features an Android 10 out-of-the-box with LG’s custom skin layered on top. The security patch is dated 1st December 2020. If LG offered Android 11 out-of-the-box, it would be great as smartphone manufacturers have started offering the Android 11 in this price segment.

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The LG’s custom skin brings some added features on top of Android 10 stock features. The user interface looks good, no app drawer design, everything you see is on the homescreen. The performance of the UI is not that great, we felt hiccups or lags occasionally while using or multitasking.

Some pre-installed apps or bloatware are present on the phone that can be removed if not required. The apps such as Google News, Facebook, Instagram, Booking.com as well as games such as Asphalt Nitro, Empires, The Love Boat, Little Big City 2, and DragonML, and lastly some apps from LG come pre-installed on the phone.

Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

On the Performance side, the LG K42 packs a 16nm MediaTek Helio P22 octa-core CPU clocked at 2.0 GHz. The CPU consists of eight Cortex-A53 cores with variable clock rates. It comes with a PowerVR GE8320 GPU for graphics applications and gaming. The phone comes in just one variant, 3 GB RAM with 64 GB storage that expands via a microSD card on a dedicated slot.

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Our benchmark test results show that the CPU is weak and performs similar to the smartphones priced under Rs 8,000. Usually, smartphones in this price range have quite a higher performance as compared to the LG K42, take the Micromax IN 1 or the Redmi Note 10 for instance.

The Geekbench 5 benchmark scored at 134 points in a single CPU and 483 points in multiple CPUs. The GPU benchmark scored 77 points in the Geekbench 5 Compute. Androbench scores up to 264.99 MB/s read speed and 219.69 MB/s write speed in sequential as you can see in the screenshot.

For gaming, there’s nothing much to say, if you are into gaming, you should better get a device with a powerful GPU, the LG K42 can play casual and low graphics demanding games fluently, but don’t expect anything great out of its GPU, the PowerVR GE8320 is an entry-level chip for gaming.

Cameras

On the camera’s front, the LG K42 equips a quad-camera setup on the backside and a single camera on the front. The main camera includes a 13 MP with the other three cameras – 5 MP wide-angle, 2 MP macro, and 2 MP depth camera.

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The camera interface has a few modes Portrait, Flash Jump Cut, AI Cam, Sticker, Macro, YouTube Live. No Pro mode, Panorama, Night Mode, Time Lapse, Slow Motion, and others. You can shoot videos in 1080p at 30fps, no 4K, 60fps, as well as slow-motion video is available.

Looking at the competition, at least the manufacturer should provide a 48 MP camera or similar for better quality shots, the 13 MP snapper appears to be average, the image quality as you can see in the camera samples we have shared look just okay less likely to be fair for this price. Not just the Chinese rivals, but the Indian manufacturers like Micromax IN 1 offer a 48 MP camera at a similar price.

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LG K42 Camera Samples

Battery Life & Charging

On the battery side, the LG K42 comes with a 4,000 mAh battery with standard charging support. The battery backup is pretty decent for the given battery capacity, however, the competition offers slightly higher capacity. You can expect the battery to run a day and a half depending on your usage.

As for the charging, the LG K42 comes with a 10W standard charger, LG could have provided a fast charger at least 18W. The battery charging appears to be average, takes more than 2 hours.

Verdict

The LG K42 so far has gained great impressions in its design, it is a military-grade MLT-STD-816G complaint, has a unique wave pattern on the back, and gives a comfortable grip. The display on the other hand is bright despite being a 720p. But due to the weak CPU and the average cameras, rivals may outperform the LG K42. It can be a good alternative to the Chinese rivals, as far as you are not concerned about the performance and cameras.

Strength

  • Unique Design & Good Looks
  • Military-Grade MLT-STD-810G Certified
  • Bright Display
  • Fair 4,000 mAh Battery Performance
  • Google Assistant Side Key For Quick Assistance
  • Dedicated microSD Card Slot
  • 3.5 mm Audio Jack

Weakness

  • Mediocre Performance
  • Average Cameras