Samsung Galaxy M42 Review

Samsung has recently released the new M-series smartphone, the Galaxy M42 in the price bracket of ₹20,000 to ₹25,000 and it’s the successor to the Samsung Galaxy M40. The main highlight of the Samsung Galaxy M42 is the Snapdragon 750G while the Super AMOLED and the strong battery remains prominent in the M-Series. Here’s what we have to say about the Samsung Galaxy M42 in its review.

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Samsung Galaxy M42 Specifications

  • Display: 6.6-inch Super AMOLED, HD+ resolution (1,600 x 720 pixels), 60 Hz refresh rate
  • Software: Android 11, OneUI 3.1
  • CPU: 8 nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G octa-core SoC
  • GPU: Adreno 619 Graphics
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB storage on-board, external microSD card support (dedicated)
  • Main Camera: Quad Cameras (48 MP primary + 8 MP + 5 MP macro + 5 MP depth), LED flash
  • Selfie Camera: 20 MP
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, 3.5 mm port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
  • Security: Fingerprint scanner (under-display)
  • Cellular: Dual 5G network, 2x nano SIMs, microSD card slot (hybrid)
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Charging: 15W
  • Price: ₹21,999

Design, Display, & Build

The Samsung Galaxy M42 uses a new Prism Dot design with a colorful reflective back. The design appears to be a standout from the previous M-series Samsung phones. Although it’s not a glass back, it’s made of plastic including the sides, the overall design and built feels sturdy and gives a good grip. The fingerprint smudging is another problem with the glossy phones and we managed to get some shots with the least smudges.

One of the best things we like about the M-series is the Super AMOLED display, from its baseline to the top category, the M-series is prominent in the display category, the Samsung Galaxy M42 flaunts a 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display, although an HD+, but of a higher quality. It would be great if the display had a Full HD+ resolution and higher than 60 Hz refresh rate, otherwise would be a strong contender in its class.

The screen has an in-display fingerprint scanner, unlike the Galaxy M51, and you get a water-drop-like camera design on the front, a quad-camera setup on the back, a different look in terms of design, take a look at the images.

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 and volume keys while the left side has a triple-slot SIM tray that supports two 5G SIM cards dual standby and a microSD card slot on SIM2.

Software & User Interface

The Samsung Galaxy M42 has been topped with Samsung’s latest software OneUI 3.1 interface that is based on the Android 11. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy M42 is Android 11 out-of-the-box and far ahead of the competition, there are still phones stuck with Android 10. The security patch on the phone is 1st March 2021.

You can see the interface in the screenshot below, you can clearly see the design changes in the new OneUI 3.1, it looks way similar to the previous version. The interface has been optimized for a smoother experience, our initial use has no lag issues while using the phone.

You get all the OneUI features such as the Always-On display, Dark mode, Smart View, Ultra Data Saving, Dolby Atmos, Focus mode, Dual Messenger, Game Launcher, Fingerprint sensor gestures, Blue light filter, and so on. Some additional features like Edge Lighting aren’t available.

You will find a chunk of bloatware on the phone that can be removed if not required. Apps such as Facebook, Netflix, OneDrive, Prime Video, Amazon, and more come pre-installed on the phone and you will have to remove them if you aren’t going to use them. For me, some apps are useless, so I have to remove them.

Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

On the Performance side, the Samsung Galaxy M42 packs an 8nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G octa-core CPU clocked at 2.2 GHz. The CPU consists of two Kryo 570 cores clocked at 2.2 GHz and six Kryo 570 cores with a 1.8 GHz clock rate. This could give a significant performance boost in the applications as compared to the Snapdragon 730G found in the Samsung Galaxy M51 and Samsung Galaxy M31s.

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Furthermore, it comes with an Adreno 619 GPU for graphics applications and gaming. The Galaxy M42 has a total of two RAM variants, with up to 8 GB RAM on the higher side and 6 GB RAM on its base variant, both with 128 GB storage. The storage expands via a microSD card on the SIM2 slot since the tray is hybrid.

For gaming, there’s nothing much to say, if you are into gaming, you should better get a device with a powerful GPU, the Samsung Galaxy M42 can play medium to high graphics games fluently, no heating issues are found while gaming. However, if you are not a midrange gamer, but a heavy enthusiast, consider a flagship GPU and CPU, for instance, a Snapdragon 855+ is available at a similar price.

Cameras

On the camera’s front, the Samsung Galaxy M42 equips a quad-camera setup on its back and a single selfie camera. The quad-camera consists of a 48 MP f/1.8 primary camera, 8 MP f/2.2 wide-angle camera, 5 MP f/2.4 macro camera, and 5 MP f/2.4 depth camera for portrait shots. The selfie camera is 20 MP with an f/2.2 aperture.

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You get a similar interface on the OneUI 3.1, the Galaxy M42 offers Single Take, Photo mode, video mode, and a More section where all the other camera features lie. The features include AR Doodle, Pro, Panorama, Night, Portrait, Macro, Super Slow-Mo, HyperLapse, Food, and more.

There’s no doubt that the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy M42 are great, the 48 MP camera takes far better shots and is equivalent to the phones in this price segment even though it’s 48 MP, not 64 MP that you see the competition has to offer. The camera performance is good and reliable, it’s quite identical to the Samsung Galaxy M51.

It’s not a major downside of the camera, the low light shots are okayish or a little above average in our tests, if you are a night photographer, you might want to tweak the Pro mode to get the best possible shot if not using the AI. The camera is good enough to take 4K videos at 30fps and 720p super slow-motion videos at 480fps, the camera can give the best results if used in the daylight.

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Take a look at these camera samples we took from the Samsung Galaxy M42 cameras.

Samsung Galaxy M42 Camera Samples

Battery Life & Charging

The Samsung Galaxy M42 packs a 5,000 mAh that can last up to 2 days, Samsung could have offered a bigger battery, the Galaxy M51 has a huge 7,000 mAh battery which has a far better battery backup as compared to the Galaxy M42.

You get up to 130 hours of music playtime, 22 hours of internet usage, 34 hours of video playtime, and 36 hours of voice calls with its 5,000 mAh battery. Nevertheless, the 5,000 mAh battery is still good and seems reliable when it comes to overall battery life.

For the charging, the Samsung Galaxy M42 has a 15W charger in the box and it’s a fast charger taking around 2 hours to charge the battery. The charging rate is average, it’s not the fastest charging phone in its class, you might get a better charging speed on realme phones or Mi phones.

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Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy M42 has all that it takes to be a perfect midranger, let it be the CPU itself, the Snapdragon 750G is a king in its class, other than that is the Super AMOLED display, 5G capabilities, Android 11 out-of-the-box, the reliable battery life, and good cameras, aside from its new eye-catchy Prism design, however, the only two downsides we think are its display resolution which is the HD+ and the standard 60 Hz refresh rate, otherwise would be a strong contender in its class at this price (₹21,999). If it doesn’t bother you, this could be one of the best non-Chinese smartphones available in India.

Strength

  • Good & Solid Design
  • Bright Super AMOLED Display
  • Great Performance (Snapdragon 750G)
  • Enough Memory – 8 GB RAM and 128 GB Storage
  • Reliable 5,000 mAh Battery Performance
  • Good Camera Performance
  • 3.5 mm Audio Jack

Weakness

  • HD+ Resolution
  • 60 Hz Refresh Rate
  • Hybrid SIM Tray