The Galaxy M42 5G is the first Samsung M-series smartphone to benefit from 5G support. It is also the most affordable smartphone in the entire Samsung team to offer 5G connectivity. Samsung chose the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor for the Galaxy M42 5G, but also equipped it with an HD + display that pops out like a sore thumb in this price range. So, can the Galaxy M42 5G help Samsung stay ahead of the competition, or has the company taken too much action? Here is my opinion
Galaxy M42 5G price in India
The Samsung Galaxy M42 5G starts at Rs. 21,999 for the base variant which has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The top variant with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage is priced at Rs. 23,999. It is available in Prism Dot Gray and Prism Dot Black.
Galaxy M42 5G design
The Samsung Galaxy M42 5G is a big smartphone and looks a bit like the Galaxy A42 5G. The Galaxy M42 5G has a large 6.6-inch display with reasonably thin bezels all around. It has a dewdrop-shaped notch at the top, which Samsung calls an Infinity-U display. The Galaxy M42 5G has a polycarbonate back panel that has a glossy finish that Samsung calls âGlassticâ. The glossy finish is a fingerprint magnet and the smudges are easily visible.
The back panel of the Galaxy M42 5G is visually divided into four blocks, from top to bottom. The top quarter has a solid black gloss finish while the color gets lighter with each block as you go down. The lower three segments have an additional fine dotted pattern that scatters the light into different colors. Samsung aptly named the color Prism Dot Black, while the other lighter color option is called Prism Dot Gray.
The Galaxy M42 5G is 8.6mm thick and weighs 193g, which is manageable. It’s comfortable to hold and the buttons are easy to reach with the device in my hand. There is an in-screen fingerprint reader which is convenient and easy to reach when using the device with one hand. The SIM tray is on the left of the plastic frame, while the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and speaker are on the bottom. The top only has the secondary microphone.
You get a quad camera setup on the Galaxy M42 5G in a single pod in the upper left corner of the back. This square-shaped module doesn’t protrude much, which is a good thing. The Samsung Galaxy M42 5G has a 5000mAh battery and supports 15W fast charging. Samsung also has a 15W charger in the box, which is slower than the competition. Surprisingly, even the Galaxy M51 (Review) supports and comes with a faster 25W charger, although it is positioned slightly below the Galaxy M42 5G.
Galaxy M42 5G Specifications
The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that the 6.6-inch AMOLED display sports only HD + resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. This low-res display is very disappointing considering the price that Samsung has. imposes for this smartphone. Samsung sells its Galaxy M21 (Review) for Rs 12,499 with a full-HD + AMOLED display. On the bright side, you get a built-in fingerprint scanner, making it one of the first Galaxy M series smartphones with this feature. However, a Full HD + display and side-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner would have been my preference here.
Fortunately, the cost reduction exercise does not continue in the performance department. The Galaxy M42 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G processor, which we have also seen from direct competitors in India such as the Xiaomi Mi 10i (Review) and the Moto G 5G. Samsung offers the Galaxy M42 5G in two variants, with 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM. The storage on these two variants is 128GB. You can expand the storage up to 1TB, but since the Galaxy M42 5G has a dual SIM hybrid tray, the expansion comes at the cost of a second SIM. Samsung could have offered an even higher variant with more storage.
In terms of software, the Galaxy M42 5G runs OneUI 3.1 on Android 11. It is not the OneUI Core version that some other Galaxy M series smartphones use. The phone had the April Android security patch at the time of the review, which is acceptable. OneUI looks very familiar to you if you are coming from a Samsung smartphone, and even if you are not, it is very easy to get used to. I found some bloatware preinstalled on the device, which I was not happy with. I recommend that you uninstall these apps immediately if you don’t plan to use them.
Galaxy M42 5G’s Performances
Samsung has chosen a capable processor for the Galaxy M42 5G, and it definitely delivers it. I didn’t notice any lags or stutters, app load times were reasonable, and with 6GB of RAM on my review unit, multitasking wasn’t an issue. The AMOLED screen is punchy but the low resolution is the fly in the ointment. I found the screen brightness to be adequate for indoor use, but the visibility outside could have been slightly better. The built-in fingerprint scanner quickly unlocked the phone and never needed a second attempt.
The Galaxy M42 5G managed to score 357,881 points in AnTuTu. It also scored 652 and 1837 points respectively in the single-core and multi-core benchmarks of Geekbench 5. Since this phone has an HD + display, it gets an advantage in the graphics benchmarks, handling 56 fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.
As for the games, I have played Call of Duty Mobile which defaults to this High for graphics as well as frame rate. It was playable with these default settings without any issues. I noticed that the top of the phone got hot to the touch after playing for twenty minutes, but not to an alarming degree. The casual games went well and the phone showed no signs of heating up.
The Galaxy M42 5G’s 5,000mAh battery allowed me to go beyond a day quite easily without needing a recharge. In our HD video loop test, the phone lasted 22 hours and 55 minutes. It’s a good time, but Samsung lowers the screen brightness once the battery percentage drops below 15%. Charging is relatively slow at 15W, and the phone only hit 26% in 30 minutes and 51% in an hour.
Galaxy M42 5G cameras
Samsung’s four-camera setup is pretty standard. The Galaxy M42 has a 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 5-megapixel depth sensor and a 5-megapixel macro camera. For selfies, it features a 20-megapixel shooter in the dewdrop notch on the front. Samsung’s camera software remained unchanged and I had no problem finding the right mode for a photo. The camera app’s AI quickly recognizes where it is pointing and configures the camera accordingly.
I took a few shots in broad daylight on an overcast day and the Galaxy M42 5G performed well. The colors were pretty, although slightly accentuated, and there was good detail. The ultra-wide camera has a lower resolution and details are inferior to photos taken with the main camera. There was also distortion on the sides of each image.
The close-ups went well with good colors and good detail. The phone also manages a blur for the background. The portraits had good edge detection and I could change the level of blur before taking a picture. I could also edit portraits in the photo gallery to apply more effects. The macro shots were decent, with good detail.
In low light, landscape photos had average detail and weren’t as sharp, although noise was under control. With Night mode, the frame is cropped slightly but the output was clearer and had slightly better detail.
Selfie beautification is on by default, which softens skin textures. The portrait selfies went well and the phone could detect faces even with masks on. The low-light selfies also had decent detail.
Video recording tops out at 4K 30fps for the main camera. Stabilization is on by default but I found it to be average as minor shaking was visible in the output. Super Steady mode uses the ultra wide angle camera and provides better stabilization. 4K images were not stabilized and low light images were strictly average.
The Galaxy M42 5G is now the most affordable 5G smartphone offered by Samsung. It incorporates a powerful processor and offers good performance. However, Samsung cut a few corners with the display. An HD + resolution at the Rs. 21,999 price is very disappointing.
Since 5G networks are still not available in India, you might consider the Galaxy F62 as an interesting alternative. If you are specifically looking for a 5G capable smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi 10i (Review) and Realme X7 (Review) are better alternatives to the Galaxy M42 5G at this price point.